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Pauline Lerner

May 11, 2005 at 6:39 AM

My previous blog entry has a photograph I took, and a lot of people have given me praise for it. I thank you all so much. When I first read Laurie’s comment, I was puzzled by her description of the photo as “a great representation of hope.” I hadn’t thought of it that way. Then I read the phrase “optimistic freshness” in JW’s comment. After a while, I could see hope and optimism in my photo. People helped me identify what was going on inside me.

Recently, I was talking to someone who said that we should be aware of our emotions so we can express them in our playing. I replied that sometimes I don’t know what mood I’m in and my violin tells me. I just put my fiddle under my chin and let it sing to me. I can hear my emotions that way. This is especially true if I play something that I’ve played many times before and, this time, I play it differently.

My creations, music and photographs, are like letters to myself. I just need to know how to read them.

Here is one of my photos which speaks of hope to me.

Japanese cherry tree

I took the photo last spring and sent it to a friend who had just had emergency heart surgery. I told him, “This is the time of year when Nature reminds us of the renewal of life.”

I am not religious in the conventional sense but I am very spiritual. I’ve often asked myself what makes life worth living. I can’t put my answer into words but I can describe it as I’m aware of it. Hanging on my living room wall is a poster with a photograph by Eliot Porter. It is a picture of early spring in the Appalachians, when the trees have not yet leafed out but the dogwoods and redbuds are starting to blossom. When I look at that picture, I often think, “Life is so fragile and so robust.” Sometimes I play my violin while I watch the picture, and the tune I play is Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring. Appalachian Spring was choreographed by Martha Graham and tells a story about two young lovers whose lives hold great promise. Do you recognize this feeling?

If you’re interested, please take a look at some of my photos of flowers at and butterflies at

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