In the early 1980s, I had lunch in this park on a regular basis. I was working for an architect in downtown Albuquerque and my husband’s job, with a different architect, was further up toward the Heights. This was approximately in the middle. We’d bring leftovers, and maybe get a couple of cookies from the bakery that was across the street. There was also a small, independent bookstore with a nice section of children’s books. We liked looking at the books; I was pregnant at the time and like all first-time parents, we were just determined to do everything the Right Way.
The bakery and the bookstore are gone now, having at some point been replaced by a big CVS pharmacy.
Bataan Memorial Park
Albuquerque, New Mexico
A lot of things came together here.
My collection of mismatched silverware was inspired by the Tom Robbins novel Skinny Legs and All, where one of the characters is a silver spoon. My friend Carlos and I found an exceptionally beautiful – though tarnished – silver soup spoon at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Austin, and my description of our finding and later polishing it ended up in a poem that my friend Laurie Wagner Buyer wrote*. At the time (1998-ish), Laurie was encouraging me to find my voice as a poet. I was trying to ignore her, but when I read how she’d spun a simple story about tarnish, a spoon, and silver polish into a beautiful poem, I decided to give it a go.
Two Christmases ago, my patient spouse gave me a LensBaby Sweet 50 lens. I tried it a few times, but wasn’t happy with the results. Too much of the shots were out of focus. Or out of focus in a way I didn’t like. Or something.
My photography has evolved a little over the past two years.
I’m still off work, rehabbing that new knee I got last month. It’s been more of a struggle than I’d anticipated, both mentally and physically. On Tuesday, my physical therapist told me to go home and get out my camera and do ME.
So I did what he said. I saw the LensBaby in the drawer and decided to see what I could do. And I saw that collection of mismatched silverware, inspired by the book, which inspired a poem.
*That poem, also titled “Old Silver,” is in her book Red Colt Canyon. And for those of you keeping score at home, she’s the same poet (now known as Laurie Jameson) whose daily haiku comments inspired me to start my blog The Poetry Photography. I can’t imagine where I’d be without her influence.