#shootyourlife

Happy Birthday Asher

Asher BirthdayAsher falls asleep mid-sentence. Like pressing the pause button. A lot can happen for him before his eyes open again. While my job is to look over and protect, I am not invited into his dreams. If I wake up before Asher, a rare occurrence, I go into his room and open the blue curtains. Then I stare at those beautiful closed eyes for a moment. I put my hand on his back to feel the heat and know he is alive. I sit still and take it all in, before beginning to whisper him awake. Asher awakes in a blink, pushes play and begins to finish the sentence he left hanging the night before. My father had two older brothers and an older sister. When my younger brother Andrew was born, he started a club in the neighborhood called, “The Younger Brother’s Club.” He felt that younger brothers needed some extra love and support and wanted them to feel special. Asher is an official member of the “Younger Brother’s Club”, but he is lucky. His older brother tells him everyday how much he loves him and he seals it with a hug. Not that they don’t try to crush each other sometimes. His grandmother’s hold him close and from afar. His mother spends everyday loving him more and more. His father has insisted the younger brother gets photographed just as much as his older brother. Asher doesn’t give but a moment to take the pictures we take everyday.

But oh…. the moments he shares.

Happy Birthday younger brother.

We love you more than we could ever say.

What We Leave Behind

Joan RiversThere are many lives we all live. They are precious. They are always too short. What burns so bright inside must always be nurtured. 

Ella Fitzgerald understood life’s stages, showing us masterfully how to transition from big bands to the most intimate duets ever recorded. Robert Plant rejected a Zeppelin reunion saying, “All I want to do is get that blue note out. There is a blue note inside my soul.” 

When the circus comes to town they set up in a field that is empty and create a whole world of their own which they then share. Elephants, straw, music, whips, bodies flying through the air, clowns making a joke of it all. They are bigger than life. They make a mess. They take our money. Then they pack up and disappear. When they are gone there is no evidence that they ever existed, except for our memories.

I wonder if each one of us is a circus. And...if that is so, do we leave the field empty, or, do we leave little scraps of evidence that we were here. What do we leave behind? Do we leave it a little greener? A little more fertile? A little funnier? A little richer? Do we leave all that love we shared on the gridiron or do we take it with us?

I took this shot of Joan Rivers awhile ago. There was a shot from that session that I associated with it so much that when People chose this shot last week, I was not sure if it was mine. It was.

Joan Rivers made me laugh until I cried. She was totally outrageous and had no governor on her engine. She insisted on being Joan Rivers and willed herself to never be anything short of fearless. Yet she had a big heart. Joan's Calendar

Stuff

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We moved for the 4th time in 2 years. Finally settling into a neighborhood in Boulder that feels as much like home as when I was growing up in Pittsburgh.

Two yellow sneakers found each other.

I bought them 6 years ago in this tiny shoe shop behind the great Dr. Sharshuka’s just north of Tel Aviv in Jaffa. The owner designed the shoes and had them made just for him in Spain. Then visiting the shop on a trip 2 summers ago, the first thing the owner said when I walked in was, “I have one pair left in your size. Are you okay with yellow?”

It reminded me of a morning years ago at the Museum of Modern Art in NY. I had a pass to get into a huge Matisse retrospective before the hordes of crowds descended. I was alone in these galleries filled with paintings that were all made in the same studio at the same time years ago, then scattered all over the world. I felt like I was interfering with their time to catch up.

“Where are you living? The Hermitage? Where is that?”

“ I live in this living room in NY, the owner has long fingernails and plays guitar. Hardly anyone visits me. It is really lonely.”

“Oh man, I have to smile all the time at tons and tons of people. My jaws hurt”

This was being hurriedly whispered in French before any of the visitors came in the MOMA galleries. Retrospectives are all about art having a reunion.

Which gets us back to all our stuff.

I love when our stuff gets all piled up and moved. When shoes that have gotten separated for years find their mate. When the cloth cover for the challah on Shabbat reappears now that we have a gluten free home. When the only thing you really care about are the pictures and the art. The rest is stuff.

For years I have had a two sweater a year rule. I love sweaters, so holding the line is a good idea. Each winter I would only allow myself to buy two sweaters, but I bought really good ones. After a dozen years, I had 2 dozen really nice sweaters. More than I needed. None I could let go of. So they all moved.

Along with all the other stuff.