Mother Blue

I photo. I take day trips. I lightsaber battle. I analyze the stuffing out of myself.

Category: Photography

Pathos

Wired Intersection (cell phone pic)

Wired Intersection (cell phone pic)

My inner monologue was spastically riffing…

They shut off my water this morning. My hands feel so incredibly dirty. Germal colonies are setting up camp on my palms. I have spent the day Lysol-ing all the present and future surfaces I have or may touch. I need disposable gloves and a nap.

I can’t concentrate without water. I can’t help but obsess over the notion of anything being removed from my life or my general convenience. This whole thing began with a gas leak in February. Three months later my street still lacks infrastructure and functioning sidewalks. Each local gas company has to repair their own lines, every water company has to follow suit. New construction type vehicles arrive biweekly. What started out as a patch job has now become days filled with gas fume hallucinations, vibrating furniture from the constant jackhammering, and gravelled sidewalks by the same result.

My inner voice is that of a middle-aged man. I am not really sure why.

Water Rations. (cell phone pics)

Water Rations. (cell phone pics)

• • •

Pathos: Pathetic lump of emotions

The stockpile of words I use in my everyday life is staggeringly limited. PATHOS is one of those words I once learned a very long time ago, probably for some English lit exam, but then I carelessly shoved it into the recesses of my brain once it outlived my 16-year-old self’s usefulness. I have been obsessing over this word as of late, much like I am obsessing over my disgusting hands. I am typing this entry with the tip of my fingernail, just to keep the molecules of degenerate filth at bay.

I came across this gorgeous sentence: “oddball art-house flights of fancy, verite sex scenes and lump-in-throat moments of pathos. It’s funny almost as an after-thought.

My newfound obsession with pathos came after watching this.

It made me stop. Simple words of unrequited love delivered by an everyman. This show wasn’t what I expected at all: If you haven’t seen this show and you love cinema and great storytelling and humanity, I urge you to watch “Louie”. Check out this scene as well.

But there it was. Pathos. The revelation of that word was like lightning rod of everything for me. The road that I have been traveling for so long, my weirdness, my quirkiness, my obsessions, my neurosis all of a sudden made sense. I have been journeying so long and so far trying to figure out just who the heck I am in waves of enlightenment, comparisons to other individuals, and epic inner narratives. If I could be something intangible I would probably be pathos. I long for pathos. I lust for pathos. Pathos is my life projection through color televisions with emotive filters. At its very best, it appeals to a selected audience’s emotions; at its very worst, it can meander in rhetoric and pathetic inclinations. For me, it simply means the raw, unmuddied yet abridged version of the emotion in a moment. It’s like a capturing a photograph.

• • •

Bird on a Wire (cell phone pic)

Bird on a Wire (cell phone pic)

I love documentaries. My digital movie queue is filled with at least 50 of them, just waiting to be watched. Just Like Being There was at the top of the list. Focused on the artists behind the “gig poster scene,” this doc was a feast of illustrative screen printed gorgeousness set to an indie music soundtrack. Very inspiring watch, but I found myself wondering in my head and then later aloud, “does the type of music we listen to determine or predict our intellect or intellectual capacity?” The artists represented in the doc were not just emotive beings, they were what I would call skilled technicians whose thinking lies on a different intellectual plane. I love music, but my musical tastes merely skim the surfaces of most genres. I listen intently to what is laid out before me, but I always find that when left to my own devices my choices are uncomplicated. I want an emotional journey filled with crescendos. I found myself wondering if the way I think is too simple, too mainstream, too surface, too rooted in emotion, or in the consumptive nature of the masses.

