This Month So Far: October 2016

Photos taken during October.

Finding the time, energy and will to blog has not been easy lately. So I’ve been blogging much less. It’s now October.

Life has changed a lot since when I first started blogging ten years agoMoney and time available have decreased. Family responsibilities have increased. Free Yoga Boston and other social media platforms that I’m on now didn’t exist ten years ago.

Just like the seasons change, our lives change and we must adjust. Focusing on my well-being has made blogging fall away to a certain extent. But I miss it too.

Documenting my life and experiences is something that I had always loved about blogging. When others appreciated what I shared, it made it even sweeter.

To continue, blogging has to happen differently. For now, I hope you enjoy these images. These are bits and pieces of my October so far.

Have a great weekend!

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A Virgo Season Photo Project: Noticing The Details

Collage for Virgo season.

Happy Virgo Season! As a proud Virgo, this is my favorite time of the year.

While it’s not yet my birthday month, today is the start of the season, which goes through September 22nd. Although some things I read say September 21st and that Libra season starts on the 22nd. So my last post for the project will be September 21st.

For the season, I’ve decided to try something newa photography project on Instagram using the hashtag #virgophotoproject.

Photography has always been a hobby and Instagram has brought me back to a purer form of it than blogging. While blogging, I always have pictures, but they are not the main thing. The main thing is the story and the pictures help tell the story.

I just read the book, Humans of New York, which is based on the blog. The blog started as a photography project and grew from there. I love how starting something small as an experiment can end up turning into much more than originally expected.

Reading the book made me think that it would be nice to try a photo project of my own. But I wasn’t sure about a topic. I read a blog post on Everyday Eyecandy about 16 different types of photography projects. They are all wonderful ideas, but none of them appealed to me.

After thinking about things that interest me and that were coming up, Virgo Season immediately came to mind. Virgos are all about the details among many other wonderful things, so I thought it made sense to focus in on that for a theme to start.

It will be interesting to see what types of things I have photographed. I’m also hoping that some others will join in and contribute some pictures by using the #virgophotoproject hashtag. I’d love to see what everyone comes up with. What are traits that you associate with being a Virgo?

Federal_Street_shoe_Boston

My first Instagram post for the #virgophotoproject was this picture from the side of the building at 160 Federal Street in Boston. I have always noticed the shoe and wondered what it was about. Turns out the building used to house the United Shoe Machinery Company.

The shoe is just a small detail, but turns out it has a big significance! I hope you’ll follow the project and let me know what you think.

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A Boston Night: Dorothy Parker, Mood + Memory

Black and white photo of antique cars on a Boston street at night.

It always surprises me when I hear about people not knowing what they like. The older I get, the more I see that this life journey is about self-discovery.

If you’re looking to become better acquainted with yourself, blogging is one way. Looking back on over ten years of writing and taking pictures, I’ve noticed themes.

I see what topics interest me based on what I’ve blogged about. Food is a huge one. Yogafull moons, birthdays, Boston and astrology are some more.

From using Instagram, the themes are even more pronounced because it’s mostly only pictures. I’ve noticed that I’m interested in all phases of the moonflowers, trees, the sky and clouds. Based on these themes, I’m surprised I haven’t gone full Wiccca!

Anyway, one thing I have always been fascinated by since childhood is nightfall. That transition from day to night. When the sun is setting and the moon is rising. It’s so beautiful and feels magical to me. Maybe because I was born at night? I don’t know.

This morning, as I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs, I found this picture on Instagram by Yolanda Edwards. Based on the comments, it appears to be a Citroen parked by a storefront — a quiet evening in Paris and could not be more lovely.

Her picture immediately reminded me of the picture above. Probably one of my favorite pictures. I took it in Boston back in 2007 and wrote a post about it. Below is a quote from the post.

When I thought of Dorothy Parker’s poetry and life, it reminded me of those films, so I thought that I would adapt the film noir genre to a new genre of blog post. The post noir. Noir is black in French and I couldn’t help but think of my prior post about the color black. It all seemed to fit.

