Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Meager accomplishments...

The sum total of my artistic work today...four prints. I can't believe how long it took me to get the scans and colors right on these. It reminded me of a somewhat frustrating day in the darkroom, without the chemicals!

I'm in a limbo these days...and there's good reason...but limbo it remains. Part of it is just who I am, and how I get caught up...and the intensity with which my attention gets focused. The hardest part is to withhold judgment of myself...that which says I'm lazy and disorganized and whatever... *sigh*

It IS a lovely day...despite the weird start to the week (so sad...). Life does go on...Caspar needs a walk, dinner needs to get fixed, Julian is testing tonight at aikido...and somewhere in there I need to remember all the beauty too.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Photo mania...

Well, not really, I guess. Besides, that sounds like some kind of psychological disorder of craziness upon exposure to the sun!! But...I've had periods of manic shooting lately...with a certain intensity that it's made me wonder a bit about my mental state.

Actually, I have a theory... With everything else that's been going on in the household and the degree to which my attention has been focused and on what...I think some ideas have hit me hard and fast and I've acted on them, as a way of letting pent up energy out. In any case, even as strange as it seems, I have no complaints about getting new ideas and putting them into action. But it won't last...these things ebb and flow I realize.

This is possibly the singular succussful image from a roll of 35mm color film I put in the Holga. Many of the shots were way overexposed or maybe they just didn't scan well. In any case, the colors were way trippy and while they may be appealing to some folks, they aren't really to me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jazzschool concert...

" Baise-Straight Ahead"...Julian on tenor

Mingus's "Moanin'"...Aaron Lington (coordinator for Jazz studies at San Jose State University) on bari

Mingus's "Moanin'"...Aaron Lington on bari, Julian on tenor, Mike Galisatus on trumpet and Liana on bass

Saturday, April 14, 2007

...

It's not like this today...it's actually starting to rain. Not sure if we'll have aikido practice in the park if this keeps up (I really kind of wanted it...but not in the rain...).

I'm still tired....I'm waiting to be un-tired...maybe I should just accept that tiredness is pretty much my natural state anymore...*sigh*

Friday, April 13, 2007

...

I'm tired. I'm worried...about everyone around me (it seems everyday brings up a new issue...large or small...with those I love). I'm fighting off my fears and trying to realize that things change and then they change again...and just move through all this. It's hard when I'm battling my own issues (physical) to keep mentally chipper...ya know? At the same time, it's like they say...I know it builds character and strength.

I think it must be hard to develop compassion when you haven't suffered yourself. Those people who exude compassion and kindness even though life has been gentle with them...maybe they've paid their dues in the past, some time beyond current memory.

Anyway...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A beautiful morning...

I really have no complaints this morning. It's a beautiful day, Matt's getting out of the hospital, and I got the rare opportunity to sleep in. There's always a long list of to-do's but what gets done will get done and what doesn't will wait.




There's a bit of running around this morning which will kind of shoot the day...but that's okay too.

I'm thinking within the next couple weeks I need to begin preparation of work for the Open Studios in June. A good sized selection of small works will be my best bet...and I think potentially a lot of fun too.

The art world continues to to mystify me at times, but in the end I have to have the confidence in expressing myself with genuineness and integrity (even if I question whether it merits worth or is liked by others...but of course it would be nice if it would be liked by others!!).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A decent day...

After some morning rain the sky cleared to wonderful clouds and blue sky. I made two trips to the hospital and am happy to report that Matt's doing really well. Tomorrow he'll very happily return home.





And...it's always a good day when the bread rises well! Sensei's sourdough started made for a really tasty loaf with great texture.

Mixed holiday metaphors?

Julian's skull and crossbones and Laurel's zombie eggs. We got a little carried away with the egg decorating this year!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mysterious...

Maybe that puts a more positive spin on, well, confusion!

Life can be like that...a lot. Predicaments arise that are just very difficult to understand. I've heard that a good way to look at such situations (which are more often than not) is with curiousity, rather than aversion. And it does seem true that those things that are confusing and even sometimes frustrating, can also be strangely beautiful...

Ah well, so much for my early morning musings... I'm sure it will be another day of back and forth to the hospital and I'm very curious to see how things will go!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday...

My day was spent going back and forth to the hospital. First to take Matt and wait till they were ready for him...then back and forth with the kids a couple times. Everything went without any major glitches and Matt will be resting well tonight, I hope. Tomorrow they'll get him up on his new hip and will go from there.


I'm a little strung out myself, being the last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind of activity. I processed some negatives today...and scanned them...and quite frankly am feeling rather bleh about them and anything artistic. One thing that I notice drastically reduces my enthusiasm and confidence with my artwork...is fatigue. So...hopefully I can address my tiredness and then feel better in general about my images.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

quiet...

The family came...and went...and in between enjoyed good food and conversation. I'm grateful for the pleasurable time together.

I'm tired now...but anxious. Tomorrow will be an interesting day, given Matt's hip replacement surgery. He's never been in surgery...and the only times I've ever experienced the hospital personally have been the births of my two kids (which were kind of surgeries, beign c-sections). Tonight, he'll pack a little kit and we'll drive over there in the morning. I'll leave him, after I see him off into the hands of the doctor. Since the surgery is likely to last a few hours, and he'll be out of it until evening, the doctor seemed to recommend simply getting a hold of me via cell phone when he finishes.

