A Year In Twelve


Louisiana rain over Jefferson Parish.

N

ormally posts like this one are saved for the between week of Christmas and New Year, but it seems like just about everyone is jumping the gun, so I better do it too. I have a theory about why we are publishing best lists of 2021 so early. We want the second year from hell to conclude as quickly as possible.

We are tired. We are drained. We are frustrated. And, we certainly do not know how to take the long view. I’ve said from the moment we went into lockdown that we were running a marathon, not a sprint.

A few words about what you are looking at.

Somewhere during the year I started seeing other ways to make my photographs. I started working to make them smoother, darker, with less vibrant contrast. They say that all art is autobiographical. I’m not so sure about the subject matter, but I am about the tone and hue of these photographs.

This was a year of great loss for everybody. We lost an amazing amount of friends and colleagues. In the first six months of the year we lost one or two people a week. In July I suffered a terrible loss. The all seeing dog, the dog who picked me, the dog who would only go for walks with me, passed. She was thirteen years old. She is also the thirteenth picture is this little portfolio. Lagniappe as we call it in New Orleans.

Next year?

Next year is already busy this year. Lots of plans being hatched and schemed over. For both businesses. And, as you all know, we bought the farm. That doesn’t mean we are leaving New Orleans right away. The old farmhouse needs to be renovated and some new construction is needed. I reckon by this time in 2022, we’ll be living there.

2022. Wow. Hopefully, it will be a darn sight better than 2021.

Overgrown.
The dog who sees. RIP

7 Comments

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  1. Your beautiful dog’s passing is a tremendous loss of companionship. I’m so sorry. I concur that this has been a terrible year of loss, and for many of us, if not all of us, perhaps, investing much positivity into the year to come doesn’t feel possible. I hope that changes.

    These are wonderful photos. Each one is stellar, Ray!

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    • Thank you. You know, we have four other dogs, the last one coming after Sophie passed. I wasn’t ready, but a friend’s parents are part of a rehoming group. She needed a home and we had one. Her name is Maggie, after our friend. She’s a cocker, but a unique breed. She’s called a Blue Eyed Merle. Merle refers to the pattern of her colors which is black and red. And, she has blue eyes. Buying the farm is an attempt — I think — at jump starting some positivity.

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      • I hope you’ll eventually share more about the farm. It sounds like a way to shift your focus and I think we can all benefit from anything that infuses us with a positive step forward. You’ll have a lot of work, but it could be such a benefit. And your canine friends are going to love it!

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      • I’ll tell a little now. It’s 82 acres and was a dairy farm. It’s roughly 20 miles from Charlottesville and about an hour from DC. We aren’t going to grow much but Hay to trade with remaining dairy farmers for dairy products. We may grow grapes and make wine. I am sorry to say that the Trump winery isn’t all that farm. We are going to renovate and enlarge the existing house which will be a guest house. We are building a new very modern house for us. We’ll also build a modern music studio with more guest houses. There is a barn, a big workshop, a windmill and some silos. Our friend lives across the road and found property for us. In many ways it’s coming home for me. My newspaper career started in Southwestern Virginia down near Virginia Tech is located. I used travel to Charlottesville to cover UVA sports. I know where the dives are. More later

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  2. I love the dark tone and hue of this collection, Ray. What a sad loss of your fur companion of thirteen years. Wishing you well with your renovation plans – may you find more joys than obstacles along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I do too. There are other dogs around here, but she picked me. That’s so important. once read that any artist’s work usually reflects the era in which they lived. We are in a dark place right now. Look at a comment by Debra on the post A Year in Twelve. See my reply for our plans.

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  3. I’m so sorry to learn of the loss of your dog, Ray. It’s hard to lose animal friends. I’m also sorry to have missed so many posts. I’m trying to catch up some now. I’ve been ill and still have a long recovery ahead. My late mom had some land about twenty miles from Charlottesville too. It’s beautiful country there.

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