in memoriam

Day 2659: We really don’t know how we affect other people

Two thousand, five hundred, and forty-one days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote another blog post with the same title as this one.

We really don’t know how we affect other people.

Rhys — the welcoming, perceptive, kind, aware, attentive, versatile, soulful, generous,  and lovable server at Junior’s restaurant in New York City — really didn’t know how he affected me until I published yesterday’s blog post (and today’s!).

I really didn’t know how I affected Rhys until he showed me his instagram account yesterday and asked to get some pictures with me yesterday.

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I really don’t know how I affect other people by sharing thoughts and images here, including these:

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I’ve encountered so many people during my experience at this year’s American Group Psychotherapy Association conference. They really don’t know how they affected me, which was profoundly.

Perhaps McCoy Tyner, the incredible jazz pianist who died yesterday, didn’t really know how he affected other people.  Here‘s one of the most affecting pieces of music I’ve ever heard (performed live in Berlin in 1990):

Here‘s the recording of “Fly with the Wind” which has affected me for decades:

Here‘s another incredible piece from the same album:

We really don’t know how we affect other people unless we tell each other. I want to tell you how I grateful I am for all of you, every day.

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Categories: group therapy, in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2641: Feet First

Yesterday, when I was walking down the street with my feet first, I heard “Feet First” from the album Street Dreams by the late, great keyboardist Lyle Mays.

My first thought was “Tomorrow’s blog is going to include ‘Feet First’ and photos with feet!”

The first photo I took was of my own feet on the street.

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And as I walked through the day with my feet first, I realized, again, how much it helps to take life one step at a time.

Here are the other feet I captured yesterday:

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Now it’s time for me to step through another day, feet first.

Thanks to Lyle Mays, artists,  cats, and all who help me step through life feet first, including YOU!

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

Day 2637: Please be considerate

Please be considerate and tell me which of these photos you like best and why.

Please be considerate and join me in paying homage, again, to one of my favorite musicians , the late great Lyle Mays.

Please be considerate and accept this short and simple post, because I am in the middle of considering so many obligations right now.

Please be considerate of how grateful I am for all who consider my blog worth visiting, including YOU.

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2634: Heartland

Today, my heart is heavy because one of my favorite musicians — Lyle Mays (appearing in posts here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, and here) — passed away yesterday.

Yesterday, not knowing that Lyle had passed, I took pictures of hearts.

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Music is one of the universal languages of love, and here is Lyle (about the age when I first saw him play) and Pat Metheny performing one of their many compositions which will live forever in my heart: “(Cross The) Heartland.

Whatever Lyle wrote and played, it landed directly in my heart.

Here‘s “Mirror of the Heart” from Lyle’s first solo album:

 

Pat Metheny wrote this on his website:

‘Lyle was one of the greatest musicians I have ever known. Across more than 30 years, every moment we shared in music was special. From the first notes we played together, we had an immediate bond. His broad intelligence and musical wisdom informed every aspect of who he was in every way. I will miss him with all my heart.”

My heart goes out to all who loved Lyle and his music.

Thanks for joining my heartland, today.

 

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2619: What do you have to say?

What do you have to say when a 41-year-old sports superstar, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other irreplaceable people die in a helicopter crash?

Maybe you don’t have to say anything.  Maybe you can just be.

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When I typed in “moment of silence” on YouTube, it automatically filled in “moment of silence for Kobe” and shared this, this, this, this, and this:

Also moments of silence for Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John AltobelliChristina Mauser, and all who died tragically.

Thank you, again,  for being here, now.

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Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2548: Fortunate

Last night, before we were fortunate enough to see “Parasite” — an incredible movie about the fortunes of families from very different classes  — Michael and I got bubble-gum fortunes at a restaurant nearby.

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While I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a comic and fortune that was cut properly, Michael was.

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If I had been fortunate enough to get that fortune about being anxious to achieve something very important and succeeding, I would have greatly appreciated that view of such a fortunate future.

Earlier that morning, I was fortunate enough to capture the images of birds flying around and around our home, casting shadows on the blinds.

Are birds flying around and around  your home considered fortunate?  I was fortunate enough to find this online article about bird superstitions and myths.

Later in the day, I was fortunate enough to attend a beautiful memorial ceremony for my beloved colleague Deb Carmichael.

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I believe all of us at the memorial service felt fortunate to have the opportunity to write down on those index cards our thoughts about our good fortune in knowing Deb, so we could share those with Deb’s family.

I felt fortunate when one of the speakers at the memorial service quoted something I often say:

The pain of the loss is directly proportional to the importance of the connection.

We were all fortunate to hear a song that Deb had personally chosen to be sung at her memorial service by a member of our shared professional organization and home: The Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.  While you won’t be fortunate enough to hear that rendition today, here is the song:

 

I feel fortunate that I can share my other photos from yesterday with you, here and now:

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Please be grateful for every fortunate moment we get to share together.

Love,

Your fortunate blogger

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2526: More self-care bingo

Today is the wedding anniversary of my late, great parents, so I definitely need more self-care bingo.

Luckily, in a Coping and Healing group yesterday we added more squares to our self-care bingo cards.

