Island Tidings:: re(start) when necessary

Island Tidings: 

pictures and prose about our recent adventures on and off our tiny island

For about a year now, I’ve been working as a second shooter for my awesome and super talented friend at weddings.  Well, actually, at the very first one I carried bags and a heavy stool, and as the days have gone on, my heart has swooned with more and more responsibility and knowledge.  It’s amazing to work behind, beside and alongside a creative friend and share in a couple’s expression of love and commitment.   Weddings are typically where couples are in their best possible light, best possible look surrounded by the best possible folks in their lives.  It’s such a happy day to be a part of.
Years ago, I lived in darkrooms and still love the memory of images in trays, scenes clothes-pinned on a line up to dry.  Years ago, I dreamed of living behind a lens and still love the practice of capturing the narrative of moments.  I almost went to college on a photography scholarship.  But, poetry and art history prevailed and New Hampshire called my name.
I feel as if diapering three blonde daughters and breastfeeding one after the other took up space in my brain, flushed out darkroom technique.  Now, I find myself embracing the digital technique, standing at somewhere on the mountain of all there is to learn, slowly learning Photoshop while simply and daily taking iPhone pics.  Oh, I joke about an Instagram wedding or an iPhone photo shoot.  It’d be the ultimate hipster capture, maybe with retro party Polariods.  
Today, with daughters in school I think about getting darkroom supplies off eBay.  Someday.  Sigh.  I wouldn’t listen to any music in there.  Just silence, clicks, drops.  
I feel so lucky to have this practice in my days.  My friend, my super amazing and super talented friend began taking pictures a few years ago of her own children and friend’s children and her gift exploded, bloomed and took root. Really, she’s an incredible artist.  The stories she captures are timeless, speak volumes and it’s hard to stand before each image she’s captured and not be breathless.

The last of a wedding season happened this past weekend.  I carried Mr. Mark II, held a heavy lens.  Sigh.  I feel so lucky to have this and her be a part of my days.  Thank you, amazing friend.  xoxo
:::restart and savor:::
The funny thing is, I actually woke up two hours early.  The fog horn came and went, came and went into our dark bedroom.  It’d been since April I last heard it so continueally, so rthymically.  A funny reminder of season’s change with accompanying hints in fog horns, early darkness and a cold garden.  I had two early hours to myself in this cold house while holding steaming coffee.  I wrote.  I read knitting patterns.  It was hard to switch gears when the alarm clocks went off upstairs.
I should have restarted.
Somewhere around french braiding a moving target, missing a brand new sneaker and another’s refusal to leave the kitchen table I should have taken a minute.  I can only now imagine the instant mood change that would have followed, Come on, girls.  We’ve got at least three solid minutes of trampoline jumping to get in before we brush our teeth.  I know now what it’s like to send a family out into their days with a Mama who lectures, yells before eight in the morning.  It hurt my heart to waste a day on grumpiness.  It’s been hard to adjust to soccer practice, homework, lunch packing, amidst all the other duties that make our home run smooth.
I miss beach days, sandy toes at ten in the evening with a still-light sky.
When I refocus, inhale, I see there’s a bit of time left, a bit of red to the blackberries left on our vines.  There’s still a bit of warmth to the sunlight.
Savor, we must.  Smile, we must.
We’re adjusting.  We’ve filled in the big, brown calendar:  practice, Macbeth rehersals, meetings, appointments, whole parts of days spent on soccer fields.
We’re layering, pulling fleece and wool from closet’s backs.  We’re readying the yard for rain.
:::unwillingly unplugged:::
For almost a week, I couldn’t get into blogger.  So I knit, played more board games.  Brussels sprouts came into the garden faster than we could find recipes.
It all worked out for the best.  I had some security hole or full cache or some downright bad luck with blogger.  Thinking of switching to Word Press.  Anyone made the switch?  I’d love to hear your feedback.
:::running poetic:::

Leash leaves hook
the dog turns herself inside out
gait like a lion:
Great Dane & a mutt’s secret.
The body remembers
lycra, pony tail’s sway
new sneaker’s sole, pavement 
familiar pre-child tunes
like Cypress Hill, Black Sheep
keep pace past streets, sunflowers.
I’ve got this, I say as the pain of starting at the bottom of a hill begins to hurt.  
I need this, I say, I need this in my days.
Running routine has come back.
Once, not so far before,
miles were high
now, it takes my all just to travel to the sea and back.
No fog, light sun
Chelan County’s smoke rests on driftwood,
atop masts and inside me.
Cough, Cough, as I think about my childhood pnemonia, allergy-induced athsma and my inhaler lying in the medicine cabinet.
The body remembers
hot pulse of a run,
the inhale of wildfires far away, not-even-seen.

