Friday, December 31, 2010

Finale: Day 365: Madeline Whiton McLain's Birthday

OK, so to start off with on this final day of Weaving On a New Loom it is my niece Madeline's birthday. YAYAYY Maddie. Happy Birthday Dear!!!!

Then, before anything else I wanted to make sure you all knew Swimmer was healthy, happy and out in the remade coop with the others. She is laying an egg a day. And she is clearly still Emma's pet duck.

I had lunch with an old pal today. Oh it was so nice to be able to reflect on the whole year. 2010 was hard for a lot of people. For some reason people had to face difficult circumstances, they had to find their real friends, they had to find health and they had to take it a day at a time. I took the opportunity of knowing I was walking into a round of grief to document this year. To display that grief is one part of a larger weaving. I think I did that, but I also have to acknowledge that it's really hard. Grief takes the wind out of your sails.

But community puts a lot of it back in.

What else? I tried to read the whole blog before tonight to see what the patterns were throughout the year. There are consistent characters and there are some patterns, I think, but not as clear cut as I thought would happen. It is true that the beauty in the world feeds me. That is pretty prevalent in this blog. I think I learned how to take a photograph during the year. There is some good poetry that I will pull from these pages. And I think I'm actually ending the year on a healthier note than I started it on. (That's impressive when you think of the last month for me.)

To end, thank you for following this blog this year. If you have any requests for copies of photos or you want to come to the show when it happens, leave me a message on this blog. I will check it periodically.

In the meantime know that the process hasn't ended, the public part of it is changing shape. I now need to find some lone time and I think by March or so I can do a show. So, Happy New Year everyone, and take care of yourself.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 364

Ok, maybe it makes no sense to you, but to me it did. I spent the second to last day of this process learning how to print. Paul brought me his printer, we went out and got paper and ink, and we played. It was really fun. I had a really good time.

Tomorrow I will be intentional about shooting.

But today I played with pictures, I also got to remember the beauty of the year. There was a lot of beauty. There was a lot of love. There was a lot of grief, and sorrow, and there was kindness and care.

I am awfully lucky.

Anyway, 364 Days.......... I'm pretty impressed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 363

I spent a good portion of the day in a spa. YEP!!! We did aromatherapy steam, hottub, massage and Reiki. YUP!!! Need to do it once a month. Need to add another 30 min in the beginning. Really nice place. I'm happy tonight.

That took up a big part of the middle of the day. Afterwards we went out to a late lunch, so by the time I was ready to start shooting the light was crazy. So here's some shots with the new lens just before 4 pm.

This evening I have thrown away at least 300 photos from the year. I went through the month of March. I need to throw out more, but it is a good start. I also threw out over a garbage bag full of paper today. I'm beginning to be able to thin out in here, to simplify, to start a new, or at least fresh. I'm excited.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 362

Gerard, Rhys and I went to a photography store today and I bought my new lens and some new little toys that let me download photos once again. YAYAYAYAAYYAYAY!!!

While I was sick I really thought I was going to have to throw photography out of my life again. I thought I'd never be able to focus again, neither with my eyes nor my brain. Oh my God, I thought, am I really just going to throw this whole thing out, forget I did it? And then today, I realized I had something to look forward to and I didn't just loose the whole thing to some hole in my brain.

The other thing I did this morning was read my journal from January 2010. Very interesting how intentional I was in the beginning of all this. I wrote some good stuff that I didn't post, I may have to do some editing for my final blog posting.
Very interesting.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 361

Went to Staples to find a cable, they don't carry them, I have to go to Hadley. Soon; before Saturday, promise. Today the pictures would have been of snow. It snowed for real today. I woke up to snowplows. I did get out of here for an hour or so, but for the most part I worked on this blog. I reread July and August. That was hard.

This aging stuff is too hard, and I'm not 60 yet. I am definitely going back to the Y this week. I need the pool.

So I have been thinking about pulling this to a close. I think it is important for me to find a different venue for my photos and to go back to writing seriously. I am disappointed in how much writing I did this year, so I know I'll do more in 2011. I'll try to do a reading this year. And I will definitely do a picture show. I think the pictures will say something as a whole. I'm curious about the process, I'm excited by the idea.

I'm grateful that people have read this blog.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 360

by Emma

I have had a good day. It is snowing, the first real snow of the season. I got up this morning, talked to friends on the phone and got a little time alone with Ember and then went to the Coop for lunch.

