Friday, July 24, 2009

Out of Touch

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Normally, during periods when I don’t post I am at least reading and posting comments at the sites of other bloggers. Not so during my most recent moving-in week. I wasn’t even taking time to read my e-mail and that is highly unusual for me. Over the next couple of days, I have plans to take breaks and treat myself to some blog-browsing.

There is one positive thing about not keeping up with fellow bloggers. When I do begin my rounds, I am apt to find not one, but several posts at some of my favorite sites. Somehow, the motivation to linger longer at a particular stop makes the visit even more delicious. It is not just the delayed gratification. It is the difference between a brief chat with a friend (during which you are quickly exchanging recent updates) as opposed to settling in for a leisurely visit and savoring a rich collection of topics. Or, reading a good novel by rushing through a few paragraphs at a time compared to settling in for a few hours to totally lose yourself in the characters whose lives you are following.

When I have time to keep up with the latest, I lack the discipline to delay gratification. Instead, I eagerly rush to check for daily tidbits and miss the quiet moments of quality time spent with the thoughts of a friend. Perhaps my brief absences aren’t such a bad idea, after all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Owning My Space

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About the photo: Night, once again, registering his fury at being left behind.

Where have I been and why so quiet? Well, the short answer is I have been working hard and so tired I couldn’t see straight, much less write a couple of somewhat coherent sentences. If you have read a few entries in my online journal, you know that we moved a little less than a year ago and you can definitely put us in the class of people who move into a new location in stages. In other words, unpacking priorities are determined by the demands of the moment. Essential kitchen utensils, basic clothing and bath requirements, as well as office equipment (that includes some of the many books) came first. Stage two included the items absolutely necessary for making this feel just a little more like a home rather than a roomy motel. For the last week, I have been deep into stage three—making this feel like our home. That has meant hours of digging into boxes filled with those various and sundry life-treasures one collects over the decades.

I admire people who relocate and within a month their house looks as though they had lived there for years, but I can’t identify with their speed and efficiency. I could offer age and reduced endurance as an excuse—not to mention three art shows in a row and SoFoBoMo— but that would be a bald-faced lie. It has always taken me time to get to know a house, come to terms with it’s quirks, and work out my relationship with it. A vastly different house from the one we lived in for twenty years and in a very different setting has meant a new version of our interior landscape.

Most of the work has been pretty close to sheer drudgery in physical terms (yesterday, I couldn’t name a part of my body that didn’t hurt), but the bright spot is hanging more of my prints because I have never had the pleasure of seeing this many of them on our walls. And, I am not finished. After I enjoy a brief breather from my unpacking and hanging marathon, I need to reprint and frame another piece that sold. Because that piece happens to be one of those we most want to display in our main living area, I get to print and frame it twice. Next on the agenda is digging into files for more images that will make this uniquely our space.

Thanks to hanging a number of prints, I have a greater sense of the value of printing and displaying my work. Certainly, seeing a sizable number of framed prints in shows and viewing them amongst guests is exciting, but displaying them in my environment in a semi-permanent arrangement is far more satisfying. I have a feeling that seeing more of my pictures on a daily basis and having the opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship with them is going to affect my photography. How? I’m not certain yet. That may take some time. But, that’s all right, along with another three or four more stages of moving in, I expect many more opportunities to refine my relationship with my cameras.