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a new view March 24, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, photography.
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Many people–myself included–will tell you left, right and sideways, that the gear is secondary to the overall vision, and there is much, much truth to that. But, at the same time, new, higher quality gear is often just what the doctor ordered for inspiring a burst of creativity and growth. – Jack Howard

My new camera lens, the 35mm f1.8, should be arriving on Monday. Even though it’s one of the cheapest Nikon lenses out there, I still had to really think about buying it, especially since it falls within the same zoom range as the 18-55 I bought with my camera in December 2008. But I finally set aside enough cash for it because it’s spring, the world is new, and I am looking forward to that “burst of creativity and growth.”

Plus I got new glasses yesterday! Everything is getting sharper in my world.

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spring is here! March 20, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, photography.
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i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

–e.e. cummings

spring makes me giddy. it feels like it’s been so long in coming.

also, this is my 100th post.

bye bye winter March 12, 2010

Posted by Emily in photography, things that make me smile.
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(coming next: hello spring!)

I had been holding out for a few more photos for my “doesn’t snowshoeing take you wonderful places?” post – but then the snow just stopped. Out of nowhere. And never really came back.

I think Lolo Pass (a nearby recreational area great for snowshoeing) ended up at about 50% of normal.

Since I’ve decided winter is heading out and spring is just around the corner, now seems like as good a time as any to post some of my favorite photos from winter (what little we had of it).

View from the Ridge, Lolo Pass

snowshoe loop

Lolo Pass

snow

tracks

Sunny in the snow

lookout

Rest Area

snowshoes

Also, I’m taking a photo class this month and finally thinking of plunking down the cash for a camera lens I’ve been eyeing, oh, forever – so hopefully I’ll have some new perspectives and the photos to show for it.

An ode to the personal letter March 10, 2010

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things.
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“An elegy is a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.” – Wikipedia

Although I have been somewhat neglectful of letter writing lately, I’m now trying to get back into it – a goal which is helped enormously by the coming of spring and summer, as few things make me happier than sitting on the front porch after work, sun shining, birds chirping, cold beer leaving a condensation ring on the wood, and settling in with a good pen to write to a thought-of friend.

Because I value mail and especially hand-written letters more than most things, I was struck by this poem, sent to me the other day by my cousin Megan. This is my reaction when peeking in the mailbox reveals a letter addressed to me – all else falls away. But because I still have hope for letters, I’ve decided that perhaps this should be an ode, rather than an elegy.

Elegy for the Personal Letter

by Allison Joseph

I miss the rumpled corners of correspondence,
the ink blots and crossouts that show
someone lives on the other end, a person
whose hands make errors, leave traces.
I miss fine stationary, its raised elegant
lettering prominent on creamy shades of ivory
or pearl grey. I even miss hasty notes
dashed off on notebook paper, edges
ragged as their scribbled messages—
can’t much write now—thinking of you.
When letters come now, they are formatted
by some distant computer, addressed
to Occupant or To the family living at
meager greetings at best,
salutations made by committee.
Among the glossy catalogs
and one time only offers
the bills and invoices,
letters arrive so rarely now that I drop
all other mail to the floor when
an envelope arrives and the handwriting
is actual handwriting, the return address
somewhere I can locate on any map.
So seldom is it that letters come
That I stop everything else
to identify the scrawl that has come this far—
the twist and the whirl of the letters,
the loops of the numerals. I open
those envelopes first, forgetting
the claim of any other mail,
hoping for news I could not read
in any other way but this.

“Elegy for the Personal Letter” by Allison Joseph, from My Father’s Kites. © Steel Toe Books, 2010.

(via The Writer’s Almanac)