Monday, April 23, 2018

Still On The Road

We've been on the road since April 9th, and for a bunch of homebodies like us, that's a crazy long time. Several months ago Roger contacted his far-flung siblings and suggested a long overdue family reunion. It had been six years since they were all together. So, we booked the family beach house for the week of April 21st. We didn't know then that we were going to be at my mom's memorial on the 14th, so what started out as a plan for family fun suddenly had to be extended for other sad journeys.
The upside of driving back from the southern part of the journey was the ride through the rich green spring time of California's lush productive valleys. The breathtaking skies and rolling hills were a heart-soothing balance to the heartbreak of memorials, a necessary reminder of all that is still and always beautiful.

My twin brother traveled the same highway north after the memorial and was also renewed by the views of our rich earth. He photographed this on his way home.
On our way north we stopped and spent the night in Pismo Beach, a lovely quiet little town on the central coast. The hillsides were bright yellow against the blue skies.
We don't often stay in hotels, but we decided to just have a quiet night before the reunion began. The hotel we stayed in was right at the beach, so of course we ventured down to take a look around. That's when we noticed this.
We had never seen such crazy white stone before. I thought it might be erosion repair work, but it wasn't. It was actual rocky cliff face. So, of course I had to google around to find out what we were looking at. Turns out it's called tuff, a light, porous rock formed by consolidation of volcanic ash. I found one website that described the formation:
Pick up a small piece lying on the beach and crush it in your hand. Notice how powdery it is, and if you look very closely at the individual grains, you'll notice that they are angular. This rock is a tuff. It was made from ancient volcanic ash that landed on the ocean and settled to the bottom building up over many years. This ash was eventually buried to depths sufficient to produce temperatures and pressures necessary to petrify it into the tuff, was later uplifted, and the erosion exposed it for us to see today. There was enough ash generated to ultimately create tuff hundreds of feet thick in this area.
I wish I had picked up some pieces of this tuff stuff. I didn't. But I did photograph a large rock of it that had broken off.
The next day we headed north to the reunion, where we still are as I type this. We're staying until Wednesday, and then begin the long drive home. It's been quite a journey. We're tired, but seeing the beauty of our earth is our way of healing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: One Month Gone

Memory Board 1 at the Memorial


Memory Board 2


Monday, April 09, 2018

Fence Art and Sky Hearts

We've been getting ready for our long journey south for my mom's memorial. So much to do, photographs to gather for the poster memory board we're going to put together. It's heart tugging in every way.

Here is something we've been working on for distraction. Roger and I started on this project back in mid March. We have a lot of old fence boards that he thought would make a lovely dragonfly for the fence art project. I thought so too. So he cut the boards and laid them out. As soon as I saw it I wondered about adding some of the flat marbles we've found in the yard and around the house here. We think they're from the bottom of vases of flowers, and mostly get discarded at the end of the flower splendors. So we gathered them and tried this:
After Roger cut the wood, and we laid the marbles on it to see how it would look, I thought I should google around about mosaic and wood. That's when we learned that it's not a good idea at all for outside art because wood expands and contracts in the weather. All those marbles will fall right off. We tested it with a piece of wood and some other pieces of marble, two kinds of very strong glue. And guess what? After all the rainy weather, the marbles do fall right off. So, we may just make this for someplace inside the house. It really was fun to put it together. I could see us trying other projects in the future.
In the mean time Roger did make a heart and a peace sign from a barrel metal hoop. We're starting to really like adding stuff to the fence.

Sometimes the clouds will lift our spirits with shapes like this.

If you keep looking up you can see heart signs and be reassured by the beauty of our skies. Life goes on and there are miles and miles of travel ahead.



