Tag Archive: Photography


IMG_6836

Eileen Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

This is a short story about life sometimes being painfully long, and other times abruptly short. It’s about fleeting-time, death, living day-to-day, year-to-year -the struggles, triumphs, and the people that we love, creating memories and losing them, falling-apart, and finding yourself. It tells of new friends, old places, and the need for trusting strangers. Throughout, there is music, dance, laughter, and madness, sometimes waiting too long-running out of time, broken hearts, and romance. Included are the moon, the sun, the sea, that has often saved us in our coming and going in fear and fury, desperately holding on and simultaneously letting go.

When once we were young and beautiful now growing-old and free – the tears, regret, joy, and walking with God in love. Sometimes you must trust in something, even a dream, each day while losing hope until there’s a miracle.

Finally, it’s about choices – good, bad, and suddenly having none.

Together we are here as if a point on a map has found us equally lost.

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

I am in between love, without life’s old shine, missing a best friend, walking, not necessarily feeling the steps beneath my feet that take me through the day. When sleeping has become the only sanctity, and you end up in an uncomfortable bed — the irony.

Eileen is a woman I’ve come to know. Alzheimer’s is her afflicting disease. We share a strong sense of humor, punching our way through life’s struggles, laughing at ourselves, jointly crying over a broken heart.

In many ways, in different circumstances, two people can find a new foundation to keep them both from sinking.

I cry almost daily for a warm hug that never comes, for a listening ear that understands and won’t judge. I’d like to be able to trust someone. Eileen cries to know how things changed and if she could possibly get back to where she belongs, feeling happy. We agree with finding happiness.

From my first poetry book, The Sum of Something Meaningful

This story is a reflection of you, out there, and of me and Eileen, and what it takes to survive nature’s cruelty. What if anything, is the point? Do love and pain exist as experiences in and of themselves that we merely host like the sky does the stars? Or is each step, day, year, a way closer to healing…

For the past year and a half, I’ve been caretaking for Eileen. I thought I was ready because my mother died from Alzheimer’s, and I had witnessed first-hand the violent storm. During those years, I was losing a caretaker—heart of the home, a warm hug from the person that could always make anything better. I was missing her recipes, stories, clear-eyes with no confusion, advice, unwavering love, her kiss goodnight that I’d collect while she said her prayers, knowing they always included me, and it made me feel much safer in the world, that and the smell of Pond’s cream on her soft cheek.

IMG_6862

My Mother Francesca

Eileen is my friend. I’ve come to know her well, despite the times she does not recognize herself. Unlike the experience with my mother, today, a mature woman, I am learning the soul and heart of another woman. I only wish I could have understood my mom this way, those days, but instead, I later found a gentle glimpse of her romantic heart in her love letters to my father. I have learned how much like her I am.

Letter to my Dad Overseas

Eileen also has love letters from a man she recalls when she was young. Jimmy Wells sung of her praises. From photographs, she has shared with me; beauty did not miss her. Even today, Eileen maintains the same spirit and fights to keep herself!

Young Eileen

Putting on her lipstick with an aching heart, she views the picture of her beloved late husband, Sonny, on the bedroom chest-of-draws. Confused and sad, she wonders why he doesn’t come around anymore? Initially, I explained he was in Heaven. It pained me to see her become angry or hurt, thinking he’d left. Now, she no longer understands the concept of dying the same way she doesn’t always recognize that she’s home.

Sonny and Eileen

“Where is my father,” she asks – A large red STOP sign taped to the front door and an alarm that sounds if she tries to leave to find her way home to the Bronx.

Eileen 2019 – Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

I do a lot of distracting these days – Let’s get dressed-up nicely before we go!

We look for people from the old days on the boardwalk and cope with anger when they don’t show. Often, we go to the nearby beach. There is peace at the ocean hard to find anywhere else. It has a quiet knowledge of everything. We feel simultaneously small and lucky to tread on the sand or boards beneath our feet. The sun offers brilliance on a blue-sky day or peeking through stern-grey clouds. We don’t have to grasp for words to speak but listen to the waves crash and seagulls soaring above. It’s enough, and there’s comfort in that.

Long Beach NY Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

In her last year of life, my mother continuously stated I want to go home! To watch my father make her comfortable, kiss her hand with love, and carry the burden of her being lost from him, broke my heart. I can only imagine the pain and fear of feeling you’re unable to find your home, beneath a roof or in someone’s heart, and oddly enough today, I recognize this feeling in my loneliness. I witness Eileen trying to find her way, and I know sincerely a soul is a home no walls can ever confine but invite a willingness to stay, yes.

My Father and Mother

Eileen and I listen to Frankie Avalon sing his hit songs, Why, Venus, and Beauty School Dropout. Eileen is back in time, young, beautiful, gushing over boys from school, and she laughs out loud while telling me how her mother would tease her, mimicking her young daughter’s behavior. In those moments, she is entirely comforted. Then we take a walk around the corner to find people from that time. They may be near if only we believe.

Recently after taking a couple of days off over two weeks, then returning to work with Eileen, she had declined. She saw me differently. That day I was her enemy. In her words, disgusting and horrible. According to her, I’d stolen her sister and children and now was after her memories. No, Eileen! It’s me, remember? No, she doesn’t. Suddenly, a sinking selfish-sadness came upon me. Everything I did is for nothing!

Then an epiphany – I realize on some level, not only with Eileen but my other relationships, love is meant to save you and in turn, myself. Could I be this powerful, and if I love you enough, if I give more than I can bear, will you stay and remember me? Can we build a forever home?

