Metaphor-in definitions on 9.17

An abstract to concrete excercise:
love is a warm blanket on a cold night
hate is melted chocolate in my purse
kindness is a smile from a stranger in the crowd
pride is a hot air balloon in flight
a secret is is a dandelion in the wind
fear is a strong wind slapping my face
deceit is a fun house mirror
curiousity is a toddler peeking inside a cabinet
culture is a paint tray after the art is done
trouble is a puddle on a New York street
deceit is (also) a rock in the car’s windshied
sympathy is a hug when feeling alone

begun circa 2013, continued 2014 (September)

How to… completely botch a shoot

In five easy steps:

1. Pick out matching outfits; then, when you’ve reached the hustle out the door we’re already late point, discover that part of it is stained or, worse, missing.

2. Fix hair and make up. Inevitably, the weather will turn and you’ll wilt before you arrive at the scene. You will, then, become the “scene.”

3. Travel to the shoot location, set up your tripod. In the natural order of things, turn on your camera – or rather, try to turn it on and discover the batteries dying or dead.

4. Check supplies for back up power. But you’ll quickly realize that the case that holds your essentials is not there, as you intentionally carried it out of its usual spot in the car to inventory, charge, and organize the contents.

5. Pack up belongings and leave the venue. Note: you will not have taken a single shot save the ones your memory captures.

written as a model-the-prompt sometime in Spring 2014


He plops down onto a tattered couch. Dust rises as he settles onto the cushions, shifting his weight onto the remaining fluff and off the protruding springs seeking to stab his flesh. Reaching a grubby hand into his bowl of popcorn, he secures a handful of kernels and soggy, nearly stale puffs. He shovels the whole lot into his gaping jaw, a few falling as he chews open-mouthed. He leaves them where they land. Opportunity knocks on his window, and he ignores the sound. He’s no friend to Doubt – or Ambition – having snubbed them both long ago. Quietly he sits, idly staring at the static-filled screen of his television. Stillness reminded him once to befriend Contentment – a blind date that has led to a steady relationship. Once, he relentlessly persued Change, but she’d ignored his efforts. She was too fickle anyway, he’d decided. And so he remains, joined soon in embrace with Contentment to waste away the day.

written 09/18/13

drops of red

Just after school let out for the summer, I found myself sitting in my van. The light was red and the van idled. The sun was an eerie blaze ahead of me – one of those just before sunset glares.  There I was, suddenly unhappy.  I gripped the steering wheel and studied my wrists; And my mind conjured up this image of little droplets of deep red trickling down each.  I shuddered, shaking off the morbid vision and mashing the gas as the light turned green.

That evening, I felt a bit out of sorts. Where’d that thought come from? Was I so burdened by stress of money issues? By stagnation of my career? Or, more likely, by the desolving structure of my childhood family? Truth, I’d recently realized just how human a man I trusted was. And disappointments in his actions, his continuing lies, and his blatant rejection were fresh injuries to my spirit. But I shouldn’t have been thinking about slit wrists and endings.

I scrolled through my newsfeed. Facebook nonsense, as usual, was mundane and trivial.  And then I saw a link to a newspaper article. My graduate school classmate turned friend turned colleague had been found dead. The report said she’d committed suicide. I let out a cry and tried to stifle my quickly intensifying sobs.

She’d been a distant friend – or acquaintance,  even – as our families had increased and our jobs evolved. Nevertheless,  every time we saw on some another, we’d take a few seconds to smile, compliment,  promise to meet for longer.  I had a standing invitation for her fantastic Austrian coffee and easy, welcome conversation. Then rumors began. Then assumed truths, accusations. There were articles, evening news reports, and speculation. Somewhere in the madness I faltered.  I didn’t call to offer comfort, didn’t email a quick “you’re in my prayers.”  Privately I worried about the woman I’d known and publicly I spoke concern for her young children, the elder of which who had so happily played with mine.  I wondered, no, I still wonder what actually happened.

I’ve thought a lot about that awful moment in my van. About my children without me. They’re resilient,  they’d move on. They would enjoy productive,  happy lives. Someone else would take my place at their important events, would console them in sadness and disappointments,  would cheer them on in daily tries and triumphs. I’d be a memory. It wouldn’t be enough for me.

On Monday,  I celebrated my 35th birthday. I embraced getting older. I reflected on changes I’d like to make. I evaluated my goals, determined which to tweak and which to let go.

And I resolved to live, even as reports about Robin Williams taking his own life began to take over the day.


He storms through the door and darts his eyes about with accusing glances. Stopping at my masterpiece, his lips curl into a sinister smile. “Do you like it?” I ask timidly. And Criticism, seizing the opportunity, begins to tear off pieces and scatter them on the floor. He ignores Wisdom’s guidance and plugs his ears to Tact as he stomps upon the shredded mess that was my creation.

written 12/1/09 (and, quite possibly, appearing on this blog before…)

Here we go, here we go now. Get busy.

5/6/13 – – Today, I found this:

it was a dream
by Lucille Clifton

in which my greater self
rose up before me
accusing me of my life
with her extra finger
whirling in a gyre of rage
at what my days had come to.
i pleaded with her, could i do,
oh what could i have done?
and she twisted her wild hair
and sparked her wild eyes
and screamed as long as
i could hear her
This. This. This.

It’s part of a graduation poem collection from It speaks to me. I’m hearing the calling more and more. This morning, I read a quote on Facebook:

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” – – John Irving

Again, it spoke to me. I’m seeking the courage to pursue something I’ve been dabbling in too long. I need to focus – to hone my craft – to delve deeply into the core of photography. I need to get serious. More serious than I’ve ever been about growing a business out of a hobby. I need to live my passion, satisfy my desires. I need to act.

I was told the same on Thursday, something to the effect of “God’s given you a gift. You need to use it.” I think I might be wasting time…

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