Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Trophy


Not much to say today. It's a rainy night and I'm experiencing that caught in the fog situation of not being able to see much in life beyond the grey moment. I feel uninspired in photography and art today. But as this blog is my creative exercise ala "The Artist's Way" morning pages, I'm doing something. It just feels disjointed. I'm worried about my family, questioning every creative thing I'm doing and why am I doing it...just not a good day to think to deeply. As a friend Lashone says, "It is what it is." I know this will pass. So tonight's video to fit the mood? Enya, How Can I Keep From Singing. And the photo, just some color to try and break through the grey. I know it will be better in the next day or so.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Rhythmic Memories



I was working on some of the photos from Arizona and decided to include this as it reminded of the childhood farmers where I grew up in the Midwest. It also triggered memories of my growing up years when there would be family gatherings on my father's side. Usually it involved music with mandolins, fiddles, guitars and even pipes. This reflected the strong Scotch/Irish heritage on both sides. They would play old ballads, bluegrass, and country (one of the few music styles I rarely like). Some of my uncles were into the blues and boogie woogie also. Finally, I had Motown, hip hop, soul and classical influences. I've also gone to clubs since college and found many other influences. Really there are very few forms of music I don't enjoy. Some of my siblings and I still play musical instruments. For me, music and rhythm is as natural as breathing.

I've been trying to eat better, but during the week, I'm doing simple meals. I stopped and picked up a rotisserie chicken from a local market, but decided to make a Red Potato Colcannon that I adapted from Eating Well. I created a couple of short cuts and added a touch to make it my own.

Red Potato Colcannon

1 lb small to medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus olive oil spray
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
6 cups of thinly sliced cabbage (use a green cabbage and carrot bagged coleslaw mix to save time)
1 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon creme fraiche

1. Place potatoes in water and bring to boil in a Dutch oven. Cook until fork tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in milk, salt and white pepper; cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture to the potatoes. Place creme fraiche on top and then mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

I added the creme fraiche because it adds a rich mouth feel.

As I was looking at the picture and thinking of the bluegrass, I also thought of last night's Oscars when I saw George Clooney. He did a movie several years ago, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" There is a video from the movie, "Man of Constant Sorrows", performed by the "Soggy Bottom Boys". It is hilarious and after yesterday, I needed the laugh:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fragile


My second post today. I just found out the son of someone I know was killed in Iraq. When is this all going to stop? I've been protesting, educating and using every disposal at my means to wake people up!! It's not just the war, it's the mentality of fear, giving up of rights, creation of large mistrusts and reducing our critical thought processes about what is happening to us to brief images and sound bites. I'm not naive to think we don't have to face and deal with the threat of terrorism and it's inherent issues, but there are better ways to do it. Out of respect to my friend's wishes ,I won't name her son, but I will share some videos and a link to Poet's Against the War, in hopes that maybe even one person will come by and think about what is happening to our country and its freedoms.

The videos. Sting, "Fragile" and Neil Young, "Flags of Freedom":




Just Life


I went to a local cafe very early to meet a friend for a cup of tea and conversation as we haven't had time to get together the last month. We discussed the usual round activities, families, politics and men. There was someone there who had really spurred the conversation. He was gorgeous and we kept exchanging looks, nothing really happened, although my friend tried to spur me on. It was just more of a appreciation flirtation with the eyes.

This resulted:

sitting in the cafe
the savory sensations
tantalizing us
i want to taste your ripe mouth
but sip my hot tea instead

The photo seemed to match the voluptuous mood I've been experiencing. They were playing some Eric Clapton so I grabbed a couple of of his classical performances to share this am to get the day rocking, "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Layla":







Saturday, February 24, 2007

Quiet Night



A still time after a couple of busy weeks. Made a quiet dinner, caught up with friends and plan to continue bringing down the Jiffy pop pile of books and magazines that have piled up over the last month.

I made a recipe from the April issue of Eating Well and served it with a side of grilled asparagus, simple yet filling. Here's the recipe:

Ham and Swiss Rosti

1 large egg
1 cup of diced ham (about 5 ozs)
1 cup shredded part-skim Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese, divided
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1. Beat egg in a large bowl. Sir in ham, 1/2 cup cheese, shallot, rosemary, pepper and salt. Add frozen potatoes and stir to combine.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pat the potato mixture into an even round in the pan. Cover and cook until browned and crispy on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Place a rimless baking sheet on top. Wearing oven mitts, grasp the pan and baking sheet together and carefully invert, unmolding the rosti onto the baking sheet. Wipe out any browned bits from the pan. Return it to the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Slide the rosti back into the pan. Top with the remaining cheese, cover and cook the second side until crispy and browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Slide onto a platter, cut into wedges and serve.

