Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

Rendered Speechless

December 27, 2018

I don’t often look at old photographs.

I just did.

Work photos from over sixteen years ago.

Longer, perhaps, though not much more than eighteen years, I’ve been in San Francisco for sixteen, so they have to be at least that old.

There’s a private Facebook page with photographs of a place I used to run for six years.

1996-2002 I was the Floor Manager at the Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

A lot of the photographs are ones that I took myself.

Although I don’t have the album that they are located in.

I used to take a lot of staff photos.

Before Facebook and camera phones.

I kept a photo album in the office and I would put it out during big staff events.

Most usually the annual holiday party that I was in charge of organizing and running.

We got silly.

I remember one year I bought a bunch of disposable cameras.

Oh the pictures on those cameras.

Many stories.

I was rendered speechless though when I saw a photograph of myself that may have been at my heaviest weight when I was working there.

I don’t actually know what I weighed.

I didn’t like to use the scale.

But I do know that the shirt I was wearing was a size 26.

I now wear a size eleven.

So much has changed.

I just sat on my couch before logging onto my computer and I had an abstinent meal.

Abstinent for me means no flour (of any kind–almond, oat, coconut, corn, wheat, etc) and no sugar.

I do eat fruit, so I get sugar that way, though I tend to not eat fruit with my dinner.

I will.

Just not always.

Fruit is a sort of desert for me.

For dinner tonight I had about a 1/2 c of sautéed broccoli with a cup of brown rice and a roasted chicken leg and thigh.

I had some bubbly water and I listened to jazz.

When I think about the way I ate when I ran the Angelic.

Oh my God.

Freaks me out a little.

Sort of like how the picture did.

I almost want to post it here but I’m not actually sure how to do that and I am also not really sure I want to post it anyway.

I am grateful though for the changes I have gone through and for the good reminder that although my body doesn’t look the exact way I want it to, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

I mean.

I used to have a double chin.

I haven’t had a double chin in a long ass time and I am hella grateful for that.

The amazing thing about the photo is that I’m doing the splits on the bar.

I was a lot more limber then than I am now.

I was also studying to get my black belt in Kung Fu.

That also blows my mind, that I got a black belt at the weight I was.

I wonder sometime what it would have been like if I had lost the weight sooner.

But really that doesn’t do me much good to think about that, it’s just fantasy and speculation.

I also had to have some recovery under my belt before I could get abstinent, recovery, therapy, self-care.

A lot of that.

Self-love.

I am really quite proud of myself when I see how very far I have come.

All things considered.

I shouldn’t be where I am at today.

I am very, very, very grateful.

I’m also grateful to have gotten through Christmas.

Three gay boys, two movies, and one sushi dinner.

It was an official San Francisco Christmas.

Matinee at the Kabuki, hanging out in the Castro, then the Metreon in the evening.

I am grateful too for the people I spent time with.

I am grateful for San Francisco being my home.

I am grateful for all the lovely gifts I was given.

The biggest one, always does seem to be perspective.

That’s why the photo hit me so hard.

Just how far I have come.

I’m 46 now.

I look so much better at 46 than I did at 26.

I may have been a little older in the photo, but my weight would have been about the same.

It got bad there for a bit.

But then I think, I needed to be the way I was, to feel safe.  I ate to feel safe in a body that was not a safe place to inhabit.

I ate because I had been hurt.

I did not want to hurt anymore.

I also ate because it was a compulsion.

There were times when I would find myself in the dark raiding the desert fridge at work– shoving an entire piece of Irish Cream pie into my mouth, one, two, three pieces in under five minutes.

I hated it and I couldn’t stop it.

I also didn’t realize that once I put sugar into my body it was sort of on.

Sugar is just as addictive as many narcotics.

Sugar activates the same place in the brain that cocaine does.

I loved cocaine.

And before I had cocaine.

I had sugar.

I had a lot of it.

God.

Just thinking about how much soda I drank too.

Ugh.

I mean.

I worked in the service industry for two decades.

I did not drink diet soda ever, I scoffed at it.

I drank straight up Coca Cola.

I drank vats of it.

When you work in the service industry you usually get free soda.

And because I was in management, I got free meals.

French fries dipped in sour cream.

Fried fish sandwiches with buckets of tartar sauce.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms and cream sauce and parmesan and bread sticks.

OH bread sticks.

Idaho nachos–cottage fries instead of corn chips–with heaps of cheese and chicken and black beans and guacamole and sour cream.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Beer cheese soup.

