Day 840: Is this America?

Do you have expectations and preconceptions of what America is? Are those assumptions based on personal experience, on what others have told you, or on what you’ve been shown by the media?

Is this America, to ask these questions about America?

Is this America, where a blogger might

  • become a poet and
  • try not to blow it?

Is this America, where

  • there are so many parts that can be so divided,
  • the political system can be so derided,
  • there’s unfairness AND freedom in ways most confusing,
  • without money or privilege, so many are losing,
  • there’s that love/hate dynamic with the rest of the planet,
  • other countries might praise it but so many might pan it?

Is this America, where American guitarist Pat Metheny asks that question, musically?*

Is this America?




Are any of those photos more or less America, as you see things?

Is this America, where I’m writing this?

I have the day off from work for Patriots’ Day. Does that answer that last question?

American AND world-wide thanks to poets and Pats; trees, geese, and cats; artists and walkers; listeners and gawkers; doorways and flowers; signs by the hours; eaters and feeders; writers and readers (of course, since that’s you!)*

* Not everything rhymes in America, you know.

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

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35 thoughts on “Day 840: Is this America?

  1. I would love to visit America but their tipping regime has stopped me from going. I know, it is superficial, but the horror stories I have heard about neglect and bad service till you cough up makes it a bit of a disincentive. Yes, the people don’t earn much and rely on tips etc. But to an outsider…?\
    Anyway, I should overcome those prejudices and take the plunge. I would even accept the ugly signage!

    • That’s really interesting, Gerard, because I get really nervous about tipping when I travel outside of America! Maybe those horror stories are exaggerated? I hope you visit some day.

  2. The paradox that is America – Beautifully captured Ann!
    Dinna fash yersel about the tipping 😉

  3. Funny! A lot of my thoughts looking at the photos, scenery wise aside from the style of the road signs it looks a little like it could be the English country side near where I live. My favourite photo was the Bansky wasn’t here one!

    I’ve been to America 5 times to Washington, New York and surrounding areas (Maryland and Virginia) as well as Vegas but feel like I don’t really know America, I just know those towns if that makes sense. Its such a vast place and politically and culturally very different. I think that’s the problem. A lot of Americans refer to ‘Europe’ (i.e. Western Europe) as this one place but wouldn’t dream of considering America (maybe throw in Canada here too) as culturally identical even though they are both around the same size.

    V interesting post. So what is America then?

    • I think the best I can do, right now, is to keep asking the question and see what answers we get. I’m so glad to see your thoughts and experiences here. Many thanks for visiting from exactly where you are!

  4. May this be a memorable Patriots Day in our America for the positive, Ann. Unlike 2013.

    Yes, this is America. Disney told us something. America really is “Beauty and the Beast.” Let’s ring the bell for our freedoms today and strive and hope for better.

  5. What a wonderful poem and what wonderful photos that show what America is. I love your flowers and sunshine. Here’s a favorite of mine

  6. “America” is a generalization of the “New World”, as that is the word Europeans used when immigrating. In the natural sciences it is referred to as North America, Central and South America. After studying birds and plants for so long I have to specify “North America” or “South and Central America”. Of course “America” was referring to the U.S., but the immigrants generalized the term, and it stayed that way. I’m not criticizing it at all, I’m just saying that for the natural sciences it is not used at all because it creates confusion.

    • America was named after Americus Vespucius – Florentine navigator who explored the coast of South America, and “America’ is the feminine latinized version of “Americus” (1454-1512), I found this really interesting article here:
      Amerigo Vespucci actually landed in South America. Much later, however, “America” in singular began to be used for the U.S. (This still created controversy because it was the “Americas” first). I hope I didn’t ruin anyone’s Patriot’s Day, on the contrary, I love America and Americans, and I respect the name they chose for their country. ❤️

      • You did the opposite of ruining my day, Maria. You illuminated it. Many thanks.

      • The dispute, if you read the article, came In his book “The Naturalist” in Nicaragua written in 1874, British geologist Thomas Belt stated that the source of America’s name originated in the “Amerrisque” Mountains – an important source of gold in the early 1500s. Nicaraguan archaeologist Jorge Espinosa also stated that the Amerrisques gave their name to the Western Hemisphere, however, he based his thesis, for the University of Louisiana, on historical maps – drawn by John Cabot in 1497 – where the name Amerrisque already appears 5 years before Columbus set foot in Nicaragua in 1502″ – Wiki. This implies that “Amerigo” Vespucci changed his name to “Americo” in order to name his discovery after him. Nobody knows yet, it has created so much controversy.

      • I read the article and found it very interesting, Maria. Thank you.

  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  8. looks like a pleasant view of American, Ann!
    another poetic view offered by Paul Simon 42 yrs ago

  9. Haha Ann – I love the sign that says STOP this is not a parking spot. Sounds like a mixed message to me. ❤
    Diana xo

    • I love the way you see and hear things, Diana. I thought that sign was a mixed message, too. It also reminded me of another Pat Metheny song, with David Bowie, called “This is Not America” (from the movie The Falcon and the Snowman).

  10. Interesting, if unexpected, question. I live in Canada. Sometimes I wonder, what is America? Where is America? Is Canada part of America, being on the continent of North America, which is one of the Americas?

    I, like most Canadians I know, tend to abbreviate the United States of America colloquially as “the States” or “the US” rather than as “America.” But we also tend to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how Canadians are different from “Americans.” To do this, of course, we have to spend a lot of time thinking about Americans.

    Here’s Hugh Laurie’s hilarious tribute to America.

  11. yeoldefoole


  12. This post, with the music and photos is a perfect way to ponder both life and what this country is ~ your photos cover just about all the emotions a patriot should have (both good and bad). Living overseas, I’ve come to embrace the pieces of the States I hate (politics and usual these days), but loving even more how we truly embrace freedoms and pursing what we believe in (right or wrong). Wishing you a great Patriots evening ~

  13. I am glad I came here today,

  14. America will always be: Red, White, Blue, Stars, Stripes, all waving freely for me and for you.

    My father, brother and uncle were all career military. Each retired from the Navy.

    I know there are times when our country does not appear in good light to some, that there are times we seem to have missed the mark. But we are not alone. Each country suffers, or rather, their people suffer, but where does the strength of any nation come from? It’s government? Or does it come from it’s people, the everyday citizen, working hard to keep their dream alive?

    My country belongs to me. You. To all who believe that there is still more good people in this world, than bad.

    I hope others are believing that there are better days ahead, that we all deserve what so many have fought and died for. If we forget the sacrifice, we lose our hope.

    “Stand for something, or you will fall for anything.”

  15. My perceptions of America are based largely on my own experiences. I do wish that I knew more about each of the 50 states. Unfortunately, my high school never offered such a course.

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