I took some night pictures around the city and converted them to black and white to try and get that same noir feeling. I was hoping for something special. Out of the blue, these two old cars appeared the two nights in a row that I was taking pictures, so I was able to take a bunch of shots of them. It was almost surreal. Like the cars just appeared from a different time. I’m sure there is a very rational explanation to it, but I like the mystery.

As I was looking at these old posts, I wondered if I could post this in time for Dorothy Parker‘s birthday.  Her birthday is August 22nd, and she would be 123, so the timing is just right.

Also, stay tuned for an Instagram photography project that I will be announcing soon. If you look at themes in this post, there are some bread crumbs. Any guesses?

Until then, an early Happy Birthday Dorothy Parker!

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On my Father’s Birthday + Zun Lee’s Father Figure Project

Zun Lee's Father Figure Project

Yesterday I read an article on PetaPixel and learned about street photographer and physician Zun Lee. His work is tender and beautiful examining the complexity of what it means to be a father. The way he describes his craft and style is far better than I can do, so here is a snippet from his website.

As a clinician, I’m trained to work with people at their most vulnerable who grant me permission to invade their privacy. As a result, I have always had an intense interest in the dynamics of trust and control when it comes to that interaction. At best, it can reveal a unique connection, a kind of truth that would otherwise not be foregrounded.

When a human being connects with another and – even if for a split second – relinquishes a certain level of control, it is fascinating that complete strangers can share an alternate truth about themselves that was hidden not only to others, but perhaps even to themselves. It is in these moments that individual emotion transcends the personal realm and gains universally understood context.

Learning about his Father Figure project struck a deep chord with me as I read about it yesterday and looked at all the pictures. Today is my father’s 84 birthday. As I’ve mentioned before, my father has Alzheimer’s and it is absolutely heartbreaking. He still knows who I am, but is very confused most of the time and our immediate family is shaken to the core.

We do the best we can and focus on the time that we still have with him. I am so grateful for my father. The older I get, the more I see how lucky I was to get him as my Dad.

The timing of seeing this Father Figure project and trying to be a good daughter, especially on a day that was always important to him and our family has made me even more emotional. I was in CVS last night and saw a father and daughter out shopping together. I had a pang of sadness, then remembered that I had that. At least I had it.

Lee’s project focuses on photographs that break the cruel stereotype of the absent and uncaring black father and instead shows the strong and loving bonds between black men and their children.

Growing up I never thought of myself as a Daddy’s girl. Me and my father have definitely had our moments of major disagreements. We still do. Plus I’m very close with my mother. But a few years ago, one of my parents’ friends referred to me as a Daddy’s girl. I started thinking about it and maybe I am. For the time that I have left with him, I will relish the term.

I’m getting ready to bake my father’s favorite birthday cake and will have dinner with him, my Mom and my brother later today. Luckily, he still likes my baking! Though when I bake the cake now, I just do one layer. We all are watching our weight!

I find that what saves us all, is keeping a sense of humor and being grateful for so many wonderful memories of my childhood. Even as my father is losing his memories bit by bit.

If you have a few minutes, I hope you’ll watch the video about Zun Lee. He reveals his own family struggles and you can see more of his amazing work.

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Screenshot: Vimeo

#InstaWeek: Sunrise Commute Sunset

sunrise walkHere are some pictures from last week on Instagram. Looking for pretty sights makes the sunrise walk to the T a bit more interesting each morning.

I’ve noticed from week to week, that the flowers, trees and plants change as we move away from spring toward summer. More leaves. Different kinds of flowers. The light is different too.

trainWhen it’s nice out, there’s a certain point on my ride that is really beautiful. I always look forward to seeing the water.

sunset moonriseThe end of the day can be just as beautiful as the start. A sunrise can compete with a sunset. But there’s nothing like seeing the colors change in the sky and watching the moonrise. Happy Wednesday to you!