Day 917: How we touch the ground

I spent some time yesterday test-driving cars and exchanging a pair of new shoes for ones that fit me MUCH BETTER.

This morning, I woke up thinking this:

When we move around, we touch the ground through (1) our feet or (2) wheels.

Are there are other ways we touch the ground? Feel free to touch down below this post, with a grounding comment.

Whenever I touch upon a blog post topic, that seems to touch and transform  all the photos I’ve taken recently, with new meaning.

How did I touch the ground yesterday?

Which photos touched you, down to the ground?

Here’s some touching music to ground this post:

Katrina and the Waves are “Walking on Sunshine” there, on the Tonight Show.

One more thought I care to touch on, before I touch the “publish” button.

No matter how many ways we touch the ground, there are so many ways we touch each other.

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for touching ground here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 33 Comments

Day 916: Get closer

Get closer

What are your associations with that simple, two-word phrase?

Get closer and I’ll tell you some of my associations with

Get closer

Every moment, we each get closer to the end of our lives on earth. Our best hope is to get closer to our authentic selves, to whatever we value, and to each other.

Yesterday — as the day was getting closer to sunset and my bf Michael and I  got closer to seeing  July 4 fireworks — I took this photo.

By the end of the day, I did get closer to Harley:

Before I get closer to showing you some photos of fireworks, please get closer — so you can see these earlier photos, closer and closer to where I live:


Which of those photos say “get closer” to you?

When Michael and I got closer to the Newton, Massachusetts fireworks last night …

… the Newton Police didn’t want us to get closer than that.

However, we were able to get closer to those fireworks than I did, last year, in Boston.

As I get closer to the end of this post, I continue to get closer to Michael, who just said,

If you already know, you can’t learn.

Does that help you get closer to anything?

Get closer, so you can see these photos I took last night in Newton Massachusetts, at that closer July 4th celebration:


Get closer, so I can get closer to explaining how I chose

Get closer

for today’s post title.

If you get closer, you’ll see that

Get closer

is in the lower right of our TV screen.

Here are more shots of the Boston fireworks last night, with

Get closer

always in the same place on the screen:


Now I need to get closer to choosing some “Get closer” music for this post.

The closer you get to me, the more you know I like guessing games. Which of those versions of “The Closer I Get to You”the original with Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway or the remake with Beyoncé and Luther Vandross — gets closer to 4 million views on YouTube?

I don’t think I can get closer to begging for a comment, do you?

In closing,  thanks to all who helped me create this get-closer post (including my downstairs neighbor Karen, her dog Faxy, and Karen’s daughter’s guinea pigs Sam and Pam , whose names get closer to each other’s) and even closer thanks to you — of course! — for getting closer, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 38 Comments

Day 915: Look at me!

Before I got my current job as a psychotherapist at a major teaching hospital in Boston, I worked for 12 years at a group-oriented  psychiatric day program — first as a clinician and then as the director.

Look at me! I’ve been a group therapist for over 16 years!

The staff at the psychiatric day program often noticed something we called

See me/Don’t see me

Here are other ways I’d describe that very common, human way of behaving, right now:

  • Fear of being exposed
  • Yearning for attention/fear of attention
  • Accepting parts of self/rejecting others
  • Trying new and unfamiliar things/the shame reaction
  • I deserve attention/I am not worthy of it

See me/Don’t see me, in this post!  I already have mixed feelings about how I’m writing it.

Look at me! I’m digressing from the big news of this July 4, 2105 blog post.  Yesterday,  I had the day off from work and I went to see the musical Newsies in Boston

Look at me! I’m in Harvard Square, on my way to Newsies. 



Look at me! I took a picture of Peet’s in Harvard Square, where my bf Michael and I first looked at each other five years ago  (after writing each other daily for two months online at OkCupid). 
Look at me, back on my way to see Newsies!




Look at John! He’s one of the security guys at the Boston Opera House. He used to work as a parole officer and he told me, “My wife tells me to smile in pictures, but I say, ‘That hurts!'”

