The Long Way Home


Snowbound
February 23, 2015, 6:32 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , ,
January: Gem Way

January: Gem Way

The world stops when it snows, and with it, I nest. I have felt low, trying to figure out where my art is going and what, in general, to do next. And I recently received heartbreaking news about a dear old friend, which I’m trying to process. I’m being vague, but it’s something I don’t want to go into detail right now (to protect her privacy as well as my heart). In short: I’ve been in hiding.

Gem Way to Penn Avenue

Gem Way to Penn Avenue

I remind myself that it’s okay to take these small breaks from life and tune out for a while. One of my biggest dreams is for one solid week of peace without distraction. It’s funny how years ago, I wanted bigger and bigger things, and as I grow older, my desires become much less complicated.

snow days

snow days

We’re in the thick of a deep-freeze which has made it difficult and uninspiring to go on long adventures, so instead, I wake early and bundle up, tucking my pajamas into boots, and trek out back through Gem Way, circling around to Penn. Morning snow crunches underfoot, the occasional car drives past, reminding me I’m still in the city. It feels as if I’m the only one awake on this well-traveled road, snow falling, camera clicking. I realize I don’t have to go far to get what I want.

fences

fences

wonderland

wonderland

when the world stops

when the world stops

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Winter’s Edge
December 19, 2014, 6:18 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , ,
Abandoned houses in East Liberty. l. by me r. by Jeff

Abandoned houses in East Liberty. l. by me r. by Jeff

For the past nine years we’ve been together, Jeff and I make the ordinary an adventure. A trip to Home Depot becomes a photo opp across from the parking lot; a stroll down the Big Lots “international foods” aisle provides us a basket full of spongy, coconut-flecked cakes from Spain. Driving home from work, we’ll take a left turn instead of a right one, just to see if there is something different along a route that we’ve taken hundreds of times before, and there usually is: as early darkness softens the turns of season, we get ready for the first real snow. Colder days, thick black nights – we fill them with old movies, warm simmering stews, and plans for the coming new year. We are full of light.

East Liberty: A tree in an empty lot across from Home Depot.

East Liberty: A tree in an empty lot across from Home Depot.

l. Point Breeze c. Garfield r. Bellevue

l. Point Breeze c. Garfield r. Bellevue

Found while walking: Strip District, Friendship, Garfield.

Found while walking: Strip District, Friendship, Garfield.

l. Old farmhouse, Neville Island r. Diamond District, Downtown

l. Old farmhouse, Neville Island r. Diamond District, Downtown

l. L r. J

l. L r. J



Summer Dreams in Winter
January 19, 2012, 5:54 PM
Filed under: Art Gallery | Tags: , ,

*

My self-imposed photography/writing break is coming to a close, but I cheated a little and went back to the West Virginia archives to rescue the one above. I loved the red hair against green grass, and how the deep colors only intensify my paleness (I love my pale skin, even though I’m always surprised to see how pale I really am when I see it in photos). It is snowing outside now, really beautiful and soft, and Jeff is making tiny cheeseburgers with chili sauce, which, like the photo, is a tiny taste of summer on a cold winter evening.



Winter Gifts
January 4, 2012, 6:43 AM
Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags: , ,

The back of the card says, "Zuski girls/Needham and Howard Nelson" or something close to it, the writing is difficult to read. I purchased this card in Savannah a few years ago and on that 90-degree day, it gave me winter.

I’ve taken a few weeks’ break from creative pursuits to do some nesting. Making potato soup, hand-washing musty vintage dresses, eating Sheryl’s pickled turnips for breakfast right out of the jar while standing at the back door, waiting for quiet blue mornings to turn light.

I spent more time than I care to admit watching good and bad entertainment – episodes of “Ancient Aliens,” Breaking Glass and Foxes, for some late-70s nostalgia. Not all I watch is gloom and kitsch though; I have a soft spot for historical dramas, and finding Everlasting Moments was a beautiful surprise. It’s a Swedish film about a working-class Finnish woman in the early 1900s who wins a Contessa camera in a lottery. Through mothering seven children with an alcoholic husband, she finds solace in photography. The moment when her first picture turns from white paper to sepia image in the developer bath (a gorgeous shot of her shoeless, bewildered children  sitting in their tiny kitchen) made me cry a tiny joy, reminding me of that excitement I get when the image that I see in my mind can be shared with others.

This photo makes me think of that time in history when photography had an aura of magic about it.




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