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Thursday
Apr182013

An Antidote to Silence

In response to the most severe writer's block I've personally experienced, Will suggested I just post some pictures.  And I thought, hmmmmmm.  That's right.  After all, this was supposed to be a photoblog.

So I'll try silence with pictures and see what happens.

Tuesday
Jan082013

The Word: A Story

I pull the wool cap down over my ears and knot the scarf.  Swallow the lump in my throat, jam my hands deep into my pockets and step out into the searing blue sun of a late winter afternoon.  It is time, finally, to be honest with each other, something I don't always believe in, the truth being so slippery and easily obscured by obstacles in our own hearts and minds.  It is hard to see things as they really are and to name them correctly in the moment.  It is hard to hear each other well.

I let this wash over me, stinging my skin like ice crystals: You didn't do it right.

Draw back the arrow and release: Why did you change?

Frozen ground crunches under our feet and there is one truth I believe as it swims up in front of my teary eyes: you are you and I am me, and there is no talking either of us out of that.  I can see my breath.  I see our story stretched out on a gossamer thread, behind us and before us.  Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  This is only the middle, I see. 

So we do this:  accept, and keep creating our story.

---

This is the word that keeps coming up for me, as I contemplate what to set as intention and guide for 2013:

story

This is a year to own my own story, and to receive others' stories in nuance, acceptance and fullness.  It is a time to study the elements of story and to improve my facility with them.  I aspire to strengthen my storytelling both in my professional life and here, in my personal work.  I will return to my reading life, my bedside table stacked high with books waiting to be loved.  I will write and shoot in an effort to illuminate the threads that hold us together. 

I am afraid to make any claims about honesty but I believe there's truth in the story, and I hope that will guide me through the coming year.

Tuesday
Jan012013

New Year, New Superpower

I was a scrooge on 12-12-12.

That special day, that once in a lifetime, that creative convergence when it seemed like everyone I know had a project going, fell on a day when I was busy being ground into fine dust between the mortar and pestle of work deadlines. I was in a bad mood about not being able to participate in the project that much of my creative community had devoted themselves to that day. I felt sorry for myself, and I grumbled well, it's just numbers. It's not any day that's more special than any other day. I could just pick another day to document.

And I was right, I could.

This week I've been walking in the snow. Last winter we dutifully came to the mountains because we love it here, but it rarely snowed. This winter on December 9 the snow started to fall like it's supposed to and everything is blanketed in a beautiful downy white.  There are igloos to build, snowshoe trails to break, the lightest powder to ski through. The tracks of each day's adventures are covered by the time we emerge in the morning.  

I've also been making lists this week, scraps of reflection on what went right in 2012, what didn't go so well, and what I hope for 2013.  What will I accomplish?  How will I be better?  But in the midst of the lists I hear a small voice in my ear, telling me that this New Year's Day is just one day, and every day is a new day.  Every day brings with it the possibility of renewal.

So this I intend for myself, my superpower of 2013: to make it snow in my head at will. In the moments when I need a fresh start, to camouflage my tracks, to cover the blemishes in my path, may I find the peace within me to bring down a psychic snow that covers everything and gives me a chance to start again, anew, with the understanding that every day is a special day.  Every day is once in a lifetime and every day holds infinite possibilities for growth, love, and creation.

---

Happiest of New Years to all of you.  I hope 2013 allows each of you to tap into wells of strength and power within you that you didn't even know you possessed.

Thursday
Dec202012

The Great Gear Chase

The lovely and talented Tara Romasanta at The Parker, Palm Springs, CAIt is so easy, as a photographer, to fall into the trap of the Great Gear Chase.  There is always a better body, or a faster lens, or a smoother ball head or a new iPhone that will certainly be just the thing to elevate our work or change the way we see.  Except that it almost never does.

I know all this down to my bones but that doesn't stop me from wanting, and occasionally getting, a new toy anyway.  Today I'm guest blogging over at Mortal Muses about my latest acquisition (hint:  the above picture of Tara was one of the first I made with it) and the way it is actually changing my work - or at least the way I think about it.  I would love it if you'd join me there.

Wednesday
Dec122012

Where I've Been

There are days when I look and everything around me seems so fragile.  The dried veins of fallen leaves browning, crackling under my feet.  Everything changing rapidly and not for the easier.  This is the season, it seems, of white knuckling and holding on tight and praying please please please let me get through this one alright.  With any shred of grace, dear Universe, please and thank you please and thank you please and thank you.

Work is consuming in a way that is as predictable as the calendar, and yet here I am wondering how I will make it through and if past success is any guarantee of future performance.  Some of my most sacred relationships seem on the brink of disintegrating like the autumn leaves and I don't know how to stay present to that when running away or lashing out seem more satisfying.  This season of thanksgiving and richness leaves me feeling scared and humbled.

I have been gone from here partly because time has been scarce and partly because I couldn't think of anything nice, or at least well-put, to say.  This is a loss for me, this space sitting dormant, and more broadly the connections I share here and the satisfaction of putting words together in a way that pleases me.  I trust the path to my computer and this place will open again and I will find my way back.

In the meantime I give myself one gift, even though it doesn't always feel like one: I'm back to a picture a day.  I promised myself that I wouldn't put pressure to blog it, so you can find it here if you're so inclined.  In this season of scarce light and attention I try not to get hung up on the questions that plague me, like what do I shoot? and is that good enough? and can't you think of anything besides Ezra to take a picture of?  I hope that when this time of scarcity and transition passes I'll have more space to address these questions.  In the meantime, I shoot, and not always artfully.  But I know that owning this practice will ultimately help me move through this hard part.  If there is to be a shred of grace on the other side of this, I know the practice is what will help me maintain contact.