Category Archives: Gratitude

JUNE 30, 2015

The Gift

Silvia had come by with one of her delicate tortes made with eggs, milk and flour all from the farm. You just can’t get it any fresher than that. She was so sweet when she brought it over, innocent like a kid in some ways, even though she’s a mother of two. I saw that quality coming from her and responded with a photograph, and immediate salivation.

Maggie and I ate at least half of it sitting in the shade of the oak tree in the back of the house. That day was nearly 90 degrees, and even that didn’t stop us from devouring it. And it lead to a portrait, and a still life, too.

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JUNE 26, 2015

All is Being Lost

In a roadside restaurant in the Maremma region of Tuscany I watched this man feed his Alzheimer’s-ish mother. Having cared for my own Alzheimer father I recognized the tenderness and patience he brought to the   task. The roles are reversed at this stage of life; the parent is the 3 or 4 year old, and the child assumes the parent role, and often, in this situation, the deepening absence of the parent doesn’t bring the joy one gets with the awakening of the child to the world around them.

All is being lost and yet there is nothing to do but love and care for them while watching the decline. But every once in a while there is the briefest moment of return to lucidity and the present, and like photography, if we are present, we get the gift of their awakening, and then it’s gone.

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MARCH 6, 2015

MY BIRTHDAY!

Sitting on the breakfast table was this box, and a rose in a nest, a sprig of thyme, and an embroidered love note from Maggie. A lovely way to start my birth day.

Although many other notes were struck during the day, and they were fun filled, friend filled, and intimate, I remembered this one for its simplicity, honesty, humility and love.

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FEBRUARY 10/11, 2015

Gratitude

If there is one thing that 50 years of making photographs has taught me it is that every moment, no matter what it brings; joy, pleasure, sadness, pain, or the endless bounty of everything else we can feel, it passes as quickly as it came, and the continual renewal of every moment is all we can hope to be conscious of. It is the attachment to things, as if they were permanent, that gets us into trouble.

So, first of all, I am grateful beyond words for all the loving, supportive and generous comments that flowed to me and Maggie today after yesterday’s challenging times. Yes! It was shocking to be setup like that by a band of thieves (we later learned that it’s a honey trap, and that many other travelers have lost their belongings at this roadside attraction). And the Police do nothing about it, figuring, we guess, ‘tourists get what’s coming to them, traveling with all their precious possessions, and the cops know insurance companies will cover the loss, so why bother looking, and, it aids the local economy’. What a way to live!

But, back to your kindnesses. So many of you offered your thoughts about attachment, and our moment of loss, that it made us feel that there is hope when so many strangers offer this comfort so warmly. Maggie and I are already filling the space with new moments, new feelings, working through the lost items and memories, letting things go as we must, and painful as it is at moments, it is also becoming lighter to bear.

Maggie even said to me today, and she lost more intimate, meaningful treasures than my replaceable things, “I say a prayer for those who had to live lives that brought them to a place where they treat other humans like this”.

February 10,

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February 11,

A day of retreat from all the aches of yesterday. As I walked past this stone cap at the end of a flight of stairs it took hold of me and made me pay attention. It made me step out of my inwardness and take in the vast, almost cosmic map quality of this humble stone in which mould, and fissures, and weathering, have made the surface dance the universal dance. As if stars exploded and atoms were splitting, and planetary movements were being etched by time on a glass plate negative. And perhaps that is what time has done to this stone. Simply left its marks while the stone aged.

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