celebrating Jean's 90th birthday
Today (Sunday) Marion Overholt invited her mother's friends and family to a surprise party celebrating Jean's 90th birthday. If ever there were a woman I want to be like when I grow up, it's Jean.
After having been a teacher in her younger years, at the age of 80 Jean got her degree from the University of Windsor (Ontario) in fine art and printmaking. She still lives alone in the house on the Detroit River that she and her late husband moved into shortly after their marriage in 1945. Right now she is taking four classes, volunteering, and sitting on a board of directors. She drove herself to the party at the Ojibway Nature Centre in Windsor from her home out in the county. Marion had told her it was a party in honor of our friends Joan Tinkess and Mary Tiner who will be leaving Thursday to spend a month with the women whom they helped organize during their 20 years in the Dominican Republic. Jean was truly surprised when she came in the door to the sound of dozens of us singing "Happy Birthday." In fact, it was through singing that I first met Jean and Marion. They attended a good number of the WomenSpirit singing retreats that we had on the shores of Lake Erie with our beloved Carolyn McDade
back in the '90s.
When I hugged her goodbye today, Jean spontaneously said, "I love you." Well, dearest Jean, I love you too. May we surprise you again at your 100th birthday in 2018!
Nickels Arcade, Ann Arbor, Michigan
I was so sleepy when I scooted through the Nickels Arcade last night (Friday) and stopped to take this photo. And I still had an hour-long drive before I'd be home.
It had been a VERY long day that had started with my getting up at 7 a.m. By 8:15 a.m. I was in my minivan making the 50 mile/80 km trip to join Susan and a busload of students at the Slusser Art Gallery on the campus of the University of Michigan. We wanted these fifth graders to see their drawings hanging in the "Aging With Attitude" art exhibit. After seeing the show and eating our bag lunches we went to The Scrap Box, a recycled crafts center on the other side of Ann Arbor. Once there, the kids and the three mothers who'd accompanied them made wonderfully imaginative puppets out of all kinds of strange bits of foam, strings and assorted materials. At 1:30 p.m. they were in the bus heading back to school, and I was on my way to Gallop Park. Once there I parked in a lot beside the Huron River and laid down on the back seat of my minivan. I closed my eyes and took a short nap until my cell phone woke me. I then went outside and spent precious time out in nature.
After that, I did my usual Ann Arbor "things" which included first buying a blouse on sale at my favorite store, and then buying a book on photography at an independent book store I like to support. I had an early supper of samosas, chana masala and sweet lassi at an Indian restaurant I like, and then scooted over to the Rackham Auditorium. I'd read that there was to be a celebration of William Bolcom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/professor, on the occasion of his retirement after 35 years teaching in the Music Department at the University of Michigan. Since it was free I figured I'd do well to get there early. And I was right. It was well and enthusiastically attended by former students, faculty and lots of people like me who know and admire this creative genius. The program included excerpts from some of his many compositions, including ragtime piano, opera, jazz, experimental music, Broadway musicals, cabaret songs and classical sonatas. To read about William Bolcom, CLICK HERE
After the concert I stopped in at Amer's Deli on State Street for a yummy lemon bar. And it was then that I scooted through the Nickels Arcade on my way to the garage to pick up my car. I was home safe and sound by 12:15 a.m. Of course I still needed to download my photos and put one up on my photo blog. I finally went to bed at 1:45 a.m. Oh my, that bed felt good! I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Even snow can't stop the spring
Today (Friday) I was in Ann Arbor with the students for a field trip. Afterwards I drove over to Gallop Park and went for a lovely long scoot beside the Huron River. Even though the ground was still covered with last night's snow, the sun was warm enough for me to sit quietly for awhile and soak up the rays. My, that felt good!
lunch at the Cass Cafe
Do you find yourself whipping out your camera and taking pictures wherever you go? Of course I'm luckier than most because I always have my camera bag with me in the basket of my mobility scooter, so I have no excuse not to use it. I know I've said this before but it bears repeating: It's now as if I see--truly SEE--through the viewfinder of my camera. If I don't take a picture of something it's as if I didn't really see it. Are you the same?
