Summer food stuff

Mid-July and much of my work has sort of slowed. Being freelance, I can focus my attention to other things. Well, things that don’t require too much movement, too much exertion during a massive nationwide heatwave. A little over a year ago, I was trying to find ways to be creative as we crept toward a post-lockdown world in fits and starts. COVID waves kept coming and going, and every creative effort I tried to make felt forced or like wandering. I want to avoid going there again, so I use many of the tools outlined in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. Amazingly, I read it over 20 years ago and still utilize her very simple approaches to creativity: daily journaling (morning pages), artist dates, and later on she added regular walks.

I think summertime is made for a slight sense of boredom. In the midst of it all, the days are almost too long. The afternoons linger with a bit too much sun into golden hour. It try to be outside for that every day of summer. I’m happy to have a backyard and a grill that I can use so I don’t heat up the house unnecessarily.

It’s no secret that I love to cook. I do secretly love food writing. I think if I had the time and dedication, I’d pursue something in that realm. Indulge me in some of my food stuffs from this summer. Some grilling, some whole roasting, some pasta, some salads, some pink pickling red onions–all vegan, of course.

Like all things, I’m sure the world of food writing and photography has its downsides, its shadows. Anthony Bourdain comes to mind, while many of the food writers I follow today make it seem so easy. An endless stream of farmers markets with oversized produce (no mention ever of their prices), lovely evenings tending their kitchen gardens upstate, and oddly zen-like and immaculate kitchens. I cannot pretend that’s me. Sure I love to cook and shoot colorful, fresh foods, but my kitchen is constant chaos in need of constant cleaning. I’ll stick to the close ups on the kitchen table.

New year, new me?

It has been quite awhile since I’ve posted anything here. To tell you the truth, I’ve had this URL since about 2000 and haven’t added much to it. It used to be a catch-all site for my fledgling acting career back then. Then came the rise of the blog, then the rise of what we called the micro-blog, the then the rise of the social network, and that became the rise of the social media. Now seems to be the fall of social media as we know it, with some of the most reliable platforms seeming to fall under their own weight…or onto their own swords. I still love them, despite that everyone seems to regard them as “hell-scapes”. All this is to say that now seems to be more important of a time to keep one’s own website updated with quality content and connection.

Where have I been? Well, it’s nothing serious. After several years of building a freelance photography career, only to have it put completely on hold at the start of the pandemic, things have been back. I wasn’t doing all that well during the long stretches of lockdown months. For any creative person who found that time to be ultra-productive, great for you. Despite my introverted nature, I found my anxiety to be barely manageable and I had almost no ability to actually concentrate on a single project. In fact, I think I just got my brain back within the last year or so.

But, yes, things have been back since last fall. I’ve built relationships with a handful of new clients who have been fantastic and who have kept me busy. I expected maybe a few bookings last fall, but the phone kept ringing right up through the holidays and into this year. I’m a very lucky photographer because I know a lot of us went out of business in 2020.

It’s been a year of shifts. No, it’s not January, but I think of this time of year as a New Years in many ways. My birthday is in summer, and I tend to take stock of myself and my year around June/July. Many shifts began about a year ago when I was approaching a big birthday. Friends I had regarded as ride-or-die seemed not to be “ride” at all, and I had to sort of quietly let them go. A family member was in the midst of a health crisis and I spent several weeks in the hospital with them during a record heatwave in Southern California. (They are doing much better now.) What I thought would be a joyful celebration of me entering into a new decade surrounded by friends actually had me feeling very alone. Most plans I had made to welcome this next stage of my life all seemed to fall completely through amidst a bad COVID wave.

Things can, and do, change. I had to accept that as I watched relationships in my life shift. As I watched my priorities realign around certain people. As I understood that by embracing my own personal growth I had to course-correct certain precedents I had set around how I had always allowed myself to be treated before. I’m risking this post becoming a bit long and cliche, but that is sort of it in a nutshell.

Again, as social networks continue to annoy and/or disappoint their users, I am aiming to be more committed to this space. I’ve never been much of a writer, but I’d rather my words and quality creative efforts go here.