We walk the path just beyond our driveway
to where Saturday mornings now hold our thoughts.
Lucy has waited so many years on the sidelines
ready to play like Betty.
Lucy owns it on the field, charges after the ball
& still finds time to suck on her fingers.
She begs for Gatorade, sets her snacks on the sideline
so she knows what’s waiting for her.
Two games into the season on the team named Sharks and she’s scored more than two goals,
but who’s counting. She loves t-ball (which she is totally obsessed with)
and sideline throw-ins.
We want her to smile
just as she does.
Betty is in her third year of soccer.
She’s moved into forward
chasing the ball, excelling at passing.
She dripples it down the field for about twelve seconds before passing,
Here, would you like a turn? we’ve heard her ask a teammate.
She’s so polite.
Oh, sorry, we’ve heard her say to the opposing team as she stops a goal
from her favorite position as goalie.
She loves soccer, is currently reading some soccer Fairy book
and thinking of changing her favorite color to green
since it’s her team’s color.
I am skiier, a former lacrosse player
a sailer and a former fencer
but I am not a sports fan.
I do it, I don’t watch it on tv
and I certainly don’t play it in fantasy.
Luke is a fisherman, a skier, a hunter,
a mountain biker, a frisbee golfer
and most certainly not a tv sports fan.
I am suprised at how much we love organized sports for our girls:
the joy of cheering on a team mate, doing your best,
taking turns and coming together with children
you might not otherwise play with.
Yup.  We think team sports are
so very rad for our girls.
:::apple picking:::

Betty, with raccoon hat, picking apples
will forever remain
a reminder of bed rest
in two pregnancies

a time when harvest and gather and prepare
smooshed with nesting and pre-term labor
each time I roll out dough, I remember how hard it once felt
to lean into rolling pin’s pattern
how hard it once felt
to place a pie in our oven
each time I make an apple pie,
I think I could own a pie bakery or, at least,
eat a pie each day
end a day with a slice smothered in
extra-sharp chedd-ah cheese, Vermont style
start a morning with a slice and an Americano, Seattle style.
I always use [this recipe from the archives].
It’s a wonderful thing,
having friends with farms and orchards
and sheep dogs and tractors
even a funnier thing,
when our babes pick the smallest of the ripe
to spend what feels like hours peeing, coring
plum sized apples
to turn on some Halloween Yo Gaba Gaba for our girls
close the kitchen door
polish off half an apple pie with my love.
:::Hello, Fall with all your early darkness:::


  • Elissa says:

    i just want to kiss your dog on the snout and scratch his ears. sweet little whiskers.

    oh, yeah. the kids are cute too 😉

    so cool that you have been able to work on the photography thing. so many talents for you. must be hard to choose on any given day… do you still have a film SLR?

  • Katie says:

    Awesome, Jenn. I didn't realize you were shooting with her. That would explain the wedding photography pins on Pinterest. 😉 I'm assistant shooting my first wedding this weekend. Super nervous and super excited! I've been shooting film all summer – taking the rolls to the lab today. Can't wait to see…

  • ~ko says:

    So much good in your life 🙂 I love love love reading your posts and seeing all the wonderfulness that is flourishing in your world 🙂

  • i use word press if you need do make the jump and need any help 🙂

    and your two hours of quiet in the morning sound absolutely perfect. i've got a babe asleep across my lap, can hear a boy raking through legos in search of the perfect piece, one kid singing to herself and two others playing some game they've invented. and the to-do list (the one that has been ignored the last few days) is whispering in my ear. quiet is needed here!

  • Amy says:

    This make kinda made me tear up…
    I love the three solid minutes of trampoline before heading out the door! and I love the garden pictures.

    I think I might be like, a little emotional today or something. haha

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