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Archive for the ‘Lumix Pix’

On Wisdom

December 16, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Aperture, Faith, Happiness, Health, House, Living, Love, Lumix Pix, Molly, Valet Battleship Parking

Is it her overnight stuff lying lovingly on the floor in my bedroom, her shampoo and face wash bottles at home in my shower, or the way I felt compelled to get up with her before sunrise just to be able to see her again that’s having such an effect on me? Or is it the impossible consistency of her respect and attention, the way she sees everything I do and still wants to come back, saying: “You’re really good for me”? Is it her joie de vivre? Her eyes wide open? Her level of understanding? Or is it that when she kisses me my whole body responds as it never has before? Everything about her astonishes me. Today couldn’t get any better because I woke up with her beside me, and yet it will get better because when I go to bed tonight… she’ll be there again.


It’s sad the way some things, like old love, fall away. I watch them go and feel almost nothing. I never wanted to feel that way. In fact I tried my hardest to keep it from happening because… I have no idea why… Fear of abandonment? It feels bigger than that. It feels like I was with Molly in part in order to do something good for the world. I felt a sense of responsibility that’s still with me, but is fading fast. Molly has a tremendous gift that should be shared, but there’s no one who can do anything about that except her. It’s taken falling out of love with her, finally, for me to see that. Sadly, her gift is in terrible hands so I can only sit back and mourn something that might never be.

By contrast, this new person is all Aliveness. She twitches with awareness. In her eyes I can see what she sees. She calls herself an open book and that’s how I see it manifested: when she’s watching and listening. I don’t know if she knows it yet, but she might be a painter–but one who paints with the heart. Almost nothing she touches is frivolous, and everything she touches bears her mark afterward. I found that out first hand. She is HERE and she has an IMPACT and, moreover, she wants to.

It’s amazing the things we let some people get away with. There should be MUUUUUUUCH more person-to-person, healthy confrontation in the world. Our society has fucked us all up so much it takes us being hurt badly before we realize something is just not right. So when something comes into your life that flies in the face of all that–that’s so GOOD–at first it feels like a complete surprise, then is perceived as a threat, and then, finally, settles into something we can trust… and love. It’s worth hoping against all hope that it’s out there, and working hard as hell to be ready for it’s eventual arrival.

So much heartache. We don’t need to work so hard all the time to get others to like us. All we need to do is what she does: look, listen, and be respectful. I am her latest student. :)

What A Strange, Strange Trip It Is…

November 29, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Aperture, Coal, Faith, Family, Happiness, Health, House, India, Living, Love, Lumix Pix, Molly, Uncategorized, Video, Yoga

So much has happened since I last blogged that it’s a struggle to settle on a place to start…



Did I tell you about Chicago? I traveled there for two reasons: to participate in the wedding of my dear friend Robin to her glorious, gorgeous, amazing wife Lindsey; and to film several interviews for The Dirty Truth About Coal.

The trip was a revelation. I have been out of work since March and “Soma Girls” was doing well. When I went to Chicago, therefore, I was 100% an independent filmmaker. I wasn’t making any money, but I was making great art and having the time of my life. For one week I had the great privilege of staying with my family–Lucy, Carlos & Xochi. Lucy’s sister is married to my brother, but all three families (Lucy’s, mine & Carlos’) all get along so well that I call them my inlaws. Conventions be damned! :)

Anyway, the filming was amazing. Lucy, an employee of the EPA, connected me with people, information and groups I would never have known about and so the interviews I got during my trip solidified that I have an amazing piece of work on my hands. Creatively, the trip was a thrill and layered with validation that, yes, indeed, I’m very good at this and should absolutely keep going.

Then there was the wedding… My friend Robin, even though she’s only one year older than I, has always acted as if she’s my mother or, at the very least, a very important older sister. Her grace with and care of me over the years has been one of the cornerstones in my life that has contributed to my success of self and profession. She has always been there for me and so to see her so in love and bringing to bear all her energies to this wonderful, beautiful match was a gift. Robin is a whole’lotta woman and she somehow found her perfect mate in kind, gentle, but also solid, loving and capable Lindsey.

