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I attended my first ZooTunes concert recently to hear to ukelele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. Jake is from Hawaii (!) and a truly amazing musician. Plus, he looks like he’s having so much fun on stage, it’s infectious. The ZooTunes concerts are wonderfully casual, and we snuck in some wine along with our picnic foods. “Professional” cameras aren’t allowed so I brought my Lumix GF-1 which is compact and doesn’t look as “pro” as my Canon 5d MkIII. It doesn’t have much of a telephoto, so there aren’t any great Jake photos.
My friend Connie, looking ever radiant.
And though it was a sold-out concert, when Jake played Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” you could hear a pin drop. I think even the animals were hypnotized by the song’s beauty, as interpreted by Jake. This clip isn’t from ZooTunes, but I wanted you to be able to hear it for yourself.
I had the pleasure of seeing Grand Master Jimmy Mirikitani at the Wing Luke Museum recently. If you haven’t seen the film, The Cats of Mirikitani, please stop reading now and find a copy and watch it. For me, it’s a testament to love and a spirit that would not be extinguished. Jimmy Mirikitani was homeless, living on the streets and making art in New York City when documentary filmmaker Linda Hattendorf became intrigued by this man, and started to film him. We learn that Jimmy was born in the US but his family moved to Hiroshima, Japan when he was young. There he witnessed the deaths of many of his family members in the bombing. After moving back to the US, Jimmy rebuilds his life, which is then interrupted by the Japanese American internment camps. Many years later, Jimmy is in his eighties and is living on the streets. After 9/11, Linda, out of concern for Jimmy’s safety and health, takes him in to live in her apartment. Then his incredible story unfolds, and love and friendship begin to heal old wounds.
How many times have we turned our faces away from the people who are homeless, in need, fragile? Linda Hattendorf did not, and the love and affection that she and Jimmy have for each other is deep and sustaining. Jimmy’s now 93, and living in an apartment and still making art. Love truly does heal.
Jimmy flashes the peace sign whenever he can, saying “Make art, not war.”
My good friend, Beth, of Mama Knows Her Cocktails, has a tantalizing website full of cocktail recipes, entertaining tips and gardening gems. She has been busy sharpening her photographic skills and one afternoon we got together to work on a few studio set-ups. If you’re interested in learning more about craft cocktails in a down-to-earth, non-fussy way, Mama Knows Her Cocktails is for you. Is anyone thirsty yet?
What a joy it was to photograph Rob and Rob and their baby, Miss M. This family came together with the help of the good work of Amara, a non-profit adoption agency in Madrona. I’ve worked with Amara for four years now, and this experience has shaped how I define love and family. Seeing the love in Rob and Rob’s eyes for their daughter warms my heart. And this family is so darn attractive, even the dog has a great smile!
Lucky, Kai and I spent the weekend exploring the quaint town of La Conner, and doing a little hiking near Deception Pass. There was more eating and drinking than hiking, I’m afraid. But the weather was unexpectedly lovely, and a good time was had by all critters, both two- and four-legged.