Maybe I am mostly comprised of emotion. My mother was a die hard “someday my prince will come” romantic  realist. She was wrapped up in the cinematic notion of life and love; the polar opposite of her actual, real world existence. As much I pride myself in my realism, I probably am a pretty similar person. I see everyday people like actors on a screen. I imagine everyday conversations like poetry, even if they are just talking about Cheetos. I imagine the back stories of the people in the supermarket check out lines. I go on my walks and I am suddenly transported to a scene in a film. I imagine the camera angles. I photograph the everyday because the position of everything literally whispers some sort of story to me. It fills me with emotions. It’s the only way I can relate to the world. Sometimes Motown sings in the background, punctuating the mood of the moment in just the right way…

• • •

A musician once transposed the noted positions of birds on telephone wires. I think of that story often when I go on my walks. My hidden monologues, back stories of strangers, and overheard conversations make me think of how so many of us are like those birds. Unassuming notes on a make shift bar staff. Part of a larger hidden song.

Morning walk (cell phone pic)

Morning walk (cell phone pic)

Maybe I am just screenplaying everything so I have some sense of control. Sometimes I write things down. Other times I repeat moments in my brain over and over again in order to commit them to memory. Sometimes the words and moments float away like ether. In most circumstances, I can’t tell if I am writing myself as a hero or anti-hero. In first or third person. Victim or survivor.

I sat on my porch last night and attempted to read. I was mulling over a lot and feeling particularly melancholy about things I felt had no simple resolution. I whispered the word “mommy” to myself. I don’t know why. My pathetic cry for help. My 39-year-old self knows it won’t make a difference. It was one of those “you can either crumble or pull yourself up by your bootstraps” moments, but I needed vulnerable for a second. And in those vulnerable moments sometimes it only feels right to be just as vulnerable as the moment dictates. Either way, it was my own version of Mayday and my own way to reboot. A large black butterfly with blue spots landed next to me, flying wildly in my face, harassing me. It would fly very close to my shoulder and then sputter away into the trees. Seconds later, it would come back. Three times it did this, then it flew away for good. I sat in quiet for the first time in a long time. It had been a long time  since I had seen a butterfly. A long time since one tried to get my attention. One appeared to me on the subway shortly after my mother had died. One landed on my windshield when I was particularly broke and lost. Maybe this one was there because I just needed to feel less alone.

End scene.

image

Telephone Wires (cellphone pic)

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Shadows

There is a story to be told here and I am writing it as we speak

There is a story to be told here and I am writing it as we speak

I was exhausted from this week so I nodded off mid task, mid morning. “I had this dream through a vintage filter.”

These were the notes I scribbled down when I woke, my eyes still partially closed.

_________

I had this dream through a vintage filter…

Walking a long path, in nature, taking photos. Trying to figure out my Photo of the Day. The theme is shadows. My two siblings were in front, talking. We were all both very young and of our age.

We were making our way to a house. Not home, but it felt like home.

I saw an old chair under the stairs that were underneath the back porch. Told my siblings to go on ahead. Apparently my Dad was following us as well, like he belonged there, even though he had passed many years ago. He was skipping and jumping behind us. Aware we were there but not really engaging. (It has been four years since he passed and even longer since we talked. The reasons are varied and necessary.) I wanted him to go on ahead with the rest of the family. I just wanted to get my shot. Dad ignored my requests and subtle gestures. He was climbing around like a schoolboy. Skipping steps. Leaping. Singing “Dad is great, he’s a special boy, la la la.” I don’t know if he was referencing his own dad or calling himself dad. He was doing awkward splits between a stair and the armchair.

I kept moving around the room. The under the stars was both a basement and outdoors simultaneously. He would not let me take my photo due to his goofing around. When he did finally clear the shot, the original photo angle I saw was now terrible.

He somehow took the shadows away.

I kept looking at him and he was still laughing, giddily. I smiled. Then I started crying. I caught sight of my sister’s face. She was tearing up. I said in a very heartfelt way, “I’m sorry, Dad.” He stopped his playing. He looked like someone else. Like a mixture of my Dad and Pierce Brosnan. He said “Don’t be. I’m really happy now.” I grabbed his leg. He was wearing the same brown polyester pants he wore in the 80s. Business suits. The kind he wore for meetings.

