Posts in Chicago
Ten.One Hundred & Seventy-Five

1. 4:28 AM. I think this just might be the result of anxiety.

2. I go to his car and grab my early Christmas presents: a studio light kit and reflectors. Because this Black Food & Bev project has me doing something I haven’t done much of before, which is exciting but also scary. And maybe this is just another edge to step to and over. 

3. He’s coughing a lot which means he needs a full day of rest and breathing treatments.

4. One of the flash heads is broken. He will need to return it. And actually I am okay with this. I remind myself that I've only ever shot in natural light, with no kinds of tools at all. I think of his advice: work with your limitations.

5. "Raimundo Panikkar...said the future will not be a new, big tower of power. Our hope in the future is the hope into well-trodden paths from house to house, these well-trodden paths from house to house. That is the image that holds a lot of promise for our future." - David Steindl-Rast

6. The restaurant is small and intimate. It feels like a neighborhood bar, like the kind of place you want to come to  shake off the world and feel like yourself again.

7. Eldridge is smooth and thoughtful and kind. He's got good energy. And as I move him from bar to window to wall to table he moves with ease. His beard and the way he smiles reminds me of my brother. When Andrea begins to interview him, and he gets into his own story and the story he's creating with The Delta, I can feel my insides begin to glow. Because this is what I love. I love listening to people talk about themselves and their passion and when it's so beautifully honest, it's like magic. Everything is alive.

8. "Ultimately, everything boils down to relation." - David Steindl-Rast

9. This chili recipe is not up to par. My cornbread, however, is on point.

10. I think of the old black and white images in The Delta's bathroom and on the walls and think of history and lineage, food and memory. What is my own? 

Being Seen

Several months ago I removed "photographer" from my Instagram profile, suddenly subconscious and afraid of using that word because, well, who am I to call myself a photographer? I am merely a woman with a camera and I take pictures that people sometimes think are very beautiful. I don't know (yet) how to use off-camera flash, I don't own any reflectors, or have a studio space. I'm self-taught. My mentors are other young photographers and one kind soul way out east who used to be an actor and a fashion photographer in New York City. 

But I know that I want to grow. I trust that I am capable of creating even more beauty. I believe that I see things in a way that no one else does. Kevin told me a long time ago that I have vision—and that vision is something you can't teach. And if I am going to speak to you on the importance of honoring your gifts, then I ought to honor my own. 

Last fall I threw out there that I wanted to practice more portraits and offered free sessions to any woman who was local and interested. (It's something people often ask me to do but I usually end up referring them elsewhere, unsure of my abilities to do them justice.) Two beautiful humans raised their hands and when I asked them what made them say yes, they both said the same thing, "I need to practice being seen."

I hope that what Kendra, Jen, and I created is the intersection of vision and authenticity, courage and trust, beauty and illumination. And I left both days feeling more assured that I can do this, that maybe I'm meant to do this—to offer safe space for women to step into their own light and to be seen.

An immensely heartfelt thank you to Kendra and Jen for choosing to push their own boundaries so that I could push my own. I hope to offer some more of these soon. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you're interested.

 

Ten.Forty-Six

1. San Francisco is quiet this time of morning. 

2. This flight feels tighter than the last. Maybe I have grown.  

3. I am sleepy. My eyes stay more closed than open. 

4. Not ready.

5. I should have told her to stay on I-88. 

6. Home. The children. My plants. Dirty floors. So much laundry. Everyone seems taller.  

7. Dead battery.  

8. I make frozen pizza and a Caesar salad for dinner. Re-entry is always about ease.  

9. How is tomorrow already the first day of school? 

10. I can feel my eyes getting hot with tears right before I fall asleep. This is ok.  

Ten.Eleven

1. The whirring sound of the coffee grinder. 

2. The peppermint is springing back to life; no sign yet that the rabbits are coming close enough to the house to eat the herbs. 

3. There are too many things about Chicago that I do not like, namely, the gentrification and the prices you pay for parking. But driving along Lake Shore Drive can make you forget about it all.

4. Life is a lot like this maze of mirrors.

5. The Golden Ratio. 1.618. Looking for patterns.

6. In ice is the memory of the world. - James Balog

7. If I hadn't seen it in the pictures, I wouldn't have believed it at all. - James Balog

8. This is the memory of the landscape. That landscape is gone. It may never be seen again in the history of civilization and it's stored right here. - James Balog

9. What does it mean to have a visual voice?

10. There is so much to know and un-know.