I love the things that you find walking around San Francisco. Piles of objects that are perfectly placed. Decisions that someone made, and passersby quickly walk by without giving it a second thought, carefully avoiding coming too close.
How appropriate it is that yesterday was also my parents anniversary. Two people who love each other so completely. A love that has taken many forms over the last 40 years of being together. In recent years I have come to realize how important it is for me to photograph them, if only to hold onto the present or past. Simple moments. It's a real pleasure to see a love so admirable, so quiet, so sweet. I wish that love on everyone. It would make all the other stuff worth it. It has to.
Jeff, the handsome one on the left, turns 31 today. We have, I'd say, a rather unique relationship. We've been together for ten years now: long-distance over the last five, and have three more years to go before we can finally be back in the same state/city/timezone. And the unfortunate thing is that people don't really treat you like you're a real couple unless you're married, but very few couples could sustain a long distance relationship the way that we have. Somehow Jeff makes it work sort of effortlessly. He is smart, incredibly thoughtful, and really funny. Most people think he's shy, and they're right, he can be, but few people get to see him glow when he gets excited about a topic, and how chatty he is after having coffee, never listened to him learn and play their favorite song on a piano, or received a handcrafted gift that makes them want to cry because it took him months to think up or make, never had him shave their head, and him still look at them like they are the most beautiful person he's ever seen. And while I wish everyone could see what i've seen, of him, over the last 10 years, it's also pretty special that I get to be the one he shares it with.
He is truly one of a kind and I'm grateful for every minute we get to spend together (even if we are apart.)
The H stands for Hollinger, my mother's maiden name. The cups were her grandmothers, so you can imagine how disappointed she was when she accidentally broke this one. At least we have a few more left, but I couldn't pass up a chance to document the sad cup.
This year I've been to three new countries, held a job with people I respect and admire, ate a grotesque amount of beans, spent far too long on my laptop retouching images, admired the stars and wind and rain, spent too much time feeling insecure, and even more time being selfish, lost an organ, gained a friend, drank and ungodly amount of wine, spent an embarrassing amount of time watching tv, got to see my family frequently, fell deeper in love with a good man, and woke up this morning feeling pretty well. Sometimes I forget how much I hate the smell of wet gravel, and that's unfortunate because who knows when it will be the last time I get to smell it.
Pierrevert, which is in the South of France, was an incredible place, but it was also above 90 degrees every day. Coming from San Francisco weather, it was rough. Regardless, I spent most days walking about 6 miles, checking out exhibitions, meeting other artists, and when I got the time, photographing on my own. The town of Pierrevert was very old, parts of it were built even as early as 1500-1700. The sweet couple hosting me shared the history of the town, explaining how the hills and mountains surrounding them protected the people from attacks. And while a lot has been built since the towns origin, it still has that isolated feeling.
I loved seeing the overgrown weeds everywhere. Living in a big city, like San Francisco, nature is manufactured to fit between concrete slabs. A Tree here, bush there, and when the roots wreck the concrete, they just cut the tree down. And while I'm not really the nature-type, it's difficult not to appreciate a landscape so lush and seductive. The wind blowing through it's snail infested mane, and the sort of quiet and reflective air that gets into your lungs.
They came to visit me in San Francisco. My kitchen light had been acting as an odious strobe light for a month or two. As unsettling as it may have been, I am very low maintenance and would just avoid turning on the light, all together, instead of taking the time to change it. But that's one of the good things about Dads, they like to fix things for their kids.
That ladder was incredibly rickety, and for a minute I did worry for his safety. But then I thought back on his strengthening exercises he used to do at night (he would stand on one foot and closes his eyes for extended amounts of time -- try it, it's hard.) and I realized he probably has better balance than I do, even if he is in his mid-sixties. Mom cautiously stood beside him, looking less worried than I'd expect, holding down his left calf until he successfully fixed the light.
It just keeps ticking. A machine in constant disarray, moving so fast you can't tell if it's speeding up or slowing down. The distant hum of steel to concrete, drowned out by bluetooth conversations, and bustling cars. A rollercoaster moving so fast you can only focus on the blurs of color as they pass you by. Look at it. Look at it hard. Concentrate. Try to follow one blade on the ceiling fan as it circles and circles and circles. As soon as you catch it, it's already gone again. Concentrate.