Monthly Archives: November 2016

Day 1420: As beautiful as the universe

The universe of today’s title comes from another beautiful teabag.

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While I was enjoying a beautiful cup of tea last night, I was equally wondering whether or not that teabag was giving me a compliment. These days, the universe has not seemed as beautiful to me  as it has during other times.

However, even though I am equally  frightened and hopeful about the future, I believe the universe is still beautiful.

Which means that I am, too!

Are any of my other photos for today as beautiful as the universe?

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Because my beautiful boyfriend, Michael, does not appreciate the beautiful universe of wordplay, I refrained from making any puns about that last image, last night. Today, I’ll  write that big-S is as beautiful as the big-S universe.

Tonight, my beautiful friend Barbara and I are seeing Michael McDonald, who has one big-ass voice.  Here he is:

 

To me, “Minute by Minute,” “What a Fool Believes,” and “Taking it to the Streets” are all equally as beautiful as the universe.

Thanks to all the beautiful-as-the universe people who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being as beautiful as the universe, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 1419: Let us be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world

Yesterday, a kind and compassionate teabag removed the sadness of my world.

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Let me be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world, as best I can,  with this story:

When I was at cardiac rehab yesterday morning, feeling the sadness of the world, a guy (who had been kind and compassionate to me the week before) teased another guy there, like so: “You lift weights like a girl!” I immediately said, “Is that still an insult?”

Was that kind and compassionate?

When it became obvious to me that my new pacemaker/defibrillator was not being kind and compassionate to my heart while I was exercising, I decided to leave cardiac rehab early. I said to the guy, “I’m leaving, but it’s not because of what you said.”  He replied, “Hey! I’m doing my best, you know. I used to be a truck driver. I’m evolving!” I said, “We’re all evolving.”

Was that kind and compassionate?

To me, it felt like it removed some of the sadness of the world.

Soon after that, my kind and compassionate doctor, Mark Estes, removed the sadness of my world by reprogramming my pacemaker/defibrillator and by giving me more hope about my future. We also talked a little about the sadness of the world, which felt kind and compassionate.

Let us be kind and compassionate with my other photos from yesterday:

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Do those remove any sadness from your world?

Here‘s the kind and compassionate music removing the sadness of my world, here and now:

 

Will you be kind and compassionate and remove the sadness of the world with a comment?

Let me be kind and compassionate, thanking all  who helped me create this post and you — of course! — for bringing your kindness and compassion to my world, today.

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

Day 1418: Qualified

Because I’m not qualified to give you an exact definition of “qualified,” here’s how it’s defined online:

qual·i·fied
ˈkwäləˌfīd/
adjective
1.officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job; certified.
“newly qualified nurses”
2.not complete or absolute; limited.
“I could only judge this CD a qualified success”

Yesterday,  I asked my boyfriend Michael — who is qualified to be a boyfriend, a cook, and (according to one of my doctors) a nurse — how he was feeling. Michael qualified and quantified his feelings like so:

 I am Q fine.

While Michael is more qualified than I to explain exactly what he meant, I can tell you that “Q” stands for “Qualified””  I will also qualify that by explaining that Michael’s “Q” reflects the second definition of “Qualified” above.

Why is my qualified boyfriend responding that he is “Q fine”  lately?  Again, Michael is more qualified than I to describe his thoughts and feelings, but I am qualified to guess that Michael’s feelings are qualified by worries about whether Donald Trump is qualified to serve as our President for the next four years.

I don’t think of myself as a qualified photographer, but some of my readers do. Here are my qualified images from yesterday:

 

I think those photos need to be qualified as follows:

  1. My son Aaron and I are both qualified to use FaceTime to communicate while he is away at school in Scotland.
  2. Aaron was qualifying many of his remarks to me yesterday while playing with tomatoes.
  3. Even though I am a qualified mother, I did not tell Aaron to stop playing with his food.
  4. We are all qualified to practice mindfulness, to breathe, and to make time for ourselves.

Am I qualified to pick the right music for today’s post? Yesterday, Michael and I heard beautiful music on the radio played by Nicholas McCarthy, who is completely qualified as a concert pianist despite having been born with only his left hand.

