Friday, December 6, 2013

puppies and lilacs from the poorly kept saipua files


(You have to be so careful these days.)

A more accurate account of current going-on's would be me doing my typical solo city dinner of cheese, bread, and a box of arugula listening to westend girls by the pet shop boys on repeat. Ignoring the work at hand to look at old photos and try not to think about how tired I am. And how I can't wait to crawl into bed with old episodes of gossip girl. 

Today was a rough day. For one thing, I've been in heels and a brassiere for over 12 hours now. Secondly my truck is at a chop shop on 38th and 10th after breaking down on the FDR this morning. Which is bound to happen in our world of constantly hustling things back and forth...suddenly I'm jamming a truck full of flowers into a cab on Houston Street, showing up miraculously on time for a celebrity photoshoot. I've learned that you don't mention your truck troubles; it's just not that interesting.  I haven't agreed to do a photo shoot for a while, and it was fun to be back on set - this time with jewelry that required 8 (I counted) separate guards. I went over to the jewelry table during a floral lull to check out the booty; "Can I look?" I asked. And I got a careful look up and down (tight jeans with tight pockets so I was in the clear) "Yeah you can look." 

What I like best about photo shoots is that they order fancy lunch, so I was happy today - despite my transit woes and the fact that I was forced to handle out of season peonies. Just feed me and I'll do pretty much anything you ask.

I don't feel like myself on these types of days. I try to remember to wear deodorant, to put on mascara. I always feel like an imposter, like the kid sister tagging along...the girl that doesn't fit in. Years ago it was because I was the youngest on set or the most naive. Now I get it, I understand most of it; the way women in magazines are, the way the photographer needs to assert his opinion on the angle of that one ranunculus. It is actually important

The contrast of living at the farm, working to keep animals alive and well fed and fondling fifteen dollar Australian peonies and Van Cleef diamonds is a stark one. I struggle with the uncanniness of this disconnect a lot lately. But this seemingly silly scenario is one which allows me to have the farm that I so desperately need for my work these days. I cannot have one without the other. 

Looking at these photos from last spring I recall great luxurious afternoons. They say memory is inaccurate, unreliable.  My memory is writing it's own story on these photos. A story overtop of the real one, the way it really was. (It's sort of like instagram.) In reality I know these days were average. No better than today. I went to photograph the lilacs out of obligation. 

It's weird when your job is to make things look a certain way, when you are hired for pretty. Lately I look at things and I feel like a zombie. There is just so much pretty lately. A proliferation of pretty. A million styled lives spinning. 

My sometimes astrologer cum therapist is so smart and gets all of this - got it all right away months ago when I started to try and figure out my depression. 
She said:
"Go do something beautiful and leave your camera home. Don't show anyone. Do it only for yourself. For your own consumption. You are starved!" 

Good grief, life is a grand puzzle. Thanks always for listening to my ramblings. 


Suzonne said...

I SO get it! As a professional creative myself, I find that I never feel better than when I create something that's for me alone. Sometimes it's the only road to sanity.

Nice choice of photos - somehow lilacs in winter feel exactly right.

LPC said...

You absolutely must chuck all the demands and the opportunities and the revenue potential, now and again. It's like the pretty you make is your children, and if you get too tired you are going to throw everything out the window.

Molly said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so humble.
I always look forward to your posts!

Unknown said...

You do create "pretty" and you are in the biz of making everything beautiful and perfect...gets old at times! I can relate...I put together a magazine and feel the same way, until I get to my farm and can be just me. I have to go feed the horses and chickens now. It is simple to make them happy.:) . But hang in there...because you are so talented, in fact I wish I could find a writer as talented. Oh no another job possibility for you!! Sending warm wishes from Colorado.

Jo said...

Your posts have become as few and far between as my own. But when you lay your fingers on the keyboard, it is a beautiful thing. I understand this proliferation of pretty that we have these days and just how exhausting it is. So strange, isn't it? That pretty can get tiring?

Anonymous said...

I always look forward to your posts!
me too !
Sending many, many warm wishes from the centre of world- Poland.

Anonymous said...

213Thank-you for your honesty.

I feel much the same way.

Unknown said...

Such honesty is refreshing. With the proliferation of images on the net we've become insatiable consumers of pretty, but insatiable is unsustainable - for the planet and in life.

Alice and Stuart said...

I'm feeling ya girl. miss you. -A

Anonymous said...

We are a generation that photographs everything and sees nothing.

And what do we do with all the many megabites of photos clogging our computers and phone? I can't remember the last time I printed anything, can you?

Thank you for your post.

Elizabeth McMurtry said...

I love your rambles. Your honesty is so important, it changes the context of everything. You're a real inspiration - thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wise to keep a secret garden in every day even if you can only visit it briefly, even if you only have time to pat the dirt.

devon said...

Just to say: I come here, absolutely, for the digging in the dirt that you are willing to do, the picking out of slimy, shiny bits. Thank goodness it isn't all pretty.

Elizabeth Legere said...

Sarah, its not rambling but rather reality. Don't feel like you're the only one. Consider reading this:
Frank Gohlke is just one of many struggling with the same idea, I being another.

Caitlin @ Our Natural Heritage said...

I'm struggling too, but I always love following you and your endeavors whether they are pretty or not

fleur_delicious said...

I know what you mean about so much pretty, and the kind of hollowness of it all.

But your farm isn't hollow. And Nea among lilacs isn't hollow. And even if your memory is writing a different story over those days in the past, that's okay. I think rose-coloured glasses are a good way to remember all the hard work and effort and even the average days; for me the rose-tinted visions keep me going on the less-than-average days, the dark days.

Thanks for lilacs in winter.

celeste said...

a million styled lives - truth!

Woking Girl said...

I'm so happy I found your blog Sarah. Your writing really touches me, and your honesty is beautiful. Had a little cry at your most recent post, it really resonated with me.
Love your new ewe, very handsome:) Happy and clear 2014!

Unknown said...

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lena said...

oh my, i know that feeling so good.
as an illustration student, i failed at this task- i felt everything in made was for someone else and was imediatly given away and supposed to be judged by others.
nothing left for me.
brought me to a point when i could not touch a pencil or a brush without feeling sick.
that was my reason to have a break from studiyng (and having a therapy ;) ).
nowadays I have bits of that problem leftover.
in the last time I thought how lucky and free of that problem a person must feel that works with nature and plants ;)
maybe i am wrong ;)
but this was an old post of yours, so I dont know if you still feel the same way about it.

your work, your pics and your writings are very inspiring, and often it feels so soothing to look at your work and nature pictures, like a vacation for the soul. thanks :)