Monday, April 02, 2018

Starlings In The Wall

Roger heard something and I tried hard to hear it too. Nothing. He got up and walked over to the wall in our bedroom, put his ear to it and whispered, "There's something in this wall... maybe a critter... some dripping water.. I don't know what, but I hear it." I went outside to listen. That's when I heard it too. Something was definitely making noise in the space between the exterior and interior wall of our bedroom. While we were in the yard, wondering out loud about what was going on, it flew out. A starling. Well, we were relieved it wasn't a mouse or a rat, but not sure what we should do about a starling building a nice spring time nest in there. I looked down at the ground and saw the remnants of the wire screen vent in the eaves there. Bummer. Those birds had found a way in and made it even better for themselves.
We tend to have a "live and let live" attitude about most things, and most especially about birds. But we seriously wondered about having a non-native species like a starling in there. What kind of trouble would be enabling? So, I wrote a dear friend who is a true birder and asked her. This was her response.
1. Introduced species. 2. Keeps a very, very filthy nest. Hauls in a lot of material (fire hazard) and toward the end of the nestling period allows the babies to defecate freely in it. Think stinking, soggy mess that I wouldn't touch without rubber gloves on. So there's that. But 3. often has chicken mites. Chicken mites are very bad medicine. They infest the nest and will come through the walls and infest you...wait until you see the pair outside together and wire that space off. They still have plenty of time to start another nest elsewhere. (PS-- this is slightly edited)
So, Roger went out and got the ladder to measure the space that he needed to cover. When he had the right piece ready, we made sure the birds were out. We banged on the wall, we talked, shouted, waited, banged some more, talked some more. They were definitely gone. He covered the space. We agreed that if we heard any sound from in there, he would open it up and wait til that bird left. But we never heard a single sound again. We were so relieved to say good bye to those birds. It's a good thing one of us still has good hearing. Yikes!
We're still taking our early morning walks, trying to tip the scales toward beauty and away from grief and sadness. A city sunrise is a good beginning. Working on tipping the scales everyday as we plan our trip south for my mom's memorial and Roger's family reunion. Life goes on... life goes on. Sigh.


Monday, March 26, 2018

A Week Goes By

It's been a long week since my mom's passing. We had one day of sunshine, and then it rained and rained and rained. Not much to do but stay inside and write the obituary. My mother read the obits in the newspaper everyday. She loved the stories, the details of people's lives. So, we absolutely had to honor her memory with her own story and photo.

On the only day of sunshine we went for a walk at the marsh and saw our first Swallowtail of the season. That was a lovely sight.

Then, later in the day when the clouds came in, there was an iridescent and corona display that was particularly beautiful. I loved seeing that, it lifted my spirits.

A few days later, on Thursday we had two little earthquakes. I posted this on Facebook:  
I'm not a particularly cosmic-look-for-signs kind of person, but I had been thinking that I would know when my mom was fully gone from our earth. It would take an earthquake, and that's just what happened. Yesterday, on the fourth day after she died, there were two little shakers, a 4.6 in the morning and a 4.7 in the evening. Her two steps into the universe were so big it briefly shook our earth.
In the Jewish tradition, we sit shiva for seven days after the death of a loved one. And so I have been saying that I've been sitting shiva in my mind.  And now the mourning is done.

The weather forecast is for a sunny week. We will walk and see the world anew.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Grafitti From The Gods

My mother passed away Sunday evening at 7:40. Just like that the long struggle was over. My twin brother and my sister, who were at her side, said she opened her eyes for a brief moment, breathed her last breath, and then shuffled off this mortal coil. Even when it's expected, the finality of death stuns. We went for our walk early Monday morning just as the sun was rising over the mountains. Rising on the very first day without her. We walked the neighborhood and came upon this sidewalk graffiti. "I missed you Mom." There it was already in writing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another Year Goes By

The Potato Story

This is the third time I've reposted this story. It is now 26 years since my father is gone. He lives in our hearts as brightly as ever- missed, remembered, and loved always.

I first posted this thirteen years ago on the blog.

My father died of liver cancer on March 14, 1992 (Sat, 9th of Adar II, 5752). I offer this post in his memory.

In 1993, as the first anniversary of my father's death approached I was quite inconsolable. My family was still grief-stricken; my father provided a lot of the emotional glue that held the family together. He was a very kind, gentle and sad soul who derived what joy he had from his wife and children.

I felt the need to mark that anniversary by drawing on several different traditions -- burn a yahrzeit, build an altar, place stones on a grave, make an offering of his favorite things (photographs of his loved ones, mystery novels, food). So, an elaborate blending of multi-cultural ritual was conceived, and in the center the yahrzeit burned for 24 hours to mark that awful day. Roger and I took a dozen roses to the Capitola Wharf at Monterey Bay (where my father's ashes had been scattered), and tossed a rose in one by one and recited out loud how well my father was loved and remembered.

