Life’s Celebrations

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused
(Part 2)

Tomorrow I will be attending a friend’s bridal shower. It will be held at the family’s home. We celebrate many of life’s passages in our homes. It’s only natural.

These two photos are slightly out of focus and yet they likely will make an impression. If you’re a married woman, this photo will perhaps take you back to the day or days you were shopping for your dress, as well as the day you were married. If you’re engaged, you may be in the midst of shopping for your dress. If you’re single, you may be dreaming of the day that you’ll walk down an aisle, flanked by friends and family, wearing such a dress, and ready to begin a new chapter in your life.

Regardless of your marital and dress status, life itself –and love– is for celebrating. Each day offers something to be grateful for and a reason to celebrate. Tomorrow we’ll raise our glasses and say “Cheers!” and wish the bride-to-be a life full of love and happiness.

May today find you of great cheer and ready to celebrate.




Artful Snapshots of Everyday Life

The Photographs of Elliott Erwitt

On exhibit at the Weinstein Gallery
Closes January 15, 2011

Yesterday my sister and I headed over to the Weinstein Gallery in South Minneapolis to see the Elliott Erwitt exhibit. If you are unfamiliar with Erwitt’s work, one look at his photographs and no doubt you will be captivated by them. Erwitt’s images display quite a sense of humor. John Szarkowski, the eminent photography critic, remarked that Erwitt’s work is “identified by extraordinary wit”. The everyday scenes he shot became extraordinary through his eyes and lens.

Some years ago I was looking for art for my home. I purchased one of Erwitt’s photos in poster form without knowing anything about him. It hangs in my living room. I later came across one of his photographs at a friend’s home. Still later I found out that a poster another sister of mine had hanging in her bedroom was also one of his shots. That particular image inspired my sister to travel to France for a two-week vacation after school. She went on that trip as planned. She arrived in Paris and fell in love with it. She’s been there ever since.

A view inside the Weinstein Gallery

If you’re feeling a bit of cabin fever this week, I recommend heading over to the Weinstein Gallery. The gallery is an easily managed size (especially compared to a museum) and has serene white walls and wood floors. The exhibit  is uplifting and fun; I suspect you’ll  be tickled by what you see. And who knows? An image or two  might change your life, just as it did for my sister.

Weinstein Gallery Website

A view into the gallery and a reflected view of the street scene outside.

The doorway to the Weinstein Gallery



Bastille Day Remembrance

Bastille Day holds a special place in my heart. It was on Bastille Day in 1955 that my older brother was born. He loved celebrating Bastille Day on his birthday. And why not? Our family loves the French people, the country, the French food and wine, the culture, the history, the architecture, the gardens, the monuments, and the French way of life. Amour de la vie Française!

My brother was a photographer. He spent time in Europe learning the craft and continued to enjoy it throughout his life. Photography and Bastille Day celebrations were both passions for him.

I almost missed seeing the sky tonight. I spontaneously ventured outside at 9:00 p.m. to run an errand. The evening sky was ethereal and I thought of my brother. Perhaps, I thought, he is looking down upon our family, providing a brilliant evening sky to let us know he’s doing fine.

There is a poem that has brought me comfort in times of death. It’s often attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye although the origin has been disputed over the years.  Abigail Van Buren, the newspaper columnist known as Dear Abby, confirmed Frye’s authorship after researching the subject. There is more than one version of this poem floating around on cards and the internet. I share this one, the first version I read:

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

—Mary Elizabeth Frye


Rest in peace, Richard. See you on the other side someday.