Long Beach NY - Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

We try to understand this life, turn to God, talk about faith. I admit I’ve turned away momentarily but because I cannot remain that angry, or deny all that is purely magnificent in this world, return. I convince Eileen to return.

Through profound points of personal sadnesses, we can find ourselves on a random Friday suddenly lifted by purple light cast across the sky, and a racing flock of Sandpipers.

We all transition through much over our lifetimes. All of us connect. All of us have our turn to live, to love, to explore, to be brave, to suffer, to celebrate, to be lost, to be found, to challenge the truth, to be angry, to fight for what we feel is right, to walk away, to create, and to die. But I don’t believe we really die. We merely transition our energy into another form. I think we find each other over and over, and that time is only an illusion. Love and pain will see us again.

IMG_6860

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Lately, Eileen and I dance. We listen to the music that returns a time when everyone we know was alive. Isn’t it brilliant the senses remember so well they can transcend? Close your eyes; we’re there.

Eileen and I developed a second language of gibberish. How it makes us laugh to make no sense at all and at the same time, understand – that we don’t need to.

Over many meals and walks together, we’ve learned of each other’s families, friends, lovers, our dislikes and likes, the disappointments, and been plain silly. We’ve balanced the most serious from medical test results to the simplest, enjoying a chocolate-malted.

She has cried to me about her fears, and I won’t forget. Life, people, nature, time, leave imprints.

IMG_4281.JPG

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Eileen and I are an example of finding what we need at the right time until the next time we need something different, more or less. We’re an example of our human experiences, the frailty and strength, the kindness we all need, and love most importantly.

A Bench Along Our Way

A Bench of Someone’s Memorial along our Way – The Written Message So True

I miss a companion and have become one to another. I recognize we all portray what we need most, and in that, I don’t think anyone of us can truly ever be lost. We only need someone to help us remember, to remind us to live from that most profound part of our soul that doesn’t need explanation; just being is enough.

(YEARS FROM NOW, on the beach, I’m confident, Eileen, will let me know she’s reunited with her, Sonny, and dancing into the Mystic, like my Mom and Dad (Fred and Frances) where someday I’ll join them with a love of my own.​

Long Beach NY 2019 Photograph Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte

Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIA PISCIOTTA-DELLAPORTE at Long Beach, NY 2019

 

 

Illusory Silver Lining

Conceptual Art Credit Claudia Perna

tenor

Silver lining—

I am trying,

in love and despair,

to find you.

 

Reds, blues, heavy-anchors,

every which way…

 

I look, see a resemblance,

a flicker-beautiful, eyes, calling to –

yesterday’s:

confidence in motivation.

trust in a means to an end.

 

The universe, time,

tick-tock… mocking!

 

Climbing.

Fighting.

 

Lies.

Exhaustion.

 

The day comes with its bread and water,

its sun, molding vertical lines,

invisible, free-air, mind trapped inside.

 

Dare not speak the truth…

that it might find me,

once willing—unprepared.

 

In the pain I am with you,

razor-sharp reality,

 

creating colors that do not fade

impervious mysteries,

 

but that hold onto a heart.

 

There… its fragility,

saves the God inside us.

 

Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte ©2018 All Rights Reserved

 

Inner Dialogue –

IMG_0206_WebPhotograph by Arielle Williams – https://www.ariellewilliams.com

Ms. Williams’ fine art photography is featured in my book, Life in Between https://www.amazon.com/Life-Between-Collection-Poems-Photographs/dp/1532002149/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502061932&sr=1-1&keywords=Maria+pisciotta+dellaporte

***     ***     ***     ***

 

Are you quite ready?  I mean have you had enough?

Please, don’t feel you must respond immediately.  After all, it’s only been twenty-one years.

 

          Enough years to assimilate with grief, and your natural wit about it

 

I’m only pointing out the obvious.  You already know which way to go.

The way I figure it, torment has become as easy as a breath mint to youYour ability to simply reach for, and pop one onto your taste buds like bitter remorse.

Are you listening?

 

          To what your direction or my inner voice that knows?

 

Either! But please go already…

 

          It may be too late, although I do feel close to arrival.

          Wouldn’t that be rich—to arrive too late—show up dead or something?

 

Maybe you already are dead.  Ever think about that?

 

          (Thought provoked glare with a dash of annoyance.)

 

You know, I’ve been thinking.  What if you gave-up trying to make sense of everything? There may be no profound reason to anything.  Think about it…

 

          Funny.

 

Imagine it this way.  You tie your shoes because they’ll stay securely on your feet.  It is more comfortable than tripping over the laces, but do you really think about doing it?

Can’t there be an underlying reason that you don’t need to realize, but just do?

 

          Think later?  I like the idea.  But what if I forget what to think about?  It could be a curse.  The onset of Alzheimer’s.

 

But you’d be none the wiser.  Truly, no attempt at unweaving has served you.  You’re like a spider, hanging at the end of what’s left of a sticky web, destroyed by a broomstick.

 

          Some compassion!  Are you calling me a witch?

 

All I’m saying is don’t be so comfortable with the voices in your head.

 

          And you are….

 

Yes… but I’m positive, if I wore the red shoes from that stale closet calling for mercy, and went out dancing, I’d be a star!

 

          Sometimes the voices are the only ones listening to reason…

 

I’m so glad we could have this talk.

 

(To be continued…)

 

Maria Pisciotta-DellaPorte ©2017 All Rights Reserved

Unknown