shells

shells

these are not technically eggs, they are shells. still themselves but hollowed out. my feelings about the holidays fluctuate from year to year. i try my best to keep them meaningful, but some years they fill me up and some years they hollow me out. this year, i’m feeling a little emptier than usual. our daughter is home from college with a sparklingly energetic boyfriend which has made home life happy and full of love and energy. but the big gatherings have taken more from me than they’ve given for some reason this year. on the other hand, part of what it means to reach your fifties is understanding that nothing stays the same. next year or the year after, i’m guessing, will be a peak to this year’s trough. i’m ready either way.

collection of pale colored eggs: chicken, pheasant, partridge

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ghosting

ghosting

i just learned the term ghosting recently. it’s what happens when you have a text relationship with someone and then suddenly they stop texting and disappear. it’s a new part of relationships that i’m glad i don’t have to deal with. all that uncertainty and all those unanswered questions. on the other hand. about this time of year, i start getting the urge to do some ghosting myself. just sort of drifting off in to a creative corner somewhere, where no one can find me for a while.

snow drift

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context

context

with a husband who’s a food writer, the subject of taste, and how it changes with context, comes up fairly frequently. i have an autoimmune syndrome that makes my mouth very dry and i’m sure as a result that i taste things differently from him, and from most others. how then do you decide what tastes “good” or “right” if everyone is tasting something different? this teasel is another example of the power of context. this was my first still blog subject, in france, against a white background, at a time when i was taking prospective test shots to decide whether this idea would even work. so even though i know wild teasel is an invasive pest in parts of california, i always see its prickly, arthropod shape as something to love like family, or like that ugly first dog with a snaggletooth underbite whom no dog since has ever really replaced.

wild teasel comb (dipsacus)

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sidelight

sidelight

so of course, now that i have decided to switch back to a white background, i am seeing all the things i love about black. like the veiny details of this hydrangea flower, that are amplified by the side lighting that works so well against a black background. it’s like i just decided for sure to break up with my high school boyfriend, and now he’s driving away and i’m so, so sad.

lacecap hydrangea in winter

  • Ginny says:

    MJ, is there a rule that say a whole year must have a specific theme? Choose the background that’s right for the subject of the day! Love your work, always.

    reply
    • Hi Ginny, I love your thoughtful comments! I have only self-imposed rules. I agree that it would make the most sense to choose the right background for the subject. But I am hung up on having the blog switching back and forth between white and black images as one scrolls through it. I don’t think i’d like it as much. Although I admit I have not tried it. I want to STILL to be a peaceful, quiet corner of the internet. A place of calm. And the thought of bouncing between light and dark images doesn’t quite fit my mental model. Perhaps I am being overly prescriptive. Alas, I will take your suggestion under serious consideration! Thank you

      reply

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hope and its opposite

hope and its opposite

dried bract and empty seed pods, hanging next to buds full of sap. it’s good to see both sides of the optimism/pessimism spectrum. i was a bud who married a bract. and now we are both a little of both. which is a kind of growth all by itself.

winter basswood branch with buds and seed bract

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