Friday, September 30, 2011

365 Project - Day 273 - "Adagio (shoulders smooth as raven's claws)"

September 30, 2011 - "Adagio (shoulders smooth as raven's claws)"


by James Douglas Morrison

Wow, I'm sick of doubt
Live in the light of certain
Cruel bindings.
The servants have the power
Dog-men and their mean women
Pulling poor blankets over
Our sailors

I'm sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the tv
Tower, I want roses in
My garden bower; dig?
Royal babies, rubies
Must now replace aborted
Strangers in the mud
These mutants, blood-meal
For the plant that's plowed.

They are waiting to take us into
The severed garden
Do you know how pale and wanton thrillful
Comes death on a strange hour
Unannounced, unplanned for
Like a scaring over-friendly guest you've
Brought to bed
Death makes angels of us all
And gives us wings
Where we had shoulders
Smooth as raven's

No more money, no more fancy dress
This other kingdom seems by far the best
Until it's other jaw reveals incest
And loose obedience to a vegetable law.

I will not go
Prefer a feast of friends
To the giant family.

* * *

Thursday, September 29, 2011

365 Project - Day 272 - "Ecstasy"

September 29, 2011 - "Ecstasy"

"I like my body when it is with your body"
by e.e. cummings

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

* * *

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

365 Project - Day 271 - "Lost"

September 28, 2011 - "Lost"

That's me...


So much more that I want.

(Or is it that I just want so much more?)

So much more that I need...

... but I can't seem to express how necessary it truly is.

I'm sick of hearing others tell me all of the reasons why I can't/shouldn't want or need such things...

Sick of being told that I'm being unrealistic...

... that I dream too much...

... that it's just... not... possible.


... in plain view.

You see me...

... but trust me when I tell you...

"I'm" not really here.

* * *

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

365 Project - Day 270 - "Banquet Hall"

September 27, 2011 - "Banquet Hall"

I'm in the Banquet Hall at Hatter's Park for a Candlewood Camera Club meeting...

... and I keep finding myself drawn to these shadows in the entryway... cast by the writing on the glass doors, illuminated by the sodium lights in the parking lot.

So of course I've got to break away from the pre-meeting chit-chat to grab my camera and capture the scene.

Frame... Focus... Snap... Capture.

Then back to the meeting room for what turned out to be the best program-night presentation since I joined the club four years ago! An absolutely wonderful presentation on creativity given by the very talented Laurie Klein - a student of Ansel Adams, who has gone on to develop a wonderful style all her own.

Another wonderful night!


* * *

Monday, September 26, 2011

365 Project - Day 269 - "Family Shadows"

September 26, 2011 - "Family Shadows"

Today is my wife Holly's birthday...

... so, after a wonderful birthday dinner with wonderful friends - we just had to pose for a "Family Portrait" in the restaurant parking lot.

(life is good)

* * *

Sunday, September 25, 2011

365 Project - Day 268 - "A Good Book"

September 25, 2011 - "A Good Book"

A typical night in the Pia house...

HGTV on the tele...

A good book in Holly's hand...

And the kidlings complaining about having to go to bed.

(Life is good!)

* * *

Saturday, September 24, 2011

365 Project - Day 267 - "Frozen"

September 24, 2011 - "Frozen"

My quest for today's "365 Project" image brings me to... my freezer.

Containers of homemade Pasta e Fagioli... and the leftover rag├╣ from Pollo alla Cacciatora.

Future dinners...

Future tasty-ness.

Life is good!

* * *

Friday, September 23, 2011

365 Project - Day 266 - "Grilled"

September 23, 2011 - "Grilled"

I bought myself a new Calphalon grill-pan yesterday.

Life is good!

* * *

Thursday, September 22, 2011

365 Project - Day 265 - "Throwback"

September 22, 2011 - "Throwback"

Day 265 of the 2011 edition of my "365 Project".

Just 100 more days to go!