Photo of the day

Photo of the day

A Reminder

It has been a while. A long few months. A lot of blank blog pages and experiences left to memory.

Here I conduct Elton John (“Funeral for a Friend” to be precise) as a Jubilant Narcissistic Captain Fantastic in celebration of everyone’s crappy or happy Wednesday.

Here’s to motivation, finishing unfinished projects, and writing more things.

xo

Storage Unit

An invitation to the ridiculous and the sublime.

An invitation to the ridiculous and the sublime.

I had not ventured out with the purpose of taking random photos for a very long time, but I knew I was very much in need of a moment of solitude.

I left my boy at the party of 8 year olds to play sports and eat cake and make merry. This was his first non-parent party (as in, parents could drop off their kids and return to gather them at the end of the allotted time.) I had never really left him at a party before, only on play dates, but I knew he was with his school friends. I knew there were enough grown ups. And I knew that he was safe inside the kid’s recreational complex. I sat in my chair just outside the fence of the training area as I watched him run off to play without hesitation. I recognized that we could both could use an afternoon of freedom; a time for him to play and for me to think. I walked over to the basketball courts, kissed him on the forehead, and handed him my cell phone number which he pocketed hurriedly. I exited the space feeling a slight twinge of his growing up, but I left with little hesitation.

Just outside the building was an old industrial complex. It was Sunday afternoon which meant most of the area was dead, closed, and quiet. I drove down roads with names like: Progress Court and Determination Street and other plays on motivating words. Around the time I found the corner of Progress and Progress, I saw a man sorting out his possessions behind large green garage doors and tiny numbers. When my tires crackled on pavement of the parking lot entering the storage facility, he looked up accusingly. I felt I interrupted his methodical ritual of compartmentalizing things, so I drove down to a different row of doors. I parked and began to storage, compartmentalize, and document myself on my tiny cell phone camera.

The space reminded me of the town where I grew up. I thought of some of my favorite photo partners as I walked and my heels clicked through the rain. I wanted to photograph my friends in stylish coats against the green doored backdrops. I wanted them to hold my hands as they roller skated  all over the lot in their striped knee socks and old fashioned skates. I wanted them to carry brightly colored umbrellas as they weaved in and around the buildings. My thoughts of them inspired me to the next few moments. I stared at my boots and jumped into the body of 1940s screen siren Chloe Parker who was at that very moment of space and time completely trapped in her own angsty web of intrigue. I was starring in my own version of bad French cinema which would later be named “Fritz Bolkestein: a Life without French Fries.” It was my few moments of play before I drove back down Progress Blvd. to interrupt his.

Storage-unit-1

The corner of everything (Le coin de tout)

Storage-unit-20121202_135532

Chloe perdant son esprit.

storage-unit-20121202_135528

The buildings reminded her of Fritz. Le Sigh.

storage-unit-20121202_135514

La porte à côté d’homme continuée changer ses chemises.

storage-unit-20121202_135321

Je suis Chloe.

Storage-unit-3

Oh, L’amour.

Storage-Unit-2

Mémoire.

storage-unit_20121202_135847

Où est-ce?

storage-unit_20121202_135556

A photo to remember what she was about to leave behind.

storage-unit_20121202_135146

Vingt-cinq

storage-unit-20121202_135901

Silhouette

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She wished it were wine.

Barrière

Barrière

Fritz Bolkestein : une vie sans pommes frites

Fritz Bolkestein : une vie sans pommes frites

Summer Skies in Winter

My Reflection in the Dirty Window on the 6th Floor

I spent most of the past year and a half looking up.

