Day 617: Scans

My car radio has a scan button.  When I listen to the radio in the car, I use that button, which presents short samplings of all the stations it can find. Once I start the scan, it keeps going and going,  until I press “scan” again to stop it.

Yesterday morning, driving in to work, I realized I wanted something more nourishing than those scan-generated, quickly rotating sound-bites.  So when the scan found some jazz on WHRB-FM (95.3), I pressed the scan button again, to stay with that station.

Then, the scan button in my mind got pressed. That is,  my brain flitted from thought to thought to many more. My mind scan went all over (as it usually does), to different times and locations, including:

  • anticipation about seeing my friend, Krystal,  whom I met at my previous job and who now lives in California,
  • hopes about the future,
  • worries about the future,
  • nostalgia about the past

… and many other places.

I can tune out the external world when my mind is wondering and wandering within, so I became deaf to all the sounds from the radio, despite my resolve to be more connected to the music there.

Then, my attention was firmly captured by a nostalgic and familiar tune: Pat Metheny’s “Song for Bilbao.” performed by the late Michael Brecker and by Pat Metheny (among other fine musicians).

Here’s the version I know by heart, which was playing on my then-non-scanning radio, yesterday:

(YouTube video found here)

Here’s a live version, from YouTube:

After hearing that old, familiar song, I thought about the meanings of “scan.”

I considered how I scan my environment, whenever I’m awake, searching for:

  • beauty,
  • safety,
  • danger,
  • memories,
  • familiarity,
  • what’s missing,
  • surprises, and
  • joy

… among other things.

My automatic, mindful, and unconscious scans of the external world can produce the photos I show you in this blog, like these from yesterday:

IMG_8845  IMG_8861 IMG_8857 IMG_8880 IMG_8883

IMG_8885 IMG_8888 IMG_8891 IMG_8894 IMG_8895 IMG_8897 IMG_8899

That last photo, above, is my last scan ever of the tree out back, which is coming down today.  As a matter of fact, I need to move my car — with its radio and its scan button (among other controls)  — very soon, to leave room for the tree-removal experts.

Before I end this post, though, I wanted to say that today, September 9, is my late father’s birthday.

After 17 years of his being gone, I believe I’ve stopped scanning the environment for his familiar presence. However, I still miss him. So, to honor the day of his birth, here’s a Gershwin song he sang to my late mother at a milestone anniversary celebration. I remember scanning the many people there that day, with my eyes and my heart.

(YouTube video of Sinatra singing “Love is Here to Stay” found here)


Many thanks to my father and my mother; to Krystal (for lunch yesterday and other gifts); to Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Frank Sinatra, and other musicians gracing my blog today;  to those I’ve loved who are and are not still here in my world; to trees and other things that give shelter; to the various controls in my car; and to you — of course! — for  scanning this post, today.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “Day 617: Scans

  1. Outstanding piece. Where do find the time?

  2. The human mind is the best scanner ever made, Ann, and technology can’t perfect its tries at replication yet. I don’t think. Our minds let us linger or dismiss at appropriate length, filter, sort, catalogue, compile. Smile, tear up, whichever sentiment our mind finds appropriate to attach to the scan. How wonderful.

    The car radio scan in particular can drive me a bit nuts with its randomness: pop, talk, commercials, static, rock, Latin, commercial, jazz …

    I hope you said your proper goodbyes to your tree, Ann. But now you won’t have to worry about it bringing any harm by coming down on its own! Have a great day scanning the horizons of your fertile mind, my friend.

  3. yeoldefoole

    wow! 😉 thank you for being a part of this morning!

  4. This post is a beautiful tribute to your father. We do scanning but we also do filtering: the things that are emotionally or intellectually thicker will stay. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I love your scans and your scanning mind and the photos it finds through its scanning and… well, you get it, I love who you are and how you are in the world deep beneath the scanning surface, in that place where we click on synchronicity and say — wow — I was just thinking that.

    I was driving and scanning and consciously thinking about how my peripheral vision is such a powerful scanning device!

    Have a scanful (that almost sounds like scandalous!) 🙂 and heartfull day!

  6. The 35th anniversary of my Dad’s passing was August 30th. He’s with me often, most especially when I’m on ski slopes and feeling a bit intimidated. The thought will run through my mind, “Okay, Dad, help me out of this one.” And he does.I never skied with my Dad but know that he skied the New Hampshire mountains decades before me. Perhaps they’re his playground now.

    I love the list describing your environmental scanning process. It provides insight into the range, uniqueness and quality of the photos you share with us. Keep on shooting – you have a bionic eye!

  7. Terrific light shows on buildings and in the sky. Thanks.

  8. I love the analogy of the mind scanning like scanning the radio. Dead on. I’m sure that will come to me whenever my mind starts racing, which seems all the time some days.

  9. WOW – What a beautiful memory to share.
    I bet when your dad sang that to your mom – all eyes & ears were on them.
    Happy birthday to your dad from here to Heaven.

  10. This post was a beautiful way to share your father’s birthday with the world, Ann. I love the relationship you had and have with your father, which shows up so often in this blog.

    The tree must be down by now. It’s probably left a hole in the sky. How are you feeling about that?

    • Thanks for making this beautiful appearance (there IS a hole when you’re not here). The tree is down, a stump is there, and the sky looks fine (much to my surprise).

  11. findingmyinnercourage

    Your tribute to your Dad was beautiful. I really enjoyed your writing today! I felt like I was right there with you.

  12. I really find this incredibly meaningful to me today, Ann. Much of the time I’m aware of the scanning that I do, but you have me thinking about the unconscious periods when I tune out. I love the music you chose to share and I think tomorrow I’ll be paying even more attention and maybe my scanning will take on even greater significance. I loved this very thoughtful post. ox

    • As I scanned and took in all that you communicated here, I became extremely grateful. Thank you for communicating your thoughts and experience so beautifully. And I hope I am letting you know how significant this comment is, to me. ox back at you!

  13. Pingback: Day 618: Holes | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Ann ;~) now not fair copying me with a song from Frank Sinatra in your blog!!! 1 “C” word. Cheerful, careful, cautious cat, caribou, clean, colourful, clan, clear, cheery, chippy, chirpy, chippy, canker, corruption, carcinoma, crystal, clarion……… I am done ;~) Oh my Frank Sinatra was That’s Life, it was an event-filled day, rather humorous, great one’s to write about. Cheers ooooppps another “c” word
    PS: I have no idea why one day we get more comments on our blogs than others. Some have 40 some, other days there maybe be two ;^/

    • The comment thing is confusing, isn’t it, MicheleElys? It is consistently cool to encounter you here. Many thanks.

      • Ann, I truly do not know how you write this meaningful blog everyday. My hat is off to you my lady!!
        There is no need to be concerned how many comment on your blog – you will write, they will comment ;~)
        Thank you for your warm compliment.

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