by cheri block

Go back and think of times when someone said something to you that changed you. Like a tuning fork, the advice had perfect pitch–and you knew it.

I told Pete–the high school basketball coach–that my journalism class would need access to the gym to decorate for the Christmas Ball.

“Cheri, it’s better to ask than to tell,” Pete said outside my classroom.

That statement changed me forever.

You may have had this type of experience, too.

Last week, dafna–a thoughtful soul whom I have never met but whose comments I relish–suggested that I consider shooting pictures out of focus every now and then.

dafna, because of you, I will enroll in a photography course this summer.

dafna, I’ll try to shoot out of focus, every now and then.

Thank-you for offering yourself to me.

You did make a palpable difference in my life.

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in My photography. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to dafna

  1. Sablock says:

    So if I’m not wearing my glasses and you take a nearsighted photo of something far away will it be in focus for me?

  2. Cheri!

    Well, you are in constant focus even if you go out of focus if you ask me.

    In the 7th grade a nun told me, “Mary Jane, love God; that’s all that really matters.” That very nun found where I was hiding and contacted me 2 months ago for the first time since I left that school in the 8th grade.

    When my husband met me by the coffee machine in 1967 he remarked, “I never realized how blue your eyes were.”

    Peace Cheri,

  3. jenny says:

    I raise a glass to Dafna. L’Chayim!

    (Then I play a Nina Simone song in her honor.)

    Cheers to you, too, Cheri.

  4. Dafna has given me some valuable insights as well.

    Great pictures–but I did find it hilarious to think of you getting an etiquette lecture from a basketball coach. Was he toying with his whistle while he did it?

  5. wkkortas says:

    It never hurts to realize we are sometimes out of focus, and that ain’t all bad.

    I was, during my career as an undersized and underskilled center, given a great deal of advice by my high school basketball coach. Mostly, he advised me to consider other wintertime sporting activities such as cross-country skiing or bowling.

  6. Cyberquill says:

    Occasionally, you may want to take a few pics without taking the lens cap off.

  7. Foreign Toe says:

    Women seed and bring to term.
    Man himself is but a worm.

  8. I hope the top image is not the way, in your head, you picture Dafna!
    Off focus pictures, not accidental ones, are very difficult to take, I wish you the best of luck here.
    Taking pictures with lens cap on gives dark and gloomy pictures well suited for Hallow’Een, you can go bats trying to figure them out.

    • Cheri says:

      I liked that little lady, all ready for Halloween and gracing the front of a cute shop, so I brought her into my iPhoto library. Her blue eyes draw me in!

  9. Cheri says:

    my poet friend,
    this image (cross country skiing and bowling) certainly might make a sonnet of grand snow (with some gutter balls)…

  10. dafna says:

    dear Iris,

    great news about your boss, cheri, taking that class that will allow both of you to realize your full potential. the thought of the many days the two of you will spend playing with the light warms my heart.

    meanwhile, my boss, dafna, has been “hearing but not listening” to her father’s words for years. which is to say that i am still being held hostage in the closet… please send help!

    oh that someone would say to miss dafna that mysterious combination of words that will move her to really listen, and go that one step further to doing. she and i could also spend many a happy afternoon together capturing the world through my worthy aperture.

    cheers to the readiness that prefigures the listening. how powerful are a few words shared at the right time in the right place.

    yours truly,

    Manuel Zeiss Ikon

    • Cheri says:

      dear manuel,

      i am a patient canon with auto focus.
      perhaps we could partner if your missus agrees.
      we’ll shoot the same subject with our own interpretation.
      we’ll submit our pictures side by side.

      or maybe we won’t. whatever.

      cheri dropped me last month, so i’m still trying to recover from the shock of it all.

      take care manuel,


  11. Geraldine says:

    Cheri, this post is a lovely tribute to your friend, Dafna.

    I love the colours in the jars. Your photo reminds me of how colour appears to small children. Reds are bold, yellows happy and greens enticing.

    I fear, as we journey through life, we’ll see in paler hues, gradually unaware that we do so. We must save the originals in our mind’s eye, as artists do. And rely on the originals.

    For me, yellow is the colour of joy and, yet, also of pain. Perhaps, they are the flip side of each other. My grandmother would say that those who can withstand great pain also have the capacity for great understanding and joy or joie, in French. The very sound of joie is like the middle C on piano. I wish Dafna the middle C.

    • Cheri says:

      me too!

      I am reminded of the orgasmic scream that Bernadette Peters throttled every time the door bell rang in Young Frankenstein!


  12. Richard says:

    The second picture is particularly fascinating, both in its conception and its execution.

    Each picture, though, makes its own new and revealing impact, as does Dafna repeatedly with her kindness and insights. If she speaks from a closet she does so in a resounding way! The tributes to her here are all so well-founded.

  13. Haha, funny to see “dafna on dafna” in the comments list. Had to happen one feels. Love the lollies in the jar and rustic birdhouse.

  14. Brighid says:

    dafna, i would love to meet up with you. it’s lonely here since b moved away. the new people are nice, but it’s not the same. she could have used me as a hood ornament, at the least…


  15. Laura says:

    Hi Cheri … fun for you! I can’t wait to see more photos after you’ve taken the class. I love the photo here of the candy. Like this photo already does, you can play around with depth of field … some objects in focus, some out of focus.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi Laura,
      If I weren’t so overloaded with commitments (as I write) I would send you a nice long e-mail.
      Suffice to say, I edited your comment to preserve some privacy…
      Love to see you if you are up our way. Let us know if you plan a visit.

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