So I'm celebrating with an ice-cold Pepsi "Throwback". Pepsi the way it should be. Pepsi the way it was... the way I remember it as a kid. REAL sugar... not "high fructose corn syrup". Sugary, sweet and delicious!

Just 100 more days to go!

What will 2012 bring? Something different. Something new. But that is 101 days away...

... lets not get ahead of ourselves!

* * *

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

365 Project - Day 264 - "Greens and Simplicity"

September 21, 2011 - "Greens and Simplicity"

A farm-fresh delivery of greens at work today...

... leading to another "simple image" sort of a day.

Life is good!

* * *

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

365 Project - Day 263 - "Bowls"

September 20, 2011 - "Bowls"

Over the course of the last three days I've managed to take over 1,200 photographs.

Today I'm kind of burned out, photographically-speaking.

So while searching for a "365 Project" image for today I didn't wander far: My kitchen. More specifically, my bowl rack.

Standing next to the bowl rack I aim my lens downward, framing a mere five of the more-than-a-dozen bowls.


Re-frame and focus...

Snap again.

Two shots. That's it.

I'm done for the day!


* * *

Monday, September 19, 2011

365 Project - Day 262 - "San Gennaro"

September 19, 2011 - "San Gennaro"

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Gennaro... the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy...

And so we find ourselves on Mulberry Street in Manhattan's Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro.

We started with an amazingly wonderful lunch at Lombardi's Pizza on the corner of Spring and Mott Street. REAL coal-oven Pizza Margherita... with perfect crust... fresh Mozzarella di Bufala... San Marzano tomato sauce... and fresh basil. Perfection!

After lunch we wandered up-and-down Mulberry Street for hours on end. Cannoli... Tiramisu... Gelato... Torrone...

A bit of shopping... (found myself an AS Roma Calcio Italia banner... and key chain)... before heading down to Most Precious Blood Church and the National Shrine for San Gennaro to pin our offerings to the robes on the statue.

Mass (partly in English... partly in Italian) to celebrate San Gennaro... before the Saint Statue is paraded out of the church and into the streets. A band plays as flags are presented and the Statue makes it's way down the steps - as the crowd cheers.

We followed the parade... sometimes behind the Statue... sometimes rushing ahead of it - snapping pictures and talking to the Flag and Statue Bearers along the way. Frequent stops are made so the faithful can make offerings, which are pinned to Statue's robes and ribbons. All along the band plays... and people rush to the Statue just to get a chance to touch it's base for a blessing.

The procession slowly makes it's way up the entire length of Mulberry Street... amidst the crowds... the Italian Flags... The Green, White and Red banners, ribbons and garlands... the lights... the cheers... the smiles.

The feeling in the air is electric. So many happy people in one area... it's a beautiful thing!

The celebrations go on into the night...

We make our way through the crowds... escaping them to go to one of our favorite restaurants for a quiet dinner, before catching a late train back home.

The end of an absolutely wonderful day!

Life IS Good!

* * *

For more photos from the day, check out my "Feast of San Gennaro 2011" gallery on Flickr

* * *

Sunday, September 18, 2011

365 Project - Day 261 - "On the Farm(s)"

September 18, 2011 - "On the Farm(s)"

Today was a "Farm Day".

Spent the day traveling to three of the farms that supply the natural foods store where I work.

First... Rowland Farms in Oxford, which supplies us with amazing Heirloom Berkshire Pork.

Second... Sepe Farm in Sandy Hook, which supplies us with the best damn lamb I've ever tasted!

And third... Stonewall Dairy Farm in Cornwall, which supplies us with Raw Milk and Farm-Fresh Eggs.

I was there to take photos of the farms... the animals... and the farmers. These photos will be posted all around the store... to help "put a face" to the food... and to the farmers that bring the food to YOU.

I took just under 700 photos today... and have quite a bit of "digital darkroom" work ahead of me.

But... of course... it wasn't all work today. I managed to take quite a few shots that were really more for me than for the store...

... including this one - a close-up of the beautiful coat on one of the breeding sheep at Sepe Farm.

An absolutely beautiful September day...

