Sunday, December 13, 2009


Tree-hunting was a success on Friday, as was shopping for baby-visitor supplies (the Philly Phamily is coming for Christmas!), and much-needed bed linens suitable for the uber-cold weather we've been having. But the best news is the return of my repaired 50mm lens!! FINALLY, I can find an interesting depth of field and set my aperture for macros.

I experienced a terribly painful flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis on my 59th birthday last week. Um, yes... 59. It's a particularly significant birthday for me as it's the age my mother was when she died; her mother and her mother's mother died at 60. To be approaching the age that my foremothers' lives ended makes me feel simultaneously vulnerable, anxious and curious. And to have been given a fairly serious diagnosis at this age--my mother's diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) was at 59--gives me a lot to think about at night when the world is silent.

I've wanted to write about this all week, but until today, moving my swollen wrist and hand over the keys was unthinkable--if not impossible. And I want to write about this experience with a degree of objectivity--as a way of documenting my life as a writer and photographer with a disabling illness. I don't want to sound pathetic or whiney, but I do want to be honest about my feelings. Aging sucks when you don't feel good.

What's important to me about the return of my 50mm lens, is the way it makes a greater artistic sense of the world more accessible to me. I love the flexibility this modest little prism provides my eye, and it is a perfect metaphor: keep your aperture wide to let in all the available light; find beauty and meaning in the small things.

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