I took this photo at lunch on Tuesday after attending Aku Kadogo's Black Theater class at Wayne State University. The Cass Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants, and my feelings are shared by many students and faculty. They have a walnut lentil burger to die for. Yum!! They also have rotating exhibits of wonderfully original, often funky, art on the walls. On your next trip to Detroit, be sure to put the Cass Cafe on your "must see" list!
Speaking of which, here's a heads-up call to all lovers of electronic music. Movement 08, Detroit's Electronic Music Festival, is happening May 24-26, America's Memorial Day weekend. It is AWESOME!!! DJs, live performers and music lovers come from across the globe to Detroit for this amazing experience. To see their web site and order tickets, CLICK HERE
. This will be my 4th festival and I've already bought my ticket for this year. I can't wait!!! To see my Movement 07 photo galleries, CLICK HERE
Thursday's Totally Informal Transglobal Challenge for March 27, 2008 - "Precious Metal"
I can think of no more precious metal than the pipes, fittings and faucets that give us running water and indoor plumbing. As the worldwide water crisis worsens, having access to clean drinking water in my home is indeed a privilege, one I am trying to use responsibly.
To see other PBasers' responses to this Challenge, CLICK HERE
The dance of teaching
Today (Monday) I was privileged to sit in on a university class that made me realize teaching can be a dance between student and teacher, a dance that involves listening and speaking, leading and following, inspiring and being inspired.
Aku Kadogo and I had been encountering one another at various artistic venues of late. When we finally introduced ourselves and I heard a bit of her story, I asked if I could sit in on one of her Wayne State University classes and photograph her teaching. I could tell she would be a joy to watch. Aku graciously agreed and we set today as the day and Black Theater as the class. What I didn't know until after the class had ended was that Aku had been the principal of a dance college during her years in Australia. It showed! Her every move was perfectly matched to the message she was conveying to her students, even the way in which she stood while listening. This woman is totally present every minute, and I think that is one of her greatest gifts.
Aku is impacting these young people in profoundly positive ways. And I was changed as well. How fortunate we are that such individuals choose to teach our youth, especially Detroit's urban youth. On a day when our city's mayor embarrassed us around the world, Aku Kadogo did us proud. How I wish the media would cover her story as thoroughly as they cover Kwame Kilpatrick's.
my new "Detroit, for real" gallery is up
This photo is one of the images in my new "Detroit, for real" gallery. CLICK HERE
to see it.
I didn't know how to introduce my new gallery. Although I have chosen to focus on some of Detroit's poorer areas, I hope I'm not perpetuating the stereotypes that have built up around this city I love. But I am committed to showing it as it is, as best I can anyway. One word that always comes to mind when I describe Detroit is the word, "real." Detroit is real. What you see is what you get. It's wounds are obvious, often more obvious than its gifts. But it seems to me that I have spent my sixteen months on PBase showing you many of these gifts. Now it is time to round out the picture.
going to church
Today (Sunday) I started taking photos for my new series of Detroit street scenes. This is one of about a dozen images I'll be posting tomorrow (Monday) in a new gallery. It feels right. This is a city and a people who deserve to be seen. For real.
one more from the photo shoot
You know, I think I'm done with the Winter Nudes series
and ready to take to the streets. This week's photo shoot for the documentary film producer whetted my appetite for urban scenes, but now I want to do it my way not how someone else tells me to do it. And I want people in my pictures. So, as soon as the sidewalks are cleared of snow, I'll be down in Detroit scooting & shooting to my heart's content. I can't wait!
I want to thank everyone who sent good energy my way as I was working to meet today's deadline. I made it. Well, I was ten minutes late. But I'd stayed up until 2:30 a.m. last night and then gotten up and back to work by 9:30 a.m. this morning (Friday). I'd guess I put in at least 30 hours on this job that the producer had assured me would take no more than 3-4 hours, but she's going to ask her boss to give me more money. Well, we all know I didn't do it for the money.
So why did I do it? Because it sounded cool to be part of the making of a documentary film. And this particular film promises to be BIG. I mean, this director and producer won an Oscar for Best Documentary with their last film, so they obviously know what they're doing. But did I? Not really. What I didn't know was how stressed I was going to feel about doing it "right" and meeting a tight deadline. Lots of childhood stuff got triggered. My elementary school report cards where they always wrote, "Patsy doesn't finish what she begins." My perfectionistic father who always found some small thing that I hadn't done right, no matter how hard I tried.