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My new squares are

  1. created something new,
  2. laughed with somebody,
  3. expressed my feelings,
  4. took a walk,
  5. ate something delicious,
  6. spent time with an animal,
  7. danced,
  8. listened to music I love,
  9. improved the moment,
  10. observed just noticed,
  11. acknowledged progress,
  12. looked at something beautiful,
  13. gave somebody a hug,
  14. accessed a good memory,
  15. was playful,
  16. returned an email,
  17. made a helpful call,
  18. set a limit,
  19. smiled at a stranger, and
  20. expressed gratitude.

Bingo!

Here’s #14 (accessed a good memory):

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Adding more photos to today’s post qualifies as #1 (created something new).  Are any of these photos examples of self-care bingo?

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Part of my self care has been watching this video of the Washington Nationals (up 2-1 in the World Series) spreading “Baby Shark” fever.

Here’s #20 (expressed gratitude):

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Categories: anniversary, group therapy, in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2524: Who are we?

In previous posts, I’ve posed the bloggy questions “Who am I?,” “What am I?” and “Where am I?”

Today, I’m going more global with “Who are we?” because

  • every new story and news story I read these days implies, to me, this question about the current state of humanity and
  • I took this photo yesterday.

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Who are we?  Are we

  • factions of humans who never agree?
  • a species who can bond together over a common goal?
  • violent?
  • kind?
  • selfish?
  • empathic?
  • hating?
  • loving?
  • capable of change?
  • doomed?
  • serious?
  • ridiculous?
  • leaders?
  • followers?
  • thinkers?
  • feelers?
  • wise?
  • stupid?
  • enemies?
  • friends?
  • hopeless?
  • hopeful?
  • memorable?
  • capable of remembering?

Are we ready for my other photos from yesterday?

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I don’t know if I’ll remember the Alamo, but I’ll always remember Deb Carmichael.

Here’s Who are We? by The Dixie Hummingbirds.

 

How would you answer today’s bloggy question?  Who are we?

Are we grateful?  I am, for all those who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2520: Girding and preparing for the day ahead

A few weeks ago, after girding and preparing myself for the day ahead,  I gave a speech at my 45th college reunion where I mentioned this daily  blog, as follows:

Also, seven years ago I expanded my network of friends by starting a daily blog. Every morning, including today, I’ve written about my heart, my son, my passion for the healing power of groups, my song-writing, my cats, my hopes, my fears, this speech — whatever helps gird me and prepare me for the day ahead.

Girding and preparing for the day ahead includes

  • getting in touch with my priorities,
  • observing what is,
  • relentlessly celebrating the small things,
  • awareness of loved ones who have passed,
  • connecting with humans and other creatures, and
  • sharing my photos from the day before.

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Here’s the obituary of Debora Carmichael, past President of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy, who was such an inspiration and support to me and so many others.

I am girding and preparing myself for a day without the earthly presence of Deb,  friends, family members, and other shining lights who have passed.

Girding and preparing myself includes listening to music I love. Yesterday, when I was walking amongst the creatures and environs around me, I was reminded of a musician I loved when I was young — Jacques Loussier, who played jazz versions of Bach pieces, like this one:

As always, girding and preparing includes sharing my gratitude to all, including YOU.

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Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2494: Sometimes life sucks

Sometimes life sucks, like when you lose an old friend to a terrible brain cancer that has killed another friend of yours.

Sometimes you see a card that perfectly captures your experience.

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Sometimes you listen to the same damn song over and over again to comfort yourself, like when you’re driving to say goodbye to an old friend.

 

Hajanga

by Jacob Collier

Everybody, near and far
Come together as you are
To the ocean, to the sky
Sing that cosmic lullaby
Sing the hajanga

Sing your pleasure sing your pain
Like you’ll never sing again
Let it echo, loud and clear
Across the ancient stratosphere
Even when the sun refuse to shine
There’s a song of love that never dies

Even when the good days pass you by
Lift your voices to the sky singin’
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

As the words go round and round
Let the tears roll down and down
Sing the way you wish to be
Let that singing set you free

Even when those dark clouds bring you down
There’s a spark of joy that can be found
Even when things break and fall apart
Lift your hands up from your heart, singing
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…

Said every morning
Every night
Through the darkness
To the light
Like a beacon
Shining bright
Sing the hajanga you’ll be alright

From the winter
Comes the spring
It don’t matter
What life will bring
You can do most anything
So give your hajanga
A song to sing

So tell your mama
Tell your pa
Sing it near and sing it far
Be exactly the way you are
See the hajanga
It’s your guiding star

To every woman
To every man
In every nation
In every land
I said please you’ve gotta understand
Now sing the hajanga
And take my hand, sing it!

Then one day your life is through
Nothing more that you can do
So give away the things you know
And tell your friends you love them so
Tell them hajanga

I let the tears roll down and down, yesterday, as I told Tony‘s friends and family that I loved him so.

Sometimes life sucks and we CAN do a damn thing about it, like telling people we love them so.

Here are all my other damn photos from yesterday:

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Sometimes life sucks and we can feel and express gratitude for what we still have, like this blog and YOU.

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

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