Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Old Town

Odd magic happens when you put kids together who see each other only once a year.  It doesn’t take long for instinct to kick in and they start running like wolves.  They roll in the grass, hunt things.  Collect seaweed and periwinkles.  They yell and shout, and make up dances.  Everyone ends up soaked, muddy, scraped, popsicle stained.  And no one ever remembers at the end of the day they are from different ends of the country.  The sun sets with little arms intertwined.

Once a year our dear old friends come back to the east coast.  We gather in Marblehead, eat and drink, and let our kids run.  We visit the places where we did a lot of growing up together.  We don’t talk a lot about old times, but can't help remember what it was like to not have kids as the ones we have flurry around us.  Seems like many lifetimes ago.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finishing Touches

In the home stretch of a project I have been working on since April for a dear friend of mine.  I convinced her I was the one to do both newborn portraits and handmade custom announcements for her third baby girl.  Very happy she said yes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{Preview} Birthday Boy

This shoot was for the beautiful birthday boy who’d just turned one, but over the hours, I developed a soft spot for his mom.  I guess I have a weakness for freckles.  Her aura was buttery and calm, and she literally floated through the sun.  She made me want to be one or three again, have that doting gaze upon my skin.  There is something about a mother’s love that you just cannot hide.  The camera seeks it, laps it up.

Thank you Heather and Brett, for letting me be the storyteller on this day.

Monday, June 20, 2011


School’s out.  Kids voices are everywhere, lingering late into the night.  Creeping into our open windows, along with the smell of cut clover.  The sun feels stronger, and the blissful feeling of having nowhere to go faces us every morning.  Today, Henry needed a bath by 11am.  And dirt and sunscreen have made a fine film on our wood floors.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wash the Dish

Scott told me a story tonight about a friend visiting a monastery, who was reprimanded three times for not “washing the dish”, when indeed, he thought he was doing just that.  Apparently, he got the dishes clean, but it was obvious his mind was elsewhere.

I am not particularly good at finding my Zen place.  Normal morning with kids I attempt to:  empty dishwasher, make breakfast, email, edit photos, dress little bodies, fold laundry, craft/puzzle/play - at approximately the same time.  It always ends the same, someone’s crying, everyone’s fighting, and we leave most of the above-mentioned activities unchecked. 

This weekend, I had two photo shoots booked.  By 6:30 am on Saturday, one was cancelled.  I was disappointed, and unsure of my call, but the gray turned to a downpour, and I had no choice but to drive home.  Sunday, more rain, another cancellation.  So the weekend came crashing to a crawl, no plans, wet skies.  

As a result, we spent a quiet two days creeping around the house and soggy gardens.  I spent a lot of time getting lost in the hours, and letting the rain slow me down.  It’s pretty lovely the way rain makes everything glossy and full.  The light thick and spongy.  Sometimes there isn’t much you can do but let it get in your way.  Perhaps this is just what I needed. 

Wash the dish.  Wash the dish.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Asparagus and Thunderstorms

In our bedtime book tonight:  “all things move in a hurry when it is Spring”.  The charcoal sky and thunderstorms over dinner felt sharply like August, and it seems we’ve blinked and the summer is banging upon our door.  Jane graduates from pre-school tomorrow, and today we spent a hot, hazy afternoon cooling off in a friend’s pool.  I love the heaving tug into summer, but weren’t the lilacs just blooming?  Most likely last week's farmer’s market asparagus will be our last.   Early bloomers in our yard have fallen prey to the heat, with brown paper petals replaced by swooping lupines, midnight-tipped sage, and foxgloves racing towards the sky.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Making art

Making art is like eating for Jane.  She creates without over-thinking or caring too much.  With a five-year-old, colors fill spaces like words fill the air.

I have never heard Jane look at a painting she created 6 months ago and say, “I am unhappy with this painting now, let’s get rid of it”.  Dissatisfaction doesn’t cross her mind.  Even greater beauty is in the way she can make and forget, make and forget.  It’s the process that intrigues her, with really nothing precious about the final piece at all.  It’s the adults in her life that have introduced the idea of cradling and coddling a masterpiece.

Most likely, with each passing year, she’ll get more and more fussy, more and more hindered about creating things.  Kids become self-conscious about results.  Then disappointed.  Then fearful.  A process that was once a part of her core becomes “talent”.  And she’ll wonder if she has “it” or not.

With a few big projects on the horizon, I can feel this freeze.  The fearful stepping in and saying, how are you going to take that on?  Someone will pay you to do that?  Will I be good enough?  Look at what that artist is doing!  It's days like today I wonder how to get back.  I want the five-year-old freedom.  The ability to make and forget, make and forget.  Capture an image and let it live, without doubting, rethinking, editing, deleting.  Just let it be.  And believe.