March 25, 2018

Swan Dive

The other day while out on a stroll along Wolseley Avenue with my young friend Gus (who is nearly three years old), he turned to me while pointing toward the heavens and said, "Megan! Look at that swan go! What a graceful bloke". It was no swan but a mere Canadian Goose making its way back to it's Northern summer home. Gus' young eye registered the grace of the driven wing and later I was so appreciative of his reminder to stop and take a moment to admire it for myself. Ahhh, the wonder of a young child in the Springtime.

I am currently employed as a nanny and housekeeper to a lovely family in the neighborhood where I live. My daily commute on foot takes four minutes door to door. No complaints there! The boys in my care are six years and nearly three. They are very active, inquisitive, challenging and delightful in equal measure. I oscillate between resenting myself for continuously finding my way back to this familiar post, feeling I should be stationed in a more "professional profession" (whatever that means) and loving the freedom to exercise my intuitive nature as a nurturer and guide to those two young souls. I try to remind myself that the work I am doing is important and not to minimize my role in their lives. In truth, my spirit longs for a child of my own to nurture in my own way. Before I swan dive into that dark corner of my soul to lick old wounds, I remind myself that Iain is my family and the life we are building alongside one another is rich. Children or no children, this home is rich in love. Still, the heart wants what the heart wants. Be patient and trust that the work that I am doing in the present is fine tuning my spirit for the future. Inner dialogue of a wanting mother.

Patience young grasshopper. This seemingly simple command that peppers many a conversation with the children in my daily life is a lot harder to apply to self. Damn it.

In other news, I have been studying to become a certified Birth & Postpartum Doula. I can't help but smile when I think of earning another certification that validates my desire to guide, champion and nurture others in their personal quest. Montessori is exactly this. My take on becoming a Doula is to mother the Mother as she performs her most intricate and difficult work of her life.

Two weeks ago I had the great honour of attending the birth of a new soul. Miss Luella Frances, welcome to this wild world you beauty you. Just like her mama who laboured hard and long to deliver her earth-side, Luella entered this world as serene as the day is long. The steady beat of her heart never wavered. It was a great pleasure to frame up the magic of her birth through the scope of Iain's enormous Pentax 67. Also in my arsenal of cameras was my trusty Nikon F2 affixed to my beloved Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 lens passed down from my Aunty Marj (who photographed many an infant at the breast through that lens).

When my eye takes in the world through that lens, I feel connected to her spirit. Calm washes over me. My hands steady and my mind's eye connects the points of the moment that tell the tale I am looking to share. SNAP goes the shutter. Another crowning head, another shoulder emerging as the child rotates in the birth canal, another reassuring squall, another knowing smile from the mother who knew it was her all along. It is a great honour to be the person to document this flood of life, emotion, longing, connection. To photograph and observe and eventually support a woman in the family way is the work I am meant to do.

The first portrait of Luella Frances H. minutes old. March 6, 2018. 

Winnipeg, MB; March 2018
Nikon F2 / Portra 800

Mercury may be in retrograde, but the Great Melt is on and Spring is near. Hang on for dear life my faithful readers, it is going to be a bumpy decent into the warm season methinks. As my dear friend Jillian says, "Always walk on the sunny side". Amen.

Love, Madge: 31 year old Sun Seeker

February 19, 2018

In the Doldrums

Winter blues.

Demure Babs.

Young ladies out of a stroll on Stradbrook.

Marj's last Easter feast.

A perfectly good scene.

Last of winter.

Tail end of Winter and early Spring of 2009.

Nikon F3 / 1:1.4 / Kodak 400

February 18, 2018

Ten Years in the Sun


Buds along the Winnipeg River on a hot day. Manitoba, 2008.
Layds in the sun.

Post dip, pre dinner. Manitoba, 2008.


Rouge in yellow on contrast film.

A. Wong fashion at work.

I captured these photographs at my friend Chad's folks' cabin along a beautiful river somewhere in Manitoba. I forget where now but this contrast work hardly holds a candle to the beauty of that place in reality. Winnipeg River? Surrounded by beautiful and strong women I admired at the time, this series was captured one decade ago in July of 2008 depicts afternoon delight. If I recall correctly, I was more interested in capturing portraits of people and environments at that time than anything else. When I look at my photo work spanning the last decade, I am reminded to pick up my camera and photograph the minute slivers of my day to day. It will be good to look back upon later in life and I will thank myself for capturing those visual affirmations of time well spent.

Nikon F3 / 1:1.2 / Tmax

February 11, 2018

Eye on the Classroom

Life through binoculars is better!

Pouring at the water table.

 ---

The Classroom is calling me. These two images come from three and one quarter rolls of 35mm Delta 400 shot in a Montessori classroom of children at work in their environment. It is a beautiful thing to observe most often. I asked and this is what they gave.

May 2017

Canon AE-1/ 50mm 1:1.8 lens / Delta 400

I can't remember when I felt so good / Baby since I met you

Jen and her baby daughter Soona. Winnipeg, MB; April 2017.
What up Marjie?
Portrait of my four year old friend JJ and his beloved Elmo toque. Winnipeg, MB; April 2017.
Airin' out the TC linen pieces still wet with ink. May 2017.
I came outside to photograph my linens in the sun only to find Ni painting the truck box shit brown. Oh I love this man. Winnipeg, MB; May 2017.
Patience hat on, slow and steady now.
Portrait of my dear Grandmother Helen holding her ninth great-grandbabe, Soona.
Portrait of three generations captured in the spring. Rosenort, Manitoba.
Portrait of my Uncle Jim and his grandbabe Cyrus.
Portrait of my parlour.
Portrait of our ambrotype portrait captured by Suzette Jordan in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia.