A chilled Rose goes very well with this. We toasted the coming spring (trees are budding and blooming here in California already) and success with changes we are incorporating.

Tonight's picture was one of the last in Arizona I took when we made a stop before heading into the airport.

The video echoes the quiet evening theme and is from Ewan McGregor, "The Sweetest Gift":

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gendered Art


"Feminist art is the art which illuminates women's life experiences. You know a woman did it." Judy Chicago

I read an bit of an excerpt on an upcoming biography on Judy Chicago. It made me began to think; is art gender specific, should it be, need it be? Is it only necessary to even consider that it should be because so much of what we are taught comes from a more male dominated perspective?....I'm not sure what I think about this..I'm just musing on it...but I will come back to it.

All I know is that certainly my photography and art comes from my experiences, but should it be labeled women's art? Do we need to label a piece male or female...do we ever label male art as such? Shouldn't it just be photography or art period....why are labels even necessary...cannot we just look at a piece of art and let it be in those moments for the experience it is and leave the intellectualizing till later.

When I take a picture, it is because it feels right in that moment. If I alter it as I did with the Polaroid I put here tonight it's because again, the photo itself, didn't seem right and needs more. When it feels complete I stop...

How do others approach their art and know when to stop? It is certainly a dialogue I wouldn't mind having...

The Cowboy Junkies "Angel Mine"

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Planes and Pools




This is a simple one. Never fly US Airways/American West unless forced at the point of emergency. Broken down planes, cancelled planes, overbooked planes and frequent gate changes resulting in trotting on and off your plane which is no longer working. I may now have a ticket to ride, but I'm not real sure I want to use it.

It's been storming all day since my return. I took these polaroids of my sister's pool so thought it fit the theme.

Tonight's music, Loreena McKennitt, "The Bonny Swans":

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Unexpected


I ended up not flying back to California last night due to complications. I'm now the proud possessor of a round trip ticket to anywhere in the US. I'll leave tonight, so another day in Phoenix. Just hanging and using a lesson one of my photo profs once assigned, what can you find to shoot around you. So while my sister is at a business meeting, I found this old pot in her backyard. I like textures so this had some of that plus some of the mellowed colors of the Southwest. The leaves came from the fact that they had an unexpected frost.

A bit of Alison Krauss and the Union Station: "Goodbye is All We Have". A reflection on traveling and love:


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Quick Notes



Just an interesting architectural detail from my wanderings in Phoenix the last few days. No real time to edit the photo, I'm just getting ready to spend on last day with my sister. We've gone around and ate, discussed and caught up. It's like a bit of shelter to stop and think as I look at changes coming. My sister would like me to move to Arizona, but I'm not really sure it's the place for me.

Just a little gem from Cassandra Wilson "Come Sunday." It has the feel of a intimate late night jazz room:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Morning Glory Cafe









I'm in Phoenix visiting. Yesterday I went with my sister to the Morning Glory Cafe at The Farm at South Mountain. We went early enough tobeat the crowds. I had French Toast. It consisted of "twice-cooked" rustic bread with warm maple glaze and was topped with bananas and pecans. My sister's quiche contained Yukon Gold potatoes, red onion, zucchini, red pepper, sweet Italian sausage and cheddar cheese. My french toast had a delicate, but chewy texture and was surprisingly not over sweet. I traded bites with my sister and found her quiche to have a crust which literally melted in my mouth it was so flaky. It was topped off by cups of a local roasted coffee, Cafe Cortez sweetened with milk and raw sugar. We ate outside by the organic gardens which supply many of the ingredients found in their meals.

We then walked around the gardens, the shops and the spa of sorts. I took many pictures of people, gardens and architectural details, but my favorite was of Joe. He was selling bread that is made at the farm and a more cheerful delightful man I've rarely encountered. He reminded me of a jolly Buddha. I could have basked in him and sunshine the rest of the day.

Unfortunately it is somewhat overcast today, so it's a lazy morning. I'm going to be making a roast chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes and some organic swiss chard I purchased yesterday for our supper this evening. I'm hoping it clears a bit later this afternoon so I can get my nephew's senior pictures.

