Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 59

OK, so I'm beat.

The beach is so comforting. The colors are so soothing and there is nothing violent or sudden about this tiny little beach on The Sound. Today Emma found a skull on the beach. It is in perfect shape. I think it's a gull, she thinks it's a tarydactal. I like her idea better. We found several beautiful shells and she decided she had to believe she was a gull to get next to the gulls. She was close enough to one to pet it.

Mommy sat on her chair in the kitchen and gave Emma and me some directions while we made chicken vegetable soup. It was really good soup. Emma was so polite. She was considerate and all of her energy was channelled into either working with us, reading or exploring the beach. She was a total joy all weekend. What do nine year olds understand about aging? 90 year olds know a lot about learning and the desire to learn. Emma waited for Mom to answer, Mom answered all her questions. We all had a great day. It was important for Emma. Next week I'll go down by myself, but it was important for me to attend to Emma this weekend.

The end of February marks the end of my 2nd month doing this project. I love the doing of it and I love looking at my life in pictures. It is a new thing for me and quite different than looking at my life or reflecting on my life in words. As I said a couple of days ago, i am going to try to do both in March. We will see how it goes. It will be interesting to watch the snow go away, the mud begin to dry up and the green begin to pop out and bring us April.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 58

Emma painted this of a woman walking down the street while we were in China today. She and I took a trip there, ate some good food, visited with some friends and then home to the Olympics.

But before we left for China we went to Heron Pond and searched for fox and deer. We only saw ducks... they were cute! the male wanted his picture taken... three times!

I actually got to get really close to the Robin today. He just wasn't afraid of me. He's gotten desensitized to the camera, he even sang at me yesterday high in the tree above me.

In China we met some old friends, Biggley and Shiggley. Emma drew for them. I took pictures. Emma jumped off a big pile of snow and turned into a ghost for a moment. I caught it.

Overall, it was a nice day and we saw a lot of beauty. I needed to do that today because the weather this week has made me nuts. But even with driving in and out of storms we saw a lot of pretty sights.

Tomorrow we'll go visit Mom.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57

This picture is what is left of the tree that fell and caused the 10 hour power outage.

I've been trying to find the poems I began this year and never finished. It means reading through all of this old stuff. The year has been full. It's been just like today's weather, blizzard, ice, snow, sun, rain, blizzard, nothing, blizzard, snow. Cars are moving very slowly out there and it looks foggy now. Yup, that is a metaphor for the past 12 months. But I want to work on my poetry along with my photography in the month of March.

My year of writing has been weak, not that the writing has been weak, but my attention to it has been weak. So what I really want to do is focus on first the documentation of a moment poems and then the narrative poems. Do they inform my photos? Is there a connection between them? I hope March allows me to investigate these questions.

I also started playing with the effects in Picassa today.

Tomorrow I got to Ct. I hope the weather improves, but if not, it'll be ok.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 56

This day started out bleak. It was bleak because of the weather. It was bleak because of the light, and it was bleak because my mood was bad. I tried taking some good pictures, but it poured. All that beautiful snow turned into mush, and not even white mush. My landlord tried to plow and he basically plowed the top level of the yard up and now my snowy icey yard is muddy and icey. It is gross. I really did try though.

But the gang and I had an overdue date at DiPaolo's. We use to get together and help each other with our plans on how to not be poor women. We haven't gotten together in a really long time and we are all still poor, but we do good and interesting work. They would laugh that I said that. Anyway, we had fun and the picture ops increased ten fold.

I love this restaurant, but even more so I love my friends. They're great. When we first started getting together as a group, Emma was learning how to walk. So it's been 8 years. Denise has been running the restaurant for 5, I believe. She is so good at it. Oh my God, it is a wonderful place. People are laughing and having a good time and enjoying themselves and are surrounded by elegance in Turners Falls, MA. She did good.

The rest of us? Well as corny as it sounds, we got each other, really we do. That's a great thing. There's a lot of talent and capacity to love in this group, and we may not have been a smash success financially, but we know what's important and we really do have each other.

By the way, the guy in some of these shots is Hilton, he's the chef. He's our friend, too, but he's the masterful chef. He feeds us well. Thank you, DiPaolo's, the food was great, and the company exquisite, if not on the edge.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 55

It is still snowing. I know this is not a rarity for winter in New England, but the only time we saw this type of storm this winter was mid-December, so for us, it feels off kilter. It is heavy snow, and looks like it goes back and forth between snow and rain, or just plain heavy wet snow, nothing fluffy about this. I’m without phone, Internet or TV. I lost power in the middle of the night, but that came back on, but not the other stuff. A tree limb was down, but the crew came and chopped it up and got it off the wires. I got my phone service back for about 20 minutes and in the middle of a conversation with my sister, it went blank again and I still can’t get through. That’s true for the neighbors, too.

So I went out to take pictures. I walked through the deep snow in the back. I went to investigate other limbs down and I said hi to the yard. I did grab a cotton towel before I went out. At one point I didn’t even think I was standing under trees, but I had put the towel and my hand over the camera and this huge chunk of snow, water, leaves and whatever else fell directly on my camera. I just started laughing. It was a direct hit and if my hand hadn’t been there, it would have been a mess.

The plows have been through, the robin is looking for food, and the neighborhood girls have decided indoor games are the thing for the day. So here I am with a snow day and I think all I have to do is either write or read, the old fashion way. I can’t even check the weather map, another one of my favorite time wasters. I could do a sink full of dishes….. what’s the fun in that? I wish I could blink Emma here, she’d think of something fun. Oh well, I will try to write.

