24 February 2016

february's sixty seconds

sixty seconds of moving pictures shot in the city with my people on the greyest of february days, a dead grey, really. but that's february for you. month two of the sixty second photograph and I really struggled this go round. fumbled my way through the process, made a crap load of mistakes. but I'm letting go, folks. make and release, make and release. and hopefully, learn a little something in the process. this is my mantra.

p.s. more about the project here, and more lovely february films over on the site.

p.p.s. music by the incomparable nathan corrona aka dj dust.

15 February 2016

color//colour pink

in the name of the color pink, I:

consumed exactly one tiny cupcake with pink frosting,
went out of my way to drive by the mysterious section of fence painted pink near my house.
failed to photograph the neon pink bus parked outside the bail bonds joint.
found it at the grocery store in buckets of the pinkest roses.
found it down on boulevard in the shell pink pom pom of baby's knit hat.
watched for pink skies pretty much every night.
chewed pink bubblegum pretty much every day.

(more of my pinks here, more about color//colour lovers here, lovely co-collaborator xanthe's pink here and both of our colors live quite happily here)

last week: green, green, green. this week: orange!

10 February 2016

january's five

five favorite frames from the month of january, idea totally stolen (with permission, natch) from my friend xanthe.

we ate a lot of monkey bread last month, folks. we drank a lot of coffee, a lot of tea, sometimes while sitting at old wooden tables in cute coffee houses. we watched ezra play a lot of basketball. a lot. of basketball. incidentally, I have watched a lot of basketball in my life. but that's another story for another time.

unbelievably, on the last day of january, it was warm enough for the first official backyard cookout of the year. but it was super cold before that weirdo january heat wave, cold enough to dig out all the old coats, which is when ava discovered the vintage leopard print coat I bought for myself back in 1998 at the 26th street fleamarket in new york. it looks better on her than it ever, ever did on me. 28 year-old andrea would never say it out loud but she would probably not be too happy about that. but 45 year-old andrea is pretty happy about it. because 45 year-old andrea sees the world with entirely different eyes now, including the month of january. which, really, is nothing short of miraculous.

05 February 2016

color//colour yellow

in the name of the color yellow, I:

found it on the streets in the form of an old juicy fruit gum wrapper and torn up ticket stubs.
found it hiding behind a gas station in the form of an abandoned shopping cart.
looked for it on my kitchen shelves, my book shelves and everywhere in between.
drove around downtown atlanta on a friday afternoon in search of it.
purchased the prettiest bottle of lemonade I could find (and drank it).
purchased the yellowest yellowy flowers at the grocery store (and put them in a jar right by my bed).
wore my favorite mustard yellow scarf, even on the warmer days.
bought a bag of bright yellow meyer lemons and dreamt of a little lemon curd.

(more of my yellows here, more about color//colour lovers here, lovely co-collaborator xanthe's yellow here and both of our colors live quite happily here)

currently: pink, pink, pink, all week long.

02 February 2016

motherhood with a camera

her hands are my hands are my daughter's hands.

strong, capable. veins like little green rivers, skin like butter and butcher paper. and that ring she wore, that sterling silver dogwood ring, the one I can't ever remember not on her middle left finger. on that day, she took the hands of her mother, my grandmother, and danced. grandma's cheeks pink with rouge, a creamy coral dabbed on just before mom slipped strands of plastic yellow beads around her neck. this was the ritual: rouge, necklaces, music, dancing. I watched from the edges, willed myself to ignore the scent of lysol and urine, concentrated instead on the faraway radio sounds of dolly parton and the two dancers in the room. they lit the place up, spilled light into dark nursing home corners for a few minutes, corners no one likes to talk about.

in just two short years, just one year after her own mother, she would be gone. how could I have known this? how could any of us have known this? in those last days, I held her hands in mine, sat by her bed while she slipped in and out of sleep, in and out of that deep, unknown place morphine takes people when the pain is too much, the world is too much and the cancer is about to swallow them whole. I sat by her bed and held her hands, tv flickering and murmuring in the background, toddlers and tiaras and wild gyspy teenagers on repeat while my worst nightmare played out in real time. I held her hands like she held mine on the first day of school, on the way to my first dance class, the first time I had my heart broken. I held her hands the way she held her own mother's hands the day they danced at the nursing home. I held them and I pleaded with her to live. quietly, desperately. please, please live. I pleaded with God for the miracle of all miracles, pleaded in shameless, messy ways, over and over and over again.

a few months after she died, I found her jewelry pouch. tucked beneath a tangle of polyester slips and snagged pairs of pantyhose, there it was. all my favorite pieces were there; the bracelet with the little silver charms she'd collected while traveling through europe when she was in college, the oval locket my dad had given her for christmas one year, the one that held the teeny tiny baby pictures of us inside, the collection of silver bangles with turquoise stones and the ring. good lord, the sterling silver dogwood ring, the one I can't ever remember her not wearing. as much a part of her appearance as the small, crescent-shaped scar on her cheekbone and the amber brown color of her eyes. I slipped it on my left middle finger and gasped. there she was. in the shape of my hand, in the color and texture of my skin, in the way her signature ring looked on my left middle finger. she was as close as my left hand, I could see her, feel her, any time I stopped to look down.

my own daughter's hands look nothing like mine. her fingers are long and slender, her skin noticeably smoother and fairer in complexion. hers are the hands of a possible concert pianist, an aristocrat, further proof of the mysteries of genetics. though once interlaced with mine, the differences mostly fall away. ava held my hand on some pretty unthinkable days, through some pretty unthinkable weeks and months, through the endless before and after. she held my hand when I shut down and pushed everyone else away, and then when I pretended I was fine. she was quiet but sure about it and acted with the same gentle tenacity as her grandmother, my mother, did for so many years.

her hands are my hands are my mother's hands.

she'll slip the sterling silver dogwood ring on her middle left finger one of these days and she'll see me, feel me. she'll remember her grandmother too. she'll look down when she needs to and know. we're as close as her left hand. closer, even. she'll know this. the ring on her hand will remind her.

(first written for motherhood with a camera, a space lovingly carved out by the luminous amy grace)