A Writer’s Photography: Year 4

What started four years ago as an intentional practice–to post one photo to Instagram each day–has been morphing little by little. I am unsure exactly how, I just know it feels different. Perhaps it will become clearer in year five. Yet I do know a “writer’s photography” has become a part of me. It’s still a useful tool for shifting my focus and keeping anxiety at bay. I still use it to help me find a moment of peace amidst the chaos of daily life. I think more than anything, this year I focused on whatever it was that brought me joy in that moment. I took a photo of a piece of street art (find it below) that posed the question “What makes your heart happy?” That question resonated. It’s a question worth an answer.

Here are some moments that captured my heart in 2022:

Shadows. I think it started with the light shining through the front windows of a neighborhood pizza joint. The more we ate, the more shadows were revealed. I started paying closer attention to shadows. Even the ones caused by the moon.

Oh come on! How could I resist *this* shadow?

Reflections. Bubbles. Color. Pattern. The little things that make up everyday life.

How many times have I chased Hazelnut off the table and away from the flowers? Simultaneously maddening and entertaining.

Any day you can walk out your door and unexpectedly find yourself in the midst of a sacred blessing and a parade, is a magical day. This is the annual Day of the Dead celebration. If you pay attention, you will know this day is approaching when the vendors’ carts are over-flowing with golden marigolds on Ninth St. (aka the “Italian” market). If you look closer, you will find alters full of flowers and offerings to the dearly departed dotting the neighborhood.

*Sound On*

I try to take daily walks. (I am less successful in this goal.) But when the weather is warm, my husband and our dog are always game. When we walk out the door one of us asks “Which way?” The second question is often “Are ‘ya hungry?” or perhaps a more definitive “let’s get a beer.” This is the best part of where we live. It doesn’t matter which direction we walk; North, South, East, or West… there’s something interesting to see and always a place to eat curbside. A short-lived favorite was Casa Christina. Here and seemingly gone… this was a place I hadn’t realized I craved… a place full of all my childhood comfort foods…and perfect margaritas. Like a river, my city always flows.

If you are my friend or family member… you WILL be photographed. And sometimes made to do goofy things.

All furry souls will be photographed.

Hazelnut is not asked to do goofy things… she just is.

Josephine is rarely goofy. Just intense.

And Pig? He’s just a dog who embraces the name he came with.

My city garden *is* joy.

And Buddha reminds us to take a breath and honor the seasons.

Speaking of gardens…Garden of the Gods! Oh my! And Manitou Cliff Dwellings and Manitou Springs. Otherwise known as the day I lost count of taxidermy animals. They were everywhere.

“State & Main” in the place I spent my formative years. As I took this photo, I wondered just how many towns in America have a State and Main? This one is in Doylestown, PA.

New England. It will always hold my heart. We only got as far north as Rhode Island this year. But it was perfect.

If you pay any attention to my Instagram posts, you know I can often be found in a historic location. I have fully embraced my history geek-self. It’s not unusual for me to post from Stenton or the Franklin Inn. Here are a few other historic sites inside Philadelphia city limits that are always worth a visit: Wyck, Johnson House, Concord School House, Upper Burial Ground, Rittenhouse Town and the Cave of Kelpius.

Day Tripping for business and pleasure to Roebling (NJ), Wheaton Arts Center (NJ), Longwood Gardens, and New Castle (DE).

I actually spent more time than usual inside historic houses and museums, especially those which celebrate Colonial and Colonial Revival architecture and furnishings. This has to do with the my writer-side. I have been in pursuit of how to furnish the “best room” in a wealthy 18th-century townhouse. “Furnish” as in totally made up as a backdrop to a novel I have been working on. This placed me solidly in the realm of the Colonial Revival movement in America. Who and what drove the movement and how is it reflected in house museums and cultural sites? (Stay tuned!) I also did some research in the archives inside the National Gallery of Art in DC. I photographed a lot of details. And colors. Colonial colors are fascinating and have nothing to do with whatever “colonial blue” is. Here’s a list of a few places I visited: (pictured above) Read House & Gardens (New Castle, DE), and (below) William Paca House & Gardens (Annapolis, MD), Hammond-Harwood House (Annapolis, MD), the Maryland State House, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Gallery (DC), the National Portrait Gallery (DC), Dumbarton House (Georgetown), Whitehorne House (Newport), Doris Duke’s Rough Point, Providence Art Club, Hillwood Estate (DC).

We did a fair amount of coming and going in 2022. And one time a rainbow led us home.

Home #theviewfromhere

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