Grandioso: A Story of Love and Life

FullSizeRender (1)I am so honored to announce that my brilliant Mama has published her first novel, Grandioso: A Story of Love and Life, on Amazon.com. It’s a heartfelt and uplifting story about an enduring love, and I’m so proud of her for sharing it with the world. Everything she does is born in love and this book is truly a work of (he)art. I am profoundly inspired by and in awe of her, more than I could ever say… My Mama is the finest, most fearless, authentic and courageously original person I know. She reminds me every day how to live and write boldly, bravely, and most of all, to always be true to myself. I am so blessed and proud to be her daughter.

I hope you will check it out here and share it with your loved ones.

With appreciation,

♥SB

The Shape of Things

In an interview with the Paris Review earlier this year, the enigmatic Elena Ferrante said:

I don’t think anyone really knows how a story takes shape. When it’s done you try to explain how it happened, but every effort, at least in my case, is insufficient. There is a before, made up of fragments of memory, and an after, when the story begins. …You know how when you have in your head a few notes of a tune but you don’t know what it is, and if you hum it, it ends up becoming a different song from the one that’s nagging at you? Or when you remember a street corner but you can’t remember where it is? That kind of thing. My mother liked to use the word frantumaglia—bits and pieces of uncertain origin which rattle around in your head, not always comfortably. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings, as I recently started a new writing project. As with any new venture, beginning anew is exciting, daunting, overwhelming at times. You need a plan, surely. But also need to leave room for mystery, for opportunities to present themselves to you. As I’m discovering, a story takes shapes in bursts, some born in moments of inspiration, but the vast majority of them in work. Piece by piece the picture will come together, like a kaleidoscopic pattern made up of disparate colors and forms that only make sense once they’ve been taken apart and put back together. The shape of things will reveal itself in time.

Frantumaglia. What a perfect word.

On the Photographic Life

In photography, the Kodak moment doesn’t just happen. The light doesn’t just fall in that heartbreaking way that reminds you of some long-forgotten moment shaken out of the cobwebs of your memory. Oh, no. It is not luck. The moment is created out of love and labor (and much of love’s labor’s lost). And in order to capture it, you have to take many, many, many crap shots.

Life is like this. #truestory

The key to the art of life — as in the art of photography — is repetition. In living color, every day is just another click of the shutter, another exposure that will come to light only in the dark. It is drafting, and revising, and rearranging, and reexamining. Every photograph, every life, is trial and error. It is the being undone and then put back together, sometimes into arrestingly beautiful new configurations. If something is not working for us — the light, the shadows, the noise — we change our perspective. We choose our light. We create our own luck.

And how do we do this?

There are an infinite number of ways. We wait. We return day after day to the same place. We sweat it out. We are still. We leave. We change our lens. We are willing to look like a fool to get the angle that no one else noticed. And if that doesn’t work, we just throw away the whole damn thing, and start over. We bring light to the present moment. We look up. We pay attention. We are patient. Above all things, yes, we are patient. And we find the moment.

We always do.

♥SB