 

How would you qualify your thought and feelings, here and now?  You are the ONLY ONE qualified to truly know and express your own experience.   I declare that as a qualified psychotherapist, mother, and  human being.

I am also qualified to give unqualified thanks where thanks are due — to all those qualified people who helped me create today’s post and to you, of course!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1417: Tough

The tough title of this post is inspired by the first photo I was tough enough to take yesterday, while I was doing some tough exercises at cardiac rehab:

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Based on my understanding  of (1) the word “tough” and (2) the staff at cardiac rehab, I assume they meant  I am “strong and resilient” rather than “difficult.”

If you want me to provide citations for those two definitions of ‘tough,” one word:

Tough!

The last few months have been tough for me, as I’ve undergone several  tough cardiac-related surgeries and suffered other tough slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Apparently, I’m tough enough to take it,  because here I am, writing this tough post today.

Now, some of my tough readers probably want to know how tough my day was yesterday, since I mentioned in yesterday’s tough post that I’d be seeing lots of tough doctors and getting some tough tests at my tough hospital.

I hope it won’t be too tough for you to tough it out through several other tough photos from yesterday, first.

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For those of you tough enough to make it through all those tough images, here’s my news from my tough day:

The news is good.  My tough doctors told me that all the tests show that I am exactly where I should be, after all the tough things I’ve been through.  As a matter of fact, my tough doctor, Mark Estes (not pictured), said this to me:

We’re going to keep you going until your 90s.

While recent events have shown lots of tough people that it is VERY tough to make accurate predictions, that was not tough for me to hear.

It’s tough for me to decide which tough music to include for this tough post, so I will leave that to my tough readers.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The tough writer of this tough blog does need to get going, but not until I express thanks to all, with three more tough photos:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 1416: Healing

I hope it is healing for you, dear readers, to read about my healing in this blog.

Yesterday, my healing included seeing friends, eating delicious food, watching Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch at a local movie theater, and appreciating my outrageous good fortune of being alive for another day.

Here are some lines from Hamlet which I found healing last night:

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Doubt truth to be a liar; but never doubt I love.

This above all; To thine own self be true.

One may smile, and smile, and still be a villain.

Listen to many; speak to a few.

When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!

Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!

If we are true to ourselves, we can not be false to anyone.

O God, I could be bound in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space – were it not that I have bad dreams.

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear; Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.

Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.

the play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.

Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Since  brevity is the soul of wit, I’ll be brief in sharing that  I am seeing battalions of doctors and other healing people in hospitals today.  I shall reserve my judgment until after I see them all.

Here are the rich gifts of  healing images from yesterday:

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Some of those photos show Benedict Cumberbatch, before the play began, interacting with young people from many cultures about Hamlet, which I found very healing. The play — which was the thing — began with Hamlet listening to a song I always find healing.

 

For all who helped me create today’s post and for you — of course! — I have one more healing image from yesterday:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 1415: Outrageous Fortune

Yesterday, I had the outrageous fortune to

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  • meet my sister Ellen, who is one of the leading women in my life,

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  • live another day without allergies,

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  • encounter a t-shirt which reminded me of my late father, who had the brilliant idea of renaming a local business “The No Fakery Bakery,”

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  • reminisce with my sister about how my father’s submitting that winning name in the local bakery’s contest many years ago resulted in our family winning free bagels and cream cheese for a week,
  • breathe free,

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  • realize that people are still singing and acting in the name of love,

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  • meet my wonderful friend Barbara, who is one of my favorite people in the world,

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  • see familiar faces in a local no-fakery bakery that ships all over the world,

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  • spend time breathing and taking pictures on a bench near the Charles River,

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  • see a bumper sticker with my boyfriend, Michael, which reminded us of an experience we had the day after my open heart surgery in September (which I had the outrageous fortune to share with you in this post),

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  • realize that no matter what else is happening to me right now, my scars from all my recent cardiac-related surgeries are healing and no longer need dressing with gauze and tape,

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  • and have another piece of Michael’s outrageous chocolate cake.

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During times of outrageous fortune, it helps to realize how outrageously fortunate I am.

