Day 365 – The Last One and a Big Huzzah

It Bustles

Day 365

Finis by Dorothy Parker

Now it’s over, and now it’s done;
Why does everything look the same?
Just as bright, the unheeding sun, —
Can’t it see that the parting came?
People hurry and work and swear,
Laugh and grumble and die and wed,
Ponder what they will eat and wear, —
Don’t they know that our love is dead?

Just as busy, the crowded street;
Cars and wagons go rolling on,
Children chuckle, and lovers meet, —
Don’t they know that our love is gone?
No one pauses to pay a tear;
None walks slow, for the love that’s through, —
I might mention, my recent dear,
I’ve reverted to normal, too.

•••
At long last, it is finished.  I finished where I started as planned from the very first shot.  And I am stunned at how the quality of my shooting has improved.  I never realized I had so much to learn.
And a good riddance to this 365…

First shot and final shot. What a difference a year makes….

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Day 358 – Get To Work!!!

Get To Work!!!

Day 358

The End Of The Library by Weldon Kees

When the coal
Gave out, we began
Burning the books, one by one;
First the set
Of Bulwer-Lytton
And then the Walter Scott.
They gave a lot of warmth.
Toward the end, in
February, flames
Consumed the Greek
Tragedians and Baudelaire,
Proust, Robert Burton
And the Po-Chu-i. Ice
Thickened on the sills.
More for the sake of the cat,
We said, than for ourselves,
Who huddled, shivering,
Against the stove
All winter long.
•••
Interesting poem find at a time when libraries in Florida are banning the trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Day 294 – Some are Wise

Some are Wise

Day 294

Tho’ I get home how late — how late by Emily Dickinson

Tho’ I get home how late — how late —
So I get home – ’twill compensate —
Better will be the Ecstasy
That they have done expecting me —
When Night — descending — dumb — and dark —
They hear my unexpected knock —
Transporting must the moment be —
Brewed from decades of Agony!

To think just how the fire will burn —
Just how long-cheated eyes will turn —
To wonder what myself will say,
And what itself, will say to me —
Beguiles the Centuries of way!

•••
I drove miles, and miles, and miles yesterday.  From the moment I left home for the library, to the 40 minutes I spent at lunch going to the bank and running errands, to the 120 miles I drove to and from District Band Festival (in Mattawan, MI by way of a Kalamazoo side trip) in order to surprise my wonderful son with my wonderful presence, to the 100 miles I drove to and from the far side of Elkhart, IN, I drove more miles than is pleasant.  On the way home I stopped by my old standby, Shipshewana, for a quick shot and I finally pulled into my driveway at 1:00 am.
Is it any wonder that I am wiped out today?  And guess what?  I drove an hour each way from Kalamazoo and back AGAIN today.  You know, some are wise and some are otherwise….

Day 293 – Talking in a Darkened Lot

Talking in a Darkened Lot

Day 293

Conversation Galante by T. S. Eliot

I observe: “Our sentimental friend the moon!
Or possibly (fantastic, I confess)
It may be Prester John’s balloon
Or an old battered lantern hung aloft
To light poor travelers to their distress.”
She then: “How you digress!”

And I then: “Someone frames upon the keys
That exquisite nocturne, with which we explain
The night and moonshine; music which we seize
To body forth our own vacuity.”
She then: “Does this refer to me?”
“Oh no, it is I who am inane.”

“You, madam, are the eternal humorist,
The eternal enemy of the absolute,
Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist!
With your air indifferent and imperious
At a stroke our mad poetics to confute—”
And—“Are we then so serious?”

•••
I took a drive tonight to find a photo.  In the skies overhead, lightning flashed sporadically and I considered abandoning my quest, however the warm air and the wind blowing into the car as I drove down dark roads convinced  me to continue.  I ended up in Shipshewana, Indiana once again – it seems to be my most frequent night-time destination – and walked around with camera and tripod.  I found a window reflecting hundreds of lights, a clay pot with a long shadow and this, the red signal light on an Amish buggy parked on a side street.
As I walked back to my car, a woman was leaving the back entrance of the Blue Gate and we greeted each other.  She thought I was with another local photographer and was quite surprised to find that I was just taking a photo for today.  Well, I don’t seem to know a stranger, so I stood in the warm air and had a lovely conversation with this woman, whose name I never learned, finding that I am “just like her cousin,” that her daughter goes against the normal flow by staying single and having a career, that her sons are extremely easy-going and that her co-worker grew up in the same geographical area I grew up in, among other things.  She and I have mutual acquaintances and my husband’s family “has hung” with members of her family.  It has been a long time since I have just stood in the warm evening air, chatting with a stranger for the sheer pleasure of the conversation.  I need to do it more often.

