Our Purple Hearts

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.

A Purple Pilgrimage

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in All For One, Blog, Common Ground

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.

Communal Event-

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.

Purple Rain-4686

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.

What’s In A Maiden Name

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Blog, Common Ground, State Fair / BeyondTheStick

Fisher_Debra Fisher Goldstein-2926George Roberts, owner of the Homewood Studios helped hang my show today, and to my surprise, he started with Fisher, my maiden name. I was never content to use it as a maiden name:  I retain it as part of my full last name. Fisher is the name that saw me through my mind-like-a-sponge  years, when math teachers told me it had to be this way, art teachers told me I could do it any way I wanted, and parents helped me believe that ‘as long as you’re happy’ was a worthy goal to strive for.

Still, seeing my name so large is embarrassing; it makes me feel like I’m supposed to be bigger than I am.

And, somewhere in the middle of signing 55 prints, I started to wonder who the heck I think I am.

But silently and secretly, I enjoyed seeing Fisher in the spot light, if only for a few minutes until “Goldstein” grabbed all the attention.

It was like seeing my name in the school choir program again. It is me; it is my family; my history and my rooting. It is the grounding that allowed this tree to grow big, wide, bold.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. I grew up happy. And this sign’s for you.

The Fearless, and The Feared

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in All For One, Blog, Common Ground

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.

Time Flies

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?

Time Flies

“Time Flies”

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.


The End Of The Season

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Blog, Common Ground

The lowered light; the slowing of movement; the storage of supplies; the beauty of transition. Right in front of our eyes.

Coloring Outside The Lines

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Blog, Common Ground

God bless the divine spirit who decided that before the long dark winter, we’d be gifted with outrageous colors.
Who can remember a more vibrant and exhilarating Fall?
How to capture it, hold onto it, savor it a little bit longer?
Nature went above and beyond this year. Crossed the line. Way outside the box.

I hope everyone stood under a yellow tree and basked in the vibration of gold.