And it was a brewery, so yes, lots of beer too, many, many, many pints.

Ex-employees used to joke about how they would lose the “Angelic 20” when they stopped working there since they weren’t always drinking the beer.

Which was not light in any sense of the word.

Oh.

How things have changed.

For the better.

I might have a nostalgic moment once in a great while for something.

But not ever looking like that picture again?

That will kill any craving I might have.

Fact is.

I don’t crave food, when you don’t have it in your system, the urge goes away.

Hella grateful for that too.

So here’s to not having to make New Years resolutions.

I am resolved every day.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Abstinent.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

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Through The Sunlit Room

August 29, 2018

Overcome by your extravagant beauty I fell into your eyes.

I fell into love.

Into loving you.

I had no clue how deep that fall was to take me.

I have no regrets that I have fallen.

Fallen woman.

I am.

Coloured in by states of grace and the softness of your kisses on my face.

You drowned me in the flood of your colour.

In the iris of your eyes as they dilated and opened in the shafts of light falling over you.

Falling in love with you was like falling in love with art.

You are art to me.

Poetry.

Beauty.

Color.

Love.

I had fears of embracing you from before we embraced.

I walked away from you.

I strode away from you.

I got on my bicycle and rode away from you.

Literally.

Thinking to myself, why am I going home alone again?

Why?

As I sit here alone now.

Same table.

Different night.

Unalterably altered by you.

You broke me down though.

You and your shine.

And though danger forbade me I proceeded.

I embraced you and in the embracing.

I found myself.

Not a place I had thought I would stumble upon.

For you showed me to myself.

You displayed to me who I was in your eyes and I became something new to myself.

I knew I was to suffer.

And I didn’t care.

And when I did suffer.

When there was pain.

I stuffed it down.

I sat on it.

I buried it.

I smiled.

And then I cried when you left.

Sometimes slow hot tears that leaked as though steam from a kettle on the stove.

Sometimes torrents that would threaten to capsize me in the very boat of my bed.

The bed we had just ridden through tumultuous love waters to be stranded on the island of you and I.

Population 2.

I became one with you.

I still feel your embrace.

I still feel the weight of you on me.

And.

It fades.

The fading has begun.

I am not overcome by your beauty.

Unless I allow myself to stumble down the hill of photographs stashed away inside my computer.

Or I wallow out into social media scrounging for scraps of you.

Tomorrow will be three weeks since I last saw you.

Since our last kiss goodbye.

Ah.

Now there.

The pain.

It rises.

It is still there, persistent, it says, oh no, not faded yet.

But it is softer.

The sharp edge has dulled down.

The crying does not last as long.

And this too.

Worrisome.

When you are gone.

When I cannot remember the way you smell.

Or how you taste.

Or feel.

The heaviness, so comforting, of you arm across my body.

The crook of your arm as I nestled into it.

Always my safest place.

My home.

In your arms.

And what will become of you?

What will happen when I don’t recall the touch of your hand on my body?

Or in my hair?

Or your mouth on my mouth, my neck, my clavicles.

Remnants.

I have bits and scraps and pieces of you now.

And I try to not try to knit them all together and make a wrap I can put around myself.

To steel myself from being ultimately left by you.

I am afraid to let go of the pain of the loss of you.

Because that is all that seems real anymore.

And if I don’t have that pain.

I will have nothing of you left.

And.

Then.

Then.

Truly.

I will be bereft.

Exhausted

August 28, 2018

Although, I’m sure, as it so frequently happens, that once I am done writing I will feel not so tired at all, but today, was sure as shit, one hell of a tiring day.

The foggy grey morning was hard to get up to.

Feeling blue.

But up I did and out I went and oh snap.

Forgot the field trip adventure that the mom had planned for today.

The Ice Cream Museum.

Fuck.

Sugar overload.

So much sugar.

And so many photo opportunities for Instagram.

It was not a fun experience.

Well, the kids had fun.

I was rather appalled.

For the cost of the ticket and what was actually gotten it was a tourist trap for sure.

The kids had Pop Rocks, miniature ice cream cones, cotton candy, and mint chocolate chip mochi, and Ghiradelli chocolate squares.

It was a lot of crap for them.

And really when I thought about it we could have gone to the corner store-bought the same amount of candy and ice cream and saved about $75.

But, it wasn’t my money, and the kids were over the moon.

High as kites too.

