Sunday, January 23, 2011


 More than fifty inches of snow in a little more than a month. It's discouraging, on one level. Friday was another storm and I missed video taping the ladies who have been making quilts for babies in the ICU since 1989. I've finished a rough draft and was certain that I'd get the chance to tape many versions of quilts to cover the interview with Jean, one of the two women who started this venture. She's rarely there, but I got the chance to tape her just before Christmas because she was going out to lunch with the group. Macular degeneration has made it impossible for her to see more than contrasts and large shapes, so she finds it hard to be there where she was the small-detail guardian -- correcting any mistakes and noticing hanging threads from across the room. She was a stitcher for her working life, a job that she felt really good about. I'd bought three packages of cookies (not being able to decide which they would like most even though I know there will be a fuss over so many.)
 On the other hand, the snow has been quite remarkable. I wish I could figure out what to 'do' with it. A few years ago, a friend said that she wanted to photograph the last of the knobby drifts and make prints (as in etching, not photography) from those sculptural shapes. I've wanted to photograph a particular set of small evergreen bushes that are planted along a fence, hiding a metal-collection center. They're wrapped in burlap for the winter, sort of like a conceptual piece.

But I haven't found anything really interesting or thought of how to use the mounds of snow. What good is anything if you can't use it? I used to know a financially-exhausted painter who photographed the meals he was invited to...stood above and took a black-and-white images of the full dinner plate. I doubt he ever did anything with that series since he was, basically, a landscape painter though he occasionally painted folks in orchestras. They were rather small, somewhat old fashioned, quite touching if conventional, images.
 This is actually a place that i think is remarkably beautiful. There are reeds if you get closer to these two it's tanks, reeds, trees, a fence and pavement. It works for me. With the clouds or without. And it was more perfect because of the snow on the trees, but I didn't walk close enough to specialize in that image. This is as good as nature gets. (I'm not overly fascinated by nature and certainly not by photographs of nature even though there are endless reruns on PBS by Art Wolfe (sp?) who treks to distant places to make art. I like to listen to his stories, and particularly liked the program that showed how he and his support group manage a shoot, but I don't find the images interesting at all. I'd prefer drawings.
 This is a particularly interesting bridge. My new routine is to walk on the treadmill at Planet Fitness for 35 minutes, drive out to Target, across from the track which is all closed down, and buy a grande latte. That's with the hope that it will keep me going so that I can actually use the evening for work. I hate night. I don't like dark. Or cold. And it takes a lot for me to not waste it by lying around, watching people murder other people on TV. But this plan seems to work, most of the time. The view as I cross the bridge, the latte in the cup holder, as I am close to turning down Revere Beach highway and it's already dark or getting dark since we've passed the solstice and minute-by-minutes it's staying lighter later.
Krissy's birthday. We went out to lunch. She is still as good as she always was, making the absolute best of not being where she wants to be. She's always been a sport...when she was a child, it took her five or six hours to open Christmas presents -- she gave so much attention to each one, small or large, important or seemingly not. And on Halloween, she gave candy to the folks who gave her candy, at least until the year she went with other children and learned she was supposed to keep it all.

I often skip e=mails, don't pay attention to facebook, generally behave in a wretched way so it was extremely bracing to realize that I'd ignored one message from a close person,  telling me that she'd gotten sick again. I hope this chastening will work and that I'll pay attention! I have no idea why I'm like this and know that apologies don't work for ignoring an important message. Or for not being in communication enough. There's no explaining this bad habit.....hopefully change is possible.

Does anyone know how to capture one's own blogspots? I tried what a friend suggested (selecting and copying to a folder on the desktop...I couldn't select one entry, etc.) and that didn't work....


  1. I haven't tried to save my postings (this is what we're talking about?) but would do it just as your friend suggested. I would just put them in with my iprint documents. I can't think why it wouldn't work. There seems to be a need for quiet among many of the bloggers I read, so I'm not sure that skipping e-mails, etc., is a bad habit or self-protection. If one could think of ways to use mounds of snow, this would be the year.

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  3. I hope it is okay that I've linked my post today to your blog and your thought about what to "do" with so much snow. If this is not comfortable, I can delete my post, with apologies. The idea for what I wrote came directly from your snow musing. Thank you. You may email me if you wish at

  4. dear melissa:
    you could make snow ice cream...

    or just take more pictures of the tanks, which are gorgeous. i like the way city shapes look in the winter, devoid of all the decorative elements (trees; people)

  5. Delightful, delightful post. So many notes.

    The tanks-with-reeds and the fierce hot flash in the mirror: super-duper.

    Yours for imperfection,
    Mim with xo xo xo

    Do you have a mac? If so, there's a way to photograph your post. Once you do, it will appear on desktop, I think.

  6. PS: no, not in the mirror, that red orange from tail-lights.

  7. Hi Melissa, I have a mac and was shown how to capture a pic of what is on the screen by using command -shift- 4 simultaneously. This allows you to crop the bit you want, and as soon as you release the 'cross hairs', that bit is captured and saved onto your desktop. Command-shift-3 gives you the whole screen. It works. I was amazed! Good luck, Pam

  8. i use linux here (ubuntu), and it has a button to take screenshots. as for snow, i always take pics, but afterwards wonder why i did that.

  9. I sometimes have to refrain myself from expressing joy over seeing snow. It's got some very negative effects, too. Yet, your photos are beautiful.

    As for taking part in the debate about religion/God, where's your e-mail? I will send you the questions. I believe that you could bring a very positive contribution to the discussion. Please, let me know as soon as you can.

    Greetings from London.

  10. By the way, I just re-read your comment on my post. Silly me! It appears that you have not got an e-mail address and wanted me to leave my questions here. If so, find the whole blurb here:

    Dear blogger,

    Thank you very much for agreeing to take part in this debate. Find below the three questions I mentioned in my recent post. I would like you to send your answers no later than Thursday 27th January

    1- Complete the following sentence: Religion is... Expand on your definition, please.
    2- Do you think that religion has a role to play in modern democracies? Why?
    3- Many of the ills visited on contemporary societies nowadays such as individualism, rampant consumerism and unchallenged materialism are usually paraded as the result of the erosion of religious values in the west. However, countries under theocratic rule still suffer from a similar erosion of human rights, displaying very intolerant attitudes to women, gays and other groups. What's your take on this?

    When you answer, please, send me a short bio of you, plus an image. If you want me to use your blog byline photo, that's cool withe me.

    I await your reply. Thanks a lot.

    Greetings from London.

  11. i've just made my first visit to your web page, reveling in your rich and wondrously personal and compelling photos. i only had time for one video, but it was the moving and calmly accepting sid caesar, which is just lovely, as if the foot itself were conversing with us.

    i'm just now beginning to realize how enormous your contribution has been. and how important.

    i'll be returning often. how could i resist?

    with deep admiration, jim.