Jews begin their holidays with fishes. Lox, gefilte fish, sable and whitefish. Merge them with a bagel, a real bagel, not some ersatz one, a schmere, and I rejoin my ancestors for a breakfast, just like they did. Sadly, Glick’s follows some silly Orthodox led decision that sturgeon isn’t kosher, so, despite being a Conservative Jew (not an Conservative American Jew) I am deprived of a taste of one of my favorite undersea delicacies. The fishes which remain will do, but not quite.
It’s like a double mitzvah to eat fishes. God gave us fish and the holiday. We get to eat, atone and move 0n with the New Year, hopefully after being written into the book of life. This year we are saddened by the loss of some who made our lives more understandable: Oliver Sacks, Philosopher/Brain Explorer and Daniel Thompson,Bagel Maker. I will light candles for both.
So, I haven’t given up this life long special project, photographing the homeless and hapless. I see them everywhere, sometimes smelling them before they come into view. Giving them money helps no one, but I feel better, even if it’s only $1. Doug here begged me to help him. He started to tell me his story. I couldn’t listen. I couldn’t breathe. He asked if I knew of a shelter in the area. Like, who am I in this episode? Who are any of us?
So, it’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. No, not the beginning of the calendar year celebration you think of, but a time for spiritual rejuvenation. I can even pray for myself, something I usually don’t do and ask God to put me in the book of life. God did this for me last year obviously, or I would not have survived the recent removal of my gall bladder. May all of you fare as well. You are in my prayers.
So, we will eat gefilte fish and chicken. Have some chopped liver. Light the candles. And remember lost friends and family. We are pretty much alone, down here in FL. Most of our family has either died or intermarried. We carry on our traditions, preserving the memories of all those who came before, especially the ones who were needlessly and senseless killed just because they were Jewish.
All mammals have the same capacity to pee. How about that? And the average pee is 21 seconds. Just cannot get this through my head. Me and a Kodiak bear take the same time to pee. Wow.
So, you think it’s out of the ordinary for artists to make images of themselves in a mirror. Painters stared at themselves for hours in the mirror and produced one image. A photographer, spur of the moment, or maybe planned, can do it in 1/200 of a second. Some of the greats have done it, taken a self-portrait in a mirror. I sometime wonder if they were bored or didn’t have a model. You just cannot do it without the mirror and the camera, making it not that all spontaneous. Me, I like to do it in public bathrooms, bathrooms in museums, airports, supermarkets, movie theaters, restaurants. Takes some courage, because I have to wait for the place to clear out to eliminate a fellow pee person’s presence. Don’t want to bring the morals squad. And then, I gotta hurry. But, do I put the camera to my eye or chest? Do I want to see my face or just the act of shooting? One day, I will be more creative. One day, I will figure this out.
For women and revolutionaries everywhere. This Larry Rivers mimics a Delacroix from 1830. It is said to be one of the first posters or paintings to celebrate the then current revolutionary zeal. May women lead the movement and change the world. And may artists be the conscience of the community and continue to unearth the truth.
Believe it or not, the garbage collection here is pretty picky. Need to reduce cardboard to 3×3 size and they don’t take blank newsprint. We had to take it, ourselves, to the recycling plant. Not a bid deal, this time. It’s right around the corner from where we live. In FL, around the corner is 15 minutes.
FL takes recycling seriously. State of the art facilities. Recycling isn’t mandatory, a loophole for people who don’t like regulations. Talked to one the other day, a neighbor. He said that he didn’t recycle carefully: “it doesn’t work because so many people don’t do it.”
No plastic bags.
Now that we have unpacked most of our boxes, we can get into a routine, again.
So, I wonder, where my eye comes from. I know I have the Jewish photography gene. I have done the street, the office, tradesmen. I have shot portraits in the studio and on location. My subjects don’t act out a lot. The look calm and serene, alive, but not active. Few important people let me shoot them. And I have never worked for a paper. I am not Weegee, Arnold Newman or Diane Arbus. No fashion, so I am not Avadon. And while I love Joel Myerwitz, who also influences me, he didn’t shoot in the studio or use lights. Winograd and Gilden are kooks. Annie’s out of my league. Who? Who?
August Sander. Documented a community. Shot portraits. Shot same people I shoot. Lots of straight on. Used props. Posed. No surprises. Always gave the subjects a dignified look. In the Artsy bio, it says, he “lived behind his lens.” His prints are thick and detailed. Not a lot of background.
Shot this in Burlington, just before we moved. Local service station – McCaffrey’s. Important to the community. Everyone knew them, trusted them and relied on them. Would have shot the deli next door at Wagi’s, but the people wouldn’t let me. Hard to replace people and service like this when you move.
Lets hope I have the time to shoot enough with Sander looking over my shoulder and that the lens keeps me alive like it did him.
Someday, you may need this magnifying glass to read the small print in the drugstore. Do they still call these places drug stores? It’s a “FOP” tool. To use it, you got to be able to get to the store, push the cart and find what you are looking for. Aging requires courage.
So, the pills and the therapy period of my life has begun. Had to transfer med, pill and dental plans. Many calls. Medicare. Blue Cross/Blue Shield. At least I got them. Prescriptions can cost a lot.
New doctors. New dentists. Don’t know yet how healthy I am. Aches and pains come with being old. Blood. Colonoscopy. Dental surgery.
So, the doctor sent me for physical therapy for the neck and arm problems. Not turning my head as far as I once could. You will see; happens to all of us. But, the PT place was so depressing. People in wheelchairs who couldn’t sit up. People who couldn’t walk. Soon, it could be me. I will need courage to age.
Had to satisfy the Gov’t I am just not doing this to obtain pain killers. Filled out forms, some of which were not focused enough for my background or present physical condition. I’d rather be in pain than go there. Not going back, yet.
All I want to do is die broke. And, if my money runs out, before I die and I am still able to work, I can always bag.