We took them to the park that’s down town by the Children’s Creativity Museum afterward and let them run it out for a while.

But I have to say, by the time we got them back on BART and back to Glen Park, they were frazzled and peaked.

Fortunately for me.

Both of my clients cancelled.

Both!

That is super rare.

I do get a lot of cancellations, sliding scale sessions for $10 are easy to cancel on, the repercussion for not showing up is not really that bad.

Which is what happened today.

I took the opportunity to get myself to a church basement and get grounded and then do some needed grocery shopping before coming home and making myself a hot meal.

I will also say that the continued sadness around my break up and holding myself to the no contact boundary with my ex is emotionally exhausting.

When we were at the park something I saw deeply reminded me of him and I suddenly found myself crying.

No one saw it, but I was upset for losing it at work.

I just got off a phone call with my person and had it reiterated to me that I’m doing the hard work right now and that the sadness will pass and at some point there will be a stopping point.

It was also pointed out that the crying goes faster.

Meaning, I’m not losing it for as long as I was.

I noticed that last night when we met at Firewood and I was doing my check in.

I cried, I was sad, but it wasn’t head on the table sobbing like it was last week or the inability to stop crying at all the week before.

There is a lessening of it.

I miss him like crazy, I still am in it, but the horrifying sadness is leveling out a little bit.

I also had it pointed out that I will be soon leaving for my PhD intensive and that will distract me too.

Yes, yes it will, I am sure.

I have had some moments of anxiety about having taken on the further study, but over all I do have a very firm belief in myself that I will get through the program and before you know it I will have a doctoral degree.

There will be a lot of work.

But I am not incapable of doing it.

I also have more things to do to get ready for my upcoming transition to the private practice internship, but I am leaving that just slightly on the back burner.

I just need to focus on getting through these next days at work and since there probably will not be another outing, ever, to the Ice Cream Museum, it shouldn’t be as manic as it was today.

I’ll be in Pacifica before you know it and immersed in my program, getting to know my professors and the rest of the cohort.

Or any of the cohort, I haven’t met anyone yet.

I’m sure it will be a good distraction to from my feelings as I will have a room-mate at the intensive.

Fingers crossed she doesn’t snore.

Plus, it will be good to be out of the house for a little while.

The passive aggressiveness of the landlady is wearing.

I’m still very actively looking at places, but I’m not freaking out about not having found anything yet.

I even turned down a room-mate situation that ended up being a hilarious small world sort of joke.

I got word from a friend that someone she knew was looking for a long-term sublet for his room and it turns out that the person is the room-mate to a guy I dated briefly years ago.

Yeah.

Not going to live there.

But it was funny and gave me another opportunity to say no to a situation that would not work, despite the rent being really cheap.

Still holding firm that the perfect place is out there, that I can afford.

With parking, utilities included, hard wood floors, 1/4 of my monthly income, laundry on site, high ceilings, lots of light and windows, a full size kitchen, a bathtub.

It will happen.

It will.

 

20,650 Steps

June 27, 2018

That’s how much I walked today.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to write this blog.

I just got out of a bath at the Air BnB I’m staying at in Brooklyn and I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes and I could have stayed there all night.

I mean.

I think I was lying there for at least five minutes, maybe more.

I got up though to put on lotion.

My skin has been changing a little, getting a little dryer as I get older and I don’t like how it feels, so I got up, slathered on some lotion and figured I would at least make an attempt at writing something.

I really did walk that many steps.

I actually walked more than that, I didn’t carry my phone with me all day, so there were a couple of flights of steps not counted and some pattering around the house exploring, but mainly, I was on the move today.

From flying out last night to landing here this early afternoon to strolling all over Brooklyn, I had quite a day.

I am pretty damn beat.

I got about three hours of sleep on the plane.

Not my best showing.

But I am sure I will catch up on that tonight.

And since I’m not on a schedule I can sleep as long as I like.

I have two plans for tomorrow.

The first is the Brooklyn Museum to see the David Bowie Exhibition and the Judy Chicago show.

The second is to see an old friend from SF who moved here years ago and go do the deal tomorrow night at 7:30p.m.

He and his girlfriend started something up a little while back that apparently is like what recovery is in San Francisco.

I had to laugh, since I’m a regular attendee at a spot that models itself after recovery in New York.

It’s always better where you got the message first.

So I will get a little piece of San Francisco tomorrow night, which is sweet.

It’s nice to still be connected to friends 13 years later.

I don’t foresee as much walking tomorrow as I did today.