I am back to being myself. I feel much better and I think one more night going to bed early will be quite helpful. Tomorrow I'm supposed to get up and see a nutritionist. I'm not sure I'll be able to get out of my driveway, but I do feel as though my new life is starting.

I am so grateful for friends who are just there. They help me feel more anchored. I need to feel anchored at the moment.

I am so grateful for family that wants me to be part of their lives. I want to be part of their lives, too. I get to see Jason and Claudia this week.

I am so grateful for clementines.

So, I hope I can get a cable to download photos from my camera to my laptop tomorrow. I'll try and then the last 5 days of this project can be back together again. I am going to stop though. I feel as though I will have accomplished what I set out to do and that the next stage will take place. I'll let ya know what that is. Meanwhile, sleep well all!.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 359: Merry Christmas

It has been a wonderful 24 hours. I had a lovely Christmas Eve with old friends. It felt peaceful and calm and kind. We all needed those things. Not to mention the food was great.

I slept well last night, too. And just maybe my body is beginning to feel more like itself again. I cannot believe how sick I got, but I know it was a signal. I am taking heed. I am paying attention. I am spending the month of January on me.

I love my Goddaughters, I know no one whose been following this knew that, but today I saw them both. They both make me happy. Kora's not a kid any longer, but she is a lovely person who I just like being with a lot. And Emma is turning away from being a little kid and is developing such a wonderful sense of humor and a sense of others. She is wonderful to be with, too. I feel anchored to my life around her.

Christmas is supposed to be a time that we take stock in what we do have. I'm very rich with good friends. I am covered in red velvet. I feel very lucky and blessed tonight. I hug all those I love and wish you a Merry Christmas and a lovely sleep tonight.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 357

Only 8 more days. Oh my God...

My phone broke down, too, today. My technology equipment is falling apart, kinda like my body did. Oh well, I bought a new phone and I will set it up tomorrow. Tonight I had dinner in a civilized adult fashion with a friend in a restaurant. Must be an indication of regaining health. Tomorrow I will be at Annie's for Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. I'm so glad I have this tradition that will stay in place. I need something secure and routine. I'm looking forward to just being there in a pretty place with people I love.

Meanwhile I feel like the picture taking project crashed, but I really do think I will pull it out of the hole before the end of the year. Today I let my battery completely drain. Very odd, I haven't done that since this spring, but because I've used it so infrequently this month, I was not prepared.

Anyway, I promise.... something good before the end. Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 356

Tomorrow I will try to find a way to download some of my photos. 9 more days and my equipment blows. Pretty strange.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 355

It's kinda crazy, but my computer has decided to stop reading photo cards. Today is the first day in almost 3 weeks that I actually took pictures and my computer has decided to stop reading the cards, no warning, just stopped.

And it is Tuesday night and another no writing night. December just got blown out of the water, period. But maybe I can write a little tonight. Maybe I have something in my heart that can be written. hmmm

I wish I'd been able to see the eclipse last night. We were way too clouded over. But I think if I had seen it it would have given me a sense of hope. I need a little sign of hope at the moment. I'm looking, don't worry, but it would have been cool to see that on the Winter Solstice at the end of this year and decade. Oh well....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 354: The Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year. There will also be a total eclipse of the moon tonight, and meteor showers are expected. I wish I had the energy to wake up at 3 a.m. and see it, but I have hardly enough energy to walk to my car after 5 hours of work. Yes, I returned to work today and caught up on some things. I missed the last week of classes so all my students are gone and I didn't get to congratulate them on a job well done. No, many things got left behind this month as I slept away this infection. What an odd way to end this year?

But I do have 11 more days, so maybe, keep your fingers crossed, I can do something to pull it back up. I have to admit I am in the now and not very reflective, and my creative spark is just beginning to tickle a little again. I may do it. You wait and see.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 352

Well, it is the week before Christmas and all through the house not a creature's been stirring, not even a mouse. Today I had enough energy to do a week's worth of dishes and realize I don't remember much of the past week. Oh I hate that feeling. I feel like I've been jipped and I've been vulnerable. Spooky. But still, I am alive. I am altered though, My state of consciousness is not back to normal and I am so very grateful for good friends and family who are watching my back .

I took the camera out with me today, but I have to tell you I am not really seeing yet. That skill of catching the important thing out of the corner of my eye is not present at the moment and what sits in its place is over sensitive eyes, which are no good for photography. So I'll download the 2 or 3 shots I took, but know I am not back yet.

I wish this illness had held out a couple weeks, although, no I don't, this way I will be healthy on Christmas Eve, which is important to me. I have been celebrating Christmas Eve with Annie, Matt and Kora and friends for at least 10 years now. It's an important day for me.

