Tuesday, November 24, 2015


RUTH GLORIOUS RUTH. Thank you Trish Weaver for taking and creating this dramatic photo of ME with the warm breeze whipping through my hair and titling it "Ruth Glorious Ruth." It might not be apparent to my dear readers, but I am talking (to my husband) on the I-phone in front of ME  on the table. The Atlanta skyline looms in the background behind ME. I did not pose for this picture and wasn't only vaguely aware that Trish was snapping away.
Hallelujah for BEING here now and EMBODIED. Hallelujah for those artistic friends that SEE ME as worthy of their photo studies (Lisa Alexander Streib) and succeed in capturing some aspect of WHO I AM in their creative work. Since I have spent a life time asking the big question--WHO AM I?—I strongly appreciate Trish Weaver’s generous response to that question in the photos she took of ME at the beginning of November when she arrived in Atlanta to hear rock legend, 69-year-old Patti Smith give a reading of her new book, M Train. Her images convey something about ME that I like.

Feeling pudgy and struggling with keeping my weight 25 pounds below 200, I don’t feel like the "Vain" Ruth likes being photographed. Consider also at the grand old age of 57, that I have a considerable number of wrinkles, and my once blond hair is gray and thinned because of my challenge with the auto-immune disease, alopecia. Who would trouble themselves to capture my image? Who is this woman who has gathered so many years? The question, "WHO AM I?" is perpetual for ME because change is constant.
WHO AM I? is obviously a metaphysical question for ME. Therefore, I would accept many answers but will settle for one answer right now. I AM the SUBJECT of these photos in relationship to the photographer, my friend Trish. I EXIST here, captured in these images because of our friendship and her artistry.
Upon meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, via my Chiboogamoo at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Trish and I connected quickly as a result of our mutual interest in ALL THINGS CREATIVE even though she is a paleontologist and an ichnologist at that. Yet, she is not defined or limited by her scientific obsession or profession. Instead, she has demonstrated to ME that her curiosity is vast and that she is dedicated to expressing it in wild creative ways in her science and through her painting, photography and story telling, as well as her dedication to pursuing her fascination with Patti Smith.

Which gets us back to why she was visiting Chiboogamoo and ME here in Atlanta in November after seeing Patti Smith perform the 40th anniversary of her album, Horses,  in New York City. Having already visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden and High Museum of Art on previous visits, Trish chose for us to walk along the Atlanta Beltline and peruse the art there. After two weeks of rain, we had a lucky respite from the gloom and cold and were bathed in the warm golden sun of an Indian summer. You can see the luminosity of the light in these photos, which are all titled by Trish.

A STUDY IN RUTH: (Part 4) ACTIVE LISTENING. When Trish posted this final image in the series of "Study in Ruth" in our Facebook group, The Daily Creative Practice, two of our friends wrote the following laudatory comments about her photography
From Andrew Rindsberg: "Thank you, Trish. I've enjoyed your evocation of Ruth Schowalter in Piedmont Park, Atlanta. Although it made me smile to discover that your "Study in Ruth" lasted perhaps twenty seconds, I was also sobered to realize that this is an effective way of capturing the essence of a dynamic personality without resorting to motion pictures. Some of the most interesting people are difficult to portray in still images precisely because they keep moving. I guess some people look good both ways! We all have seen wonderful photos of Ruth in majestic still poses, and in performances. Now we see her in conversation. You've made it look easy, but it is not."

From Ty Butler: "Trish I really like these photos of Ruth. They capture hints of her inner power. For those who don't personally know her, this power of inner contact is immense and when focused turns the heads of those around her. I've been privileged to see it many times."

In addition to the recognition Trish deserves for her photographs, I also linger on Andy's descriptive phrases "dynamic personality" and "interesting people" and Ty's "inner power" that when "focused turns the head of those around her." They SEE ME! Is this WHO I AM?

WHO AM I? I feel privileged to have these positive and affirming responses to Trish's photos of ME without my eliciting them from friends who know ME on varying levels. Art is such a rich way to be in the world! What a great fortune I have to be engaged in an artful life on so many different levels--making art, having friends who make art, and BEING the ART!
TRISH THE TRAVELER. I took this image of Trish when she visited Chiboogamoo and ME in Atlanta from her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the beginning of 2015 to take part in an intuitive painting class. I had requested she bring her "top hat" with the octopus arm for the festive occasion of getting together with members of the Daily Creative Practice, my online Facebook Group, where we have shared so much of our creative work. Arriving on the MARTA train from the airport she was equipped with her Coca Cola and cigarette.
Trish's photos surprised me so much that I asked her to write a statement about why she started taking these black-n-white snapshots of me. Here is her response: 

"This series of photos was a combination of me trying to capture a bit of the essence that is Ruth Schowalter and me just playing with a new camera. Prior to taking these images I had been reading Patti Smith’s book, Just Kids, about her life and her relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith’s words, her sense of time and place, and images were ringing in my ears as I looked through the lens. The lighting, wind, and Ruth’s expressive nature did the rest. I shot in black and white because of the lingering impression the book left on me (imitation is the highest form of flattery, is it not?) and because devoid of color, all the glitz and colorful facades of life are stripped away and one is left with the feeling of what is real. Ruth in her adopted city on a late fall day overlooking Piedmont Park."

SELFIE OF THE SUBJECT (ME) WITH HER PHOTOGRAPHER. Trish and I captured the essence of who we are for a moment in time, taken outside of Sevananda in Little Five Points, Atlanta, after a visit to Junkman's Daughter to buy these hats, to have additional ones to offer members of the Daily Creative Practice at our evening gathering. Play is certainly involved in our creative activities together. Besides having great taste in photo subjects and hats, Trish is good fun. Her laughter is the best!
That's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me. Share with me your answer to the question, "WHO AM I?" Have you ever BEEN the ART? 

To see blogs written about my BEING THE ART in relationship to Lisa Alexander Streib:

True Collaboration: Show up. Do the Work. Consider it Good Enough.

Defining My Mission
Atlanta Along the East West Line MARTA and a Portrait of Two Women
Mark Nepo and Lisa Alexander Streib Collide in My Life
Infinity and the Selfie

The Reach


  1. Oh my what a wonderful pictorial blog this is. Trish has truly captured the essence of you Ruth and you have defined that essence so well with your questioning and writing of 'self'...I think I enjoyed this blog better than any other you have written. Perhaps it is because I have gotten to know the characters so well through The Daily Creative Practice...

  2. Darlene since we have never met in person, it thrills me to read that you experience these images as reflecting my essence. Hurray for our ART!!! Funny to think of those of us who participate on the Daily Creative Practice as "characters"! But that is true--we are! And I treasure that you are a very important one of them.