My obsession with “up” was born out of another obsession (borderline paranoid neurosis) that was born out of purchasing a home. I am an excessive roof/gutter checker, i.e. I am terrified that I will awake one day to a huge hole in my box gutter, or an even bigger one in my roof. This daily practice has caused me to look more upwards more often than most people should. This habit has gradually morphed into my neck craning skyward whenever I venture outdoors. First it was to check out everyone else’s roofs and gutters and compare their maintenance/deterioration to mine. But all this measured structural analysis led my eye drift skyward on more days. I guess I didn’t realize until quite recently how striking Pennsylvania skies can be; or maybe I just don’t remember them ever being quite as dynamic as they were this year; or perhaps there was just more pollution creating more cloud covers and wacky weather patterns; or maybe I was just paying closer attention than ever before; or maybe I just chose to look up more often.

Clouds Over my House.

Looking up into the sky reminds me of my summers working as a sweeperette at Kennywood Park. Back in those days, I loved having the 4 p.m. shift. The late start to the work day helped me to avoid walking around the park in the wretched noon day sun. And as an added bonus, if the weather was pleasant, it gave me a chance to head to the local water park with a few of my friends who also had my same schedule. We would always dash straight towards the “Lazy River.” We spent the day talking and not talking while floating um, lazily, in oversized inner tubes on this man-made “river.” We held onto the handles of each other’s tubes in order to stay together amongst the long line of tubers. Usually we ended the day happy, sleepy, and near sun poisoned. The following hours would entail sweeping up the remnants of leftover amusement park fun while nursing our pinkish skin with aloe vera, praying for the cotton of our polo shirts to stop scratching at our blisters. Ah, the bliss of young summers.

Parking Lot Sunset.

The memory of one of those “water park days” came to mind the other night. I remembered sitting on the foot of my friend’s bed laughing, joking, and listening to music before getting ready to head out. The Bodyguard soundtrack was playing in the background. As the next track began to play, my friend stopped talking, sat down on the bed, and leaned back on her elbows. She tilted her head back, inhaled and then exhaled and said, almost in the register of a shout, “I love this song.” She belted out that tune like it was written for her. She was looking up when she first belted out her tune, and then she turned her head looked directly at me and began to sing in that jokey way only close girlfriends can. I followed suit. I remember the look on her face and sound of her voice as if it were yesterday.

That was the summer before “devastatingly” serious relationships started to rear their lovely, angst filled heads; the summer before my mother died; the time when college was just beginning, before  momentum of growing up took hold. I loved the innocence of those Kennywood summers, the simplicity of lying on a bed and singing out loud with a close friend. When living in those moments were all you were required to do. I spent most of those summers looking at the ground, sweeping. I barely opened my eyes on the “Lazy River” because the sun was usually quite bright, even on the most overcast of days. I looked for the moments I could peek through and let the sunlight in, but I was often left seeing the imprints the clouds left behind when I was forced to close my eyes again.

Driving back from the water park, the car was usually quiet and listless. Sometimes I would plop myself down in the seat and rest my head on the passenger side window. I was finally able to look up and out into the summer sky without sunny obstructions and daydream into the cloud patterns. Certain clouds would catch my eye and I would stare at them the entire drive, wondering if they would be able to hang on to our speedometer long enough and make it all the way to our destination. The screech of brake dust when we arrived in the parking lot woke me from my fixation. “Sigh. Eight more hours of work.” Summer was calling…

• • •

Excerpts from “looking up”. A few unposted skies from this past year.

After the storm

Cloud that Followed Me After the Storm.

Cloud that Waited for Me After the Graduation Party.

Winter Storm 1

Winter Storm 2

Winter Storm 3

Tightrope to the Clouds.

Waiting for Batman 1.

Waiting for Batman 2.

Jack's Cloud City (reminds us of The Empire Strikes Back).

Staring into Snow Globes Makes Me Feel Like a Little Kid

The Ladies Who Lunch.

December 23rd is my favorite day of year.

