Time Traveler

 
 
Just recently, I was working on cleaning up some pictures of photos of my Nana that were taken when she was 16-22. She was born around 1904ish; so, that would make them circa 1920-1926(ish). She was, indeed, a dancer and, living in that era, even, a flapper (though, I've never seen a picture of her with a bob.)
Anyway, I love the patina of an old photograph - the soft focus - the watery feel of the old-time equipment that was, back then, touted as the very latest. Yet, there is a bit of grime that clouds and mars the image and, as I was working very, very closely with the picture to clean it up a little, I started to take note of what I really could see - the wrinkle of the satin on the 'slippers', the weave of the tattered rug, the canvas and paint on the theatrical backdrop, the grain in the wood of the seat and the, oh, so familiar slight frizz in her hair that has been passed down to my mother and I. After a couple of days of the like, I began to get the curious sense that I was really looking through a window into a frozen moment in time. I mean, I know that sounds so cliche and obvious but hear what I'm saying - I was time traveling! I was seeing a moment of my Nana's life that was way before I was ever even a thought - back when she was young - YOUNG - and all that goes with it - hopes, fears, the beginning of experience - all that! There was the very light of that moment - frozen - the air, the dust, the interaction between photographer and subject - happening still.... silently... unmoving.... but still happening - now.
I guess that's what a photograph is all about - it's a window that, at it's best, will transport us for a moment.
Well! It's hard to quite explain but something about my understanding of life shifted and deepened through the experience. I genuinely feel like I have a different connection with her and a different understanding of history and time. Yes! A very curious feeling!

In this set of photographs, I was trying to capture the same feeling - to express the same quality of those vintage photographs, except (mostly) in color.
 
 
 

Lighten up!

 
 
I have been in a classical piano kind of mood since I turned away from the Christmas music in the new year. I feel like my psyche is dwelling somewhere in Europe - turn of the last century - with Ravel and Brahms, in particular. It's a very refreshing and muted mood - a quiet and mentally stimulating mood. Of course, naturally, I hope that my feelings will show up in my images.
I've also been taking part in a still life challenge headed up by Christina Greve called 'slow down with stills'. There is a weekly word prompt that reflects and encourages us to live more meditatively and mindfully. It's a lovely thing - this project. This weeks prompt was 'let go'.

Of course, there are so many things that we could let go of, I mean, I've only seen the movie 'Frozen' once but I constantly sing that famous line to myself - all.the.time. How long was that a joke? For a year or more? The idea and feeling isn't new. So, what do I say that doesn't sound like a cliche? Well, the truth that I see clearly is that I need to let go of expectations - the ones put on me from others but, even more importantly, the ones that I put on myself.

I had a definite idea for the mood for these bouquets - the color of the flowers was speaking to me - but, to be quite honest, I was frozen with fear when I thought about photographing them. You say, "Why? Really? Frozen with fear?" Yes! You see, there's so much unknown when one sets out on a creative endeavor - big or small! I think the biggest fear that I have is that I won't be able to express all of the beautiful things that I feel inside of me. I'm afraid that I won't have the visual words to express myself and that I will have failed - fallen short! I'm afraid that I will have disappointed myself - and not reached the beautiful vision I imagined.
It's all silliness, of course! All I need to do is try and, whether it's good or not, I learn and grow. Not to mention, I have a lovely time staring at flowers (always good for the soul. ;) ) It makes me think of Edison and his thousands of failures that led to his brilliant inventions. You know.... 'the joy is in the journey!'

So, what I will practice with this year (and always) is to let go of my anxiety of what the result will be and find joy in the doing! It's not a new lesson but a renewed one. To be happy where I'm at - in the moment. Because.... life is beautiful - every ticking moment of it!