Open Hearts


Mickey/Mom, who turns 88 this Valentine’s Day, just had open heart surgery at Portland’s OHSU. The week she was there was the big snowstorm, so I wasn’t on hand to take any of these iPhotos–I just received them via text mostly from my sister Toren Brolutti, who also collected the information about each person.

This is really a slide show to music with titles. I slowed the pacing down to senior pacing, so Mom could both read the words and look at the pictures.

I believe that making story out of experience somehow honors it, validates it, elevates it above the medial/menial quotidian moment. I want the workers at OHSU to know that their work is valued, that their lives intersect and affect the lives of their patients, and I wanted to give my Mom a tool, if you can call a video a tool, rather a means of offering her appreciation to all the people who worked together to give her the proverbial new lease on life.

Kilauea Volcano!

One of the highlights of visiting Hawaii, the Big Island, was the chance in a lifetime to view an active volcano after dark.

This story was made on the Storehouse app, so remember to scroll down the page. Yes, I included the same video clip twice, and no, it doesn’t have any sound–I didn’t think it was needed.

I also appreciate hearing your thoughts in the comment feature of this blog. And no, I didn’t bring any lava home!

Wings Over Kau’ai

One of the most exciting aspects of traveling to a hithertofore unknown tropical island like Kau’ai is seeing new bird species–flowers and trees, too, of course!

Here are some photographs laid out using an app called Storehouse. Click on the link and scroll down the page, which I know isn’t intuitive.

If you have any feedback about the app, I’d love to hear it. My best wish for it is that it be invisible, so you can move quickly through the story.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving comments–without an audience, it wouldn’t be any fun!

Lu’au Kalamaku

Luau Kalamaku

When you visit Hawaii, a lu’au can be just an expensive, touristy party, or you can look deeper into the ways tourism continues to drive the renaissance of ancient Hawaiian arts of storytelling, hula, ritual, chant, drumming, and, of course, feasting!

GreenHulaI chose to tell this story also using the Storehouse iPad app (which I also used for Journey of Mud and Honey).It views beautifully on your computer screen. I like it because of the magazine style layout with the addition of thirty second videos; however, Peter says he is not enamored of it as a publishing platform, and I am interested to know what other people think?

You do have to click a link; I would prefer that my blog laid out this beautifully!

Here it is:

By the way, if you don’t hear the video right away when you click into the story, look on the lower left hand side for a sound icon to click on. You gotta have the music!

Manoa in the Rain

Manoa in the Rain

Peter and I just returned from three weeks in the Hawaiian Islands. I made this “Farewell, Hawaii” digital story on the flight home.

Manoa is a stream on Kauai, and I didn’t think quickly enough to get photographs there; however, it is just one of so many musical place names.

I named as many people as I could in the credits, but mahalo (thank you!) to friends who followed my photos on Facebook, and so many Hawaiians who shared local places and knowledge with us.

Fields of Gold

Tis the season for going back and doing second drafts of digital story or slideshow projects. My original “Fields of Gold” project was a Pro Show Web slideshow featuring a variety of slide transitions–too many images twirling in space, said post commentators Rose Meeker and Peter Jensen. The pacing was too fast and the images too small is what I heard.
The old mining town of Roslyn, WA seen from the old rail bed out at the historic mine site
My self critique is that the focus on Cheryl and Ryle was an after-thought; it emerged as I was assembling beautiful images, but I didn’t go back and edit for that story. I just let it be what it was.
With these three sources of feedback in mind, I moved the project into the newly refurbished iMovie for iPad (if you use this editor, make sure you have the version built for IOS 7–huge improvements!).
Ryle and Cheryl go for a walk along the old railbed for the mine at Roslyn, WA

Meditation at Cape Arago

November Meditation at Cape Arago

Peter and I had occasion to be in Coos Bay on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 to review a show of master printmakers at the Coos Bay Art Museum. Eyes swimming with original works of Rembrandt, Picasso, Whistler, Goya, Blake–the list goes on! we staggered out of the museum, and, as the day was fine, drove out to Cape Arago to think about what we had seen.

We found ourselves in North Cove just off Shell Island with an unusually low tide and all of the late afternoon sun to ourselves. We wandered for hours in that silent bell jar created by the constant roar of the surf, the bark of the sea lions, the screams of eagles and gulls.

I disappeared into light, rock, and camera lens, falling deeper and deeper into the textured, striated landscape of cliff and beach.

When I made this slideshow, I was mindful of what Nancy Rose Meeker said about “Cle Elum Gold,” and I simplified my approach. No animated transitions, only dissolves, and each slide shows four seconds.

For some reason, this was a very inward meditation for me, as I photographed the 65 million year old Cenozoic rock formations, the intricately folded stone, the dead sea lion (with ten-inch orca slashes in its sides) juxtaposed to fossilized marine animals…

Old Growth Friends

At the end of 2012, I was doing three things at once: visiting the old growth forests of the Olympic Peninsula, reading The Wild Trees by Richard Preston, and reconnecting with my old friend Laurence Cole and his partner Deanna Pumplin in Port Townsend.

Also running in the back of my mind was a project I’m doing with a colleague Merrill Watrous; she is developing an assignment for her education students in which they create a digital story about a book they have read that makes connections with their own lives.

All of those came together in this digital story celebrating Laurence Cole as an “old growth friend.” In this video, he and Deanna are seen comfortably at home singing a song Laurence wrote called “Trees Grow Slow.” Slow down, plant your roots, and just listen.