Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh, let's talk

I've been procrastinating about this blog again. Wondering if it's enough to post entries that become a kind of open letter to family and friends at a distance, rather than engaging my passion for creative expression on a more regular and open basis. The truth is I've been feeling a bit constrained about the subject matter I present here, always wary of offending others in some way, rather than simply throwing off my social inhibitions and posting my work in a way that honors my diverse interests, opinions, obsessions and enthusiasms, trying always to be honest but not hurtful.

There's a lot going on in my life! I have spent the past eight months adjusting to the reality and requirements of a new diagnosis of a painful chronic disease that must be managed if I'm going to continue to support myself independently. The limits on my stamina have become VERY evident and unavoidable, and this is new to me. It's hard not to feel resentful about not being spontaneous anymore, or at least able to stay up late like a grown-up once in awhile. I'm still fun, but just in a less ambitious way, I guess.

For example, here is a photo of me that my friend John Hogl took yesterday while we dropped in for a visit with the lovely and new Charley Ridenour:

And here are a couple of mine:

My motivation for photography never diminishes, it's just been frequently set aside this past year, while I spend time resting after work instead of taking photowalks or joining other photographers or poets as I once did so recently. I recognize the importance of taking care of myself, and it is the priority. I am slowly incorporating things like yoga and accupuncture more regularly into my life again, but I'm also beginning to try to find ways to get photography back into my life on a more frequent basis.

Two weeks ago I reorganized my apartment and created a studio space in my dining room, clearing the second bedroom out to become a comfortable guest room. Creating the studio and guest room and moving the dining table into the living room turned out to be an awesome way to make more room for my projects, and now I have room for visitors this summer as well. In fact, my niece Tegan stayed with me last week prior to moving into the dorms for summer school at Portland State University. I loved having her here, and caught her excitement for the move to Oregon and the start of her Russian studies. I'm so proud of her effort and it's been so great to reconnect with her mom--my younger sister--more often again.

I still write, but am now more of a diarist than a poet, although I'm continuing to work on the finishing touches of a book of my poetry that's coming out this fall. I have the cover art to arrange and shoot, dedication and acknowledgements, and also need to contact various authors and reviewers to send the galley to for blurbs. This is actually the fun part! Also I was recently contacted by "Quill & Parchment" for an anthology on motherhood they are publishing that will be using several of my poems, and a California lifestyle magazine, "Eucalyptus" is using one of my photos on their Table of Contents page for their July issue. Yay!

But I also feel that I want my photography to be taken more seriously--maybe I need to feel that I'M taking it more seriously! Anyway, my head fills up with visual ideas for shots I'd love to try, vignettes I want to set up, stories to tell visually and narratively, but the reality is the limitations on my energy, time and financial resources continually narrow the options. So I chafe.

Here is a fairly inoffensive shot of the model we worked with at Poverty Bay last month. I deliberately blew out the contrast on this shot reinforcing a quiet passivity that the self-contained posture of the model suggests:

Okay, so there it is. This is my life, these are my priorities, this is what fills up my head most of the time: family, friends, photography, ideas, images and observations all jumble around together along with favorite guilty pleasures like interior decorating tv shows and websites, literary fiction and movies, food and cooking, and wishing I had the time and money to do what I want when I want to do it. Oh, and also? I'm thinking it might be time to finally, really try to go back to graduate school. In my spare time. heh, heh.

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