personal growth

Day 2460: Missing

Today is my boyfriend Michael’s birthday and I’m really missing him.  He’s missing another Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year because he’s back home with the cats.  Michael claims that he’ll attend his first Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year but if he does, our cats will likely be missing him then.

In the photos below, my son Aaron (shown during the first night of his Edinburgh Fringe show) is missing his beard.  If you haven’t been missing any of  my posts over the years, you’ll be amazed to know that Tom Joycea comedian whose shows we would never miss — is sharing the bill of my son’s Fringe Show.

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So you won’t be missing any of my other photos from yesterday, here they are:

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When I see a cat outside my son’s flat in Edinburgh, it helps me deal with missing our cats.

What’s missing from those photos?    And what’s missing from this post?

Gratitude, of course.  Thanks to all those who helped me create this “Missing” post and to all those who are reading it (including YOU).

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

Day 2459: The Greatest Theatrical Event Ever

While I would like to think that my first Fringe show — “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann” — was the greatest theatrical event ever, a different show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is making a claim for that distinction, as you can see:

Even if my Fringe show was not the greatest theatrical event ever, it still went very, very well. Thirteen people showed up and seemed to get a lot out of it. I got permission from the participants for my son Aaron to tape the two original songs I performed. Here and here are two of the greatest musical events ever on YouTube:

Are these my greatest pictures ever?

Five of those photos were taken by the greatest family event ever … my son, Aaron!

I’m looking forward to the greatest comments ever.

The greatest thanks ever to all those who helped me create this post  — including the cast and creators of “The Greatest Theatrical Event (in this place at this time for this price) EVER!” — and the greatest thanks ever to the greatest readers ever: YOU!

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2458: Immediate

My immediate reaction to checking my old blog posts, just now, is surprise that I have never written a post with “Immediate” in the title before.

My immediate thought upon waking up this morning was “It’s the day of my one-day only Fringe Festival show —  “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann.”

I’m hoping to help the people who show up to my show to get an immediate appreciation of the benefits of group therapy. I’m also hoping that the immediate and understandable performance jitters I might be experiencing during my show will not cause me to forget the immediate words and the chords of the two original songs I’ll be sharing.

When I saw this sign yesterday on the streets of Edinburgh,

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… my immediate thought was “That’s the title of my blog post tomorrow.”

What are your immediate reactions to the many other photos I took yesterday?

My immediate urge is to let you know that you can enlarge any of those photos by clicking on it immediately.

My immediate reactions to the extraordinary show of my venue captain  …

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… Walter Michael DeForest of “Van Gogh Find Yourself” — were all  extremely positive.

When I was putting up my immediate posters for my show at the venue — The Natural Food Kafe — I asked a patron if he would come to a show like mine.  His immediate reaction was yes, if he could.  It took just a few minutes for us to realize that we had an immediate connection in our mutual love for jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

My immediate decision is to share this live performance of Speaking of Now by the Pat Metheny Group.

To me, the Pat Metheny Group is immediate group therapy.

Please share your immediate thoughts and feelings in a comment, below.

Immediate thanks to all who helped me create today’s immediate post and to all my readers, including YOU!

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

Day 2457: Together again for the first time

Here are most of my photos from yesterday, together again for the first time:


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Five years ago (but who’s counting?), Joshua Ladgrove a/k/a Neal Portenza invited my then 16-year-old son Aaron up on the stage with him during his brilliant Fringe show. Last night, they were together again for the first time.

Tomorrow, I’ll be together again for the first time with ?? people (perhaps including some of the people in my photos above)  in my first Fringe show ever.

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Because it’s a one-time only show, I have only one chance to get it right.   Will it be a catastrophe, like a boat hitting an iceberg?

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Will I lose my head?

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Will I maintain my balance?

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Will the audience like my music?

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Will they use my mindfulness exercise to be in the here and now?

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Will anybody mispronounce my name or be a dickhead?

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Will people want to see a show from a “new employee” of the Edinburgh Free Fringe?

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Here and here are two songs that are “Together Again For the First Time.”

Which reminds me, I want to see Manual Cinema again.

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All your comments on this post will be together again for the first time, below.

And today’s expressions of gratitude are together again for the first time!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2456: Considerate constructors

Yesterday, when I was in the considerate city of Edinburgh, continuing to construct my August 19th Free Fringe show “Group ‘Therapy’ with Ann,” I noticed this sign:

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After many years of attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I agree that the people who live in and visit Edinburgh are consider constructors. Thanks to all of them for their consideration!

Also, consider this poster for an especially considerate constructor of brilliant Fringe shows: Joshua Ladgrove a/k/a Dr. Neal Portenza:

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My considerate son and I will definitely attend that show, probably today.

I love being at the heart of Edinburgh …

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… which I experience as a calmed area …

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… particularly in contrast with my home country of the USA, here and now.

Here are some considerate constructors in an interview with Josh Ladgrove from the Edinburgh Fringe last year:

Before listening to that interview, I didn’t know that “Neal Portenza” was considerately constructed from an anagram of “Not a Real Perzon.”

I look forward to fetching comments …

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… from the considerate readers of this blog.

Considerate thanks from the constructor of this post to all who are reading it, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2455: Get in touch

Get in touch with your reactions to these two notifications I recently received from Facebook:

It’s not easy for me to get in touch with Oscar right now. Why? Because I’m at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Oscar’s back home with Michael and Harley.

I’m getting in touch with my excitement about my son Aaron and I both having shows at the Fringe.

Get in touch with these other new photos on my phone:

Get in touch with this YouTube video of Aaron performing a version of his Mail Room show.

Get in touch with me through a comment, below.

