I’m expecting to take a lot of photos on this trip, so I’m grateful to the bloggers behind the Lens Artist weekly photo challenge for coming up with a way for photographers to share their work with each other. This week’s theme is blue. I think immediately of the languid blue shades that emerge at sunset near large bodies of water, especially still lakes. The Albanian side of Lake Ohrid gave me this blue vista last night:
Similarly languid was the water of Lake Michigan last May:
Last night I heard the photographer Lola Flash speak with the founders of Women Picturing Revolution. Flash is enjoying a new found, well-deserved success at 59 years old, 40 years into her career. Flash is also a public school teacher, and this career has run parallel to her work as an artist. I say parallel because it doesn’t seem that the photography she creates is directly related to her teaching, though she does describe many ways in which the things she’s learned as a teacher have driven her methods as an artist.
I asked her how she did this. She is so dedicated to teaching, She is such a thorough, meticulous, careful artist. How can one person be both, without letting the two careers overlap? (I would be less incredulous if she were, say, a photographer of issues pertaining to education). She said it is hard. She said that she is very careful about planning and using her transition time: for example, she went to the gym and swam after school yesterday, before coming to the talk, and “left the kids in the pool.” She also said that she is single.
I am a teacher. I want to be an artist. I am also in love, and this love is my great work of the moment: growing the love, deepening it, cultivating it to stand on its own, to breathe without our constant attention. We want our love to be joyful and liberating, not archaic, heavy, not suffocating. Light love is work. It is luck and work. It is health and luck and work, like art. Is love art?
Is love necessary? Is art necessary? Teaching is necessary, I have no question about that. Nor do I have any questions about the necessity of love. And I know that Lola Flash has lots of love because to see her is to love her, and she is so committed to her work, her art, which is love.
Most cities have their cliche’ed images, but the view of the home-towner shows us something intimate that we might miss otherwise.
My hometown of New York is pretty well photographed. Still, I’ve dug a little rut of routine and I love watching the city from here, me and the city changing together. Despite it’s undeniable urban grit, New York City is constantly interacting with the elements. That is when I find the city at its most beautiful.
NYC is famous for its theaters, and they are in full swing during these inhospitable winter months. My favorite is the MET opera, but the American Ballet isn’t too shabby.
It’s a remarkable city, for it’s frantic urban features, but also for the calm spaces that I find at every turn. There are many wonderful parks, but, predictably, my favorite is Central Park. I can’t wait for those magnolias to bloom again!