Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sundays make you not want to have to go back to work tomorrow

Lunch at the Pyramid Brewery after a productive shoot with model, Holly McCollum and photog-buddy, John Hogl, included steak salads for them, grilled chicken sandwich for me. Followed by this:

Do photographers have more fun, or what? Oh, and here's a sample from the day's "work":

We found an old, graffitti-ed up caboose and draped it with colorful sheers as props--and got lucky with the light and the weather.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

just sayin'

I live alone. I wake up alone with my dreams and unfinished conversations, and all the rest of the consequences of accumulating years. Every morning I pad out to the kitchen to brew coffee and then sit quietly in the dark window, watching the sky grow lighter, listening to the radio. This morning the routine shifted subtly as I listened instead to a haunting and graceful CD by cellist Zoe Keating. Since it's a workday, after an hour I had to shower and get ready, but music drifted softly through the rooms as I dressed and made my lunch, a tuna sandwich and an apple, and poured the rest of the coffee into a thermos. Locking the front door on my way to the bus, I often have a sense of disappointment that I'm not staying home, lengthening out the peace inside.

I envy women who have the ease of a satisfying marriage, the reliable company and interest of someone who matters, and most enviable of all, the added income from a second earner in the house! It's natural to get lonely when solitude is so reinforced. Silence is silence. Nothing filling the air but one-sided community from the television, internet or radio, but sometimes even that false offering is a relief. I have the frequent balm of friendships and meaningful work, my life is not bleak in the least! But solitude can become isolation quickly when you allow others' expectations of your self-sufficiency to rule your own priorities and beliefs, and don't give yourself permission to go slower, be kinder to yourself. I am learning this lesson daily.

What's really hard is filling all that quiet solitude with purpose, instead of collapsing at the end of a 10-hour workday (actually 12 hours, portal-to-portal) and letting the television dictate my attention until I'm barely awake enough to send myself to bed.

What's really hard is returning to my own thoughts and ideas--allowing them to recirculate to the surface of my conscious mind, and out through the ends of my fingers onto the page--when I'm exhausted and my hands are stiff.

What's really hard is doing it anyway. And you know what? I did it. My book is finished and now with the publishers. And I have another idea for a book, so my mornings will still be softly, personally my own private conversation with memory and music and ideas, dreaming images for my camera. And my evenings will be whatever I can make them. And sometimes that's really hard.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pacific Daylight Savings Time

It's a little bit hard to lose that hour. You don't want to let it go without acknowledging its loss, without marking the inconvenience of its passing. I did my best this weekend to savor what I could of the last, sweet indulgence of a solid hour that is going away too soon, and not returning for far too long. Thought about how much I love finding small corners of time to squander without guilt. Ah.

Took a walk to Whole Foods this weekend, through the upscale old neighborhood where I live vicariously on the fringey-edge. Found reminders that this is March, the month of transition from dark to light. My mother died in March thirty years ago, the age I am right now, and this year I am thinking of her almost constantly. I found daphne and bleeding hearts and lily of the valley, all small remembrances of an artist and gardener who loved spring and its vivid promise.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

a modest sunrise, start again

Grayson spent the night and is sound asleep on my sofa, a late start to the morning as he stayed up playing with his gameboy and reading comics long after I went to bed. I woke up near midnight and noticed the lamp was on, and when I went to turn it out--thinking he'd fallen asleep with it on, as I too often do!--he was still quite avidly engrossed in the illuminated gameboy. Sheesh.

Anyway, Friday morning I got up early and made it out the door at 6am to meet up with my friend Pat who wooshed us away up to Rocky Butte for a sunrise photo sesh. We had hopes for a dramatic capture since the clouds were clearing, but Mt. Hood remained shrouded throughout.
Here is the best I could do:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Buckman's Flying Circus

I received a last minute invitation to attend the annual 2nd grader's circus at Buckman Elementary last Wednesday. All the second-graders at Buckman were featured! Unfortunately for my photographer's soul it was so crowded when I arrived (well ahead of the start time), I had to sit far back from the stage. But the nana in me got plenty of teary, throat-knotted "verklempt" moments watching the sweet, rambunctious innocence of all the clownfaced performers. Perfect.