Spent on three wonderful farms...

... with amazingly wonderful people!

Life is good!

* * *

Saturday, September 17, 2011

365 Project - Day 260 - "Waning"

September 17, 2011 - "Waning"


Aren't we all?

* * *

Friday, September 16, 2011

365 Project - Day 259 - "Unclean"

September 16, 2011 - "Unclean"

I'm sick.

I'm exhausted.

No energy.

I haven't showered.

My hair is a wreck.

I need to shave.


... in more ways than one.

* * *

Thursday, September 15, 2011

365 Project - Day 258 - "Outside... Looking In"

September 15, 2011 - "Outside... Looking In"

Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck on the outside... looking in...

Looking through a frosted glass window, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of where I want to be...

Able to see shadows and movement... but little else...

Feeling a bit stuck...

... or, at least... "locked out".

* * *

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

365 Project - Day 257 - "En Pointe"

September 14, 2011 - "En Pointe"

Just a simple shot... my daughter's new ballet pointe shoes.

* * *

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

365 Project - Day 256 - "Night Prayers"

September 13, 2011 - "Night Prayers"

Late-summer night...

Full Moon...

Soft glow...

Cold stone...

Night Prayers.

* * *

Monday, September 12, 2011

365 Project - Day 255 - "Autumn Approaches"

September 12, 2011 - "Autumn Approaches"

Another wonderful September evening.

Sunset coming earlier...

A very slight chill in the air...

Bugs... still making music, yet it's a softer song than it was just a week or two ago...

... all give hint of the approaching autumn.

Life is good!

* * *

Sunday, September 11, 2011

365 Project - Day 254 - "Remembering"

September 11, 2011 - "Remembering"

It was a Tuesday morning... and Holly and I were running a bit late. It was already getting close to 9am... and Caitlynn needed to be at her school in New York in about half an hour. We rushed out of the house... loaded the kids in the car - and began our long highway trip - just hoping that there wouldn't be traffic and we'd somehow make it in time. Caitlynn... then just 3 years old... was playing games with Brandon, who was only 4 months old - in the back seat. Holly and I - with cups of coffee in hand - listened to "Curtis and Kuby" on WABC talk radio, as always... and chatted about nothing in particular.

Moments later the morning show was interrupted with a report that an airplane had just hit the World Trade Center in New York City. No one thought much of it at first... after all, this wasn't the first time a plane had hit a skyscraper in New York City. Then again... no one knew that it was a major airline... they thought, perhaps - it was some sort of a small plane. They apologized for not having more information... and promised to keep us updated on any developments.

Only a brief moment went by before the report came in that it was, indeed - a major passenger airliner... and that survivors were highly unlikely. Curtis and Kuby immediately switched their program focus - and started to report on the news and debate on the subject. Curtis Sliwa started to predict the worst... that this was some sort of a hijacking and terrorist act. Ron Kuby began to argue with him - that there just wasn't any reason to believe that this wasn't just some sort of a freak accident. They began to debate it more and more... with the subject turning toward things like ethnic/racial profiling... political tensions... certain ethnic groups promoting terrorism... etc. They were practically fighting with each other when the report came in that a second plane had just hit the World Trade Center. This was no fluke accident. Kuby fell quiet... and Sliwa stopped debating... they focussed solely on reporting.

Holly and I were in shock. I remember looking around to see if other people in other cars were hearing the same things. This just couldn't be happening!

We arrived at Caitlynn's preschool... where the teachers were gathered around radios playing the reports in the front office. Many of the people who worked there - including one of Caitlynn's teachers - lived in New York City... had just come from there that morning. They couldn't believe what was happening... but had no reason to believe that it wouldn't be "under control" soon. None of us did.

We all felt that it was best not to panic... especially when we still knew so little about what was happening. We said our goodbyes to Caitlynn... told her we'd see her in a few hours... and started to head back home. We were halfway home when the report came over the radio that the Pentagon had been hit. A reporter cut in to say that the President had been alerted that the United States was under attack. There were reports of a possible bomb at the Capitol Building in Washington DC. Reports were coming in of other planes that had not yet been accounted for.

