Whom I Love

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This is my girl, whom I love.  She is frustrating, stubborn, self-centered, dramatic, introverted, artistic, athletic, coltish, playful, loving, beautiful, talented, and mine.

I love her beyond words.  She fills my life.

She Walks in Beauty, Like the Night

Lord Byron 1788-1824)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

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December is a hard season

Bonneyville Winter 2016

December is an entire season for me, and is a difficult season. Not because of the cold we endure in the northern climes. Not because of the unreasonable holiday expectations we, as well as others, foist upon ourselves. Not because of the shortened hours of daylight. December is my season of loss.
As Thanksgiving approaches, so does the reminder of the fall onto a hard floor. The fall was caused by messy children, and a parent who had no desire to parent those children. My dad fell, causing a small hernia to strangulate.
In the end of the first week of December: the surgery. All went well. He was laughing with us, despite the pain killers and the large surgical wounds. When I entered his hospital room, he was sitting up in a chair, doing his ever present crossword puzzles, and wondering when he could leave so he could “have a cigarette.” He was released, and all was well.
In the end of the second week of December, pain wracked my dad’s thin body. The surgeon had nicked his bowel in the initial surgery, and his blood was full of waste and poison. I received the call to come to the hospital. Pale, sweating, and groaning, he still found a way to joke with the nurses. He was so thirsty, and could only wet his mouth with what he called his “suckers,” lime green sponges on sticks. We dipped them into water and swabbed his mouth for him. I try not to think about Dad’s green “suckers;” they never fail to freshen the grief. That was the last time I had anything resembling a cognisant conversation with my dad. He was put into a medically induced coma to help with the pain that wracked his entire body, from the poison in his blood. From this point on, time is jumbled.
My dad was put into the ICU, a respirator helping him to breath, tubes everywhere. His heart rate slowed, his blood pressure continued to drop. A heart specialist was called in. Nothing helped. I remember standing in the ICU holding my mother as she sobbed, “What am I going to do without him?” over and over. Family started to arrive from all over the US and from other countries. I remember being angry with a few of them because they were smiling at each other in reunion, while my dad was dying.
His vitals went lower and lower, and eventually his BP was at 42/27, his pulse so slow. My mother, my aunt Bonnie, and I sat by his side. My brother hadn’t arrived yet, and my sister, who couldn’t deal with it, had to leave the room. I remember pulling a chair up to my dad’s side and laying my head on his left arm, swelled up like Popeye’s arm, and I simply started praying. I prayed hour after hour, never leaving his side. And his vitals went up slowly. For 20 hours, I sat by his side, leaving only once to use a restroom. I remember the sound of the heart monitor, the respirator, small beeps, and the rest of the silence around us. Mom came, at one point, to Dad’s other side and cupped his cheek, and told him she loved him. He somehow opened his eyes and looked up at her, a tear rolling down his cheek.
My brother made it in at around 6 (?) am and collapsed in the doorway. I still sat at Dad’s side, never breaking touch with him. And we continued to watch his vital signs slowly rise. At 9 am, he was making miraculous strides, and I finally left his side to go to my parent’s home to sleep for a few hours.
For the following days, we each spent our free time in the ICU with Dad. I would walk in on the quiet nights, my steps muffled in the snow, and sit in the dark with him, talking to him , while the respirator continued to breathe for him. Christmas approached, and we were simply happy to have him alive. The doctors were satisfied with his progress and the plan was made to remove the respirator on December 27th. I went to work that day, and my sister sat with my mother in the hospital as they awaited the doctors.
The phone rang at my store, and it was hospital telling me that I needed to come. When I got there from South Bend, my mother was sitting at Dad’s side moaning, while my sister sat in shock. When I touched his arm, it was so cool to the touch. I still remember how it felt. His heart had basically exploded from the trauma, and he was gone. Simply gone.
I dreamed about Dad sporadically, disjointed, strange dreams, until he said good bye to me one night in one of those “real dreams,” the ones that actually make sense. Now, I just have the memories of standing on his feet while he danced with me, of him driving me all around town one Halloween so I could go trick or treating in the rain, of him telling me why it thundered so that I wouldn’t be scared, of him chasing us around the house with his smellly socks, of his idiomatic phrases, his laugh, and his hugs and kisses.
December is a hard season for me, and everything is amplified.

and so

Autumn Bokeh with Rain

and so it rains. and sometimes the rain calls.

Rain
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

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it’s what i do

i shoot flowers.  yes.  they are easy. non-moving targets, they can’t get away from you. but, that doesn’t stop me from sighing at the sheer perfection of the shape of a petal, the color dripping from the top of each stem, the negative space that surrounds each blossom.

Kriders 06/28/2016

i need a bit of pretty every so often, and each garden i visit throughout the warm months, gives me that pretty freely, abundantly and exuberantly.

Kriders 06/28/2016

it looks as though i’ll simply keep doing what i do.

Kriders 06/28/2016

Requiescat

Tonight my love is sleeping cold
Where none may see and none shall pass.
The daisies quicken in the mold,
And richer fares the meadow grass.

The warding cypress pleads the skies,
The mound goes level in the rain.
My love all cold and silent lies-
Pray God it will not rise again!

-Dorothy Parker

While I Wait

Another night of editing high school senior photos.  Another night of waiting for images to load from camera raw to Photoshop. Tonight, however, I will add a blog post to the wait.

GSP October 2016

Tonight’s post is brought to you by People Who Should Pay More Attention to Their Blogs (PWSPMATTB), a not-for-profit society of procrastinators whose blogs languish, alone and ignored, for months at a time.

GSP October 2016

I’m keeping it simple today with a few flowers shot last weekend while out with my daughter.

GSP October 2016    GSP October 2016

GSP October 2016

Shooting Stars (badly)

And once again, I have plucked up the impetus to actually log into my WordPress and actually do a post.  Life is busy: daughter involved with everything sports related in high school, son heading to college in one short week (and breaking my heart by doing exactly what I have raised him to do), crazy project deadlines at work and three photo shoots scheduled in the next week.

I am finding time to shoot each week, though I don’t think I could ever finish another 365 project.  Current project:  shooting stars.  Current mood:  disgusted with the noise in the photos because of the high ISO needed.

Sonnet 25: Let those who are in favour with their stars

By William Shakespeare

Let those who are in favour with their stars

Of public honour and proud titles boast,

Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,

Unlook’d for joy in that I honour most.

Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread

But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,

And in themselves their pride lies buried,

For at a frown they in their glory die.

The painful warrior famoused for fight,

After a thousand victories once foil’d,

Is from the book of honour razed quite,

And all the rest forgot for which he toil’d:

Then happy I, that love and am beloved

Where I may not remove nor be removed

Dark nights

The dark winter nights are starting to wear on me.  But there is still beauty to be found, though I find myself searching harder and harder to find beauty I haven’t seen already.

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Last night found me bored and restless, and therefore out on a wet night in a familiar old haunt:  Shipshewana, Indiana.  I had thought to capture more of what I have captured in the past, and was pleasantly surprised to find the remnants of an ice carving festival.  The weather has been less than cooperative for an ice carving festival, and most of the ice was lying in glistening chunks on the ground.

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As I have an affinity for “shiny,” it was the perfect night to shoot.