The following day, after the yahrzeit had burned out, we disassembled the altar and put everything away. I took the food offerings and buried them in the yard. It was the beginning of a closure of sorts.
Roger and I jumped into spring that year the way we always do. Lots of flowers and vegetables to plant. I typically do the flower gardening and he does the veggies. Our yard faced Monterey Bay with one of those 180 degree views of the entire expanse. There is a narrow public footpath on the bayside of the house, where lots of friendly people walk by on their way from the cliffs down into town and back again. There were often bike-riders, families, sweethearts, people walking dogs, and late into the night revelers from the nightspots below. People always commented on our garden, and we had conversations about the flowers and vegetables nearly everyday.

That summer everything bloomed and fruited as expected, but an errant potato plant showed up in a border bed reserved for flowers. We were quite intrigued by this and tried to imagine how a potato came to be in that part of the yard. We assumed some passerby, with a bag full of groceries had inadvertently dropped it there or one of our gardening buddies was having some fun with us. Maybe it had been there all along, and conditions were now perfect for it to emerge. We could not find an acceptable explanation. How ever it came to be there, we harvested it one day, and had a wonderful breakfast of new potato home fries and poached eggs. And that was the end of that.

In winter of that year, as my father's birthday approached, the gnawing sadness returned, and I missed him fiercely. My siblings and I had decided we would honor our father on both his birthday and the anniversary of his death every year. So, on December 19th, I created the altar again: photographs, novels, his favorite foods, and a yahrzeit candle. After the 24 hours of observance had passed, I looked at all of those offerings and wondered what I would do with them. I would put the photographs back in the albums, the novels back in the bookcase, and the food offerings (carrots and potatoes) I would bury in the yard. And that's when it struck me: I had buried the potato in the flower bed. It had been from the plate of food offerings I'd made on the first anniversary of his death. I was stunned by how deeply I had buried that memory along with the potato. Not even the potato plant itself could coax to consciousness the memory of my actions.

Now, the planting has become part of the tradition. Every year in my father's memory I plant potatoes. Sometimes they are standard russets, sometimes yukon gold, or new red, or yellow fin, and once it was a lovely bunch of peruvian purples. Tomorrow, I will be planting potatoes again. PS-- The yahrzeit candle is burning. The potatoes have been planted. It is 2013, and I know all these years later that love lasts forever.

And now it is 2018, and we will be planting potatoes tomorrow. Love does last forever. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Do Go Gentle

Sunday morning walk at the marsh
Over the years I have often come to the same conclusion that Dylan Thomas was absolutely wrong to wax eloquently about not going gentle in that good night. Are you kidding me, Dylan? That's about the worst death bed advice I have ever read. Maybe there is a lofty interpretation of what those poetic words mean, but to me they are the opposite of what we should hope for our dying loved ones.

"Please do go gentle," those are the words I think all the time now. It is a quiet wish for my mother who is doing her own bit of raging, pulling the bandages off the newly placed pleural catheter (the device that will help drain the fluids from the pleural cavity around her lungs). We knew there was the possibility that she would do that. It was one of the things that made some family members vote "no" about having it placed. What do we expect from a 92 year old woman with Alzheimer's at the end of her life? Decorum? Rational reasoning? Considered behavior?
Enjoying pistachios at my sister's
She has been having good days and bad. On Thursday, the day before the pleural catheter was placed she sat on the couch in the family room and noshed on pistachio nuts, looking as placid and happy as one would hope. Then came the minor surgery on Friday, minimum anesthetic, home within two hours of the procedure, and chaos. Sunday morning the bandage was on the dresser. The tube was exposed. She was not going to hear a word about behaving.

Going gently is a wish for all the days she has ahead. It is not merely a death bed wish, but a wish that everyday is calm and easy. I think we must all learn this mantra to Go Gentle. Why rage when you can embrace calm for all the time that's left.

Don't listen to Dylan. He was all wrong.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Free The Buddha

For more than a year we've seen this Buddha statue trapped in this crate. We walk by and shout to the wind and sky: Free the Buddha, Free the Buddha!

Free them all! LOL!

Monday, March 05, 2018

March: The Lion and The Lamb Already

The rain clouds finally left us, after days and days of very windy wet storms. We are having a few days of sunshine before the next deluge, and yes we are loving every warm bright minute of it. A few weeks ago Roger started a new morning routine. He heads out for a neighborhood walk at 7:00 am, after our first cup of tea and toast. I didn't join him until the morning looked like this.
I love a sunrise with crepuscular rays, the perfect reason to get out of the house and go for a walk in the brisk almost freezing temperatures. Now we are walking together before sunrise every morning. It's a wonderful new ritual, at least until the next rains show up. I won't go, but Roger will. He doesn't mind, and I really do!