Alright, tomorrow is a new day. I still have a few shopping days left and I think I know what I want to get and it's got to keep going up from here, really!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 351

I am alive. I actually made a foray out into the world today someplace other than a doctor's office. The last time that was true was 10 days ago. Scary, if I didn't have such good friends it would be terrifying, but I do, so it is only scary. Yes I was scared.

I hope tomorrow starts a new life. I hope that I begin to set healthy things back into order. It is hard to just lie down and not move especially when you have the kind of imagination that I have. Tomorrow I will bring good cheer into the house and I will try to take some pictures, a little shopping,maybe, maybe not. A little singing would be good. I will take it slowly, don't worry.

Until then, sweet dreams everyone, and I truly do believe I'm back.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 347

The computer is still too hard for me to work on.

I'll be back soon, but not tonight.

Love you all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 343

The truth is that grief does take over at somepoint and make you sit and pay attention to it. That's whats happening to me this week. I wish my body had waited another week though so that I wasn't missing time with students. But there is no way I can work at the moment.

Went to the doctor today and she did tests to make sure I don't have a bacterial infection. I have a history of them so she was making sure. Everybody please think positive thoughts that this is just a flu.

Being sick makes me so depressed. I am so bad at it. I realized I started this blog off sick. So odd. I feel good about certain things that I've done this year for myself, but other things I'm not proud of. I have to create a new routine so that I get healthy again and no more of these colds every 6 weeks, that is ridiculous.

I did get brought flowers today. I did take one photo of them. I need to take 2 more photos before the end of the day. Of what?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 342

I have tried very hard today to figure out a way I could keep things going. I did manage to shoot a couple of photos of my sick bay here. This is the nastiest flu I've had in over 10 years. Seriously! At four this morning my body wasn't producing any heat on its own and I piled my bed up with the majority of the quilts in the house shaking the whole time. It was miserable and pathetic. Hear my whine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 341

These are literally the two photos I shot today. Pathetic. I have a bad fever. I hate fevers. I hate being ill. I hate asking for help and I hate feeling sorry for myself. I have experienced all of these things tonight.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 340

25 more days.
I am awestruck by how fast and how slow this year went. The month of August did not exist, did it? I remember none of it unless I think specifically about something, such as watching herons land in front of me or barnacles that lined the beaches at low tide. The month of March was forever. Do you remember that cold wet snow? The year has been full of strong weather and high emotions. It is almost over.

Does anyone want to see something specific laid out in a continuous line? It's fascinating: the ducks, the redwood tree???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 339

It is Sunday night. Geoff, Edite and I went to DiPaolo's for dinner and it was extremely good tonight, and we didn't overeat. Amazing!!!. I needed to do a Sunday night come together family type thing. I need to know I have friends and family. I know to some that sounds pretty funny, but sometimes, especially on Sunday nights, especially on Sunday nights when I'm having an existential crisis, I need reassurance. Tonight was one of those nights. And they are there. Thank God! (or the Goddess)

OK, so I've become a more intentional photographer. I shoot less and I aim for certain times of day and certain subjects. In the beginning of this project I shot the boring and common everyday blah stuff, too. I've stopped, it really is blah stuff and not interesting to document. Also there are clear patterns in my photography and I think it would be really cool to treat it as data and have people respond to it. I'm working on an idea. I'll keep you informed.

Anybody want to guess what this is?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 338

Christmas Season is upon us, the traffic has doubled. Every church in the valley had a tagsale or bizarre today. All tables at Barnes and Noble were taken. I'm doing a survey. What was your favorite book of 2010? So far Isabel Allende is winning. How do you spell it? Mine was Water For Elephants, although I may have actrually read it in 2009. I find it fascinating that I don't talk about books at all in this blog when they take up an eighth of my life.

Michelle and I don't get to see each other enough. Although she is much younger than me we have a lot in common and find it really easy to talk with each other. Today we got to hang out and we went to Barnes and Noble.
I also went to look for a new lens, but unfortunately I have to go to the big mall to get a Pentax... Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

So you know I've been thinking about this spiritual stuff a lot recently, and it comes in all forms for me. Today I left Michelle and went up to Emma's school where she and her friends and mother were helping at the school's Holiday Rumpus. The fourth graders have an exhibit up on things the made and wrote defining what "hope" means to them. Emma made a God's eye and wrote the following:

It maybe a little simple, but I think it is appropriate for where I am at these days.