Saturday, March 20, 2010

one of those classic shots


Yesterday was my 17th quit-smoking anniversary.

I looked through my photo trunk for a particular shot of my mother and me taken in the early 1980s at a bar when both of us had cigarettes in our hands, or at least that is how I recall the scene. But I couldn't find it so I brought this shot downstairs to ask Michael if it would bother him for me to post it at my blog, this being a shot of me and another man, and he marvelously said it would not bother him. He agrees that it is a great photo. So outstanding, in fact, that when Michael and I went to New York to be married in 1995 we went to this exact area there at Liberty Island and set our camera on auto-shot for a series of poses. The results were sweet b&w pictures of us, but we both agree they are not this shot in terms of photographic art. And it remains a mystery why, in our honeymoon shots, the World Trade Center was faded in the background so as to be nearly undetectable against a clear sky. In fact, in one photo neither tower is visible at all. A strange foreshadowing perhaps.

This iconic New York kissing couple shot was taken by an agreeable tourist in March 1989 of bfk and me. Many of you have seen those initials here at Writerquake when I posted about his operatic musical, bfk's Oedipus. You can hear it at the link or at the linked badge at the end of my sidebar. He also leaves pithy and astute comments here from time to time. We have known one another since 8th grade German class and continued on through high school together, when he bested the rest of us by graduating a year early. I later joined him at the University of Nevada, Reno, for some years. He moved to New York City around the same time as when my first husband and I moved to Oregon...somewhere in the mid-1970s. We stayed in touch through marriages, divorces, and other life-change units. Connected in a big way there in his city in 1989 when we both were free and we both were smokers, as shown frozen in time here. Then came the silent years that usually kill old friendships.....

Facebook. What can I say? It has the capacity to end those silent years and it brought my friend back to me last year. After a short course of getting-reacquainted messages I asked bfk if he still smokes and learned that he too quit. That was in the past.


20 comments:

the watercats said...

congratulations on the no smokingness :-)... I was doing well, I have given up completely smoking at home and limiting it to when we go out... typically, from only going out once every two weeks, this week we've been out three nights!... I can feel it this morning... :-(
Anyway, fantastic picture! That is such a classic shot, it's like something off an album cover.

Jennifer said...

Yes, this is a great shot. The kiss, the cigarettes, the towers, the jeans.

I smoked in high school, but never quite took to it, thank goodness. Congratulations on staying away from the cigarettes for seventeen years!

YogaforCynics said...

Is that Jerry Seinfeld you're kissing up there?

Fortunately, I never got in to smoking...cigarettes...

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Congratulations Lydia. What a great photo on the top! Splendid! Because you love art, have a look here NIKOLAIDES

Darlene said...

Congratulations on being smoke free. Because it's so hard to quit I never went back. I didn't want that addiction to get hold of me again.

The photo is a classic with the skyline of NYC in the background.

Kudos to Michael for letting you post it.

Hattie said...

There is something so great about that, Lydia. And the way you can bring back the past. The Internet has helped me restore an important friendship, and I've made a lot of new friends, too and kept in touch with people in ways never before possible.
Were you ever in the towers? I was there once, in the late 70's, I think it was. I was not allowed into Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top, because I was wearing jeans!

Nancy said...

I remember those cig days. They ended for me with the birth of my first child, but I've been know to stray from time to time. This truly is an iconic picture! I would love to be that thin again... which is why we smoked in the first place...

kj said...

lydia, i find this touching in so many ways. i find your description of it all as refreshing and healthy. it made me smile. it is indeed a terrific shot.

it is also great to see you looking so cool and stunning and passionate!!

love love
kj

Lydia said...

the watercats~ Good goin' on your efforts to taper off the smokes. I quit smoking inside the house (but still smoked on the porch) for over a year before finally quitting. I had a private hypnosis session with a psychologist in Portland, OR, and never smoked again. :)Album cover...that's fun.

Jennifer~ The kiss, the cigarettes, the towers, the jeans. See how you can sum up anything with just the right words?!
Glad the cigs never gotcha.

