Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tierney Gearon-Photographer

Tierney Gearon-The Mother Project was off my radar until Netflix suggested this to me.  I was like an assistant again watching her shoot. I loved how revealing the documentary was. (I am such a voyeur.)   Reviews were mediocre for the film.  You'd have to be a photographer to really appreciate this film or a psychology student or someone who had experienced or is experiencing a deconstruction of your childhood.

My feelings towards her fluctuate between anger and understanding.   Part of me sees Tierney as a self absorbed artist driven to the point of addiction and someone who was exploited by the Art World as she exploited her mother.   Then again, I see what a gift Tierney and her mother and children have given us by this opening of their lives.  I see them as brave and innocent, strong and giving.   I am moved by it all.  So I guess it is successful as an art film, and a project and, she, as an artist.  I am emotionally stirred by the whole experience.  

The image that stands out to me the most is the one of her mother standing on the frozen lake with the most comfortable, relaxed expression.  She is beautiful and Tierney was honoring and loving for shooting it.  The film has this particular shoot or day recorded.  I guess by seeing what her mother gave her makes the image that much more powerful for me.  I was very anxious for them walking out on a thawing lake.  I saw everyone was profiting from this venture except the mother.  She was making it all happen.  And Tierney was obviously thankful. 

Her mother may have been lacking in nurturing as Tierney was growing up but she certainly is giving to her now.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dropping the Rock

Being the last Monday of 2008 and in the spirit of resolutions for the New Year I want to add to the pool of commitments blogged about, preached about, talked about.  I will be carrying no guilt, resentment, remorse or any negativity into 2009.  Rev. Buchanan's passionate sermon yesterday was themed "Shakin' the Dust Off Your Shoes."  So I am heading into the New Year letting go, dropping the rock, loosing the chains.  I plan on living my life more thankfully.  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Unseasonably Warm Holidays

I am at the age where Christmas holds no excitement for me but I am glad to have the holidays surrounding it. (only now am I really paying attention to all the Christmas lights and Christmas trees.)  All is quite and I am purposefully treating myself to little things I don't do throughout the year like reading fiction in the middle of the day, baking cookies or riding my bike to no particular place. And I am loving the weather.  It was so windy last night; we took a bike ride in the moon light.  

Today after attending a very emotional and passionate sermon at the Fifteenth Ave North Baptist Church by the Rev. Buchanan, I drove around North Nashville and Germantown area and explored the way people had decorated for Christmas as well as how the neighborhood is living. Couches and chairs at storefronts, basketball goals rolled out to the street, chairs place out in the driveways, ribbon woven thru the picket fences, back alleyways opening out onto the streets - things I don't see in my neighborhood.  I love this area.  So much of North Nashville, up and down Buchanan, DB Todd, Herman St, Jefferson St is unchanged since the 70's or even earlier.  So to me it is wonderfully unique and exciting.  I saw St. Vincent de Paul for the first time. Being Catholic I heard of St. Vincent de Paul all my life.  We collected money for St. Vincent at my parish.  It was sweet small church with a sweet, small school beside it. Nuns ran the school from 1934 to 1973.  It is the only Catholic school dedicated to educating the African American children in Nashville or the state.  I will have to revisit to get my fact straight.  

In the back parking lot, behind the school and church were basketball goals and the baskets had chains instead of nylon rope.  I hadn't seen this in years.  It is those simple things I see in North Nashville that are nostalgic to me.  Rough or not the neighborhood has a community, small town feel that I miss or long for in my life.  Living in the whitewash, generic, conservative area of town can be uninspiring.  It just seemed as if I had driven into a new city.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bah Humbug

I just don't have it in me anymore to get excited over Christmas.  My attitude towards purchasing gifts is dead in the water before I ever head out the door.  Nothing in the stores seems to have staying power for even a year that I could afford as a gift. And I see this whole Christmas thing a commercial brainwash.   I am always at a loss to buy a meaningful gift for my love ones anyway.  Today my attitude was so poor that once the potential gift was in my hands and I was turning towards the cash register or putting the thing into my buggie even I had seen the thing broken, passe or a big ole waste of space in the lives of my family or friends.  I was not one to be around today.   I hate all this spending.  With the economy the way it is I was amazed to see anyone out anyway. Where the hell are they getting their money and why spending  on just stuff.  I've been feeling very UnAmerican by not circulating my cash; I'm not doing my American part.  I don't go outside into the world lately just b/c money always seems to fly out of my hands.  Hell,  breathing spends money.  Momma use to say that "money is not the most important thing in the world, but it's right up there with oxygen."  How true it seems to me today.

