I “met” a pal named Lisa in a place called Flickr quite a few years ago now. I remember not long after we had exchanged a few comments and started to follow each other back and forth did she start to call me “pal” Nobody had ever called me their pal before. At first I thought it was maybe a silly kind of term, like “old buddy old pal” but the more I got to know Lisa the more that word started to feel enduring. Like when I think of pal I think of someone I would really want to hang out with. She was always so kind to me, left me encouraging messages and we encouraged each other in our arts. We both loved our cameras. Her talent though was deeper than a camera, her talent was connection. She connected with others through her actions and her lens. I took pictures of shadows, snails, “things” and myself. She took pictures of souls. She captured moments and memories with people so well. I really truly looked up to her.
We were in a self portrait “class” together online. We had one really talented class mate who took and still takes the coolest movement pictures, twirling and spinning, they are epic images, these pictures that move but not. We all wanted to twirl with our class mate but Lisa said she didn’t own a skirt. So I mailed her one of mine! She twirled in that skirt with her doc martins of course. It was good stuff. I think it’s the only time she wore a skirt and it was my skirt and that was really cool.
I remember I went through a period of taking what I called my morning mug shots and I had quite a collection of coffee mugs so I had lots of mug shots to share. Lisa was kind enough to not just mail me a mug but to make me a mug. Guess what it said on the mug? “To my Pal Tracie” with a big sunshine!
Lisa was approaching her 50th and made some comment about wanting to read the book “Catcher in the Rye” before she turned 50, you know one of those things she wanted to check off her list. She wasn’t exactly crazy about it but you know, you either love the book or you hate it. I think she wanted to see where she fell in, so I offered to read it with her, talk about it and stuff, sort of encourage her through it. Turns out that book written by J.D. Salinger in 1951 used the word pal quite a lot and I got a kick out of that. She was real appreciative that I read that book with her because I kind of think her reading that book was a form of torture, so after we read that book and I sent her off a little birthday appreciation she sent me one of her t-shirts!!!
Oh my word! The t-shirt. I felt like I won the lottery. I don’t think she realized we were not just pals but I was a FAN of hers. Like a real live fan. Her HEART. Her stories, her down to the bone real-ness. I just loved so much about this woman I had never even met. It’s crazy though cause although I have never met Lisa, I have met people who have met her and I would be like “like really, tell me, what is she like?” And it was always, she is exactly who you think she would be, the real deal.
We sort of got to see this book in the making and it took some time this book. It took some real serious time and durning that time I watched her grow and grow because that’s what all really humble and good people do, they just keep growing until BOOM she full blown FLOURISHED. She had this dream, she did and she never once gave up and she never once was a quitter. She endured and while she kept her eye on her dream, she met people who she touched, she touched there lives and they touched hers. It’s a mutual admiration.
I was on cloud 9 when I heard it happened, it really happened the book became a real actual hold in your hands, see all this connection with your own two eyes kind of book. It’s stunning and it’s filled with CONNECTION, FEELINGS AND it’s like being in her HOME. I couldn’t be more proud of my pal. She did it. She showed me that dreams come true and connection is connection its very real and it matters.
“My Great Hall” I learned even more about Lisa when I read in her OWN words the history of this place where she took all these incredible photographs. I got chills when I read about that old piano. She found her HOME again as she said in her own words. You know that saying “remember who you are and return” she did it. She really did and I’m so proud to call her my PAL. This is just me, my story of how I know Lisa. Can you imagine the stories out there? There are many and many more to come, this is just the beginning, I know it.