The associate producer with whom I worked was always kind but she was under pressure herself. Her boss, the senior producer, was obviously pressing her to get this job done fast, well and for the price they'd originally agreed to pay. Rebecca was caught in the middle between an inexperienced photographer who required a lot of time and attention and an Oscar award-winning producer who needed these location shots as soon as possible in order to decide whether or not to set up a production shoot in Detroit. Time was of the essence.
Would I do it again? I honestly don't know. It was a unique opportunity, one I'm sure I'll look back on with feelings of awe and gratitude, but I'm not sure such high levels of stress are good for my mind/body/spirit. I don't think I'm cut out to travel in the fast lane. Sure it'll be fun to see my name in the credits when this film is released, but to be honest, I'd rather use my camera to make art than to gain prestige. An artist is what I want to be, not someone with an impressive resume.
That being said, I'm glad I did it. I know more now about what goes on behind the scenes in the world of film than I ever did before. So what did I learn? Filmmaking is hard work, full of stress and deadlines. It is not glamorous, at least not for small cogs in the wheel like me. And producers do EVERYTHING! These people work their tails off. But being part of a film--even a tiny part--is something that you'll never forget. Already time is softening my memories, and it hasn't even been twelve hours since I completed the job. Funny how that happens.
As a postscript...
This afternoon (Friday) a storm system settled over Detroit and we're being blanketed in snow. Such conditions would have made it impossible for me to take the location shots they needed. As they say, timing is everything!
Film making: the dream & the reality
Believe it or not, this is one of the most artistic shots I've taken all week. And I have taken close to 400 frames in the past three days. Doing location shots for a documentary film producer has little to do with art and everything to do with place. Using a wide angle lens, you are expected to show the producers what a venue looks like from the east, west, north and south. What it looks like as you approach and leave it. What you see if you look out the front window or door. What you see if you turn around and look back. Composition doesn't exist and Photoshop editing is frowned upon. They want to see a place exactly as it is, not as a fine art photographer might like it to be seen. Their concerns are not artistic at this point, but technical. What cameras would we bring? Is there room for our equipment? What vantage point will we take? Most importantly, is it worth the time and money to send our people out from Los Angeles to do a production shoot in this place, or could we get by using footage from archives? These are some of the questions my location shots are supposed to help them answer.
This has been a real learning experience for me, and Rebecca, the producer with whom I've been working, is wonderful, but I don't think I'm cut out for this type of work. I'm too much of a free spirit. Besides, deadlines spook the life out of me, and I've got a BIG one coming up tomorrow (Friday) at noon. All my photo galleries need to be up and running by then (I put them up in a password-protected gallery here on PBase). Wish me luck...
Thursday's Totally Informal Transglobal Challenge for March 20, 2008 - "Easter - without Eggs or Chocolate!"
It was the Saturday before Easter 1951. I was nine years old and in Grade 4. My little sister Miss Em and I were playing hopscotch on the front walk. I felt a call of nature and went inside the house to use the washroom. But something looked strange. The kitchen door was closed. Mom never closed that door, so why was it closed now? Besides I could hear my big sister Carolyn in there talking. So why were Mom and Carolyn in the kitchen with the door closed? Something was fishy. I decided to find out for myself, so I opened the door.
At first I couldn't believe my eyes. There was Carolyn dipping a hardboiled egg into a glass bowl of purple dye. Beside her on the white kitchen table were other bowls, each with a different color dye in it. But what felt like a kick in the stomach was the metal tray of brightly dyed Easter Eggs at her elbow, and three Easter baskets filled with green crepe paper grass, differently colored jelly beans and milk chocolate bunnies propped against their sides.
I looked at Mom and said, "You mean YOU'RE the Easter bunny?"
It was like a horrible lightbulb was going off in my head.
"And Santa Claus?"
"And the Tooth Fairy???"
You see, I was the last kid in my class to believe in such things. I had so trusted my parents that when they'd assured me that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were real, how could I not believe them? I knew I could trust Mom and Dad to tell me the truth. Even though my friends laughed at me and said I was a baby, I stuck to my guns.
