Friday, January 1, 2010


Whooie, am I glad it's over. It took me a few hours this morning realizing that it really is over. I was sorely tempted to remain seasonally depressed, but it's almost noon and I know it's over. Happy New Year, 2010! We have well over 335 days before those of us who don't love this season go under again.

(This is a pinhole image of the toys I found in the garden, when I dug, left by the children of my first tenants who used to play out there. They were the most rag-tag family, who paid the rent in weekly installments. She would come up the backstairs, knock on the door, and hand me money.)

By now, I'm thinking of what I can do. At midnight, I was holding Bogie, who was shaking inconsolably, from all the fireworks let off up and down the street. Tulip barked during the loudest of them. At eight this morning, when Krissy came upstairs, I had fallen asleep again, after reading "Inside the Dog," an interesting book I was trying to finish when I woke up at six.
(This pinhole image is of a little silver pitcher that was a wedding present when Kemper and I were married.)

When I was in New York for my birthday present to myself in May, I stayed for a few nights at the apartment of Susan's friend, Shelia who has a fine dog who she cooks breakfast and dinner for. Those meals are supplemented by bones that she happened to put on the bookshelves when they were sufficiently gnawed. I fell in love with the bones and imagined doing pinhole images of them, so I took a package when I left.

(This pinhole image is a colorful Mexican mask and a tiny Mexican figure. I wrote about my father in the accompanying text.) 

Now I'm hoping that Krissy will stop by Shelia's place to get more for me when she's in New York on weekends. Pinhole is actually quite easy. I have a trusty shoebox camera, put fiber paper in it, expose for nine-twelve minutes, race upstairs to develop the photo paper, check whether it's a decent paper negative, etc. I love the images that I did years ago. Each has text about an association with the object. 

I imagined collecting a lot of bones for these images...that would have text...some sort of text. Lends itself to thoughts about death, doesn't it? But, maybe not.

But this morning I was thinking about all the mementos that I have on two small shelves. They are deserving of pinhole images and text since no one would ever know what these important talismen mean. But making paper negatives take a long time. Could I do them as digital photos? (My macro Nikon lens isn't working properly or I'd take them in film. Should I have that repaired?) Import them, make a small book of images and text in Quark? Would that serve the same purpose, be easier to manage if not as beautiful as the black and white silver prints? But where would I show those prints if I made them, my eternal problem? 

Oh, well...two last bits...Our collective advice is to avoid Avatar! It is not worth the price of admission. Oh, horrible, horrible and horrible.....Chris, a bright fellow, missed a crucial bit of information so he found it more confusing, as well as boring. Krissy, normally very astute, missed the clue given in the first four minutes of the film that tells you how the villains will be defeated at the end which is a long, long, long time away. I understood it all and wanted to leave. 
And Elizabeth, if you do have a blog, please let me know the address. I can't find it by clicking on your photo. 


  1. Let's have an at-home opening of your pinhole photos. They are mysterious and sensitive, the light with substance. Also a book of them.

  2. Congratulations on making it to the other side of your seasonal depression. These pinhole images cast a unique, nostalgic, mysterious light. Very interesting.

  3. Finally I get to your blog, Melissa.

    I've been at it all day, domestic trivia wise, but in between I managed to read my own blog and discovered you had found it, so all's well.

    Your thoughts here made me think of our poor dog who also found the fireworks distressing but as well, we've had thunderstorms, so Ralph the dog has regressed to peeing and shitting indoors again. Oh woe, we'll have to retrain him. Dog's are such delightfully sensitive creatures.

    I love your pinhole photographic technique and I have no intention at this stage at least, of going to see Avatar, though a couple of my kids thought it was okay.