I believe in movement.
I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world.
I believe in midnight and the hour of noon.
But what else do I believe in?
It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond.
― Patti Smith, M Train
A while back I read Patti Smith’s book “Just Kids” and was totally enamored with the story of her life with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and their life here in NYC. A fabulous documentary with a beginning and an end. (And with full disclosure I’ve now visited one of her favorite bars, with a couple more on tap soon. Yep, groupie.) But with her new book, M Train…well…it’s complicated and it takes you all over the place…one moment the present and the next moment down memory lane…then a dream…and then back to reality again…all within a couple of sentences. It’s a book that’s meant to be read slowly…and savored. Sentences that can read like poetry…evocative…revealing her inner most feelings about her life. Often I’ll find myself reading and re-reading a particular sentence or paragraph…to better understand it…and then when I do…my mind wanders… dreaming of an image to reflect the scene in my mind. It was during my little birthday getaway to Woodstock that I thought I should visit my photography archives or make an image that would pair with some of my favorite Patti quotes…thus my creation of the “M” project. Anyway, it’ll be a fun and challenging little photography project for me and I hope you’ll enjoy it too. I made this image along the banks of the Millstream at the Inn of Woodstock where we stayed and found it a perfect pairing.
Prior to heading to Woodstock, I spent two afternoons at the Green-Wood Cemetery…478 spectacular acres in Brooklyn/ New York City. This was my fifth visit as I’ve been trying to photograph the different seasons, as well as some of the details of the cemetery. For some crazy reason I’m so drawn to that place. I’ll share with you some of my favorites from my spring and fall visits soon. I still have some Oregon images that you must see as well…oh, and there’s Woodstock! Gotta tell you about that cute little place. Oh, oh! There was a trip to the farm too! btw…have you heard of Peggy Freydberg? Gosh..an amazing woman…will have a give away when I tell you about that experience…so stay tuned.
On a totally different note…are any of you New York Times subscribers and received the cardboard Virtual Reality goggles this weekend? I’ve read that virtual reality journalism is really cutting edge and with this little cardboard box, a smart phone, earbuds and a free app…well you’re on your way to some amazing viewing. The New York Times Magazine showcased their new virtual reality film called “The Displaced”…about children uprooted by war. (Tissues required and possibly some ambien just to sleep after viewing.) The goggles give you this feeling as if you’re with the child…looking right in their eyes…12 year old Hanna as she carries crates to collect cucumbers on a farm to make money to help her family…or 11 year old Oleg sitting in the middle of the wreckage of his school and community…or 9 year old Chuol who was forced to flee into swamp land filled with alligators to keep from being killed. Just three of nearly 30 million children around the world who have been driven from their homes by war and persecution. I honestly find it hard to sleep at night that we have all of this going on in our world. I guess that’s why I sometimes believe in everything and sometimes nothing too.