Slip Of Paper

Bronze Aged
Originally uploaded by ctb57.
I love still life art. I love composing still lifes or vignettes and photographing them. Simple, complex, color, black and white, I love them all. Last night, I was photographing a pair of baby shoes. Mine. They had been bronzed years ago. I don't even know if parents, mothers mostly, I guess, still hold this tradition. But, thanks to my mom, I've had mine for years. She gave them to me when I landed my 1st job after grad school and survived many moves. Last night, they became a subject of a still life photo session.

As I was setting them up, I noticed a slip of paper in one of them. It was lodged down low and took a bit of work to get it out. A simple piece of lined paper with my name on it is all it was. Mom had written it all those years ago. I smiled and then cried and felt her love.

I wonder ... did she think as she wrote that name all those years ago that her love would reach out and grab her daughter at a time she needed it most.



Auld Lang Syne

Originally uploaded by ctb57.
Well, here I find myself on the cusp of another new year, and I can't help wondering what this one will bring. My pendulum tells me that I will find more success with my photography. That is my fervent wish to become an established art photographer.

As I write tonight's blog, [i]Weird US[/i] on the History Channel is talking about Robert Burns. As I consider myself a poet of sorts, I was surprised to learn that he penned the words to [i]Auld Lang Syne[/i]. Perhaps I learned this years ago and have simply forgotten.

After a bot of Googling, here's what I discovered:

Burns' name is not affixed to the song, but there seems to be no doubt it is his. He claims the following 2 verses as his own:

"We tae hae ran about the braes," and "We twa hae paidl'd in the burn."

When he spoke of to friends, he called it ancient.

"Light be the turf," he says, "on the breast of the heaven-inspired poet who composed this glorious fragment! There is more of the fire of native genius in it than half-a-dozen of modern English Bacchanalians." "Apropos, is not the Scotch phrase Auld Lang Syne exceedingly expressive? This old song and tune has often thrilled through my soul." To Thomson he writes thus:- "The air is but mediocre; but the song of itself - the song of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript, until I took it down from an old man's singing - is enough to recommend any air."

So, in honor of the passing of 2005 into 2006, all the best to you, my friends.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?


For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup,
And surely I'll be mine;
And we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, etc.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, etc.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd.
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, etc.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gud-wellie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Please follow this link Friction Bailey for Auld Lang Syne wishes from me to you. Click on #10 and enjoy.




Originally uploaded by ctb57.
Wow, it's been way-y-y-y-y-y-y too long since I've last posted. Way too long. Funny how things get. We get busy, we get involved in other things, we get a life and time just seems to pass on by.

I've just not been writing much at all lately, and I'm not really sure why. Call it writer's block, call it being uber busy, call it an interest in photography. However, now that the days are shorter, I don't have the time for photography after work that I did have, so maybe there'll be a shift back to more writing.

Who knows?

I talked with my sister last night. Tomorrow we will be burying our mom's sister. She was the oldest of the family and has failed health-wise since mom's death in 2003. Mom was the baby of the family and the 1st to die, and the siblings all took it rather hard. Her passing is for the best, but she will be missed.

Back to my sister. She told me last night that her pastor's youngest son was killed in Iraq last week. He was part of our hometown's Guard unit and was killed when his Humvee ran over a mine. He would have been 20 on the 27th of this month - three days before my niece. She's taking it pretty hard. They grew up together, and she's away at school and very few of her friends understand this loss. I've noticed the same thing here at my uni. The kids are so disconnected from the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Part of it is their age and a part is the role the media plays. How can there be a war or wars going on if we see no bodies coming home in bags or flag-draped coffins? I know how the holidays are when loved ones are taken from us during those times. No time is ever good, but it is harder during special times. Imagine ...

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

-- John Lennon



I Want You

I Want You (B&W)
Originally uploaded by ctb57.
I love to alley crawl. It's where you find life. It's all there in those alleys ... the garbage, the forgotten, the shamed, the beautiful. Tonight I saw the work of a tagger who had sprayed "disead nation" in white on red brick. As I was photographing the tag, I found myself wondering which was saddest the disease that's gripping this nation or the fact that the tagger can't spell.