As I stood in our kitchen on that warm sunny day, my eyes filled with tears not so much because I cared whether or not Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy really existed, but because I knew I could never again trust my parents. That was the day I became a skeptic. And now it is my healthy skepticism that serves me well in this country where liars lead and the gullible follow. Thanks Mom and Dad for teaching me not to believe everything I hear.
To see other PBasers' responses to this Challenge, CLICK HERE
The first day of my photo shoot
Cold, rainy conditions are not ideal for a photo shoot but I wanted to get started. The documentary film producer has a long list of locations for me to shoot and I don't have all that much time. But after two and a half hours scooting around in the rain taking photos and trying unsuccessfully to keep my lens dry, I'd covered over half of my list.
This is a favorite Detroit alternative rock/funk club called Shelter. It's in the basement of St. Andrew's Hall, probably the most famous of Detroit's live music venues, at least famous among the under 40 crowd. I guess it's known all over the world. Today it just looked kind of messy with all the piled-up dirty snow and huge puddles of muddy water, but these places are never meant to be seen in the day. The night is their time.
Speaking of night, it is early and I'm going to bed. I am one tired shutter puppy.
What a day can bring...
We wake up each morning with plans of how that day will unfold. But of course life is no respecter of plans, especially ours. And so it was for me today (Monday).
My plan was to spend this day completing my preparations to send my Dualities portfolio
to LensWork magazine
. If you're a regular reader this will sound familiar. You might even be shaking your head and saying to yourself, "Hasn't she done that YET?" Well, the answer is no, I haven't. But today I was going to finish printing out the last three images so I'd have a total of 32. Their Submissions Guidelines had mentioned 30-70 as a good number of images to submit. Apparently the editor likes to have lots to choose from. Well, 32 was all I could come up with since the mag only prints B&W, meaning most of my selective color images wouldn't work. Now, please keep in mind that this is a first-rate national publication and my submissions are unsolicited, but you never know. My motto is, aim high!
So I completed the printing and had just laid out all 32 images on the tables in my studio. I wanted to immerse myself in them before tackling the next part of the submissions process--writing a 200-350 word introduction including a description of my creative process, methodology and motivation for creating this body of work. After that would come a 40-100 word biography that focused on my development as a photographer. I also needed to prepare my digital files according to their specifications. Lots to do but I had a totally free day to devote to this. Or so I thought. The reality turned out to be quite different.
A little background to prepare you for what happened next.
On March 9, I'd received an email from a documentary film producer in Los Angeles who had found my "Detroit Neighborhoods" gallery
in a Google search. She wanted to know if I had any more photos of a particular part of the city that they might be featuring in an upcoming film. We'd exchanged emails over the past week and she seemed to be coming close to hiring me to take some location shots to help them decide whether or not it would be worth their while to come to Detroit for a mini-production shoot. But as of Saturday she was still waiting to get the go-ahead from her senior producer.
Around noon today--9 a.m. in Los Angeles--my phone rang. It was the producer asking if I had any questions about the email she'd sent me on Sunday detailing the locations she wanted me to shoot and asking that I send her an invoice today at the latest. She'd already told me what they were willing to pay and it had sounded fine to me. But the problem was that I had not received Sunday's email at all. She sent it again while we were on the phone and it still didn't go through. Luckily Ed has a fax machine so I asked her to send me a fax instead. When it arrived my sweet husband drove home to deliver it to me.
The rest of the day was spent searching Mapquest, the online white & yellow pages, and Google to try to find the places she wanted me to shoot. Because, of course, she wants it yesterday. Well, not really. But they do want my CD of about 60 images FedExed so they receive it no later than Saturday. Since there's a 90% chance of rain all day Tuesday and Wednesday here in Detroit, that means Thursday will be my only day to get this job done. Late this afternoon she added a couple of night shots as well. Emails were whizzing back and forth between us throughout the afternoon and into the early evening, eight in all. (After I'd disabled my spam filter, everything was going through OK.) We also had two long phone calls. My most exciting moment came late in the day when I received the answer to an email I'd sent to a friend who has lived in that neighborhood for 30 years. In it I'd asked if he knew where two sites were that she'd very much wanted me to photograph but had been unable to get any information about. My friend knew them both and told me exactly where to find them. That made the producer very happy indeed!
By the way, my photos will just be used for background, but the producer said that, as things develop, they might ask me to take some professional photos to be used in the documentary itself. No promises, but it could happen.