We also took the opportunity to head out to the marsh, of course. I love the reflected clouds in the bay.
It had been a while since the skies were this blue and full of cumulus clouds. And of course the Green-winged teal were out and about, floating in the reflections.
After all the days and days of gray, this was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. It's been good to get out of the house and enjoy the coming longer days of spring. A balance to everything else.

And here is everything else: I had my wrist xrayed. It is not broken, but there are some abnormalities. My doctor never called me to explain the results, so I have no idea what's going on. I do know this, I am going to find another doctor.

My mother moved in with my sister on Friday. The caregivers are incredibly kind and supportive. My mom is not doing well, but I don't have any details. I think she is going to have the pleural catheter placed this week, which will provide her with much comfort care.

I don't really need to mention politics. You know us. We live in a state of shock, orchestrated by the shock master himself.

We really love blue skies in the morning!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Windy Day At The Marsh


(I have no idea why the video uploaded so blurry like this, but it did. This is not what the video looks like on my computer. Oh well, it sure was beautiful to watch a shorebird murmuration.)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Late Winter Doldrums

We've been home for two weeks now since our month-long journey south and back. In that time I've downloaded exactly two photos, and you've already seen one of them, the beautiful heron. I've got 19 photos on the camera. I'm trying to decide if I should just delete them. There's one rainbow, three photos of a nice hailstorm, ten of a sunrise, five of a Goldfinch in the neighbor's yard. Meh.

When we were in Capitola, the temps soared into the high 70s and low 80s. It was a true winter heatwave. Since we've been home, it's been crazy wintry record-breaking cold here. One night last week, I woke at 2:30 am and checked the outside temps. It was 26 degrees. So, I turned on the porch light, went out and grabbed the hummingbird feeder and brought it in. Didn't want those hungry little hummers trying to get nectar from a frozen feeder. Those are cold temps for the north coast. We're expecting three inches of rain next week. Photographic opportunities are slim right now. So, unless that sun shows up and dazzles us with some atmospheric optics, it's just late winter bleak doldrums here.

My mom is moving in with my sister on Friday. She has lined up two caregivers who will provide 24/7 care. I feel a sense of relief knowing that my mom is going to be out of that memory care facility. The caregivers there are as kind and supportive as you would hope and expect them to be, but the ratio of support to the number of residents isn't enough for any one resident to get the kind of care they need. We're all hoping that this move will be good for my mom and that how ever much time she has left will be spent in comfort and surrounded by love. We're planning a trip down to southern California to see her in April.

Roger convinced me to finally go to the drugstore to buy a brace for my sprained/broken? wrist. It's been funky for a few weeks and not getting better. It's the wrist I broke when I was six years old after watching the Olympic tryouts for hurdling. I thought hurdling looked like fun so I tried to hurdle the backyard fence. It didn't work out well for me. I probably should get the wrist x-rayed but the thought of urgent care places during flu season just doesn't seem all the inviting. I'll have to think about it.
Okay, here's one photo of the hail in our yard. See what I mean, meh.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Fossils

It had been such a long while since we had gotten to see the fossils during a minus tide walk. For a few years the sands were very high and had covered all of this beautiful ancient history. So, we were really happy when our time in Capitola coincided with a significant minus tide and found that the sands had washed away.  The fossils that we hadn't seen in such a long time were finally visible again.




This last one is significantly different from the others. Nice large bone of some sort. I've done other posts about the fossils here, if you are interested in reading their history. I am such a huge fan of fossils I have even googled around to see how I could be fossilized after my death. Wouldn't you like to be a fossil too?

Monday, February 19, 2018

No Words



I have no words.

I keep trying to write something here.

What would it be?

I have no idea.

People have guns.

People are dying.

The president is a scary buffoon.

The oligarchy has won.

I will have to march in the streets again.

I am afraid.

I want a different reality.

I am too old for this.

What if it never changes, or gets worse?

What if we forget the dead until the next time?

What if the crazy one gets a second term?

And then... there's our beautiful dying planet.

And my beautiful dying mother.

My plate is full.

Let's march like our lives depended on it.

This is not a poem, this is my brain wondering why it has no words, cohesive thoughts or ideas.

Monday, February 12, 2018

1600 Miles Later

After four weeks on the road, we are finally home.

