Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Usually, in the morning, I let … I mean that I empower … Steve to roll out of bed, make coffee and cook me, I mean us, eggs over easy. Always one egg on one piece of toast and maybe some fruit on the side. Kind of spartan but it works. But in recent times I noticed the number of eggs in the fridge were diminishing at a faster rate. Now Steve’s tai chi instructor Jon makes occasional house visits because it can be a bit of a trek for Steve to make it to the dojo. Jon can come in the mornings usually after I’ve left for work. One day I called home to ask Steve if Jon had shown up. He said, “Yes. I cooked him breakfast.” I did a double take. “Aren’t we paying him to come over and give you a workout?” “Yes, but I asked if he was hungry and he said yes and so …”

Now what I remember from ages ago, after Steve’s surgeries and he could appear and was indeed pooped all of the time, is that for a visit with company customers he pulled together (without me being present as sous chef) an amazing fruit and cheese grazing platter BEFORE they all went out to dinner and THEN returned to our place for a nightcap that he orchestrated. He was in heaven. When I described this scene to his PCP she nodded sagely and said, “Some people are energized by being hospitable.”

And so this morning as I raced out of bed (alarms didn’t go off) and raced about to make coffee and check the egg situation … well, there were three eggs. I knew Jon was coming by for class. If Steve and I had one each that would leave just one for Jon. So I put the container back in the fridge and decided we were having smoked salmon and cream cheese on toast. Steve, without even knowing the egg situation, said that would be just fine.

When I returned home, I looked in the fridge. One egg in the case. I asked Steve, who was in another room, and already knowing the answer, “Did you fix Jon breakfast?” “Yes,” he shouted back. “He said thank you before we went outside to practice with the kendo sword.” 

I smiled and closed the refrigerator door. Gotta buy some more eggs this weekend.

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A woman ventured out on her lunch break. Her plan? To buy herself a cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately that line in the store was too long. What did she do? She purchased an individual chocolate for herself and then for all of her coworkers. I was a lucky recipient of this unexpected little gift.

photo by DL

photo by DL

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Now, I didn’t quite do a physical happy dance but I kind of sort of did mentally. When I was recently with my friend who needs to walk as part of her recuperation, we were slowly walking along a canal, and then I paused. She asked what I was looking at. I remember saying, “I saw just a shimmer … but the thing about spider webs is that you need the right light … wait a minute! Wait a minute! There! Can you see it? There’s the web!”

I kept inching forward despite the fact that swimming is not my greatest skill. The web was right at the water’s edge taut between trees and grape vines. I knew the light would shift soon, and it did. My friend had waited patiently for me as I got as many shots as I could. Eventually we continued on our loop. I became lost in my thoughts and then I heard, “Cynthia!” I looked around. “What?” “Don’t you see it?” She pointed out a spider’s web. And she pointed it out with expectation. With a grin, I pulled out my camera.

She continued to point out spider webs throughout the journey home.

Despite my love for E. B. White’s book Charlotte’s Web and the animated movie, I don’t go out of my way to seek out spiders. But I do have a growing appreciation for the webs. Their embodiment of complicated concepts of connections, nodes, fragility and at the same time great strength and resiliency. I can’t always see the webs around me but when I do I treasure the moment and I am grateful when others point out those webs to me.

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The friend with whom I am visiting is recovering from surgery and so we stay close to her home. If you follow my blog you know that I love to peer at and through windows. Here, when I sit at her kitchen table, I peer out a window and see stacked containers of pots for plants and a sunflower growing from her compost pail. The cat referred to in yesterday’s post will sit at the window and commune with a chipmunk. A red bird flew by and there’s a resident hawk perhaps stalking the rabbits I’ve seen in the neighboring yards. From my bedroom window I could see last night’s moon. It was full and bright, so large, and its light shed on racing clouds painting them with cotton-candy hues. I tried to take a picture but then stopped and just enjoyed the light show. Walking is part of my friend’s recuperation and so soon we intend to walk along a canal. We’ll see what pictures are produced. Have a good day. 😉

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It is a unique collaboration of sorts, and not a collaboration that I will do with many people. But I think that Zoe Langosy and I have worked together for so many years in so many different ways, and always around the visual, that I trust her when she pulls me aside to show me something she’s tucked away because she saw it and thought of me and my photography.