Day 285 – They Roll Them Up at Dusk

They Roll Them Up at Dusk

Day 285

U.S.A. (from Three Night Poems) by George Garret

Say, they roll up the sidewalks all over town
by 11:30 p.m. Lord, by midnight there’s nothing
moving, doing. Lone streetlights glare,
one-eyed, but do not dare to dance.
Here and there late lamps burn pale
fire to keep back the beasts of the night.
Somebody’s sick, you think (like Huck),
or, less innocent, project the lewd
fantastic, the cheap old beams
and images from broken movies
into frail naked rooms. Alas
for the cop on the corner who offers
a glass-eyed stare, and for the last car
weaving the pavement like a lonesome drunk.
Dancer, giants, heroes and dreamers,
where are you now? It’s a fact–
when a heart breaks it doesn’t make a sound.

•••

10:30 p.m. and not a soul on the streets except for me with my camera.  30 second exposure and not a single car to leave light trails in the frame.  Just the wind blowing, howling overhead, the sound of a trash can clattering on an adjacent street and dried up leaves chasing each other down the darkened sidewalk.

Is it any wonder that I love this small town so?

Day 273 – Unfrozen Snow Droplets

Unfrozen Snow Droplets - Night

Day 273

Out Of The Watercolored Window, When You Look by Delmore Schwartz

When from the watercolored window idly you look
Each is but and clear to see, not steep:
So does the neat print in an actual book
Marching as if to true conclusion, reap
The illimitable blue immensely overhead,
The night of the living and the day of the dead.

I drive in an auto all night long to reach
The apple which has sewed the sunlight up:
My simple self is nothing but the speech
Pleading for the overflow of that great cup,
The darkened body, the mind still as a frieze:
All else is merely means as complex as disease!

•••

Unfrozen Snow Droplets

The snow bands are settled overhead.  This lake effect snow during this mild winter seems somehow surprising falling for the past two days in intermittent squalls.  I am not a lover of winter, but as I went to our ‘large’ metropolitan main street, the snow was falling in such thick sheets, I had to smile.  To make a cliché of it, it looks like a giant snow globe being shaken maniacally.  I am hoping that this snow stays long enough to pose for my camera.

Unfrozen Snow Droplets - Morning

Day 267 – Swift and Shallow, Dark Night

Swift and Shallow, Dark Night

Day 267

The Lady’s Reward by Dorothy Parker

Lady, lady, never start
Conversation toward your heart;
Keep your pretty words serene;
Never murmur what you mean.
Show yourself, by word and look,
Swift and shallow as a brook.
Be as cool and quick to go
As a drop of April snow;
Be as delicate and gay
As a cherry flower in May.
Lady, lady, never speak
Of the tears that burn your cheek-
She will never win him, whose
Words had shown she feared to lose.
Be you wise and never sad,
You will get your lovely lad.
Never serious be, nor true,
And your wish will come to you-
And if that makes you happy, kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.

Last night I posted some of my frustration about my photographic services and those who think that my time is pretty much worthless to me (and obviously to them).  I have always been very generous with sharing my gifts, probably too much so, and as a result the hours that people want me to give them are taken for granted. A few months ago, I got angry about it.  It took one wedding too many with a bride who wanted everything for nothing, who wanted more time than I should have given and is still harassing me about her wedding photos.  What she did not realize is that once you make me angry, I put on the brakes and I come to a dead stop.  And as wrong as it probably is, she will not be getting the photos from me other than the complete set of web ready photos I emailed her in 6 different emails.

But I can thank that bride for opening my eyes to what I was doing to myself.  I was devaluing the work I do, my time and my talent.  So, while I am frustrated by those who want my price to be *free*, I am satisfied that I am doing the right thing.  And that makes me happy, kid.

Swift and Shallow, Dark Night