“Soma Girls” World Premiere

On November 13, 2009 my latest documentary–a 27-minute short called “Soma Girls”–had it’s world premiere at the Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival in New York City. It was a full-circle feeling for me. I have toiled at this “video thing” for a while now and, although I’ve had (in my mind) many successes, to have one as big and public as this was all the way BITCHIN’. :)

Upon hearing of our selection into the festival, Nandini and I had scrambled to get the last of the technical sections of the film done. This meant color correction and sound mix. The drop-dead dates for both ended up being one day after I got back from Chicago, which meant that while I was in Chicago I had to export the film in the proper format for both vendors. The problem? I didn’t have the film with me. :) All thanks here, then, go to my friend Drew who lives up the street from me and has a key to my house. He’s also a techie so when I asked if he could go in, get the hard drive the film was on, pack it up VERY, VERY CAREFULLY, and then ship it to me overnight in Chicago, there was a profound feeling of confidence of my part. :) Once I got the drive I re-arranged one shoot for Coal so I could have a day to prepare Soma Girls. Juggling indy film projects and then having dinner with extended family–not a bad day’s existence.

Once I got back from Chicago I went straight into the sound mix in Boston on the same day Nandini was doing the color correction in New York. We’re so very “2.0,” aren’t we? 😉 Both processes went very well and I was able to send the sound files to the color-corrector/masterer with plenty of time.

Nandini then dropped the digibeta master off with the festival folks and that was that until festival time. The festival was great and is better described on the SomeGirls.org blog. Suffice it to say I had a great, great time. Having this experience for the first time with a film I made with one of my very favorite filmmakers, Nandini, was a thrill and a privilege. It was the perfect “first.” :)

Inspired Yoga

The week after the festival, in fact three days after I’d come home, I left again for another indy gig. I had been contacted several months ago by a yoga instructor in DC. She had her own studio and a large following of students, and was interested in making a DVD of her intermediate level practice. I was flabbergasted, flattered and very excited as I’ve wanted to make an instructional yoga DVD for a while. It’s really hard to do because, in addition to being instructional it needs to be interesting/beautiful. Thankfully, one of my favorite camera people in Boston, my new pal Nikki, was available to shoot. She has an eye I knew I’d need and so with her involvement I felt 100% confident that I could produce something of value for Kyra, the instructor.

Kyra’s style of teaching and, really BEING is about soooo much more than yoga. She embodies the need to make people feel better about themselves in every way, and so that’s what Nikki and I were able to find during the shoot. One of my strengths as a director, I think, is my ability to really understand a person’s vibe and make the work bring that out. However we did it, we did it, cuz at the end of the first day of shooting–three cameras!–a bunch of us reviewed the footage and were amazed by it’s beauty. Somehow Nikki and I had managed to not let the existence and job of the cameras get in the way of Kyra’s message, a message she delivered with a fluid and seamless one-hour sequence. Kyra was AMAZING.

And that was only Day 1. Day 2 of shooting involved filming “pickups,” anything we felt needed more attention/a different angle, and recording the Voice Over.

Now, recording a voice over might sound straight forward at first, but remember this needed to be a ONE HOUR voice over. Because she’s incredible and a trooper, and committed to her work, incredible Kyra did the whole goddamned thing in one take. Perfectly. :) Nikki and I were amazed. “Is this not how this usually goes?” Kyra asked us after we’d reviewed the first take (oh yes, she did another entire take). “Noooooooooo,” we replied in unison, gleefully. :)

The perfection and efficiency of the voice over–something I didn’t expect at all–made it easy for me cobble together a solid rough cut that same night. Therefore, when Kyra got back from her evening classes at the end of Day 2, we were able to have her give the whole thing a listen to see if there was anything she wanted to record again. There was, we did it, and then went to sleep.

Day 3 was equally awesome. Nikki was in charge of the day’s shoot which will become the introduction to the DVD. Kyra had written a 2 minute intro that welcomes the viewer, talks a bit about her philosophy/her story, and describes what’s to come on the DVD. Nikki made ART out of the shoot at the DC Arboretum at magic hour. Magic hour is Nikki’s wheelhouse. A word of advice if you hire her to shoot for you: describe what you want, bring her to the location, and get the fuck out of the way. Because Nikki and Kyra were so in tune with each other, this footage is gorgeous and totally in sync with the vibe Kyra and I want for the DVD. :)

Thanksgiving & Today

That brings me to today. I came home from DC in time to have one day in Hudson before going to the Vineyard for a restful Thanksgiving. I celebrated mellowly with Dad, Sarah, and Sarah’s beautiful mother, Emily. Being on the Vineyard is always restful and restorative, and so I’m home now after having slept a lot and recouped some of the energy spent on the last couple of months.

