Flashback: 3 x 3

I bought my first digital camera in 2000 or 2001, the earliest model Olympus 1.3 megapixel with a built in flash. That first week I accidentally dropped it. When I used the flash, light would burst, but every image came out black, like the shutter and flash were out of sync. Instead of clumsy bad luck, I saw this accident as a blessing. I hated how using a flash always left an obnoxious glare, especially when clicking people. So from that day on, I was forced to learn how to work with available light. I liked my new camera when I first got it, and then LOVED my camera when I accidentally broke it. #DamagedGood

One afternoon I took a long walk down Melrose Ave. in losAngeles and just clicked away. After downloading the 200+ images (which was a LOT back then), I highlighted the ones I liked most. And within seconds I randomly arranged these images into 3 throws of 3. It was felt like a visual stream ff consciousness magically unfolding into a very personal story that I can easily tell over and over again— even today, 15 years later.

200+ randomly images clicked, quickly narrowed down to 9, then effortlessly arranged into 3 x 3 — described below

3 x 3: deconstructed

  • Upper-left and lower-right corners:
    LOOK and BODY leaned boldly in opposite corners, emphasizing how important looks and physique were to me and my world at the time. I was 30 years old living in losAngeles. I worked (and played) hard to be fit, and fortunately it showed. But unlike my BFFs, my tight SoCal inner posse, I never did a cycle of steroids. No judgments here. I was simply very proud of (my) self.
  • Lower-left and lower-right corners:
    NATURE hung casually in the other corners. I’ve always loved fresh FLOWERS — buying them, receiving them, even planting and growing them. But more than anything, I lived for giving them, to make people feel special even on ordinary days. And CITRUS fruits always filled this big glass bowl in my kitchen. My favorite citrus then (and even now) were grapefruit and tangerines. I can still picture them in that clear bowl — big and round with small and round. Ruby red tart with sweet juicy cuties. I love how they both taste and smell.
  • Top middle:
    The PISCES symbol circled in solid concrete caught my eye against the beautiful bright blue losAngeles sky. I’m a Pisces, and at the time I had a lot of other Pisces in my life. Walking past this symbol, I was reminded of 8th grade when my girl-best-friend introduced me to my spiritual self. We grew up Irish Catholic and read Astrology books out loud to each other, in person as well as over the phone, for hours, on school nights. Together and as individuals we were self-aware, her aura was orange and mine was purple. Purple was magic, and I liked knowing I was surrounded with magic.
  • Bottom middle:
    This big structured protective wall was a symbol of architecture, art and discipline rolled into one. Around that time I fell madly in love with chairs, mid-century modern chairs, and #design in general. A new passion. I still love vintage #Eames everything and have a home full of chairs and then some. I’m also madly passionate about #UX. I am today, an #ExperienceArchitect.
  • Left middle:
    This simple icon, black on white, reminded me of several things at once — movement, energy, growth, evolution; Keith Haring; a crown of thorns. Today I love stenciled art. Another passion.
  • Right middle:
    More things I love — clean lines, brushed steel, typography. I was born on the 21st and 21 was one of my lucky numbers. I loved playing cards, luck of the draw, Texas hold’em, Black Jack. Everything added up, even the address of that square-lined modern house: 7 + 4 + 6 + 4 = 21
  • Center square:
    FAITH found its way to the 3 x 3 center, forever at the core, (my) core; Letters were delicately cursive, soft, underscored. It made me feel good. Safe. No matter what surrounds me or comes my way, I’m confident, centered with faith — faith in others, filled with faith. Faithful. And also #thankful.

3 x 3: an old soul

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