Today's music: Joan Osborne, "St Teresa":






Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sorcerer

Just a quick note tonight as I'm getting ready to leave for Phoenix. Learned a bit of a new trick using solarization so tried it out. I'm not completely pleased, but didn't have time for more. Still I feel a bit like a sorcerer bringing into being a new way of looking at something that I've never considered before. I'm packing up just a carry on bag, so hopefully it will be an easy trip. I'm taking camera equipment to shoot some senior pictures for my nephew. So that should be fun, plus plan to do some hiking with my sister around the area. It will be a short 5 days, but it will be great to get out of town, plus do some thinking about upcoming changes. Only bad thing is leaving Bella for the first time since I adopted her from the rescue league.

Tonight's music: Stevie Nicks "Sorcerer":

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bittersweet

Valentine's Day. A day of expectations and contrasts. Last night I dreamt of Brandon with who I had maintained a quiet long term relationship with for a while and ended last year. Unfortunately we ended on a bitter note. I'm sure it was brought on by all the hype of having someone to "celebrate" with. Also, I had an unexpected invite to dinner from someone I recently met. I had to turn him down as I'm getting ready to go to Arizona on Friday morning and had other commitments. Life goes on.

The sweet is I received 2 Polaroid classic 600 and 600 ultra cameras I had gotten from EBay (I have one coming to do transfers with). I missed having them. I love the old fashioned burnt out film feel you get on occasion from them and just the slowing down that occurs from taking your time to select your photo. So I ran out this morning before work and caught the sun hitting the patio wall/gate. Again sweetness. I also played a bit with the scanner and Adobe Lightroom which I'm going to have to add to my collection once it's out of the Beta phase in a couple of weeks.

Tonights music: October Project's Return to Me:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Girls Like Me



Just a quick post this morning. My niece is turning 18 years old today and she has had a tough year at 17. She's doing better, but I know the year has left it's mark. I wish I was in Michigan to give her a hug, but I can only send her love and plug her into a song someone shared with me when I was 17 and wanting to get out of the small town where I was (and where she is), because I knew I didn't fit in there. It was Janis Ian's "At Seventeen"




It's timeless. It's to tell her things will get better at eighteen as she finishes her senior year and leaves for college.

This photo is from a water tank in that small town and a reminder of that time, i.e. don't let others opinion hold water, look to your own dreams, be open to them and they will find a way to exist.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fungi and Viruses



walking the path
pine needles shift
oh...a mushroom

I'm home today with the virus that seems to have been lingering around at work so I'm drinking green tea, cuddling in a blanket,reading and resting. This photo was taken in the Golden Gate Park gardens.

Since tea and soup seem to be on the menu today and I love anything mushroom, here's a great recipe adapted from my favorite irreverent chef Anthony Bourdain:

Mushroom Soup


Ingredients
4 tbsp butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
11 ozs Portabella mushrooms
1 oz dried mushrooms reconstituted (reserve the liquid)
4 cups light chicken stock or broth
1 sprig of flat parsley
Salt and pepper
2 ozs high-quality sherry
Drizzle of black truffle oil

Equipment
Medium saucepan
Wooden spoon
Blender

Method
In the medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, then add both mushrooms and the remaining butter. Let the mixture sweat for about 8 minutes, taking care that the onion doesn't take on any brown color. Stir in the chicken stock, reconstituted mushroom liquid and the parsley and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour.

After an hour, remove the parsley and discard. Let the soup cool for a few minutes, then transfer to the blender and carefully blend at high speed until smooth.

When blended, return the mix to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and bring up to a simmer again. Add the sherry, mix well, and serve immediately with a little black truffle oil drizzled on top of each serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Like most soups this is even better the next day. Also rosemary croutons sprinkled on top are yummy.




Sunday, February 11, 2007

Digital Darkroom Dames Dinner Party

As we would have needed a pontoon boat to even get to the Bay area, it was decided that the group would come over to use my flatbed scanner and that I would cook (I've been the unofficial cook since a trip into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's last summer to stay at a cabin). So being Mardi Gras is only a week and a half a way, I decided to do a Chicken-Sausage Gumbo that I have made over the last several years from Reader's Digest "Down Home Cooking, the New Healthier Way". I also made a sauteed greens with White Truffle Oil, Pancetta and Pignoli and Skillet Sizzled Cornbread. I've adapted the gumbo and added sweet potatoes finding it thickened the gumbo and added a wonderful taste. So here is the requested recipe:

Chicken-Sausage Gumbo

For the roux:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
For the gumbo:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 lbs. skinned chicken thighs
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup each chopped celery and sweet green pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups filtered cold water
2 lbs. smoked turkey sausage (or andouille if you like spicy), cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups okra, cut into 1 inch pieces or 10 oz package of sliced frozen okra
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/4 cup minced parsley
Hot red pepper sauce to taste
4 cups cooked long grain white or brown rice


1. To prepare the roux: In a heavy 6-inch skillet, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until it is deep brown. Remove from the heat.

