Monthly Archives: March 2005

Photo Friday: Hot

Siesta Key, Canon Digital Rebel

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Hot.”

More of the Peach

Marcia, orange wall Canon Digital Rebel

Couldn’t resist sharing more of the sassy miss Marcia. We met when we were 19 years old and living in Italy together on an Education Abroad program. Marcia inspired me to be a bit more visible, a little bit louder, and a bit more wild. When I think of that great quote by Emile Zola, “If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud,” I think of Marcia.

I had been the perennial good girl, went to all my classes, studied until the wee hours of the night and didn’t goof off nearly enough. On our first day of class, Marcia and I left ourselves 2 hours to walk to the school. Because Venice is a labyrinth of tiny alleys and cobblestone streets, we got lost over and over again and ultimately never made it to class. I’ll never forget that day we sprinted around the streets of Venice trying to get to school, laughing our asses off every time we hit yet another alley that ended in a canal. I think I might have even peed my pants from laughing so hard.

Marcia is hilarious.

She taught me to loosen up, have more fun and to be more fearless. She taught me to eat with gusto, drink with gusto, love well and to devour life with reverence and joy.

She is also one of the most sentimental people I know. When I was singing in a gospel choir {a funny story for another time} she came to see me the first day I sang. I saw her there in the audience, all fabulous in her vintage dress and sparkly glitter. Tears streamed down her face as she stared at me, mouthing the words, “I’m so proud of you..”

And this is what I love most about my dear friend, her willingness to be completely herself always. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for people who cry easily.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.”
– Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Results are in!

My dear friend, The beautiful Marcia Gagliardi, Canon Digital Rebel

A huge thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Photobloggies! It was such an awesome honor to be listed among all those talented people and to win “Best Kept Secret Photoblog”. You guys rock. I feel all mushy inside.

beneath the surface

Refresh, North Beach Canon Digital Rebel

After a photoshoot I did last weekend, I wandered into North Beach and saw construction going on and this sign emerging from the wall. Apparently it had been there for a hundred years or so, an old corner store buried under layers of paint and sheetrock and wood. I had passed by this corner thousands of times, but never would have known what was there beneath the surface.

An old man who I recognized from the neighborhood stopped and asked why I was taking photos of it. “It’s beautiful, don’t you think?” and he nodded in agreement. For a moment we imagined what beauty lived behind every wall in the neighborhood and every wall in the city.

It made me think of something Oprah once said on her show. She said that when we pass by folks on the street we have no idea what private battles they are waging. We see people doing annoying things like yelling at their kids or driving too fast or grumpily handing us our double cappuccinos and we are human which means we want to judge them and hate them, but Oprah reminded me that part of compassion is remembering this one small truth, that we have no idea what private battles they are fighting.

When I am flipping through People magazine (guilty, guilty pleausure) and looking at the celebrities with their shiny hair and perfect teeth holding their brand new babies, I start to feel really bad about myself. I start to wonder if I would be happier if I was on the Atkins diet or if I started wearing high heels and getting bikini waxes.

Why is it so satisfying when we read about the fall of one of these celebrities? Why do we love those photos of Jennifer Aniston when she’s just woken up and is on her way to a cafe in her jogging suit? We love this because she looks so human, she looks more like us, imperfect and puffy with coffee breath and stringy hair, and this makes us like her more.

We think other peoples’ lives must be better than ours, that everyone else has it together, that we are the only ones who are flailing and wondering and not at all sure. But really we’re not seeing the whole picture, and if we did, we would probably see that we are more alike than we are different. Beneath the surface there is always something else, something we couldn’t have imagined.

Only three days after this shot, the wall was built over again and painted. I was sad to see it go, hoping for a few more glimpses of its bones. It was like having X-ray vision for a little while, and reminded me of everything we don’t see when we’re all painted over.

favorite bits

buddha, Canon Digital Rebel

Since so many new folks are coming to the site this week, I thought I’d post a list of some of my favorite entries over the last year or so. Hope you enjoy them!

