Day 945: Yellow

At first, I thought I’d be naming this post

Green and Yellow

… because I saw a lot of green and a lot of yellow yesterday.

Here are some of the greens:


  


  

  
  
  
  
  

Ahhhh. That was restful. Do you feel as green and renewed, now, as I did yesterday?

Yes, “Green” could easily be a part of my post title today, especially since the last photo I snapped yesterday was of a green cashier who was in training at the green supermarket Whole Foods at Fresh Pond in Cambridge (very close to all those green shots I’d taken earlier). Here is that  wonderfully green  cashier, Helena:

Helena, despite being green, bravely guessed that I was a psychotherapist and that my boyfriend Michael was a professor of Philosophy, just by engaging with us for five minutes. I, a psychotherapist, was green with envy at Helena’s powers of observation and guessing. Although Michael never went to college, he told Helena that an online IQ test  said he should be a “Visionary Philosopher.” I thought both Michael and Helena were the opposite of yellow (which can mean “cowardly”) and, before we left Whole Foods, I sought out Helena’s manager to praise Helena’s green and impressive skills.

Getting back to the point I made, above (when this post was still green), a green reader of this blog might insist that I include “Green” in the title of this post. Indeed, I even have some perfect images for “Green and Yellow”:




… assuming people know that “green” can also mean “money.”

However, I very recently published a post titled “Greens” and non-green readers know that I don’t like repeating myself.

Anyway, here are some more yellows I saw yesterday:
  
  
  

… before my non-green-and-yellow cell phone ran out of power.

It’s occurring to me now that, in  the English language, the word “yellow” doesn’t have a lot of positive connotations. My immediate associations with “yellow” are

  • Cowardly and
  • A “lemon” of a car.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never even considered getting a yellow car, before yesterday. However, this man


… Neran, helped me feel much braver about doing something green and new. Also, when I mentioned to Neran that I was a psychotherapist (even though Neran is less green than Helena, he didn’t guess that about me), I found out that Neran

  • also works with people with mental illness and
  • Neran’s supervisor, for that other job,  is MY long-time and brave supervisor, Ross, from a previous job.

Anyway, perhaps I could tie up this “Yellow” post with a perfect ribbon, but I need to get to work where — among other things — I have to find out if I have really have  the green to buy one of those yellow beauties, above.

Before, I do, what music matches the colors in this post?

How about “Me and the Boys” — performed by redhead Bonnie Raitt — from the album Green Light?

Yellow thanks to Bonnie, Helena, Michael, Neran, and Ross*, to colorful rides everywhere,  to all the boys in my life (including my 17-year-old son, Aaron), to the Fresh Pond area of Cambridge Massachusetts USA, and to you — of course! — for coming along for this green and yellow ride, today.


  • in alphabetical order, because I greenly and yellowly felt like it.
Categories: fun, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 944: Putting down weights

Yesterday, I put down some weights of past regrets and future fear, which allowed me to be more in the present with painter extraordinaire, Zsolt Pesti.


Zsolt — who had previously done a weightily great job painting the entire weighty exterior of our home, with his weightily fabulous crew — came back yesterday to repair the weighty damage done in March by an insulation company,  which has been weighing on my mind since around the time of my weighty surgery in May.

Wait! Perhaps I should show you some weighty examples of that damage, which I’ve been waiting to get repaired (without the weight of any further money paid out by me):

    

Zsolt — during our brief but weighty conversation yesterday — inspired the weighty title of today’s post, responding to my telling him I was a group psychotherapist by labeling  me

A weight putter downer

… which reminded me of this

from a few weighty posts back, and which is a label much nicer and less weighty than other labels I’ve written about in this blog.

Zsolt

with his weighty smile, helped me put down weights in many ways yesterday. For example, when I told Zsolt — a short wait after I took that last picture — that he seemed like a guy remarkably  unburdened  by the weights of stress, anxiety, and worry, he told me this weightily great joke:

There was a guy who always stayed calm, no matter what, and one day a friend asked him how he managed that. He said, “Oh, I hired somebody to do all my worrying for me.”

“Really? That’s amazing! How much do you pay him?”

“$10,000 a week.”

“What!!??! How can you afford that?”

“I let him worry about it.”

How would you weigh in about Zsolt’s  joke?

