hey folks, don’t hide behind the camera.

Yesterday my friend Andrew and I were in his innovative home studio shooting some photographs for a series he’s working on.  I was wearing a mask for the shoot.  When we were done, it seemed like a waste to not take a few “unmasked” photos when the light and background were all set up.

I was reluctant to post this image today, not because of the quality of the image.  Nice work Andrew.  But why?  I think perhaps the “why” is; the veins/age spots on my hands, the wrinkles around my eyes and my grey roots awaiting a touch up (tomorrow).  However, while looking more closely I don’t only see those things.  I see that I’m wearing my favorite “uniform” of paint splattered khakis, a tank top and a cowboy shirt I’ve had and loved for twenty years.  Around my neck is a pendant my daughter, Willa made for me in her metals class.  I’m really relaxed.  Down the road I wholeheartedly believe I’ll be grateful to have this portrait.  Thanks Andrew.

 

Today I printed it at the #BCA studios on Pine Street in Burlington (thanks Renee).  I plan to write some details on the back so my grandkids or great grandkids will possess some information about me and who I was in March of 2018.

Don’t shy from the camera folks.  You’re going to want photographs of yourself.  Get your favorite ones printed.  Only having digital images is so different than actually holding a print in your hand—get multiples & share them broadly.

 

 

 

One simple question.

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Often I make things way too complicated. Today I’m choosing to simplify.

ASK.  WAIT.  LISTEN.  REPEAT.

how do I stop the blur?

I know it’s only July 27th and there’s a lot of summer to still be lived & enjoyed.  However, this morning I felt like some of my summer 2016 memories are beginning to blur.

blur/verb—to make or become unclear or less distinct (Merriam-Webster)

I want to slow it all down.  I really want to be a good steward of my memories. 

How exactly do I go about doing that?

  1. I journal.  Every night I write down 3-4 things that were great about my day. This will help my great grandchildren try to figure out what the summer of 2016 was like for me…but it doesn’t stop the blur.
  2. I try to breathe, savor, soak it in…all of the stuff “Oprah” tells me to do…it still blurs a lot of the time.  Perhaps I’m trying to hard.

After I layered these photos and saw my daughter jumping into the clouds and a beach sign on a South Dakota gravel road I realized that I have to accept that this is the nature of our memories.  Even if we can’t recall everything with great detail and clarity our memories are always a part of us.  They may surface again one day and they may not.  I guess, just like everything else in life the path of least resistance is: ACCEPTANCE.

Here’s to a bunch of sweet summer memories…all blurred together.

lucy jumping boardwalk lillibridge

jeff guitar cape cod lillibridge

south dakota beach sign lillibridge

jeff and lisa on beach airplane shot of sd

“Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.”

—Steven Wright/comedian

TED Radio Hour, second adolescence & hopefully gaining some wisdom

After visiting my family in Burke, South Dakota (population 670ish) last week I’ve returned home to Vermont and made a few discoveries.  I thought I’d share them and maybe you’ve experienced something similar at some point in your life.  As always, I would love to have you shoot me an e-mail and share your thoughts.

Burke Cape Cod Vermont Lisa Lillibridge

This is a mash-up of where I’ve spent the most time in my life.

South Dakota/23 years  •  Vermont/25 years   • Massachusetts/Lots of summers/holidays

1) As a nearly 49 year old woman (October 12th) I no longer visit my childhood home feeling like a child.  It helps when my husband comes with me.  I feel more in touch with my adult life…and much less so when it’s just me and the kids.

2) My children are rapidly growing up and I’m no longer a parent of “young kids”. GOOD.

3) I don’t feel particularly old except that I need “readers” in every damn room.

4) I basically like who I’ve grown to become AND I know that I’ll spend the rest of my life getting to know myself better.  I’m up for the challenge and hopefully the people I’ve chosen to date are up for it too.

5) Life isn’t easy and sometimes during the hard stuff all we can do is “show up” for our people.  However, the hard stuff makes you grow and the good stuff is just pretty wonderful.  And I’m slowly learning (very slowly) to let the bullshit slide.  It isn’t worth my energy now.

6) At this age I am more deliberate about my time, my people and choices. I think “deliberate” feels awesome in nearly every context.