Look at me,  at yesterday’s matinee performance of Newsies!


Look at me showing you how the lead role of Jack Kelly (played by Christian Bale in the 1992 film) was performed  by an understudy, Michael Ryan.

Look at me! I don’t have any pictures of Michael Ryan and how AMAZING he was, including his grateful tears when we all gave him a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Look at these photos I took on my way back home, after seeing Newsies:



Look at me! I just spent an hour looking for this video made 8 years ago by three girls in the United Kingdom, performing “King of New York,” my favorite song from Newsies:

If you look at that video on YouTube, you’ll see that I wrote a comment four years ago, and they answered me!

Look at me! I forgot to mention that “King of New York” includes the line

Look at me! I’m the King of New York.

Look at all these people performing “King of New York”!

Look at you! What do you think of this post today? Look at me —  as usual,  I’m looking for comments.

Thanks to everybody I’ve ever worked with in group therapy, to Newsies, to Michael, to OkCupid, to security guy  John, to understudy/star Michael Ryan, to Harvard Square, to Boston, to all those  who have ever sung or danced to “King of New York,” to all the kings, queens, princes, and princesses I saw in Cambridge and Boston yesterday, and special thanks to you — of course! — for looking here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 914: What the hell is happening?

Last night, at a therapy group, people expressed fear, confusion, and concern about things they experienced around them.

Somebody asked, “What the hell is happening?” and that became the topic of

  • the group exercise and
  • today’s post.

What the hell is happening, in these photos?






What the hell is happening, here,  in the song “For What It’s Worth” by the Buffalo Springfield?

What the hell is happening where you are?

What the hell? I’m very thankful to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 913: It takes one to know one

When somebody gives me a compliment, I often reply:

It takes one to know one.

I believe that, too. Seeing a positive attribute —  like kindness, generosity, humor, or creativity —  means you have some of that quality, also. Otherwise, you wouldn’t recognize or value it.

Yesterday, at an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy session. I said

It takes one to know one

in a very different way, about a painful and persistent memory from when I was a child in the hospital.

As I’ve described in a previous post, a very unkind, ungenerous, humorless, and non-creative Doctor Hyatt, in 1963, responded to my telling him I was in excruciating pain by:

  • calling me a “spoiled brat”
  • refusing to help in any way,
  • saying, “You’re just doing this for attention and there are really sick children here!” and
  • leaving me alone, in my hospital room.

Then, I was

  • still in pain,
  • shamed, for expressing pain,
  • worried that I had somehow caused  harm to the sick children all around me, and
  • horribly confused by why an adult had gotten so angry at me, when  all I had done was try to survive.

In some ways, I have spent my whole life, since then, trying to figure out and let go of that experience.

Yesterday, in EMDR therapy, I revisited that encounter with Dr. Hyatt, and I

  • beat the stuffing out of a pillow,
  • yelled, “You’re fired!” and
  • replied to being labeled a spoiled brat with “It takes one to know one!”

After that session, I hope to be less inclined to fear other people suddenly becoming angry at me, for no reason.

You know?

It took one to know one, yesterday, in these photos I took, one after another:

It takes one music-lover to know one wonderful piece of music, heard yesterday on one car radio, after that EMDR session:

One performance of Pachelbel‘s Canon on YouTube has taken WAY more than one to know one —  that video has over 24 million views.

One more one thing to know: it takes one blogger to know one (or more) reactions from you, with gratitude.

Knowing thanks to my EMDR therapist, George, to everybody else who contributed to my creating this post, and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 52 Comments

Day 912: La Vie Boheme

“La Vie Boheme” is French for  “The Bohemian Life.”

Because I don’t speak French, my  associations with “La Vie Boheme” are “The unconventional, artistic, interesting, non-materialistic, challenging, creative, and probably poverty-stricken way.”

Do you have any associations with that?

“La Vie Boheme” is also a song from the musical Rent, which my son Aaron and I will be seeing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in August.

