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How To Loss Weight At Home





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Letter From Home




Letter From Home





Me above the mouth of Big River, Mendocino - photo by Molly B.
This is part of a letter I sent yesterday to an American friend in China. She was just told by the government that she cannot have her visa renewed, because she, also is too old. She, like I was, has been teaching there for 9 years.

Dear D,

Listen, dear, listen. Be GLAD be very very non-stop glad that you have to go home!!

I had it all wrong about the painful part of being in China. I thought it was all caused by not understanding the place and the people. No. The pain was caused by NOT being understood by them! Being un-understood is what hurts. This became so clear today, that the scales are still falling off me like a warm waterfall.

Let's see, I pulled the car over and made some notes: Walking around not understanding a place, language, people is interesting! Going around with your ownself a display of a two-footed anomaly is painful! This is accentuated in China where the local people always point and murmur, "foreigner" when they see us.

Our own place on the map feeds us. The ground, the air, the trees, the familiar streets are nutritious. Coming up against the continuous otherness of where I lived rubbed, rubbed me raw. Just as if the skin rubbed off, I felt the pain of loss of a part of myself which had always before lived in a cycle of re-plenishment.

I think continuing to stay in China, after deciding that I wanted to leave, for me was like the stance of an abused wife - always waiting for things to improve, and in the meantime hunching over more and more under the weight of what is wrong. Scoliosis of the spirit!

My spirit has expanded so much here recently (last few days)! I can almost see it. It's huge, it glows. It doesn't hover, it lays back in the light/air, relaxing with its feet up and head leaned back. Smiling. It is at once shiny, transparent and nude. But, most important, it is plugged in again now. Recharging all the time.

Sometimes, since I have gotten back here, I have just had to stop what I was doing and do nothing at all. Just stand or sit there and BE. I think now these were the times when my 'spirit,' my non-physical being, was returning.

It feels like it had become a starving and dreadfully weary horse and as it recognized some places it just had to make us stop. We needed to refuel by way of memories, or to have the light coming at a special angle or warmth or color fall on me simply so I could absorb whatever it was bringing me. Sometimes it was probably some sound I needed to hear. or lack of sound.

And surely a lot of the wayside pauses have been to take in the air, which I will refrain from trying to explain - it requires a new vocabulary of gourmet terms. And beauty, which has always been enough to pull thousands of tourists here. Its enough for them to see it briefly. Not true for me. I am PART of this place. I know that know. I was existing in a state of amputation after too many years in China! I just learned a new meaning of Home. Finally. Perhaps it was almost too late - I wonder. That could be why there was an unbroken chain of 'fortunate' seeing events that carried,( it felt like literally being carried) me out of Xiamen, China.
.....

So. Be very very glad that you have to go home. You will become a different person when you do.

My brittleness is gone. Now, when I sit down outdoors anyplace in a way it reminds me of how it feels to sit down in a good restaurant. But here the menu is a seamless thing surrounding me.

Love, Karin











Light Weight




Light Weight





PRO127: Eliot Porter (Sept. 19 - Oct. 31)

WIT: I was very excited by the Eliot Porter assignment. His photos are so familiar to me, not because I've seen them - I'm not sure if I have or not. I just FEEL like I've seen them all. Maybe at some level, EP has influenced my own photography. I certainly gravitate towards the same subjects, maybe even the same approach. I don't mean to compare myself with him by any means, but I recognize something so close to home from his work and I feel a real affinity with his photos.

I took a lot of photos with him in mind this past several weeks, but really they were not so different than the kinds of pix I often take. Going through them to choose one for submission was a bit disappointing. Nothing looked very good to me. I feel as if I can see what he sees, but I just did not really know how to capture it. Nothing was as vivid or as moody or as intense.

I ended up submitting this photo in the end because the quality of this shot is a bit better/sharper than a few others that I also sort of like.

1. which photo(s) inspired you: All of them. I love his work. The Iceland pix of the multicoloured lichen and rock are stunning. The aspen shots I love. The bark is so white; the leaves such a deep yellow; the shadows are quite pronounced but without the loss of any sense of lightness. I think that must have something to do with his very complex developing/dying techniques.
2. what you like and/or don't like about Eliot Porter's style or approach: I think that's obvious. I like everything about his work. I didn't see anything that didn't make me sigh or nod in recognition.
3. your thoughts and/or thought process behind your assignment submission: As I said above, I chose a pic that has sharp focus on a small (but really BIG) subject. The rocks on the river bank here never cease to amaze me. From a distance they are a bit bluish grey, and then when you get on top of them, they are smokey blue, and a dozen shades of pink and mauve and green and peachy-ochre, and striped, and pitted, and grooved and speckled.
4. how your photo reflects elements of Porter's style: I think I chose a subject (rocks) that EP was fascinated with. He has some in his Iceland portfolio and I think also in the Wildness portfolio. I was so touched to find this beautiful downy white (goose or duck) feather sheltered here among the rocks and the lovely wirey roots of shrubs that populate the high water parts of the river banks.
5. what you gained as a photographer from studying Porter's work: I will continue studying EPs work. I can learn a lot from him and photograph the things I love to photograph. My eye has been honed a bit more I think after appreciating his work.

Thanks so much for introducing me to Eliot Porter, Wes (-:











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