Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Focus.  Concentrate.  What is important?  Who decides?  And what about the other stuff?  Again, photography acts as a metaphor for life.  How do you get the experience of your own powers of creation?  Make decisions, make art, and you know that you are making a universe.  Then, unmake it, and you’ll know what you can control and change.

Is the glass half empty?  Half full?  Is the glass solid or as liquid as its contents but moving at a different speed?  Am I half done with my life or beginning a new day?  Are the things that exist only in my memory real or not?  If they exist in my memory, have I lost them? 

I had a birthday on Wednesday, and a good cry on Thursday.  The quiet, summer afternoon transported me to another time and place.  My husband was alive, snoring in the Lazy Boy in my living room.  I had a living room – a full house with 4 bedrooms.  My oldest daughter was in her room, reading children’s books.  My son was in the yard playing with a next door neighbor.  My two youngest daughters were entwined on a bed, thumbs in their mouths, damp curls encircling their sleepy heads.  It seemed so palpable…and so untouchable.  Never again; though, yes, it was.  Once.  LOSS loomed in my brain.  A word I envisioned; I’d conjured it like the scene of that composite day.  When I focused on it, I was awash in gut pain.  It was powerful.  Over moments, the focus softened.  Its power faded.  It became a muted background of warmth, of subtle longing, a wistful smile.  There are other things in my life.  Some embryonic, some ripening.  That previous life is like the green light of a summer day.  It is there, all around.  It is not in focus, though.  It is enough.

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Wordless Wednesday: Work Shoes Part 2

* for back story about the owner of these shoes, see Wednesday Words: For Steve

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* scheduling this post for Wednesday, August 21 – my birthday.  I’m at work today, too.  Maybe next week I’ll show you my shoes…and you can show me yours! 

Wordless Wednesday: Landscape Portraits

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Comments allowed and appreciated! (I’m still working on the “One Shot: Two Ways” idea.  I think I need to take the vertical shot from a lower angle and get something different in the foreground…”

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

This photo challenge is actually quite a useful meditation on perspective.  I had thought about my options in taking up this challenge, ranging from skipping it altogether because it’s not an obligation, to spreading it out over a whole week to give me time to find something I love dearly enough to photograph it on purpose.  I had thought about visiting the place where Steve & I had our first date, Glacial Park, while on my way to visit my kids back in Illinois.  That is a place dear to my heart, and closer to being worthy of Jeff Sinon’s incredible nature photos of New Hampshire (I’m a big fan and follower.  Do check him out!).  But it would mean not posting until at least a few days from now.  I browsed around the Internet for a while and lit upon a few threads that interested me.  What is it that catches my attention?  Perspective.  I read a bit about Marfan syndrome.  Ever meditate on how perspective changes quality of life and the level of fear you feel about something potentially life-threatening?  I read about an American couple jailed in Qatar under suspicion of murdering their adopted daughter.  The perspective on adoption is quite different in Muslim countries.  How you think and feel about something is altered dramatically based on where you stand.  I began to take that idea closer to home.

My partner, Steve, owns and operates an online book business.  I might consider Scholar & Poet Books to be the “other woman” in our relationship.  I don’t feel about her the same way that Steve does.  To him, she represents his autonomy; she is a huge financial asset, and endlessly fascinating.  To me, she is a dominating presence that crowds me out of closet space and Steve’s attention.  She is also somewhat boring to me, as she doesn’t touch or speak.  But I would like to make friends with her.  I would like a different perspective on her.  So I chose her for my subject. 

I don’t know if you feel you only get one shot at life, one shot at any given problem.  I do know that there are always at least two ways to take it on.  Perspective.  You can get a different one by moving just a little.  It’s well within your range of powers. 

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Wednesday Words: for Steve

Your fragile skin is smooth and taut, a drum head.

Shadows surround your bones.

Your waning flesh a cry for mercy.

You dream 

a hermit’s life

of walking at a slower pace

unburdened.

Steve in profile

* Steve became a City Carrier Assistant for the US Postal Service in April.  His sister and his father have both had long careers in the P.O. Steve has left a lifestyle of self employment in the online bookselling business in order to make fast money with overtime and extended hours walking a city mail route.  This is a temporary solution designed to retire some debt.  At six foot two inches tall, he now weighs only 155 lbs – less than he weighed in high school.  In the sanctuary of his home office, surrounded by stacks and stacks of used books and melodies of Handel, Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler, he is a happier person.  Scholar & Poet Books is his personal work.  Walking the footpaths of Wisconsin is his preferred route.  He longs to return to this Walden by the time he turns 50 years old. *