Every day, no matter where I am, I’m in touch with appreciation and gratitude for you!

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

Day 2454: Love what you see

These days, it can be difficult to love what you see, despite your best intentions to do so.

Yesterday, in the midst of seeing too much

  • injustice,
  • harsh judgment,
  • insensitivity,
  • insecurity,
  • greed,
  • violence,
  • pain,
  • suffering,
  • cruelty,
  • hurtful actions,
  • thoughtlessness,
  • loss,
  • lies,
  • close-mindedness,
  • emptiness, and
  • crises,

I practiced the skill of loving what I see.

Do you love what you see here?

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I loved seeing that giant baby head at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts yesterday and I also loved seeing Michael ask my son Aaron if he thought the rest of that baby was underground.

I do not love seeing or saying goodbyes ….

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… but I will be saying goodbye to Boston and Michael tonight and hello to Edinburgh (which I love) tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll love what I see in Edinburgh.

Do you love what you see in this song?

I love what I see in your comments, so please leave one below.

I hope you love the gratitude you see, here and now.

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

Day 2453: The “Why should I care?” test

Yesterday, I witnessed somebody telling a writer that their  story did not answer the “Why should I care?” test.  Why should I care about that?  Well, sometimes I wonder why my loyal and lovely readers should care about the personal words and photos I share in this blog.

Why should you care if I went to the dentist yesterday and got a new dental crown that was created, before my eyes, in a 3-D  printer?   Why should you care if Michael and I took Oscar to the vet and he got a clean bill of health?  Why should you care if Harley escaped going to the vet by scratching Michael, hissing, growling, and making it impossible for us to corral him in time to make the appointment? In other words, why should you care about what I care about?

Why should you care about how I recorded some of yesterday’s moments?

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Why should any of us care about allowing cats and people to communicate their stories in an authentic,  personal, and full-bodied way?

Why should anybody care about this video I took of the creation of my new dental crown?

 

Why should I care about the comments you make on this blog?  There are SO many reasons I care.   I can only hope I convey that caring in every post and every answer, every day.

 

 

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

Day 2452: Be prepared to stop

Yesterday, on the first day of my two-week vacation, I was prepared to stop and  to appreciate this sign in Beverly, Massachusetts, USA.

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Be prepared to

  • stop,
  • look,
  • listen,
  • think,
  • feel,
  • connect,
  • change,
  • move on, and
  • encounter lots of photos from the South and the North shores of Boston.

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Be prepared to stop while you’re in the middle of creating a blog post in order to go to the dentist and then take your cat to the vet because, after all, what else should you be doing on your vacation?

Be prepared to stop, take a breath, and share the rest of your photos from yesterday:

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Be prepared to stop and tell me what photos you liked best and why.

Be prepared to stop and enjoy these tunes by the Zombies, stopping and appearing soon at the Cabot in Beverly.

I’m always prepared to stop and express my thanks to those who help me create these daily blog posts and to all those who read them, including you!

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

Day 2451: In memory of my mother

Today is the 11th anniversary of my late mother’s passing, according to the lunar Hebrew calendar AND the solar Gregorian calendar. To honor her memory, I lit a Yahrzeit candle:

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This is the obituary of my mother that’s still online:

Louise (Sulkin) Koplow

Entered into rest August 12 at the age of 90 years, of Peabody, formerly of Lynn & Swampscott. Beloved wife of the late Aaron Koplow. Devoted mother of Ellen Koplow of Medford & Ann Koplow of Brighton. Cherished grandmother of Aaron David Fairbanks of Brighton. Loving sister of the late Emma Gordon, Elizabeth Rich, Esther Sulkin, Beatrice Plane, Ernest & Louis Sulkin. Dear aunt of many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews & their families. She also leaves a large group of friends that she has known for decades. Services at Stanetsky-Hymanson Memorial Chapel, 10 Vinnin Street, SALEM/SWAMPSCOTT line on Thursday, Aug. 14 at 1:00 p.m. Interment at Cong. Ahabat Shalom Memorial Park, Danvers. Memorial week through Tuesday, August 19, daily from 2-5pm and 7-9pm at Woodbridge Assisted Living, 240 Lynnfield St, Peabody. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in her memory to the American Heart Assoc., 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

I miss my mother, who had a huge influence on me, every day.  As the years go by, I have more “conversations” with her in my head. I can still hear her voice, saying my name, with a mixture of love, concern, worry, and anticipation.  Here are other things I can hear her say, in her special voice:

Everything worth doing is worth doing well.

There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

I can also hear her infectious laugh and see her dancing and clapping at holidays and celebrations.  She loved my father’s sense of humor  but she would kick him under the table when she thought he had gone too far with a teasing joke.  She was thoughtful, kind, and welcoming to all.  She didn’t like surprises, but she appreciated the wedding anniversary surprise party my sister organized for our parents. My mother loved living near the ocean and she spent a lot of time in the sun on the beach.

My mother was very clean and neat and she did not want a pet in our house.  However, after my first heart surgery at age 10, she let me get my heart’s desire — a kitty.  She loved that cat, too, and after Tuffy died at age 13, my mother told me she saw a bird in the yard  she thought was Tuffy reincarnated.  Although reincarnation didn’t really fit in with the Orthodox Jewish beliefs my mother adopted after she married my father, I think that reflected how she chose to grieve — to believe that a beloved spirit still existed.  Like my mother did with Tuffy,  I see my mother in other beings, everywhere.

Yesterday, consciously or unconsciously, I took many photos to fit today’s post.

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Here’s a favorite photo of my mother:

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Here‘s a song that my father sang to my mother on another anniversary celebration:

Thanks to my mother, to all who loved her, and to you — of course! — for reading this post, today.

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Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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