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Day 2246: My thoughts

My thoughts, as usual, are going many places.  I’m so glad I have a place to put my thoughts.

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Here’s a thought: Perhaps if I didn’t have this blog to express my thoughts, I would need a journal like that one.

Some more thoughts:

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

  • That poem is good for my thoughts, feelings, imagination, body, and soul.
  • My thoughts are with all who knew and loved Mary Oliver.
  • Yesterday, my thoughts went many places, but kept returning to Mary Oliver.

My thought is that it’s time to share my other photos from yesterday.

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My thought is that “Family/Friends” and “Vacation/Travel” are what many people enjoy most about winter, which leads to my next two photos showing Vacation/Travel with Family/Friends:

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My thoughts, like my phone, go everywhere with me:

My thoughts tell me that you can click on any of those photos if you think you want to see them more clearly.

My thoughts are that this …

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… is a sign about what music to include in today’s post.

My thoughts are returning to Mary Oliver, so I’m also including this:

My thoughts now turn to your thoughts, which I hope you express below.

My thoughts are full of gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 1224: Moody

While I do have my moods of joy, sadness, fear, anger, and shame, I don’t think I’m particularly moody.  However, I may be moody when I return to work tomorrow and the weather finally turns beautiful and sunny, which will probably improve other people’s moods.

Yesterday, during a moody and gray day, I was in the mood to see a movie.  So I drove to Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, which has this moody street:

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As I walked through moodily quiet Waltham towards the movie theater, I took these moody photos:

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When I saw that sign for the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation,  I got into a reminiscing mood, remembering a few years ago when  my son Aaron and my boyfriend Michael were at that museum, enjoying all the interesting moods of a Steampunk festival.

If you’re in the mood for a definition of Steampunk, here’s a short one:

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.

At that point, I looked up and saw the many moods of these people:

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I exclaimed, in an excited mood, “Is today the day???”  And they said, “It is!”  Then I saw more and more people who were in the mood to have their pictures taken:

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After I saw that sign that said, “Fear change?  Put it in the Tip Jar!” I was in the mood to tell those people, “Keep a dollar, even though I do NOT fear change.”

I hope you’re in the mood for more pictures from yesterday’s Steampunk Festival in Waltham.

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I’m in the mood to tell you that I overheard that guy  ask if his moodily steampunk puppet could sit in that amazing black car (which sometimes gave off moody, billowing clouds of steam).

Still in the mood for more steampunk photos?

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By then, I was in the mood to see the moody movie I came to Moody Street in Waltham to see.

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Are you in the mood to guess which movie it was?

I took all of those moody photos before the movie actually began.

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Seeing Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Antonio Sanchez play in person, over the years, have been some of the highlights of my long and moody life.

I’m now in the mood  to write that

If you’re in the mood to check out some Miles Davis tunes on Youtube, you can find that live  performance  of “All Blues” and many more .

How moody are you,  after reading this moody post?

Moody thanks to all who helped me create all the moods of this post and to you — of course! — no matter what your moods are, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 1113: A-void

Every morning, I do not avoid facing a void, here at WordPress, of an empty blog post — a void  I need to fill, daily,  with words, images, and (sometimes) YouTube videos.

There are certain tasks and obligations I do wish I could avoid. For example, I always want to avoid doing my yearly taxes. And when I was young, I avoided practicing scales on the piano (although I never avoided playing my favorite music).

Perhaps I do not wish to avoid daily blogging  because  blogging …

  1. still feels like a choice — rather than a task or obligation —  after more than three years and
  2. fills some sort of void for me.

Last night, my boyfriend Michael and I did not avoid seeing a movie about the existential human void of loneliness: Anomalisa, “a stop-motion adult animated romantic comedy-drama” written and co-directed by Charlie Kaufman.  We have not avoided previous Charlie Kaufman movies, like Being John Malkovich and  Eternal Sunshine  of the Spotless Mindand I’m glad we did not avoid Anomalisa.

Because I  avoid taking photos while watching a movie, there is a conspicuous void of Anomalisa –  related images in today’s post. However, I did not avoid taking these other pictures yesterday, which I shall now use to fill the photographic void:

 

Which of those images would you rather avoid?  Which best illustrates a void to you?

I need to fill a void, now, by telling you that if any of those photos are too small to read, you can avoid eyestrain by clicking on it.

While human beings may sometimes avoid endings, all things must come to an end, including this “A-void” post.  Before it does,  I do not want to avoid honoring a human being whose death left a huge void, in 1968.

Here‘s  Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last speech:

And to further fill the void, here are some quotes from him:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

The time is always right to do what is right.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the the whole staircase.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

If you wish, please fill the void below this post with a comment.  And thanks to all for visiting here, today.

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1029: Webs

I wonder how many webs I can spin into this post about webs?

O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

If you weave around the web, you’ll easily find who wrote that quote about a tangled web.  In the web of my memory, however, I associate that web quote with my late mother,  who married my late father on today’s date, October 26. Both my parents practiced and valued honesty, above all.

One time I can remember weaving a web of deceit about my parents  was when my sister and I tangled together a surprise anniversary party for them, decades ago. Let’s see if I can spin an image from that surprise party into the web of this post.


While I spin all my custom t-shirts through the web these days, back then my sister and I used other means to weave my parents’ wedding photo onto those t-shirts.

Yesterday, I saw these webs:




  

O what a tangled web I weave on WordPress, every day.

What music from the web should I weave into this post? I could choose something written by prolific songwriter, Jimmy Webb.