In fact, the time spanning from December 20th through December 23rd are simply the most… “something…” days of the year. There is an unprecedented “something” in the air that simply can not be described. Everyone is excited. Every moment is cliché. Every emotion is extreme. Everyone is coming up romance, or regret, or worry, or melancholy. Everyone is pushing to get final projects done, or slacking from their work, or daydreaming their December away. Everyone is either making merry or bah humbugging the merry makers. And everyone outside of your immediate family is trying to get one last chance to see you before Christmas eve. Everyone is feeling “something.” And it seems as if everyone’s holiday treat has been laced with ecstasy.

I never really liked Christmas Day. It always felt like a big let down. The commercially fabricated Christmas specials, the emotionally induced high of gift giving and receiving, the spirituality, the evening parties, and all the rest of the “stuff” that was the previous month ends on that day, most likely by 10 am. In the past, I usually spent the rest of the day trying to find a way to recapture the magic 23rd.

Over the last two years, I have been gradually trying to alter my holiday perceptions. I always dreamt of hot cocoa, a holiday medley around the fire, and Vermont style inns. What I usually received was a nice holiday that never quite lived up to my unattainable Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye expectations. (My expectations often lead to excessively elaborate production numbers often involving a piano.)

This year, I have decided to try to make the best of everything that happens or does not happen. I have decided to make my holiday week a week worth remembering. I decided to fill it with fun and little expectation, and I decided to at least try to attend every extended invitation. I decided to make time for moments instead of succumbing to the pressure of the big picture.

View from the Parking Lot.

I headed to the Strip District on Tuesday to meet Sarah Wojdylak and Lisa Toboz on their lunch break. I was struck by the fact I had not really hung out in the Strip since working there many years ago. The smells, sights and sounds of that place both transports me to and makes me long for New York City. I had spent many a day eating crab cakes at Roland’s, fresh fish from Wholey’s, or devouring meatball subs while sitting on the roof of our office building watching the cars drive across the 16th street bridge. Gosh, I love the Strip.

Waiting at Sunseri's.

I saw Lisa’s plastic umbrella emerge through the crowds of holiday shoppers even before I saw the two of them walk towards me. The shape of her umbrella took me back to being a kid in the late 70s and early 80s. It’s one of those umbrellas that takes over the entire upper half of your body when you were a kid. It was always warm inside and your voice sounded modulated from the way it bounced off the clear thick walls. I imagined it as a giant snow globe and I immediately wanted to capture it “on film.” Prior to our meeting, we had briefly discussed trying to find a weird holiday display on this lunch break (maybe even dolling ourselves up in tinsel) and photographing ourselves in front of it; like some sort of weird Christmas card homage. But there were no real cheeky, technicolor-like displays in the Strip. Lisa mentioned an out-of-the-way church courtyard that may have “something” to it so we followed. I was fixated on the umbrella/snow globe. When we arrived we knew right away that we had found something wonderful. We excitedly passed around my shabby Nikon Coolpix point and shoot camera that has truly seen better days but still take great images. Our time was restricted due to their lunch schedules. I could have shot for another hour. I am grateful for these little impromptu sessions. They always reenergize me. I felt like a little kid posing and watching them inside our makeshift snow globe. It gave me that intangible, magical feeling you only get around the holidays.

Lisa's Plastic Fantastic Umbrella.

A friend of mine once described a difficult event in his life as someone “shaking up his snow globe.” This year, mine has been rattled to the point that I am still waiting for the snow to settle to reveal the fabrication inside. I am weirdly humbled and mostly thankful for all that has happened these past 12 months because it has led me to some joy filled moments happening right now, like this one: these snow globes of abstract something. I don’t know what the rest of this week will bring, but for now I leave you with this most recent set of makeshift snow globe moments (below) and I wish you all the merriest of holidays. (Photos by me, Sarah Wo and Lisa T. Thanks for the inspiration, ladies.)

SNOW GLOBES

ICONS

LEAVING

Exploring Berlin, Waiting for Others (reminder)

Compartmentalizing

***

Exploring my own “Berlin”. Wish you were here. Will call when I return.

Please Leave a Message…

***

CALL FOR ARTISTS >> OCTOBER 9, 2011

Hope to see you soon.

