Monday, May 31, 2010


The more clearly we can focus our attention
on the wonders and realities
of the Universe about us

"In a Vase on My Table # 1" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian

the less taste we shall have
for destruction.
- Rachel Carson

"In a Vase on My Table # 2" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian

I am putting my focus on wonder
and breathing peace into every cell
of my being.

"In a Vase on My Table # 3" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Where do you want to place your focus
on this day of remembrance? 

"In a Vase on My Table # 4" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian

ps    If you're looking for my Ruby Tuesday post,
click HERE.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sun Deprivation

After days of cloud cover
and wet stuff falling from the sky,
I need a dose of sun and warm weather.
It's the end of May, for heaven's sake!

I need to soak up sun-kissed colors.

to gaze on warm, blue waters

 to admire decorative doors

and pretty ceramic plates
arranged in pleasing rows.

In other words,
let's run away to a warm and sunny slice of heaven.

p.s. My Mosaic Monday post is on my new blog
Playing Along

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's Raining Men

I just can't figure it out.
Sometimes there's a man drought
and sometimes it just rains big fat
man splashes like manna from heaven.
Can't someone regulate the flow?

Most of the ones raining down alas 
aren't quick enough to keep up,
can't answer questions like what do you do
for fun and what movies make you laugh
so hard you choke or are you a broccoli man?

"Print by Unknown Artistin Poulsbo Shop Window" - photo © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

So I don't even bother to ask questions
like how to solve the crisis in
the middle east or how to extricate
ourselves from Afghanistan without appearing
weak, because God knows the good old
U.S. of A. can't afford to look weak

or pee a shorter distance than the other guy
and if they can't even tell me that they
laugh themselves into unconsciousness
over Major League every time they see it,
(but detest the sequels in a major way),
well, I know they have a weak little stream.

Most of the guys raining down, it seems,
find bliss in things that make me want
to set my hair on fire or gouge out my eyes.
They carry tents on their backs or wheel around 
a little house on axles and venture off
into some wilderness where they'd expect

me to cook and do dishes while they belch
and fart and do mannish things like shooting
teal-headed mallards right out of the air in front
of dowdy feral wives without noticing that teal shade
shift to jade or that mallards wear wedding rings
 around their necks because they have no hands.

"Upside Down Umbrellas" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

I know they say that love is blind, but please. . .
Don't make me go there. I'd rather eat sprouts.

Isn't there a man out there looking for good-ole-me,
a woman who loves football and old time rock'n'roll,
a man won't laugh when a major chick flick moment
touches my heart and makes me cry ugly?

Apparently not. At least he's not close enough
to ping  my radar.  But I keep waiting. . .
umbrella up. Defenses down .
Well, sort of, anyway. But lookin' through the scope,
checking the cross hairs,  at least one eye open,
waiting to bring that trophy home.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dear Mrs. White

You're long dead, I'm sure, because you were already ancient when I was only nine and you were my fourth grade teacher. I remember your old lady smell and the black or navy shirtwaist dresses, the thick and wrinkly support hose, the sensible black shoes with laces, your thin white hair pulled back in a bun at the nape of your neck, and the faint smell of cheap talcum powder. Remembering those things convinces me that you were truly old and it wasn't just me thinking that all grown-ups were old. 

But what I wanted to say, Mrs. White, is that you had a big impact on my life.  If I had to describe that impact, I'd say that you were an icy wind that bore down on my self-esteem, leaving it nearly frozen to death.

You committed more than your share of little atrocities that year, including making us memorize all the patriotic songs you knew and then write them verse by verse, spelling and punctuation counted. But the most heinous act directed solely toward me occurred when you were teaching art. 

You set out cups of thick, gloppy finger-paint and stacks of butcher paper on a long table and we children were supposed to work two at a time, waiting silently without wiggling for our turn. I don't remember whether there was a still life arrangement that we were supposed to recreate with our messy fingers and vivid imaginations or not. What I do know is that I set out to paint sunflowers in a vase. 

As a starting point, I had chosen browns and golden yellow, a yellow-green for stems, and a deep cerulean or aqua for the background.(Think Van Gogh, though I'm not sure I'd been exposed to his work at that point in my life).

 Reproduction of one of Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings

I don't know why, but my painting (like my left-handed penmanship) didn't please your aesthetic sensibilities one iota. Just to show me how inadequate I was in your eyes, you grabbed my wrists and used my fingers as brushes to paint your own picture.

There, you said, when you had it just so. That's what it should look like.

And when it dried, the paper all crinkly because it was never meant to be a substrate for paint, you made me sign my name on the back and tacked up "my" picture on the bulletin board where you could admire it.

I felt small. Humiliated. Unworthy. Like a fraud. As if venturing to be creative were an invitation to emotional abuse, to ridicule, to the most primal kind of vulnerability.  As if I never wanted to risk making art again. That there was no rescue from her meanness and that all I could do to survive the school year was try to be invisible.