For the rest of the day, I put down weights by taking more photos.

Why wait? Here they are:

  

To relieve the weight of any confusion here, last night my bf Michael and I  went out to dinner and saw a movie about Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Brian Wilson — who gained a lot of weight and stayed in bed for many years,  dealing  with the weights of  mental illness, over-medication, and a weightily controversial and expensive psychotherapist  — recovered enough to reconnect with his own weighty musical genius and with the outside world.

Here’s Brian Wilson, singing the title song of the movie Michael and I saw last night:

You can watch that weightily wonderful video of “Love and Mercy” on YouTube.

Wait! There are a few more weighty things I want to say, before I put down and publish this post. This weekend, I have been putting down weights of stress about:

  • The cancellation of a follow-up appointment with a sleep specialist this Wednesday, which I’ve been anxiously waiting for, for many weighty weeks,
  • Preparing for my trip to Scotland, now a weighty 10 days away,
  • Preparing for a presentation about my therapy groups, on the first day of my weighty two-week vacation, and
  • Preparing for my high school class’s 45th reunion, in September.

And I’ve been doing all that weight-putting-down without the weighty payments of  $10,000 a week to a worry specialist!

Weighty thanks to Michael, Zsolt, the Zsolt Pesti painting posse, Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy, West Newton in Massachusetts USA, all the weighty and weightless things that helped me write this post, and you — of course! — for putting down weights to read this post, today.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 943: Shoulda Woulda Coulda

I shoulda explain the title of this post.

I woulda written this post earlier this week, but I had other thoughts about other things I wanted to share, first.

I coulda told you about a poem I wrote last weekend, but there’s no time like the present.

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Is not endorsed by Buddha.

Because I’m not Buddha, I shoulda woulda coulda every day about:

  • tasks,
  • thoughts,
  • feelings, and
  • every other aspect of life.

I shoulda ask if you do the same.

I woulda taken more relevant photos yesterday, if I’d been more focused and mindful.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
I coulda taken a better picture of last night’s blue moon, for sure.

I shoulda think of some good-enough music for this post-blue-moon post. I woulda included tunes I heard yesterday by Pat Metheny and Stephen Sondheim. I coulda share this classic, which I heard last night on the radio in a new (to me) version:

I shoulda woulda coulda rest my sore typing thumbs this weekend. Let’s see if I do.

I shoulda say, now, I’m not sure how others woulda and coulda order the words shoulda, coulda, and woulda.

Coulda I care about the perfect order? Shoulda I say? Woulda it matter?

What matters to me is if there’s anything you shoulda woulda coulda comment.

I shoulda thank Buddha, Tom Morello, Tennessee Ernie Ford (who coulda sing a mean version of “Sixteen Tons” by Merle Travis I loved when I was young), the moon, my thumbs, all those who helped me create today’s post, and I woulda be a very ungrateful blogger if I didn’t thank you.

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

Day 942: Out of the corner of my eye

Yesterday, the weather was so warm and muggy in Boston that — when I saw an air conditioned shuttle bus out of the corner of my eye — I decided to hop on to a corner of that bus, rather than taking the corners of my usual walk to work.

As the bus took a few corners, I glimpsed these three images out of the corner of my eye and put them into a corner of my iPhone:


  
Something about that last photo put this thought into the corner of my mind:

“Out of the corner of my eye” is the title of my next blog post.

Almost immediately, I saw this out of the corner of my eye:

That’s a big stuffed animal, sitting in the corner.

.
When I got to my office, I saw many people out of the corner of my eye, sitting in different corners and talking about painful corners of their lives.

My hope is that having a safe space with comfortable corners helped some of them turn a corner, into healing.

During different corners of the day I saw these out of the corner of my eye, between the four corners of my office whiteboard:



If you had been in yesterday’s  therapy group about denial, you might have seen this (which I drew between the four corners of some paper):


Later, I wrote this between the corners of some paper in a second therapy group, where people felt cornered by shame and guilt about their own selfishness:


Perhaps the corners of your eyes are having trouble making sense of the four words between the corners of that photo. That was just one of my many attempts to prove to group members — who had put themselves  into painful corners of self-judgment about being too focused on the “I” —   that selfishness could be helpful and even strengthening.