Here’s another association I have with “La Vie Boheme”: When the young  (and somewhat Bohemian) Rent creator Jonathan Larson died right before the debut of Rent (from an undetected cardiac condition), the heart-broken cast went on with  the show, but decided to sit down during  the performance. When they got to “La Vie Boheme,”  they couldn’t help themselves — they got up and danced, danced, danced.

Here’s “La Vie Boheme” (with lyrics but no dancing)  from the movie Rent:

Here’s “La Vie Boheme” from a stage production of Rent, with dancing:

Yesterday, I heard “La Vie Boheme” on my walk to and from work. And here are the photos I snapped throughout the day, with “La Vie Boheme” on my mind:




What do you think is most Bohemian (or unconventional, artistic, interesting, etc.)  about all this?

Bohemian thanks to Jonathan Larson, the Longwood Medical area of Boston, Arlington Massachusetts, ducks, geese,  and every other person, creature, place, or thing  who helped me create this post. Special thanks to you — of course! — for visiting (from Bohemia or wherever) here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

Day 911: Does that ring a bell?

Does the expression “ring a bell” ring a bell for you?

Here’s the definition, from Google:

1. informal

 revive a distant recollection; sound familiar. 

“the name Woodall rings a bell”

For me, the name Woodall does NOT ring a bell. Does that name ring a bell for you?

Here are some things that have been ringing bells for me lately, but differently than they’ve rung in the past:

  • Technology and machines have been misbehaving. For example, my WordPress phone application froze this morning, so I deleted it (despite the daunting  message “If you delete WordPress you will delete all data”) and then reinstalled it — feeling almost no fear  about that.
  • I’ve been summoned to a meeting today at work that’s supposed to be very important, with somebody I don’t know, with no explanation about who, why, or what I am expected to do, and I am feeling almost no fear about that.
  • As I’m writing this, I’m aware of my newly implanted large  cardiac device that’s causing me some physical discomfort, and I am feeling almost no fear about that.
  • I’ve been asked to give a training presentation about my “Coping and Healing” therapy groups in August, and I am feeling almost no fear about that.
  • I am realizing that I may conceivably hurt somebody’s feelings or offend somebody at some point  (an inevitable occurrence in human interactions), but I am feeling almost no fear about that.

Is this post ringing any bells for you, so far?

I thought of the  title for today’s post yesterday, when I was walking and listening to music that rings bells for me.

Does that ring any bells?

Here’s the tune — which used to be my phone ring tone — that rang that bell for me, yesterday:

Booker T & the MGs are ringing bells and playing lots of instruments  on  “Green Onions,” here at YouTube.

Typing “Booker T & the MGs” just now rang this bell for me:  Talking to WordPresser Mark Bialczak, a few weekends ago, about spelling the names of bands accurately.

Perhaps these photos I took yesterday will ring some bells:


If you leave a comment about this post, that will definitely ring my bell.

Bell-ringing thanks to all people, pets, food, and places that helped me write today’s post and special thanks to you — of course! — for whatever bells are ringing, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 910: What do you hear?

All my therapy groups start with a mindfulness exercise, where we use our senses in silence. One of my favorites  is listening to whatever we can hear in the room. 

If you were to do that exercise right now, what would you hear?

What do I hear? 

Birds chirping. The dishwasher humming. The sound of my typing this on my iPhone keyboard. My breathing. My cat Oscar jumping up on the table and positioning himself. 


A coat on the back of my chair falling to the floor. 


Yesterday, after hearing the sound of rain for many hours, I left the house wearing my “left the house before I felt ready” t-shirt.  I was still hearing rain as I approached my car, only to discover I had left the driver’s side window open, all night long. 

What would you have heard, if you were there?

Just these sounds:

  • A sigh. 
  • A car door opening. 
  • The sound of my placing down carefully, in the back seat of the car,  the bowl of potato salad my bf Michael had made the night before.
  • My  feet on the back steps up to our place.
  •  “Guess what? I left my car window open all night. I haven’t done that in a while,” spoken to my 17-year-old son, Aaron. 
  • A kitchen drawer opening. 
  • Two garbage bags being removed from their container. 
  • My feet on the steps back down. 
  • The sound of two garbage bags being placed to cover the driver’s seat. 

