Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The new issue of Platform58
is now viewable online.

This is the image of mine that they ultimately chose.
It's the second photo I've had published.
My name's right there, in the table of contents (page 41).
I'm a little excited.

The issue's theme is Cities.

p.s. I just found out I'll also have a photo in the next issue,
Platform58, Volume 10 on the theme Lights.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wild and Crazy

Lest you think the whole weekend of legal seminars
was a total bore, let me assure you
that lawyers can be wild and crazy.

But not me.

I'd had two Margaritas at the Applewood Grill
where we went for dinner, at least I think
that was the name of the place, but I'm not sure
especially since I consumed my year's ration
of alcohol in one sitting.

So at the hotel bar, I sipped a ladylike Diet Coke

(pictured in the foreground with the straws
looking psychedelic under the black light
above our table)

and got out the camera.

I started out using the flash
so the dancers were illuminated
(like Michele & Kim & Kara & Jeanine)

but if you're on the dance floor it's annoying
to have a flash going off from the sidelines,
so I started taking hand-held shots
using a "sunset" setting and no flash.

The results were colorful and blurry
and really pretty interesting
(or maybe it was the Margaritas
that made them seem interesting).

This is one of the early hand-held photos in the dark.

As the night wore on,
they got even more
wild and crazy.

The question is:
was it the lawyers or the photos
that got wilder and crazier?

The Dry Side

Oh dear.
I thought I had programmed things to print
while I was a way for a family law seminar,
but somehow I missed a post for yesterday.

So suffice to say,
like the bear I went over the mountain
to see what I could see
on what we Western Washingtonians call
The Dry Side.

Dry. Like this.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday
during the day, I sat

and listened to lectures on domestic partnerships,
case law updates, managing a law practice in tough times,
and other (uh. . .) scintillating topics.

But in the evening. . .
well there was time for a little fun
and checking out touristy things,
like the faux-Bavarian village of Leavenworth.

It's surrounded by mountains,
like a village in the Alps.

And I'll try to post twice today
to make up for the glitch yesterday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Haven't done a color theme post for a while.
But orange keeps cropping up in my recent photos.

Maybe because it seems like a summery color
and it's summer here.

Sweet, messy, fragrant oranges.

Orange Monarch tulips, now only a memory,
but worth planting for next year.

The sheen of glass.

An armful of marigolds.

Who could forget that orange classic -- pumpkins!
Those jack o'lanterns just waiting for their faces.

More of the glass that never fails to command my attention.

More oranges and peaches, as well.
(Those peaches must not be from around here,
as our peaches aren't in season yet.)

One of my favorite times of the year
is when peaches are ripe.

My favorite grocery store has an event called
With lots of free samples.
Peaches so juicy, fragrant and delectable
they put oranges to shame.

Only buy a few at a time
and leave them in a paper bag at room temperature
no more than a day or two.
Then slice and enjoy.

Friday, June 26, 2009


At the Seattle Art Museum's Sculpture Park,
there is great concern about preservation of art pieces,
seeing as how they're largely outdoors,
with no museum staff to watch over them 24/7.

So there are signs reminding visitors

and similar placards that appear in other places.

And I understand completely.

But those prohibitions made me think about touch generally
and loving touch more specifically.

You know what I mean.

holding hands
cuddling like spoons in a drawer
gentle little caresses to the cheek
pats on the behind

and to quote Crash Davis in Bull Durham
"long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days"

Oh my.
We needn't go farther.
I'm feeling faint already.

I may swoon.

And so in honor of sensual touch,
I figured an alteration to those warning signs
was definitely in order.

But then I'm always looking for signs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Play Date at Tacoma Art Museum

Sometimes it's fun to take yourself on a date.
A playdate, that is.

On this date, you look at pretty displays

and ooooh and ahhh over things that catch your eye
(especially if they have delicious reflections)

and maybe even try your hand at gelatin print-making.

The point is just to

You remember how to do that,
don't you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feeling a Little Wicked

It's self-portrait Wednesday again.

I almost decided not to do a self-portrait piece today,
because I had enough of cameras capturing my soul.

You see, yesterday, I finally broke down
and went to the offices of the upscale dating service I'd joined
in order to do the photo shoot and video segment
they mandate with memberships, a way of preventing
false advertising, or more to the point: bait and switch.

So the photographer clicked away
and I tilted my head and showed my teeth
and tried to look fetching and dazzling.

The whole time I was thinking,
"How demeaning. . . to be reduced to advertising
just to find a date."

