Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Martin and His Spider

I admit that sometimes I forget what it's like to be a Clevelander. Last year I didn't spend much time here, and when I did, I wasn't really here.

I've known about The Barking Spider for a long time. But I didn't begin to spend signficant time there until last year. It was a place to go and regroup, to start over, to be anonymous. Friendly, but unobtrusive. Authentic is probably a good word. Anyhow, the history was unknown to me.

Last night, I spent the evening with what can only be called the Spider family. Beachland Ballroom graciously hosted Martin Memorial, in memory of the visionary founder of The Barking Spider, Martin Juredine, who passed on very recently. All kinds of great music and stories and goodwill, ending with a sparkling performance by Jim Volk in the tavern.

I knew Martin by sight only, but man did he touch a lot of people in his life. This night was all about what it means to be a Clevelander, the good times, the bad, the bizarre, the lonely, the community. It was about just how BIG music and poetry and laughter can be. And just how big of a part the Spider plays in all of it. A night not to be forgotten...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Walk Through Melancholy

A thread that came to me after taking in open mic talent at the Barking Spider...

A Looking Back

I sang one song
About a man,
Trying to find his way
Between the two sides of the coin.
I always wanted to sing it to someone,
But I never met you

I made one image
Of the world in all its beauty,
And boundless indifference.
I always wanted to show it to someone,
But I never met you

I wrote one poem
Of no rhyme or reason
But the unadorned truth.
I always wanted to read it to someone in love,
But I never met you

I did all these things
But I missed it
And never met you

Sunday, March 13, 2011

CBG Afterglow

Photo by Karen Krugman

I've made a lot of changes to my macro program at Cleveland Botanical Garden. This weekend was the third time I've led a program in conjunction with Orchid Mania. I think overall the participants have always ended the weekend feeling that they've learned a lot, but I have always felt that the structure of the program didn't allow me to get enough across. This time, however, I left CBG feeling that the program resulted in a big step up in the participants' work. I was really happy to see how many nice images were shown during the final critique. I was even happier to see how much exploration was happening, with everyone working hard to dig deeper and deeper into their subjects, trying to get their defining image.

If this weekend was any indication, this is going to be a great workshop year for me...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rites of Spring

Things are starting to look different to me. Yeah, it snowed yesterday, but things just looked different. Sun angle, I guess. Regardless, this time of year certain things take place that make Spring start to seem inevitable. When I start to get that feeling, there are things I do as well, so I can play along. Once I see the March sun, I start thinking camping. Hard to believe, but only six weeks 'til my start of the season camping trip to Allegheny National Forest! To get in the mood, a trip to Gander Mountain is required. Just a half-hour or so walking around looking at stuff, thinking about campfires and fishing and stars and hikes and on and on. (Yeah, I think about photographing, as well) I don't really need much in the way of camping gear anymore, but looking at the stuff gets me fired up to get outdoors. It won't be long now...

Another sure sign of spring is the annual Orchid Mania at Cleveland Botanical Garden. Again this year I'm lucky enough to be taking part, by leading a macro workshop at the Garden. I'll be working with some new friends this Saturday and Sunday, showing tips and tricks to getting creative with flowers. I'm excited that we'll have some private time in the Glass House this year, before the Garden opens to the public.

Camping gear shopping and Orchid Mania: Two sure signs of Spring!