I love to read, but when a colleague recommended Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal, it took several months before I finally picked it up. The topic of end-of-life care in America is important to me, having lost a parent and concerned about how best to care for the aging relatives who remain. But faced with a free Sunday afternoon. . . ugh.
Gawande has a gift for being able to break down complex subjects into reasonable – even inspirational – pieces. His perspective is both that of a surgeon caring for patients and of a son caring for a loved one.
Gawande recognizes that patients are people, with “priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer.” He also emphasizes that while the sick may not have complete control, they do have choices. These choices take courage: “To confront the reality of mortality. . . to seek out the truth of what is to be feared and what is to be hoped. . . to act on the truth we find. . . to decide whether one’s fears or one’s hopes are what should matter most.”
The author identifies a “remembering” part of one’s self, who takes all of your experiences and recognizes “not only the peaks of joy and valleys of misery but also how the story works out as a whole.” Concluding that in one’s life story, “endings matter” and “the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life.”
Calling to the author and storyteller in us all.
This holiday season, the majority of my projects have been created for small, appreciative audiences of family and friends: a book for my husband of before and after photos of our new home, and a family recipe/photo book for my extended family.
I recently took a Myers-Briggs workshop, which taught me to distinguish:
- Where I find my source of energy
- How I gather information
- How I make decisions
- How I present myself to the outside world
I learned that my personality type tends to seek meaning in their work; to value authenticity, commitment and integrity; to be reflective and empathetic; to be innovative and solve complex problems, and to help, motivate, encourage and serve others.
Fittingly, all preferences I have for photography as well.
Happy New Year,
This Sunday, October 4, two of my photographs will be included in the 40/40 group exhibition at Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts. Stop by between 1:00 and 6:00 for the gallery’s 40th birthday celebration! View over 300 prints exhibited by Blue Sky artists, all donated to the gallery and on sale for $40 per print.
Blue Sky’s official 40th Birthday Party!
This Sunday, October 4, 2015
1 – 6PM
Join us this Sunday for an all-day open house celebration of Blue Sky’s contributions to the arts community in Portland and beyond over the last 40 years.
We’ll have birthday cake, a DJ playing tunes (which will make you want to dance), beer (which might also make you want to dance), a food truck parked out front, and a photo booth time machine!
Might we suggest: dress to impress circa 1975.
The 40/40 exhibition mounts over 300 prints donated by an impressive roster of artists who have shown on our gallery walls and in the Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers, for the month of October. Many of the approximately 8″ x 10″ photographs in this exhibition are rare reprints from past Blue Sky shows, while others provide an exciting glimpse into these photographers’ current practices. These generous gifts to the gallery will be for sale throughout the month of October at special anniversary pricing of $40 per print; this is Blue Sky’s way of saying “thank you” to our regular visitors and members who have supported our mission throughout the years.
A few things happen when you loan your camera to a four-year-old:
You will need to readjust your settings.
And the images may leave you pleasantly surprised.