Getting back to my plans to prepare my Dualities to submit to LensWork. If it rains tomorrow, that might still happen, but who knows? Life obviously has its own agenda, and you know what? I love it that way. Life comes up with much more exciting plans than I ever could!
my new "Winter Woman, Waning Moon" gallery is up
to see my new "Winter Woman, Waning Moon" gallery.
I'd guess I spent more time preparing this gallery than any of the others in my entire Winter Nudes Portfolio
. Part of that was the sheer number of photos with which I was dealing, but mostly it was the rather intricate Photoshop manipulations I used to get the effects I wanted. These techniques had to be developed on-the-spot because I'd never used them before. But I have the broadcast animator Ed Cheatham to thank for showing me a variation of this PS technique during a visit I made to San Diego last March. I also have Pat Kolon to thank for making and hanging the dark grey backdrop against which I photographed this series, and for finding and putting up the blackout blinds that made it possible for me to get the kind of lighting I wanted. But mainly I want to thank my friend who posed for me in such imaginatively lyrical ways during last Tuesday's photo shoot. The beauty you see in this "Winter Woman, Waning Moon"
gallery is hers, and hers alone.
Winter Woman, Waning Moon
I'm still fine-tuning the images I'll be posting in a new gallery I plan to call "Winter Woman, Waning Moon." This is one of the definite keepers. I have 28-30 others that I like but I'm trying to reduce the final number to 24. We'll see if I can do it.
Tony Holland playing Albert Ayler's "Bells"
Tonight (Friday) Pat and I attended a most interesting film screening at MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit). "My Name Is Albert Ayler" is a 2005 independently produced documentary about the life and times of the innovative free-style jazz saxophone genius whose 8-year career was cut short by his untimely death in NYC in 1970. Albert Ayler
was only 34 when he died, but was already a favorite of such jazz greats as John Coltrane. The Swedish filmmaker/director Kasper Collin was there at MOCAD to introduce his film and to answer questions afterward. Before the screening we were treated to a live performance of several of Albert Ayler's compositions played by two Detroit musicians, one of whom is pictured here. This film, that was seven years in the making, is an artistic, historic and musical triumph, but what will stay with me is how deeply moved I was by this talented young man's passionate originality. Collin said it will soon be out on DVD so keep an eye out for it.
a taste of what's to come
It is very late here in Michigan, close to 3 a.m. Friday morning. I'll be going to bed soon but first I want to put up one of the images I've been working on. It is from the photo shoot I had with a friend on Tuesday of this week. This will be part of a new Winter Nudes
gallery that will be posted as soon as all the images are ready. And now for a shower and bed...
Thursday's Totally Informal Transglobal Challenge for March 13, 2008 - "Under Cover"
It wasn't until I'd uploaded my response to this week's Challenge that I realized what memories it was triggering in me, memories that go back 45 years. Believe it or not, one summer back when I was in college in the early '60s I worked for the CIA. Yep, that CIA! And no, I wasn't "undercover" but I WAS instructed not to act like I recognized anyone outside of the Agency headquarters because THEY might be undercover agents. Strange, huh? When I first became a committed peace activist in the early '90s, I had some serious soul-searching to do about that chapter of my life. Not that I'd been part of--or even aware of--any of the CIA's horrendous activities at that time, but still. I HAD been part of the "system," naive though I was.
Who'd have thought a simple TITC would trigger such memories!
To see other PBasers' responses to this Challenge, CLICK HERE
Winter Women Together image #5
Today (Tuesday) I created yet another composite image for my "Winter Women together" gallery. To see this gallery, CLICK HERE
This afternoon I had a wonderful photo shoot for my Winter Nudes portfolio
. This was the third Tuesday in a row my friend and I had tried to get together, but until today the weather just wouldn't cooperate. We've been having a lot of snow, as have most places along this latitude in the U.S. and Canada, and the storms seemed to choose Tuesdays for some unknown reason. But this morning dawned sunny and bright. Finally!
