(coming soon!)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Reflection

The last of 2012.   Quiet.  In between the xmas parties and tonight, the last, fittingly at a neighbor's to celebrate the coming of the New Year.

New Years Eve Day seems a quiet day.  The frenzy is gone.  We've eaten quite enough.   In two days, our work year begins, again.  That's ok as for me, a new year is full of challenge and surprise and I would wish that for all of my friends and associates.

Today I am taking down our tree.  It was beautiful even though not as large nor as full as those of latter years when we filled our two story space with the biggest, bestest and freshest ever.

Development has robbed us of the xmas tree stands by the trainyards downtown where we would stand at auction with all of Los Angeles, vying for trees brought down from a mythical Northwest forest where there was actually snow, still caught in some fir branches.  Gone with this holiday trek is the annual breakfast at Vickmans before and, after our leisurely drive with tree atop car from Alameda west along Olympic Boulevard to the sea, watching the slow development of Koreatown, the continuing evolution of our city.

That part of our life, even the larger closer family that used to gather for the holidays, is no more as older friends and family are lost and younger generations ofttimes too fade away into other lives.  There remains a sadness and an ache for once was, yet we count ourselves lucky to remain included in communities that make up so much of the sustenance of life.

There remains throughout a continuous thread that binds all this together.

The year end is a reflective time and, as I remove ornaments from the tree, I am finding glittery mementos from the fabric of my life brightly shining here, permitting me once more some of those moments.
There are the beaded eggs - some now shattered, others faded - I so patiently threaded and carefully wrapped around blown shells over three decades ago, sitting in the "women's lounge" - hard to believe such a lounge would still exist - of my law school. And the next year there: the styrofoam covered balls, with long straight pins dangerously falling on the floor.  All so much more fun than law school... and definitely part of the reason I became a writer and photographer.
My handmade sachets and hand-sewn whimsical Marimekko-fabric'd animals that we hung on the tree or gave to friends in those years with little money to spend on presents.
In the halcyon music industry years, the time I used album label cutouts to decorate the tree.
Soon, the tree was filled with my children's art and photos, hung proudly year by happy year.
Throughout there were the holiday gift from friends, wonderful imaginative objets d'art, including delights from those with whom I worked, like the handmade crocheted stars from a co-worker at United Artists. 
A few of the lovely silk animal ornaments that would decorate Mom's little tree the years before she died remain for me to hang, a vivid simple reminder of her interests in Asian art and order.
Felt ornaments of Sesame Street & other characters found so long ago in New England craft fairs, traditional German glass decorations, and other beautiful or strange stuff that it just doesn't hurt to hang up there once more.

And always ribbons, some historic like the red decorative ones with gold threads that I grabbed when I. Magnin, a historic San Francisco and then Southern California retail chain, went out of business.  And the others, like the ones that my Aunt Lillian always scooped up to use for the next year.   My aunt is also gone and today I am the one saving ribbons, but not the used wrapping paper!

Opened up in the frenzy of holiday preparation, then more leisurely wrapped away in the same boxes, year to year, the ornaments return me to family and friends; lives, loves and experiences from year to year, many as tarnished and ragged as the boxes themselves, taped and re-taped but holding still.

Christmas and the start of the New Year gift us with the opportunity to remind ourselves what is the best of us, both when we reach out to others in support and good wishes and when we turn into ourselves to hold dear and strong what we have lived and learned and then, go forward to use those memories and actions to make our lives and those of others glitter throughout the next year.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Best for the Holidays

It has been a busy year, filled with some fascinating photographic activity, participation in several terrific exhibitions and seeing others - Paris Photo, FIAC, Art Platform, PhotoLA among the biggies and local and friend's work and exhibitions among the even more important -  PLUS two very positive review sessions: Palm Springs Photo Festival and Lens/Culture/FotoFest/Paris.

Loved being in the community of photographers, curators, gallerists, writers and making new friends and loved doing the work.  Stay tuned for my Winter Update, reports from the Detroit:Definition project when I return to Detroit in the Spring and for some other exciting news!

Loved as well enjoying my friends and family as yet another year passes that has brought me memories to cherish and a future to look forward to.

Happy Holidays to All.

Sara Jane Boyers

Fall at Schloss Neuhaus, Austria  ©Copyright2012 Sara Jane Boyers

Friday, December 14, 2012

Traffic Jams, Solved

 While it is true I seem to be looking for traffic for my GRIDLOCK series, at the same time I am keenly intrigued by the many solutions to be found for this more than annoying issue, especially in my home city of Los Angeles where, depending upon the time of day and circumstances, a drive from the beach to downtown can take anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours....

Here, from a TEDx TALK about Stockholm:   Traffic Jams, Solved  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/12/traffic-jams-solved/4160/

and the full TEDx Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/jonas_eliasson_how_to_solve_traffic_jams.html

The comments are also quite good.