Photo Diary | Grain vs Noise |

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hello friends! That has to be one of my longer breaks. Life here has been busy and I've missed having time for this online world. Still doing all the things and, as of most recently, trying to figure out what's going on with my little Tiger. Add to that I've been deep in thoughts, or more so my thoughts have been like those squiggly lines that just float around in your eyes. Always there. Wondering, during my break from this space, and going to school, and dealing with my own personal journey in clearing the clutter in my life (in both literal and proverbial forms), and my business presence online and, of course, new events as they take shape, about where all of these things converge inside of myself. And where they belong outside of myself. The break, as I've mentioned, stemmed from feeling a bit conflicted in the balance of it all - where real life meets online life. Where online life meets real life. 

Honestly as much as I have wanted to think about these things, so far they've mostly come across as noise. Marketing. Sharing. Learning. Doing. Being. Which hats do I wear where? Do I wear all the hats? A couple of the hats? Does this hat go with that hat? The word "authentic" comes up a lot. The word authentic makes me want to scratch my eyes out. All of this, I know, is a theme that is not uncommon to bloggers or others who have an online presence I have found. Or anyone else for that matter. And, unfortunately this stream of consciousness here doesn't have any answers at the end. I am still thinking about it all. It's all playing out in the back of my mind. 

Over the past several weeks I've been following along on Lauren's journey in film, both through her blog, Still+Life, and through lots of email chit chat. It has made me think about film a lot too, which I have found, has really paralleled some of these more general thoughts that have been stirring around in my mind. "In digital photography grain is bad, but in film photography, we embrace our grainy shots. They add character and definition and life to our work" - Still+Life: Six Months In

When I first started photography it was the imperfect moments that captured me and that I wanted to capture. It was the beauty in these normal moments that get blown up and appreciated for all the beauty that lies within them. Simply because they are real. Moments that can easily go unnoticed, undervalued, and unappreciated. It never crossed my mind to take pictures on a white background with deliberately-randomized rose petals. Or to spend five minutes cleaning my house so I could take a few "candid" pictures of my kids (the moment is always over by the time I do anyway). Or to make my family wait for dinner so I can take it outside in the natural light to take photos of it while I toss a napkin 10 times over so it looks "natural." Not that I am against these things at all. Or that I even do most of them. Or that I won't do them. Because, for one, I like these images too, and in certain areas of my life, especially my work, it has its place. It's vital. However, the things that are truly beautiful in my life are not going to be found in a perfectly curated scene because perfectly curated scenes don't exist naturally in my world. And thus the meditation on hats and balance and convergence ensues.

These images aren't from a film camera, though, inspired by Lauren, I decided for the moment I wanted to take photos as though they were. With the same spirit I did when I first started photography in an effort to stop thinking about the grain of life as noise. Take all the hats off but one. Capture the real parts of our every day - the truly beautiful parts. 

And what real life looks like for us is a lot like this. I don't always make my bed in the morning. My children's faces are usually dirty and if you walked into my house you'd very likely find the glow of a screen illuminating those dirty faces. If you catch me in a moment of a real smile you'll see a double chin. I hate my double chin, but the truth is, the pictures where you can see it, they are also always secretly my favorites. Fisher's room will never, ever be pin-worthy. I am a sucker for buying my kids candy and that tattoo is still there because my child hadn't bathed in a week. My dining table is almost always covered in something. As is my floor. And the bathtub. And everything else that has a surface. The moments themselves are where the sharpness and the perfect light lie. Where life is. Where I have decided to be for now as these grainy thoughts continue to take shape. 