Here is what it looked like at sunset facing east on our last night in Capitola.
We ran outside to the watch the waning light. That's when we noticed three young teenage boys huddled down outside our fence on the walk into town. They were obviously doing something they didn't want us to see. They got very nervous when we walked over to the fence to take pictures. Oh yeah, one guy was dealing some pot to the others. He got up nervously and hustled up the walk quickly. We kept saying, "It's okay, we're only out here to watch the sunset. Don't worry. It's okay." But they looked at us like we were going to bust them. I felt like saying, "Take a look at us, do we look like people who haven't smoked pot?" But we just reassured them as they ran on by. We had a good laugh remembering what it's like to be young like that.

Sunrise the next morning from nearly the same spot.
We woke at 5:00 am, had our tea and toast and then did all the work getting our stuff out of the house, clean the kitchen, and do the final inspection to make sure the next family members who arrive at this 80+ year old house will find it as pristine as possible. It's quite a task.

We hit the road at 7:00 and were home by 1:30. Roger did all the driving. There were moments when we were rolling down that highway, tears were rolling down my cheeks. Life is hard sometimes. This is one of those times. These sunrises and sunsets of life.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Hospice

My mom was released from the hospital on Thursday, February 1st. She had been in there for a full week. In that time she was diagnosed with the flu, pleural effusion and another UTI. My sister visited with her everyday and sat at her side for hours. She was acting out in ways that were so troubling, she required 24/7 care at her bedside to keep her from pulling out her IVs, etc. During that long stay, it was finally determined by many doctors that she should be on hospice care when she returned to the memory care facility. And that is what happened.

On the morning after her return she was up for breakfast and then spent hours in the office of the care manager, just hanging out and enjoying ambiance of office work space. It must be a wonderful reminder of her 40 years managing doctors offices. Look at her after the brutal week she had.
Is she not spectacularly amazing, this 92 year old woman with lymphoma, pleural effusion, a pacemaker, and Alzheimer's? I look at this photo and I think, "no way this dynamic person is ready to be on hospice care." And yet, she is. While she is sitting there the pleural space between her lungs and chest cavity is probably filling with fluid. It will continue to do that. She may go off hospice for one day next week to have a drainage tube inserted which hospice would monitor afterward. It's comfort care and not life-prolonging. We're waiting to see how that will work out for her. She does have some issues with tubes and it could be pretty damaging for her to fuss with it and try to tear it out.

While she was in the care manager's office, my twin brother emailed a photo of himself in his backyard. He wanted my mom to see the beautiful garden space he has been creating back there since his retirement. She loved looking at the photo. She said, "Oh Michael, he's so handsome."

It is a heartbreaking time for our family for so many reasons. But we all agree on this one thing, that this beautiful, vital, and cared-for woman will be loved all the way to the end and then ... and then... evermore.

Thank you all for your kind good words, loving energy sent from afar, and all the shared stories. We are all of this big human family, connected by our hearts.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Continuing Saga

Well... after we drove to the beach house and stayed a few days, we headed south to Simi Valley to see my mom. To pick up where we left off, we had to drive inland about 60 miles and get on Interstate 5 heading south to avoid the mudslide area in Montecito. It is not the most interesting of journeys, and we much prefer driving the coast south, but we did get to see miles and miles of pump jacks in the Lost Hills oil fields of Kern County. Weirdly modern and prehistoric looking at the same time, like crazy metal dinosaurs.
Pump Jacks
We made it to my sister's on January 16th and visited with my mom right away. She was very sleepy and mostly stayed in her bed. Our plan was to take her for her thoracentesis, the removal of the fluid between her lungs and chest wall, on January 18th. She also had a CT scan and blood draw lab work on the same day. It all went well and a very timely fashion. We decided that day to stay in Simi Valley until my mom's follow-up appointment with the oncologist on January 23rd to get some idea of what the prognosis would be. Now that was the VISIT FROM HELL.

To start with, the staff had booked my mother's appointment (and three other patients) for 1:00 pm. The problem was that the doc doesn't start seeing afternoon patients until 2:00. It was a simple error, but a total bummer. Then, when we did see the oncologist she had not seen the test results, the CT scan report, or lab results. She was utterly unprepared to discuss my mom's latest health issues. Truly disappointing in every way. So, we took her back to the Memory Care Facility and planned our trip back to the beach house.
My mom on January 20th
My mom's decline is noticeable in every way. She spent most of her time in bed when we visited, which we did twice a day. She could only put up with us for an hour or so before needing to take a nap. I asked her if she remembered how many children she had, and she did. She said, "I have four." I asked her if she knew their names. She said, "Marc, Michael, Lynn, and the other one." That other one would be me. We had a good laugh about that.

