treasure

From the eCourse, STILL, with Henry Lohmeyer.

Day 3: Treasure

Can a plain and simple yellow ware bowl set upon the kitchen table make a grand statement? Is the subject of the photo enough to carry the image?

It is, I sincerely hope, my feelings that convey the treasure of this image. This small bowl belonged to my mother. Knowing her love of yard sales and thrift shops, I’m sure it was rescued and put to good use. I recall asking her if I could “borrow” it to practice still life photography, and as always, she was agreeable, putting my needs ahead of her own. There was an unspoken understanding that I would not need to return the bowl. I could have just asked her if I could have it for my very own, and she would likely have said yes. But such a question is difficult when you realize that asking for the bowl is like asking for a piece of your mother to remember. Questions like these lay death at our doorstep and in our case, the sad realization that sometimes those you love can be gone and still here at the same time.  

Alzheimer’s has robbed me of the mother I knew and loved, and still, there are more than old memories. There is a new relationship with this version of my mother, where our friendship continues to grow. She likes to talk over old times and with this mother, we can make up new endings, write new stories, and share the best of each other. There is no need to rehash old hurts or disagreements, no need to prove anything, no agendas or problems. There is only time together.

I cherish the little yellow ware bowl because I see the many ways we fill our lives with love. It reminds me of my mother, the one who loved me first and still loves me with all her heart.

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corners

From the eCourse, STILL, with Henry Lohmeyer.

Day 2: Corners

One of the most loved corners of my home, where the morning light glows as an invitation to create.

This corner nestles the parts of me that I knew were there but didn’t tend to – the parts that longed for art and books and quiet and collections of soft-worn sea glass gathered from miles of searching and seeking.

The nature of things.

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space

Because I’ve had positive experiences with photographer Henry Lohmeyer, I decided to join his e-course STILL, which began this week.  

Still is a photography course centered around taking time for yourself, through your photography, to see and breathe and create more deeply. To hold your photography, your expression and yourself a bit more closely. It's not an attempt to add to your already daunting schedule, but rather to give you those soft moments to look inward and be present in the moment. It's a quiet time. It's meditative.

Day 1: SPACE

My daily photo walks are my meditation. The spaces that call to me are often gardens and front porches, places that are familiar and welcoming. Home and place are central to my well-being and happiness. I find myself in these places. I gather with friends and family in these same places – in parks, on long rambling walks, on porches and in homes across kitchen tables.

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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal – White’s Ferry

I have my very own personal travel agent in my husband. Because he loves history, especially the personal narratives of the characters, he often researches places for us to visit.

The conversation goes something like this.

“I have a surprise for you – a new place to visit.”

I smile, and ask, “Can I bring my camera?”

“Of course,” he replies.

With maps in hand and the GPS active, we are off for adventure. No interstate highways for us. We head up route 17 North toward Warrenton and then on to Leesburg.

My husband has the enthusiasm of a young child about lots of things - it’s one of the things I love most about him. Today he is excited because we are driving our van onto the historic White’s Ferry. In operation since 1786, White’s Ferry is the last working ferry on the Potomac River. The ferry holds 24 vehicles and the trip from Virginia to Maryland takes 3 ½ minutes.

He also stops to read all historical markers and signs. Here’s my little history lesson.

Early settlers recognized these relatively still waters would provide an ideal location for a ferry. After the Civil War, former Confederate soldier Elijah White purchased and made many improvements to the service. He named his ferry boat in honor of his former commander General Jubal Early.
The ferry provided a place of commerce between the canal and surrounding community. Farmers from Virginia used the ferry to get their crops to market in Washington, DC and Maryland via the canal. In the days before modern refrigeration, a farmer’s access to reliable transportation meant the difference between prosperity and watching a year’s worth of work rot in storage. Together the canal and the ferry shortened the time it took farmers to get goods to market. Today White’s Ferry continues to serve the needs of its community by providing a safe river crossing and a living link to the past.
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