I burst into tears... I just didn't know what to do... what to feel. I remember looking at the other cars. How many of these people knew what was going on? How many were just listening to a CD or something... with no clue as to what was happening "just around the corner"?

We arrived home... ran inside... turned on the TV to CNN. The news was filled with reports of possible bombs... of planes that are "missing"... of chaos... of people jumping to their deaths from the WTC. Then it happened... the first tower fell. You could see the people...

I remember standing in front of the TV watching that as it happened live... and I felt as if someone had just punched me in the stomach. I couldn't breath. It was the single most horrific thing I had ever seen.

Holly was on the phone with her mom at the time... and came in to the room to find me standing there. I looked up at her... and she said to her mom: "I have to go... we have to go get Caitlynn right away".

Walking out the door... it was like walking into another world. I remember hearing sirens. I remember hearing planes. I found out later that the sirens were a combination of Danbury police trying to scatter to maintain order... and Danbury fire departments rushing to NYC. The planes were from all over... people who were forced to land by the FAA... who had to get to the nearest airport - and ours was the one.

Traffic was heavy... after all, we were heading right towards NYC... and there were literally thousands of people trying to get there. I remember seeing police... fire trucks... Army Reserve and National Guard vehicles - some racing toward NYC... others racing in the opposite direction.

We got to Caitlynn's school as quickly as we could. She couldn't understand why we were there! Teachers were in tears. They couldn't go home... the City was closed off. They couldn't get in touch with their families there... the phones were either down - or the switchboards were too busy. Kids were crying - they didn't know what was going on, but knew that something was happening, and they were scared.

We grabbed Caitlynn - and flew out of there as quickly as we could... racing back home. I didn't know what was going to happen... I only knew that I needed to make sure that my wife and children were with me. I needed them to be where I could see them.

We got home... and the phone started ringing. People who knew we had to go in to NY that day - checking to make sure we were safe. People who were part of our spiritual group (Moonlight Circle... which no longer exists), in need of counseling to get through what they were seeing. People who had no way of seeing or hearing the news, who wanted to know if they could come over.

Within a few hours we had a living room full of people... glued to CNN... waiting. There wasn't any talking... there wasn't any sort of debating or anything like that. We silently watched the TV. Footage came in of both towers falling. Footage came in of President Bush being told the news while at an elementary school in Florida. Footage came in of the Pentagon... and of the crash site in Pennsylvania. Footage came in of the planes themselves - hitting the towers.

I remember feeling exhausted... I remember clinging to Caitlynn and Brandon... I remember my eyes hurting from crying...

I remember the next day... the intense feeling of terror when I walked outside and an airplane flew extremely low overhead. It was a military plane.

I remember walking downtown on Sept. 12th... there were hundreds and hundreds of people... having a candlelight vigil on the Green... then walking down to the War Memorial where there were candles surrounding the base of the flag pole. I remember police officers and fire fighters lining the streets... and people hugging them.

I remember having over 30 people... most of them Pagan... but also some members of the Buddhist, Baha'i and Christian faiths - gathering at our house for Memorial Rituals and Circles of Peace. It brought together people who ordinarily would not get along... and people who had not been speaking to each for many moons, yet have not stopped speaking to each other since.

I remember trying to continue... to "live life so the terrorists won't win". I remember hanging up the "Together We Stand" signs in the windows of our home... I remember hanging American Flags up on our car... I remember going to a Blood Drive held at the Danbury Fair Mall, where several members of Moonlight Circle donated blood. I remember going to the Chuang Yen Buddhist Monestary in Carmel, NY... and just praying for peace.

And I remember taking the kids to a playground on the weekend after September 11th. I remember having a moment of panic when I saw a white van pull up... driving very slowly along the edge of the park - the driver scanning the playground. I immediately started searching the playground for Holly and the kids... while keeping a close eye on that van the whole time. Then a little girl went running up to the van... and the door opened... and a man stepped out - and the girl gave him a very excited hug as she yelled "Daddy!!!"... and her mom came over and gave the man a hug and kiss as he held his daughter and they walked back to the playground together. That was the moment that I knew that things would never be the same.

