Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer storms

We had an amazing thunderstorm in Portland, ME last night. Torrential rains, tornadoes in some towns and crashing and banging that shook the house. Provided everyone stays safe I am one who loves the energy and drama of a good summer storm. My mother use to sit in the middle of the living room with her sneakers on ... rubber for it's grounding properties ... during a thunderstorm, while my dad would take all us kids out to the front porch. He would sit and look at his watch, timing the the minutes or seconds between the flash of lightening and the boom of it's thunder. He would then yell "GO!" and the four of us would run out onto the lawn in the rain and dance in little bouncy steps or run around with our airplane arms out until he would yell "BACK!" when we would sprint back to the porch just before the next flash and crash would hit. During all this dancing and running my mother would be yelling from inside the house, "Jay, bring those kids back inside!".

Dangerous? Of course. But this was an era when you got a BB gun on your 10th birthday, rode on the tailgate of the pick up truck and all piled into the station wagon without seat belts on.

Last night, when the rains stopped and the black sky moved out towards the open ocean, the light became absolutely incredible. The boats in the harbor took on a surreal, bleached white color that was blinding in their contrast to the asphalt gray of the ocean and the pewter gray sky. As the storm moved out to sea the sky still flashed with lightening and there were periodic streaks of jagged bolts that would almost hover for that split second as though stopping time at that very moment before it all went black again.

Jim was a professional photographer. He taught me about light. He taught me to say "the light is so gorgeous right now". It was always about the light, about capturing that moment, about how quickly that light will change and it will be a different moment.

If Jim had been here last night he would have grabbed his cameras and gone to capture those shocking white boats on the black sea. He would have grabbed my hand and pulled me out to dance on the lawn in the rain. Jim had the unique qualities of seeing beauty in the light of the world through a mans eyes and the ability to live his life with a child's enthusiasm.

I miss him like hell.

Loving you all back,


  1. For anyone who doesn't know Jim's work, here's the link to his website.

  2. I remember he would call it "God's light." I was thinking of Jim yesterday as the sky went towards sunset and was so so blue, and the clouds were so so white. Best time of day.
    Love you,

  3. Yes. And when the sunlight would filter through the clouds in that starry shaped rays he'd call it "Jesus Light?" ... and this cracked me up!!