Day 1697: Merrily we roll along

Merrily we roll along to yet another blog post from the Merry Festival Fringe in Merry Olde Edinburgh, Scotland.

Merrily We Roll Along is a Stephen Sondheim musical I’ve been wanting to see for along, long time.  Every time we roll merrily along to Edinburgh for our yearly visit, I become less merry, momentarily, when I discover that Merrily We Roll Along has been at the Fringe but has rolled along out of there before we arrive. This year, I rolled along to a different strategy and booked tickets to see Merrily We Roll Along  in Boston when I merrily roll along home in September.

Yesterday, as I was merrily rolling along the Royal Mile, I saw this:

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I was so merry to see this that it took Paul …

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…   several tries to merrily roll me along to an understanding that this was NOT the Sondheim musical but rather the play that musical was based on.  Paul, who is the director of the first revival of  Kaufman and Hart’s Merrily We Roll Along  to roll along in many decades, merrily urged me to roll along to see the play.  I merrily agreed, since I’ve been a merry fan of  George Kaufman and Moss Hart as the years have rolled along. Indeed, one of my favorite books when I was merrily young was the biography of George S. Kaufman by Howard Teichmann.  (If you wish, you can merrily roll along to this description of that book.) Kaufman was not exactly merry but some of the wittiest words I’ve ever merrily read rolled off his tongue.  When I was at my first job, I merrily used his line “Forgotten but not gone” about somebody who had quit but hadn’t yet rolled along out of there.  That line was merrily received by some.

Shall we merrily roll along to my other photos from yesterday?

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Before I merrily roll along to breakfast and then to Merrily We Roll Along, I merrily recommend N.E.A.L. P.O.R.T.E.N.Z.A., LAID, JAYDED, The Durham Revue, and Manual Cinema’s Lula Del Ray. Later this week, we’ll merrily be rolling along to dinner with Neal Portenza (a/k/a Joshua Ladgrove),  who is merrily doing a card trick above.

But first, let’s merrily roll along to this YouTube video.

Comments from you help me merrily roll along, so please roll along to the comment section, below.

Merrily, I thank all who helped me roll along to the end of another daily post and — of course! — YOU.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Day 1696: The key to happiness

One of my keys to happiness is learning about the experience of others. So I am happy to ask you, here and now, about your keys to happiness.

Another key to happiness, for me, is sharing my thoughts and photos in this daily blog.

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That’s the key to our hotel in Edinburgh, lying on a table at Petit Paris, a French restaurant we always visit here. Travel and great food are other keys to happiness, I think.

Do you see more keys to happiness in my other photos from yesterday?

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It’s not imaginary that another key to happiness is associating with good humans, like my ex-sister-in-law’s husband Joe …

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… and comedian Ron Lynch (who was playing in several unrecognizable keys on stage yesterday).

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Here’s another Key to Happiness in recognizable keys, on YouTube.

Thanks to all who gave me every key to happiness I needed to create today’s post and to my readers (including you!)  who are more keys to my happiness.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1695: Humans

I’m seeing lots of humans (and humanity) in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the 70th Festival Fringe.

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Those last three photos include extraordinary humans Ron Lynch and Natalie Palamides. Ron suggested we accompany him yesterday to see Natalie’s wonderful one-woman show, LAID (reviewed here by humans) and so we did, with many other appreciative humans. That last photo shows Natalie talking to another human who also dresses up as an egg in her one-woman Fringe show. What are the chances that more than one human would dress up as an egg at the 70th Festival Fringe?

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Ron Lynch is a human and humane comedian this human has blogged about many times.  Here’s Ron with another one of my favorite humans:

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my son Aaron.

Last night, Ron, Aaron, and I saw legendary Boston comedian and humane human  Barry Crimmins share his trenchant views about humanity at another Fringe show.

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Ron introduced us to Barry, saying, “She took my stand-up comedy class in Boston years ago and now he does stand up!” It’s amazing what humans can do.