So it's with some amazement that I realize that my "About Time" series of seven sunflower images is divided into two parts, three pieces hanging in my doctor's office and the other four giving life to a physical therapy clinic. 

"Time in a Bottle" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian

And I'm continuing to use the sunflower as a motif in art and photography. It's the best way I know to heal the wounds you inflicted, to still the inner critic who tries once in a great while to abort my work while speaking in Mrs. White's voice.

"Wallflower # 7" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian.
ps. I've got a photo and poem on my other blog today.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Keep Talking about Change and New Beginnings

All this re-thinking and reorganization
in my dwelling place is making me
long for a housecleaning in my blogspace, too.

So today, you're seeing a new look.
And a shift in direction.

No more meme-play here.
My Sepia Saturdays and Mosaic Mondays
are moving to a new home.

You'll find them HERE
or by clicking the link on my sidebar.

It's a little like having your youngest child
 go off to college. It's quiet, but wow!
You can simplify. 
Cook only when you have to.
 Eat raspberries and French vanilla yogurt for
breakfast and dinner. 
Stop nagging about college essays and curfews. 
Watch independent films instead of blockbusters.
Make some art.
Take daily photo safaris. 

So you'll find more of me
occupying this space.

photos (of course)
and sometimes

And I'll be taking you along
in spirit, at least,
when I head for Rome and Venice.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Playing with Camera Bag

Last night, after eating a bit of chicken with cashews
and perusing my fortune
"You will soon have a musical opportunity"
and wondering what that was about
since I'm not American Idol material,
though I do sing along in the car 
with the songs on the CD player

Luxor Spirits © 2010 Meri Arnett- Kremian

I moseyed upstairs to my little hideaway
and decided to play a bit with a new photo program
I'd installed called Camera Bag.

variant using "Cinema" filter

I heard about the program from Nina Bagley a while ago
and paid a reasonable price to download it.

variant using "Holga" pinhole camera filter

Camera Bag lets you pretend
that you've used old-fashioned cameras
instead of the fancy digital models we all use.

variant using custom filter "matte", then adjusting the hue in PS4

So I took an image --- two photos that I'd layered --
(the original version is the first in the series)
and just experimented.

variant using "Lolo" filter

In a really old post, I once talked about layering
images, one atop another, and being surprised
when I printed the "merged image"
to find spectral figures.

 variant using an "expired instant film" filter
This experiment with Camera Bag emphasizes that.
What's intriguing to me is that I see different spirits
in different versions of the same piece.

variant using 1974 color film filter

How is that possible?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mosaic Monday: NW Folklife Festival

Every year on Memorial Day Weekend,
the Seattle Center comes alive
with the Northwest Folklife Festival.

These pictures are from the 2009 event

since this year's is about to launch.

There are countless music venues,
dancing, mimes and jugglers.
There are frisbee-chasing dogs
and people running through the big fountain.

You can find almost any kind of food
you might want to try.
 (I had Cajun last year).

If you're in Seattle for the weekend, don't miss it.
It's a hoot!

( You've just got to like crowds to survive it.)

For more MONDAY MOSAICs, click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Change is Brewing

It's sunny right now, with just the merest wisps of clouds dotting the sky.
And yet, a storm sits off the coast waiting to slither in.

Sometimes appearances deceive.

I have this sense a door is waiting for me to turn the handle,
to push it open and walk through to a new beginning.

Sometimes beginnings are just the other side of endings. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Faces

He had a face like a blessing.
- Miguel de Cervantes

Every time you smile at someone,
it is an action of love,
a gift to that person,
a beautiful thing.

- Mother Teresa

Be a blessing.
Give the gift of your smile.

For lots of reasons to smile,
visit Mary at Dear Little Red House
and see all the Monday Mosaics.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Wish for Logan

Little man,
so full of life,
with so much wonder ahead of you,

"if I could teach you anything,
it would be to hear your heart,
and to know your beauty
and to believe in your possibilities."

- terri st. cloud 

Be curious.
Keep learning.
Keep all the pieces of you intact.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Everything is Blooming

posted their latest 
collaborative piece

As inspiration for their individual
 photo contributions,
they featured this quote
by Rainer Maria Rilke:

Everything is blooming most recklessly;
if it were voices instead of colors,
there would be an unbelievable shrieking
into the heart of the night.

As I watched the bees flit
from branch to branch
at the tip top of the vine maple
outside my second-floor window
and caught sight of swallows
playing chase in my garden
and back to the pond,
I remembered thinking yesterday
that my side yard 
looked like a riot of color
had erupted all of a sudden.

But these rioters
don't announce their presence
with bullhorns.
They don't shriek or even warble
into the heart of the night.

Instead, they
merely whisper:

"Spring is here.
And I am evidence."