Sunday, March 26, 2006

Violets...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

I was feeling rather off this afternoon and simply couldn't concentrate on a major reorganizing project I have going. So...I went into the garden to weed. In amongst the stronghold of sourgrass, I found this little beauty. My violet stand seems to spread every year, but gets a bit hidden by the winter weeds. Still, it's a delight to find these little guys.

My connection to the earth usually offers good therapy for a multitude of ills...whether they be physical or spiritual. Working in the dirt and helping things to grow almost always makes me feel better.


Here are a few scanner images I've been making. I'm a little burnt on doing digitals lately...and I haven't had time to go into the darkroom (this week...this week!!)...but for some reason the scanner called to me!

Trying to begin my major reorganization so I can move on with this practice. I always seem to get distracted (it seems I'm a little rusty at this thing called "cleaning"). Anyway...it'll get there. Of course, a dream that keeps coming into my head is to have a little studio somewhere, complete with a small darkroom (that's all I need)...tucked away in a secret place...but as I say, THAT is a dream. As it is, I've got it pretty good...and just need to get things in better order...


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Holgas and more Holgas...


No time to write today...off to Julian's Jazz Explosion concert...

Been working a lot of Holga images...trying to get all my film processed before I start on new rolls. I just love this camera and the nuance of the images! Expect to be seeing lots more of these!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Exhibit and Opening reception invite...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Holga images...





Sunday, March 19, 2006

Eventful weekend...

My photography is now installed at Far Leaves Tea (2979 College Ave., Berkeley, CA 510-665-9409). I must say, the framed prints do look really nice on the walls. The work involved was about what I had expected...maybe a bit more so. It's been a wonderful learning experience and I'm grateful to my friend Donna for allowing me the opportunity to show in her shop.

There will be an opening party on the 29th of March...from 7 to 9 in the evening. When I get an announcement made up, I'll post.

The other eventful happening this weekend was that my mom suffered a small heart attack. It's always strange when these things happen, because they are so out of the ordinary...and of course, no one wants to see a loved one suffer (or worse yet, to lose that loved one). My mom is 88 and has lived a very full life...and still very much FULL of life. She seems to be responding well to the angioplasty procedure and being taken very good care of.

And now...I'm very tired from everything the past couple days offered. The week ahead seems very appealing, in that getting back to a routine will be a nice change from all the events!!





Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wednesday...


All the prints are now framed...save for three. I thought I had more frames than I actually do. It turns out that's okay, because the three that are left I'm on the fence about anyway. It'll be interesting to see how things come together on the walls of the shop.

Finally a day without rain. The sun has been lovely and warm...and by this afternoon only a few scattered clouds floating about.
Caspar and I had a lovely walk together mid-day too...

The rest of this month is going to be busy. Many jazz concerts happening...Laurel's birthday...my showing and party. Next month will bring us a break during spring holiday for the kids and a trip to Gualala scheduled. There are always many photo ops up north on the coast as well!!

I hope to get more organized and methodical in my approach to photograhy once the pieces are up for this show. I don't say that because the way I work is bad, it's just that the volume I produce and the ever increasing number of cameras I work with makes work accumulate fast and I get kind of buried. Also, given that I'm putting work out in the real world, I feel it's time to start looking at photography as real work (well, work that is play at the same time).

Monday, March 13, 2006

Two birds...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Monday...



Yes, my entry titles are becoming about as mundane and blah as can be. I'm tired, so my energy and enthusiasm for the written word are waning a bit these days. That'll change...maybe once I get all these images up on the walls of Far Leaves...and the middle school concert season begins to wind down (it seems we have concerts or rehearsals every week this month).

I should have all the photos ready for hanging by Friday. Saturday morning, before the shop opens, is when we're scheduled to get in and put them up. I still need to confirm, but that's how it stands right now. (As an aside, I'm rather grateful I have both a massage therapy AND acupuncture treatment scheduled for this week...I know I already need them as my shoulders and upper back seem to get tighter and more sore with each passing day!).

The weather is terribly unsettled...storms still moving through with intermittent sunshine. It makes for some great photo subjects, though. I simply can't pass up a nice set of clouds!

Lastly...Caspar the wonder dog seems to be recovering!! His mobility is increasing and he seems genuinely enthused to get up and go for walks especially. He still has a bit of a limp, but it will take some time and effort to get him back to as close to normal as possible. I'm grateful that he seems happy again :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunday...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Saturday...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

We discovered this week that Caspar has hip dysplasia. He's almost 9 and up until around Wednesday has been VERY active. It seems he injured himself somehow, and that's when the x-rays showed the condition of his hips. He's on medication now, but it may not be the one that does the trick (plus, it seems there's something acute going on as well). We're working with him on this...to get him in the best condition possible from now on. He's spending a lot of time in the sun on this landing right now (when the sun is out...)...which I'm sure feels very good. My sensei suggestion I do some kiatsu on his hip (an energy type of massage) and I think I'll do that later on today when I have the time to just sit with him.

