October 21st, 2010, 05:34 PM
For me photography is an "artistic" outlet away from the analytically centric job I have. Lord knows I can't draw, sing, or play any instruments. I've always had a knack for color, so photography seemed like a perfect fit.
In regards to where I'm at with photography? Well, it seems I'm somehwere on a path with lots of forks, bends, and breaks. I'm just here for the ride, so I really don't know.
October 22nd, 2010, 01:17 AM
I am sick, the kind of sick you don't get better from. By happenstance, I got a granddaughter to raise. Who has time for not taking every second of life and squeezing every precious moment from it?
Photographs are the recordings of those moments...each precious and once-in-a-lifetime. She's 4. I've got 4 years behind me and hopefully a few more ahead.
I am not a photographer, but I am a recorder of time, of change, of slices of life.
How do you teach a child that life matters? From the mundane to the life-changing events and everything in-between? Who we are as individuals matters, how we act and how we present ourselves to the world matters, how we go about our daily life matters, how we act in the moment matters..all piled up it is our legacy not just of our life but of that moment in time.
Hannah, she believes in Mother Nature and understands the importance of preserving and nurturing everything that Mother Nature provides. Mother Nature/god..cause and effect. We are born, we live and we die as everything on earth does...we all change in small but steady steps, recorded in photograph's. We go the the Sierra's numerous times throughout the year, camping in the spring and summer months, in autumn and winter we rent a cabin.
Go in the spring and the snow is just melting away as the new buds begin their journey to becoming leaves or flowers, back in Fall and Winter and we see the leaves change and fall..snow comes and blankets all in white. She see's and understands change..it's an ongoing discussion recorded in pictures. A new born deer, a baby Belding Squirrel, two dead chipmunks in a water tub left out unsuspecting of what the end result would or could be...cause and effect. Recorded and discussed. Earthquakes and disasters, human suffering, poverty, seen and discussed..with a heart full of tears.
Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries, Holidays all recalled and lived with photograph's. The years pass and the discussion continues. Integrity, ability, talent, self and others..animals and things all need attention..to be loved to be taken care of. Walk into the woods Mother Nature astounds you with her beauty..leave nothing behind..others will follow let then see it as you saw it pristine and unspoiled. Recorded with pictures. A walk in a wild life refuge, littered with debris..once beautiful now soiled by humans who don't know better...we come back with garbage bags and begin the clean-up..my 4 year old fully engrossed in the process and her heartfelt sorrow for the indifference of man to nature. Recorded in pictures.
She grows up strong and healthy day by day. Her heart is big and she cares and cares a great deal already at 4. She knows about volcanoes, and hurricanes and tidal waves and she knows that sometimes bad things happen but she knows what it feels like to be loved for just who you are and she feels safe and secure. On those days when I am slow to begin or don't get up at all..she comes in frequently to check on me..a hug, a kiss sometimes she curls up beside me and we just breath together..quietly listening to the sound of breathing! The camera is near..all recorded in pictures.
It's not always easy and not always fair, but by knowing who you are and keeping true to yourself and what is in your heart you rise above it and go on..the foundation is strong...the conversation continues as does life and as do the pictures. It is my legacy to her, but it is also her life as shared with me. The two of us on this journey till our paths divide
When you see my pictures posted here..Hannah was with me most likely when it was snapped..she experienced it physically, tangibly and emotionally...their is no separation of one from the other, at least not often. The camera is always close..she always asks, "Grandma what is our picture of today?"
October 22nd, 2010, 08:18 AM
Karen, this is the first time I have become aware of your illness, but certainly not the first time I've seen and read of your great love for your darling Hannah, the light of your life. Thank you so much for taking the time out to write about your own journey in such a personal way. The legacy you are living sounds to me like the greatest gift, and I have no doubt that your Hannah will continue in the steps you've taken together in the Sierras and throughout life. I wonder if Hannah has started to take any photographs yet - it certainly can't be long before she does. Thank you, Karen. I'll be watching here and on Flickr for more recordings of your pictures of the day, with Hannah.
October 22nd, 2010, 08:40 AM
I thought you said you weren't a photographer...
Maybe I read the post wrong....
Much love and respect...
October 22nd, 2010, 09:42 AM
Hello Karen, I read your story with a lump in my throat because I too have had a serious illness, cancer. I'm 11 years down the line and I never thought that I would get past the first two. I had three daughters to bring up then, the youngest only 7 years old. I've been trying to bring them up to be strong and independent young women. My photos will be something that is left of the real "me", not just a mother and wife, as well as recording our family life. Hannah has learned how to be a caring human being already and that's thanks to you. All children love to look at photos and yours will be treasured by Hannah and probably her own children too one day. The circle of life will continue.
October 22nd, 2010, 10:17 AM
Isn't that the truth. I'm sure fathers feel the same, but as a mother I had to respond.
My photos will be something that is left of the real "me", not just a mother and wife, as well as recording our family life.
Thank you, Christina and I am so glad you are 11 years down the line and that we're all lucky enough to be here for our moments together.
October 22nd, 2010, 11:55 AM
I know..I know I know..Cancer can be a chronic illness..not just something that is treated and goes away or kills us if it doesn't. There are people like us who live with it day in and day out for years..doing nothing but living. You, like me are just that much more aware of the passage of time and just how precious moments are. Having a child or children in your life makes the passage of time all that more tangible. The pictures, the recorded memories are indeed a powerful legacy not only of who you are or were as a person, but of and to your children..a shared timeline of all the moments shared one by the other and together.
October 22nd, 2010, 12:07 PM
Hannah is taking pictures too! She has one of those indestructible children's cameras..that is until Christmas when she will receive a new "normal" point and shoot with an optical zoom. She takes pretty good pictures..I let her use my camera and she does a decent job of framing and not chopping off people's heads. Time will tell..the interest is certainly there.
October 22nd, 2010, 02:34 PM
Karen, sorry you're ill.
My first husband died suddenly in 1996; we were married earlier that year. That really gave me perspective on how short life can be.
I have so few photos of him, and because my own photos were destroyed in a flood the spring after he died, I mostly have other people's photos of him, like this one taken by my father:
At Durty Nelly's, June 1996 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
So it's a constant reminder to do better to document the life around me. Even so, I still find that I forget to take pictures of the people because my "thing" is architectural detail.
October 22nd, 2010, 02:49 PM
Deirdre, just reading your post puts another level of life into perspective. Photos as memory keepers is getting embedded in my brain, thanks to this thread.
By the way, not to disrupt the flow of other members' "where are you on journey" entries, I've started a kind of offshoot thread over in the Image Processing forum here that I hope may help some of us who need it with respect to documenting the life around us.
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