The walking was actually not really planned.

I decided to walk around the neighborhood a little after I had gotten settled in and had taken a nice shower to wash off the airplane travel.

One block lead to another and another and another.

I like the neighborhood.

Very residential, lots of row houses.

God, I love the brown stones in Brooklyn.

And I love the culture of sitting on the stoop or in the front part of the brownstone, what would be a yard, but is just a square of cement patio.

I loved seeing so many people sitting out on the stoops and watching the neighborhood go by.

I felt like I fit in.

I could see living in Brooklyn, this part of Brooklyn anyway, I’m not quite as much of a fan of Williamsburg, which is quaint, but doesn’t have the row house appeal of this part of Brooklyn.

Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill.

Gorgeous houses.

They get fancier and fancier the closer to the water you get.

By the time I had walked to the Brooklyn Heights promenade I was pretty in awe of the houses.

So pretty.

Of course, I’ve only been here when it’s warm, I don’t know that I could deal with the winters, I know they are vicious.

I had enough winters being in Wisconsin as long as I was.

It’s warm, the day was warm, not too hot, it will get warmer as I stay.

Today was about 80 degrees, by Saturday it’s supposed to be low 90s.

It’s going to be hot, hot, hot.

But I will enjoy that too, when the sun goes down and I’m still outside walking around in a light weight dress.

I wore my bibs out today and got lots of compliments on them.

I also got lots of compliments on my tattoos.

I was actually surprised to not see more folks with tattoos, could just be the part of the city I’m in, who knows.

I had a conversation outside a coffee shop on Lafayette Avenue with a youngish girl who wanted to pick my brain as she was planning her first tattoo.

We had quite the conversation.

I like that I can just fall into talking with people, it feels nice.

I did have a moment of feeling a tiny bit lonely tonight when I was back at the Air BnB having procured food from the Whole Foods three miles away.

That was the last stop on my walk, and I have to say, I was a bit out of it by that point.

But.

I did manage to wrangle up breakfast food, coffee, snacks, cold brewed coffee, bottled water, and fruit for the rest of the week.

I plan on eating breakfast at the house and then other meals out.

Although I only ate one meal out today, and it wasn’t with much fan fare, though I have to say, it was nice to eat it outside on the patio at the joint I went to in Fort Greene.

Dinner I didn’t have it in me to plan, cook, or go out for, I was too tired after getting back from the grocery store.

I made oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg.

I’m sure I will eat out plenty the rest of the week.

Anyway.

I’m happy to be here and excited for sleep and to see what the rest of the week shall bring.

Here.

Let me at least leave you with a few photos:

2018-06-26 17.11.47-2

2018-06-26 16.52.54-1

2018-06-26 16.50.11-2

2018-06-26 16.48.11-2

2018-06-26 15.03.36-2

And now.

Now.

It is time for the rest.

Seriously.

 

Maybe I’ll Sleep In

July 27, 2017

Probably not.

My brain will wake me up.

Thoughts will come a cruising through my head and I’ll get up.

I was just thinking about sleeping in as the yoga class tomorrow that I was going to go to was cancelled.

Ugh.

I have plenty to do.

Don’t I always.

So.

I’m not super frustrated, and it’s not typical for me to be able to go to yoga class on a Thursday morning anyhow.

I am usually going to work.

But my family is still away and I’ve only got my internship to be accountable to tomorrow.

Ok.

Not true.

I was asked by the family to go to the house and open it up and collect the mail and water the plants and stuff of that nature.

So I’ll be making a little venture over to Glen Park in the late afternoon.

Prior to that I will be reconnecting with an old friend in Hayes Valley.

Do some catch up and see what’s going on in his life.

It’s been years.

Sometimes it amazes me.

That these years they pass.

They go so quick and I want to make sure that I impress upon myself as many experiences as I can.

The sun on my face.

For instance.

I made it out of the fog for a little while today and the sun on my face was exquisite.

The wind in my hair, my eyes closed, the smell of creosote and the sounds of hummingbirds flitting about.

Hummingbirds do make sound.

The whir of their wings close to my ears as they darted about in the flowers.

A high pressure thrum of air and the stirring of molecules by my face and off they go.

I had one of those days that felt like such a dream.

Sweet and sunny and soft.

I even napped.

I know.

I never nap.

I fell asleep listening to the Chopin station on Spotify.

Also something that I do not do.

Fall asleep listening to music.

I generally need it to be dark and quiet.