Spring is my favorite season. This was a roll I shot over the end of April into May of 2017.

Kiev 60 / 120 Delta 400

Family & Fauna

Cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand with Ni at the helm; December 2016.

A man rests on Moon Road in the Old Town. Chiang Mai; December 2016.

Fawnin' over the flora and fauna in Chiang Mai.

Just another sunny day in the neighborhood. It was a treat to walk around Chiang Mai with the Kiev!

mil
Christmas Eve on Koh Samui with Milky, Ma, Ni & Pa. 

Santa's Little Helpers scootin' & bootin' all over town; Koh Samui, Thailand.

Here is my beautiful mother Kim, on vacation in Thailand.

Here is my handsome dad Cal, on vacation in Thailand.

Here is a roll of 120 Portra 400 for your viewing pleasure. I love this roll and the people it depicts. Enjoy this sliver of a look into an excellent journey to Thailand in December of 2016.

Kiev 60 / Portra 400

January 28, 2018

Freela & the Gang


Jillian and Janet discuss matters in the weaving shop.
Have you ever met someone and liked them in an instant? Janet readies the shuttle to be zipped through the weft.
A most inspiring woman in a most inspiring shop in Crawford Bay, BC.
My new friend Ziggy Cowan. Lisa and Ziggy share a very beautiful apartment in Nelson, BC.
Two dingalings on the loose. Here we are at the base of Gray Creek Pass, getting ready to make the climb.
Post-run down the mountain.
My dear friend Jillian and I.
Freela at the wheel at the Gray Creek Store.
Rouge having a laugh at the town bar. 
Here is my aging face proudly representing Winnipeg jeweler Mangie Chan's Sunday Feel astral studs.
---

When I picked this funny roll up from my local lab yesterday morn, I had to smile. Not my finest collection, no, but rich in visual reminders of time well spent. This is my first colour roll back since October. My dear friend Lisa King kindly lent me her oldie Pentax held together with duct tape and loaded with a mystery roll of what she assumed to be colour film. Correctus! Only seventeen of twenty four frames came out of the bath but I will take it! 

When Jillian took me to meet Janet Wallace, owner of Barefoot Handweaving in Crawford Bay, I felt like a babe dropped in a candy shop. Helpless to the eye-popping pull of the wonderful array of colour and texture! Linens of every variety covered every inch of floor and wall space. Best of all-- an entire wall loaded with spools and spools (and spools) of coloured thread. Silk, cotton, linen. My kryptonite! 

I am trying to be very mindful of what I spend on material goods this year. The less, the better. That said, I could not pass up a perfectly mustard woven bib for my new niece (or nephew), nor could my hands pass up a hearty spool of natural linen thread for future quilting projects. I have heard of "Janet the Weaver" many a time as Jillian worked in her studio for a time weaving on a turn of the century loom. Beholding that little loom in the flesh was akin to watching an image appear on freshly bathed photo paper. Development! The picture came together beautifully for me as I stood in that inspiring space and let my soul fill to the brim. 

I was drawn to Janet's quiet, strong spirit immediately and left with a strong sense that I would be back in that work space in short order. Student hat firmly affixed. While studying Fiber Art at Concordia for a short while back in 2011, I would walk past the Weaving Room on a daily basis en route to the Dye Lab where we experimented with great dye vats and large scale fibre screen printing. 'Should have ditched Photography and stuck that one out. Live and learn. Seven years later, the physical work of weaving still calls to me. It is an aggressive but slow art by the looks of things. One needs to be able to picture the grand scheme before a new work begins. I think that part of weaving would be a good challenge for me as I usually let the materials I am working with guide me in the process (be it paper stencils or cut outs, painting, dyeing, quilting, sewing etc.). No willy-nilly wandering in weaving. You stick to the big picture as you work toward the finish line. 

Musings of a dream weaver :) thanks for reading as always. 

What I set out to write when I received this colour roll back is that this crummy quality of work is a fine lesson to keep going. Keep experimenting with equipment as I find my stride again with a camera in hand. The Kiev won't be coming back any time soon (at least not on my bill) so it is up to me to use what is available and translate the magic as best as possible. Thanks be to my dear Lisa for recognizing my yearning to photograph her amazing landscape and putting a camera in my hands. True friend. Oddly enough, no photos of us came up despite me taking a handful. 

Adios,

MP

January 25, 2018

Ring the Bell Three Times

This is the one for me. Photo thanks to Kat Willson.

Wedding day people in the mist. Photo thanks to Kat Willson.

My handsome groom. I shot this portrait, tail end of the roll; glad I got him! 
My bud King. Dear Lisa, I love you so. Photo thanks to Jill Zach.
My ma in law Tammy and her youngest grandbabe, Miss Arlo. Photo thanks to Jill Zach.
Pre-ceremony embrace with Dano all the way from Whitehorse. This time before the ceremony was so special. Photo thanks to Jill Zach.
How much can I possibly love you? To Jupiter and beyond my friend. Photo thanks to Jill Zach.

Two dresses hang pretty. Both cut and hand sewn in the 1920s. Ni bought the black one for me in 2015. Photo. Kat Willson

Never in my life have I grinned so wide as this day, September 16, 2017. Photo thanks to Chelsea Neufeld.

Jake Chenier serenading us with a love song on our wedding day. Photo thanks to Kat Willson.

My dear Auntie Daryl married Iain and I. She makes me laugh and I, her. Love this capture by Kat Willson.

Just Married sip, starring Atlas. Photo thanks to Kat Willson.
The only extended Reimer family portrait of 2017, starring my ma. Photo thanks to Steve MacLeod.