Tiger Boy

Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh, look, the world is still spinning. Flowers are blooming. Bloggers are blogging. Babies are cooing. Game of Thrones season 5 is starting! I have to admit I’ve been a little out of the loop as far as life outside of my narrow vision this week. After we got back from Seattle school started up again. I needed to hustle to get reacquainted with going to school (it’s amazing what even the smallest of breaks can do to your routine). I had my order for West Elm to complete, laundry to catch up on, pictures to edit, a complex emailing system to figure out regarding which teacher wants you to use which email address and what to say exactly in the subject line so your assignment/questions don’t get ignored, and the list went on. And just as all started to level off my world seemed to stop on Monday morning when I got a call from M+L’s school. Hi this is Debbie from the office. (ugh, my kids can’t possibly be sick again was what I was thinking). There was an incident on the playground, one of the teachers said Luca wasn’t responding to her and doesn’t seem like himself. He’s in the nurses office with . . . (and then she listed off several people including the principle). You need to come to the school right now. I won’t list the thousands of thoughts I was having during this phone call, but I can tell you I didn’t think anything sounded that bad. Though apparently my instincts were working because I called my mom (a nurse) on my way telling her, I might be calling her back with some questions and to answer her phone. 

When I got there I was greeted by a room full of very worried and shaken looking faces and a little Tiger curled in the chair in what appeared to be a semi-conscious state. I walked in and said “no he doesn’t seem himself. this isn’t normal,” trying to match the words from the secretary to what I was seeing (though from the phone call I had a more 'not listening' vision in my mind. this was not that). The student teacher, who was with him at recess, then went on to tell me what had happened. She said she saw him laying on top of the play structure (of course he just happened to be on top of the play structure), concerned she went over to him - he was rigid, his fists were clinched and his mouth was blue, she tried to get his attention but he just stared straight ahead. After about 20 seconds he coughed and seemed to ‘come to,’ but was still not very responsive. He was weak, unable to walk, so she carried him inside and they called me. 

She told me it looked like a seizure, she’s seen seizures, that’s what they often look like. The principle suggested I call our pediatrician. I picked him up and said we were going to the Emergency Department. Once in the car he started wailing about his head hurting. This was the first time I really panicked. If you have any medical knowledge of worse-case scenario medical crisis (or are a parent - parents are acutely aware of worst-case scenarios) you can imagine all the terrible thoughts running through my mind as to what could be happening there in my car. I debated calling 911 but didn’t want to wait so we drove to the ER. By the time we got there he had stopped complaining about his head and was using some words (slowly starting to feel less panic).  There were a couple hours in the ER he remained pretty out of it, his eye weren’t dilating, the IV prick didn’t stir him from sleep. But then he started to perk up. Then he started to seem perfectly fine. I asked him what happened at recess and he said “I didn’t get to go to recess today.” He has no memory of anything from that morning at all. Ask him how he is now and he says “good.”

And he is. He seems totally and completely "good." As you can see from these photos both my M+L (and their hair) are as fabulous as ever. You’d never know my little Tiger boy gave me the biggest fright of my life this week. Luca even went back to school yesterday to which he was welcomed with lots of happy and relieved faces from his kindergarten class. He might not have any memory of what happened but the other kids do. I realized this when one of his classmates came up to Luca with a picture he drew of him. It was a stick-figure Luca, with an arrow next to him indicating when he "fell" and then another stick-figure Luca with a wiggly line over his body. "Hey Luca, look I drew you a picture! This is you when you fell and this is when you were wiggling on the ground!" I am glad Luca was able to reassure them all. Caught up in my own fright I didn't even think how scary that must have been for his class!

The bigger issue at the moment is that I have come to the realization that Milo may be a bit of a hypochondriac. Monday at home while fussing over Luca, Milo is in the background saying “oooooh, my finger!” To which I say, “Milo, that (microscopic) “scrape,” if you must call it that, is three weeks old!” Then he’d say “oh my belly hurts. oh my eyes. oh my bones. ALL of my bones hurt!” He was practically feigning fainting spells in the background as Luca was convincing everyone that he’s “good!” and lamenting about missing recess. And unfortunately Milo’s diagnosis of hypochondria is all I can offer at this time. I still do not know what prompted Luca’s seizure, though, they are calling it a seizure. That part is clear. But all of the scary thoughts I had whilst driving him to the ER are not things I am (consciously) worrying about at this point. Still I am anxious to rule out, rule out, rule out. We are currently waiting an appointment with a pediatric neurologist so hopefully answers will come soon and, more importantly, hopefully life will be wonderfully, magically, and beautifully uneventful until then. We are definitely accepting any positive thoughts you'd like to put out into the universe for us. xo
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