Don't get me wrong. Mary did a fabulous job.
The final four photos we agreed upon are wonderful,
and I didn't even groan too emphatically even when I saw
the full-body shots. Even though I have a full body.

And when I get the photo disk I paid for,
I'll do a little montage of the results of me
trying my best to look fetching and dazzling.

Now in the larger picture, I suppose this is part of the Universe's plan
to help me learn the art of self-promotion, because I've taken all these
wonderful photographs I'd like to share with the world
in a more concrete form than blogging affords.

But in the smaller picture, my dignity was wounded
and I needed to do something to repair it.
And there's nothing like doing something you love
to get you back in a place of joy.

A place in which you can celebrate
all the crazy, contradictory things life throws your way.

A place in which you can feel playful,
a little sassy,
a little silly

and yes,

even a little Wicked.

But keep it under your hat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Starfish of Love

Yesterday, I read the Mary Oliver poem that Nina Bagley posted on her blog.

It sparked something.

It evoked one of those episodes
in which the words pour out,
making me feel as if my job is merely to convert
the energy sizzling in my brain into word forms
and then to edit carefully, lightly, with intention
all while preserving the power and authenticity
of the energetic signature that's both me and foreign.

Yes, that's it. I felt as if I were translating.

So I wrote and edited and the poem below came into being.
Then I searched for the perfect image
to convey the freight of the words,
because blog readers love the pairing of words and images,
but alas, no starfish could be found.
This little gem had to substitute. A nautilus, I think.
I'm "still looking for starfish of love."

"Still Looking for Starfish of Love" - photo copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Looking for Starfish of Love*

My heart leans forward, into the gale
of longing, its sails snapping, straining
against the fullness of its load. Fierce gusts
propel me swiftly over waters of time toward a harbor
on the down slope of life's rim, a shadowy place where
old fears whisper that destiny waits, jaws open, to devour me.

Somewhere deep within I know a white-hot bolt
of change is coming, a jagged current of energy
too strong to resist. Positive, negative, bonded
inevitably in the same charge, entwined like lovers.
Beyond the horizon, just beyond the curve of imagination
there's a fresh wind pulling a tempering veil across the past.

In the howling time, down beyond the pit of death,
love bred its own extinction, its leftover traces morphing
into primal, unspeakable grief. In the absence of words,
a symbol-war was fought there, in that barren land where
every space on earth was foreign to me. That was then, and
then is gone, leaving but a faint wake to mark its path.

In that ravaging time, my heart was skewered with cruelest
intent. It still bears thin scars that map the site of hope's demise,
causing me to dread the assassin of love. I fear he still walks
about seeking those he may devour. Yet one step at a time,
I carefully traverse the narrow isthmus of existence,
looking for starfish of love to shelter beneath my wet skirts.

Now a still point of expanding time has rung the bells,
a buoy clang, with seals slithering below and sea fogs dancing
above the thin blue line where longing surrenders to the living
once more, that thin blue line marking the place where hearts
trace small ellipses in the air as if with nimble fingers and
strain to follow purple distances to their passion places.

Over the edge of the known, I somersault dizzily
in a hurricane of thoughts until I stand on wobbly legs,
disoriented, brain rattled, understanding beyond the edge
of recognition that a safe harbor of mystery beckons me,
knowing with dazzling certainty there is a way to transplant
my life-worn face on the young body of love.

* edited again Wednesday morning -
I just can't help tinkering.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Small Stuff and Details

Delwyn of "A Hazy Moon" and I had a conversation
this past weekend
about details
and how hard it is to establish
a consistent balance of happiness
when you haven't fallen in love with the little stuff

(especially if you make a career
out of dissatisfaction with the little stuff).

When you get right down to it,
life amounts to a whole lot of details added together.
Individual moments, strung on the threads of our lives, like pearls.

We experience delight and dismay moment by moment,
reacting to what's here and now,
being present to what's occurring
unless we're all wadded up in what happened in the past
or what we fear might befall us in the future.

Love hinges on a whole lot of details, too:
seeing some and celebrating them; ignoring others.

To maintain equanimity in life, despite all the ups and downs,
requires a deep knowing that all things pass,
regardless of how desperately we want to hang on,
no matter how intense our fear that things will never change.

It necessitates making dissatisfaction an occasional visitor,
not a permanent resident.

All we are is a result of what we have thought.
- Buddha

It's all a matter of choice:
do we want to let our thoughts burden us with suffering,
or do we want to move in another direction?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Generational Father's Day

Happy Father's Day
to all the fathers in my family.

