Hm. Not sure how to approach this photo. The flag is in the window of the City/County building in downtown Indianapolis. I had anticipated filing my petition for divorce on this particular day in 2008, but it was the Friday after Thanksgiving and the building was closed. So I took photos instead. In a way, the flag is symbolic of the freedom I was soon to experience. But the divorce was benign and we’re still friends so, really, the freedom isn’t what was important for me.
Right now, today, though, as I look at the photo I’m disturbed. The flag should inspire me to patriotism, but with all the turmoil that is going on and the polarities being created, I’m not so patriotic anymore and that makes me sad.
I lived in a house in Irvington (an historic district in Indianapolis, Indiana) that was falling apart (the house, not Irvington). I called it the House of Escher, mainly because it was falling in on itself so much so that it didn’t matter in which room you stood, they all fell to the center. Because of that, and also, because of the horrendous hole from the upstairs bathroom into the downstairs living area, I paid $100 a month in rent. The landlord said as soon as he fixed the hole, I would then pay market price. After three years, I finally dumped the dump because there was never any fixing up at all. It is an adorable house but in a couple more years I expect it will be condemned.
That being said, I initially took this photo with the intention of showing friends where the bathtub would tumble….right over there by the table. But, for the purpose of this blog, it is a great shot of my living space. I finally moved out, not because of the hole in the floor, but because upstairs I saw the sky from my hallway. You aren’t supposed to see the sky from your hallway.
FYI, my health appears to be good.
Do you know how it is to get your very first digital SLR camera and you want to explore all of its possibilities and one of those possibilities is abstract, night life photography? Well, that’s what I did.
You wouldn’t expect to find a Krishna temple in the midst of Mormon country, now, would you? But here it is and it is beautiful and peaceful. I have long since left my Mormon heritage and journeyed a bit through some of the Eastern religions/philosophies, and although I do not ascribe to any religion and have fashioned my own spiritual philosophies (play well with others, do not run with scissors), I love finding beautiful places of worship.
I first discovered Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple (link takes you to their photo gallery where you will find stunning photographs of this temple) when I visited my parents in 2004 for their 50th Wedding Anniversary. I entered the temple and was greeted by a very quiet, but helpful person who gave me a short tour. Upstairs they have a meeting room where I sat and meditated for a while. It is a beautiful place. The next time I visited my parents in 2009, I had to go again and that’s when I took this photo.
When I think of my upbringing in Mormonism, I think of being taught that Mormonism is the ONLY true religion and everyone else is deceived. I was discouraged to even look at any other religion, so to find the Krishna Temple in rural, Mormon-dominated territory with MY DAD speaking highly of it tells me that the religion I left has changed to some degree. And that makes me happy.
Imagine six wild children running in and around this tiny brick house! I loved this house. I loved the porch where I sat and watched thunderstorms roll through and saw the rain pour down and yet I kept dry. I loved the living room chandelier and the fireplace and the high ceilings and the worn, wood floors; the living room where I watched my mother lay out fabric and pin crisp patterns to it and cut out a soon-to-be new dress. I loved the pantry just off the kitchen with plenty of cupboard space and its roll-out bins for flour—and for a child hiding in a game of hide-and-seek. I loved the bedroom where I sneaked mandarin oranges from the pantry and hid them on the windowsill behind the curtains only to have my mother, outside in the garden, discover me. I loved the tiny bedroom closet where I laid down pillows and blankets and turned out the light so that it was pitch black and slept curled up and happy.
Outside I loved the Catalpa tree on the right where we installed a swing for summer fun. I loved the lilac bushes in the back, with a hollowed out center where I hid when I wanted to get away from all the inside rambunctiousness. I loved the back yard with the lawn and garden and rocky, weedy expanse that opened up to every other neighbor’s back yard. We called it the short cut; the short cut to the park, to Bright Spot—the neighborhood hamburger stand—to Firestone Tires where we played on the old tire hill. I loved the old barn/garage that my dad dusted with saw wood to keep down the dirt we kids tracked into the house because we loved playing in it.
I loved the outside back bedroom that fulfilled multiple functions throughout our time there; my uncle’s bedroom as he went to college, my mother’s chinchilla room, storage, my first kiss (I was seven). I loved scampering up the tree in the back beside the house and climbing onto the roof and gently tiptoeing up to the very top (so my mother wouldn’t hear me on the roof) and feeling like I owned my neighborhood, the community, the world.
Childhood is a magical time where the world is new and everything is impressionable. I loved my childhood home. I hope my children loved theirs.
My parents’ wedding anniversary falls on Thanksgiving week and in 2004 we surprised them for their 50th wedding anniversary by all showing up—without them knowing! They live in Utah and we came from Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, and, of course, Utah. They were stunned and so incredibly happy.
May you have an incredibly happy day today, too.
