Monthly Archives: July 2020

Day 2806: Hope

Hope showed up in my Coping and Healing group yesterday.

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We all agreed that hope was very important, especially during times like these.

I hoped there would be great quotes about hope and I found many here and here.

“Hope is a waking dream.”  — Aristotle

“Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”  — Martin Luther

“The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.” — William Shakespeare

Hope is passion for what is possible.”  — Søren Kierkegaard

“It is always something, to know you’ve done the most you could.  But don’t leave off hoping, or it’s of no use doing anything. Hope, hope to the last.” — Charles Dickens

“To live without hope is to cease to live.” — Fyodor Dostoesky

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”  — Emily Dickinson

“Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. Never stop questioning.”  — Albert Einstein

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into a reality.”  — Jonas Salk

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” —Nelson Mandela

“A whole stack of memories never equal one little hope.”  — Charles M. Schulz

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” — Thich Nhat Hahn

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”  —Robert Ludlum

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”  — Václev Havel

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”  — Christopher Reeve

“Remember. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  — Stephen King

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and do the right thing, the dawn will come.”  — Anne Lamott

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”  — Barbara Kingsolver

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”  — Michelle Obama

“It is because of hope that you suffer. It is through hope that you’ll change things.” — Maxime Legacé

I hope you can believe that one of those quotes is from a player on my hometown hockey team.

I hope you enjoy my latest photos.

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I hope as I continue feeding Harley, he and I get to be better friends.

Here‘s “I Really Hope” by The Cranberries

… and “Hope is an Open Window” by Diana Ross:

I hope you share your thoughts and feelings about hope in a comment, below.

I hope to begin and end each day with gratitude, so thanks to all, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 2805: On my mind

On my mind today are

  • the upcoming U.S. Presidential election,
  • long-standing injustices against people of color,
  • the number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic,
  • other mind-boggling events,
  • the quote “Hell is truth seen too late,”
  • bullies,
  • kind people,
  • the healing power of groups,
  • the healing power of art,
  • the healing power of nature,
  • mindfulness,
  • care for others,
  • self care, and
  • my wonderful cousin Lani, who sent me beautiful condolences about the loss of our fabulous kitty Oscar.

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What’s on your mind when you look at all the images I captured yesterday?

It’s on my mind to remind you to click on any of those images if you wish to enlarge them.

These mindful and beautiful performances were on my mind when I woke up this morning (here and here on YouTube):

 

As always, gratitude is on my mind, so thanks to Lani, Take 6, Donald Fagen, tigers everywhere, everyone who is coping and/or healing, and (of course!) YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2804: Paying attention

Here and now, I’m paying attention to these quotes about paying attention:

“The right way to begin is to pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.” — Socrates

“Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.” — Antisthenes

“If you’re not nervous then you’re not paying attention.” — Miles Davis

“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” — Tom Peters

“The difference between hearing and listening is paying attention.” — Ruth Messinger

“If you pay attention to when you are hungry,  what your body wants, what you’re eating, when you’ve had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist.” — Geneen Roth

“When you really pay attention, everything is your teacher.” — Ezra Bayda

“All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.”  —Paulo Coelho

“The universe is full of noise.  True wisdom is in knowing what to pay attention to.” — Debasish Mridha

“Pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still.  A portal is opening up.” — Eckhart Tolle

“Pay attention to the little things.  They’re more important than you think.”  — Matt Gutierrez

“Don’t beg for attention; pay attention to your dreams and others will pay attention to you.” — Israelmore Ayivor

“People will reveal who they are if you just pay attention.”  — Germany Kent

“Pay attention to the gentle ones, the ones who can hold your gaze with no discomfort, the ones who smile to themselves while sitting alone in a coffee shop, the ones who walk as if floating. Take them in and marvel at them.  Simply marvel. It takes an extraordinary person to carry themselves as if they do not live in hell.” —  D. Bunyavong

“Pay attention to what you don’t see.” — Tia DeShay

“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” — Anne Lamott

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.”  — Keanu Reeves

“You’ll have bad times.  But that’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” — Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting

“Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Paying attention is the most basic and profound expression of love.” —Tara Brach

“The greatest act of love is to pay attention.” — Diane Sawyer

“Every single person has a story that will break your heart.  And if you’re paying attention, many people have a story that will bring you to your knees.  Nobody rides for free.”  — Brené Brown

“I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, ‘For the same reason I laugh so often — because I’m paying attention.’ ” — Glennon Doyle

“But when we observe, we are forced to pay attention.  We have to move from passive absorption to active awareness. We have to engage.” —  Maria Konnikova

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” — Mary Oliver

Now it’s time to be paying attention to my latest photos.

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If you’re paying attention, you might notice a typo in that job description. What else are you paying attention to?

Here‘s “Pay Attention” from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

As always, I’m paying attention to gratitude, so thanks to all who help me pay attention to this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2803: I haven’t been this depressed since …

How would you complete today’s blog post title?

I haven’t been this depressed since …

Here’s how The Daily Bitch completes that sentence …

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… which also works for me.

I haven’t taken many photos since my last blog post, perhaps because I’m depressed about the passing of our fabulous cat, Oscar.

