August was…

August was

Bee-like.  Busy in a laid back sweltering way, creatively productive, sweet in its return on courage manifested and hopeful.  I had the opportunity to take part in August Break 2016 on Instagram.  Using the thoughtful prompts from Susannah Conway I thoroughly enjoyed each day of capturing my ordinary take on the subject and sharing among her many followers.  Making space on her site for us to share our blogs shows the true measure of her generosity.  Not only am I grateful but I’ve taken away many a lesson.

One of the prompts was “handwriting”. Of course it came at the exact moment I was trying to figure out where to start my summer work:

once you see it

It was my intention to use my down time to launch the Elder Beauty Project instead I’ve scraped it.  As a project, I’ve scrapped it as a project because the real project is and always has been Ordinary Legacy. Thank you David for reminding me of that and now I see it again.

The fact that I’m tired of talking about myself remains.  While this has been the outcome of my summer work, the month long journey to get there has been amazing.  After a somewhat delayed start, read procrastinated for weeks, I worked up my courage to send an email to the director of the Mahwah Senior Center, Susanne Small, telling her about what I do and how I’d love to do it.  She loved the idea, with enthusiasm and more generosity I was invited to the center to share my vision.  I was also invited to speak with several of the seniors about my vision.  While they are a bit curious, I’ll need to come back with a bit more for them.  Suffice to say you’ll be seeing more of this:

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Susanne has graciously offered to work with me to develop the questions most likely to yield the result I’m looking for, she knows our seniors and what makes them open up.  I’ll be able to leave brochures for them to consider working with me sharing bits of the ordinary that make their lives distinct.  That got me investigating and developing a concept brochure.

Which in turn led to Bergen County Camera, where collectively they know everything, to look for a new lens for my DSLR.  I mean they know everything so showing them what I do now and how I want to tweak it took a bit more courage.  They didn’t flinch at my work, thank God. It always helps to lead with the fact that you understand full well that you are an accidental photographer… I have a new lens, which I like but the jury’s still out on whether or not it will perform the magic I require.  What? I’m practicing and keeping an open mind, I mean believing in my talent…like I always say, you shoot enough you’re bound to hit something.

True to form once you allow yourself to see it, you will see it everywhere.  Like here:

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And here:

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And here:

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These are the stories, the ordinary legacy stories that have been right under my nose while I was too busy being all about me.  Not very Jeanette-like as it turns out.

So going forward Ordinary Legacy will continue to be about preserving the ordinary stories that are all around, hopefully full of senior insight, definitely traditional recipes that may be lost, collections and oh those amazing ordinary legacy moments in time.

I can’t let go of the Heartlines series I just started because it’s been so well received.  If you haven’t seen them yet, they are heart shaped letters to a specific someone but not addressed to them.  They tackle that someone’s current situation/dilemma/angst/ without mentioning their name.  In the end there are always several people who would swear that the Heartline is meant for them.  The beauty of us all being in the same boat as it turns out.

For me September has always been the beginning of the New Year.  I don’t do resolutions but I can see this year I’m headed away from Facebook, because their algorithms are becoming a pain in the ass, and leaning toward and loving Instagram where images=stories, duhhh.  I’m glad to be back, renewed and ready to keep allowing myself to see all those ordinary stories I’ve been overlooking.  Hope you’ll stay tuned and join forces along with me.