After I heard all those sounds, I drove off to attend the annual summer gathering of the doctors, nurses, and other people working in the same suite as me.  What sounds do you think I heard, on my way there?



On the radio, I heard “Do I Hear a Waltz” — with music by Richard Rodgers (whose birthday it was) and words by Stephen Sondheim.

Then, I heard the sound of my memories of 

  • loving that song the first time I heard it, when I was a kid, 
  • choosing it to sing at a performance, when I was a kid, and 
  • forgetting the words on stage. 

I also heard, yesterday, the sound of these thoughts:

Gee! I guess I loved the words of Stephen Sondheim from the very first moment I heard them. They’re not so easy for a kid to remember!

What did I hear at the party yesterday, in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston?

The sounds of people who work together at a Primary Care Practice in a large Boston teaching hospital,  connecting in different ways. 

What do you hear (or see) as you look at the few photos I took at that gathering ?


What did I hear, once I got home afterwards?










Now, I need to make the sounds of going to work, on a Monday morning. 

Do you hear the sounds of gratitude to everybody I heard and saw yesterday, and to you, too? 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 41 Comments

Day 909: I Heart Accuracy

Two days ago, somebody came to therapy wearing this t-shirt:

I <3  accuracy,  but I would never wear that t-shirt. To be accurate, my heart (because of my congenital heart condition) does not look like that.

To be accurate, I <3 many things, including:

  • Accuracy
  • My heart
  • Other people’s hearts
  • My son, Aaron
  • My boyfriend, Michael
  • Blogging
  • My readers
  • Spontaneity
  • Walking
  • My work, as a psychotherapist 
  • My friend Jeanette, whom I met at Film School in Boston in the 1980s and who lives too far away (in Philadelphia), which I do not <3.

Yesterday, I spent 1 hour walking, while my son was at his keyboard  lesson in Arlington, Massachusetts.


Then, I spent 5  hours with Jeanette.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I <3 these photos:

I <3 Spy Pond.

I <3 signs.

I <3 green and shadows.

I <3 several things about that picture. 

 I <3 that paw print and “Run!”

I <3 loving couples.

I <3 celebrating pride (at 11:30 or any time). 

I <3 “Turn Around.”

I <3 “Still movin? That’s right you are!”

I <3 the 4th of July and how my late father used to ask people this question:

Does England have a 4th of July?

I <3 people taking naps, although I usually don’t take them.

I <3 Jeanette.

I <3 Jeanette’s smile.

I <3 those t-shirts, but I didn’t <3 them enough to buy them.

I <3 the way Jeanette and I riffed about the big-headed bird on that moving van.

I <3 Jeanette,  at our home.

I <3 Jeanette and our cat Oscar.

I <3 Aaron, Michael, Oscar, and Jeanette (l. to r.)

I <3  Oscar and Aaron.

To repeat, I <3  Accuracy.

What do you <3? I would <3 it if you’d let us know.

I <3 that Neil Young is singing “Heart of Gold” on YouTube.

I do NOT <3 how WordPress keeps leaving off parts of this post, as I’m trying to publish it.

I <3 thanking Jeanette, Aaron, Michael, Oscar, my late father, Arlington, Belmont, people who show their hearts, Neil Young, and you — of course! — no matter what you <3

Categories: friendship, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 908: You are not alone

You are not alone

Worth repeating.

You are not alone

Difficult believing.

You are not alone

Crucial to remember.

You are not alone.

Powerful and healing.

You are not alone

Challenges old suffering.

You are not alone

Group therapy’s  lesson.

You are not alone

Attention will perceive it.

You are not alone

Do you see it in these photos?



No matter what you think, feel, or express,

You are not alone.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” is being sung by the Liverpool F.C. and 95,000 other people in Australia, here on YouTube.

Never-alone thanks to all who helped non-alone me create this post and not-alone thanks to you,  who are not alone.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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