 

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Harley doesn’t seem depressed, but who knows?

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “I haven’t been this depressed since”.

 

I haven’t been this grateful since yesterday.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2802: Mixed messages

I’ve definitely heard mixed messages about the advisability of looking for information online, but here‘s an online definition of “mixed messages”:

NOUN
mixed message (plural mixed messages)

(idiomatic) Any communication that is contradictory, inconsistent, or unclear, especially in its motive or intent.
Don’t you think it’s sending a mixed message for the magazine to put “Lose Five Pounds in A Month” right next to “Ten Easy Desserts”?
See also
double standard
mixed signal
oxymoron
read between the lines

Yesterday, on a walk near my home, I encountered these mixed messages:

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EXPLORE MORE (on the left page of that discarded magazine)  and

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… NO TRESPASSING.   There were more mixed messages there, because several people and dogs seemed to be trespassing on that land  (which is either an island or a peninsula, depending on the tide). As I read descriptions of Thompson Island, I’m getting more mixed messages about whether I should have explored more or turned back in response to that NO TRESPASSING message.  The messages are so mixed for me right now, I’m doubting whether that actually IS Thompson Island, since there were no clear messages or identifying signs.

When I look around these days, I see mixed messages about

  • masks,
  • the pandemic,
  • travel,
  • work,
  • age,
  • food,
  • sleep,
  • etiquette,
  • language,
  • connecting with others,
  • fireworks,
  • protests,
  • danger,
  • safety,
  • politics,
  • polls,
  • money,
  • power,
  • human nature,
  • the climate,
  • the future,
  • the past, and
  • the rest of this mixed world.

Do you see any mixed messages in my many other mixed photos from yesterday?

If those messages are too mixed to see clearly, you can always click on a particular photographic message to make it larger.

Here’s “Mixed Messages” by  Big K.R.I.T,

… and “Mixed Messages” by The Bangles.

That’s a really interesting mix of “Mixed Messages.” Now I’m looking forward to reading the mix of messages in the comments section, below.

There’s always an unmixed message at the end of each of these mixed blog posts.

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Categories: definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2801: Remarkable

It’s remarkable how many remarkably comforting and thoughtful remarks people have been leaving on this blog about the recent loss of our remarkable kitty, Oscar.

It’s also remarkable, to me, how anybody can still support our remarkable U.S. President, who thinks it remarkable that he passed a cognitive test and remembered the words “Person Woman Man Camera TV.”  I don’t think it’s that remarkable that I still remember those words in order, days after hearing them.

Recently, I remarked to my husband that I found it remarkable that somebody had used a marker to mark up a nearby wall with this:

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Yesterday, I brought a marker with me on my walk, with the intent to re-mark that wall.  However, my marker was remarkably thin, so I couldn’t remark the MAGA marks, even though I tried. Instead,  I marked up the wall directly above, like so:

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As I re-marked that wall, I listened for remarks from people nearby on the beach,  who were enjoying the remarkable day. Everything was remarkably quiet. When I was done re-marking, I resumed my remarkable walk.

Which of my photos today are the most remarkable?

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I find these images particularly remarkable, here and now.

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It’s remarkable how comforting it is to have Harley around as we grieve the loss of our remarkable Oscar , who looked like this:

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After I saw that cat food bag at the supermarket yesterday, I showed that photo to my remarkable husband Michael, who has so often remarked in many remarkable situations, “Look, Ann!  That cat looks just like Oscar!”

It’s remarkable what we remember.

Here is Jaheim‘s  “Remarkable” featuring Terry Dexter:

It’s remarkable how much I’m looking forward to your remarks, below.

Remarkable thanks to all, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2800: People who think they know everything

The Daily Bitch calendar knows something about people who think they know everything.

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I’m definitely not a person who thinks she knows everything. For example, last night I spent hours looking for the comet Neowise, not being wise enough to know that the time to view it around here had passed.

Before I shut up about that, I want to share why I spent so much time looking for Neowise last night.  When my beloved father died in March of 1997, a spectacular comet, Hale-Bopp, was in the sky. I went looking for that comet with my son’s father, knowing that would help me say goodbye to my dad.  I know we found that glorious comet and I remember how I imagined my father’s beautiful soul becoming part of it forever.

When I realized that there was another fantastic comet in the sky while our beloved cat Oscar was dying, I knew it would help to find that comet to say goodbye.  I didn’t know that the last night to successfully view Neowise around here was Tuesday, the night before our Oscar passed from this realm.

If you know me at all, you know that I still enjoyed the process of looking for Neowise last night, with two phone apps and a pair of binoculars given to me by my knowing husband, Michael.

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I hope you know that looking for Neowise helped me last night.  Even though I couldn’t see it in the sky — partly because the Northwest view from here is towards the lights of Boston — I knew it was there and so did my “Find Neowise” phone app.

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I don’t know everything but I do know Oscar lives on in my heart . Last night, my very unusual heart did noticeably better as I climbed the hills near our home.  I know it helps to believe that Oscar, with his love, strength, and persistence, is part of me now.

Here‘s “How Little We Know,” sung knowingly by Carmen McRae.