Music catches at my mind and I can find it distracting, but this today, soft, dreamy, sweet, warm, late afternoon nap, which was not in my plans, and was so good, to feel so held in my sleep.

The best.

Such a gift.

And all the little reveries I had drifting in and out between the piano notes floating through the air in my room.

Exquisite.

I wore a new dress today.

Maybe that was it.

I like getting dressed up and not having to wear my nanny clothes or shoes is a nice change of pace for me.

I have a closet full of dresses that I don’t often wear as they are not suited for nannying.

Shit.

I should wear one tomorrow that I have been itching to wear.

I totally forgot I had gotten it in the mail last week, but I was annoyed that they hadn’t sent both the dresses I had ordered and I didn’t pull it out as I wasn’t sure what or if the company was going to refund my order or deny that they hadn’t sent the dress.

I sent them an e-mail and I think there was a part of me that was all stubborn, like, I wanted the other dress more, damn it.

Turns out that they had sold out and they happily refunded the dress to my bank account.

So.

I took the other dress out of its packaging.

And oh.

It’s pretty.

Sort of old-fashioned retro styling with a sweetheart bodice and a bit of a flared skirt, white with small black polka dots and navy and royal blue roses.

It’s very fetching.

I could wear that tomorrow.

Although, it doesn’t strike me as a therapy dress and I have a client tomorrow night.

Ah.

I don’t need to figure it out right now.

It was just nice to be in my dress today, out in the sun, the wind fluttering the long hem around my ankles.

I felt ethereal at times.

The way the sky looked between the tree leaves.

I was in awe.

I have such a good life.

I am really happy.

Oh.

Sure.

My brain likes to sneak attack me when I’m least expecting it.

But it passes and usually I can take a moment in those places of vulnerability and say, hey, “thanks for sharing, but I got this,” or better, “God’s got this.”

Which is true.

I’m human.

I’m going to fall on my face no matter how hard I try.

The point is to try.

If I’m falling down that means that I am trying and I am living.

I want so to have a full rich experienced life.

I want to see things and experience things and feel.

I definitely have the feelings thing down.

Ha.

I have a friend who sent me a check in the mail today.

We share a MOMA membership and I just renewed it.

He used to say “you wear your heart on you sleeve,” to me all the time.

I didn’t quite understand what he meant, but I believe he was referring to me being emotionally transparent in my blogs.

Which, strange though this may seem, has changed a bit for me.

Not being emotionally transparent, per se.

I think that I am pretty damn transparent here in my writing.

But.

That my writing has changed since he made that comment.

I don’t share as much content as I used to.

Oh.

Sure.

There is stuff that happens and I will report back factually, with much acuity, I will paint a picture of rolling hills, the grass drying and cream yellow, the smell of sage in a garden, the look of tiny green tomatoes just beginning to bud on the vine, the surprise kiss of beauty planted on me in the garden, the roses, the old garden ones that proliferated in all gardens on the edges with the fallen soft pink petals crumpled on the ground, the sound of hawk flying over head screeching for its lunch to show itself in the grass.

I can show you these things.

But my content used to be a lot more focused on who and what and when.

I find that I am leaving out that more and more.

Then it’s just the feelings and the susuration of wind in my heart.

The way love feels in my body.

How I want to be and more and yes when I stumble, getting back up and trying again.

All the things.

All the lovely things.

All the beauty that I took photographs in my mind today.

The bluest blue.

The soaring in my heart.

The glad song on my lips.

The dreams and revery.

All of it.

Wonderous and magic.

Museums A GoGo

May 16, 2017

Today I hit the Jeu de Paume and the Musee D’Orsay.

I am not museum’ed out.

Yet.

But I will be pacing myself.

The crowds were pretty thick at the Musee D’Orsay, and thank God for the Paris Museum Pass, so nice to just pop to the front of the line and not have to be herded through the main gate.

They had a beautiful exhibition with “Etoiles” as the thematic, “stars” lots of Van Gough, Monet, even Georgia O’Keefe, there were artists I had never seen and pieces that resonated so deeply with me, my breath caught in my throat and tears welled in my eyes.

Or every hair stood on end.

One of the Van Gough’s so blew me away, deep and visceral in my body, I caught my breath.

It was deeply surrounded by viewers and I got as close as I could withstand the crowds and breathed in the beauty of it.

I tried to look for postcards later in the museum shops that were of the same piece and I was disappointed, the flatness of the card did the painting no justice and I could not bring myself to buy one.

