Dear Reader -
The recession blasted across the country over the last two years or so. It knocked out many of the local store owners I know. Stores that had been in the neighborhood for twenty years or more closed. And yes, it hit me too this year, but to take steal a disco phrase – I survived. And I survived partly because I began to reinvent myself, and because I continue to feel a wonderful wave of karma coming my way from you.
You have kept my spirits up when I was down; and knocked me down when I was up; but I always had the feeling that you were out there.
When I began the storefront idea in the winter of ’99, I had a vision of a bunch of guys (truth be told they were guys) straight out of central casting for an Abe Lincoln movie, gathered around a pot-bellied stove in the back of a general goods store. In this vision, men were wearing overalls, spitting tobacco, and doing what people would later do around the water cooler and then through social networks: chew the fat.
The general store is gone and been replaced with the everything store. The water-cooler has been replaced with tweets that can only add to attention disorders.
Turns out that everyone needs such places in the back of the store where they can grumble, tell jokes and in short – be human. That’s what the blog has been for me – a chance to be show the human side of trying to make it as a photographer. And you, dear reader (how archaic) have enjoyed it too. Who wants to see pictures when you can read about the ups and downs of the photographer (and there have been many of both this year). What better way to encourage yourself in your own path.
To get down to business – this post is for you – and for future followers. Although I may not answer every e-mail, or every comment; the sense that I’m not working in a vacuum has made this journey easier for me. And I hope that it makes your journey easier as well. I’ve been trying to come up with a phrase to end what is essentially a thank you note, and was thinking about how most of us don’t really believe in Santa Claus, or many of the things that we celebrate. I was thinking about my mother, who has been gone these last 20 plus years, and missing her. But I was also feeling lucky that she was my mother; and that we had as many years as we did together.
Spirits and memories live on. I probably think about her more since she’s gone than when she was on this earth. Gone from the physical world, and yet able somehow to remain with me. So I’ll leave you with the traditional “Happy Holidays” and this sentiment: Just because you can’t touch it – doesn’t mean it can’t touch you.
Street Performers by Metropolitan Museum (infrared)