Monthly Archives: August 2020

Day 2837: What remains

Last night, Michael, Aaron (who remains at our home near Boston while he attends his final year at University of Edinburgh online), and I were talking about how politicians were trying to remain in power by using fear. Michael said,  “Well, as Joseph Conrad said, ‘When all other feelings are gone, fear remains.’  When I  asked, “Doesn’t love remain?”,  Michael and Aaron remained agreed as they swiftly replied, “NO.”

As that conversation remains in my heart, head, and soul today, I just googled “Joseph Conrad quote about fear” and found this:

“The wicked people were gone, but fear remained. Fear always remains. A man may destroy everything within himself, love and hate and belief, and even doubt; but as long as he clings to life he cannot destroy fear: the fear, subtle, indestructible, and terrible, that pervades his being; that tinges his thoughts; that lurks in his heart; what watches on his lips the struggle of his last breath.”

― Joseph Conrad

I’m hoping that in the struggle of my last breath, love remains.

What remains from my most recent photos?

img_7110

img_7102

img_7122

IMG_7118

Harley remains next to me on the sofa while I am blogging.

What remains of the great Chadwick Boseman, gone way too soon? So much remains, including this:

I remain agreed with Chadwick Boseman that everybody should be the hero of their own story.

There are many quotes from Chadwick Boseman that remain, including this one from the acceptance speech he gave when  Black Panther won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards:

“To be young, gifted and Black, we all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured,” he said. “Yet, you are young, gifted and Black. We know what it’s like to be told to say there is not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on.

“We know what it’s like to be a tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day because we knew, not that we would be around during awards season and that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”

What remains for you after reading this post?

For me, gratitude always remains, so thanks to all who helped me create this post, including YOU.

IMG_6867

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2836: I’m on my way

I’m on my way to explaining the inspiration for today’s post.

IMG_7088

I’m on my way to having a cat sitting near me when I blog, again, because shy kitty Harley is, for the first time, next to me while I’m blogging. If I got up to get my phone to prove that Harley is close by, he might be on his way somewhere else.

I’m on my way moving through the grief process for the loss of our ever-present kitty Oscar, although every time I read this post or that post about his passing, I cry.

We’re all on our way to the November U.S. Presidential election and I hope I won’t be crying about those results. In the meantime, I feel like I’m on my way to being stuck in a David Lynch movie.

I’m on my way to showing you my other photos from yesterday.

IMG_7077

IMG_7079

IMG_7080

IMG_7078

IMG_7083

IMG_7081

IMG_7087

IMG_7090

fullsizeoutput_48f9

IMG_7084

fullsizeoutput_48fb

fullsizeoutput_48f7

IMG_7092

IMG_7094

fullsizeoutput_48f8

fullsizeoutput_48fa

IMG_7097

IMG_7098

IMG_7093

I love seeing cats and my son Aaron when I’m on my way.

I’m on my way to sharing  Take 6 singing “I’m On My Way” live in their inimitable way.

By the way, I loved seeing this video about a kid and his adult neighbor on their way.

I’m on my way to crying about that, too, because — as I wrote during my first year of blogging — kindness can make me cry, even harder.

Are you on your way to leaving a comment, below?

I’m always on my way to expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

IMG_7085

IMG_7086

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2835: Heads

Yesterday, my beloved long-time friend Barbara headed over to our place for our first in-person meeting since the pandemic.  After she parked her car and saw me waiting for her outside, the realities of the coronavirus momentarily went right out of her head and she instinctively hugged me — I turned my head away during the hug. Then,  we headed out for a walk and a delicious lunch outside, wearing masks on our heads.

Our conversational topics were headed up by:

  • the current head of the United States,
  • systemic racism,
  • other things that are worrying our heads (like voting and bureaucracies),
  • photography, and
  • how Barbara helps her partner, Jim,  get his  head out of the sand and how Jim helps Barbara get out of her head.

I have it in my head, here and now, that there will be many heads in my recently captured images.

IMG_7068

img_7076-1

IMG_7071

I usually have it in my head that the Daily Bitch calendar will somehow relate to my daily blog post and sure enough, the name of this adorable neighborhood dog with the amazing head …

… is Donut.

 Here‘s a favorite song fromTalking Heads:

In my head, it DOES feel like life during wartime.

If you have thoughts in your head about this “Heads” post, feel free to express them in a comment, below.

Gratitude is always in my head, so thanks to all who help me create this blog, including YOU!

