I had a great time at the opening of “Field of Vision” and the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen last Thursday. A great big thank-you to my friends and family who came to support me and my work, and to the curator, Angie Callen, for including me in a selection of very diverse and talented artists of all media. Thank you to the Board of Directors for your esteemed dedication to the Arts.
I met some really wonderful people and reconnected with a few familiar faces. It’s so lovely to show in Aspen, the town where I spent half my youth.
I have eleven pieces in the show, all images from the summer of 2013 in the Basalt Community Garden. There, at dawn’s break, is where I formed a relationship with the life cycle of the flower and its beautiful ebb and flow of three seasons.
Here I am with ex-Aspen Sheriff Bob Braudis.
The new Aspen Sheriff, Joe DiSalvo, is no stuffed shirt either.
My brother, Seth Berley, with his squeeze, Erika.
Catching up with Stascha and Stefan Kaelin, lifelong friends of Dad.
My Mom was in town for the celebration.
Curator Angie Callen is awesome.
Regret is something I have no desire to cultivate. To live life in the present, to be mindful, thoughtful, and deliberate… that’s the goal. I don’t think most people go into something with the well-developed intention of hurting or taking from another. I believe most people operate from a place of survival, and from that place it’s nearly impossible to make well-considered choices, let alone separate emotion from practical matters. From survival there is no action, only reaction, the breeding ground for regret, if ego backs off long enough for regret to even take root.
Regret for missed opportunities? One who got away? A hare-trigger temper? Not me. What regret, then, do I have? They say everybody has them… I suppose I regret the way I saw myself when I was younger… how many years I wasted feeling inadequate because I compared myself to others, instead of honoring what I bring to the table. I regret giving myself away to people who could not appreciate me, instead of being patient and seeking out those who could, and then basing my own worth on the neglect of the broken. That’s about my only regret. Any others I have attended to… apologies, incompletes… I saw this tattoo on a woman’s forearm and asked what the English translation is. “No regrets,” she said with a grin.
When I received Josh’s photo in advance of the job in Las Vegas, I was transported to my giddy schoolgirl years, because he was so cute, so “my type” of a younger year. Yes, another time indeed, when the pleasurable agony of a crush was merely fleeting, and weighed no more than lipstick kisses on a napkin.
In grade school, high school, and in college… we always looked forward, and life was fun. This dance room at UNLV smelled like excitement and promise. When I walked into the room and spotted the chalkboard, I remembered the seventh grade, when I was made to write repetitively as punishment for something that wasn’t my fault…
In three weeks I will be on my way to Vegas. Part photography assignment, part visit with a dear friend, I look forward to the adventure. With Rayme, it’s always an adventure, and with me… Well, one could say the same.
Road tripping through the desert alone will undoubtedly put me where it always does, in the place where there is nothing else, where real life evaporates into the ether and there I am with nothing on the page. For hours, maybe days, I will follow the asphalt ribbon through the void of reality, and simply dream, imagine, and plot, if not pray. The desert, for me, is about letting go, musing, and inhaling expanse.
The subjects of my assignment are performing artists. Many of them. All at the graduate level and about to embark on what will one day be remembered as the precious gem of life’s path: stepping into it with hope, an open mind, an untainted heart, and little mind clutter yet. Early steps are springy, bouncy with freshness of mind, the white time before hues of experience leave their transparent stains.
The last time I saw Rayme, I had some seriously creative fun. This time, who knows what will happen? Good things always do when I take the solo sojourn across the desert to see my kindred.
I travel alone often so I can indulge my acute case of incurable wanderlust. I disappear into new places and, more often than not, become hypnotized and aimless. I sleepwalk, which is when my images find me.
I was on a solo walk with camera in Taos, NM this summer, wandering about in the last minutes of streaking golden sun, when this man called me over from his porch. He offered that I may wander around his yard and take pictures if I’d like. And he told me about his porch. And how he sits on it every day. And he was very proud of his house and that he deserves to sit on his porch every day. And I noticed that he spoke in “I,” even though he wasn’t alone.
The other day I came across a Diane Arbus quote I really loved because it pointed me to the root of my drive, which I hadn’t really thought of, particularly not in this raw and primitive way. She was a sleepwalker.
“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” -Diane Arbus