Not the hired help

I’m getting better.

Not too long ago, I would lug my fully ensemble of photographic equipment to parties and gatherings.  It marked me: bull’s eye, she’s the one expected to document this for all the rest of us.

Countless times I fell victim to this obligatory task – “Rachelle! Make sure you get this picture.” Or, “Rachelle, where are you! They need a photo of such-and-such.”  It seemed some people only shot me an invite for the potential photos I was certain to take.

Believe me when I say I love taking photos.  I’m excited to hold my camera, to capture a moment and make it last.  It’s always awesome to flip through my pictures and reminisce on the second the shutter clicked.

But I’ve never liked demands. I’ve never appreciated being put to work at a soiree I was supposed to be a guest at.  It hardly seems fair to want me to be on high alert at a social gathering.  The pressure stifles my interest – - my desire to document.  As a guest, what I chose to remember – what I shoot – is what is important to me.  Unless, of course, someone is paying me as a photographer.

And so now, when I go to a family event, I bring my phone for capturing the majority of the memories.  It has great picture taking capability. It is portable. It preserves memories and shares them instantly.  I don’t feel the pressure to polish my pictures, either.

Then, I’m not the one called for photo ops (especially not mid-bite, or mid-celebration).  I take what I want, capture what I want, and share freely what I get.

Yes, Cam tags along.  He sometimes sits atop the table or under my chair.  I even bring Bad Mama Jama (my 70-200mm super lens) and she hangs out inconspicuously in her case.    And I get to savor the experience in real time as a participant instead of being the observer.

Oh, and as a plus, Hubs brings his camera along and clicks with a different perspective.


‘As well for the coowe as for the bull’ - John Heywood

Bull out to pasture, collecting fill
Calves frolic lightly, suckling at will
Cow stands at ready, awaiting desire
Long hours repass motherhood thus transpires
He surveys his claim, proudly content
But little further exertions are expend’
She looks to the horizon forlornly
When calves grow, she may free
He is praised for little more
Than donating his gene, herd ensure-d
But she works endlessly without cease
No respite, less praised, no release

Toppled Over [ A "Reverse" Poem ]

I look at him
Landed below me
Cold concrete buckled beneath
He is injured
Body mangled by impact
Face distorted from recognition
Not the man I knew any longer;
Or maybe
I knew all along
Pretended he was different
And the dying being
I see is not him,
but childhood faith

Copyright 2014, RAJS

April Fool

Yesterday, the halo about your head shown
gilded and golden
sun’s rays gleamed, reflected
Today, the orb is gone
only dust remains
floating above your tarnished frame
Jokes on me, I guess
Fool no more, I’m prematurely aged
wizened to realities of your inadequacies
your embrace, no longer heaven’s gate

Accepting opportunities: Viscaya editorial shoot

We finally had an uneventful travel to a destination, if you consider uneventful arriving at the right airport on time for agent ticketing, getting seated next to my 11-year-old instead of across the plane, and being given Group One boarding (which for stowing carry on luggage is absolutely essential). I noted as Chi struggled with an open bag of extra items that I might need to be more conscientious of her packing methods. This was made more clear as I observed her slightly stained jeans and her spare pair of too short jeans dangling out of her bag. And it was confirmed when the bag exploded inside the TSA scanner and blocked the conveyer belt’s rollers from spinning. I might have been a bit snappy about the whole thing, hurrying the poor girl along with orders she hardly had time to process before I spat the next. In true Chi fashion, though, she took it all in stride and didn’t bother to contain her bubbling excitement about the trip.

I learned quickly that sitting behind the bulk head is not ideal. There’s no space to stow the things too personal and important to put in an overhead compartment – one I can hardly reach without precariously leaning forward, stretching out my arms, and standing on a seat on tip toes. It is also not ideal to pack all of the diapers and wipes needed for a non-stop trip with a toddler in a bag not kept in close proximity. [oh my goodness, the smells that child can create!] Despite this inconvenient lack of storage, the good thing about this particular row of seats is that it offers ample leg room. Certainly, I don’t have need to stretch far, but I could let Ri toddle between Chi and I as she pulled out magazines to mumble-”read” before releasing them to the floor and then opened barf bags to moan and hum into. She also made frien-emies of the first class flight attendant as she insisted on playing peek-a-boo with the drawn curtain separating us coach flyers from the more important passengers.


Ri updown hotel

Chi sat at the window, watching endless clouds appear and disappear, and searching for land as the plane climbed into the air and descended back to land. A smile cemented itself to her face. It grew bigger when the attendant gifted us headphones for watching the in-flight television. It didn’t waiver when she fought with Ri who tenaciously attacked the cords and yanked them out of the socket repeatedly so as to make enjoying the program impossible.

We arrived with little incident to Miami International, one of the largest airports I’ve ever had the displeasure of walking through to reach the exit. It took us nearly half an hour to reach the rental car shuttle to our off-site service (awesomely located two minutes from our hotel). Outside, the temperatures overpowered our winter-weary bodies. Heat – glorious heat – at last! And… humidity, I noted with dismay as my flat ironed hair drew in tight to my scalp.

Once in our rental – a lovely Volkswagen with ultra powerful breaks that rocked us to stillness with the lightest of taps – we ventured to the hotel, checked in early, and perused the brochures from the lobby for adventure.

After reading several awful reviews of disgruntled travelers, we decided against two local marine and land animal attractions.  I just couldn’t justify paying out money for places where past visitors reported ill-treated living creatures haphazardly placed about the parks for us to gawk at.  I’m no PETA fanatic, but I don’t want to contribute to abuse by pretending I accept mediocre owners mishandling their charges for a quick payload.  Remember that circus with the dog relentlessly biting the pony it was placed on?

I gave Chi ultimate choice, and she picked for us to go to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.


Pusherman: the affair

The pusher man comes offering sweets
Dreams of pleasure? He makes guarantee.
Try this, he coos between kisses.
And gives a sample of himself.
Like poison, it spreads within her.
Traveling through veins with malicious intent.
Pusher man’s not a faithful one -gives freely much more than expected.
And she, his latest unknown casualty,
unable to ward off deadly deceit.

Inspired by the Six Word Fridays meme prompt “push”

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