7) Sometimes this age feels like a second adolescence.  I like it, my twin daughters and I are in it together—which is sometimes adorable and sometimes really NOT…but always interesting.  One day they will find it all very funny, I think.

  ad·o·les·cence

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This photo is our shared sorrow over the end of the “van years”.  I had to fake my sadness, actually. I now drive a VW Passat and I don’t really miss my van…except maybe listening to movies on road trips.  But, now we listen to the TED Radio Hour, This American Life and The Moth on NPR.  We save them up for our trips and they always provide remarkable discussions.

Here are a few links you might enjoy:

A great TED Talk on aging: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/19/414999589/why-should-we-look-forward-to-getting-older

This is an interesting site that was referenced on the TED Radio Hour last week—Stanford Center on Longevity.  http://longevity3.stanford.edu/

Cheers,

Lisa sig

ADVANCED STYLE—burlington edition?

This week my friend and highly fashionable jewelry designer Ina Deane (http://www.eenadee.com/) suggested that I watch the documentary “Advanced Style”. The documentary is about gorgeous, stylish New York City women over the age of 60 and it’s a blast.  (Available on Netflix, Google Chrome and Amazon for streaming). I remember seeing Ari Seth Cohen’s book a few years ago and just loving the spunk & style of these women.  So inspiring! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read about the most memorable fashion moments of my life.

MY FANTASY PROJECT: I want to do a Burlington, Vermont version of Advanced Style.

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I would love to put together a gathering and maybe even hire Ari Seth Cohen to come speak in Burlington sometime.  Wouldn’t that be a blast?

If you know of fashion forward men and women in Vermont please get in touch with me.  E-mail is best: lllillibridge@gmail.com

About ARI SETH COHEN from Advanced Style blog

http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

Ari-Seth-Cohen

 “My name is Ari Seth Cohen. I roam the streets of New York looking for the most stylish and creative older folks. Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a

thing or two about living life to the fullest. Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.”

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Ari-Seth-Cohen-collage Advanced-Style-Ari-Seth-Cohen-Dogwoof-Documentary-34 Karen-Walker-Eyewear-x-Advanced-Style-5  photos by Ari Seth Cohen

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When I watched Advanced Style this week I was reminded of these two big Advanced Style moments in my own life.

1.  A few years ago while waiting in line to check-in at The Accessories Show at The Javits Center in NYC with Maggie Pace I got to talk briefly with Iris Apfel.  She was wearing the most beautiful pink driving mocs when I spoke to her. Perhaps they were PRADA.  It was one of those moments when I found myself so happy to even get to say hello to her. Iris has been quite an inspiration to a girl from South Dakota.  New York City was like going to the moon when I was growing up on the prairie.  I was twenty-one when I first had the privilege of seeing NYC and I never get to go there enough.

2. In October of 2004 I was in New York City for the wedding of my cousin.  My mother and I were walking up to the Jewish History Museum and we saw a women hail a cab.  This woman had a long, grey ponytail, stright dark jeans, a gorgeous neutral sweater, boots with the perfect heel, a scarf impeccably tied and lots of bracelets.  She looked so NYC cool and confident that the image of her is etched in my mind.

 Iris Apfel

photo

I think my own style as I age will veer toward the aging silent film star.  Halloween 2014.

 

searching…

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I am finding myself at a major crossroads in my life and I’m actively searching for a needed change. I am 47. My son is leaving for college this fall and my twin daughters are starting high school. My husband has changed his life dramatically and he is doing work that is both meaningful and engaging. I usually define myself as an artist, but the path has been pretty rudderless this last year. I’m taking some time—trying to gain a better understanding of how my talents can be best utilized. I want to use my powers for good (rarely for evil). I don’t mind the search. The process is a little painful, but never dull. It will be interesting to see what is revealed (or not) in the future. I would love to hear your stories of life’s transitions if you’re interested in sharing.

I highly recommend…

doing a photo shoot with your friends complete with cheese, chocolate, grog and loads of costumes. I shot over 300 photos Saturday night. However, even though we got some gems I haven’t really asked if my friends want their images posted. Here are a few shots to give you the feel of the shoot. I just thought that we will never be as young as we are right now and we need good photos for proof. It was such a privilege to know when I had the right expression and to know when it was off and didn’t reflect their personality. So, when/if I get authorization to show you the photos, I will. In the meantime, make a night of it and do a photo shoot with the folks you love. It’s a helluva good time!

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