Barry Crimmins, like the Edinburgh Fringe, has spent many years defying the norm.  Here’s Barry with some other comedic humans:

This human likes to end her blogs with gratitude, so thanks to all the humans who helped me create today’s post and thanks to you — of course! — for being human, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1694: Enjoy

Here are my latest photos from Edinburgh, which I hope you enjoy.

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For two weeks,  my son Aaron and I will stay in the happy place of Edinburgh. Then, Aaron will stay here to enjoy his second year at University and I’ll fly home to enjoy my new happy place by the sea with my boyfriend Michael.  By the way,  today is Michael’s birthday.  Enjoy!

I enjoy thanking all who help me create this daily blog and all who enjoy reading it.  Enjoy this enjoyable day, wherever you are.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1693: Happy

Here’s what I found in our hotel room in Edinburgh:


I’m happy that

  • I’m in Edinburgh with my son Aaron for the Festival Fringe and
  • I feel so much better than I did at this time last year.  

Do any of my other photos today make you happy?


Here’s a song that always makes me happy. 

I’m happy to thank all those who made this happy post possible and — of course! — you, who happen to make me happy. 

Categories: personal growth | 39 Comments

Day 1692: Traveling light

For as long as I can remember, whenever I travel, I travel light. That is, I bring along as little as possible. Personally, the less baggage I’m carrying around, the freer I feel.

There are things I have to take, though, as I pack for today’s flight to Edinburgh. Those necessities are

  •  my passport,
  •  my medication,
  • my laptop, and
  • money.

Anything else — including things I forget to pack — I can always buy in Scotland.

Certain people help me travel light. One of them is my boyfriend, Michael.  Yesterday, when I said I hadn’t checked the news yet, he said, “You don’t have to.  I can tell you what the news is. ‘The President said something incredibly ridiculous.'” I added, “And somebody left the administration.” No need to check the news right now, which helps some people travel light.

I think this blog is going to be light on photos today.  Let’s see ….

 

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That second goal was added to my work white board yesterday by another person who helps me travel light: my son, Aaron.

It helps me travel light to know that Aaron and I are going to see my standup-comedy teacher and comedian extraordinaire Ron Lynch in Edinburgh this year.  If you’d like to travel light years into the past for previous posts about Ron, see here (which includes links to other Ron-Lynch-related posts).

Traveling light to YouTube, I found this ….

and this.

Funny people and artists shine a light, helping us travel more lightly through life.

I take gratitude wherever I go, no matter how light I’m traveling.  Thanks to all who helped me create this traveling-light post and — of course! — to you, for traveling here, now.

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

Day 1691: Matters of life and death

Yesterday, people in my therapy groups talked about life and death matters, because that mattered to them.  They asked each other life-and-death questions, including the following:

If you were immortal, how would that change how you live your life?

If you had control over how you would die, what would you choose?

They found those life-and-death questions — and questions  about other matters (like the sources of fear) —  in the book “If … Questions for the Soul.”

When I answered the second question in last night’s therapy group, I referenced a memorable scene from the TV show St. Elsewhere, where an old man, dying alone in the hospital, asks to be held by an orderly in the middle of the night.  When the orderly lifted the man off the bed and held him in his arms as he passed, that mattered so much to me.

How might you answer those life-and-death questions? I hope you know your answers matter.

I wonder if there are any life-and-death matters in my photos from yesterday. Let’s see ….

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Was losing and finding my wallet this week a matter of life and death?  My next step is quoting Shakespeare:

He who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike.

I took one other photo yesterday.

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Is being calmer a matter of life and death?

Does this YouTube video about a St. Elsewhere cast reunion include matters of life and death?

I have some important matters to deal with today, including getting an INR blood test before I leave for Scotland tomorrow. But what matters most to me, here and now, is thanking all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1690: What makes life worth living?

Yesterday, in a therapy group, somebody asked this question:

Using one word, what makes life worth living?

Somebody replied, “Love.”  Somebody said, “Learning.”  I said, “Everything,” which I thought might be cheating, but people didn’t think so. We noticed that  nobody said “Money.”

