A camera/a brush

Macro photography allows me to capture striking abstracts. I approach photography in a painterly way and am not really interested in representation. I like to think that I'm able to show people things they might not otherwise see in the world around them. This approach takes time and stillness.

[If anyone knows how to get dark greens to show up well on the web, please let me know. There is a lot of detail in the dark areas of these photos and I can't seem to get it to show online. Help!]


Drawing blood

They started to draw my blood and number my insides when I was 15. I have 27 years of needles and machines at my back. I've seen my bones and arteries and guts. I've reviewed the numbers. I'm not only this medical body, but it is a big part of me.

The nurse misses her mark when she tries to get the IV needle in; fluid goes into my arm and it burns and burns. She has a warm touch and a sweet Jamaican accent but bad aim. It helps when they are friendly; though I think I would chose accuracy over charm on this one. The second nurse slides the needle in quickly and smoothly despite my nervously retreating veins.

Once the IV fluid is flowing well, they take me to the CT machine and lay me out. I have been in this room many times. A brand new machine means I will be out of here faster, but it also means that they have to “push” the dye through my system so that it floods quickly into the vascularized organs. Heralded by a strange metallic taste, the dye runs into me with an odd heat and pressure. The equipment spins around me taking its 3D pictures. Arms back over my head, I wonder if my body will reveal any of its secrets or if the cause of the abdominal pain will remain in obscurity.

They let me rest awhile and then take the IV out. I watch the small, bloody plastic tube as it is pulled from the vein. I wrestle with my aversion to admitting inorganic medical instruments into my body. The clash of the gastroscopy camera versus my flesh was greater than this small intrusion, but still, I am not comfortable with it. Not after so many years of this.

Self portrait in red and blue


What the garden gave me

Tomorrow, I go for a CT scan of my abdomen. They'll light me up with a dye fed through an IV and see if anything shows up. After 27 years of medical tests, I find that I am more leery of these procedures than I was a few years back. I guess I have medical fatigue. I am trying not to focus on having yet another test, what they might find, or how tired I am of feeling sick. I confess: I'm not being super successful at that; however, I did take the time to focus on my collection of macro photos of my garden and that lightened my mood a bit. Again, beauty lingers near by in the form of a cornflower.


At the sea

My legs are tired and don't carry me very far anymore. I took these photos when I visited the seaside with some friends. While they walked the length of the beach, I looked at sea and sky and what was near to me: overturned metal rowboats. I still long to walk and explore, but I am thankful for my ability to see beauty close at hand. Small things can dazzle and surprise.