IMG_6601

 

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2834: Troublemakers

It troubles me when troublemakers falsely characterize other people as dangerous troublemakers in order to make trouble and try holding on to power.

I love this 2018 tweet the late U.S. Representative John Lewis made about trouble:

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

What kinds of troublemakers do you see in my latest photos?

 The Daily Bitch Calendar almost always features women making trouble, so there is an element of surprise in today’s simple, non-bitchy message.

I hope I didn’t make trouble by presenting so many pictures together in that photo montage. To see any of those more clearly, you need to go to the trouble of clicking on them.

These are my favorite photos from yesterday, so I’m taking the trouble of enlarging them for you:

IMG_7012

IMG_7015

fullsizeoutput_48b1

That was actually no trouble at all.

Because so many people are making trouble for each other on Facebook, I reposted this message there recently:

Reposted from a friend.
Just a note for my right leaning family and friends from my left leaning self as we near voting day:
They say we want to disband police departments (and that we hate the police): we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and unnecessary police brutality and for those who abuse their power to be held accountable.
They say we want to release all prisoners: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and ensure the punishments match the crimes and to deprivatize prisons.
They say we want open borders: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want asylum seekers to be given their chance to seek asylum. We want to help people who are coming from unimaginable terror and poverty help to give them the chances we have. We want to ensure children aren’t separated from their parents and that nobody is kept in cages. But we do want proper vetting.
They say we want to take away your guns: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want logical gun control to help prevent mass shootings.
They say we want to wage a war on Christianity and Christian values: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want people of all religions to be able to practice and worship freely.
They say we want to get everything for free: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to work hard and make sure that healthcare and education are affordable for all.
They say we want a war against traditional marriage: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want people of all sexual orientations to be able to love freely, no matter whom you love.
They say we want to destroy or rewrite history: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to recognize the ugly parts of our past and do everything we can to say “that’s not okay, let’s not honor those aggressors, let’s not let those things happen again”.
They say we want to take away your constitutional rights: we don’t, that’s a lie. We choose to believe science and wear masks and try to prevent the spread of this disease.
They say we hate America: we don’t, that’s a lie. We just recognize our faults and want us to do better, be better.
Please stop with the us vs. them. Stop with the straw man arguments. Our position is one of empathy, compassion and logic. Stop believing the hype. Stop with the division. Just because we want equality for all doesn’t mean we want to take anything away from you.
***Please copy and paste***

 

If there are any troublemakers from my high school who insist on talking  politics at our upcoming Zoom reunion, I’m going to the trouble of making breakout rooms for them to do so.  I’m hoping that, for one night,  we can focus on easing each other’s minds, not further troubling them.

Ranker has made a list of the best songs with word “Trouble” in the title. Here is #1 …

and here is #5:

No matter what kind of trouble I’ve made in these blog posts, I always make room for gratitude at the end, so thanks to all who helped me create this “Troublemakers” post and thanks to YOU for taking the trouble to be here!

fullsizeoutput_489a

 

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

Day 2833: The Element of Surprise

Much to my surprise, I’ve already written one post titled The Element of Surprise.  Would it surprise you if I shared how long it’s been since I created that post and all the surprising elements within?

Surprise!  I’m not going to do that math today.

Do you like the element of surprise?  Somebody does.

fullsizeoutput_48a6

I won’t be surprised if people comment below that they  like the element of surprise only in certain circumstances. Personally, I’m still waiting for somebody to throw me a successfully executed surprise party.   And it’s probably no surprise if I say I’m hoping for no unpleasant surprises during the upcoming election season in the USA.

Can you find elements of surprise in any of these other recent images?

IMG_6926

 

The last time I did a photo montage like that, I was unpleasantly surprised to see how the different  photographic elements showed up on my phone. I …

IMG_6935

.. hope that you can easily explore elements of surprise in those smaller photos, but I won’t be surprised if it’s difficult to do so.

That reminds me of the elementally unhelpful “negative cognition” I’m letting go of through EMDR therapy, which is surprisingly effective in healing old traumas:

I can’t trust anybody, including myself.

Did that surprise anybody?

Here’s something that surprised me and my husband Michael yesterday:

IMG_6970

Here’s something that did not surprise me:

IMG_6975

Here’s another element of surprise: when the PictureThis app identified this …

IMG_6959

as poke, pokeberries, and poke salad, I was surprised.

Now I’m wondering if my chosen musical selection for today has the element of surprise.

 

I’m hoping that it’s no surprise when I end each post with gratitude, because I am so thankful I get to share elements of surprise, every day,  with wonderful people like YOU.