It's an interesting experience this. It's the same when anyone I love goes through difficulties. I want them to be "better"...at the same time, I have to learn to allow for what is and work with it. Life isn't perfect...bodies aren't perfect...and I'm grateful for the opportunity to become a more compassionate and open hearted individual (at the same time, I certainly don't wish for anyone's discomfort!!). It's like learning to let the water take me where it will and not fight it nor judge it...*sigh*

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

The end of the week and I do believe I've hit a blogging wall. I have absolutely NOTHING interesting to report...*sigh*

It's been a relatively busy week with darkroom and film work...and taking care of Caspar with his present predicament. The weekend should be somewhat quiet. I need to finish up the rest of my framing for Far Leaves...clean up around here (yikes!!)...and Sunday is Matt's birthday, so we're sure to do something to celebrate.

I wish you all (well, whoever actually READS this!) a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

nighttime...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.


As I grow into myself, as I finally learn what it means to be an adult, I see that it's rare for this to happen without difficulties. Facing challenges, dealing with pain and suffering, especially with loved ones, is that greatest opportunity to learn compassion. And once that compassion arises, it's hard to ignore the deep, sweet joy that is continually flowing just below the surface.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Long day...

It started out with Caspar injuring his leg in the front yard, even before the sun came up. Matt had asked him if he wanted to come for a ride to the store (we'd run out of haf and half) and as soon as he walked out on the front lawn he yelped and started limping. This wasn't like the limps we'd seem him exhibit before, which he generallly shakes off pretty quickly...there was definitely something wrong.

To make a long story short (and after going back and forth to the vet's a couple times)...it turns out he has hip dysplasia in both hips. This isn't anything THAT unusual for a dog with his genetic background...and age. But...he's temporarily in pain (until the anti-inflammatory medicine kicks in) and it's hard to see him that way. He is, however, home...and resting on his own bed...surrounded by familiar faces and love.

In between the Caspar situation, I DID manage to get into the darkroom and make a dozen prints or so. I've been printing on 5 x 7 paper for a while, but recently bought a box of 8 x 10, Ilford warmtone glossy fb paper at half price, so I thought I'd use that size. What fun to print the Holga shots with these!! Now I can really pick up on the funky lens quality (which actually adds to the images) that seems unique to the Holga and other toy cameras.

Okay...I also made dinner...blah, blah, blah...I'm too worn out to write any more...and besides, it's rather boring anyway!

Time for bed...





Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Progress...

Tuesday morning was graced by a lovely rainbow. This was the first early hours rainbow I've seen in a while. Of course, these heavenly prisms are always welcome...but finding one shortly after rising puts a nice spin on the day.

Dense, puffy clouds and glittery showers and blue sky and sunshine...that's been today...

All the smaller prints for the Far Leaves showing are now framed. Some were a total headache fitting in the frames, but in the end they all look good. I even got to one of the larger prints, just to check out how the framing will go and it appears unproblematic. So...progress is being made...

Other than that...my energy is very low. I feel a slip into limbo, creatively speaking... This is always such a strange experience...like being cut off from...something. But when I think of it, everything in nature has its resting periods, so why not creative output?

I'm very fortunate to be the recipient of much encoruagement and support. Not just through direct words pertaining to my work...to my being...but in being gifted by humor and warmth and love. All these things feed the creative spirit within me, so perhaps my best course of action is to relax and receive. I have a number of books to read...and music to listen to, as well, which feed my soul and hence my creativity.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday...

After the gray, rainy skies that hung all day Sunday and into the night, Monday has dawned with scattered clouds and sunshine. I love the combination, because it means lots of droplets and glitter. The air isn't too cold, but very clean...

I promised myself I'd get a good chunk of framing done today. Since all my profound thoughts have seemed to evaporate like the rain on the ground...there won't be much here to read. Perhaps getting into the momentum of my tasks at hand will bring said thoughts back up and they'll present themselves here later.

A good Monday to all!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

dark night...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

More rain...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

What a day... Spent inside, except for the walk in the rain I just had to take, to get away from everything that was getting on my nerves...

Not much to report...I guess I'm not in a very articulate mood. I will say I had a bit of an epiphany on my walk...but will leave it at that.

I did manage to frame three of the thirty-three prints I need to get done. At least it's a start. Tomorrow is another day...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

waterway...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Dinner tonight...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Once in a while I actually get inspired where food is concerned. In reality, I love to cook...it seems that photography has taken priority, though. Soooo...while I make the effort to have nutritious meals...they sometimes are pretty simple and pared down.

I went to the produce market this afternoon (which was crowded...I don't usually go on a Saturday...I realized how truly crowd averse I've become!!) and bought a lot of fruit and veggies...a part of which was a lovely bunch of asparagus. My neighbor had given me some eggs from her husband's chickens (ummmm...they're not really to code for our city...but the chickens don't bother me...and I sometimes get wonderful fresh eggs). The combination of the asparagus and eggs was just too good...so I made a mushroom asparagus fritatta...and added to that some beet salad with toasted pecans...a green salad (which is ALWAYS easy) and a loaf of Acme Upstairs bread I bought (I'm not quite sure why they call it that...maybe they serve it in the cafe upstairs at Chez Panisse??).

