I’ve worn glasses since I was seven and feel as if most of my life has been a battle to keep the world in focus. As a result, although I appreciate other photographer’s out-of-focus images, I just can’t accept a lack of clarity in mine.
I don’t have as much of a problem with a background that isn’t clear, it’s a fuzzy foreground that presents an optical conundrum for me.
In the end, all three of my grandchildren are at my home this week, so THEY are my focus! And I must say, although they are capable of great concentration when they’re doing something they enjoy, it’s often hard to get them to sit still long enough to focus a camera on them. That, however, doesn’t stop me from trying. And really, doesn’t motion in a picture of kids simply prove they’re doing what kids do best?
Hoping your week is proving to be as fun as mine is. What I’ve discovered is that in the twenty-five years since I’ve had a three-year-old, I’d forgotten how deeply satisfying after nap snuggles are, especially when they occur during a thunderstorm.
No picture needed, either in, or out, of focus. The memory is revived.
The older I get the more I like order in my life.
The clothes in my closet are grouped according to what they are. I eat the exact same breakfast every morning. When I make my bed the pillows are always arranged the same way. I say the same series of prayers daily. I write this blog every week.
And I post an Instagram every single day.
What started out as an exercise that forced me to be more aware of the world around me and the art that’s always present in it, has become so much more than that. Six years after I posted my first Instagram on June 11, 2011 the process is ingrained and second nature to who I am. It has become part of the order of my life.
Today I share with you some of my favorite images from among the 2300+ photos I’ve posted, grouped, of course, in a sort of order.
First up, the green theme:
I grew up surrounded by cousins. Jane was one of my best friends throughout grade school and high school and although our adult lives have separated us we’ll always have a bond that’s different than most because of that family dimension and the countless hours we spent together as our personalities took shape.
I love seeing my grandchildren having the same experience.
Our lives are made up of millions of evanescent seconds, most of them going by unnoticed in the flurry of our days.
Every now and then one of those seconds, one of those moments in time, stays with us, perhaps due to the weight of it’s significance but perhaps simply because of the joy it contained.
This is one of those seconds, captured in a photo.
An autumn night, a fire pit on the driveway, good wine, good friends, carved pumpkins and bowls of candy, trick-or-treaters roaming the streets, eager to see what their efforts will produce.
A moment of time captured in an image that conveys a perfect night, made even more special due to a sense of time passing and the knowledge that moving vans within a year will rob us of being neighbors.
This is why I pursue a photo every day:
To capture one second from among the many.
To commit it to memory in a way that defies it’s evanescence.
To elevate one seemingly ordinary moment.
Growing up, I heard very little about my father’s participation in World War II but once I became a teenager and started learning about his life through the reading of the letters he and my mom exchanged through their courtship and through his time in the Army Air Corps, his pride in being a Veteran became apparent.
Click here to read an earlier post about those letters.
Little by little, through the years, I discovered tangible evidence of how important those years were to him and how he was shaped by them, resulting in a very evident patriotism which he passed down to his children.
When he died my brother mentioned in his eulogy that Dad was a collector of paper, discovered after we found box after box of letters, newspaper articles, and memorabilia in the form of not just those letters but programs, tickets, cards, photographs and yes, just about every cancelled check he ever wrote.
My thought process has gone down several rabbit holes as I’ve ruminated about refections this past week so bear with me. It’s a bit of a winding road!
The word reflection immediately took me back to this photograph….the one and only time I’ve used Photoshop to add a reflection to a picture, to alter the reality of what was in front of me.
Which took my memories back to the phone call that put us in motion towards this particular airplane at Tinker Air Force Base.
I was painting a wall at the time. It was the very last wall in the very last room of a home that we had bought in Virginia in 2004. After more than 25 years of marriage in which we had never been homeowners Jim had been assigned to the Pentagon for the fourth time and we were tired of paying other people’s mortgages so we had jumped into the market. Real estate was crazy back then. Jim was already there and working while I stayed behind in South Dakota until the school year ended. Homes were snatched up in a matter of days. I only saw the one we ended up with in photographs. When I finally arrived in Virginia I found it to be a house in a gorgeous neighborhood but it certainly needed some TLC…mainly in the form of stripping wallpaper and painting every single inch of the interior.
So I set to work.
My life is in a rather safe place right now.
I’m thankful, feeling blessed, and always aware that things can change in a second.
As a result I don’t go looking for danger but I suppose there are always warning signs around us, keeping us aware and safe. I spied this one in Metarie, Louisiana this past weekend. It’s especially significant in an area that was once flooded by Katrina, a storm that dramatically changed the lives of so many.
The photo isn’t very artistic so I had fun this morning playing with a favorite app…Super Photo. Sometimes ya’ just gotta have fun and work with what you have.
Even when danger could be waiting nearby.