IMG_6916

 

 

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2832: At this point

At this point, I am

  • in charge of planning a high school reunion on Zoom for September 12,
  • prepared to share a new original song “We Grew Up in the Sixties and We’re in Our Sixties Now,”
  • looking forward to asking questions, answering questions, and sharing memories at the reunion,
  • letting go of any anxiety and worry about the event,
  • worried less about what other people think about me,
  • understanding more about category theory, thanks to my son Aaron,
  • more knowledgable about local plants and flowers,
  • on Day 5 of my Seventeen-Day staycation,
  • aware that I am the one who is counting,
  • stably within therapeutic range on Warfarin for my mechanical heart valve,
  • wishing the U.S. Presidential election was over already,
  • done letting bullies bother me,
  • confused and distressed by some things I see around me,
  • hopeful about people’s better natures,
  • back in EMDR therapy for old and new traumas,
  • exhausted from all the local and global disasters,
  • wanting to do what I can to make things better for the future, and
  • ready to share my latest photos.

fullsizeoutput_4895

fullsizeoutput_4896

IMG_6884

 

IMG_6888

IMG_6886

IMG_6889

IMG_6890

IMG_6892

fullsizeoutput_4899

IMG_6894

IMG_6895

IMG_6896

IMG_6897

IMG_6898

IMG_6899

At this point, we have some great pictures of Harley.

At this point, I’m going to share this hopeful video about the future:

At this point, you can leave a comment below.

At this point in my blog posts, I always express gratitude for everything, including YOU!

IMG_6602

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2831: Categories

If I were to categorize my associations with categories, they would include

  • a kid’s game I used to play with my friends in which we sang “categories, names of, (some category)” while clapping our hands and naming things in the category back and forth until somebody couldn’t think of one, which I cannot find categorized on YouTube (which I categorize as disappointing)  and
  • this online definition:

category[ kat-i-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee ]
noun, plural cat·e·go·ries.
any general or comprehensive division; a class.
a classificatory division in any field of knowledge, as a phylum or any of its subdivisions in biology.
Metaphysics.
(in Aristotelian philosophy) any of the fundamental modes of existence, such as substance, quality, and quantity, as determined by analysis of the different possible kinds of predication.
(in Kantian philosophy) any of the fundamental principles of the understanding, as the principle of causation.
any classification of terms that is ultimate and not susceptible to further analysis.
categories. Also called Guggenheim. (used with a singular verb) a game in which a key word and a list of categories, as dogs, automobiles, or rivers, are selected, and in which each player writes down a word in each category that begins with each of the letters of the key word, the player writing down the most words within a time limit being declared the winner.
Mathematics. a type of mathematical object, as a set, group, or metric space, together with a set of mappings from such an object to other objects of the same type.
Grammar. part of speech.

During these days, which I would categorize as staycation days for me, my son Aaron is trying to teach me about categories in mathematics (see above and see here).

Leon, who I would put in the categories of ex-husband, father of my son, friends, and people I love, showed up recently in this diagram of categories my son drew …

img_6797

… and also showed up yesterday …

IMG_6823

… with a framed photo of mine he put into the category of photos worthy of framing when he saw it in a recent blog post.

IMG_6826

I would put Leon’s actions —  printing out my picture,  framing it, and giving it to us  — into the categories of kind, creative, thoughtful, unexpected, and also very, very flattering.

What categories might we put these other recent pictures into?

img_6870

img_6869

 

img_6874

Jeanette, who I would also put into the categories of friends and people I love sent me this beautiful card …

img_6816

… which I would put into the category of condolence card for the loss of our cat Oscar, and so much more.  The  PictureThis app  (categorized as “Botanist in Your Pocket”) couldn’t place it into the category of flowers or plants.

img_6817

Dave Smith, who I would also put into the categories of friends and people I love as well as into the category of talented teacher and musician, provides today’s musical selection — “Time Waits for No One” from the album Dave Smith & Friends:

I’m looking forward to any comments of different categories, below.

Whatever categories I might put my blog into (which today includes “personal growth,” “photojournalism,” “friendship,” “definition,” and “life during the pandemic”), I should always include the category “gratitude.”  Thanks to all who help me create these categorized posts every day, including YOU!

