While I'm Here

In 2020, I experienced a series of personal tragedies I could have never quite imagined unfolding much less prepare for. My cat, my father, and my mother were all diagnosed with aggressive forms of cancer within the span of a few months. Both my cat and father are now gone while my mother is currently battling her illness. She is determined and brave and my sisters and I are trying to provide support and comfort as best we can. There are moments of sweetness, humor, and positivity and I am deeply grateful we can be together — something not to be taken for granted during this time of pandemic and suffering.

Still — from one loss to the next, it is undeniably difficult. And during these months, I have put my camera down. The item which provided an endless source of sustenance, fulfillment and downright joy for the past several years has not been a priority. I'm a creature of habit and as my routines have been thrown into disarray while I'm in this new care-taking role faraway from home, I just haven't felt inspired to pick it up.

But then, as I've flailed about in this uncertain period, my sister caringly suggested just to try getting back to photography in some small way. Something basic. Something easy. What about a portrait project? What about documenting the cats of the neighborhood? Yes, they are such a lovely combination of tough, glorious and silly. And, I love them so damn much. Even on the worse days, I find such happiness in a sighting as they scurry across the walls to find food scraps or nap comfortably splayed on a neighbor's truck. These cats teach daily lessons in loss and survival. So I've decided to take my sister up on her idea and I am now focusing my lens on the quirky felines of this sleepy suburb of Mevaseret Zion.

I've always enjoyed traveling around the Bay Area to make photos -- going far and wide to capture the beautiful essence of my hometown and the radiant people who live here striving to make it a better place for all. This project will be different. With images created within a short radius of our doorstep centered around these scrappy and beautiful little beasts perhaps I will be fortunate enough to find the quiet structure and strength that I need during this time.

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