Anyway...it was a very satisfying meal...enjoyed by all...with some fritatta left for tomorrow...

Yes...sometimes I get inspired.

Saturday...



After missing Saturday bokken and jo training for a few weeks, I finally was able to attend. It was quite a nice morning, sunshine and little wind, although a bit chilly. Even on the days when the weather is inclement, it's great to get out in the fresh air for practice.

The majority of aikido practice takes place indoors, on the mat. Being outdoors, however, helps me to see a little further...expand a bit a greater. It seems easier to take in the big picture when surrounded by trees and sky. Ultimately, the feeling of connection is that much more natural without walls.

After practice I wandered around the park a bit. There's a lovely creek that runs through this place...since we've been having more rain, it's very lively. The green of new leaves is all around...and some little spring flowers are starting to bloom. I brought my Holga, as well as the digital, to capture the fairytale essence of this wooded spot (for, the toy cameras seem to do this best, imo...).

I wish you all a lovely weekend...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pt. Isabel...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Seasonal transitions...

I look out my window and see the birch tree coming back to life. Still gangly branches, mostly bare, but little green leaves unfurling themselves at the tips. The sun and its energy is waking up this inhabitant of my front yard.

Yet another seasonal transition is taking place...continuing the cycle of which I am a part. The energy that courses from the sun through the sap of the tree, is the same one that keeps me breathing.

I've never been much of a fortune teller...it's become more and more important to live in the present moment anyway. Sure, there is a small desire in me to know what's going to happen in upcoming days and months, though I've never learned this ability. But what I AM learning is to sense energy. I see this in my aikido practice and sometimes in my photographic one as well.

This is nothing to describe or explain, however. It's a rather extraordinary mixture of seeing (visualization being a part of that) and sensing on an unseen, yet nuanced physical level. It's all so subtle as to be nearly imperceptible. The only way it can happen, as well, is in a relaxed state. As soon as the mind engages, the muscles tense and nearly everything is lost. It's mighty fascinating to observe it all.



Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thankful for the small things...

Well, today wasn't a totally unproductive one. I finally got to processing some film...one roll from the Holga, fairly recent, and surprise roll I'd had standing since August from our trip to Hawaii!! From the looks of things, there will be a few keepers come printing time. Actually, I'm anxious to get to the Holga shots, a few of which (negative scans) I'll be placing in this post.

I need to cut this rather short today...because I've run out of time. My grocery shopping got delayed until way late in the afternoon...I'm still monitoring sick kids (although not sick enough to stay home from school)...I've got to get SOMETHING together for dinner before I leave for aikido practice.

All that being said, I wanted to say something about home. I feel very fortunate to be able to "work" from my home. Perhaps it's not quite fair to call what I do work, because I enjoy it so much and, um, haven't actually generated any income from it. While there is a part of me that feels a certain amount of embarrassment over my lack of higher education (and thus a bona fide career), the fact of the matter is I've learned a lot in my own time and my own way. The nine to five routine never did sit very well with me anyway...and I guess I'm just better at being self directed.

So...that's it...I'm fortunate and I'm grateful for that good fortune... (sorry...I'll try to be more articulate and engaging another time when I'm not pressed...for time!).





Surprise, surprise...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Well, now, THIS was a surprise. I had several rolls of 120 film waiting to be developed. These are shot with the Holga or the Mamiya w/lenses or pinhole cover. For some reason, I didn't realize that a roll left from August got mixed up with the current bunch.

I thought sure this roll was from the Mamiya with the pinhole cover, because it was marked Mamiya and I haven't used lenses with it recently. I looked at the negs with my naked eye and couldn't figure out for the life of me WHERE I'd shot these supposed pinholes (and boy were they sharp for a novice pinholer like me!!). Well, once I scanned a set, I could tell right away it was Hawaii!! Kind of a cool surprise... Now I want to print them :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

sleeping trees...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

window...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

wisteria...


, originally uploaded by aikitherese.

Anxious quiver...

I went to Far Leaves Tea, on College Ave. in Berkeley, to iron out the details for exhibiting my photography there. The tentative date for installation will be March 18th, with an opening party scheduled for March 29th.

There is a lovely group of cyanotype images on display right now. After viewing some of these, I was reminded that I've only just scratched the surface with regards to photography as an artistic medium. So many cameras...so many techniques...papers...film....chemicals...process!!! Perhaps if I view it as I do aikido, with the attitude that I will ALWAYS have something to learn, I can transcend these feelings of inadequacy.

Aikido has become my first and foremost spiritual practice. It completes the mind-body connection so well for me...which is something very integral to my spiritual life. Likewise, photography has always given me an opportunity to be totally in the moment, aware with all my senses. When I look at it this way...what better place to address issues such as self-judgment and feelings of unworthiness, than in my photography practice! To simply take each step, moment by moment, tending to the process with awareness, compassion and love, would be my daily prayer. Huh...I think I should take my own advice!!

Let me just take a moment to express my gratitude to all those who give me such wonderful support, encouragement and inspiration... Thank you...