2. To prepare the gumbo: In a 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the pepper and salt. Brown the chicken for 4 minutes on each side or until golden, then transfer to a platter.

3. To the Dutch oven, add the onions, celery, green pepper and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the roux and heat until bubbly. Gradually whisk in the water, mixing until smooth.

4. Add the chicken, sausage and sweet potatoes, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black peeper, the ground red pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered. Skim the surface occasionally At about 45 minutes, mash the sweet potatoes against the sides of the pot with a fork and then stir. Cook 45-60 minutes more. Stir in the okra and green onions; cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with the red pepper sauce. Ladle the gumbo over the rice and top with extra green onions if desired. Makes eight
1 1/2 cup servings.

We had a ball, I learned more about my scanner and the condo is warm, cozy and redolent with the smells of good food.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Rainy Days and Fridays


The rainy season has finally arrived or resumed depending on your point of view. I decided to use the day to work on Photoshop and catch up. My roommate Brian was kind enough to let me try out some video tutorials on a tutorial website he belongs to (he's a graphics artist). It's definitely been interesting and helpful. I tend to be like many people a visual and experiential learner so it's been helpful

This photo was taken about a week or so ago after a major cold snap. Roses were blooming and dying in a very dichotomous way. It's another Orton effect photo. It's what I've been working with all week.

Looks like Angels Island trip will be delayed as major rain is expected to continue tomorrow. I'm listening to Patty Griffin's new CD, "Children Running Through". Border's is running a couple of samples, "Heavenly Days" and "I Don't Ever Give Up". It's sublime.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A Small Reflection



an awaiting bench
invited me
to sit and ponder
today, in a hurry
i chose instead
to wander

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dreams and Daring


This is probably my most brave and open post yet. Last year I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Kim Weston in Carmel at Wildcat Studio, Edward Weston's home. It was an opportunity to both learn about fine arts nudes and to soak up some history including a day of shooting at Point Lobos. Little did I know how much fall out and prejudice this would bring when people found out I had done the shoot including some of my own family members. I didn't have much time to work on the results of the workshop as it was late in the college semester and then I didn't return to the college so the negatives have been in limbo, waiting for me to work with. Now scanner in hand and burgeoning Photoshop skills I have begun to revisit them.

Many people ask why do you want to photograph nudes? And then proceed to offer their own ideas on why. Ironically the two most common perceptions is either I'm a lesbian or some sort of sexual pervert. Neither could be further from the truth (not that I see being gay as a bad thing, you are what you are). One factor is I have a basically earth based spirituality, the second is that it's a factor of recovery of my body after some issues have occurred, but most importantly and the final reason lies in some of the finely crafted words of Ruth Bernhard....

"For the artist to identify with the subject, whether it is a shell, a leaf, a face, or a body, is to identify with beauty. These are not sexual feelings. These are cosmic feelings; to marvel at the beautiful line of a leg, a torso. This is not creating with power, but with empathy.....

...to achieve an ideal harmony and to be emotionally connected through photography with the universal idea of the body as a work of art....to convey innocence, the innocence of a tiger or cloud in the sky: a picture without desire."

And finally:

"If I have chosen the female form in particular, it is because beauty has been debased and exploited in our sensual twentieth century. We seem to have a need to turn innocent nature into evil ugliness by the twist of the mind. Woman has been the target of much that is sordid and cheap, especially in photography. To raise, to elevate, to endorse with timeless reverence the image of woman, has been my mission-the reason for my work which you see here."

That is why I love this picture. I had a few moments to capture this model away from the whole group as we had been working in teams. This was taken while she was relaxing in an outside bathtub, a sprite who had taken a moment with nature or simply someone who was relaxing after hard work and who hasn't had that innocent pleasure at the end of a long day.

Monday, February 5, 2007

A Rose and Essentials




A bit from one of my favorite books. Read it if you haven't:

It was then that the fox appeared.