* * *

Today's image is of flowers and flags left at the base of Danbury's September 11th Memorial Tower on Main Street this morning. The tower - made of glass - includes the names of all of the Danbury area residents who lost their lives on that day. Here are more photos of the monument, taken today...

* * *

Saturday, September 10, 2011

365 Project - Day 253 - "T-Bird Reflections"

September 10, 2011 - "T-Bird Reflections"

A warm September evening "Cruise Night" at the Sycamore Drive-In Restaurant in Bethel, CT.





Bel Airs...

... and, of course, T-Birds.

Shiny black T-Birds reflecting the neon lights of the Sycamore sign...

Shiny black T-Birds reflecting the dimming light of the sky... and the rise of the waxing moon...

Shiny black T-Birds... reflecting the close of summer.

Life is good!

* * *

Friday, September 9, 2011

365 Project - Day 252 - "Morning Dew"

September 09, 2011 - "Morning Dew"

The sun is shining brightly this morning...

... warming the air...

... warming the ground...

... shining, as dew forms and glistens...

... like diamonds in the weeds.

Life is good!

* * *

Thursday, September 8, 2011

365 Project - Day 251 - "Drying Off"

September 08, 2011 - "Drying Off"

It has been raining hard...

... VERY hard...

... all night and on into the morning.

Waiting for the school bus to arrive... the pounding thump of raindrops hitting my umbrella is soothing.

After thirty minutes the bus arrives...

... and I race home to get ready for work.

My red and white umbrella is left standing upside-down on the porch to dry.

When I get home from work it's there waiting for me in the sunshine...

... seeming to "smile".

* * *

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

365 Project - Day 250 - "Home"

September 07, 2011 - "Home"

Two-and-a-half months since her shutter froze... and my baby - my Canon EOS 40D D-SLR - is finally back home!

Apparently I wore the shutter out! It's rated for 100,000 shots... but considering the fact that I took just under 7,000 images in the first month (which was over three years ago now) and, well... I guess I'm not surprised that it finally gave out!

But now she's back home... fresh and rejuvenated by the wonderful technicians at Canon...

... and life is truly good again!

* * *

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

365 Project - Day 249 - "Back to School"

September 06, 2011 - "Back to School"

The first day of school...

The first night of homework.

* * *

Monday, September 5, 2011

365 Project - Day 248 - "Buona Sera"

September 05, 2011 - "Buona Sera"

Early evening...

Screen porch...



A good book...

Summer bugs making music...

Light breeze...

Life is good!

* * *

Sunday, September 4, 2011

365 Project - Day 247 - "Summer Street Dairy Queen"

September 04, 2011 - "Summer Street Dairy Queen"

Cemetery visits and genealogical research in Greenwich, Stamford and Darien...

Drives through old neighborhoods...

Pizza at Colony Bar & Grill on Myrtle Avenue in Stamford...

Ice cream at Dairy Queen on Summer Street in Stamford...

Dunkin Donuts coffee...

A wonderful day of exploration and memories!

Life IS Good!

* * *

Saturday, September 3, 2011

365 Project - Day 246 - "Fibonacci"

September 03, 2011 - "Fibonacci"

A wonderful day spent at the Goshen Agricultural Fair in Goshen, CT... where I found this beautiful prize-winning sunflower.


* * *

Friday, September 2, 2011

365 Project - Day 245 - "Mocha and a Laptop"

September 02, 2011 - "Mocha and a Laptop"

Molten Java.

Mr. Happy Cloud is performing.

Working on some images on my laptop.



Life is good.

* * *

Thursday, September 1, 2011

365 Project - Day 244 - "TV Glow"

September 01, 2011 - "TV Glow"

Relaxing in the glow of the TV...

... loving life.

* * *