Voila. I hope this makes everyone feel caught up. It certainly makes me feel that way. :) As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts. This life is nothing unless it’s shared. :)

Much love & thanks to you all,


The Image

October 19, 2009 By: admin Category: Lumix Pix, The Film, Video

Screen shot 2009-10-19 at 11.41.19 AM

My Director of Photography friend Nikki has me obsessing, recently, over The Image, so when I saw this, I flipped:

Danfung Dennis

My pal & neighbor, Drew, is an amateur photog and sent me this link this morning. It’s a bit early in the day to be crying, but that’s what happened when I saw this. THIS is why I became a filmmaker. We, filmmakers & photojournalists, can make a situation of horror look beautiful and therefore keep viewers’ attention long enough for them to get the message. Holy shit. I just became a HUGE fan of this camera. I also flipped over all the technical answers Danfung gives. Rarely do shooters “divulge [their] secrets” so I’m grateful to read about what he did. Also, his detail regarding setting up his rig to work in a war zone really resonated. This is the line that got me:

“I cut up a Glidecam Body Pod to make it fit with my body armor.”

Having the skills to capture an image and being able to recognize when something is “news,” and will benefit society, will cause you to do crazy things with your body. Sometimes it’s work to remember that you have to plan to protect yourself, and that there may be shots you just shouldn’t try. To be fair, I haven’t been in a war zone, but have done some pretty “crazy” things to get the shot. Probably the craziest isn’t the one that sounds crazy: I was the only videographer during a magazine photo shoot of the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team as they prepared for the Olympics. I filmed them on the ice for over two hours… in a tee-shirt. When I came off the ice, dragged by the sensitive and kind captain of the team, I was blue. Maybe that doesn’t sound like risking your life, but the importance then was that the network I was working for at the time, Oxygen Media, was trying to put women’s sports on the map so women and girls could have role models other than men. I think that’s “an idea worth spreading.” 😉

This footage reminds me that telling vital stories is why I do this work. There just came a time–at 2:00am in that hotel room in San Francisco in Sept. 2007–when I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any more. If i want to be able to face people every day I have to be profoundly proud of something I’m doing, and this is it: telling stories few others will or will be able to tell, and risking what I have to to get it right. That feeling of “risking” has been growing since my mother died. It’s not a death wish, just a “I don’t have anyone worrying like crazy so I can try a few more things” attitude. So, recently, I’ve been attracted to the idea of going into a conflict area, or at least a “you really don’t want to do that” area–maybe where there’s disease. I don’t know… I get these “goals” ideas every few years. I’ll think of something that I’ll feel I should do before I die and then work hard to get myself there. This “conflict area” thing might be one of them, and may be because Nikki’s got me thinking about The Image and because my favorite photographers are both journalists:

Sebastaio Salgado

James Nachtway

There’s also:

Mary Ellen Mark

So, since the obsession with The Image began my partial great sadness is that so much of my coal film is already shot. If I was just starting it I’d do things differently. For example, I’d take… ahem… a lot more time to actually set up a shot. :( Okay, so I’m a little late to the “pretty image” game but at least now I’m on the field… :)

Holy cow… *buzzing*


July 17, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Aperture, Faith, Health, Lumix Pix, Meditation

Recently–very recently–I’ve been feeling better. I had a “meditation breakthrough.” It’s similar to a runner’s high-I suddenly got to a place where my mind went completely blank and I felt asleep but was wide awake. I was “between worlds” or something. Everything had stopped and there was only peace. It was incredible. I tried again the next night, using the same techniques I’d used to get me to the mindless place the night before–it worked. As I’d done both tries at night, right before going to bed, I thought I’d test my techniques during the harsh reality of the day. Worked again, I’m happy to say. I may have broken through something really important. Gotten over the hmp, as they say. We’ll see. As with all such things, only time will tell. :)

In the meantime, here are some pix from a recent trip home to Martha’s Vineyard. As with pix before, these were taken with The Lumix (LX3) and doctored in Aperture. Enjoy!