IMG_6867

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

Day 2830: Picture this

Picture this:  one thousand, six hundred and fifty-four days ago (can you picture who is counting?), I published another blog post “Picture this” including pictures of

  • my son Aaron as a little boy and
  • my old office in Newton, Massachusetts, USA with pictures on the wall by my friend, the talented photographer Kathy Tarantola, who has taken pictures of Mitt Romney and his family, as well as not-so-famous people like me and my good friend/ex-business-partner Jonathan Stark (pictured in previous posts here, here, and here).

annandjonathan

Picture this: Jonathan thought we should be pictured in a Gap print ad in the 1990s, using a great picture by Kathy Tarantola.

Picture this: I haven’t yet revealed why the title of today’s blog post is “Picture This.” Yesterday, I discovered a  free phone app “PictureThis” which identifies plants and flowers. Can you picture how that affected the pictures I took yesterday?

img_6803

Picture this: I’m on vacation from my job, so I’m letting someone else do it this week and next.

Here‘s a YouTube video about PictureThis:

 

Here‘s “Picture This” by Blondie:

 

Here‘s “Picture This” by Kero Kero Bonito:

 

Can you picture being at a live concert with crowds again?  Picture this: I will be at a live concert again, I just don’t know when.

I am now picturing the comments I’m going to get on this “Picture This” post.

Whenever possible, I take pictures of gratitude, so that you can picture my thanks to all who help me take pictures to create these daily posts, including PictureThis and YOU!

img_6777

 

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 2829: Achievable next steps

In therapy, I often ask people to think about achievable next steps, especially if they feel overwhelmed, powerless, and uncertain about the future.  (Sound familiar, anybody?)  Identifying an achievable next step can promote a sense of control and hope.

Here and now, my achievable next steps include

  • asking for more help in planning a high school reunion on Zoom,
  • going for a socially distanced walk on Day 2 of my 17-day staycation, and
  • writing my next blog post.

Do you see any achievable next steps in my photos from yesterday?

fullsizeoutput_487f

IMG_6717

fullsizeoutput_487a

IMG_6715

IMG_6714

fullsizeoutput_487c

IMG_6724

IMG_6723

fullsizeoutput_487e

IMG_6718

IMG_6691

IMG_6695

fullsizeoutput_4880

fullsizeoutput_4876

fullsizeoutput_487d

IMG_6694

fullsizeoutput_487b

IMG_6707

IMG_6706

fullsizeoutput_4878

fullsizeoutput_4879

IMG_6703

IMG_6702

IMG_6704

IMG_6729

IMG_6731

IMG_6730

IMG_6726

IMG_6727

IMG_6725

IMG_6708

IMG_6710

IMG_6712

IMG_6713

Those last four photos show my son Aaron taking some initial steps to explain category theory to me.  He took some prior steps of describing category theory while we were stepping out on a neighborhood walk (pictured above).

My comprehending category theory

  1. will take many next steps over my staycation and
  2. is definitely achievable, because my son is an excellent teacher.

An achievable next step is to choose a YouTube video for today’s post. Here‘s one explaining John Coltrane‘s Giant Steps, “the most feared song in jazz history.”

Here‘s Giant Steps with somebody taking steps to add animated sheet music (but not for the piano solo):

People took the achievable steps of posting these comments on that YouTube video:

luis Bazan
5 years ago
It looks like I was watching a Tom and Jerry chase sequence, I like it

.
Skippy the Magnificent
1 year ago
“What key is this in?”
“Yes.”

Does leaving a comment here feel like a giant step or an achievable next step to you?

Expressing gratitude is always an achievable next step, so thanks to all (including YOU!) who helped me take achievable next steps to complete this achievable next blog post.

IMG_6111

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2828: Runnin’ the world and stuff

These days, we have people runnin’ and trying to convince us that they will do a better job runnin’ the world and stuff.

One of the people runnin’ for runnin’ the world and stuff is described by stuff like this:

Another one runnin’ for runnin’ the world and stuff is described by stuff like this:

 

Sometimes I wish I were runnin’ the world and stuff, as you can see by stuff like this:

fullsizeoutput_4871

IMG_6676

IMG_6675

IMG_6672

IMG_6674

IMG_6688

If I were runnin’ the world and stuff, everybody would be able to have stuff like Ferrero Rocher and Tiramisu gelato cakes whenever they wanted.

What would you do if you were runnin’ the world and stuff?

Here is “It Keeps You Runnin'” from 1977 …

… and forty years later, with a lot of runnin’ in between.

 

I’ll be runnin’ back to this blog while I’m runnin’ errands and stuff to see what comments are runnin’ below.

Gratitude and love keep things runnin’ so thanks, with love, to all who help me keep runnin’ this blog, including YOU!

IMG_6601

 

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.