Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

We just got back for the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  And Friday Mom and I watched Autumn Hearts about Drancy.  Both movies deal with Concentration Camps.  

Earlier this year I was in Dachau.  The museum there is probably one of the best I have ever seen.  There was so much information that 1 day would not do it justice.  It was a dark, overcast day the day I were there, but at the very end of my visit the sun broke through.  I was one of the last to leave the camp that day.  It was eerie and quite, cold and dark.  The horrors that took place there those many years ago were too much to take.  I finally had to cut away from all the information and just wonder the grounds.  The evil was hard to get away from but thankfully the museum has put  beautiful memorials and a chapel and convent on the grounds.  It left a feeling of hope with me.  After seeing this movie though I feel as if I didn't give Dachau the attention necessary.  What a horrid place to live near.  I wonder how long it took the citizens of Dachau to make peace with living in such a strong presence as a death camp?

The following link is actual footage taken at Dachau at the time of liberation.  It was finally release and aired on Frontline in 1985, 40 years later.  Link here

Monday, November 24, 2008

Neighborhood Redux or Changing of the Guard

This particular home has been without a warm body living in it for over 2 years now.  It sits lonely and cold on a slight hill just past my mother's home.  I pass it nearly everyday.  The deer have it on their grazing route.  At dusk I occasionally spot a doe or two darting across the road to the woods beside and beyond the house.  

I have always loved this home and its location.  The woods seem to snuggle up behind it and the knoll it sits on gives it a pedestal of protection from the road below. She painted it pink and there were a bank of aluminum louvre style windows, very 50ish, prominently positioned at the front as if she was proud of them.  The concrete stairs leading up to her front door were poured so well that even as a young girl I was impressed.  

Radnor Lake

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Interesting Connections

I love the way these two images looked together.  It is part of my find on the work I'm doing for the exhibit on Spirituality in Nashville.

Yesterday I was exploring and shooting at the Congregation Micah.  I had  the whole temple and grounds to myself.  It was so peaceful.  The openness & receptiveness of the place was in itself spiritual.  I so appreciate the respect, the trust and the welcoming that was extended.  I do not want to work too hard in this project.  I want to glide through the process.  I feel I'd be defeating the purpose if I turn this into to a job.  So I don't even carry lights.  I don't even want to use a tripod.  Impressionistic then it will be. "Focus is over rated." (Henri Cartier Bresson). It is about experience for me, this process.  I am letting go of the results.  

As the sun was setting and I had pretty much finished shooting at the Temple I was standing quietly at the window looking out over the fields and a buck lopes by towards the woods.  His rack looked like a Menorah. ( I've never noticed the similarities before.  But I'm not Jewish and so my mind isn't conditioned that way.)  It was magical; a special moment.  It was just me and him.

I love the feeling I have in spaces.  Just below my diaphragm and deep in  my gut I get a flutter of excitement when I am in a world alone yet comfortable.  Nothing else compares to this feeling.   It is the place of a place that is magical to me.  As a child I'd sneak into people's homes when they were gone.  I was as young as 4 too.  Amazing that I had the desire to do it so early.   I still try to get into empty schools, abandon buildings, vacated homes.  I love going to open houses and estate sales too.  Not so much to see the house but to see the evidence of its history. The chipped paint, the dirty door knobs, the hooks in the walls all tell a story.  

I've been shooting the homes around my neighborhood that are empty.   I live in an area where the older owners are dying and leaving them in different stages of disrepair.  The homes are either torn down or moved or repaired.  Much of the time they're left abandoned for extended times.  It is part of saying goodbye to this part of my life b/c it is the neighborhood I grew up in as well. It all seems to be falling together in someway.   My mother's home, my childhood home being sold, my aging mother, the shift of the neighborhood, the search of peace and spirituality in my hometown all seems to be connected.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Purpose #8

I haven't seen a photographic magazine that I 've so thoroughly enjoyed as this one.  I would love to share it with anyone interested.  And for me to find the very issue that is so meaningful for me is magic.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tibet-The Cry of the Snow Lion

Talk about putting things in perspective.  We watched this documentary last night and it certainly was humbling for me.  

This film is about the history of Tibet and  the Chinese occupation.  The power for me was the incredible tenacity of the Tibetan people and the love and teachings of Buddhism and the importance of forgiveness. 
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
-Dalai Lama

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cleaning Out My Mother's Home

I lost it today.  I broke my own rules today.  I spent too much time alone at my mother's home, my childhood home and my thoughts get crazy and my heart gets heavy.  

I threw away magazines my mother had so painstakingly saved and organized. Folded and boxed for Goodwill contributions all the clothes she loved and held on to as far back as the 70s.  It broke my heart to do it.  On a good day I could have managed, but today my mind wasn't disciplined to keep it focused on positive. I think sometimes and it pisses me off that the world doesn't see the pain quite like I do.  I feel alone in this feeling. I am alone in this/my feeling. Sometime I even feel my siblings can't appreciate just how I feel about seeing my mother's things reduced to trash.  But I do know other people have suffered this same hurt.  And I do know my sisters and brother hurt.  I am not the first to have experienced the aging and the inevitable death of a parent. 

One of my sisters goes there often and part of me understands why she subjects herself to the pain of it.  It is crazy but in a sick sense it is honoring mom's pain of loosing this part of her life, and ours too, really.  I get angry sometimes when I see someone escape the pain.  It seems to me they are not thankful enough for what she was and is today.  On a good day I am more loving, but today I am sad and I get aggressively angry.  Tomorrow I will probably feel guilty and emotionally hung over.  Today I am in the shit.

I love you Momma.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There are So Many Bloggers/Social Media

I have discovered another world of bloggers.  Another night caught up in it.  I am amazed the discoveries.  There is an intense amount of creative people in the world.  This is what I've found tonight via a friend's blog.  She owns flora vintage and from there I discovered style rookie and Sally Jane Vintage and it goes on from there... and on and on and on.  I guess this is Social Media.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day and Daddy

      "JOSEPH REYNOLDS, Technical Sergeant, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22d Infantry, for heroic service in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States in the vicinity of Buchet, Germany, 15 September 1944.  In the absence of the platoon leader, Sergeant REYNOLDS, platoon sergeant, was assigned the mission of clearing a path through enemy mine fields, in order that tanks might advance in support of his battalion, which was engaged in an attack upon the enemy.  With the exercise of courage and initiative, he led his men forward, locating and removing all mines within the path of advancing tanks, despite additional hazards and difficulties imposed by intense enemy artillery and small arms fire.  The task was accomplished with very slight casualties, and tanks and troops proceeded, unimpeded by mines, to the successful completion of their mission.  Sergeant REYNOLDS' superb performance at a critical time reflects great credit upon himself and the military service."

                       By command of Major General BARTON:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Estate Sale

Saturday was the long awaited estate sale of my mother's things.   I purposely kept my mind from letting the significance take over and so I concentrated on the positive aspects of the event.  My cousin Donna was a huge help in keeping the experience a pleasure.  We were "recycling."

We had several visitors from family and oldest friends stopping by to see the passing of a part of their life. I have failed to realize that my immediate family isn't the only ones suffering this goodbye.  Seeing my mother's brother and his children and my mother's late sisters' children made me see how much they all love my mother and needed to give emotional support to us and get something at the sale to remind them of her.  It was a support I did not remember I needed.

I thought I'd have time to photograph during the day but photography became secondary in this occasion.  It was too much for me to be a sister, daughter, cousin, niece and sales person to be involving myself in anything but the experience of people going through my mother's things.  I just had to sit and watch.