Telling the Truth

Blue Palette

Just before 7am this morning, I sat bolt upright in bed, took one look out the window, grabbed my camera and went outside. Sunshine streamed diagonally across the table on the deck, still low enough in the sky to be lighting the hail/snow crystals from slightly behind them. From my bedroom window, the table top sparkled as if some generous fairy had casually thrown handfuls of gemstones across its frozen surface like dice. Continue reading

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Empty Nest

The Empty Nest

I’ve been looking at this bird’s nest out my kitchen window all winter, and keep thinking that I’d like to find an angle at which to photograph it. I’m not sure why… its just an ordinary bird’s nest. Its from last year, but I didn’t know it was there until after the leaves blew off the tree last fall. I remember when I first noticed it. The leaves still clung to the red twigs and bi-colored branches. They were gold. I made a pair of earrings one day that captured the colors in that window pane. Continue reading

A Birthday

Washington Square Arch

It may not appear to be the case, but I have actually taken some photographs here during the day. The night ones are my favorites though. Its amazing because all three of them have been shot without a tripod. I’m not sure why I lugged that thing all the way from Seattle, but I suppose if the weather had been better and I were actually out on specific photographic missions, then I would bring it along. As it is, I’m kind of shooting when I’m not inside someplace warm and dry. Continue reading

Wearing Different Hats

Urban Wildlife?

I didn’t see any bunnies, but my own were in the forefront of my mind when I spotted this sign nailed to a tree along the Burke Gilman trail in Fremont. I had just come from a meeting with Robby and his college counselor. I was thinking, as I walked along the trail, how easily everything else that I was busy with today had receded. There was no place I’d have rather been than right there, sitting in that counselor’s office discussing the programs and merits of colleges from Colorado and Montana to others closer to home. Continue reading

Reflections on Connections

Editing swimming shots for the college swim team website

It was that kind of day. I spent a chunk of it glued to this screen, along with running up and down the stairs to the laundry room to wash sheets, to the kitchen to make food for a kid and do dishes, and to the car to deliver kids to school and ski stuff to kids, all between tasks at my desk.

Photography today requires a lot of time in front of a computer. That’s probably the area in which I find the biggest challenges. There’s the part where I’m out there in the world, interacting and acting… the physical, more obviously creative part, and then there’s this other part, the sitting part. Some photographers love it, and are amazingly skilled in what they can do with photographic images. I can’t say I dislike it, its just more challenging for me to sit still, and I consider myself a baby in the technology part. For people my age, its a new skill, but some are more technologically savvy than others. All of my younger years were film years, and then there was the hiatus when the kids were little, and I only shot film even though digital was fast becoming the coolest new thing. I couldn’t stand it, so I think I only shot on special occasions or vacations. There were no digital slr’s, and it drove me crazy that the image you thought you were capturing was not the image that you got. So what do you photograph on a day when you are basically parked in front of a computer? Me, parked. I considered, for a moment, driving over to my friend’s house and photographing her. She was sharpening pencils and cleaning out the drawer they live in. She filled half the garbage can with felt tip pens that no longer worked. Instead we decided to make a break for it when neither of us would be missed and met for dinner – without my camera. I considered bringing it when I went to pick up four 13 year-olds at the ski bus drop off, but I couldn’t figure out how to shoot at the same time as carry two pairs of skis and a pair of boots. Another opportunity missed. So instead, its me, glued to the screen, editing swimming shots from last weekend. The coach was anxious to get them. I realized why when I looked at the Athletic portion of the school web site and realized that “Swimming and Diving” was the only sport without a photo gallery link.

I came across the following quote this morning on Phil Borges facebook page:

Women work 2/3 of the worlds working hours. Most labor that sustains life is done by women and universally accorded low status and no pay. ~ Phil Borges

I find it interesting that at this moment in time there is a great deal of attention being paid to the exploitation of women and girls in the developing world. It is amazing to see the progress being made all over the world in awareness about this subject. Personally, I think it is through this new awareness, that women and girls all over the world will come to see their own value and the value in the role of the stay-at-home mom of the developed world. Because, and this is my personal opinion, on a fundamental level, we are doing the same thing. We are tending the hearth and caring for the children. I think that women in the developed world are playing a key part in raising awareness about the plight of women and girls in the developing world because they feel the kinship between them. Because of the way that communications are in the world today, we see the faces and life circumstances of these women. In my comfortable home in Seattle, I know that the biggest difference between a woman who walks miles every day to have enough water for her children and me is circumstances. This awareness make me grateful, but in some way, it allows me to see more clearly that what I do is valuable and that even though no one is going to pay me a penny to do it, it is the most important work. It is the work of sustaining life and the more I am able to value who I am and what I do in the world, the better I am able to support and authentically champion the cause of the exploited and impoverished women and children in other parts of the world. In a nutshell, the more empowered I am as a woman and in the role I have chosen, the more power I have to help empower others.

A Sign in the Sky

Rainbow over Greenlake

So many ideas crowded my mind earlier today for what I was going to write tonight that I didn’t know which one to go with. That’s been decided though, because they’ve all vanished for the moment and I’ve committed to myself that I will no longer do that stay up and write thing.  I know I’ve said that before, but I’m going to write it again. If I look at it written in black and white in front of me, its hard to weasel my way out of.  So the following is the condensed version of what’s on the top of my brain or tip of my tongue:

I have an all day class once a month. After arriving home last night, getting kids off this morning, and running off to class, I may have used up the resources I had that would fuel a lot of in depth reflection on my weekend in California and my return home. What became clear over my three day visit with my daughter, is that we have arrived at a point in time where our relationship is being renegotiated. Its not necessarily a comfortable moment, and will require some adjusting for both of us. Visiting on her turf was an experiment that brought with it a whole set of unexpected challenges and growing pains. The new form our relationship will take has yet to be determined. I see now that the work we did over the past several years to keep the doors of communication open was not just for maintaining peace during the high school years.  That work laid the foundation for the adult-adult relationship that we ushered into being this weekend.

As I was walking during lunch today with a few classmates, this rainbow appeared. Rainbows never cease to make my heart leap. They carry so many hopeful messages and interpretations, all offering us promises of brighter days ahead. When I look at this photo now, of the rainbow veiled by winter branches, I see hope for spring.  I also see it as a metaphor for this new relationship.  The vestiges of the old are still there, forming a structure, but that structure is from the past. We can choose to step in front of the winter branches and create something new, no longer obscured by the old structure and its baggage. Interestingly enough, I couldn’t step in front of those branches today or I would have fallen in the lake. And truth is, I can’t even try to create that new form alone or I will surely fall – in a lake of trouble!

Back Home

After the storm

The above photograph was taken across the main boulevard from the college campuses, looking towards the mountains. Remember, this is southern California! Today was a beautiful day and I was reminded of what a special place this is, and how lucky my daughter is to have found a college where she is so happy, and which suits her so well. Maybe next time I come visit, I will get to enjoy some of this glorious California sunshine. For now, I am back home to the familiar Seattle weather, and the rain here seems friendlier than the storm did there. The flooded paths and courtyards of that land which is accustomed to warmth and sunshine were littered with leaves and branches from tropical and semi-tropical plants and trees. Today, people were smiling and wearing their shorts again despite the chill that persisted in the air.  Home again, in a place accustomed to rain and grey skies, no one is wearing shorts, but they don’t seem cowed by the weather either.

Its late now and I’ve promised not to kill myself staying up late writing anymore, so I’m signing off. Tomorrow is a school morning and the usual routine: breakfast, lunches, and carpools…