This morning I went through some of my narratives that I have written over the past year. I think there maybe a book in the ones about my mother and my father. If they were placed together as separate chapters, it might be really interesting. I may try to lay it out a little today. I’ve written one or two nice pieces since photography has taken over my life, and I think I really am going to spend March trying to integrate them more. I mean, I really want to document life’s fullness. I think there is a possibility of doing that with both mediums. I think that Paul’s and my book begins to do that, so far on a fairly surface way, but it progresses. It may be important for me to try to do this for myself.

I like this photo. It isn’t unique, but it worked.

I took a nap around noon and woke up to no power at all. That lasted until 4:30 or so, I got out candles and matches and flashlights and waited for night to come upon me, but the power was restored and so was my Internet for about a half hour and now my phone, Internet and TV are out again. Well at least I have heat and my fish have air. (My African Dwarf Frogs, or Emma’s I should say, are very active now that the electricity is back on. I don’t understand them at all.)

I have stayed on the edge of my life today, out of reach, but right here. The radio station isn’t even coming in clearly and I can’t get an up to date weather forecast to see what is coming around the corner. I think Comcast is working on stuff and I will get my communications center back tonight, but if not, I think there will be school tomorrow. No communication is another edge, did people even think about that before the invention of the phone?

It is rain now. The freezing will begin soon. The sun is going down. It is not this beautiful any longer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 54

Ok, so last night I was a storm chaser in my dreams. I woke up with the quilt sideways and half off the bed and myself cramped in a little corner. I must have thought I wasn't going to survive, or something. I had run a marathon in my sleep, woke up hurting and exhausted. And as I stood up the snow began. AHHHHH!!!!!

Dealing with the undeniable existance of death around the corner is physically heavy. It isn't a burden in that one resents it or feels like it is wrong some how, although I do feel that this disease is wrong, but there is something about having death on the mind that is laden. And to have your whole family in that stance is difficult to say the least. Everyone has to deal with it in their own personal way. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it, but one has to always be aware that you are not alone in this part of the journey, and in my case I have 5 siblings and 9 nephews and nieces, several in laws, many friends, and a few great nieces who are all feeling the impact one way or another, for Mom has impacted a lot of people in her long life. She is invaluable to many of us and a constant steady sense of love.

Snow.... you all it is snowing for real for the first time since December. What an odd winter it has been. I love this picture because of the no stop sign. I took it when I awoke from a nap a 6. I hadn't taken too many pictures today. Everything felt blah to me. I tried some flash pictures, but none of them are really interesting. I did take a good portrait of one of my favorite students.

Snow also canceled writing group again. I haven't been in a month now. I have to get back to writing. I am going to make March a collaboration between writing and photography. I would like to put together a couple of shows, or a manuscript, or.... How about a show of the Coop Kids?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53

This was a difficult day to take pictures. It wasn't lacking in motivation or creative juices, it was difficult due to time. Work is not an easy place to take pictures although I'm enjoying doing portraits and I can do that in the halls of GCC.

I'm beginning to get good at it I think. I'm good at it with no flash, I need to practice with the flash, but people don't really like having lights flash in their faces. Daffodils don't mind.

The need for time alone has been big today. I took a little ride after work. The bright blue sky that was there when I went to work had been replaced by a grey and glowy one. The birds are all hiding, the storm is coming. So I came home and cooked a real dinner and turned on the computer. It's not working tonight. So you get a poem and another couple of photos. I suppose I shouldn't treat my poems as the boobie prize. They're not. They're good, but they are also presented here because I can't write about what I'm really thinking about, so here is a poem.

Driving Home From Northfield

The road is flat and narrow
grown over by
lush weeds and ferns.
Last night puffs of fog lay
right above the sheep’s back.
There they were grazing
in the long grass with
clouds of fog hovering
over them as the sun
set behind the hills.
The light was peculiar
pink and diminishing -
white sheep in green grass -
fog in pink light.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 51 and 52

Yesterday was the first day I missed here since I started. I did get 3 pictures uploaded onto my 365 project, but I did not get to write on my blog. I took Emma to the movies last night and when we got back we watched a little of the Olympics and then off to bed and I fell asleep with her and lasted through the night.

Before that though I took a different ride, or should I say a different way to her house to get her. I went up into Leyden where it is higher and full of farms, looks more like Vt. I took a couple of photos, but mainly I stood at the top of a mountain, alone, in the wind, and felt grateful.

Then on up to Northfield to visit the happy chickens and happy dog and happy cat.

And then this morning I started thinking about the week and what it had meant to me. Did I learn anything new? Do I have any great inspiration for an audience? And I realized I am not in a place to put it into words yet. So photos will have to do.
Emma and I had a good day today. We bought some small jigsaw puzzles and after a ride and a Chinese lunch we did puzzles together.

I do have something brewing about pre-teen literature in my brain. I've got this 3rd grade goddaughter who can read everything and anything and wants to read everything. There is a lot out there for this group now.... I think I need to read some of it and get an idea of what I think is good and not so good.... I want her to always be a reader, I want her to love reading more than the computer.

The Green River Dam was clogged with 4 trees that all had lost their bark. The ice had all folded up onto the beach and the river was running but was maybe a foot deep, very low.

I also think I am learning about photography in the digital age. I think my portraits are getting good and I can take a moon shot now. I love having something concrete to look at and determine growth. It's much harder for me to look at my poetry and see maturity. Anyway, another week.... the weather maybe hard for picture taking so I may focus on using the flash.

And finally, it is my friend David's 50th birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!!!!
I feel so honored having your support and friendship. I hope you are having a great day. Emma and I looked for a present at the bookstore for you today. You would have enjoyed watching Emma try to figure out what kind of a book you would like. She choose one and then backed away from it. I'll have to show you sometime. She also told me and Geoff that she could teach Mom signed language so she could continue to communicate after her mouth stopped being able to work. Both Geoff and I got teary. Oh well... she is learning about other people's perspectives. I am very glad of that. And I love ya both.