My father (above)

My sons' father
(photo probably by Katie Caughlin Kremian)

Brendan (Logan's daddy)

Bob (Lise's husband and daddy to her four kiddos)
Jon, Lise's dad

John, my step-father

My "adopted" daughter Mishelle's husband Jack
(father of her three children)

Doug, my brother, who is also my nephew Cooper's dad

and finally, my brother Norm

father of

Dora Jean and Flojo

Hana and Kerry Ann

Maggie Mae and Punkus Cattus.

Hope I didn't miss any of my feline nieces.
(Kitty photos copyright Norm Arnett.)

And Gavin --
don't be in a rush to join the Father's Day parade.
Be the bird-dad for a LONG time.
Those two conures are plenty of responsibility.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder

Over time, if we shoot authentically,
follow the leanings of our heart,
our body of work will become a silent testimony
to who we are and what we care about.
Our photographs will speak with a voice all their own,
uttering our essence to all who can hear.

- Jan Phillips (God is at Eye Level)

"About to Blossom" photograph copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

It's easy to follow my heart when I shoot photographs
but does following my heart lend a coherency to my "body of work?"
Is there some kind of essential Meri-ness
in my photos that speaks to you of me?

Do they tell you that deep in my being
I hope when you see my images the experience
brings you healing for wounds you might have ignored,
at least a moment of pleasure,
and an appreciation of the beauty all around you?

Do they tell you I wish for you to be moved,
that if I am lucky you will know a piece of the joy
ignited in me in the moment of capturing a beautiful image?

Do they offer you an entrance into a place of peace in your busy day?
I hope they do, for above all, I wish for you to know peace.

Sometimes, as I'm shooting,
and even more when I'm choosing which images to share,
I wonder about these things.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Does Anybody Really Know?

i'm going to depart from my normal
quasi-philosophical musings
and photographs that explore
light and shadow,
and other things beautiful

to post "kitsch and quirky"
because this
was just too weird
not to photograph

if you know what i mean

can you imagine
trying to balance yourself
while riding this piece of art?

or maybe the point is being

maybe the feeling of being
out of synch
is what's being celebrated artistically.

i don't know.

but just so i don't
lose my touch,
permit me to wax philosophical
for just a wee moment

to ask
(this is a great place to groan)

"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I'm ready.
How about you?

Midsummer's Night in Paris is a huge party.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wondering, Waiting (Self Portrait Wednesday)

This is me.
Up close and personal.

Wondering whether
an online zine viewable at issuu.com
will ultimately decide to publish

this shot

this shot
in their next edition,
one that has a "Cities" theme.

They publish only one piece per artist
and are deciding between the two
(they had chosen the green shot,
but then I confused them by saying,
"You might like this one, too"
and sending the fountain shot).

When the choice is made
and it's in "print"
I'll let you know
the ultimate decision.

I'm just proud of me
for taking the risk
and putting my work out there
for someone else to judge.

p.s. They chose the fountain shot.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twists and Turns

One looks,
looks long,
and the world comes in.
- Joseph Campbell

"Twists and Turns" - photograph copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Have you lost your sense of adventure?

I'm sure if you look, you'll find it waiting for you.
It never really left.

Monday, June 15, 2009


When I was a little girl, in kindergarten and first grade,
I lived only three blocks from school.

But -- much to my mother's dismay, I'm sure-- it often took me
an hour or more to walk home.

That's because I took little meanders I called "shortcuts."
Off I'd go, looking for new things to examine.

Even though I'm a big girl now,
I still love to meander,
especially when my camera leads me astray.

That happened Saturday evening, after I left the family gathering.
I pointed my car toward home and then. . . . deviated.
Here's some of what I saw while I was taking my "shortcut."

Evidence someone is building a city of gold.

The lid to the Space Needle with little teensy people inside.

Roses gone wild.

Telephone poles asserting their importance in a wireless age.

Cool reflections against the top of my car,
a car that smelled like pineapple, strawberries, and mango
because I was taking leftovers home with me.

Mother Nature painting the sky with pastel watercolors,
and getting some on the skin of skyscrapers by accident.

A train whizzing by, its rumble and clanking paired
with the clanging of bells warning you to stand back.
Lights flashing.

People out walking on the path along the shore
of Elliott Bay after sundown,
when the breezes were just starting to be a bit chilly.

The royal blue blanket of night
settling down around a Seattle not yet ready for sleep.

A three-hour shortcut.
It was a good thing.