At the end of last year, I lost my best friend. It was unexpected and it was so premature. In losing my best friend, Andre Thomas, it occurred to me that I lost my cheering section, my one-man fan club. Andre had faith in me when I had no faith in myself. He pushed me and cajoled me when I wanted to stop. We talked endlessly about this website, about creativity, about doing what we love. And he died. And I stopped. And, I realized only recently that I hadn’t taken any photos in several months. When I’m under a great deal of stress or facing great sadness, my creativity shuts down. I no longer see the world through that kind lens. Nothing fits any more. Nothing feels right. And, nothing makes sense. But, I sat down a few days ago and heard Andre’s voice in my head. He was nagging me and complaining loudly that I still hadn’t launched the site and I wasn’t taking pictures. So, Andre, to quiet your chatter, here it is. No more excuses. No more hesitation. The deed is done. This one’s for you.
Over Christmas, I went to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. When the exhibit came to town, I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. I was a little hesitant but decided to go after I read a piece about Chihuly’s “insistence” that his art be photographed. It is so unusual to be able to take your camera to an exhibit and be allowed to take pictures. That grabbed my attention. I was so glad I went. There are times when I fight with my camera, when I feel I don’t know enough about all the buttons and settings and wished I knew more. But, being forced to take low light pictures with no flash spurred to really think about what I was photographing and how I was doing it. Thank you Andre and Dale Chihuly for starting 2013 on the right foot.