Dude. Where is the flip side, people? I could use some good news.
First of all, Schmutzie has long been one of my web favorites. When I was scouring the internet looking for people to interview, I found her and then hung on because wow, she’s original and compelling and real and funny. And a little wacky. And super smart. Put all together, you get the inimitable Schmutzie, whom I love with abandon that would probably scare the cat. I don’t want her to have cancer but just so you know, what I want means nothing. If it would help I might even consider becoming Mormon again. That is how much I love her.
Then you have Susan’s mom, Ginny, whom I never met in person but got to know so well through Susan’s Flickr. Susan showed the good, bad, ugly and the beautiful through her images and captions. Sometimes, all you could do was read and cry, which would turn into laughter at some point because Ginny was such a wild card. Taking care of an aging parent who has lost their ability to be a part of their own care-giving is an enormous drain and continuing learning experience for the people around them. But, besides all that, it’s also just what we do for those we love when the Universe presents us with that opportunity. I hope someday Susan writes a book about the experience. I’m sure many people would benefit and would love to read it. I got to meet Susan’s brother and sister and friend last weekend for lunch. It was right after Ginny had died and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only way to summarize the experience is to quote my son as we walked out of Seaport Village – “I was worried it might be awkward, but mom, they were great. I hope when I get to be their age I’m fun and vibrant even when things about your life are hard.’
I got sick towards the end of Mother’s Day, barely sitting through dinner before beginning the puke-fest, and unfortunately couldn’t make it to Ginny’s Funeral Party on Monday in San Diego. From what I hear, it was really awesome.
That brings us to Suebob. I read her blog but don’t comment often. Pretty much what I do everywhere on the internet. Suebob’s sister had pneumonia and then just kept declining. Every day I’d go and hope to read how she might be getting better and pulling out of it. But that wasn’t what happened. Having a few sisters of my own, I can only imagine how awful it is to lose one, leaving behind children and a husband. I can’t think about it for too long.
And now for JPGMag. I LOVE JPG. Love. Love the idea of it. Love the creators of it. Loved working with them, editing for them, interviewing for them and even submitting photos, none of said photos were ever selected, but it didn’t matter. There was always next time. There was always the thought in the back of my mind that if I just kept shooting, learning, taking the opportunity to find interesting things to photograph, my photo might get selected next time. It wasn’t impossible because look at all the evidence! Other amateurs were getting their photos published every issue. The community was a living breathing thing and it was fun to be a part of it.
As a person that comes up with ideas myself, a cultivator, if you will, I’m always interested to get to know others of my species. The people that think it is a good idea to throw the next few years of their life into something because it makes them happy and probably not much money at first. The people that get excited about doing something right, even if it takes longer. The people that bring the people they know along with them because they like to feel like a family. That surround themselves with other passionate people because it feels good. That care about the end product or experience being solid and quality. That want to involve the community in new, interactive ways and explore how things can grow. These are my people.
All the time I was a part of any part of JPG magazine thus far, I have very much appreciated. I will no longer be submitting any images to JPG. I will no longer be interviewing or submitting stories. Because if it was such an easy thing to erase two of the core founders and their contributions, how can my little contributions have any chance of longevity at all? If I can’t trust that my submissions and contributions will be treated with respect, I don’t want to play anymore. To pretend that the first 6 issues of JPG don’t exist is to say that all the people in the community that participated had no value. What a shame. I kept my account open because I wanted my small voice to be heard there. Heather’s words. Derek’s words.
What I wrote over at the JPG site:
I almost deleted my account last Sunday when I got an email from Derek explaining what had happened. I’m still so shocked that someone’s labor of love can be ripped away from them in this way. Instead of deleting, however, I decided to publicly say how wrong I feel it is. I will no longer be contributing to JPG.
The roots of something should never be forgotten, changed, erased or buried. The end result, which is then basically a lie, will never be as strong, genuine or connected to.
End of story.
For Mother’s Day I got a new Feist CD, some beautiful picture frames, a balloon, a dinner out and a baby boy cockatiel, who currently has no name.
But mostly, I got to spend lots of time with the people that I love and that love me. At one point, after dinner on the drive home, I realized I wasn’t really feeling any of it. I wasn’t feeling. I could have cried if I’d only had the feelings to do so. Instead, I just looked out the window at the lights.
Update: And now Eden’s dad?? Are you kidding me, Universe? XO, Eden. Lots of them.