Monday, November 21, 2005

Lorenzo, Almost 40

Lorenzo, Almost 40
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Almost 40

A year and a day away from the Big 4-O, today I am taking it slow, playing hooky, taking a day off from work to celebrate my birthday a day early with my boys.

I took a few pictures this morning of them and of us together, and then decided to turn the camera on me.

Call it hubris, call it vanity, call it extra-intro spection, call it the man and his camera, that lover I have lived, eaten and practically slept with every day and every night for the last 10 months. It has been a wonderful affair thus far.

So tomorrow is “the birthday,” and a year from then I’ll turn forty. I guess that would officially make me middle-aged. So, what does it all mean? Must I berate myself for not being more accomplished, for not fulfilling all my dreams?

Regardless of these token sentiments that I’m supposed to drag myself through eventually, I actually had an epiphany of the opposite sort last night as I was slowing down and getting ready to go to bed.

Traditionally, much like I recall my father did, I have long belittled my birthday by relaying that I didn’t want to make a fuss. A small dinner with the family has sufficed for the last fifteen years or so. I really can’t remember the last birthday party had for me.

But last night I realized something very important. I was feeling happy to be alive, happy to be thriving on the brink of my middle years, and so it occurred to me that birthdays are much more than just blowing out candles, much more than just breaking open boxes and tearing apart yards of colorful paper, much more than getting drunk and being with family and friends to celebrate your personal holiday.

No, what I realized in full-force last night was that birthdays are meant to acknowledge and toast the birth of another wonderful life, another person who in full bloom, whom as a happy soul, can make the world a better place, if only with a positive attitude and a smile.

Hence, I’ve decided to actually wile away a day by celebrating my birthday this year - if only by making it known, if only by acknowledging how I’ve grown over these almost forty years and how with a bright disposition I’ve tried my best not to let time wear me down.


post-scripte/correction: someone pointed out that i calculated wrong - i'm actually going to be 38, not 39 as i had thought. oh well, guess i am getting old after all.

p.p.s. If only as a note of amusement, this particular foto was taken in the men's room at IHop (The International House of Pancakes). Being a liberal arts major with an unusual major, international cultural studies, i was often tormented with the question, "So what are you going to do with that (degree)?" One of my good friends, Adam, surmised that I would end up working at IHop.

Alas, I never found employement there, but it has long been one of my favorite cheap places to eat.

Anyway, the boys and I went there for my birthday breakfast, we shared multi-grain, buttermilk and pumpkin pancakes all topped with fresh whipped cream and boysenberry syrup. Upon making a trip to the restroom I discovered this exquisite strip of tile and immediately knew I had to take some photos against it.

this foto has been cited at: cleveland rocks. richmond sucks.

for a full list of cited fotos click HERE.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


PhotoTherapy 10


This morning I realized how therapeutic photography can be.

This last week has been somewhat physically trying for me, as I have been slowly nursing myself back to health after consciously subjecting myself to elements that brought on a bout of asthma, and subsequently a weeklong struggle with bronchitis.

My treatment has included allowing myself to sleep 6-7 hours the last couple of days instead of the 3-4 I’ve been holding at steadily for the last month or so; taking extraordinary doses of vitamins in the form of pills and a few bottles of Odwalla a day; and generally thinking positively and laughing at myself for my lack of discipline and resigned laissez faire to indulgence.

And although I consistently tell myself “Never again, never again” whenever I have to wake up in the middle of the night to stand in the bathroom for twenty minutes, hacking up all my congestion until it begins to painfully scrape at my throat, I also find myself dreamily remembering how it was all worth it. It makes me woozy to think that despite my lessons learned, that my devious mind will fool me into this situation again, just as it has many times in the past.

Nonetheless and allthemore, all the medicine I initially took to treat the more serious symptoms severely deadened my senses, and so I’ve been lagging behind in my art work and haven’t been all-too-enthusiastically inclined toward the usual creative toil. And so, as I stepped out the door to head to work this morning, I lamented the stupor I’m in and simply grinned my way to the office.

My usual traversal pulls me across the City from west to east, and in the interim from here to there I have the option and privilege of crossing the wholesale floral district of Manhattan on 28th Street. Thus I did, and in the midst of my crossing I was inspired to take a few photos.

The wet sidewalks, combined with the extraordinary vibrancy and variety of floral color lining them piqued me to no end. Moreover, as I’ve gleefully photographed many times before, I decided to shot from the floor, so that I could also capture the magic motion of pedestrians as they walked by.

I was so ecstatic after reviewing what I had shot then, along with those from last night and the night before, that I suddenly felt this burst of great energy and exuberance rush forth inside me. It felt good to be alive again! and in the mood to do what I love to do, and perhaps do best.

It was at that moment that I realized how therapeutic photography can be.

p.s. After having this epiphany a few blocks from the office, I came in and opened my e-mail to find an invitation by a concrete-and-steel NY Gallery to join as “one of a select number of artists" at an exhibit in March to be called Tripping The Light Fantastic: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography.

As you might imagine, that felt quite therapeutic too…Life certainly is Wonderful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005



“There’s a truck coming!”

The woman shouted from behind me, as I was taking a photo from the middle of the street.

I thought I had my kinesthetic orientation and risk-reward assessment in check and under control, but her sudden screech threw me off, driving me to scurry forward to the other side.

As a result I bumped into another pedestrian who was crossing from the opposite direction, who likewise seemed to have been rattled, startled, jolted into action by the fear and blurt of this lady’s voice. Of course, bumping midway only abetted our surprise and fear, so we did a fancy sashay around each other, practically tripping over one another in the process.

I continued walking briskly immediately thereafter up Sixth Avenue and didn’t bother to look back to see how close we actually had been to being hit, struck down, crushed by the speeding vehicle that had prompted the concerned stranger to yell Atchung!

Alas, I did once again have to wonder why I put myself in danger so often these days. For I foolishly have convinced myself that I am agile enough to avoid an accident. Yet, at the same time, I always end up questioning the sagacity of this reasoning—close-calls almost always put me in a polemic, so that on one hand, I’m grinning with glee as I narcissistically congratulate myself on being so brave. But on the other hand, I also think, “Boy, you’re really stupid! You’re a real knave mate.”

And almost every time I also find myself convinced that I have to quit this game I am plying with my life, berating both my id and ego with “Now, this is the last time you two! No more monkey business.”

Only problem is that I’m all too human, and boredom follows me everywhere—so that everywhere I go, ennui seems to go there with me. Hence, my futile attempts to shake her by jumping into the middle of traffic, dodging busses and running along skateboards to get some stupid picture.

They say luck is a lady. If that’s true than I love her and I feel that she loves me, but that doesn’t mean that she ain’t going to leave me someday.

On the other hand, I never knew photography could be so fun, so fulfilling, invigorating and utterly—life affirming.

Bless those who might be inspired by these words (just don’t blame me if you get mowed over…)