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March 14, 2011

Ok, before I post anything, let me just say that if you were a faithful friend and checked the blog in the last (ahem) 26 days, FORGIVE ME (and I love you). But if you knew what I have technologically been through, you would be calling with condolences and sending coffee cake! (Or Murray’s Cheese?)  Between loosing my computer to “issues” for three weeks (we’re now back up and running!) having my cell phone internally combust, and Wile eating our house phone cord (not kidding), I’ve been shlogging through a bit of a technological desert! Talk about disconnected! But before I flood back with posts of life here on the farm, I must introduce you to someone.

Her name is Nina.

Nina in Paris, 2003 Silver Gelatin Print

Nina is from Sweden. Nina and I met in Paris. We had both arrived in late January of 2003, and were both facing the hopeless task of finding an apartment. I had spent days of reading newspaper adds (well not reading very well, since my French was terrible…) and finally trekked out to the America Church to check their postings. After calling on a few listings and feeling desperate, I realized I needed a friend, just someone to have a coffee with, or I would absolutely implode in this mess of apartment-hunting in a foreign language. Nina walked in. And I decided, she’s it! she’s going to be my friend! Have you ever sat down on a lonely stoop, closed your eyes, and concentrated so hard, praying that a friend, the friend would walk through the door? Well, if you have, you know how imperceptibly crazy and well, pitiful it feels. But hey? Don’t knock it unless you’ve been there!  And there she was–wispy white blond hair, Converse sneakers, and a fat white scarf. I had little idea where she might be from, so I approached her in (my terrible) French.

Nina, in my opinion, was a bit taken back my by American frankness of I-don’t-know-you-let’s-have-a-coffee (which was probably awkward in my French). But to this day, she says she was glad I approached her! (Maybe that’s how desperate men feel in bars, asking women out cold turkey. I don’t know. That’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to understanding strange men in bars). To make a long story short, we did get a coffee, we did become friends, we did help one another in our apartment search, and by a twist of good fate, we ended up living in two tiny maid’s chamber apartments next to each other under the same Ecuadorian landlord-photographer-motorist, William, in an illegal sublet at the Luxembourg Gardens for a mere 300 Euros a month. Nina was to leave two months before me, but we spent our time together scouring flea markets, fruit markets, galleries, cinemas, and parks across Paris. We collected images, clippings, magazines, rocks, photographs, paintings, and a bit of dumpster trash as well! She is truly a Swedish soul mate (I will admit, I am lucky enough to have two).


Nina in Virginia, 2011

Nina arrived in Virginia yesterday, and when I met her at the airport, there she was in a thick white woven scarf and Converse, as demure and playful as ever. We all have our Ninas, those people that come in such fateful, fruitful and needed times in life. Those people that sit down with us over a coffee when we feel like we are in the middle of a difficult moment (or a city of people whose language you do not speak), those people that inspire us, that can share a meaningful laugh, that truly know us to the core, even in our most fragile and raw states. And an ocean (and much land and many languages away) is my Nina. And Jason’s Nina…


Harrigan photographing Nina photographing Jason (while eating)


Poor Jason, so many photographers around! The boy can't get a break!

Jason steals a bite in between shots

Jason and Nina telling stories

Nina and Jason

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 9:54 am

    Glad to have you back!

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