February 2, 2015

Obsession Part 3: No sun, no dancers...

The general theme of these last posts has been really the serendipitous nature of photography. You set out to shoot one thing yet it is another that becomes the image you keep. So it is with this third weather related experience.

The state park where I volunteer helps some students from NMSU put on a Native American Marketplace. This has been a good place to get some great images. Last year, I took “Native Dancer” maybe one of the best photos I have ever taken.

So I approached this weekend with excitement. Saturday was warm, sunny and I got this image of a Native American potter sketching out a design for a soon to be made earthenware pot.

There was some dancers scheduled for that day but they cancelled, but there was a children’s group scheduled to dance the next day. I vowed to return. I mean, what could be better than little children, in traditional costumes, doing traditional dance?

When we awoke, the sun was shining and we prepared to go with some coffee and breakfast. As we were leaving, i noticed the sun was gone, covered in dark clouds and there was a drop or two of rain. By the time we got to the park, it was dark, dreary, cold, and foggy. As we were approaching the gate, I must admit, I thought the day was shot. But as we drove down the access road, there was a view of the Organ Mountains, shrouded in fog and storm clouds. Around here they say that you never see the same mountains twice, that every day is different and this was no exception. I had never seen anything like this. I stopped, took a few shots and went to the marketplace. No dancers, no pictures there, as everything was buttoned up. However, I could not wait to get home to process the images I took. A few follow and I must say, I am happy with them!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Pat..another hidden talent that has surfaced.Sounds like a wonderful day.Bev

Raul X Photo and Art said...

You put your heart in your vision, the images you capture, and your way you express in writing. Bravo.

Ruth said...

Outstanding, Patrick - You pick wonderful subjects and the photos really speak out, both of the photographed and the photographer!

I'm still planning to come and have coffee with you one Friday morning, I just don't know when.

Keep up the good work! Ruth :)

clairz said...

And now these amazing photos become a kind of memorial to you, dear friend. Fly high, Pat!

clairz said...

"Obsession, Part 3" was Pat's last blog post. Mary asked if I would post this here until we find a way to put it up as a memorial post on this blog. It is a letter that Pat wrote to friends and family some time before he died. His son, Dylan, had kept it safe and sent it out to us all yesterday. It is so full of wisdom and love...

To All:
I understand just how far New Mexico is from all of you, believe me, I drove it and I do not want people trying to get down here. I do not want a funeral or religious service. I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in the desert. You really don’t need to be there for that. However, if you indulge me for a minute I would like you all to do something for me. Please hug your children and hug each other, and when you are done, hug again.

I have had a happy life; one that turned out so differently then I thought it would when I was a teenager. It took me a very long time to figure myself out, who I was and where I needed to go. But along the way, I learned a couple of things that I would like to share with you.

First, I learned that we are products of the decisions we have made, all of them. I made a lot of poor ones in my life and that was reflected in my health and well-being. By the time I learned this, it was too late for me to expect that I could change the path that I was on. I made some good decisions too - Mary, my children, my close friends. At least I got some things right, and these are the ones I am most proud of. Please understand all my faults and accept me for who I became.

Secondly, I learned that no matter how difficult or crazy it may seem, you have to have dreams and go after them. All of your dreams. You won’t know how good it feels to be able to say “I wanted this” and go out and get it. Our decision to move to New Mexico was one of those dreams I had and having done it, feel so at peace with myself and the decision that it made all of the stress and anxiety worth it to me. Please follow your own dreams, big or small. If you don’t feel like you have a dream, then get one now, and follow it. Right now, I cannot think of anything as sad as living a life of “should haves” or “would haves” and then find out how much you missed out on during your life. Following a dream is liberating, both for the mind and for the soul.

Finally, please, please, please, no flowers. It always saddens me to see the withered stalks after a few short days, and then come to realize that there was so much more good that could have been done with the money spent. Donate the money to a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen or food bank; give it to a children’s hospital, give it to the local animal shelter to help them rescue some animals whose life is counted down in minutes left, rather than being with a family and enjoying a long, happy life. You can make a difference.

I love and miss you all. Keep me in your hearts for a while.