THIS ONE is my favorite image among the “THERE WILL BE BLOOD” series of photographs by Emma Arvida Bystrom. It’s of a young woman, in a skirt, reading at a counter that faces a window; you can see blood staining her panties through the glass, and she’s just reading. There’s blue sky, tree branches and buildings, in the reflection, too. A common scene. The colors and shapes in the shot, from each side of the glass fit together in this quiet, familiar way. And, yes, there’s a menstrual blood stain among the colors and shapes.

It’s so matter-of-fact, straight-forward. True.

There will be blood.

[sigh] I LOVE the simple-everyday.

I type that, and my internal studio audience snorts — yeh-right!

When was the last time you did anything but complain about, ignore, speed through or neglect the everyday things?

Be it body, home, job, the people in your life…the weather—EVERYTHING needs to be in order, handled, on time, easily maintained, as expected, neat…dry!…

Because I have things to do.

And, anything that interferes with my ability to get things done is not only of no interest to me, it needs to be eliminated. I don’t want to have to deal with it twice. Sometimes, I canNOT believe I had to deal with it once.


The thing is, now that I’m thinking about it, there isn’t much left after you excise the everyday of our lives. Machines function when you flip a switch. You can turn them on and walk away. Human living takes active participation, maintenance. Otherwise, quality of life suffers, relationships die, homes are a mess, businesses fail, feet get wet in the rain…and you become a rushed, bored, absentee for most of what is actually happening in your daily life.

It’s easy to lose sight of that.

That it’s the everyday details powering our lives.

Which is why I love this image.

It reminds me. Plainly.

Of what is.


Among many other experiences, people and things that are integral to my life (rush past it all as I might often do) —

There will be blood.

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