No expectations around output just an instinct that this thing that she saw – a fallen leaf, a rock, and in this case a moth – might interest me and perhaps even empower me to stretch myself as a photographer using whatever tools I have at hand.

She likes to cut up my photography to use in her collage. I’m grateful that she finds whole objects to share with me in return.

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Now, I have this young friend who loves to bake. She is always regaling me with tales of items produced the previous weekend. All sorts of stuff that sounds quite yummy, and also sounds quite complex. One day, she grilled me, asking what kind of cookies I liked.

I said, “Simple ones.”

She frowned. “What does that mean?”

I shrugged. “I’ll eat most cookies but I tend toward short bread, Lorna Doones, chocolate chip cookies that don’t have many chips, that kind of thing.”

She slammed her hand on the table. “I’m going to make you some cookies. What do you want in them?”

“I want it to be an expression of simplicity.”

She didn’t quite curse but I did present her with a culinary challenge.

Recently I was presented with a tupperware of her first expression.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies spiced with cayenne pepper and dusted with cinnamon sugar.

As I looked up from the cookies she said, “I’m still working on it.”

I’m looking forward to more containers filled with her simplicity. 🙂


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My portraits in progress series is evolving rather organically, especially in the presence of Robert Yearwood who was my first subject (see here). In a heartbeat, Bob will now say, “Cynthia, where’s your camera?  This is a great photo!” I usually agree.  Recently while at Trinity Church I was in his presence and that of Roberto Paredes. I asked Roberto if I might photograph him.  Bob readily agreed for them both.

We stepped outside and I took this photo. Later, as I downloaded it, a part of my brain still reeled from this week’s hate-speech gone viral on the internet and that being espoused on stage at the Republican Convention. As I looked at these two gentlemen, all I could think was, here are two examples of what makes America great right now.

They are kindness and compassion embodied. Originally from Lima, Peru, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Roberto for about seven years since he started working at Trinity. Like Bob he never hesitates to greet you or to make one feel welcome in his presence. He gives aid unasked and for that I am thankful. He’s taken many a heavy box from my hand even when I should have known better than to pick it up.

“He’s the best,” Bob said. “He’s a true friend.  You got that, Cynthia? Did you get it down on paper?”

Yes, sir, I did. 🙂

Previous portraits in progress

Monroe Chase

The Singing Man


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That was the color the bouquet of tulips appeared to be in the light of the shop. Then once brought home, placed in a vase, and bathed in the light of the sun all of these other colors appeared. An inspiring sight, to say the least.

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Just last night I spoke with a young friend. I’d sent her a greeting card depicting a cat, sleek and gilded and sparkling with jewels. You see, my young friend tends toward attire that also catches the light. She’d had the card framed and was trying to decide where to hang it on her wall. She already had framed a picture of an owl (I can’t remember if I’d sent her that). She asked, do you think the owl and the cat can be placed side by side? do you think they’d get along? I replied in surprise, my dear! have you never heard of the owl and the pussycat? She hadn’t. She asked, what’s the gist? I told her that I’d share the poem in full in a while but for now it was quite alright, indeed quite wonderful, for the owl and the pussycat to be close on her wall.

The Owl and the Pussycat was first published in 1871 by Edward Lear.  A poem once often told and memorized in schools. A nonsense poem that sparked the imagination. Prequels have been written, and sequels, and many a reinterpretation.  I’m not sure that the original is shared as often as it used to be. As National Poetry Month wraps up, read the poem for yourself on the Poetry Foundation website.  And here is unique interpretation of the story available as a print at LangosyArts.

The Owl and the Pussycat Print by Zoe Langosy

The Owl and the Pussycat Print by Zoe Langosy

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Art by Maya

Art by Maya

Can you guess which one is me? A lovely gift from a young friend. A drawing of us out and about in the sun. She’s part of my informal Kids Postcard Club. My next step is to turn her artwork into a postcard and give her a few, along with postcard stamps, so she can share her work with friends and family near and far. We’ll see … 😉

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