We spent eight days in southern California and headed back to the beach house on Wednesday, January 24th. We were absolutely thrilled that we hadn't gotten the flu while we were there in over-populated flu epidemic land. We were literally living in fear of that the entire time we were there. Then, on Thursday the staff at the Memory Care Facility called my sister to say our mom was not feeling well. By Friday she was in the ER, diagnosed with the flu and the pleural effusion had already returned. As I type this she is in isolation in the oncology ward of the local hospital. We're waiting to hear the prognosis.

One way I lift my spirits, I run out in the morning to photograph sun rising over Monterey Bay. I am utterly grateful for these moments.




Monday, January 15, 2018

Fire and Rain...and Mud


Highway 101, photo taken by CNN news
We had been planning the trip south to see my mom, and especially with her latest health issue of pleural effusion, we knew it should be soon. If you remember we had to reschedule a  journey in October because of the big wine country fire, and then my brother had to reschedule his journey because of the huge (biggest in recorded California fire history) Thomas fire. So of course, after the big fire came the one big destructive rain in central California. We waited for that to clear out and then came the mud. Seriously, part of the route we take from the family beach house to my mom's in Simi Valley is closed INDEFINITELY due to a mudslide. This is a mudslide on a road that sees 100,000 cars a day, Highway 101, a major California highway. So, we're having to remap our trip, take a significant detour and head east before we head back west. Has the world gone mad? I'm just curious.
The Golden Gate Bridge on a beautiful Saturday
We left our quiet peaceful home behind the redwood curtain and drove south on Saturday. We stopped at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge and drove up the winding road for a look. After all the times we have driven this route, we hadn't ever stopped there before. Well, it was crazy busy with cars, bicyclists, and joggers, but the view was worth every bit the effort. We'd like to try it again when it's not a Saturday afternoon on a three-day weekend. It really is so beautiful up there.

We're taking my mom for a procedure on Thursday to remove the fluid from her lungs, and then a short while later in the same hospital she is scheduled to have a CT scan. We'll know more some time after that. I'm hoping to write between now and then, but in case I don't... please wish us luck. And thank you for being such kind and supportive blogging friends. You help balance the madness of the world at the moment.

Monday, January 08, 2018

pictures


i went looking for a particular picture in my box full of an old era of images. actual physical pictures. and many with 35 mm negatives. the box weighs 30 pounds. on top are large photos. some old family pictures. many are b&w prints i made when i had a darkroom. i bought film in bulk. it went into a dispenser which would put film into the light tight little canisters which fit into a camera. some of you may remember film cameras. take a picture and move a little crank to advance the film one frame, ready for another exposure.
robin's modern digital camera and my old slr film camera

i would load the camera and go take pictures of anything that caught my eye, using up  a full roll. after developing the film i would make contact prints. strips of film laid flat on photo paper and exposed to light and the developed into visible prints. often i would look at a frame and wonder why i took that shot. what was in there that i found interesting? so i began to understand how to get the object of interest to stand out in the final picture. an angle of shooting. consideration of depth of focus. lighting.

contact sheet. himself center in the bottom row



detail of the capitola trestle. might be upside down.

after i got some kinda handle on getting what i wanted in pics of things i started on people. i had a medium telephoto lens that let me get nice face shots from 7 to 10 feet away. in a setting with several people i would take out the camera and play with it a bit until it was no longer an item of attention. then i would take pictures of friends and family with the intent of finding the relaxed beauty of each and giving each the result. not so much a smiling face as a truly relaxed face. it was a private thing for each person. most were happy enough with their picture to share it. most said that the picture was not how they pictured themselves. most would say of a picture of someone else “that’s such a good picture of you.”

an old friend. all the way from high school til now

anyway… i got tired of pictures after going through just the top layer in the box. now there are all the small prints from commercial developers, many in their envelope with film strips. may take me a while to search till i find the one i want. and each is an invitation for some kind of side trip of memory.

oh, i'll go back to looking for what i want.  did a bit just now. there are a lot to look through. it's a picture of homemade campers at my house in fortuna gathered for a marvelous thanksgiving celebration sometime in the early 1970's.