Out making groceries.

Morning glory.

Maybe I should be out and about in the morning. Pictures made then are usually a lot of fun. I usually have things to do then. Not the least of them being taking the all seeing dog on her morning walk. Maybe I can work around that.

Here’s a morning picture now. This one came after we parked in the grocery store lot. I made two reasonably good pictures there and one that is of the time. You’ll eventually see all of them

All the news that fits.

Covid19 rages on and on and on. In some American cities it may peak toward the end of April. New Orleans is following New York’s path, but only two weeks later. That means that we are nowhere near the midpoint. The rest of this week should get interesting. May you live in interesting times is the worst possible Chinese curse. We are cursed.

It seems that a lot of people are going through some kind of reevaluation of their lives. I’m no exception. I awoke this morning counting all the places that I’ve lived. There are a lot. I use to write it off to making career moves. Now, I just think it was caused by personal stupidity.

My career cost a lot. People, cool places, family. It’s harder to regain any of those things the older that you get. I could go further, but I’ll just depress myself.

On a positive note, I always had a lot of fun. I did get to see a lot of very different locations. I did get to participate in some great events. I met some interesting people. I am coming up to my 50th high school reunion. Many of my classmates grew up in Southern California and there they stayed. That’s great for some people, but it’s likely I would just have gotten bored.  I’ll never know.

Stay Safe. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Care for others. Enjoy every po’boy.


Flying away.

“Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It’s not always going to be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away”  — George Harrison

I think that’s all we need to know. In one song.

It was the last song George Harrison ever played live. He was on a British talk show, along with Ravi Shankar. The host pretty much begged him to play. George couldn’t think of song that he remembered the words to, then he started strumming. He’s been gone a long time and I still miss him.

The picture. Look up, look down, look all around. Actually I flipped this picture. The plane was pointed in the other direction. I’d rather have it look like it was ascending than looking like it was headed into the ground.

It’s a positive picture.

 

 

 

 

 


In the New Orleans Sky.

I know one thing as we head into a very different time and space.

Enjoy every sandwich.

The late Warren Zevon said that on the old version of David Letterman’s show. He said that knowing he had less than six months to live. He was dying from lung cancer. When Letterman asked him what he learned from this,  Zevon responded with, “Enjoy every sandwich.”

He played a couple of songs in what turned out to be his very last live performance. And, he left us with his best album. He didn’t live to find out that his album won a Grammy for best album of the year.

I’ve been thinking about that as I watched everything around me be cancelled or postponed because of the escalating numbers of CoVid-19. Most musical tours are postponed or cancelled. Every major sport, the same. Even local events like the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday.

I watched a video clip of the New York Yankees (I was born and raised to be a fan) and last year’s World Series champs, the Washington Nationals play a spring training baseball game. They are practice games. They really don’t count. The help to get the players in “baseball” shape.

The Yankees bat boy came out of the dugout and handed the home plate umpire a note. The umpire read it, called the two team managers out, who waved all of the players off the field. The game ended in the middle of the fourth inning.

Major League Baseball cancelled the rest of spring training and postponed the start of the season by at least two weeks, effectively making the start of the season an unknown. That same umpire who called the game said to the reporters as he walked out of the clubhouse, “Guys, I’ll see you in June.”

This is how it’s been going everywhere with almost every kind of non-essential event. Even Broadway went dark, prompting the late night shows to work without an audience.

But, the worst information of all came locally. Yes, our confirmed patients are growing exponentially. Yesterday there were 17 known cases of the virus. Today there are 31.

That’s still not the worst news.

Four people went home after visiting my swampy, potholed city. They are now ill with the virus. They caught it during Mardi Gras. Apparently, it’s been floating around New Orleans since at least early February.

Remember when I was in too much pain to work for the last couple of days of Mardi Gras, including Mardi Gras Days? I was miserable from both the physical and emotional sides of me.

Say what you will. Talk about it being a God deal. Call it divine intervention. Call it anything. But, without my pain, I could be sick right now because I work in the heart of the crowds. Isn’t that something? I’m humbled and filled with gratitude.

Anyway. We are just about that point when our lives will change forever.

Enjoy every sandwich.


Like a guiding finger.

Yes. It’s here.

It came earlier than I thought it would. It came like an onrushing tide. CoVid-19 arrived yesterday. The person who caught it lives in Jefferson Parish. He or She is being treated at the new Veterans Administration hospital in Mid-City, New Orleans. We haven’t yet been told much beyond that. I suppose we could deduce from the treatment hospital that he or she served the country.

However, that’s the least of our questions. Where did this person live? Who did he come in contact with? How long did she have the virus? Where does he work? Did she travel or did she catch it from someone else in Louisiana?

That’s not all.

There is the personal aspect. I’m old. I have a compromised immune system. I’ll stay within my community except for essential trips, like to buy food and water and soap. I’ll follow the protocol as laid out by the CDC. That leaves me with the ultimate question. If I catch the virus will I live or will I die?