In that group, somebody I could see out of the corner of my eye — sitting in the corner of the room  — gave us this helpful rule about selfishness:

If you are worried about being too selfish, you’re not.

After my work day was over, I saw this out of the corner of my eye:

Then,  I walked through all the corners between my workplace and my work garage, and saw these out of the corner of my eye:


 


  
  

What did you notice, out of the corner of your eye?

Here’s a song about seeing I heard out of the corners of my ears yesterday:

“I Can See Your House from Here” is from an album of the same name by John Scofield and Pat Metheny, whom I’ve seen through many, many corners over the years. On that entire album, John Scofield’s guitar comes out of the left corner of the stereo sound and Pat Metheny’s guitar comes out of the right corner.

Multi-cornered thanks to all the people I saw and heard yesterday and — of course! — to you, for all the corners you’ve taken on your way here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 941: Who would you bring in?

Yesterday, at an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) session, my therapist George gave me an assignment.

He and I were revisiting a very upsetting incident when I was young and left alone with a lot of pain in a hospital room (which I’ve written about here).  The assignment was this:

Make a list of people —  real and fictional — you can imagine protecting and fighting for you. Next time we meet, we’ll bring them into that hospital room with you.

Here are some people I thought of immediately:

I asked George, “How many people can I bring in to that hospital room with me? I don’t think they’ll all fit.” George told me I could bring as many people as I want.

Now,  I’m really looking forward to next week’s EMDR session.

Let’s see if I have any recent photos on my iPhone of some  people I might bring with me, into that hospital room of so long ago.

That’s a very good start.

What music might I bring in, from YouTube? I thought of the chorus of this song (although many of the lyrics don’t fit):

I also like Bruno Mars’s “Grenade”  because there’s a short version reminding me of a fellow WordPresser:

Here‘s a more relevant song:

Who would you bring in, with you?

Finally, I’m bringing in two photos I took yesterday, before my meeting with George and after a therapy group I facilitated at work:



Now I’d like to bring in thanks to George, Bruno Mars, Buffalo Tom Peabody, the Four Seasons, all the people imagined and real in today’s post,  and — of course! — you, for bringing yourself in, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 940: How’s your heart?

The heart of this post relates to my phoning many people from my high school class of 1970, last night.

My heart was hoping to reach as many classmates as possible,  with a heart-felt invitation to attend our 45th reunion, in the heart of the North Shore of Massachusetts, USA.

Even though I haven’t spoken to most of my classmates  in many years, all those I reached last night showed hearts that were kindly courteous and sweet (which helped me, somehow, with my heart-felt vow to give up cookies).

Somebody living in the heart of New York responded to my phone call last night, like so:

Ann Koplow!

It’s been a long time.

How’s your heart?

For a heartbeat,  my heart was surprised at that unexpected question. Then,  I laughed and replied:

It’s funny you should ask.  This year, things were looking kind of dicey, but  recently I had an operation, and people seem to think I’ll be around for a while.

Then, we had this brief exchange:

Me: How’s YOUR heart?

Classmate: Very good.

Me: How’s the rest of you?

Classmate: Also excellent.

My heart felt good and excellent —  after this brief, heart-centered talk — because the heart of it felt real.

In the past, my heart has worried that people see me primarily as somebody with a congenital heart condition. However, that conversation simply felt like an authentic, brief heart connection.

After I left several heart-felt phone messages, I had a heart-to-heart with my sweetheart Michael. I told Michael  there are words in my heart I am NOT sharing with my classmates, as I inform them about the reunion.

Here’s what I’m not speaking from my heart:

This is our 45th reunion and I don’t know how much more time I, you, or anybody else has on this earth. Several people from our class, whom I wanted to see with all my heart,  have already passed away. Please come to the reunion! We shared a lot of important times together, all those years ago.

I don’t share those heart-felt thoughts with my classmates because:

  • People probably don’t want to discuss mortality, especially on a weekday evening with somebody they haven’t seen in decades,
  • There’s much more relevant data I need to convey about the reunion — like where, when, and how much it will cost,
  • In my heart, I really don’t like to pressure people,
  • I avoid, if possible, causing even the smallest amount of heartache, and
  • I’ve got a damn lot of high school hearts to contact, as soon as possible.

Here are some photos I recently snapped from the heart, in the hearts of  Boston’s medical and baseball areas.