Then, last night, after many hours of shopping and trekking all over the South Shore of Boston in preparation for my trip to Scotland on Saturday, I discovered that my wallet was missing.  Suddenly, life seemed very difficult (although still worth living).  Michael suggested we retrace our steps and that I also call the Target Store in Braintree, which was about to close in fifteen minutes. I was almost positive that my wallet was not at Target, but I called anyway.

Here’s the phone conversation:

Me: I was at your store earlier tonight and I’m missing my wallet. I was wondering if anybody turned it in.

Customer Service Representative:  What does it look like?

Me:  It’s mostly  red and black. It’s made from recycled billboards.

Customer Service Representative:  Is there a name on cards?

Me:   Ann Koplow.

Customer Service Representative:  Yes.  It’s here.

I think the word “Yes” can make life worth living. Or, at least, less of a hassle.

Let’s see if my photos from yesterday include anything that makes life worth living.

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Just so you know, I took all of yesterday’s photos before I knew that my wallet had been lost or found.

Here’s what comes up on YouTube, over and over again, in response to “What Makes Life Worth Living.”

I am ending this post with one word: “Thanks.”

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

Day 1689: What is your personal experience of love?

In your personal experience, has anybody asked what your personal experience of love is?  If they did, would you love that?

Yesterday, we asked that question in a therapy group.

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People had many different personal experiences of love.  We also discussed the obstacles to love and ways to increase love in our lives.

What is your personal experience of the other photos I took yesterday?

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Personally, I love all those photos.

What is your personal experience of this YouTube video about 36 questions that make strangers fall in love?

 

What is my personal experience of comments from my readers?  I love them.

When we discussed ways to increase love yesterday, we agreed that gratitude promotes love.  Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

 

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1688: Killing two birds with one stone

I don’t like killing, I don’t like killing one bird (much less two), and I don’t like throwing stones, but I’m using this title today because

  • it means “achieving two aims at once” and
  • I’m killing two birds with one stone right now.

The two “birds “are (1) an article I promised to write for a professional group therapy organization’s newsletter before I leave for a two-week trip to Scotland on Saturday and (2) today’s blog post.

The “stone” is the following:

When the intrepid editor of this newsletter asked me to write a 600 – 800 article about what it’s like to be the President Elect of NSGP, I thought that would be a relatively easy assignment. I mean, I write a blog post every day, I used to be a professional writer before I changed careers in the 1990s, and — most importantly — I AM the President Elect of NSGP, so that perspective is immediately accessible.

However, I’ve been working on this article for days, and it’s been remarkably difficult. Perhaps it’s difficult because in all the years I’ve been a member of this wonderful organization, I never dreamed I’d be writing an article like this one. Indeed, when a nominating committee member called me earlier this year to ask if I would consider being president, I asked, “president of what?”

Perhaps I’m finding this assignment difficult because I’m not sure how to separate out the perspective of an NSGP President Elect from all my other perspectives as a human being who

  • has a passionate belief in the healing power of groups,

  • kept changing careers until she found the right match for herself,

  • lives to communicate with others in a meaningful way,

  • loves her work providing open-access therapy groups at the Primary Care Practice at a major teaching hospital in Boston,

  • appreciates every opportunity to learn and grow,

  • maintains hope for the future even during difficult and challenging times,

  • has faith in people’s and organizations’ ability to adapt and survive,

  • is sustained by “personal medicine” including family, friends, music, good food, the ocean, travel, singing, cats, and NSGP,

  • was born with an unusual heart,

  • is sometimes intimidated by brilliant colleagues,

  • has learned to overcome fear in many aspects of her life,

  • tries to keep her sense of humor no matter what, and

  • is aware that she needs several hundred more words to complete this article.

Perhaps I can fill out the rest of that newsletter article with photos …

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… and a YouTube video:

 

I’m thanking lots of birds with one sentence  — those who helped me create this post and those who are reading it, here and now.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

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