Saturday, October 25, 2014

The L.A. Riots ~ From the Archive

 An E, Los Angeles, CA  April, 1992 © Marissa Roth

For a new photo blog called, "Camera Conversations", I was recently asked by my friend Todd Felderstein, the creator of the blog and interviewer, to provide some images I took during the Los Angeles Riots of 1992. I was part of the Los Angeles Times staff that then won the Pulitzer Prize for this coverage.

One of the images I chose, was this one. Always interested in images that say more than the obvious, I felt that seeing the evidence of civility mashed together with fragments of destruction, conveyed the tragedy of this event in more metaphorical terms.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Mother's Vase

My Mother's Vase, Paradise Valley, AZ, August 27, 2014 © Marissa Roth

Time present tense

Still unpacking

Stillness inspires memories, which flood past with the touch of
every piece of clothing or objet excavated from another box.

Looking back in order to look forward seems to be the mantra of 
this moment.

Awoke early this morning and witnessed the beams of sunlight and
reflected light creating this easy, yet ephemeral still-life. The purple 
vase was my mother's. I always loved it, even as a child.

A soothing reminder that in spite of everything dark that passes before
our eyes,

Still there is beauty

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


          Lake Wissota, Wisconsin, June 2014 © Marissa Roth

Tunnels bearing hatred. 
Missiles blowing commercial planes out of the sky. 
Contortions of humanity. 
All guided by human hands. 
And a kind of madness. 

Collective hearts broke around the world last week. Shock, but no awe.

Fighting to remember to see beauty. We live within it. We are of it. 

Peace please.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ode to the Kindness of Strangers

                                                                              Gold Star Tribute at The Highground, June 7, 2014 © Marissa Roth

Just returned from a heartfelt long weekend in Wisconsin - Neillsville, Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. My "One Person Crying: Women and War" exhibition opened at The Highground Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday.

It is a remarkable place of peace, which sits atop a promontory overlooking a glacial moraine and a view filled with almost one million acres of forest and rolling hills. It began as an idea, to give Vietnam veterans and those who supported them during and after the war, a place to go - to heal and commune. It now includes tributes and memorials for all 20th and 21st century wars that Americans fought in.

I was generously welcomed by the Learning Center director, June Berg, and the staff at The Highground. In addition, board members Steve Maddox and Al Jenkins gave of their time and knowledge with a generosity of spirit that I am ever grateful for.

I have relied on the kindness of strangers my entire career. It has literally propelled me forward in the front seats of cars and saved my life. It is what has gotten me through dark moments when I've seen the measure of humanity at its worst. I'd like to believe that human kindness will always prevail and tip the scale towards the light.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Phoenix Rising

                                                                                              Wing Imprint, May 19, 2014 © Marissa Roth

Arrived at my new Arizona home last week
Quietly recalibrating all of my inner and outer senses

Sleep and familial comfort slowly restoring energy
Finally an early morning awake to see the dawn

A wing
Revealed in that low dawn light
A far off galaxy imprinted on a dusty window
Evidence of an avian crash, but no death

Just a magical constellation briefly visible
Transparent again as the sun rises.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Jacaranda Blossoms, April  26, 2014 © Marissa Roth

Spring is subtle in Los Angeles.

The seasons turn uninterrupted. No great gales or last chance blizzards.

A welcomed sudden midnight rain storm after an interminable cloudy day, yields
a crystal clear sky with unabashed light and a torrent of flowers in gutters.

The Jacaranda tree, native to Central and South America, blooms in a ferocious,
leafless lavender for a blink, and then drops tubular flowers on car and sidewalks,
in a delicious sticky mess.

Renewal and reward.
Purple purpose as reminder we've rounded the bend into a new season.

Marissa was interviewed by "The Candid Frame" founder Ibarionex Perillo. Listen to the podcast for Marissa's thoughts on her life's work, being a freelancer, whether there is such a thing as a subjective image, and more.