original song

Day 2626: Questions for the ride home

Yesterday, on my birthday (which was the first international palindrome day in 909 years)  …

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… I saw this at a local performance of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical:

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That reminded me of seeing plays and movies with my parents when I was a kid, when we always had questions and discussions on the ride (or  walk) home.

Here’s how I would answer that second question for the ride home:

I’m already angry or concerned enough to speak up, protest, march, or become an activist for change. MY question is, “Why aren’t YOU?”

Do you have any questions for the ride or walk home about my new cover photo on Facebook?

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Do you have any questions about my other photos from yesterday?

Do you have any sitting-on-the-sofa questions for Harley?

Some people on Facebook had questions about what I posted there the day before my birthday:

On my last day of being 66, it occurs to me that I am now entering the time of life that when I die, nobody will say, “Oh no! She was so young!”

I answered those questions by writing these lyrics for a new song:

NOT TOO YOUNG TO DIE

I’m not too young to die,
’cause I’m over 65,
Yet I plan to stay around for lots more years.

Young is not a word
That is regularly heard
By my aging but still operating ears.

You might call me old,
But I’ll just be staying bold
And enjoying every moment left to me.

No one knows how long
I’ll be here to sing my song,
So I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

© Ann Koplow, 2020

There are questions in this song from Hair.

How can people be so heartless?  How can people be so cold?  How can people have no feelings?

I don’t have the answers to those questions but I am unquestionably grateful for every day I’m alive and for YOU.

 

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2596: Adults

In all the thousands of daily blog posts this adult has written over the past seven years, there’s been only one blog post with “adult” in the title. That was Day 1466: Adulting, posted ALMOST EXACTLY three years ago today (but which adults are counting … and why?).

Adults (according to this adult):

  • make mistakes,
  • admit they’ve made mistakes, and
  • learn from their mistakes.

Here’s what other adults have said about adults:

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.  — Peter De Vries

Why did adults have to be so thick?  They always say, “tell the truth,” and when you do, they don’t believe you.  What’s the point? — Rick Riordan

“If you’re going to be a grown-up,” said Joan, “you’ve got to start thinking about grown-up things. And number one is money.” — Julian Barnes

Oh Christ, he groaned to himself, if this is the stuff adults have to think about I never want to grow up. — Stephen King

It’s only adults who read the top levels most of the time. I think children read the internal meanings of everything. — Maurice Sendak

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Some people discard their childhood like an old hat. They forget about it like a phone number that’s no longer valid. They used to be kids, then they became adults — but what are they now? Only those who grow up and continue to be children are humans. — Erich Kästner

Adults are just making things up as they go along. And when they’re scared, adults have no more answers than us kids. — Mike A. Lancaster

“You and I both know that love is for children,” he said. “We’re adults. Compatibility is for adults.”  “Compatibility is for my bluetooth and my car,” Teresa replied. “Only they get along just fine, and my car never makes my bluetooth feel like shit.” — Maggie Stiefvater

I bet if you look at the average teenager and the average adult, the average teenager has read more books in the past year than the average adult. Now of course the adult would be all like, “I’m busy, I got a job, I got stuff to do.”  WHATEVER!  READ! I mean, you’re watching CSI: Miami. Why would you be watching CSI: Miami when you could be READING CSI: Miami, the novelization? — John Green

Here are all the photos this adult took yesterday (when she could have been reading instead):

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Yesterday, I was looking forward to performing at an Open Mic, with my child (who is now an adult) in the audience.  One of my worst fears as an adult (based on an actual experience I had as a child) is to forget the words and chords when I’m in front of a audience. Last night, that worst fear came true …

… but I’m enough of an adult to be okay with it!

I’m looking forward to what adults have to say about today’s post.

I think gratitude is a very adult way to end this post, so thanks to all who help me blog every day, including YOU.

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

Day 2583: What’s this?

What’s this?

It’s the two thousandth,  five-hundredth, and eighty-third consecutive day of blogging in The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally!

What’s this?

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It’s something I liked on Twitter that explains our current political situation.

 

What’s this?

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It’s an interesting article from the New Yorker  I was reading on my phone yesterday.

 

What’s this?

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It’s my too-large wedding ring on a hand that needs a manicure.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Oscar, on a cold New England day.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Annia from Lunaris Jewels responding to my message about my too-large wedding ring.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Louis, Michael, and Robert at Men’s Wearhouse in Braintree.

 

What’s this?

It’s a song I started writing this morning:

What’s This?

by Ann Koplow

 

What’s this in your brain

That’s driving you insane?

That keeps you up at night

That dims your special light?

What’s this in your head

That fills your head with dread?

That makes your blood run cold

And freeze as you grow old?

Is it fear of the unknown?

Is it knowing you’re alone?

Is it worry, shame, or doubt?

All your critics, inside and out?

 

What’s this in your mind

That turns your vision blind?

That makes it hard to see

With any certainty?