I wanted very much to abstract the figure in today's shoot. The best way to do that is with one light source and darkness surrounding it. Well, the happy news was that in a recent "order out of chaos" session, Pat and I had found my old blackout blinds hidden in a closet I hadn't looked in for years. She'd put them up at the windows in my studio so now I have the option of closing out all light except my spot. It worked perfectly! But don't hold your breath until I put up this new gallery. I took lots of frames and will be working on them for awhile. I promise you'll be the first to know when this new gallery goes up.
my new "Winter Women together" gallery is up
Yesterday and today I created two new Winter Women composites, giving me four in all, enough to start a new gallery. To see this "Winter Women together" gallery, CLICK HERE
As I've been taking photos of unclothed older women to post in my Winter Nudes Portfolio
, I have found that, important as it is to show their physical beauty, it is even more essential that I try to capture their inner beauty. This is what fills me with awe. And beyond that, I have felt deeply moved by what has happened between us as we worked. Although each of these women and I have been friends for years, during the photo shoots we have forged a bond that had never been there before, the bond of true sisterhood.
My new gallery celebrates this sisterhood that women of all ages experience when they allow themselves to be stripped of the outer "garments" that define their place in the world, garments like their jobs, families, education, social position, cultural roles, etc. When we trust our sisters enough to remove our clothes in their presence, we also remove much that divides us. We become what we have always been but might not have recognized, we become family.
To create these composites, I've used Photoshop to select, position, resize and present with Glowing Edges, individual women who have posed for the galleries that make up my Winter Nudes Portfolio. I am grateful to each one for trusting me in this work.
Ed's birthday celebration started before breakfast on Sunday. Well, now that I think of it, it actually started on Tuesday night when he carried my big present in from the car, our first flat screen TV. It replaced our kitchen TV that was at least 28 years old and maybe more. We can't remember. So today he received my card, 32 packages of gourmet popcorn (he likes it!), and a massaging shower head. Dottie, Ed's high school girlfriend, called from Memphis, Tennessee, to wish him a happy birthday. This wonderful woman has not missed a birthday in 60 years! And his brother and nephew also called with birthday greetings. Our friend Pat made him an ice cream pie that we three enjoyed after having dinner out at our favorite Lebanese restaurant. The day ended as it so often does, with Ed playing the piano while I sang. It was the 42nd of Ed's birthdays we've celebrated together. May we have many many more...
Winter Nudes composite #2
I never know what's going to fire up my creative engines. The only reason I created yesterday's Winter Nudes composite was to celebrate International Women's Day. But once I'd done it, I was hooked. I love bringing these wonderful women together and presenting them, to quote my frend Pat, as "constellations" in the night sky. Standing alone each is a powerful presence in today's world, but together? I think of the following quote on the home page of WomenForWomen.org
: "One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything."
When I have a few more composites, I'll start putting them in their own gallery. Oh my, I do love doing what I do!
International Women's Day 2008
A Woman Speaks
by Audre Lorde (1934-92)
Moon marked and touched by sun
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus
where the restless oceans pound.
I do not dwell within my
birth nor my divinities
who am ageless and half-grown
and still seeking
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths
as our mother did
I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon's new fury
with all your wide futures
and not white.
rainbows swirling in snow
Tuesday night's snowfall was our biggest this year. Out my window, I saw what looked like a heavy white lace curtain blowing in front of the street lamps. For drivers on Detroit's expressways, that white lace curtain covered their windshields causing white-out conditions. But the kids in our community loved this storm because it gave them their first "snow day" of the winter. Things have to be pretty bad before our community gives in to the weather. We have excellent snow removal services so I guess they figure as long as cars can get through, the kids can go to school. And because they didn't have school on Wednesday, I saw lots of youngsters out walking and playing in the snow. When I left the gym, two boys were digging a tunnel under the huge pile of snow that had been shoveled so my van could get into the disabled parking space. They said they were making a fortress. Sound familiar? We used to do the same thing back in the 1940s.
We've been touched by magic this winter--lots of beautiful snow, blue skies and sunshine, cold crisp days and nights, and lately, just enough hints of spring to give us hope that it will come again this year. I hope this composite image gives you some sense of what we've been experiencing here in Detroit. Rainbows swirling in snow...
