20 January, 2015

Family pictures

The non-awkward, take-my-breath away kind! 

All the credit goes to Ambi Daniel, of Anivile Daniel Photography, for taking these...

...and to Finn, who was really cold but as patient as an almost 3-year-old could be.

I don't think I appreciated just how enormous that tree was until I saw these photos. Finn looks tiny next to it. It's not Tree, of course, but I think my dad would have loved it. Especially the way that one branch reaches out around us, protectively. 

Every time we took professional photos, I tried to pick locations that were distinctive and memorable...so that some day, we'd look back and say, yeah, those pictures were definitely from there. Finn's six-month pictures were taken at Red Rocks. He wore baby jeans and a white linen shirt and I wore a red Armani dress and riding boots! (I would love to take him to a concert there someday.) So I loved that - to me - these pictures, especially the middle one, very clearly say Utica. After spending the first half of my life in one small town, I lived in a lot of different places between the ages of 16 and 32. Almost without exception, every day I miss something about each one.

The way the ice perfectly coated the tree branches in Charlottesville in the winter, and the deep, dark, lush, lush green of trees in the Virginia summer, and cicadas singing and warm night breezes kissing bare skin, walking home from Jefferson Hall in a sundress in the spring... Licking salt off my lips and picking Pungo blueberries in Virginia Beach, which I would then freeze and eat in the middle of the night when the heat weighed us down and drove us mad... Wandering into one of the Smithsonians to look at a single painting for an hour in D.C. and lying on a bench near the mall, watching cherry blossoms wave against clear blue sky... The best carrot-zucchini muffins in the world - with insanely perfectly delicious crunchy tops - at the coffee shop near my apartment in Atlanta and the French balcony in that apartment, so I could open the doors and listen to the thunderstorms every afternoon... The precise shade of steel blue of the sky at dusk in Oxford and the sound of blades slipping into the water on the Isis at 5:30 in the morning, swans gliding by in silence, sparkler candles at birthday parties - happiness made into light - and, oh, citronnier, the citrus-glazed semolina muffin-cake-pastry-things that I bought once a week from the French bakery... Fresh ravioli and burrata from the Italian Market in Philadelphia, and sour cherry caipirinhas at Alma de Cuba, and long, cozy, witty dinners at a new BYO every week, and someone bringing me coffee with milk and a bowl of blackberries at 7 AM after a long night on-call... Making first tracks in untouched powder in Vail, and curling up with a good book and spicy chai in my favorite bookstore (Tattered Cover), and finally, finally being a regular somewhere, though not with a regular order since the menu changed every couple of months... And markets with pyramids of spices and towers of olives, b'stiya - only the best food ever - and people selling fresh squeezed juices or hot empanadas or every kind of curry, and calls to prayer, and marimba street music and...I'll stop.

I have a playlist for each of these places, by the way.

So it means something to be able to look a picture of Finn or me or my family and see, mostly, us, yet there, lingering in the background, is that awesome sense of time and place.

For any readers in Denver who might be looking, here's a link to my favorite photographer there: Katie Bradford Osborne at The Roaring Artist.

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