Friday, January 9, 2009

"It's My Party, and I'll--

Ooh . . . goodie!

“It’s my party, and I’ll— if I want to.” When my photo show opens Sunday, it definitely will be my party—and I don’t know what I’ll feel, what will happen. I don’t think I’ll cry, but anything is possible.

When I got to St. Gregory’s this morning, Paul, my curator and friend, already had the framed photographs stacked along the wall. The signature that had seemed so large and garish last week was just right. The matting, in tones of blue and gray and tan, was perfect. I didn’t tear up, but I was stunned: I had done this.

For reasons of space, we decided not to hang three pictures. They’ll be available, just not on the walls. As we kept at it, deciding which photograph went where, a larger pattern started to emerge and small groupings revealed their own internal logic.

While we were working, the controlled chaos of St. Gregory’s Food Pantry, which serves free food to more than four hundred families a week, swirled around us. Occasionally a volunteer would stop and say, “Oh, I like that,” or ask a question. A couple, who like many of the other volunteers were originally recipient beneficiaries, were delighted when I invited them to come to the Sunday opening. “Of course you’re welcome.”

All in all, it was a grand preview of what looks to be a grand day—and I came home and very consciously overdosed on Diet Pepsi (caffeine) and Oreos (sugar), just enough to bring me down. The poet T. S. Eliot wrote that ”human beings cannot bear very much reality.” It’s not knowing what to do with happiness that I think threw me a curve ball.

My job now is to get my eating back on the straight and narrow. One day of being mindful and careful can turn around the slippery slope that I ran the risk of courting when I consumed two-thirds of a box of Oreos. As I satisfy myself with wise choices and precision in terms of what and how much, I can be here now—and there Sunday, and quite possibly surprise myself with how much reality I can bear.

Note: The photograph "Ooh, Goodie" appears on my photostream at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lynn, I happened on this blog, from a community in E Oakland. You may enjoy following their work this year.

Best wishes on your show opening tomorrow at St Gregory's in SF!

All the best, Margaret Lukens