Jim Jarmusch on creativity:
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.“
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. When I think I’m being entirely original that’s when my ego emerges and my work suffers. If I take note of my inspiration (creative theft), then my work is often more authentic. Thank you Jim Jarmusch and Jean-Luc Godard, “it’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to”. Indeed.
This morning I couldn’t sleep, it was foggy. I’ve always loved fog. I grabbed my camera, a few bills for coffee and slipped out quietly so Jeff could sleep a little longer. It was a little after five. After taking a few shots in my yard, I was bored. I drove to the beach and ran into a friend walking to work. I watched as he vanished into the fog.
Then I drove to the canal to take pictures of the guys fishing.
I witnessed some lovely fishermen camaraderie. I got quite an education too. I tried to not be in the way. I think I might’ve been a couple of times. But, they were gentlemen and didn’t mention it to me. Mark, Norman and Nick seemed like pretty good guys.
This fish really didn’t want to give up the fight. He was in too rough of shape to be thrown back. I think I saw the last breathe of this 38″ (37.5″ to be exact) striper.
R.I.P. big guy
Mark (tan shirt) offered his fish to Norman and his son, Nick. Norman soon had a fish on his line and his son helped him pull it up. It was all a thrill and the fog added some drama to the whole scene…oh, how I love fog.
Later Norman caught another one and released it because it was in good shape. They were going home with two good sized fish (one caught and one gifted already). I appreciated seeing the care taken to get the hook out as cleanly as possible. Norman threw it back into the Cape Cod Canal to live another day.
Swim on little fella, there’s mackerel to dine on.
Mark, Norman and Nick were good guys. I bought them coffee to thank them for letting me take photos…it seemed like the least I could do. Mark and I take our coffee the same, “black with cream”. I found this funny…black with cream. I’ll never order it any other way again.
By getting out of my comfort zone, I was given access to a world I had little knowledge of.
I usually sit on my porch in the morning or walk the same loop.
This morning the siren song of fog lured me to explore and I was handsomely rewarded.
Thanks fellas for one of my favorite mornings in Town Neck.
The Sandwich 4th of July celebration is always a special event, but 2017 had some extra magic. It was a truly grand day from start to finish.
The Parade 10am
Field Days (the egg toss is a favorite)
Dale and the Duds at the bandstand on Shawme Pond
The Boat Parade (a 102 year old tradition)
Fireworks over Shawme Pond for the 1st time in 38 years
“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”
― Louisa May Alcott
When my flowers are on their last leg I put them outside on my front porch. They’re visible then from my living room and I like seeing how the elements affect their beauty. It’s gotten cold here in Burlington, VT and yet, as they fade, the flowers take on a certain strength of character in their inevitable demise. It seems like an appropriate metaphor about life to keep in mind. Chin up folks…we can’t stop what’s coming, but we can stand as tall as possible for as long as possible.
The photograph of HWY 18, a South Dakota two-lane hasn’t let me go yet. My apologies if you’ve had enough. Actually, not really. I write and create art for me and my hope is that something I write maybe resonates for you too. If not, well, that’s OK.
I created this series while thinking that the imagery of the road is both going AWAY from somewhere and TOWARD someplace else. For the early part of my life the road represented away from someplace and now it’s shifting. This image is my childhood home in Burke, South Dakota.
When I started working on these images I was trying to tell a lot of different stories. Why kids leave small towns. Why they should go back (I’ll still write about that). Why I left South Dakota. Why, at fifty-years-old, I would now consider going back to South Dakota. How small towns or wherever our upbringing was shaped us as adults. I’ve created so many images all telling different stories. I had to narrow my message. So, I decided to get more personal and less about rural development.
I’ve lived in Vermont since New Year’s Day 1990. I moved to Burlington with a friend, Melissa from my Sioux Falls College days. Three weeks later I met my husband, Jeff. Now, almost twenty-seven years later I’m deeply rooted here in New England. I never expected to be here this long. If had put a limit on my time in Vermont, well, it wouldn’t have worked. I was in love and adaptable. Isn’t life wonderfully unpredictable?
I understand the rhythms of the sea, and yet…South Dakota just won’t let me go. The ocean and its vastness gently reminds me of the expanse of the prairie.
I’m longing for spaciousness, freedom and simplicity. I crave all of this more now in middle age. As the poet e. e. cummings wrote, “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”. I had to allow myself to get quiet enough to listen to my inner voice. As a younger partner, mother and artist, I wasn’t such a good listener. I’m grateful the prairie won’t let me go now, she clearly has a lot to say lately and I’m listening.
This image is the backyard of my home in Burlington, Vermont. We’ve lived in this house since August 1991. It holds many memories and has been through numerous renovations. I love the house, but I’m restless. I desire some change.
This piece is layered with one of my paintings. My need for change isn’t always easy on my family. I’m trying to be more understanding about how they feel. They are trying to do the same. Inevitably though, things will change and we will all adapt just fine. I know that my work is to keep listening and trying to understand what messages I’m receiving.
I’ve been watching this great series on PBS—The Brain with David Eagleman. Our brains are quite capable of creating a parallel reality. There’s an interesting example of an incarcerated man and how he was able to get through the darkness and loneliness of solitary confinement by creating another world. Sometimes we just see what we want to see.
Saturday I was listening to NPRs TED RADIO Hour in my studio. Here’s the link.
George Monbiat used two terms I found utterly fascinating and relevant: rewilding & ecologically bored. This is a fascinating TED TALK about bringing the wolves back to Yellowstone Park, however it’s the story within that story that resonated with me.
Wikipedia: “Rewilding is large-scale conservation aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and core wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species. Rewilding projects may require ecological restoration or wilderness engineering, particularly to restore connectivity between fragmented protected areas, and reintroduction of predators where extirpated.”
Ellis and Adam jumping off the East Sandwich, Mass bridge.
We live in an era where so much information is at our fingertips all the time and because of it a lot of time is spent hunched over a computer all day. We need to “rewild” for the sanity of our modern day lives. Now, “rewilding” can obviously go to extremes and it would be very different for everyone. It could be as grand as giving up every trapping of modern life and taking off with your belongings on your back OR it could mean that you are going to take a walk at lunch instead of sitting in front of your computer all day long.
My husband, Jeff and I parasailing.
However, it’s the second term I found so interesting…ECOLOGICALLY BORED. After spending a summer learning to navigate Cape Cod Bay and area harbors in a kayak.
I now know that I was indeed “ecologically bored”. I really needed to get in touch with that innate part of myself that uses intuition, muscle memory, wonder and strength. I now realize that it had been way too dormant in me lately. Sometimes we don’t know what’s missing in our lives.
A beach fire on Town Neck.
So, however you “rewild” or satisfy your “ecological boredom”…
I wish you the best. You won’t regret it.
“At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.”
—William Somerset Maugham/A Writer’s Notebook (published 1949)