                       

       

Which of those photos got to the heart of the matter, for you?

Here‘s “You Gotta Have Heart,” from Damn Yankees:

Going back to the heart-felt title of this heart-centered post, how’s your heart?

Thanks, from my heart, to all my classmates, to Michael, to all the hearts I witnessed connecting yesterday and to you — of course! — for the heart you bring here, today.

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

Day 939: Time Machines 

If I were to use a time machine and travel back to yesterday, I would see these on the board in my office:



If I used Time Machine #1 to actually travel into the past, perhaps I could take some art lessons and draw better time machines.

If you had  time-traveled to that therapy session in  my office yesterday, you would have heard this:

We all time travel, through our thoughts, into the future and into the past. Those of us who over-use the time machine that goes into the future tend to experience worry and anxiety. People experiencing depression have a time machine that travels a lot into the past with regret, guilt, and self-judgment.

I’m now getting into time machine #2 to travel a short distance into the future, wondering what people  will think about my theory of time machines.

Traveling into the past — by just one day, again — I am hearing my boyfriend Michael say:

When I was quitting smoking and I felt like having a cigarette, I would  time travel ten minutes into the future and pretend  I had just had one.  I realized I would be in the same place with or without a cigarette, so why not skip the step of smoking it?

I plan to apply Michael’s technique to quitting cookies.

.
While I often recommend that people set their personal time machines to “The Present,” let’s set Time Machine #1  to Monday, July 27, 2015, for a brief visit:


  
  
  

  

As I’m looking at that bunny from the recent past, here and now, I’m thinking:

  • I wonder if bunnies and other animals  time-travel in their minds, like humans do?
  • What number of life-span years would I have given to a bunny, if I had managed to draw one (instead of just a giant tortoise and a human being) in that  pictorial representation  of animal life-spans I retrieved yesterday,  time-traveling into my memory of a children’s encyclopedia from the early 1960s?

  • If you time travel into the Internet (like I just did, 5 minutes ago) you’ll find that my memory of the life span of a giant tortoise was off, by a factor of two.

I believe I’m time traveling a lot, lately, because I’m helping to plan my 45th high school reunion. I won’t time travel two months into the future to imagine that reunion; it will get here, soon enough.

Have any of my readers time traveled into the future to predict what time travel music I might retrieve from time-traveling YouTube?

Instead, I found “The Time Traveler’s Guide, a movie montage by Clara Darko.

Traveling 10 minutes into the future, I think there will be music, and a smile.

Timely thanks to Michael, Clara Darko, bunnies, giant tortoises, human beings who time travel, all the movies and characters appearing in “The Time Traveler’s Guide” and you — of course! — for traveling here, today.

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

Day 938: Let us read between the lines

Here’s a line that appeared in my line of sight yesterday, through a restaurant window in Harvard Square (a stop on the Red Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association, lined up with Harvard University):

In case you’re having trouble reading between those lines, the main line says

Lettuce read beetween the limes

… a line I read as a triple pun. While I enjoy lines with puns, I would draw the line at two.

Nevertheless, I appreciated reading that line yesterday, because I read it as an invitation to pay attention and go deeper, especially if all meanings are not immediately obvious.

Harvard Square is an excellent place to practice reading between the lines, because

  • It’s a square, so there are at least four lines,
  • Many of the architectural lines have been around for centuries, and
  • Many of the lines you hear spoken there are smart, deep, and complicated, so there’s plenty of meaning between the lines, waiting to be read.

Lettuce see if there are any lines in yesterday’s photos we can read beetween.


That’s  the first photo I lined up yesterday, while I was walking around with my 17-year-old son, Aaron. I don’t have to read between the lines to know that Aaron prefers me to not snap photos when I’m in his line of sight, but he was okay with my lining up that one. How would you read between the lines there?


Those lines were okay with Aaron, too. How might you read between them?


At this point, I started reading between the lines without Aaron, who was meeting his long-time friend Cameron for a birthday party between the lines in Harvard Square. How would you read between those lines?


In the 1970s, I saw comedian Robert Klein perform his stand-up routine two nights in a row at that club. How would you read between those lines?

Here are two shots I took through the windows of the Harvard Coop:


Any lines to read between there?


In a direct line with the Beat Hotel, I encountered this guy, playing impressive beats and lines on a keyboard, with a line of people listening:



How might you read between those lines?