***

Message

Terminal

Conflict

Nightmare

Waiting

Birthday Art, part 2

I woke up with the words of a poem in my head.

It was spoken to me in my dreams by a silhouetted traveler adorning a fedora and trench coat. His outline looked like the love child of William Burroughs and Leonard Cohen. He smelled of lucky strikes. They weren’t my words (although my brain dreamt them up). I will share the poem in its entirety next time, but here is the ending:

are we always all born restless?
or is it only me…

i spent 10,000 days alone
spend 10 years getting famous
10 years getting rich
then 10 years getting forgotten (by the time i’m 66)
will i get what i need by the time i’m 66?

_____________

The words made me think. They made me make promises to myself:

• I was going to enjoy this birthday. I was going to recognize through my lens the little moments.

• I was going to wear a dress everydayof this birthday weekend. I was going to accept that side of my femininity that isn’t related to motherhood, combine it with my other selves and make it more apparent.

In the spirit of the Birthday Art Project, and as a present to myself, I was going to attempt to make some sort of statement about who I am. (However narcissistic that may or may not seem). So within the tiny quiet moments of my solace and reflection, and within my (sometimes) loud, boisterous, self-imposed attention grabbing, antics, I let myself experience moments this year, moments through myself and through others. I captured them. I documented them. Each photo took a nanosecond to take, but it painted the story I wanted to tell. This weekend was my art. It was the first birthday over I decade where I took time and experienced the moments. So here is my birthday, my weekend, my moments, my art, my dresses, party feet, other people’s feet, my feet and my birthday dancing, my laughter, my images without words.

_______

EXCERPTS: MY FRIDAY

_______

EXCERPTS: MY SATURDAY

_______

 EXCERPTS: MY SUNDAY BIRTHDAY

Birthday Art, part 1

Birthday Terrarium Chairs, by Sarah Wojdylak

I like the wisdom that comes with getting older, but not the aging process itself. Both my parents died way before their due, so I feel like I am constantly traversing through time and space on moments that are borrowed. September 4th brings me both reflection and melancholy in a way the rest of the 364 don’t. So last year on my birthday I decided to make an event (albeit a small one) on my “special” day. Using social media to connect to others, I made a public declaration (in my Facebook status) for whomever was online, right at that moment, to make homemade art by the stroke of midnight on September 4th. I was half kidding and I was not sure if anyone was awake or even around, but I put my words out there. I thought that it might be neat to see what people came up with on a moments notice and who might actually respond. I love art and have a lot of talented and creative friends and colleagues. I gave the participants little parameters, the only stipulation was a 4 minute time frame to complete the work. The person didn’t have to be an artist by trade or hobby, just passionate about absolutely anything. I wanted to see something; a simple statement on the day; a nice love letter to September 4th: A very ordinary day. I closed by asking them to post a pic of their homemade art on their FB walls (before midnight) and tag me in the post.

Last year’s experiment heeded some brilliant results — FB BIRTHDAY ART, 2010 — so I decided that this year I would make homemade, spontaneous art an annual event. I cheated a bit and made my declaration a few days prior. I wanted to make a few more folks aware of the impromptu art gallery. In doing that, I don’t think many stayed within the 4 minute parameter but some brilliant art was to be had.

Here are this year’s results — FB BIRTHDAY ART, 2011.

For your Birthday Art Installment, from Dom and me. 🙂 Dom and Mom just fooling around. 🙂 by Melissa Zezza

Poppies in the garden! by MaryAnn Ward Carosi

Done this past week: screen printing fast and cheap with an embroidery hoop and mod podge to create a screen... art for fun and fashion! by Pannay Burt Guigley

Thug in a hoodie (Puppy collage 🙂 by Jennifer Obrosky McCalla

This is your homemade "virtual" birthday card. I did all the "drawer-ings" myself! Happy birthday! by Gab Bonesso

A lovely rhyming poem by Joel Cunningham.

