Saturday, November 27, 2010

Embrace the Blur

On Thanksgiving day, I made such a nuisance of myself with my little red Canon camera that when people saw me coming they waved their hands in front of their faces and shooed me away. It didn't help that I dislike using flash. I prefer the richer colors and fuller dimensions of natural light to the flattened, washed out pallor of flash photography, but indoors late in the day that means people have to sit relatively still for you if you're going to avoid the blur. Actually, I don't mind the blur. I have a whole lot of photos from our Thanksgiving gathering that are blurred and lovely, because you can still see the connectedness and the love. I feel affection for the imperfection of those images and the way they suggest life is happening without artifice.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was shared by relatives and friends who live in New York City as well as some who came from as far away as San Francisco, Boston, Columbia, Maryland, and even Port of Spain, Trinidad. My cousin who lives in Trinidad came to surprise her sister who lives in Maryland, who travels with her daughters to be with us every year at this time. My cousin from San Francisco came to support her sister from Boston who is in the midst of a divorce. We had many sets of sisters in attendance this year, and a few men, too: My husband who did most of the cooking, my son, his best friend, two cousins-in-law, my 7-year-old nephew. There were 23 of us in all. The house was wonderfully crowded and comfortable. My 92 year-old aunt didn't feel up to joining us, so later in the evening about a dozen of us, nieces and nephews and grands, trooped over to her apartment to bring her dinner and dessert and wrap her in our convivial mood.

Here is a snap of my kids taken before the festivities. We had moved the living room furniture around to create more empty space for "flow." My husband retired to the bedroom while everyone else issued energetic opinions and instructions about how everything should be rearranged. As my husband famously commented at our wedding about the relatives who were about to become his family, "Everybody is a general. There are so soldiers here."


  1. i love the title - embrace the blur!!! i hate flashes also for all the same reason. i'm very impressed that not only were you hosting such a large crowd you had your wits to wander with your camera. i find that generally when i'm hosting i never get around to capturing the action.

    it sounds as if you had a wonderful collection assembled!

    hope the rest of the holiday weekend is joyful! xxxx

  2. You must be so proud. I would be.

  3. Now that is a loving gathering with a purpose. It seems like, on different levels, everyone was edified by the celebration. As for the blur, I have learned to embrace it out of necessity.

  4. I come here and every time I am just knocked down by the love.

    Knocked DOWN.

    You got it, you really do.

    yrs in deep admiration-


  5. I'm so glad your Thanksgiving was filled with people and love. I know exactly what you mean about the blur, a flash really freezes all movement, and in photos of family, you lose too much.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Angella!

  6. mouse, my husband did most of the cooking so once my two dishes were done, I was free to obsess and ramble.

    Ms. Moon, I kind of am. Can you tell? They are awesome human beings.

    Gary, a loving gathering with a purpose. It was that indeed. And everyone knew each other so well that there was no standing on ceremony, just the free flowing expression of lifelong familiarity and love.

    dishwasher, I too am knocked down by the grace that has allowed me to be surrounded by such love in this life. I don't take it for granted.

    ellen, I remember that black and white photo of yours of the woman in the station (was it a station?) that was somewhat blurry and just stunning!

    I am so thankful for every one of you here.

  7. This is what it's all about, Angella.
    So happy you got this wonderful weekend.

    overflowing ..