 

Is it danger all around?

Believing you’re on shaky ground?

Is it thinking that it’s just

Never safe enough to trust?

 

What’s this in your soul

Feeling like a deep, dark hole?

That makes you want to hide

And never go outside?

Is it reality breaking through

With shocking news you never knew?

Or false negativity

Tinting everything you see?

What’s this song’s intent?

What is even meant?

What is its writer’s goal

Evoking brain, mind, head, and soul?

Should you try to banish fear?

Is that what I’m saying here?

Feel the fear, do it anyway?

Go out and face each brand new day?

Or am I warning you

That your fears are really true?

That it isn’t safe out there?

If you do move, step with care?

How many in this room

Think this is a song of doom?

How many of you hear

A call to let go of your fear?

How many are unaware

Of why people’s hands are in the air?

How many just don’t care?

Did anybody note

That I didn’t cast a vote?

For me the jury’s out

What this song is all about.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

What’s this?

 

It’s “What’s This”  from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

What’s this? You’re thinking of leaving a comment?  You can do so, down below.

What’s this?

It’s thanks for being YOU.

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

Day 2569: It’s hard to say

It’s hard to say why

  • greed is such a force in our world,
  • we’re not coming together over climate change,
  • people don’t care about the actions of their leaders,
  • we do things that make ourselves feel worse,
  • it’s so difficult for our minds to stay in the moment,
  • we judge ourselves and others so harshly,
  • it’s so difficult to speak up,
  • ridiculous prejudices linger,
  • we’re so afraid of people who are different from us,
  • the negative sticks and the positive fades,
  • awful people often outlive wonderful people,
  • I have trouble making decisions,
  • I stay in New England with all the snow and cold,
  • I keep starting new songs and not finishing them, and
  • I take pictures of so many things.

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Hard To Say

by Ann Koplow

Some things in  life are hard to say,

Like “I want you to go away.”

Or “Despite what you did, I forgive you, okay.”

Or “I need you, my love, to stay.”

 

For me, I find it hard to say

A different kind of communiqué,

Two words you’ll see in a candy display,

Ferrero Rocher.

 

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher.

That gets stuck in my mouth along the way.

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher.

So easy to eat and so hard to say.

 

Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rocher,

Those chocolate orbs wrapped in gold lamé.

Whether I’m home or going away.

So easy to eat and so hard to say.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

It’s hard to say why I haven’t gone viral yet.

Here’s the late Dan Fogelberg with “Hard to Say”:

I knew somebody who must have found “Dan Fogelberg” hard to say, because he always called him “Dan Fogelberry.”

What’s hard for you to say?

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll know that “Thank you” is not hard for me to say.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 2568: Downs and Ups

Every day has downs and ups, for all of us.

My day included many downs and ups, including

  • worrying about performing a Steely Dan song and an original song at an Open Mic last night,
  • buying a ticket to see Jacob Collier at Boston’s House of Blues in May,
  • losing my lyrics sheet for my original song,
  • reconstructing the lyrics as best I could,
  • reconnecting at the Open Mic with Nat, who co-led groups and co-wrote a song with me last year,
  • feeling empathy for the little girl who cried when she forgot how to play “Jingle Bell Rock” on the electric guitar,
  • two people talking loudly during my introduction to and performance of my first song,
  • those people leaving before my second song,
  • forgetting a chord in “Pretzel Logic,”
  • making it through “Pretzel Logic” and my “country” song, “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down,” and
  • cheering for the little girl who returned with her acoustic guitar and played a great “Jingle Bell Rock.”

What downs and ups do you see here?

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Here are the downs and ups of my Open Mic performance last night:

I keep writing new lyrics down for “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down.” It’s time to put these up on WordPress:

What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down

by Ann Koplow

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down,

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

In my local and the global news

There’s no quick fix I can find to choose.

No matter what your state or views

There’s no relief, just a belief in booze.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

As I turn to everyone I see

And I ask if they relate to me.

They haven’t got one moment free.

They seem crippled by anxiety.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

As I try to end this song with hope,

Hope seems to be beyond my scope.

Is the answer just to smoke some dope?

When I’m stoned I’m just inclined to mope.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Feel free to write down any thoughts and feelings about downs and ups in the comments section, below.

Now it’s time to get down with gratitude, which always cheers me up!

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2557: How to be more self-confident

Yesterday, people in a therapy session started a list of how to be more self-confident.

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I’m self-confident enough to

  • ask if you know other ways to be more self-confident and
  • share my other photos from yesterday.

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One of those turkeys looks more self-confident than the other. Do you see more self-confidence in any of those other photos?

I am confident that YouTube will have a video about “How to be more self-confident.”

Since #5 is “Play Music,” here’s me playing two original songs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe three months ago:

That helps improve my self-confidence about applying to do more shows at the 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Are you self-confident to leave a comment? If not, how might you be more self-confident about that?

