Sunday, January 16, 2011

Don't Blink

In Nature

Self Portrait, 2011

Or the crackling embers of the garbage can fire (bonfire was taken) of my vanity...

Confession. When I want an ego boost I post pictures of me when I am in high school or one of my more glamorous stages in my twenties on Facebook. Immediately after, I get pangs of guilt at the dishonesty of putting a picture up of me when when Reagan was president. That's not really me, is it?

To make amends, I go in with my Blackberry phone camera and take pictures, then with a combination of Photoscape and Photoshop, make those photos interesting. Nothing I do really alters the topography of my face or hair, it is all color, contrast, texture. I do nothing to get rid of the flaws. You see what the camera sees except through Sepia filters. Sometimes the things I do make it look even more flawed.

I have always wrestled with what photos are circulated of me. Back in the 1990s, I would get a call from media for pictures of myself. My work schedule hadn't allowed me an opportunity to have a picture taken of me. Then I would have to be nearly struck with a paralyzing dilemma -- do I send them an awesome picture or when I was younger, or do I somehow take a picture that would not be as flattering because it will be not by a good photographer like I had in the early days. A couple of times I would just send nothing in or have them send out a photographer. So many times, I have blushed at my shallow, shameful vanity.

Now, I am in my forties and I have crossed a threshhold where I am quite certain I am not going to look like I was when I was a teenager or a twenty year old. As I get older my German features I inherited from my birthfather emerge. There is nothing I can do about it. This is me. Forty means getting comfortable with new realities. When you are in your forties your face and body start to change. Being forty means loving yourself anyway. I do.

Favorite parts: lips, eyebrows, and eyes
Least favorite parts: nose and chin

This is me with my Vera Wang eyeglasses, half smile, and enlarged pores. No makeup except lipstick. This is not bad.

Only the Film Is Damaged

Look at this. I took a picture of myself that shows that I have pretty good skin and then proceed to put a filter over it that has stains and scruff marks.

Of Rowboats and Roses

An invitation launches dreams of love songs written with silver frankincense and sandalwood perfumed ink on places modesty that never reveals the location, but imaginations would excitedly muse. Whafts of velvety apricot roses and beads of perspiration dance seductively with eastern spices and new growth in the air. The intoxicating attar drives patience wild with delicate unspoken half sentences contemplating a thousand ways to desire and heartbeak. The crackling victrola echoes in the warm breeze along with dithyrambic croaking with the first palpitations of Spring. Paddle rhythmically strum and fan the riffling water. Nervous rowing glances and sips in the sight of petal soft skins hue blushing and glowing underneath peach paper parasols and feathered brims. Chestbeats are so frantic they might be betray feelings that mirror the tenor's crescendo of longing lifting off hard rubber groove. Eyes close, hats tilts forward they fall back onto silken pillows. Feeling hairs slowly undoing themselves by a uneasily languid recline on undulating lagoon. Opened eyes and cheeks become flushed in imaginings underneath shirts and smiles induce each other that the companionship is appreciated as innocently as possible. Breathing deeply silk stockings rub together. Eyes dart to shore to see if anyone is at shore.

Moving on impulses threatens to tip the boat over. On shore there are a throng of arguments and warnings to keep the space between. Hands and arms keep rowing as dreamy eyes trace the contours of the shore aching for the rowing never to stop -- breaking the spell.

Wherever She Is, She Is In Paris

Daydreaming comes easier to me than those that come when I fall into my pillow. If you find that have a far off look it is because I am somewhere else -- where I can look out the window and see the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. On fine airmail paper and fountain pen with perfumed henna'd ink I pour out my heart to a friend that I tattooed the map of Paris on myself, and postmarks come back with exclaimation marks.

Disappearing Frogs - KQED QUEST

As I have written in the first posts of this blog, frogs are sort of my totem or spirit animal. I have been ruminating how to do my part in saving them. You see, they are in danger all over the world. Their permeable skins and their amphibious lifestyle makes them vulnerable and a literal "canary in a coalmine". Everything we do to change the chemistry of our water and earth weakens them and makes them more likely to catch diseases.
In our neck of the woods, we have the red legged frog which is beautiful (well, all frogs are beautiful to me).

April 29th, 2011 is Save The Frogs Day. What will you do to save the frogs?

Freezing North American Wood Frogs

Frogs have always facinated me. Back in 1982 in my Biology class we were forced to dissect frogs. One of my best friends was my partner and the dissecting fell upon me. Frog biology was one of beautiful design. Over the years, I would marvel at pictures of frogs around the world and take trips to creeks and ponds to watch tadpoles.
I found a video about North American Wood Frogs who can literally freeze up, stop breathing, heart stops, and everything only to be thawed and awakened to mate.Science doesn't know what   This is exhibit #156 among thousands of reasons that we ought to save them. The things we do to save them can also save the planet.