Lordie it’s been a while, too long of while, since I have put my fingers on the keys. Since I have touched my camera. Since I have let my thoughts flow through word and image. It has been too long. And as a result, perhaps, I am lost in a myriad of thoughts. Ahhh where to begin? Love. Life. Compassion. Unity. Solitude. Peace. Chaos. Tranquility. Change. Constancy. So I begin my blogging anew with just one thought – fortitude. The strength and beauty of just one among many seemingly the same.
Whatever happened to my blog? Seemingly I have forgotten about it. “Not true!,” I say. Funny thing having to have a job and work to support a family. I am sure you all are no strangers to that indeed.
This past year has been a tough one. I was out of work for basically then entire school year due to another shoulder surgery due to another work-related injury. Money was tight and I sadly sold my camera to pay bills. A mother must do what a mother must do. I was able to find a used Fuji X100 which has held me over. My iPhone helped a bit too. Gotta love Instagram. One day I will build my DSLR kit again.
During my recuperation, I discovered yoga. And I wonder why I hadn’t started practicing sooner. I also rediscovered my love of being a mother. I often found myself wondering how I managed to work full-time, raise two kids on my own, help my kids through their special needs, take care of a house, and all that good stuff. But again, we moms we do what we must.
I finally got another job. I am pleased so far. I am not in the classroom any longer but am a specialist kind of transition consultant. And I like that I can shape this job into what works best for me and the students. And my team – they are a good group of people.
Along with work, my kids, my family, and yoga… I am still finding time for photography. It brings me a certain peace.
Just a QuickPress in the AM. This trying to balance work, a relationship, Mom-dom of two, dogs, house, AND my love and yearning for photography is for the birds. Alas I am happy. I have that “feeling” – you know “that” feeling – that something is going to give. I can’t really explain it but I have that feeling there is more for me out there in the world. I’m not talking greatness or anything. I am far from being able to achieve that (if you knew me…). But there is something I am meant for or to be doing (yea crazy I know like I need to be doing more than I am now!).
When I sit to write – I generally have something really witty and funny to say about the nuttiness that is my life. But my fingers get going and my thoughts get a whirling. Then I get all reflective and thinky. When I write – it is the only time I have to think. When I shoot – it is the only moment I have to stop. That’s why I love photography and writing so much. They fit. (oh – the slideshow is at the bottom if you don’t want to read all this!)
I suppose that statement might reflect my attitude about the New Year ahead. With each new year that passes I say, “this year is going to be a good year.” There are and will be amazing moments. But as anyone who knows me knows – a lot of shit happens in our lives. Not unusual to give me a call and I say, “Good. Well I’m following the ambulance up to the hospital. No I can talk – the EMS guy is driving.” Haha – that has really happened.
I gift I have is to look back and remember only the good or find the funny in the not-so-funny in the moment kind of situation. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” But you know what? I would not trade it for the life of me. I must be an idealist or an optimist or a masochist of something.
You know if I could fix things for my children and make their “problems disappear” or take them all on myself, I would. I might have a potty mouth (forget might!) and I might not be Mom of the Year but I know I am the best mother for them. And I hope my amazing kids learn that despite their challenges – to keep moving forward. To move onward & look upward. To keep smiling and laughing. To keep fighting and trying. To keep love in their lives. And I suppose more than anything – to embrace that which makes them unique. I don’t want them to have to wait until they’re old like me to finally like who they are.
I am still a mess I guess. I’m weird. Strange. Different. Eccentric. Erudite. All those words you apply to someone who just lives life a little against the grain. And so too are my kids. I’m glad for that and someday they will be to. But it won’t be until well after high school (because we all know being “different” in middle school and high school SUCKS!).
When life gets a little overwhelming for me. And when I feel like I’ve made all the wrong decisions – I look up at the sky and I see something beautiful and I am in awe and I dissolve into that moment. The self-doubt disappears and there is just that moment…
Here’s to a New Year and braving the storms with laughter and love. Here’s to my children for making me a better woman. Here’s to photography and writing for giving me freedom. Here’s to my family, my friends, and my Paul. Here’s to moving forward, cherishing the good things, and looking upward…
Monday was one of the worst days I have had in, oh, about three months. It’s a long story but it involves work and my most recent and third surgery on my left shoulder (another long story!). Anywho – I got a call after a bit of a crying jag and guess what?!?!?! It was GREAT NEWS! Turns out I won First and Second place (twice!) for a total of three, yerp three, awards in the Delaware Beach Life magazine photography contest. I was thrilled.
I woke up this morning and decided that today is the day I take hold of my future and make some changes in my life (see the above paragraph for a hint at what I am getting at). And at this point whatever those changes may be they will most certainly include continuing to shoot (pictures people!). I am in love with this art called photography. It makes me happy. It roots me and makes me feel more deeply what I see.
More pictures to come tonight or tomorrow. Working on uploading recent shots and despite only having one usable arm I think they turned out alright.
An upcoming episode of Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” Stigmatizes Mental Illness.
Ohhhhh “mental illness” – that’s not really a real problem just something parents label their kids with when they don’t know how to be “good” parents right? Or what “crazy” people are, right? Well not exactly… My 12 year old daughter has BiPolar (in addition to Type I Diabetes and Celiac disease). And well she’s not crazy. And she is no less worthy of help, compassion, understanding, support, nurturing, consistency, love, laughter, or a hopeful future than anyone else’s child.