Tonight, I have the outrageous fortune of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in a production of Hamlet at a local movie theater with  my friend Kathy, where we’ll have the outrageous fortune of hearing him recite these outrageous lines:

To be or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them

 

As I’ve recently said to several people I have the outrageous fortune to know, during times of outrageous fortune I can reduce my outrage with Dickens and  with Shakespeare.

I just had the outrageous fortune of finding this music on YouTube in the name of love:

 

Will I have the outrageous fortune of seeing a comment from you, below?

I have the outrageous fortune of being able to thank all who helped me create this post and you — of course! — whom I am outrageously fortunate to know.

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

Day 1414: I wake up this morning feeling uneasy

Almost fourteen hundred days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post titled Day 17: I think I wake up most mornings feeling uneasy. Here’s what I think, as I wake up this morning feeling uneasy:

  • That was an important post for me to write back then, because I named and accepted my feelings, which freed me up to look at next steps.
  • When I wrote that post, I ABSOLUTELY had significantly fewer reasons to feel uneasy than I do this morning.
  • Uneasy is not the only feeling I’m having these mornings.
  • I’m also feeling dread, hope, fear, disappointment, and love.

What helps when I’m feeling uneasy?

  • Naming it.
  • Connecting with others.
  • Self care.
  • Reminding myself, “It might be safer than it feels.”
  • Remembering that no matter how I’m feeling, some people out there are thriving and some people are suffering.
  • Identifying something I can do.
  • Doing it.

Here’s what I’d like to do right now: share my photos from yesterday, which I took when I was feeling uneasy (as well as many other feelings). But I’m feeling uneasy because:

  • I can’t access my photos.
  • WordPress is not saving this post as I’m writing it.
  • I need to restart my computer to complete this post the way I want to.

 

I’m going to just do it and hope for the best!

 

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Is anything making you feel uneasy, now that you’ve read my post and seen my photos?

When I was feeling very uneasy in the hospital after my recent open heart surgery, I listened to a Bach CD on repeat, mornings and nights.   Here‘s some Bach for us all:

 

More things that help when I’m uneasy:

  • Reading people’s comments on my blog.
  • Expressing gratitude to all  who help me create new posts in the morning.
  • Thanking you — of course! —  for making my life easier.

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Day 1413: ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about the title of today’s post is right here:

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ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about that photo includes the fact that I took it last night at Target.

At times in my life, I’ve thought to myself, “That’s ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.” Soon, though, I knew I needed to know more.

Recently  I thought, “That’s ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW” about

and then I learned it wasn’t.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about this blog includes this: I try to share ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW  with my photographs from the day before.

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ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about those chocolates:

Did you get  ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW from this post? I’ll get absolutely everything I need to know about that from your comments.

ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about who I need to thank: absolutely everybody I needed to create this post and you, absolutely!

 

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

Day 1412: Veterans

Yesterday was Veterans Day in the USA, so  I visited a special place in my birthplace of Boston.

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I’m a veteran of witnessing war from the safety of my home, thanks to the veterans honored there and elsewhere.

Because I’m a veteran blogger, I woke up this morning with this thought:

We are all veterans of life’s challenges; therefore, we will make it through the challenges facing us today.

Because I’m a veteran group therapist, I had this thought:

In the past, I have  felt alone with my pain, disappointment, and fear.  Today, I know I am not alone.

If you’re a veteran of this blog, you know I like to share photos from the day before.

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As I look around with my veteran eyeballs, I see lots of beauty.  When I listen with my veteran ears while walking through gardens, I hear music like this:

I would like to thank all the veterans who helped me create today’s post and all the veterans reading this, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1411: It could be worse.

It could be worse. It could be raining.

It could be worse. It could be a world without

“Good Bones,” by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

  • Sons who want to FaceTime with their mothers

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  • Cats

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  • Signs

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  • Fire hydrants

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  • Mittens

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  • Pumpkins

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  • My readers, who I hope will leave a comment about this post (which could be worse)
  • Gratitude, which I’m expressing for all who helped me create today’s blog and for you– of course! — no matter what you think could be worse, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

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