Monday, June 27, 2011

down by the river

some "practice" pictures i took while we were at the greenbelt today. i hope you'll bear with me while i'm trying to improve and i'm inundating this blog with photos. now, if we could just get charlie to smile without scrunching up his entire face!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

priceless conversations

On Friday J. was having a hard time treating his sister nicely. He decided to pray and ask for the Holy Ghost to help him be nice. After he prayed he went to talk to his sister.

J: S! Guess what! I got the Holy Ghost!
S: Where?
J: In my heart!

Friday, June 10, 2011

wabi sabi photography

wabi sabi, originally uploaded by jowrites365.

i've been thinking a lot about photography lately, and why i'm drawn to it, and what kind of pictures i want to take.
at millie's ballet dress rehearsal i worked really hard to get some decent pictures of her dancing on stage. i turned off the flash and cranked up the iso (because the pop-up flash on cameras can be so icky.) after her part of the rehearsal was over, she and her classmates leaned against the wall of the orchestra pit, watching the older girls with a little bit of awe. i saw millie standing there with her legs crossed, and i saw her more petite classmate standing on her tippy toes, trying to see over the partition, and it looked so sweet, like one of those moments you can not plan but they mean so much when they come around, y'know? so i pulled my camera out and quickly took off the lens cap, and not wanting to miss the moment or mess it up, i switched the setting from manual to auto, and i pressed the shutter release, and the flash popped up, and this is the picture that resulted.
i can see why a lot of people wouldn't like this picture. there are no smiling faces in it, it isn't very well composed, i had to use a flash to take it, the list goes on and on. but i LOVE this picture because it says so much about the moment in which it was taken.
and now we come to wabi sabi photography. i was reading this post (i love that blog!), and when she mentioned "imperfect beauty" i thought, "THAT'S IT!" that's what i love but i never had a term for it. imperfect beauty. that's what wabi sabi is, the japanese concept of beauty that focuses on the imperfect, the unfinished, the asymmetrical. those are the kinds of photographs i like.
and i decided right then and there, if i ever start a photography business, it'll be called wabi sabi photography.
the end, thank you for reading my rant.

p.s. this concept goes along so well with the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, by leonard cohen, that i've shared here and on facebook so many times before. but it bears repeating:

ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.

Monday, June 06, 2011

the dance

millie on stage
(my pictures never look right on blogger. does anyone know how to fix this?)
sometimes, when i forget how lucky i am to be a mom, i feel like motherhood is a series of breaking up arguments, soothing away tears, diffusing tense situations, and disciplining when things have gotten out of hand. sometimes it seems as though there aren't a lot of heart-swelling-with-joy moments, even though i know there are. i got to have one of those moments on saturday.
millie has been taking ballet for the last year, and saturday was her first performance. when i first talked to her about performing, back when she started to take ballet, she said she didn't want to. she said she wanted to take classes but she didn't want to get up in front of people on stage. i signed her up for class anyway, thinking she would be fine with it as time went on and she became more confident.
for two weeks before the performance, millie was telling me how nervous she was and that it was giving her a stomachache. i was worried that she would put up a fight and that it might come down to me saying, "you have to do this." but she kept going to practice, and rehearsal, and dress rehearsal, and she kept telling me how nervous she was, but she kept going. on saturday we were at the auditorium for three hours before the performance even started. i took lots of pictures and video of the run-through and i talked to millie before she went backstage. she seemed excited and not nervous at all.
when her part of the performance started i had planned on taking a lot of pictures, but i decided to put my camera down. i just stared at her like i was witnessing a miracle. anyone who knows my millie knows that she is usually very quiet, even shy. but on stage her smile was bursting from her face and she performed like it was the most natural, easy thing on earth. i found myself getting all teary at the sight of her, soaring on that stage, doing something that she thought would be too hard for her to do.
is there any prouder moment for a parent than being witness to your child excelling at something they were afraid of? there might be, but right now i can't think of any. :)