Gratitude helps me be more self-confident, so thanks to all who help me be self-confident enough to share this daily blog, including YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2515: What I’m letting in

I’ve been letting in my readers on my process of writing a new original song with the title What’s Keeping Me Up Is What’s Going Down.”

I’m letting in additions to that song, like this:

What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.
I see no good reason to be wearing a grin.
Noises begin and reach a painful din.
What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

What I’m letting in, here and now, includes all these images from yesterday:

I’m letting in

  • the good news that my INR is a perfect 3.0,
  • the unusual structures of some hearts,
  • more love,
  • the challenges of being an adult,
  • hope,
  • pickleball paddles,
  • global warming,
  • my poor penmanship,
  • animals,
  • dirt cake, and
  • the reality that Michael mistakenly set the alarm for 8 PM, so I need to run to get to work on time.

I’m letting in “I’m Letting in the Sunshine” by Piney Gir:

What are you letting in?  I hope you have room to let in my gratitude to you and to  all who help me create these posts.

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

Day 2511: What’s going down

What’s going down around you, my dear reader?

What’s going down around here includes

  • the temperature,
  • rain,
  • moods,
  • arrests,
  • polling numbers, and
  • progress on my latest original “country” song, “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down.”

Are you down with these lyrics?

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

From the local to the global news

No quick fixes are around to choose.

No matter what your state or views,

There’s no relief, just a belief in booze.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I turn to everyone I see

And ask if they relate to me.

They do not have a moment free

And they’re crippled with anxiety.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I would like to end this song with hope

But hope seems to be beyond my scope.

When I’m hopeless I can’t help but mope.

If I had some I would smoke some dope.

Maybe I should text the Pope?

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

©️ Ann Koplow, 2019

My photos from yesterday are going down here:

What’s going down with Harley and that squirrel?

Let’s get down with this tune from one of my favorite bands:

If you’re looking to express any reactions to this post, go down to the comments section, below.

Gratitude is always going down around here, so thanks to all who help this blog go down every day, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2507: What’s Keeping Me Up Is What’s Going Down

At around 3:00 AM last night, I was woken up by a crash, like something big had fallen down.

When investigating what had gone down, my fiancé Michael informed me that the beautiful watercolor by Paul Nagano that was hanging up on the wall had gone down. I asked what was uppermost in my mind: “Did it break?”  He said, “No, but these things suck” (referring to the strips that had been keeping that picture up for over a year). 

Now, these thoughts that are going down in my head are keeping me up:

  • How are we going to get that fallen painting back up, now that our faith in those picture hanging strips has gone down?
  • How are we going hang up another wonderful watercolor by Paul Nagano and the amazing photograph my ex-husband recently took of our son Aaron with his large-format camera?
  • Are we the only people who don’t like putting holes in our walls to hang things up?
  • What’s going down in the United States of America?
  • Who’s going to help our fallen principles get back up?
  • Why do all these things get me down and keep me up?
  • Should I write down some lyrics for a country song titled “What’s Keeping Me Up Is What’s Going Down”?

What’s Keep Me Up is What’s Going Down

by Ann Koplow

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and helpless and wearing a frown.

Problems unsolvable seem to abound.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

I’ve now written down lyrics for five songs that are still up in the air — I haven’t completed any of them.  That’s neither keeping me up nor getting me down; I have faith in my own process (even if I’ve lost faith in the process of the people in charge of our country).

Here’s what’s going down in my latest photos:

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If you’re feeling down about what’s going down around you,  maybe one of these Pumpkin Spice songs put up here, here, here, and here on YouTube will cheer you up.

I’m up for whatever comments will be going down, below.

Gratitude helps keep me up no matter what’s going down, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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

Day 2505: What are they thinking?

When I look at the news these days, I’m often thinking, “What are they thinking?”

I don’t know what they are thinking and I don’t know what the audience was thinking, last night, about my latest performance of my original song, “What Are Other People Thinking About You?”  

What are they thinking?  Can you tell?

One person expressed his thinking to me immediately after my performance, “That was a very precocious song.”

I expressed my thinking with this reply: “How can somebody of my age be precocious?”

He didn’t answer that question, so I have no idea what he was thinking about that. Instead, he asked if I was a teacher and said, “That was very brave.”

As I say in my song, “What are other people thinking about you?  Face it, we can never know for sure. So why not think they’re thinking that you’re gorgeous, talented, smart, and secure?”

What are you thinking about that and about this photo from yesterday?

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I’m thinking that my little yellow car is okay, because it started up fine all day. I don’t know what it was thinking when it refused to start up the night before.

I don’t know what my laptop and my iPhone are thinking, as they selectively share the photos I’m taking. I’m thinking it takes more work to get all my photos here these days, but it’s worth it.  Here are more photos from yesterday:

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I don’t know what that dog is thinking but I’m thinking that I love that sticker.

What are you thinking about this blog post?

I’m thinking that it’s time to express my gratitude to everybody who helps me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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