Lost and Found
Hawaii in Seven Colors
You’re Beautiful

not just your average water anymore

pregnant belly, orange daisy, Canon Digital Rebel

There is a scientist named Dr. Masuro Emoto who has shown {through high speed photographs of water crystals} that an ordinary glass of water will literally change form according to the name you label it with. You may have seen this experiment in the film, What the bleep Do We Know?. Emoto labeled glasses with different words such as: “Love”, “war”, “hate” or “joy” and then photographed the crystals as they froze in each glass. The results are mind blowing.

From the website: 

“What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the study of water is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect physical reality. By producing different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and literally presenting it to the same water samples, the water appears to “change its expression”.

He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.”

Recently, I had my husband Matt write “Healthy Home” in big, black, Sharpie marker on my belly. It felt good to look down and see it, and in some way, I did feel healthier and more hopeful. When I admitted this to a friend, he said, “Oh my god! I did that too! I wrote on my chest!”

Maybe there’s something to all of this. Our words are powerful. The things we tell ourselves have a huge impact. Have you noticed that you say things to yourself that you would NEVER say to a friend? {or even an enemy for that matter} Yet we have no problem calling ourselves stupid and unworthy and not enough. I dare say we do this on a daily basis.

And that shit’s got to stop.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
– The Dalai Lama


Sasha, Canon Digital Rebel

Sasha is the superhero muse! and is responsible for the design of this blog. Besides being the best of friends, she is a badass designer.

And speaking of dear friends, I also want to acknowledge Jen Gray who is up for awards in the photobloggies too! You can see her tremendous heart in her photos and writing.

Lurking Belly Hidden Tim

lurking belly, Canon Digital Rebel

I had the pleasure of photographing the beautiful Stef & Tim and their gorgeous uber-belly this weekend. {More photos to come of this shoot. We had so much fun together}

In other news, this site is a finalist for several categories in the photobloggies! and I can’t thank you enough. I know you are all responsible since my parents haven’t totally figured out this whole internet thing.

If I could be so bold, there is one more round of voting! Just go back to the photobloggies site and vote for your favorite finalists. I am in some really talented company, so I’m overjoyed to have come this far. Thank you folks!!


Dolores Park palms, Olympus Epic

“The cloud is free only to go with the wind.
The rain is free only in falling.”
– Wendell Berry

I fell in love with this quote after reading it several times. I think it’s about surrender…

Some links for you today:
Kids With Cameras
– The best sidewalk chalk drawings you have ever seen.
– You may have heard by now that Rose O’Donnell has a blog? I’m a new fan (via California Fever).

FYI: I am madly in love with my Olympus Epic point and shoot and have been taking it around with me a lot lately (obviously much less heavy and bulky than the Rebel). I am always amazed at the great results. (It’s only $78!)

I-zones are still fun

feets, I-zone

I used to be hopelessly addicted to my I-zone camera. I carried it with me wherever I went, immediately pasting photos into my journal as I traveled and wrote. If you worked at a cafe in Oaxaca and you were kind to me, I would ask if I could take your picture and in you would go into my book. If you were a fancy pink cocktail umbrella, I would break your tiny toothpick body and paste you down flat, in all your pink glory onto the page. If you were a candy wrapper or a fortune from a cookie, you would not escape my glue stick.

I love keeping this online journal, but I sometimes miss the immediate experience of words on a page or how a drip of coffee or wine can turn into a painting.

I can’t cry onto this screen and have the ink bleed, or show you how the pages stick together from too much glitter glue. You will not get red smudges of oil pastel on your fingers from clicking through the pages here or imagine you smell the ocean air. There are no messes and accidents here in this tidy world.

But I love it just the same. It’s good here with you, all of us connecting in this strange virtual way, through pictures of our families and our neighborhoods, through the stories we tell about our lives. I am always moved and amazed by our desire to be connected to each other, to be in community.

It’s good here.

And I’m glad you guys are out there, telling me your stories too.