In the expansive mist of morning, when my soul takes time and room to breathe and stretch, I gaze around my room and wonder what I might do with myself.  My eyes light on the top shelf of a bookcase, where stands a handmade paper album.  Pages of rough texture wait to absorb something well-constructed, like a bed of rice made to nestle a complicated curry.  What poem or drawing or photograph would be worthy to lie in those lush furrows?  Surely nothing as lowly as what I would create.  Yet I long to put my time, my love, my hands to work, to make something.  I want to slowly blend my life into some material.  The satisfaction is exquisite.  I felt it once, birthing and raising children.  The medium responds, reacts, engages, resists.  It is not a work of power; it is a work of love.

josh baby shoe

I have begun to notice an impatient annoyance building up in me when I look at photography sites.  I am enamored of the images, but so often the captions leave me irritated.  I do want to know what I’m looking at and where it was found.  I don’t like the flavor of language that suggests violence.  “I captured”, “I shot”, “I took”, “I caught”.  Why not just say that you were there?  It was there.  You made a photograph of it at that place and in time.  Doesn’t that sound more respectful somehow?  It does to me.

NM road

I like art that shows that respect.  An artist is generous with time, patient, slow, allowing something to unfold, gently.  There is a generosity of presence in art.  An artist gives herself – body, consciousness, energy, and loveinto a relationship with her work and medium.  That’s what feels so rich, pleasing and compelling in a well-made piece.   Whatever it is.  I am often so task-oriented that I don’t think of that.  I was taught to be efficient, neat and accurate.  In preparing a meal, for instance.   When I began cooking for Steve, he’d ask me about supper, and I’d tell him the steps I planned to take and ask for his input on decisions.  He’d respond with something like, “Just make it with love.”  I wasn’t sure what that meant.  I think I have a better idea now. My photographs have since become more care-full: close-ups attending to focus, light and color turn out differently than snapshots.  I want my life to be like that, too. (click on the photos below to see them in a full size slideshow)

© 2015, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved

 

 

4 thoughts on “Art, Time and Love

  1. Beautiful photos, scilla. I especially like the leaf on the wall! You know, I had not thought before about the words that people use to describe how they photograph, but you are absolutely right. I like your way of phrasing it much better – “you were there and it was there.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos. I like this: “Why not just say that you were there? It was there. You made a photograph of it at that place and in time. Doesn’t that sound more respectful somehow? It does to me.” I agree—sometimes, with my photos on my blog, I just quote a bit of text from the blog post / poem that for me connects to the image.

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