I know people are going to leave great comments about this “People who think they know everything” post.

People who think they know this blog know that I always end with gratitude for everything, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2799: The principal ingredient

Because grief for the loss of our principal cat Oscar is a principal ingredient in my life right now, I have only a few new photos to share today.

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Since I caught the coronavirus at a group therapy conference in NYC the first week in March, my husband Michael and I have not been able to find my keys.  Apparently, my keys are not a principal ingredient, because I haven’t needed them.

For me, principal ingredients include

  • love,
  • cats,
  • curiosity,
  • kind humans,
  • group work,
  • good food,
  • hope,
  • humor,
  • nature,
  • acceptance,
  • awareness of the current moment.
  • art, and
  • music.

Here‘s “Principal Orchestra Virtual Project” with the Norwalk Youth Symphony:

 

Other principal ingredients are courage, honesty, dignity, decency, and respect, so here‘s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s recent speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives:

 

Principal ingredients of this blog are your comments and my gratitude.

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

Day 2798: Stuck

When I was in Social Work Graduate School in the 1990’s, I read an article that suggested that all  mental health diagnoses be replaced with one: “Stuck.”  That has stuck with me, over the years.

Today, I feel stuck in grief, because yesterday we euthanized our amazing cat Oscar, who was stuck in advanced and debilitating cancer.

This was yesterday’s Daily Bitch Calendar:

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Now you’re stuck with that and with all these other recent photos:

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When you’re stuck, sometimes it helps to say “f*ck this shit” and sometimes it helps to cry.

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Yesterday, I stuck those tissues on the table near where we were saying goodbye to Oscar, who was stuck on his favorite blanket on the sofa.

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The Lap of Love  founder and vet, Dr. Sally,  asked us yesterday if Oscar was spending a lot of time stuck in the bathroom.  Oscar had been stuck on the bathroom mat for hours yesterday while we waited for Dr. Sally to arrive at 5 PM.

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Dr. Sally said that cats often get stuck in the bathroom at the end, perhaps because they are dehydrated and want to hear the sound of running water.

I’ll always be stuck with Dr. Sally’s kind demeanor, which I could read through the mask  stuck on her face because of the coronavirus pandemic (which we’re all stuck with for the time being).

Here’s some of information about herself that Dr. Sally has stuck onto the Lap of Love website:

Despite being so enamored with animals as a child, I was not able to get my first dog until I was 13 year old, but on that very special birthday, I was handed a tiny, black puppy…and I immediately burst into tears of joy! Rocko and I had many adventures together throughout my young adult life, and being his pet parent taught me more than I could have imagined about responsibility, friendship, and, above all, unconditional love. We spent many years walking our neighborhood together, and with every mile, he listened to me talk through my hopes and dreams, my concerns, and my fears. I know that everyone says this about their dog, but he was the best…a piece of my past, and a piece of my spirit…always.

I’m glad that Dr. Sally is stuck with Rocko as a piece of her spirit. Of course, Oscar will always be a piece of ours.

Here’s a video from six years ago of Oscar and I stuck in another bathroom for over eight minutes as I tried to sing along to a favorite Pat Metheny tune:

I didn’t successfully stick all the high notes there but I’m glad to be stuck with that memory of Oscar who, as usual, stuck by my side for the whole thing.

I’m looking forward to being stuck with whatever comments you choose to leave, below.

Thanks to all who have stuck it out to the end of this “Stuck” post. I’m very grateful to be stuck, here and now, with you.

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Categories: in memoriam, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 2797: They can’t take that away

Today is our beloved kitty Oscar’s last day on earth.  We have scheduled a “peaceful passing” for him today at 5 PM; it’s unclear whether he will make it to then.  Either way, we know it’s the right decision to let him go.

Many thanks to all my readers for helping us through this painful process.

Last night while spending time with Oscar, who can barely walk and has stopped eating entirely,  I rewrote the lyrics to my favorite song  — “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

The way you ate your meal,
The way you meowed off key.
The way you made us feel,
No, no, they can’t take that away from me.

The way you took cat naps,
The way you watched TV.
The way you graced our laps,
No, no, they can’t take that away from me.

We may never, never meet again on this earthly road of love,
But there’ll always always be the memory of

The way you were our cat
The best a cat could be,
The memory of all that
No, no they can’t take that away from me.

No, they can’t take that away from me.

The night before last,  Oscar was gracing my lap as we watched  Fred Astaire  and Ginger Rogers take dancing and singing to a new level with   “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” in the great Rogers-Astaire reunion movie The Barkleys of Broadway.

I wonder how many takes it took to capture that perfect performance.

They can’t take away this memorable comment about that YouTube video:

Daniel Bradford
3 years ago
No matter what happens, they can’t take away your memories.

No matter what happens, they can’t take away the memories of Oscar in this blog and in Oscar’s Facebook page, found here. And they can’t take away the nice comment left yesterday on Oscar’s Facebook page by the veterinarian who consulted with us last night about Oscar’s quality of life.

They can’t take away these photos from yesterday:

They can’t take away any of those memories.

They can’t take away my gratitude for everything, including Oscar and YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

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