Although this post is in memory of my mother who passed away on Sunday, this photograph is dedicated to my dad. While I was visiting my parents two weeks ago, I overheard my dad telling mom that his favorite photograph was the one where they were running on the beach in Puerto Rico after they had married. My dad was trying to engage my mom in conversation but she was too weak to respond. I had been photographing my mother and things in the house that evoked strong feelings of her. I knew she would be leaving us soon and I needed to have something tangible of my mother, something that would not fade with the passage of time. With Mom’s assistance, we created this photograph. The images I captured were my mother’s departing gift to me. This one photo is for you Dad. In memory of a life fully lived and lives fully shared.
Last week our family drove to Estes Park, Colorado after visiting family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along the way we decided to stop at Great Sand Dunes National Park. I have seen many stunning photographic portfolios of the sand dunes in this park and have aspired to visit. Because I was with my husband, daughter and her Canine Companion and had many more hours to travel, I realized our stay would be brief. As I was attempting to previsualize the types of images I might create, I couldn’t imagine a unique way of photographing the dunes. As we stepped onto the sand, we realized that the my daughter’s dog was unable to tolerate the heat on his paws. Rather than hike to the dunes we decided to amble along the river bed where the sand temperature was tolerable. Although I was initially disappointed that I would not get the opportunity to explore and photograph the sand dunes, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the interplay of people within the landscape.
My daughter and I excitedly took off to the High Museum to view the new exhibit of Dutch paintings from the Mauritshuis in the Netherlands. The signature painting for the exhibit is the Girl with the Pearl Earring and I was as eager to see it in person. As we entered the lobby at the High I immediately realized I had miscalculated the opening date because the museum was dead. There was no queue at the ticket desk and the only people in the lobby were the museum personnel. Unfortunately, the museum was in the midst of preparing for two exhibitions but luckily we had brought our cameras. The space and light in the museum is exquisite so we took the opportunity to create our own art.
I was antsy. My son’s baseball team was losing badly, I had been sitting on the bleachers for 3 hours and I had not taken a single photograph. I wandered down to the snack bar looking for a change in scenery when I noticed Christopher at a make-shift stand selling shaved ice. As we talked I learned that he was working two jobs to make ends meet and that he was going to be a first-time dad in three months. He had also returned to college after realizing that he needed a higher education to meet his goals of starting a free on-line college. He had clearly thought out his plan and had consulted others in the field of education about his dream. Chris’ goal is a lofty one and may have been brushed off as being grandiose or unrealistic had he been of another generation, but the Millennials have the confidence and technological skills to pull it off. Although research has tagged the Millennials as being lazy, self-absorbed, immature, entitled, narcissistic and technology addicted this generation may also save us all. They are optimistic, unafraid to challenge conventions, are more accepting of differences than past generations and best of all, they are really nice. I’m optimistic that the Millennials will be the next great generation.