I did, however, get my museum shop on.

I do love a good museum shop.

I bought a book for one of my charges and postcards and a cloth sack for myself and a magnet of a Klimt piece that I saw in the Etoile ensemble that did translate from the painting to the magnet.

I took lots of photographs and I stopped and sat and periodically rested.

I went all the way to the top of the museum and caught the perspective from the interior, and from the exterior.

I got some pretty pictures.

I am quite happy.

I am a bit of a shutterbug.

I am not sure if I am going to post them up to my other blog or not, I’m thinking, as I continue further with my schooling and career goals that I do have to change-up some things with my blog.

I still haven’t quite figured it out and while I’m in Paris I’m not going to worry about it.

I really just want to enjoy my leisure time here, I am slowed down quite a bit, even with my ankle feeling better.

Tomorrow I will return to the Marais, I have a tattoo appointment at 3:30 p.m. and I will hit the Pompidou either before or after the tattoo.

I also may pop around the shops and do a little more window shopping.

It’s awful fun to do.

I am doing well with my finances and there’s a few things I still haven’t gotten to get, but then again, I have really done so well with what I wanted to get that I am alright if I don’t score a bunch of souvenirs.

I have to be careful, I only have so much room in my luggage.

I bought a poster today that I’m not real sure how the hell I’m going to get back.

But.

I had to get it.

When I was at the Jeu de Paume they were having a sale in the library and one of the prints that was on sale was from the Marilyn Monroe, Phillip Hausmann exhibition that I went to Christmas of 2015.

I had to buy it.

When I had seen the original print it was 25 Euro.

Today it was 2 Euro.

Um.

Yeah.

I’ll risk transporting that.

Especially since the bag that I had gotten with the same image was destroyed soon after I got back from the trip with pink hair dye.

Oops.

I have a magnet of the same image, Monroe barefoot in a black cocktail dress leaping up in front of a cerulean blue backdrop.

Her face and the bare feet really got me.

The blue background is brilliantly done as well too, it highlights the blonde blond of her hair and the cream of her skin and the bare feet, something so tender and vulnerable and real.

I love the photograph.

I’ll see if I can scare up a cardboard poster shipping container.

I’m sure I can pick one up at the post office.

But what with the numerous notebooks, the gifts for the children I work for and the new dress I don’t have much space left for stuff in my carry on.

I put back a Diane Arbus book that I was sorely tempted to get and resolved that I would get something else.

I have always loved getting earrings, so I’ll grab a pair and I do want to get a hat.

Hats from Paris are the bees knees.

Just saying.

I also will be bringing home a tan.

I have been out in the sunshine all day and it was glorious.

A bit hot, but so good.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 83 degrees, today was the same.

Then rain is forecast for the rest of the time that I am here and the temperature is going to drastically drop.

So.

Tomorrow.

Sundress time.

Lots of pictures while the light is good and a new tattoo, a visit to one of my favorite museums and of course.

Cafe creme.

I mean.

When in Paris.

Do what the Parisians do.

Right?

Picture Perfect

November 9, 2016

I got my new camera.

Oh.

She is a beauty.

I got her and got so excited.

Thinking of all the new photographs I can take and upload to my computer again now that the majority of the photographs on it have been deleted.

I have still more to delete.

I just did another big batch right now.

More photographs of Paris.

The really cool thing is reliving those moments, the really cool thing, is that I took so many photographs.

So many.

I also realized that I had more on my hard drive then I realized.

Closer to 15,0o0.

A lot in other words.

I got the same camera that I had before, but it’s obviously the newest version.

I spent a lot of time just holding it and actually, um, ha.

Crying.

I was not expecting to feel so emotional about it.

But it was unexpected to get it sooner than I had thought I was going to get it and that I will have it for oh, the super moon next week, or for my trip to Nevada for Thanksgiving, or my trip to Wisconsin in December.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

My trip to Paris in May.

All the photographs.

All the pictures I get to take.

So grateful for this gift.

When I went back to college to get my undergrad degree, after I had flunked out my first go through, a long story for another blog, or actually an old story I’ve written about before, you’ll find it in my archives somewhere, I went back with the purpose of getting a degree in photography.

I wanted to take photography classes.

I wanted to be a professional photographer.

I still have a little note that I wrote down my goals.

Things I wanted to do.

One of them was work for the National Geographic Society traveling the world and taking pictures.

