Tuesday, November 18, 2014


As my friends and family dig out of the 6 feet of snow in Buffalo, we're settling in to watch Silicon Valley. I am also dreaming of cupcakes. This is what happens when you sugar dairy detox. Cupcakes. Sprinkled, sparkly, dancing, cupcakes.

Also, this post is nonsense. Like how today, a Tuesday, feels like a far away Friday. smh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Here's what I'm learning

Here's what I'm learning about the grief from loosing a child. I'm learning that it is the most vulnerable you will ever be in your life. You will feel naked when you are clothed, alone when you are with people, and back in the throws of it when you think you are over it. More than a stage (although experts believe there are stages of grief) I'm finding that it's more a state of being. Kind of like being hungry - something that you are or are not at any given point if your day/week/month/year. But you are never over it. You just keep going; becoming hungry, feeding yourself (sometimes with pleasure, sometimes because you have to) always knowing you will be full and then you will be hungry again. Eventually.

It's not a stage, or stages. Grief is constant with times where it's quiet and times it's loud. Sometimes it is so loud it drives you mad and makes you do irrational things like pull over to the side of the road and take pictures of wildflowers in the north country of your hometown. You take pictures because you can't do anything else, say anything else, think anything else.*

Then there are times you are happy. But unlike before grief when you took happy for granted, you become acutely aware that you are happy and you relish in it. You play in the happiness like it's the first warm day in May: you smell everything, feel everything, and enjoy everything. And it's not that you forget the grief, but more like you intentionally put it away because it just feels so damn good to feel happy.

Of course all it takes is an innocent phone call or song or picture or piece of writing to bring you back in it; to bring the grief back and take your breath away. But I find that I'm getting slowly better at realizing when this is happening. I intentionally take it head on instead of pretending that it's not happening (which makes it much worse).

The odd part is that whether the grief is loud, throbbing, or put away I find that I am more present than I was before. I am here. I am where I am. And unlike before grief, I'm learning to be okay with that; to allow myself to be present. I have let a lot of things go; things I love, things I thought I loved, and things that were eating away at my strength.

Which I guess is what has happened to this blog to some extent; presence. I've been other places, with my family and my best friend, healing. Learning; learning to live with life after grief. Will this continue to fit, this space? I don't know. But I do know that it will figure itself out. We'll all just have to hang in there.

*I don't know if this is connected, but I could not help but feel super-present while being in the north country. I've lost a lot of childhood friends there, and perhaps it's their presence that made my grief so apparent. It was like I was being called to pull over, get out of my car, and be with this. Be with the thoughts, and the pain, and the anger, and the loneliness. Whatever it was, I will always look at these photos and see a baby who was and now isn't instead of wildflowers. A little bit like I left her there in the breeze, in the rust, in the fields - but not alone.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Eat. Drink. Be Merry.

Back in June we there a dinner party for some Rochester friends who hadn't seen the house yet. We ate cake in honor of Matt's birthday. 

But to be honest, it was really so that I could live out a mental vision I had when we walked the backyard of this house and saw the horizontal tree.

Yes, the horizontal tree you all want me to remove.

Well, everyone but Matt and my dad, the two men who understand my love of this tree.

Anyway, I had a very clear vision of this very dinner party.

And so, in typical Deedle fashion, it had to be executed.

There were wildflowers, and chicken, and mustadry-potatoes, and drinks with herbs from the garden, and babies toddling around in bare feet.

Mark even got in the tree I love so dearly. Sunny day, great people. It was perfect. Just as the vision - as some things turn out to be.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Toronto Snippets: Four

Take a Deedle to Toronto for her birthday (for any holiday, or non-holiday really) and she will be yours forever. I'm like a puppy that way. And so we went. And we explored. And ate. And drank. And rode. And snapped. And took it in, all of it. The people, the glory, the moment. Here are the snapshots and light commentary in no particular order.

Some of my favorite leftover shots are in this post. They have everything and nothing to do with anything in particular.

Also, we too the Retina with us. Along a walk back through Chinatown we were stopped by a man who yelled out "Hey Retina!" and then went on to share a ton of information, passion, and love for the camera we were toting around. It was one of the best experiences of the whole trip.

While the film prints have yet to be developed, I know they will be good. I have yet to get a roll back that isn't good from that camera. Something about its view on the moment, slightly more removed from the situation than a digital shot, but present all at the same time.

I look forward to its treasures, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Which leads me to my last point. Remember to go against the waves. Sometimes it's really easy to get caught up in the social media share world we live in. I won't run on about it, because the best summary and its ill-effects has already been done here. Barfing unicorns. Read the post.

Plus, you are reading this on a blog by someone who loves her some social media. (I really, really do.) But my point is that sometimes it's important to go back, to be patient, to take a risk, to turn off the GPS, to hop on the public transit with your film camera and experience the moment knowing everything will be a-okay.

We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to a generation who doesn't know anything but this new uber-connected world we live in. We owe it to the folks who still make and wind film. Take your life, unplug, and go out to make something beautiful.