YogaforCynics~ Jerry Seinfeld? Uh, nope. I just clicked to enlarge the shot to make sure, and it is indeed bfk.
Glad you never smoked...nicotine.

Phivos~ Thank you so much for the link to the great art. I left a comment asking if the artist is your brother...

Darlene~ Yes, absolutely, kudos to Michael. I'm blessed that he is not cursed with jealousy (although he has his moments, but don't we all?).
You said it: so hard to quit never went back. And, good god, the cost of the damn things these days...

Hattie~ It would be interesting to learn about your restored friendship. And I count myself among the new friends you have made on the Internet.
Yes, I was in the towers then in 1989 and the next year, and again when Michael and I were there in 1995. I should post some of the shots from atop the tower. I never thought to try the Windows on the World restaurant, and probably would have been admitted with Michael as I was wearing a dress that day. Interesting you weren't allowed in...

Nancy~ I hope you've had your last puff. But mainly am so glad the addiction is in your past, too.
I'm back to a size 6-8 after losing 15 pounds last year. Feels great, but now I have to firm up.

kj~ Thank you for this: i find your description of it all as refreshing and healthy. I really appreciate that comment.
(And I didn't mind the compliment at the end, either :)
lovelove too

M Riyadh Sharif said...

This photo is outstanding indeed. For some unknown reason I kept looking at this photo for few moments. I don't know why it seems so mysterious to me.
Life is full of incidents and accidents... isn't it? I love the changes of life... And I love more how we manage to deal with it.
And for some reason I'm having a strange good feeling about Michael.
Btw, you are so right about Facebook. It helped me rediscover my old friends. This is one reason why I'm thankful to Facebook.
Lovely post Aunt! And a lot love from me.

bfk said...

Holy cow. I remember this day quite clearly. I don't remember what Jerry Seinfeld was doing... probably smoking further uptown? He'll just have to find his own cigarettes, though.

And gee, Lydia, you were my very first Facebook buddy.

Since the two people in question appear to have a good grip on their cigarettes as well, I would assume the sound track would go a little like this...
puff puff kiss kiss snap snap grin grin puff puff say no more

Lydia said...

Riyadh~ Both Michael and I enjoyed reading your comments just now!
The photo seems somewhat mysterious to me, too. I think you are marvelous for loving the changes of life and I so hope for good good changes ahead in your life.
Much love from me.

bfk~ I am replying earlier in the day than I usually do because I wanted to be sure to catch you before you (wisely) get to sleep at a decent hour in NY.
Your sound track was quite fine, and it does not require a laugh track like Jerry Seinfeld may have used once or twice in his tv career, not that there's anything wrong with that.
(btw, I watched the first episode of his new show, "The Marriage Ref," and thought it was ghastly and a huge waste of my time. I'll never watch it again and I predict that it will fail in the first year...)

bfk said...

I'm not asleep, Lydia,... yet. But soon... Cute clip you cited. And I consider myself warned about "The Marriage Ref."

Lydia said...

bfk~ Hope you slept well and have a marvelous week at work. The people of New York thank you for your artistic efforts on their behalf.

Rhiannon said...

congratulations on your years of sobriety Lydia...I'm very proud of you.

Love,

Rhi

Lydia said...

Rhi~ I appreciate your support and friendship. :)

earthtoholly said...

That is such a great shot, Lydia! Seems it was made for b&w, too. And the Twin Towers in the back. Wow. This is right up there with that photo of the sailor and nurse in Times Square...really!

And congratulations on those 17 years...a most important anniversary. :o)

Lydia said...

earthtoholly~ Thank you for noting the importance of the 17 years.
And I thank you for seeing in the shot what I also see in it. (I had only b&w film for the trip; it is how I wanted to capture the time, and I'm so glad for it.)

Roxana said...

i am coming back to this post which has been on my mind ever since i saw it - it touches me deeply, the beauty and serenity of it, sorrow and lightness of being, despite everything, despite time flying by - i have no words and i only wish to thank you for sharing such magical memories with us.

Lydia said...

Roxana~ I am truly honored by your beautiful description of how the shot affects you. I have always thought there was something special, something "unsayable" about it and sharing it with you has been meaningful for me. Thank you.

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