I found out when I went back to school that I had to take art classes before I could do the photography class.

Boo hiss.

I did it though.

And holy mother of God.

The art class was hard.

Hands down one of the hardest classes I have ever taken.

I spent a lot of time and effort on my projects and I was actually a little bit better than what I’m letting on.

But more of it?

Fuck no.

It was too much.

It was too hard.

I wonder.

Sometimes.

I wonder if I had gotten sober sooner or if this thing there had happened instead of that thing there.

Well.

It’s just musing.

But.

I did want to be a photographer.

I really did.

But like so many things.

It fell to the wayside.

So when I went to Paris in 2007 and decided I was going to get a camera I had no clue that I was going to get the one I got.

It was much more expensive than I had budgeted for.

But.

The store was going out of business and the clerk up sold me.

It was the best up sell ever.

I had that camera until this September when I got back from Burning Man.

I knew that it had died out there, in the dust, it finally bit, well the dust.

I wasn’t able to use it for any but a couple of the days I was at the event, which did bum me out, but I had my Iphone so I was still able to take photos, they just weren’t the same as the ones I would get off my camera.

Before I moved to Paris I took a photography class with a mentor and we walked through China Town all afternoon and took pictures.

He told me I had a good eye.

And.

You know.

I do.

I was surprised going back through all the photographs at how well so many of them are framed, that there were often surprising elements that I caught, or patterns of colors.

I didn’t often know why I would stop and take a photograph and I was hell on wheels when I was walking with another person in Paris, stopping all the time to shoot an image or a scene and often times having no idea until I got home and uploaded them what I had captured.

I have an eye for balance and framing and color.

I’m not great.

But.

I’m good.

And.

Like the writing.

I love doing it.

I’m never going to make a lot of money on either, I suspect, although, who knows, I certainly don’t, but I get so much joy from it.

So.

Last night.

The package arrived.

I was so excited.

So thrilled.

My heart in my chest when I opened the box.

My hands didn’t tremble.

But.

The reverence.

I had to set it aside for a moment.

I had to pause and breathe and thank God for the gift.

I unwrapped it.

I attached the strap to it and the cover to the lense.

I loaded the batteries.

That was a revelation.

When I was in Paris.

I was going through batteries too fast.

I bought myself a battery charger and started charging my batteries.

One of the few non-essential splurges I allowed myself when I lived there.

That and a vibrator.

But.

Um.

Haha.

That’s another blog too.

Heh.

Anyway.

The battery charger was key.

And I still have those batteries, although not the charger since it was for European outlets.

The camera that came last night had batteries, but not rechargeable ones.

I will use up the juice on the ones that were sent with the camera and then I will upgrade to my rechargeable ones.

When I dropped in the batteries and settled the camera bottom back on, I turned it over, took off the lense cap and turned her on.

Oh goodness.

Tears again.

I pushed my glasses up on my head and peered through the view finder.

Yes.

It’s a digital, I could use the screen.

But.

I take better pictures when I use the view finder.

I saw the scope of my room.

I got misty eyed.

And then I laughed out loud.

How good is my life?

To get a new camera.

To get a new perspective.

To go and open up my other blog.

Yes.

I have another blog.

http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com

And be so surprised and happy to see those photographs.

And a warning.

The first one is a doozy.

It’s my ankle after my accident on my scooter two years ago.

God damn.

That hurt.

Fuck that was bad.

It’s been two years since I have put up a photograph to that blog.

That is going to change.

And really fucking soon.

Tomorrow as a matter of fact.

I was going to hold off until the weekend.

But why?

I need to use it and get back into the practice of using it.

I want to have it back in my life.

I adore using my phone to take pictures, it’s super fun to post them up to Instagram, but I want to use a real camera again.

Even if it looks like I am a tourist.

Really.

I am.

And.

I am perfectly fine with it.

I only have this life to be a tourist.

I might as well make the most of it.

The only thing left to get is a new camera case.

I tossed the other one.

I figured, it was hella old, dusty, and it wasn’t a great case.

That’s the only reason why I didn’t take it to work with me today, I don’t have a case yet.

I will by tomorrow.

Well.

I’ll have a case ordered by tomorrow.

I don’t know that I will get out to a shop.

But.

Fuck.

Pictures.

And words.

“What do you want to do Carmen,” he asked me and leaned back waiting for my answer.

“I don’t know,” I wailed.

“Yes, you do!” He sat forward on the back couch at Ritual, when there was still a couch in the back.