Happy birthday Kim! This Picture is not original Brenna art but I thought expressive for birthday art. Hope you had a great day! by Brenna Connolly

Happy Birthday Kim! This is from Lucy. by Amy Mortensen's beautiful daughter Lucy.

Maggie's "fish bowl".... for her Aunt Kimmy... happy birthday!

Birthday Scribble Love, by Jackie.

Moving picture postcard, by Kate Hansen

eflections of Montreal -- One of three in a series, by Ken Selig

Reflections of Montreal -- Two of three in a series, by Ken Selig

Reflections of Montreal -- Three of three in a series, by Ken Selig

Birthday cupcake lollipops, by Jill Garon Harvey

Birthday Terrarium, by Sarah Wojdylak

Happy Birthday Kim! Here is my art. I call it Drunken Blur. by Jennifer Anders Reeger

photo of ceramic bert doll, taken at my pal al's house, words added with wordfoto iphone app. by Lisa Cunningham

This was the only artistic thing that happened at our place today. Che filled our mailbox with petals and leaves from our front yard. So I guess this is his Happy Birthday art to you. Happy Birthday Kim! by Christine Brocco

by Kristen Lauth Shaeffer

Shadow & light wishing you a happy birthday & many more fantastic years on this planet. by Stephanie Dennis Cooley

I tested my PX600 film in my Pronto B, and the photo was so blown out you could barely see the creepy statue. I upped the contrast in photoshop a bit so you could at least see her eyes staring back at you (he he). I hope you have a lovely birthday! xo by Lisa Toboz

I will get you a better picture of this picture. Happy birthday Kim!! Filled with real dried 4 leaf clovers. Next time the chair may fit into the room better. by Cara McDougal

Birthday art in two parts. This was made by our friend Sam Panico that's based on one of the photos from Christina McGinnis Krasman and my wedding. by Christina McGinnis Krasman and Brian Krasman

Part 2. My mother Pam Krasman made this stained glass that's based on the wedding invitation from Christina McGinnis Krasman and my wedding invitation. Sorry my photog skills aren't so good. That's not art. :--( by Christina McGinnis Krasman and Brian Krasman

Happy belated... I hope this year is filled with all the love in the world! by Avi Bonime

About this image: taken with a 60s era Canon Rangefinder lens (50 f1.2) on a NIkon D90. Flowers from the spring. by Manfred Woodall

And here are the two songs that were written in my honor:

My Birthday Song: xtmprns from George Anthony Harvey 

Silver Dollar Lady by David Rullo and Sergeant Peppermolasses

_________________________________________________________

Tomorrow I will reveal the art I created for this project. Stay tuned!!!!!!!

PREVIEW:

I danced a birthday dance.

feet were most definitely present.

Chaos Theory, Part 2: Fumbling Towards Extropy

A moment of calm.

EXTROPY: the theory that cultural and technological development will expand indefinitely and in an orderly progressive manner throughout the universe, the tendency of systems to grow more organized.

_________

I cant not focus on a single linear thought for more than a moment or two without it transforming into background noise, telephone rings, iCarly theme music, chirping birds, laundry buzzers, or my son’s interjections, “just one more thing, mom…”

I could attribute this scattered thought process to simply being a parent or being an artist, but I would be lying to myself; I have always lacked a certain sense of focus in some respect. I equate my lack of focus to that falling sensation that sneaks up on you as your body relaxes and your mind drifts asleep. The one that tricks your mind into believing you are floating in space, about to overturn and causes you to violently grip the sides of the bed. It is almost as if my thoughts can not keep up with me, or my thoughts are moving too fast for the world, and focus shocks me back into reality.

I have five Mother Blue blog entries half started as we speak. I panic and wonder if I will ever post a single one of them…

My thoughts are constantly leaping around in an almost violent fashion as I multitask between homework, dinner, schedules, play dates, and the overall well-being of my family and household. Despite my nature, I try to give routine its precedence. And despite my best efforts, focus and routine sometimes fails me. In fact, this particular post is being published later than my usually Friday deadline. The tardiness was not due to lack of focus, but more to do with the chaos surrounding my routine right now. Chaos and focus seem to go hand in hand.