I have all sorts of emotions and thoughts floating around, but in my gut I feel confident that all will work out well.

Perhaps Easter is a good time for something like this...auspicious.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Before Easter...

I've begun early today, preparing for brunch for the family tomorrow. Easter doesn't signify much to me anymore, other than triggering memories from childhood. I do, however, appreciate the idea of rebirth and renewal.

My folks, however, value this holiday highly. I guess in the Catholic calendar, this is THE most significant holy day of the year. As it was, no one had vounteered to host anything this Easter. Everyone is busy and tried to do visiting early...but the idea of my parents being alone for this day (well, just not with family...since they live in an assisted living community they're never really alone) didn't set right with me. I know it's meaningful for them...and given their age, the time for me to do things for them is limited...so, I'm it. And, of course, it didn't seem right to exclude the rest of the family. Although there's work and logistics involved, I know these things always work out well and everyone has a good time...it's really a pleasure.

This post will probably be added to as the day goes on...chronicling the prep. Thus far, the sourdough sponge is working away....the bread being the one thing that will most likely be an all day endeavor (although it does a lot of the work on its own)... More later (I hope)...

Almost mid-day and the rye bread dough is all kneaded...



Next I'm off to make the babka dough...maybe hard cook a couple dozen eggs at the same time...

For the first time ever (in the 20 some years I've been baking this babka) I used saffron in the dough and completely skipped the vanilla. It's going to make for a wonderfully golden crumb I believe...





And...

...the eggs are cooked and cooled and waiting to dye...and the horseradish and beet relish made. So...things are slowly getting done...

I'm done for tonight... The bread and babka both turned out well (the saffron is SO good in the cake!). Food is ready for final preparations in the morning...which I need to start early since I didn't get ANY cleaning done today. Lastly, I'll leave you with the egg decorating pics. It tickles me that teenagers can still get into this (well, even the adults joined in...but unfortunately Caspar could not ;) ).



Friday, April 06, 2007

Piling it on...


I'm trying to see that all of the stuff life is piling on right now...is just stuff. Why should it feel any different than a cascade of flowers descending on me? What's the difference anyway? It's just stuff, it's dealt with and I move on.

While I can understand all this intellectually (and even as a child I would trick myself into moving through school work in the same way...telling myself if I wasn't doing that work I'd just being *doing* something else)...sometimes I lack the energy to incorporate it wholly into my being. Or maybe I lack that ability because I expend so much energy fighting what simply is.

Still, this age I am in in my womanhood seems incredibly taxing and it might behoove me to be gentle with myself...whenever and however I am able. It's not a bad idea to nurture one's self, in any case.

And in other news...
I took some digital images of this flower stalk (rhubarb, in my garden) and this Holga image would've been perfect (taken using the close up filter) except that the back of the camera had slipped off at one point. One whole frame was completely milky, from light exposure. This frame is about 1/3 exposed to that light and hence has a prominent light leak...but I still like the image, strangely enough.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

mother/daughter


We share a bond....I'm convinced....on both a cellular and psychic level.

journey

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

power

I've had my rhubarb plant for a few years...I think this is the third. Every year when it comes out of its winter dormancy, there's a lovely, round bud that emerges first...creamy white and pink. This year, I was very surprised to see that instead of the unfurling leaves coming forth, there is what appears to be a flower bud stalk thrusting upward. This thing is so big and strange looking, it's positively primeval...and very cool!

Monday, April 02, 2007

more...


To expand with the landscape
feel the curves of the hills
and the moist softness of the fog

Let my emotions spread out
be mellowed and ripened
as they seep down into the earth

Sunday, April 01, 2007

California spring...


Seeing the Moon
By Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

A Zen poem says, "After the wind stops I see a flower falling. Because of the singing bird I find the mountain calmness." Before something happens in the realm of calmness, we do not feel the calmness; only when something happens within it do we find the calmness. There is a Japanese saying, "For the moon; there is the cloud. For the flower there is the wind." When we see a part of the moon covered by a cloud, or a tree, or a weed, we feel how round the moon is. But when we see the clear moon without anything covering it, we do not feel that roundness the same way we do when we see it through something else. When you are doing zazen, you are within the complete calmness of your mind; you do not feel anything. You just sit. But the calmness of your sitting will encourage you in your everyday life.... Even though you do not feel anything when you sit, if you do not have this zazen experience, you cannot find anything; you just find weeds, or trees, or clouds in your daily life; you do not see the moon.

********************************************************************

I will not claim to sit zazen. I do sit to meditate, to watch my breath...on an irregular basis. When I do it more often...things seem better, life is a little more centered. It would be good to do it more often...

I hang my show in the Cerrito theater today. I'm pleased with the pieces. I'm not sure everyone will like them...some being blurry and a little abstract. Still...I like them and I like the direction in which my photography is going and that's what's important.

There's a little too much going on right now for my taste. One event seems to collide into another. On the other hand, I could do a much better job at living in an organized fashion. Body and mind and spirit, however, sometimes conspire to make such organization difficult for me... I'm willing to accept and allow that this is simply where I am at this time in my life.