Thoughts & Pix

July 01, 2009 By: admin Category: Lumix Pix


This stoop is in the West Village in NYC. It’s near enough to St. Mark’s Place, where I used to live, and so brings up a memory… Earlier in the day, Maninder and I walked down my old block, between second and third, and saw a beautiful open doorway with stairs all the way at the back of a restored building. We were both shocked to remember that the last time we’d each seen that door, the residence was a famous crack den. We called it “crack door.” Everybody did. I walked past it every day my senior year of college…


This scene is inside a sparse vintage clothing store owned, operated, and designed by two young women. They were both in attendance the Saturday I was in there and were flattered that I loved the decor. It was pretty spartan, but beautiful. Not so perfect that you know someone’s next gig is going to be interior design, but nice and classy enough to be comfortable. They had about five really cool antiquesin the place. Only five, or a few. This chair was one of them. Just sitting by itself being quiet and sweet. The chair had really nothing to do with the store. It was just clear that one of the girls had gone to a flea market or estate sale and fallen in love with it. She’d bought it without haggling, knowing it would match the mirror…

One Day In Carlisle

June 13, 2009 By: admin Category: Family, Going Home, Living, Lumix Pix, Michael

Saturdays are the new Sundays. Although tomorrow, Sunday, as it will be raining hard all day, will be the old Monday. Monday, after tomorrow, will be itself, Tuesday will be about half of a Wednesday, Wednesday will be a Friday this week, Thursday will be Thursday cuz Thursdays ROCK!, and then Friday will again be Friday.

It’s a mad, mad, mad world, y’all. Try to keep up… 😉


Awesome brother fixes my broken driver’s door.




Brother’s fix. Used to be a plastic clip there. It broke. This is a zip tie. :)


Lifestyles of the rich and… rich.


Braided plants.


Rock of hostas.


The Lilypad.


Lettuce in the round.


Horse fence.


Who you callin’ a pansy????


This is just pretty… :)


Rock of hostas, reverse view.


 End at the beginning.


Bay Bulls Icebergs & St. John’s

May 23, 2009 By: admin Category: Aperture, General, Lumix Pix, Newfoundland


Icebergs at Bay Bulls, Newfondland




 St. John’s, Newfondland




Top Shelf

May 23, 2009 By: admin Category: Aperture, General, Lumix Pix, Newfoundland



 Bay Bulls Harbor

“And it’s me whose stuck in the harbor
And it’s me whose mired in the past,
But it’s me who’ll love you forever,
And it’s you who’ll love me at last…”

“Top Shelf” is how Newfoundlanders say they’re doing well. “How’s she cuttin’?” someone will ask you = “How are you doing?” “Top shelf,” you’ll say…

 Newfoundland. I sang songs. I WROTE songs. :) I had the time of my life, truly. This place may have showed me where to find the bricks and mortar and seagull spit to fill in the hole in my heart that’s been there… forever.

The trip isn’t over-over, but for me the learning has reached it’s peak. I heard laments that should have had me in tears, but I found myself, instead, soldiering through. I owe a debt to this province that I think I’ll happily spend the rest of my life repaying. If I should ever be lucky enough to have a child, I’ll bring her/him up here every year around this time, or maybe a touch later–while the crowds are still thin, but the whales are a-plenty. I didn’t see any whales on my boat trip today, and it didn’t matter one bit. I saw icebergs, and puffins, and heard a boy sing. I laughed with the owner of a record store and bonded with a former fire chief. In short, I lived a little. Finally.

The Color of Sun

May 15, 2009 By: admin Category: House, Lumix Pix

I am in love with the colors sunlight brings out… These are shots from my garden. :)




Only Bus

May 09, 2009 By: admin Category: Aperture, Health, House, Living, Love, Lumix Pix, Meditation, sustainability

I can’t think of anything to write tonight. i’m better in the morning. :) morning person. maybe i’ll go out tomorrow and find some nice flowers and take pictures of them to show you. in the meantime, here’s this:


this was the view as i was leaving NYC to head home. i doctored it in Aperture, which I snagged from my dad and loaded-up. it’s great, no? but, really, if you start with the shots from my new camera, the Lumix, all shots can look this good.

this is a tough shot to look at sometimes, actually, because it reminds me of where i was going in order to get all the way home. the bus took me to south station, then i took the T to Porter where i would take the commuter rail to Concord to get picked up. on the way, the T stops at Central Square, which has special significance. for me, every moment is an opportunity. i try to maximize everything i do. sometimes it’s exhausting and i don’t know how to slow down. that’s why i so desperately need a vacation. but i’m doing my best to take care of that feeling now, and i’m, thankfully, really taking a lot of time to fall in love with my house. i do so love it. the bedroom in the morning, even at night, with the windows open–so many windows!–letting in air and natural sounds, is incredible. i am so grateful for my bedroom. so, so grateful :)

okay, so maybe i can write a bit at night. :)

Hunter Lovins, my guru, who, as we know, is following me on Twitter….;)… tweeted a great quote tonight:

“Find what you really care about and live a life that shows it.” –Kate Wolf

i hope that’s what i’m doing.