I was so startled, I blurted out, without knowing what I was about to say, “I want to travel and write and take photographs.”

“Then travel and write and take photographs,” he settled back down.

I made a huge decision to leap in that moment.

I haven’t regretted it once.

I just emptied out another 388 photographs into my trash.

Got to make room for the new ones

The new experiences.

The new adventures.

The new travels.

Can’t wait to show you how I see the world.

My gift to you.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

Rest.

For tomorrow.

And every day I can.

Photographs.

Oh the joy.

I cannot express.

For.

There is so much.

Yes.

There is so much.

So

Very much.

To see.

Another Blog

December 24, 2015

With too many photos.

I realized yesterday, perhaps another day, but yesterday for certain.

That when I have photographs in my blog posts they do not get posted the same to my social media pages, Twitter and Facebook, like they typically do.

I have actually seen a decrease in readership since posting the blogs with photos.

But.

Fuck.

I can’t help it.

I take a lot of photographs and I don’t really care what social media has to say or not say or whether or not I have a bigger audience.

Nope.

I continue to just be happy writing for myself.

About myself.

Because.

You know.

It’s all about me.

Ha.

Are you there God?

It’s me Carmen.

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This is a photo my friend took of me today at the Palais de Tokyo at the John Giorno exhibit.

Oh.

My.

God.

I love this artist.

I had such a good time going through the exhibit.

So, so, so god damn good.

I love art.

I repeat.

I fucking love art.

Here are some more shots from the exhibit:

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It’s true.  I do.

And.

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And also this:

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This too:

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All the fuck over it.

Yes.

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Absolutely.

The show was right the fuck on and I enjoyed every little morsel of it.

Of all the photographs I took, though, this next one might be my favorite, just from the perspective of the light, the framing, and the subject matter.

I can’t quite explain it, but man, I was happy when I made the capture and even happier when I downloaded it to my computer, it stood out in my eyes.

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Just something about it that made me happy.

That might be the best definition of art for me.

Just something about it that makes me happy.

So lucky to have so much art in my life, I’m like a glutton for it right now, bring mama more, let me roll around in it, slather it on my skin, dip my heart into it, rub it on my soul, and wash it over my ethereal and oh so corporeal body.

Yum.

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Art and poetry.

Which is art.

The longing heart.

Oh.

Such much that.

My longing heart had so much love today, it was brimming and overflowed many times washing down my face with the rain.

“Are you crying?  Or is that the rain.”  My friend asked as we were caught in a tiny spat of rain on the way to the American Cathedral to meet with friends.

“Rain.” I said emphatically.

My friend looked at me with a cocked head and a raised eyebrow.

“Oh, both, yes, I’m crying.”

And that happened all day and I don’t apologize for those tears, they well up, they pass, I am sad, I am in Paris and then, I am fine, happy, replete, full and loved again.

Washed over and over with memories and heart ache and a new love and lightness too.

So many layers of love.

Here’s one that brought tears to my eyes.

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Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve.

We went to the church, I was hoping we would be able to eat at the cafe in my old neighborhood on Rue Bellefond, but they were already closed for the holiday.

Instead we walked up the hill and rode the funiclare to the top and climbed the last steps.

I went in, holy, silent, reverent, and lost all at the same time.

I lit a candle for my grandmother who passed on Christmas Eve ten years, no elven years ago and knelt down and said the Our Father.

I am not a Catholic, but it runs deep in my family and it felt appropriate and then I found myself saying all my prayers, all the ones that I know, all the ones in my heart, asking to surrender everything I think I know about myself and to let go and love and be loved and to move on and move forward and surrender again.

And again and again.

And again.

I cried my little heart out to the point where I had snot running down my face too.

So unexpected.

These strong emotions.

But good to let them out.

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Pensive, sad, soft, surrendered.

I feel a lot different now.

Looking at roses my friend gave me for Christmas and a sweet hug.

Knowing that the Pompidou is open tomorrow, on Christmas!

What a lovely gift.

And.

The gift of being here that I wasn’t expecting, the experiences I wasn’t expecting, the grounding and lifting of my heart toward the heavens and the laughter the falls out of my mouth sometimes, too, when I least expect it.

I am never going to be French.

No matter how good my French ever should become.

I laugh too loud.

I cry to hard.

And.

All of that.

Is just alright with me.

Because.

I know love.

I know it so very.

Very.

Well.

Merry Christmas from Paris.

Joyeux Noel.

 

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