The absolute straightness, the hard edges, the solid shapes of this world break up into quiet waves when reflected in still water. I think of water as symbolic of our subconscious. Does the world break up into quiet waves when reflecting in the subconscious? And what happens when the water is disturbed? The reflections dissipate into unrecognizable patterns, retaining little of their worldly structure. I am uncomfortable during a disturbance, and yet that is when exciting things happen, when new paradigms are found, when an old worldview is surprised that a new worldview has formed.
There’s something odd about this. What? Why does my brain get confused? It’s a bridge, right? A bridge, mirrored in the near calm waters it crosses. The image is upside down, I know, but shouldn’t my brain be able to process this the same as if it were right-side up?
I am intrigued by the confusion this simple mirrored effect creates. Don’t you just want to turn it right-side up? I do.
PVC pipe crosses covered the lawn. Each day one cross was removed, leading to the day when there would be no crosses at all. I do not know why. It doesn’t matter.
I captured many good, in-focus images of the crosses that day but this out-of-focus image captured me.
I have known for a long time that November is for love because I knew that this November I would be called on to experience love in the most profound way.
Unfortunately, I have deleted numerous writes and rewrites of why “November is for Love” until I just can’t write about it anymore. Words trivialize it.
So, please just know that November is for Love. For me, it’s the most unconditional love I know.
(I really wish the English language had more words to designate different kinds of love. One word is not enough.)
Through the visual tumble of branches, lingering leaves hold their own, last relics of a wild summer.
Autumn dazzles us with color, one last explosion before the bare trees and white coverlet sets in. Oh, how I love autumn. Oh, how I love the firey colors, the settled coolness, the breathy crispness. I savor autumn and relish its one last gift before winter.
Today is my son’s birthday and although we celebrated his birthday a couple days later the year I took this photo, I wanted to say “Happy Birthday” today.
The berries are red; ripe for the picking. The nest is empty. Do fledglings return to the nest after they learn to fly? Do they eat the berries from the trees in which they were hatched? I look at the berries; I look at the nest. I wonder how they exist together but do not contribute to each other. And yet, each one contributes to the life of something. How amazing that food and housing in this context allow two different species to live, one during the spring/summer, the other during the fall/winter.
Night descends along with the rain, but under a lamplight a golden oak leaf gleams, floating downside in a muddy puddle.
I smile. My intent was to capture the tail lights of the cars in front of me, playing with the concept of night lights. Instead, I uncovered a parking conundrum.
I wandered through a rambling art gallery/loft, getting lost in the twist and turns of the corridors and bumping into surprise juxtapositions of floor textures. I heard the clack of footsteps echoing through the cavernous halls, unconnected to the feet which made them. I do so love texture of all kinds, whether it be texture of touch, or texture of sight, or texture of sound. It is texture that adds depth to life.
While in grad school, I took a course on video production. We wrote a short script, engaged actors and crew, shot the video, then edited it in Final Cut Pro. My son came to help on the crew and we put him to work on the boom. The video was less than five minutes long but we took all day to shoot in one location, then another couple of hours on a different day to shoot in another location. Then there’s post…. I prefer post production. I think it’s because I have more control over the medium and I find great creative satisfaction in editing.
I attended a church where the members of the congregation supplied the altar flowers. I loved seeing the variety of flower arrangements that adorned the altar every week. I started photographing the arrangements and enjoyed the artistry that went into each arrangement. Be prepared for more flower arrangements as the 365 Days Journey Through The Past progresses.
Amazed at the grime, I pulled out my camera and snapped this. Why? Why would a truck with so much grime fascinate me so? I think it’s the evenness of the grime, how it hasn’t been touched. No fingerprints. No accidental brush-ups against it. One tail light works. One tail light doesn’t. There’s a license plate, but from where? It’s as if no one has bothered to look at the back, to take care of the back, to even acknowledge there is a backside to the truck. The truck is neglected and yet it keeps moving, going to its various destinations, performing the service for which it was created and no one really cares. Not, of course, until it breaks down.
Thus far each photo has prompted me to reflect on something within the photo, whether it be the story behind the photo or a story within the photo. But this one stumps me. It doesn’t ask me to reflect on anything and yet, I like it. Is it the colors? The warm tones of the building against the cool tones of the sky? The depth of each color? Or is it because the tower rises out of the shadows into the warmth of the late afternoon sun? Once when I looked at it, I caught the skirts of a woman as she pulled away from the balcony. Who was that woman and why has she not returned? Perhaps there’s a touch of nostalgia of a building not quite old enough to be located in the past but still reminiscent of the past to which it points.
Maybe this photo stumps me because there is no single story that speaks to me, but a number of stories that all clamor for equal attention. I cannot choose one story over the other; I am unsettled.
So I continue to contemplate this image and perhaps in time one story will emerge over the others.
Light! Sun light. Lamp light. Light reflected off the grasses. And light writing (photography). Where would we be without light?