Always something to do. Always something to be done.

_________

I often lament over the fact that our nighttime routine isn’t more structured despite our best efforts, but I really like chatting with my little guy and his greatest insights usually make their way to the surface when he is trying to find excuses to stay awake. My husband and I often indulge his inner and outer “intellectual” musings, especially when he really should be sleeping.

“When is going to be blue outside?” Jackie asked one night, after completing his bedtime routine.

The shade of blue that Jack is referring to is the color the sky makes right after dawn or right after sunset. It happens before twilight, before the night sky fades to black, or the color that evolves into daytime sky. It is a hard moment to catch, for you only have a very small window to capture that particular purplely blue until it merges into something else. For Jack, blue references the passage of time when the numbers on the clock still mean very little. Blue is when his friends go to bed. Blue is right before the street lights come on. Blue is when he has to wake up for school. Blue is everything.

After Jack is squarely tucked into bed, I often lie on the floor in the hallway right outside his door and let him speak about whats on his mind before he drifts to sleep. Usually it is all very kid adventure based such as what do you think would happen if (insert ninja type scenario here) or very stream of consciousness. His thoughts occasionally drift to his friends. He asks if they are asleep now and how many hours does he have left until the “blue” happens again. One night, I asked him if we could try to capture this blue on camera. He seemed to like the idea of this project.

My husband doesn’t get home from work until after 6 p.m. and we usually don’t start dinner until after the news. Dinnertime often coincides with the “blue”. All throughout the meal, we stare at the colors reflecting off the blinds of the bay window that resides in our dining room. Dave and I repeatedly ask, Is this your blue? Is this it? Is this it? “This is sort of my blue but not really.” Finally Jack gives us the go ahead and we spring into action. We run outside to the porch. Per his direction, I snap a few photos. Sigh. It still wasn’t the right blue. I could tell by his deflated tone that this blue was almost there, but not quite right. Chicken teriyaki has kept us from the “real blue”.

The almost but not quite right blue.

I had wicked insomnia this morning. I Netflixed for a while and stared at the mountain of things I needed to do today. I caught of glimpse of the bay window. The black light in the dining room was dissolving into blue. I grabbed my camera and headed for the porch. My heart swelled as I looked outside. From Jack’s late night descriptions, I knew it was indeed THE blue. I snapped as much as I could, all the while adjusting the color temp to reflect Jack’s vision and the accuracy of the setting. I found the right blue. I showed Jack the imagery on the next day. He hugged me around my neck while staring at my computer screen and whispered that I had indeed found it.

Jackie's blue.

The blue reflecting off the porch.

The blue fading into day.

The moment when blue becomes "blue."

My chaos theory is one of routines I should adhere to, of schedules I should maintain, of organizational skills that should be ingrained in me since birth. I grew up quite structured despite the chaos that surrounded me so I should be more apt. I struggle against nature every single day trying to adhere to the conventions of routine, but then late night conversations and the perfect blue remind me of the moments that only happen when you don’t plan things and simply let the organics of life take over.

Yikes, I just realized, this is my dining room table right now. My OCD is kicking in. I better go clean this up.

My dining room table.

My Gallery of “Chaos” or the things I am doing when I should be doing other things:

Two arms in one coat.

Jack asking for a hug but in reality he wanted to show me the turkey he ate for lunch.

Leftover water bottles and toys that need to be put away.

Dishwasher helper.

The towels in my hall that need to be put away.

Beach towels drying on the banister.

Fan experimentation.

Focus within the chaos.

Hide...

and seek

Leftover feet when I wasn't looking.

One more pair for good measure.

Morning coffee amongst the cupboards.

A rare moment of calm and my sleepy face.