Day 2 of the 2016 Minnesota State Fair was decreed Unite In Purple day to honor Prince, our native son. The Fair was packed with record setting attendance; a large portion of the solid sea of people wore purple. We actively shared in the communal loss, for, as social activist Sandra said, “I’m here because for me, his death was devastating, to put it mildly.” We danced freely with friends and sang loudly with strangers, turning shock and sorrow into a party that felt like it may never end.
We took a trip to the purple lit bridge late last night. The roads were very dark, and very empty. It was raining. Again. I wasn’t sure exactly where to go, trying to recall where I went to pay respects when this same I-35 bridge collapsed. Back then this was all blocked off, due to tragedy and destruction. But now there was an opening. We dipped down a small road, lower, narrower, darker. We discovered the spot, as suddenly the breadth of the bridge revealed its underside. It is a stunning structure. And a moving tribute from the Twin Cities that loves Prince so much that thousands of municipal, corporate, and privately owned light bulbs were changed to purple within hours.
We weren’t alone in this oozy urban underbelly. A photographer and his tripod stayed a long time. A kneeling woman with a smart phone camera took a few shots then left. Little by little my eyes found lone subjects paying tribute, bearing witness.
A small constant stream of cars, one or two at a time, would pull up, people would get out quietly and look up at the giant purple structure, take a photo, then drive away. And another would come. Here, at 11:30 PM on a Sunday night, there was a slow and steady pilgrimage to see how we honor Prince.
I am always moved when people gather in community. The ties that bind grabbed and pulled and gripped at my heart strings. It was hard to leave.
It poured here again this morning. And again, we are still sad. Sometimes I don’t think it’s ever going to stop reigning purple.
But I’ll be darned if I know where you can find them.
So here they are again.
Me and WordPress, not the closest of friends. Guess I just have to get back on that horse once gain….
I came to Anderson Ranch Arts Workshops to study with one of my prime visual influencers, documentary photographer and changer of the world Ed Kashi, and visual media pioneer James Estrin, founder of the New York Times Lens blog. What I got, most unexpectedly, was an opportunity to face my middle-age fears of jumping back on the horse that threw me off in my youth – and, yes, I intend that as a metaphor for all my age-accumulated reluctances, or in horse-speak, ‘shying away.’
When I told the little kids at Cozy Point Horse Ranch that I was afraid of horses because they are so big, they told me: “You want your horse to be big so your feet don’t touch the ground.”
And on and on the quips from the kids came…I could barely write fast enough. Nor run, frame, focus with enough speed as I doggedly trotted after them while they all-out galloped when their horse appeared.
It was a grand week of photography drenched in the Colorado sun and rain, with exuberant young riders, challenging classmates, and inspiring mentors.
For now, just a taste of the week.
For later, the full photoessay, with narrative.
Thanks, kids. You pushed me. I intended to document your story. Instead I ended up discovering mine.
Another year has flown by.
How did I use it? Whom did I impact? What did I share?
Did I dare to soar? Did I loosen my grip?
I wish for you time spent with those you love, doing what you love, giving and receiving love.
I wish for you abundance, grace, and gratitude, as we fly on this ride of ever-changing times.
I wish for us a sharing and a caring of our talents and our gifts, with each other, and our planet.
Let us spread our arms wide, sensing, feeling, embracing time as it rushes by.
Time; you say goodbye – but I say hello!
Wishing you a joyful New Year.
A shadow here; a shimmer of light there. A child’s delight, running through the darkness, leaving traces of laughter echoing from house to house. Little glimpses of color across the street; dark figures racing through a pool of light. Bite size bits of the evening, this “fun” size sampler.
There’s strength in numbers. Join me and safely swing kettle bells under the powerful direction of Sharon Nelson, who has opened her new studio with her equally strong daughter, Marie. Thanks to them, I got down low and aimed high to provide photography for their web site and marketing. Try a free class:www.totalbodypowermn.com
Kudos to the kind hearts of The Assistance League of Minneapolis and St. Paul for providing food for the school kids and their families, and clothes for the kids at school. It was an honor to photograph these ‘life as it happens’ moments – especially when the moments are so full of live. And love.
Learn more. Do more. msp.assistanceleague.org
Thanks to Art Director Kristin Maija Peterson, Grand Ciel Design, for bringing me in on these action-packed events. www.GrandCiel.com