Wednesday, February 24, 2010

my new project

I am currently in San Diego, California on a two week shoot for my most recent photo project. My subjects are Scott and Phil, a gay couple who have been together for 22 years and married for the past three. We've been close friends for 16 years and these dear fellas are allowing me to document their day-to-day lives in a most personal and intimate manner. They have said yes to all my requests and are true collaborators in the process. What an incredible honor it is to be trusted like this. I only hope my essay can reflect the depth of their love and respect for one another. Their marriage is among the healthiest I've ever seen.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

remembering Nan

For three hours on this sunny February afternoon, five of us who had known and loved Nan Merrill during her nine years here in Michigan, gathered to celebrate her life. We met in my living room and, after sharing sweets, coffee and conversation, we began to share stories, silence, song and some of Nan's writings. All of us -- Sr. Mary Francis, Jerry Burns, Inez Jenkins, Mary Reese and myself -- had first met Nan when she lived and worked in the old St. Agnes parish rectory on Detroit's westside from 1985-9. We remembered her hospitality, humor, wisdom and openness to the Unknown in every facet of life. Jerry read from two of her six books. Sr. Mary Francis allowed Nan's love of Silence to envelop her when we'd take times to let the stories and readings sink deep into us. Inez shared wonderful stories of Nan's sensitivity and humor. Mary spoke of her kindness, and I read three dreams Nan had dictated to me over the phone in her last weeks. She wanted them to be included in the book she hopes will be published posthumously. It was like having Nan here with us. And she was...