Thursday's Totally Informal Transglobal Challenge for March 6, 2008 - "Something Sinister"
There is nothing more sinister in our house than the cellar. And believe me, cellar is the correct term. Calling it a basement would be like calling a hog a cute little pig. A cement floor with an open drainage hole, concrete block walls, wooden rafters instead of a ceiling. Half of it is a dirt-filled crawl space and the rest is our "laundry room." I haven't been down there in years--our only stair lift goes to the second floor--but dear Ed is up and down these open stairs doing our wash a couple of times a week. I don't even like to imagine what creepy-crawlies probably inhabit the crawl space. Now THAT, my friends, is sinister!
To see other PBasers' responses to this Challenge, CLICK HERE
my new "Winter Woman yogini" gallery is up
It is quite late at night--well, more like early morning--as I post this entry so there won't be much commentary. I'll let my yoga-practicing friend speak for us both. CLICK HERE
to see my new "Winter Woman yogini" gallery.
a sunlit morning
I'd hoped to have the photos ready to post my "Winter Woman practices yoga" gallery tonight (Monday), but that will have to wait. I've ended up with more photos than I'd intended and am still not sure about how I want to present them. As of now I'm inclined to just let them be and present it in a semi-photojournalistic style, but we'll see how I feel in the morning.
I took this self portrait on a recent sunlit morning. I've just added it to my "Winter Nudes: an introduction" gallery. CLICK HERE
to see that gallery.
March comes to Michigan
If you look closely at the horizon in this photo you'll see a line of open water. When the lake starts thawing, spring is on its way. Not right away, not even when the calendar says it's spring, but we Michiganders know the signs. It won't be long before ocean-going freighters and lakers will be making their way between the channel buoys where you see open water. The Coast Guard icebreaker has already started clearing a path. Yes, we'll be seeing snow for at least another month, but the robins and bluebirds have returned, and all the birds are starting to sing in full voice again. I heard the cardinal's distinctive, "Rilke, Rilke, Rilke!" earlier today. Humans also show signs of unthawing. Whenever the roads are clear of snow and ice, they're out there roller-blading. Last Sunday I even saw a couple of runners dressed in shorts and t-shirts! They may have been pushing the season a bit, but it was a lovely, sunny day with temperatures above 40 F/4.4 C. The buds on the trees seem to be getting fatter, and it doesn't get dark until 6:30 p.m. EST. Oh yes, March is here and spring is not far behind.
NOT a morning person!
Two mornings this week I was awakened early to the sound of an alarm...and as beautiful as the rising sun looked outside my bedroom window, I would have preferred a few more hours of ZZZZs! I am definitely not a morning person. It's my norm to stay up until 1:30 or 2 a.m., so 7 a.m. comes way before I'm ready to get up. On all of my PBase web pages, you'll only find one gallery that shows the dawn. For the past 37 years I've lived one and a half blocks from a huge lake that faces east and has stunningly beautiful sunrises. Back in my running days I used to see them on a regular basis, but since then? Nada. Well, except for the one time I got up early to take photos of the dawn. CLICK HERE
to see my "Frosty Morning Sunrise" gallery.
This morning (Saturday) was one of those early mornings, so tonight I am early to bed. We had a wonderful monthly gathering of our women's singing community, and as one of the planners, I had to be in Windsor, Ontario by 9:30 a.m. I didn't get back home until 8:30 p.m. after a l-o-n-g wait in the tunnel getting back into the States. Oh my, that bed is going to feel good...
Stretching beyond the possible
Why do some people manage to do seemingly impossible things while others sit on the sidelines doubting themselves? How can my 72 year-old friend take yoga poses that younger practitioners won't even try? She has only been practicing yoga for a year yet the beauty of her poses fills me with awe. Is it because she has recently survived cancer and a painful divorce that she knows how to transcend the usual limits we place on ourselves?
And what limits do I put on myself? How much further could I stretch if I tried? Is it my age that stops me? My disability? As a photographer, do I expect too little because I haven't been at it all that long? So how does that fit with today's request that I send two of my photos to Downbeat Magazine
for them to use in an article on Ann Arbor's Edgefest 2007? Before that happened, why had I kept putting off submitting photos to magazines? I'd say I was going to do it and then wouldn't.
Today's session with this amazing Winter Woman has changed my definition of the possible. Seeing where she took her body is going to take me awhile to assimilate. She did things that looked impossible. Now to work with the 130 photos I took of her and present the best of them in ways that reflect her wondrous essence. I think it's time for me to stretch my creative ideas into shapes beyond the possible!