"Good morning" said the fox.

"Good morning" the Little Prince responded politely although when he turned around he saw nothing.

"I am right here" the voice said, "under the apple tree."

"Who are you?" asked the Little Prince, and added, "You are very pretty to look at."

"I am a fox", the fox said.

"Come and play with me," proposed the Little Prince, "I am so unhappy."

"I cannot play with you," the fox said, "I am not tamed."

"AH please excuse me," said the Little Prince.

But after some thought, he added: "what does that mean---'tame'?"

"You do not live here," said the fox, "what is it you are looking for?"

"I am looking for men," said the Little Prince. "What does that mean---tame?"

"Men," said the fox, "they have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?"

"No," said the Little Prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean---tame?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."

"To establish ties?"

"Just that," said the fox.

"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you.

And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.

But if you tame me, then we shall need each other.

To me, you will be unique in all the world."

To you, I shall be unique in all the world. . ." "I am beginning to understand," said the Little Prince.

"There is a flower. . .I think she has tamed me. . ."

"It is possible," said the fox. "On earth one sees all sorts of things."

"Oh but this is not on the earth!" said the Little Prince.

The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious. "On another planet?"

"Yes"

"Are there hunters on that planet?"

"No"

"Ah that's interesting! Are there chickens?"

"No"

"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.

But he came back to his idea.

"My life is very monotonous," he said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And in consequence, I am a little bored.

But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others.

Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music out of my burrow.

And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad.

But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat. . ."

The fox gazed at the Little Prince, for a long time. "Please---tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox.

" Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me. . ."

"What must I do, to tame you? asked the Little Prince.

"You must be very patient," replied the fox.

First you will sit down at a little distance from me -like that - in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing.

Words are the source of misunderstandings.

But you will sit a little closer to me, every day..."

The next day the Little Prince came back.

"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox.

"If for example, you came at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am!

But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is ready to greet you..

One must observe the proper rites. . ."

"What is a rite?" asked the Little Prince.

"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "they are what make one day different from other days, one hour different from other hours.

There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all."

So the Little Prince tamed the fox.

And when the hour of his departure drew near---

"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

"It is your own fault," said the Little Prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you. . ."

"Yes that is so", said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!" said the Little Prince.

"Yes that is so" said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all!"

"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields."

And then he added: "go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."

The Little Prince went away, to look again at the roses.

"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made a friend, and now he is unique in all the world." And the roses were very much embarrassed.

"You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you -- the rose that belongs to me.

But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is MY rose."

And he went back to meet the fox.

"Goodbye" he said.

"Goodbye," said the fox.

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the Little Prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the Little Prince so he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it.

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose."

"I am responsible for my rose," the Little Prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

From "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Sunday, February 4, 2007

Glowing World


After doing the usual household cleaning and laundry (if I ever inherit money win a lottery, the first thing I'm doing is hiring a housekeeper, domestic goddess I am not), I ventured into Photoshop and tried out an exercise called the Orton effect. It causes a slightly blurred, mythic feeling to a photo. Perfect. In my creative ventures I tend to have a more myopic point of view. I get enough of the real world in my job, this is the balance. There was also time to work on my niece Amanda's senior pictures I took. She liked the first group that I toned, so she may like the Orton effect.

I came across a Yeats poem that fit this line of thought:

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my names;
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

-W.B. Yeats

Friday, February 2, 2007

Journey....




Another year is gone
A travel hat on my head
Straw sandals on my feet
~Basho

I just came home from a meeting with a group that I get together with to share our thoughts on photography, art and life in general. They have become a touchstone on this journey of becoming an artist. What amazes me is how we can see each others gifts, but often not our own. Two of the group are incredible portrait photographers, although they might protest otherwise and one has done some incredible shots of churches and other travels, plus her sense of humor keeps it all from being too serious. We're planning a trip to Angel Island (weather permitting) next Saturday to take photos, share comradity and just enjoy good food.

It's wonderful to have support on the journey.

This photo was taken on a recent BART train through the window at sunset.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Short Term Parking


This is by one the clinics where I work. It's where many people, especially the homeless bring their cans and such. We see many of them pushing shopping carts full of materials towards the recycle center. I couldn't resist this when I went by it. It has it's own sense of story and irony.

Beauty Is...

  "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." -Anonymous  I went outside tonight and found the waning moon in a glow surrou...