.
Here are more lines I saw yesterday, ready for reading between:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
You might read between the lines of those photos and conclude that I bought a cookie in Harvard Square yesterday. I did not. Instead, I read between the lines of my craving for sweets and came up with a new diet plan. For as long as I can hold the line on this, I shall mindfully indulge only my sense of smell around delicious cookies, candies, and other things that usually are on a direct line between my brain and my tummy.

Reading between the lines of that last paragraph: I want to look great for my high school reunion in September, so I’ll be smelling cookies, not eating them.

Any readings between those lines?

Now I need to read between the musical  lines and leave a good enough  song between the lines of this post.

Here‘s one of the tunes that a self-loving creature was playing yesterday on the keyboard, between the lines of Harvard Square:

It’s time to finish the lines of this post, so I can read between the lines spoken by people seeking therapy support in my office.

Between-the-lines thanks to my son, to Harvard Square, to Rick James, and to you — of course! — for reading this between other lines you choose, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , | 44 Comments

Day 937: Everything’s falling into place

My boyfriend Michael, who fell into place in my life five years ago, likes to say

Everything’s falling into place

after I’ve fallen into relief after being in a place of

Michael has been saying

Everything’s falling into place

a lot lately, as I’ve been doing my best to let go of scary, health-threatening experiences that were falling into place in my life, starting in November of last year.

Since May, when an Implantable Cardiac Device fell into place in my heart, I’ve been gradually falling into a place of hope about the future.

Now that Michael’s oft-repeated phrase

Everything’s falling into place

has fallen into place in my blog, I’m wondering what Michael means, exactly, when he says those words, a smile falling into place on his face.

For example,

  1. What are these things that are falling?
  2. Where is this place they are falling into?
  3. Will they break when they land?

I can’t ask Michael those questions  (because he’s fallen into a place of slumber) but this is falling into place for me: Question #3 , which fell into place above, reflects how catastrophizing — and other automatic cognitive distortions  — can so easily fall into place in the human mind.

Do unhelpful, fearful, and unnecessary thoughts fall into place, sometimes, in your mind?

If so, let them fall into place where they belong:

The trash.

Let’s see if any other photos fall into place, in this post.

Lots of chocolate candies have fallen into place in that display case.

.

Two pieces of candy and coin have fallen into place on that countertop.

.

Harley has fallen into place on that rug, which — if my memory is falling into place correctly  — also has fallen into place somewhere in the home of WordPresser Diana Schwenk.

.

Oscar seems glad that some water has fallen into place in his dish.

Because I was so busy, yesterday, making sure that informational messages about my 45th high school reunion were falling into place for my classmates, no other photos fell into place on my phone.

However, here‘s some music that falls into place, right now:

The Beatles song “I’ve Just Seen a Face” fell into place quite nicely there, don’t you agree?

Which parts of this post fell into place for you?

My thanks are now falling into place for Michael, my Implantable Cardiac Device, our cats, chocolate,  the Beatles, the Loading Dock, and faces I like to see, including yours!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 936: Do, Do, Do

Here’s something I do, do, do in therapy sessions: remind people they do, do, do not have to do, do, do in order to be worthy, worthwhile, worthy-of-love human beings.

I do, do, do this, too: I remind those people who do, do, do all the time that we are

Human BEings

NOT

Human DOings

and it’s okay to just be, be, be.

Do, do, do you believe that I heard this song yesterday, which I do, I do, I do love?

Stevie Wonder does, does, does what he can do, do, do better than anybody, and in that YouYouYouTube video he is singing “Do I Do” live, in London.

I do, do, do assume there will be lots to do, do, do soon, soon, soon, north of London,  when my son and I do, do, do Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe for the third year in a row, row, row.

Do, do, do you assume, dear, dear, dear readers, that I do, do, do intend to show, show, show another song, now?

I do, do, do love Michael McDonald too, too, too, and three Michael McDonalds  do, do, do “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”!

Do, do, do you prefer any of these pho, pho, photos?



  


   
  
  


  

Do, do, do tell.

Do, do, do you know that I am very, very, very grateful to Stevie Wonder, to  Jimmy Fallon, to Justin Timberlake, to Michael McDonald, and to you, you, you?

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,477 other followers