Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And With the Press of a Button…

I'm live.

lisa gilbert photography

comments, suggestions, purchase orders cheerfully accepted.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Sunni, Stacy, Lisa, Calder
Originally uploaded by lkgilbert.

I Can't Even Catch Up With Myself

My packing deadline, — which was looming large — has, through an absurd chain of events, been extended to the end of May. Our original buyer, the one who wanted an implausibly quick closing, dropped out after signing the P&S. Evidently there’s not as much money in the world as we all thought. So, the house went back on the market and I did a little jig of joy that I wasn’t going to be out on the streets before the school year was over. More time to find a job, find a place, pack the stuff. Besides, selling a house in this depressed market is not supposed to be that easy, right? Something was bound to go wrong.

Back on the market it went, and I relaxed into the idea that the first sale was a fluke and now we were going to have to wait a while. I let all the apartments I’d been considering go, I stopped worrying about how I was going to get everything done. I figured I’d probably have another month or so to get things straightened out.


We got an offer four days ago and we’re off the market again. Closing May 30th. My reprieve has turned its back on me. Bastard.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The christmas tree, I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds
For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky

I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a camaro's hood

I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb to trust and never let you down

I wish I was a radio song, the one that you turned up

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And I Fell for You, Like a Blanket Making a Bed

I've been in love with this song for a while now; these days it seems especially apt. I'm missing my friends. I'm missing the west. But the windows are open and the tunes are loud and that fixes everything.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another Chance

I dreamed of you again last night. In the dream, I came upon you sitting on the hill behind the house where I grew up. You were digging in the dirt, and when I asked you what you were looking for, you said "answers." You were wearing a blue shirt and you had grass on your feet. You asked me if I would bring you a dictionary. I got one out of my car and gave it to you and you looked up the word illusion…you told me that's what I was, that's what I had always been to you.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin.
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Money Maker

Originally uploaded by lkgilbert.

Things went better than I expected.

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day 80: Making a Door

"I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door — or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present." — Rabindranath Tagore

I'm not quite there yet, but I think it's possible. For now, I'm going to pretend that I believe this.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not Quite MoMA…

…but gallery space just the same. Tomorrow is my first real showing of work outside of the portrait business. I have twenty-two pieces hanging in a small, sunny gallery. I have a knot in my stomach.

I have talent, maybe.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I’ve been packing. Or, rather, unpacking. A great many of the boxes that have been sitting, untouched, in our basement and attic for the past six years were moved here from California, where they also sat, untouched. The boxes contain the kinds of items that serve no real use, but which are difficult to discard; high school yearbooks, letter jackets, outdated guidebooks for San Francisco, Rome, New York. Files of old letters, stories I wrote in college, and psychology textbooks. Junk collected at each of our different jobs. The boxes are mostly labeled “Lisa and Matt -- misc.” It is likely, had things been different, that these boxes would have remained sealed indefinitely. They might have moved with us from place to place, but their contents, their conjoined miscellany, would have remained untouched until someone, perhaps Calder, wanted to see what was inside. Things are not different, though. Things are what they are, and since I am the one packing to move out of this house, it falls to me to finally break the seal on these boxes. It’s my job to sort through, and separate forever, the stuff we’ll never use.

In one of the boxes, in a manila folder full of random correspondence, I found a letter written to me by one of, if not THE, great loves of my life (I know that’s probably supposed to be the person that I married, but in the very clear path of retrospect, it was the one that got away, rather than the one who ran away, who will forever be in my heart). This letter is one of many written to me by this person; it’s not particularly emotive in its tone, nor is it declarative of love or devotion. In fact, it’s rather neutral. What made me stop and struggle to catch my breath was the prophecy it contained. It was written nine years ago, but it completely and utterly describes my life as it is today. Lessons learned. Things lost. The perspicacity of this person has unsettled me time and time again over the years, but this time it finally sunk in. He was right. All along. Perhaps if I had listened, I wouldn’t be here, mired in grief and packing tape.

Richard Ford wrote that “the worst thing about regret is that it makes you duck the chance of suffering new regret, just as you get a glimmer that nothing’s worth doing unless it has the potential to fuck up your whole life.”

How can this kind of magic collect the dust of ordinary existence? How do we let people slip away?

I hope it will come to me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day 74: That little souvenir of a terrible year

Seriously, what is UP with the wrinkles?
I'm reconsidering Botox.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rock. Lisa. Hard Place.

What was that movie, where the guy took everything out of his house; the furniture, all the clothes, the artwork, the appliances, and put it on his front lawn and sold it? Anyone? Did he actually make any money?

I'm totally thinking about doing this.

Or maybe selling my soul on eBay.