Well-Happy Spending.  Bah Humbug.- 

Speaking of that-  Mom and I have been reading "A Christmas Carol" and Dicken's writing is absolutely wonderful.  Reading it out loud is like a roller coaster for the tongue.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sam Wagstaff

Yesterday while lying about on the couch mending a sick body I watched the biography/documentary Black White + Gray by James Crump about Sam Wagstaff and his lover and friend, Robert Mapplethorpe.  I knew all about Mapplethorpe but nothing about Sam Wagstaff.  He was a huge influence on photography and its rise to popularity as a true art form during the 70's and 80's.  If anyone is interested in learning a little bit about how this man contributed to the art scene and history of these two men check out the film.  It is not as much information as I'd like so I will be doing more research on Sam Wagstaff if possible but there are interviews with some interesting people about their relationship with Mapplethorpe and Wagstaff, such as Patti Smith, Dominick Dunne.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Xmas Tree Lot

I wish so much to be out shooting in this magical weather we are having here this evening.  The street lamps are casting long shadows of the trees onto my front lawn.  The fog has created a soft backdrop for them.  The night has an eerie glow.  

Last week I had the privilege of spending time with Susana Raab.  She was on her way home from NOLA and stopped for a rest.  Thank you Susana for your help with the shoot at the Boy Scout Tree Lot and the much needed belly laughs.  I love your cynical humor.  I hope to meet up with you again and my home is open to you anytime.

If you are not familiar with her work please visit her site.  Her photography is just as humorous and sharp as she.  It was great to talk business and then just hang together.  It reminds me how important it is to stay connected with other photographers, especially other women photogs.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where do I begin.  It is early morning and thoughts are running through my head so fast I can't pin one down to apply to my writing.  Let's see if I can settle down long enough.

The thought that seems to resurface most is the experiences I had yesterday at the 
"Team Meeting" for my mother at her nursing home.  (This part of my life seems to be taking the dominant place.)  Reasons behind these "Team Meetings" is a place we can voice our concerns about the care our mother gets (and learn about her health). The people who have the most contact with her are not there.  So all of this really makes no sense to me.  We express our needs, the head nurse, the program director, the assistant director make notes and then we are encouraged to bring  attention to the problems as they arise to whomever is in charge on the floor at the time.   The problem here is that we would be spending our time focusing on problems and creating resentments towards us with the very people who care for our mother.  The ADirector didn't seem to understand our/my issue with this.  Why are we to do their job monitoring their help.  I just would rather not have to work on bringing up issue each time  I go see my mother.  I prefer to spend time with her and hell I'll do the work.  Brushing her teeth, flossing her teeth, washing her faces, cleaning up her nails, doing her hair, changing her if needed, the list goes on.  I once cleaned out her ears and the wax build up was huge.  There is no way the Techs are going to put any time in caring to this degree.  When I go the tuck her in at night, her barrettes are still in her hair, earrings in her ears and of course her teeth are dirty. When we are not there who does those little things, but necessary things.  Why not have a liaison for the residence, a monitor for the Techs.  So I guess all the Techs are responsible for letting things slip.  How can they do all of it.  We are learning as we go to the degree to which we need to care for her. What they do at the nursing home is keep an eye on her, sort of.   Why if I spent the time with these issues instead of doing them myself which is far easier to do then go hunting down and bring attention each time to the situation I'd never see my mother.  Somehow I must work this out in a good way for myself in my heart and head so I am happy and comfortable.  I don't want to create an atmosphere of discomfort for all the nurses and Techs anyway.  This is my home to visit my mother.  I don't want to have to be greeted by sour faces.

Of course Momma is oblivious or rather has no issue to these problems.  She just is so congenial and grateful. And I don't want to bring her attention to problems-so I just do what needs to be done with my mom rather than spend time with issues and not worry when I am not there to do the little things.
We are blessed.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween is my favorite time of the year.  I needed to work on something tonight that gave me a happy thought and fond memories of my childhood innocence. 
 Too much death and dying has been on my mind.