Please read the article by Susan Resko of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation and take a moment to contact Viacom in support of children and adolescents with Mental Illness. Copy and paste this link and help me help my daughter remove the social stigma…
Here is what I had to say: iCarly – DISASTER. OK I barely tolerate this show with its overuse of inappropriate sarcasm and intolerance (beyond a level any adolescent is truly cognitively capable of comprehending – read up on child and adolescent behavior and neurological development). The upcoming episode in which that horrific, overly aggressive, Sam girl admits herself into a psychiatric facility is simply too much. My official opinion is that Sam’s character clearly suffers from Conduct Disorder and thus perhaps would benefit from a stay in a residential treatment facility.
The worst of it is my own child has Bipolar. At 8 years old she attempted suicide and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since then (which is now going on three years). She feels stigmatized and on the outside of the world in which her “normal” peers live. To have mental illness and its medically warranted treatments be so inappropriately portrayed on a show such as iCarly that so many adolescents watch is reprehensible. My daughter is not “nuts” or “crazy.”
Her bipolar disorder is a medical disease the same as is her Type I Diabetes Mellitus. She suffers equally with both DISEASES. Would Sam and Carly find it so horrifying to be hospitalized for a diabetic ketoacidosis? My daughter almost died from that once as well.
I have faced losing my daughter to both her MEDICAL illness. How dare you all make light, no make fun of mental illness. Might your writer’s not have better skills? Or perhaps there’s an Autistic child they might want to ridicule in the next season. Or maybe you could build in a joke about Carly losing her hair and looking like a Cancer patient. Wouldn’t THAT be funny? No.
I promise you this – my children will NEVER watch iCarly and perhaps we will boycott Nick completely. But what do you care?
Maybe when my daughter returns to school some kid will remember this episode of iCarly and find it funny to ridicule my daughter for being “nuts” or “crazy.” And maybe it will be just that one final injury my daughter might not be able to withstand… and maybe something terrible will happen. But most likely Viacom and Nick and its writers and advertisers won’t care. What’s one less viewer???
I’m having a bit of a conundrum with regard to my work. You see I have received feedback form a couple of people I respect: one being in the photography world and one completely removed. You see I fear that people who see my work because well perhaps they like me by default say they like my work. Yet I aim for constructive feedback. And if that is – I like this or that – great. But if it is – that is too dark or too processed looking or too this or too that – that is BETTER! You see I cannot improve if I don’t hear what works or what doesn’t work. I’m one of those “needs feedback” type of people.
Here is what one of my “critics” said:
I don’t see your concept, philosophy, angst, love, acceptance, challenge, fears, of the world around you. these seem more like pictures you’ve taken that show an evolution of your technical skills more than anything.
I’ve always told you that yours is a rare personality. I´m fascinated by the idea of seeing ordinary or extraordinary from your view. You’re very much a people person and perhaps your greatest experiences in life revolve around humanity simple, humane, troubled, surviving/settling, living, funny- maybe this could transcend into your photography? Landscapes, monuments, fauna, flora could be devices to be used against your true insight into the world but i don’t think you’re setting out to be naturalist.
Are there any images you feel need to be captured but you just don’t know yet if that’s acceptable/understood in mainstream? Perhaps, you’re getting caught up in a commercial loop and feel the need to just capture good images to print and share??
I want to see what’s really seeping in the receses of your eyes and thoughts.
You see – I totally agree. I have been really just learning the photography ropes up til now, playing and experimenting with shutter, aperture, and the like. And I haven’t even touched on using my flash yet! But now I feel the need to bite into life with my lens. And there are things I want to shoot and do. I have ideas. And how do I bring those ideas to life?
I want to shoot a series on contrast between wealth and poverty where I live; another on tattooing; another on abandoned farm houses; and some “street” photography which is challenging here in rural America (where are the “streets” in a farming community???!!!). And damnit – I’ve put some of these ideas out here and now someone’s going to steal them from me – always happens because I open my big mouth all excited and such!
So now – some of you “seasoned” photogs – what’s your trick? How do you get these kinds of projects going? Shooting people in their homes for a project (versus a portrait shoot) well that’s not easy to get buy-in on is it? I guess I just do it. Cursed over-thinking mind of mine!!!
Oh here are a few recent photos I actually like…
Pictures and views from the tower (yes THE tower of our first date and subsequent first kiss!). There are some images that simply feel better in black in white. I rather like shooting in B&W. There is something in the starkness of the image that is so appealing. Then others are best in color. I guess that is part of the magic I find in photography. The shadowed figures are my kiddoos – good sports posing for me.
Well my lovely mother despises having her picture taken (so that’s probably why I have inherited that trait as well!). However today I was blessed to have been able to catch some really wonderful shots of her, her awesome doggie, and my son. I love my Mom. I love my son! And I just love the doggie. My Mom is just lovely and has always been beautiful as you will see…
What summer would be complete without a trip to the boardwalk and the sheer terror of the rides? I have more images on my flickr page. I don’t post too many here because… oh there’s a whole bunch of reasons. Once the tourist season dies down a bit the kids and I will make our seasonal venture to partake in the joys of the boardwalk. And I will of course spend a fortune trying to win prizes for them… The water gun thingy – that’s the best one for me. Enjoy… PEACE. CMD