Later on, down an alley that backed the local recruitment center I saw this sadly faded poster. It was behind a set of dingy blinds, stuck to the window with four pieces of scotch tape. Its owner has probably long forgotten sticking it on the window.

Besides the stern Uncle Sam pointing his finger at me, I was struck by the incongruity of the words on the poster:

"I want you to thank a military service member
For their sacrifices.
For maintaining peace.
For ensuring our freedom.
Reach out. Build a strong America."

And I thought,

"Are their sacrifices worth maintaining peace in a land where we are not wanted?"
"Is it OUR freedom they are ensuring?"
and lastly,
"How strong is America, really?"

Heretical thoughts to some, afterall, if you're not with us, you're against us.



The Magic of Dusk

Fairy Rose2
Originally uploaded by ctb57.
I've always had an affinity for dusk. As a child, a summer evening was a magical time with the coolness settling in, the sounds of crickets and tree frogs and the occasional grunt of a bullfrog. I remember the feel of 'shade grass' beneath my bare feet ... soft, silky and cool. I now know it as Soysa grass, but back then it was simply shade grass. The sun would hang low in the sky for what seemed ages sharing the heavens with the moon and finally the true magic would happen when the fireflies would come out and begin their dance. I took this picture at dusk this evening. When I printed it out, it brought back all these memories. I think the title of the photo speaks for itself.


Pardon Me While I Whine

Coneflower Seedheads B&W
Originally uploaded by ctb57.
I was going to post this last night, but I decided to wait and see if my mood lifted. However, it has not, so now it's my turn to freakin' whine.

That's all I heard yesterday was whining. I had office hours in the all-female hall I manage, and that's all I heard all day long. Whining about the rain, about bad hair, about leaky rooms, about not having umbrellas or slickers. Shit, when did we become so freakin' spoiled, self-centered and dependent? Ask any one of them, and the first thing they'll tell you is how independent and mature they are now that they are college students. And yet, many cut classes because it rained all day!

When I asked them what they thought about the havoc wreaked by Katrina, most admitted that they hadn't a clue what I was talking about. I know, I know, most of them are teens and 20-somethings, but I find it inexcusable to not know what's going on within one's own country.

What's a bad hair day to those who've lost their home, lost their spouse, had to chop a hole in the roof to keep from drowning? What's a bad hair day to those who were too poor to evacuate and couldn't take shelter elsewhere. What's a bad hair day to the man who couldn't hold on to his wife who's last words were, "Take care of the grandchildren."?

And now, in the midst of all this, we are learning of our president's cutting federal money slated for the improvement of LA levees and funneling it into Homeland Security and the war in Iraq. Homeland Security, my ass. And how about our local fuel suppliers who are taking advantage of another tragedy in order to gauge fuel costs. They did the same thing in the wake of 9/11. Fuel costs here have jumped 50 cents in 2 days.

While today's blog has absolutely nothing to do with the photo, perhaps the photo can be the bright spot.



Silver Linings

Silver Linings
Originally uploaded by ctb57.
It's been far too long since I last posted here. Where does it go?

Well, we've made it through yet another move-in weekend here at VU and today was the first day of classes. Funny how I don't mind it as much this year. I usually have a tough time adjusting from the peace and quiet of an often too short summer to the grating noise of hundreds of teens and twenty-somethings that descend like locusts every fall. Move-in was very smooth this year, and while I'm physically tired, I am not suffering from the mental fatigue that has often plagued me in the past.

Last Friday, I picked up some needed groceries after work and was treated to the most glorious sunset I think I've ever seen. The photo accompanying tonight's blog is one of many shots I took that evening. Photographing that sky was indeed a balm to my tired soul. I tried to capture the beauty of it with these words:

Silver Linings

Gray clouds
gilt in silver
revive my tired soul.
A storm-laden sky glows golden;
the clouds close ranks as the
sun drops.

Copyright Cher Cunningham, 2005