It still may be too early to ask the question. If the virus’ rapid spread is any indication it’s time to think of some tactics to cope with this and come out on the other side with my life intact. Of course, we don’t know when the otherside will be, nor do we know if the summers heat will kill it, or if it will just return in October. The thing about our heat and humidity is that everything grows.

So.

I made this picture the other day. I thought the clouds are what makes it even a little bit different. I suppose it works on that level.

What do y’all think?


As dusk arrives.

“As pieces of cloud dissolve in the sunlight.” — Rumi

When I saw this and made the picture I didn’t know what I had. What a wonderful scene as nature created it. I just had to let it find me. That was the hard part. The easy part was pushing the button.

Call it what you want, but this is the best way to make pictures. The pictures are usually pretty good because I had nothing to do with them.

This is also why I try to teach my travelling photographers friends not to run around from one place to another trying to see what they can see. Instead, I suggest that they should camp out for a while in place like a coffee house or bar or cafe and just watch the world go by. A picture will stumble past.

I also suggest that if they are going to be in one location for a week or so that they return to the place they settled into earlier. Other daily patrons will see you, chat for a few minutes and get to know you. When you tell them what you are doing they might have some locations that they see with a local’s eyes.

If you do something like this, think of the pictures you might bring home. They won’t be like every tourist pictures. They won’t be postcard-like. They will be uniquely yours. Let me be clear, sometimes you have to work through the touristy and postcardy pictures to come out on the other side. At least, those won’t be your best selects.

When I decided to publish this picture, I had no idea where my words would take me. Funny how being in the moment allows for a lot of spontaneous thought and creativity.


In the night sky.

“The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.” — Rumi

I was just sitting there. I looked up. I saw a quarter moon and a bright, glowing star. Since I made this picture with a smartphone, the quarter moon turned round, And, the star wasn’t a star at all. It was the planet Venus.  I know this because I Googled the words, “The moon tonight.”

So.

This picture is all about technology. Except it isn’t. It’s about nature. it’s about dreams. It’s about myth. And, magic. Technology forced me to make an art statement rather than a documentary one. That’s better, I think.

Oh, that orange stuff. Those are trees swaying in the breeze. I thought the sky needed a little context.

What do you think?


Rebirth in a winter sky.

“Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy.” — Rumi

That explains a lot. That explains why so many of you are worried about me. Mercy. It also explains why I knew better than to keep pushing even on a day that is huge for me. Mercy. That explains this two hour old picture. Mercy.

A little about me today. I am feeling slightly better. I was able to take a couple of dogs on an abbreviated walk. Most dogs are sensitive. Cocker Spaniels even more so. They walked at a slower pace than normal. They made sure I could keep going. They were not bothered by the walk’s shortness.

From a practical standpoint, I can’t see my doctor for about a week. I will have a number of tests before that. When I see him, he should have the necessary data in hand to treat me properly. Likely, this last serious pain will have receded some by that time.

The picture. I really wasn’t thinking about pictures on this walk. I was mostly monitoring myself. I saw what you are looking at. I made the picture. This is a perfect example of “not taking the picture, but letting the picture take me.”

You know what else Rumi said. “The thing you seek is seeking you.”

That’s what happened today.

Thank you. All of you.


A wintery blending of a wonderful sky and pink Japonicas.

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that when I photographed the Japonica trees a day or two ago that it would be my last chance. Normally the flowers would last another two or three weeks. But, we had a pretty bad storm this afternoon. Not only did we get a lot of rain, but we also had a lot of hail.

The hail knocked off about 95% of the Japonica’s flowery petals. I’m glad that I photographed the fully blooming trees when I did. Now THAT’S photographers luck.

The best thing about the storm is it that sits on the leading edge of a cold front. That’s good because the weather was starting to get a little too warm for this time of year. I like winter to feel like winter for more than a day.

The winds did something else.

They blew down the scaffolding at the yet to be completed Intercontinental Hotel near the river. Luckily, nobody got hurt, although a couple of cars were badly damaged. One was a taxi with passengers in the back. Once the riders got over the shock of having metal rain down upon them, they walked away without injuries.

As a friend of mine tweeted, “we are not so good at constructing tall buildings around here.”

Indeed.


Maybe too far.

Did I? Or, didn’t I?

Go too far.

This image started out as one of my night time blue sky pictures. I thought the foreground subject matter was a little boring, so I set out to change that.  After adding and subtracting for a little while, I almost gave up.

Then.

I started piling up various actions. The picture started getting weird. I kept going. And going. Things got even weirder. I kept going. And, here I am.

If I could tell you all the steps, I would tell you. But, once I get going in some direction I move pretty quickly without too much thought. That’s the only way to create something that even approximates art.. You know me. I try not to think when I’m out making pictures.

Because.

You know what the legendary New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra, said to his manager while he was trying to work out of a hitting slump. His manager said, “Think Yogi, think.” Yogi replied, “You want me to hit the baseball and think?”

Some things are better done without too much thought while you follow your instincts.