Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today I discovered oitzarisme

How lovely when you come across a site you've never seen before... (love that play on words.)
While reading Lenscratch today, I came across oitzarisme, a site dedicated to Constantin Nimigean's love of Photography. I'm intrigued by his straightforward explanation of himself:

"I’m Constantin Nimigean, I’m from Bucharest, Romania, and I’m a Desktop Publisher.
I started this website in order to develop my passions for photography and advertising, also to show you, my friends, what I discover on the bright side of the internet..."

Even though the use of technology is pervasive in my life, and clearly in order to stay fresh as an educator and artist I must continue to stay abreast of the latest technologies, I'm still amazed that I'm able to discover artists halfway across the world, all from my home in Michigan. Yes, I would rather discover them in person, but now I know where to go when I get there.

...and speaking of Romanians, here's my favorite one: Alex Mandrila
(disclaimer: Alex is a former student of mine.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Before the next storm I arrives, I'm dreaming of new life

our little backyard, shot from a second floor window this morning

Before the gray skies crawl in and the next snow arrives today, I needed to remind myself that with the passing of winter brings new life. I hope this is a metaphor for what's to come. This has been an especially long and difficult winter for me, challenging some of my core beliefs about life and making me question the formula that so many people believe to be true: without the rain there would be no rainbow, etc.

Do hardships always turn into prosperity with hard work? Does perseverance and a positive attitude always pay off? I've had so many people say, don't worry, this too shall pass. I have worked my butt off, remained positive through three years of struggle and at the end of the day, I'm unsure if I still believe there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Medical issues abound, financial hardships remain, and a girl who always achieved her goals no matter what; a girl who always felt lucky and carried an internal light of optimism, wonders if sometimes, things just don't get better.

As my Grandpa always used to say... I'm still breathing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rural Route Two Box Two Eight One

I'm finding myself once again stuck in the doldrums of February. The sky is gray, the snow is muddy and stained black, and since I've been sick for almost one month now, I haven't been able to enjoy my cold runs at night: my saving grace. 

A well timed pick-me-up arrived in the mail, well actually it was sent to my parents address -  but delivered nonetheless. I ordered it awhile back, then forgot, so it was a nice little surprise from the d o l d r u m s of February. This simple, straightforward bimonthly publication is from rural route two box two eight one, deemed on their site, a photo zine, and that it truly is. The unassuming publication feels flimsy in your hands but don't be fooled, inside are well printed images and a simple layout, allowing the focus to remain on the work. You will find a short statement and bio from the two featured artists and quite refreshingly, nothing else. The longer I sit with it, the more impressed I am by this publication. You won't even find a bio on the folks who have created this Zine; to find out more, you must search a little deeper. 

Volume One, Issue Two, features the work of James Luckett and Lydia Moyer. (Click on their names to visit their sites.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An open love letter to my son on his birthday

Dear sweet baby boy,

Five years ago today we went through a journey that changed my life forever. It's late at night as I write this, and I can't help but think back on how magical and yet terrifying the night you were born was for me. Your older brother had a lovely birth at the hospital with a midwife, but I knew I'd never do that again, and so I chose to have you at home - I was anxious.

At this time five years ago I was in labor. Your papa was there and your older brother was in his room with his grandma, waiting for you to arrive. Our midwife was present, as was her lovely apprentice; these were two women I had grown to love and adore. They knew where I was (both having been there before) and that I was on a journey larger than any of us in that room.

You came into my life quiet and very alert. Just like both of your brothers, you were a very easy baby. When your baby brother arrived two and a half years ago, it didn't take long for you to find your voice. Since then, you have challenged me in many ways. Often, I wonder when we will move out of this stage and you've made me question many aspects of what I thought was a foolproof parenting style. Oh boy, I was a cocky mother of two. Three, really did change the dynamics of our family dramatically and it seemed to have the biggest affect on you. But recently I've noticed you rising above your frustrations and finding your own way in the world. It's so wonderful to watch you grow.

You are a beautiful boy. You love cooking, reading, drawing, and you are THE BEST five year old gardner that I've ever known. (Actually, you could seriously challenge most adults when it comes to your garden.) You love your Papa more than me, you tell me all of the time. You are smart and opinionated and could care less if you are the only boy wearing pink hello kitty gloves to school or a cute ladybug tutu for Halloween (see link). You inspire me. With each day that passes, I try to soak you in and hold you tight for just one second longer, knowing soon this will all just be a fading memory.

Happy 5th birthday... to my one and only.

You won't understand how much I love you for a very long time, and that's just fine.

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