stony ways

So, on Instagram on Sunday I mentioned that I woke up with the slip of a poem about grief escaping my brain just as quickly as the previous night's sleep. It took a day for me to find the few words I needed to do a Google search, and here are the first two lines. It's by Margaret Widdemer.

“Pain has been and grief enough and bitterness and crying,
Sharp ways and stony ways I think it was she trod..."

In my mind, I had worked out a funny post about Neel with a great story to tell you guys today, but the truth is, we're snowed under here. On Saturday, I spent a really lovely afternoon with my friend Artemis learning how to mold fondant (!), and on the drive home I passed what looked to be the tail end of something messy and ugly. I have no idea what happened, but a small child was splayed out on the sidewalk, flat on his back, his mother (I assume) beside him. He was not moving and his head and the ground all around his head was terribly bloody.

This is an urban neighborhood and right away I couldn't find a place to park so I could stop and help. I took a quick trip (no more than 30 seconds) around the block, and by the time I returned, the paramedics were there. I didn't linger, and I have no idea what ended up happening.

As I drove the rest of the way home, I thought, I'm tired of holding my shit together. Sure, it's exams, it's end of year festivities, but it's more too. Some stuff, I can share with you, like the fact that Cal seems to be sick again, and I'm beyond frustrated for him. Other things, one after the other, things that have impacted my family deeply, I am not really at liberty to share.

Sharp ways and stony ways right now.

So I'm taking a few days to get things set straight as much as I can. I'll save the Neel story, and I tell you about this new stock of black and white film I've tried another time. Isn't it fun? Very old school, I think, with all that dreamy grain. Getting film scans in a day early was just the best start to my week. Thanks for always be here for me, my friends. I owe you responses to all your gorgeous comments. I'm here, I'm here. And you always are. XO

slow down

Wow. That week went fast, didn't it? I'm not sure what I have to show for it. Finished up my classes. Sat through some chilly baseball games (including a double header that featured SNOW showers. seriously). Fretted over my health.

After my last class on Thursday, I headed to the doctor for treatment for what is, I think, my 4th or 5th sinus infection in the last year. When I woke up on Saturday even more congested than ever (and with Neel stuffed up too), we decided that we needed to dig deeper (before seasonal allergies kick in any day now. We've made some changes in the house and have had some repairs done this past week. All-new bedding is here and an air purifier is on the list. I'm, quite frankly, tired of living like that. I think my family might be tired of me too.

One bright light is the on-line film class I'm currently taking. I'm in hip-deep and totally overwhelmed, but loving immersing myself in something that brings me so much joy... even during the frustrating times. These photos here today are from my first black and white shots ever (not counting when I was 14!), and despite the fact that I thought I'd done them all wrong, I have to say, I'm pretty pleased! I don't see in black and white necessarily, so simply doing this work was a real leap for me. I was rewarded more than I'd anticipated, and I'll definitely try more.

It's spring and fresh winds are blowing. Perhaps no other season ushers in that feeling of change like spring. I feel at a crossroads here at SPL and I truly do not know where the path will lead me. I don't know if I'm ready to leave this space, and I do feel like I have more to say, but I wonder, is my heart really here anymore? Is it time for something different and new? I'm not interested in fading away, so I think I'll give myself some structured time to think about it. For the rest of the month, I'll be here Tuesdays and Thursdays, talking a little about film and a little about life. If I still haven't figured it out, much like the Iran Nuclear Deal, we'll go past the deadline (wink) until I do decide what's in store for me.

Thanks for hanging in, my friends.

All of these images were shot on Kodak 400 T-Max. My only editing was to the shot of Neel holding the rake to increase the contrast a bit, and I've already learned how to handle that situation next time.