All I know, honestly, is that today I want to share this song, which my father sang for my mother at another anniversary party.

My web of gratitude today embraces my parents, my sister,  Jimmy Webb, George and Ira Gershwin (for “Love is Here to Stay“), Art Garfunkel, Ella Fitzgerald, and you — of course! — for whatever spin you put on this post, here and now.

Categories: anniversary, personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 717: Interrupting

Before I tell you the story of

Ann and Some Cardiologists, Yesterday

by Ann

I interrupt this blog post to tell you that I have no idea how I am going to shape this story well enough, especially since I am prone to interrupting thoughts AND I have a lot of thoughts about the topic of “Interrupting.”

For example, I want to interrupt, right now, to mention that one of my favorite knock-knock jokes has to do with interrupting. Let me interrupt the writing of this blog post to see if that knock-knock joke lives, anywhere, on YouTube.

It does!

The “Interrupting Cow” joke, as told by South Park characters, lives here on YouTube. I first heard that joke on “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.”  Let me interrupt this interruption to see if I can find that.

I couldn’t find it, but I found another telling of “The Interrupting Cow”:

Why am I focusing on “The Interrupting Cow” now, instead of on

Ann and Some Cardiologists, Yesterday

by Ann?

Here’s why: because

  • my son Aaron and I liked “The Interrupting Cow” joke very much, when he was little,
  • Aaron and I made up variations on that joke when he was young, including “The Interrupting Abe Lincoln” and “The Interrupting Therapist,”*
  • this past weekend, Aaron starred in a play where “The Interrupting Cow” joke made several appearances,
  • I like telling stories about my son Aaron,
  • I tend to interrupt others and myself when I (a) am anxious, (2) have a lot on my mind, (3) understand the point somebody is making and want to move on, and (4) am stalling for time, when I’m not sure how to tell a story (like now).

I imagine some of you might be interrupting this post now, thinking

What the *(*#@%!?@)* happened with the cardiologists yesterday, Ann?????

Ann and Some Cardiologists, Yesterday

by Ann

The first cardiologist I saw yesterday was somebody I met on Monday, for the first time.

Let me interrupt this story to give you some context, to why I am seeing a bevy** of cardiologists, these days. I and a herd** of cardiologists are trying to figure out (1) what is going on with my very unusual heart and (2) what to do about that.

The cardiologist I met for the first time, on Monday, is named Dr. Mark Z.   I am not disguising his name to protect his identity, I just can’t remember his last name. It’s too long.

I don’t think cardiologists should be allowed to have long names, should they?

Man, I don’t know where THAT interrupting thought came from. It doesn’t even make sense.

Anyway, so I met Dr. Mark Z for the first time on Monday. He was part of a team** of cardiologists, whom my primary cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, wanted me to meet with.

I interrupt this post to tell you my first impression of Dr. Mark Z.  I didn’t particularly like him.

Why?  Because

  • he didn’t smile,
  • he asked me a question that I experienced as challenging and not completely respectful, and, most importantly,
  • he was a member of a pack** of cardiologists whom I was meeting for the first time, and even though I am a group therapist and I passionately believe in the healing power of groups, a group of unknown people makes people nervous.

I interrupt this story to bring you the interchange between me and Dr. Z., on Monday, so you can decide for yourself about it (although if you were there in the examining room and heard everybody’s tone of voice and saw everybody’s body language, you might come to different conclusions):

Me:  This is why I think I am not feeling as well, lately.  Because I am in atrial fibrillation, my pacemaker can’t speed up on hills and stairs …

Dr. Mark Z (interrupting):  How do you know that?

Me: (giving him a dirty look, because I hate being interrupted, especially by doctors, because I’ve been dealing with this my WHOLE FRIGGIN’ LIFE): Because I can feel it. And,  I take my pulse.

Dr. Mark Z: Oh.

I interrupt this post with the realization that Dr. Mark Z might NOT have been disrespectful or doubting of me or dense or anything else judgmental I might think of him. He might just have been doing what I do, sometimes: interrupting to get more information.

The group** of cardiologists I saw, on Monday — of which Dr. Z. was one — decided that I needed more tests to ascertain whether I need heart surgery, which could be

  • valve replacement surgery or
  • a heart transplant

I have already gotten different opinions about this, depending upon whom I talk to, among the pride** of cardiologists involved in my story.

Dr. Mark Z., who is a pediatric cardiologist, offered his opinion on Monday that  I needed yet another echocardiogram, before any of the swarm** of cardiologists involved in my life could figure out what to do with me. Before I could ask, “Why?”, he told me that the special echocardiogram they have in the pediatric division of Tufts Medical Center (where my usual congregation** of cardiologists practice) might give more useful information about my heart than the usual echocardiogram I get, every six months or so.

I interrupt this post to explain that droves** of cardiologists have trouble deciding (1) what is going on with my heart and (2) what to do next because

  • in my heart, the ventricles and the valves are doing work that they are not designed to do, which is exceedingly rare, and
  • nobody can get good friggin’ pictures of what’s going on with me, in order to decide about next steps, because everything is in a different place, heart-wise. (Pardon this interruption, but when I said to the nice woman doing my echocardiogram yesterday, “my heart is not photogenic,” she replied,  “yes, your heart is not echo-genic.”)

I interrupt that interruption to tell you that when I showed up for my echocardiogram in Pediatrics Cardiology yesterday,  and the nice people at the desk did not seem to know why I was there, I said — interrupting their work:

” You’re not used to seeing people my size, are you?”

“You don’t know why I’m here, do you?”

“Would you like me to give you a clue about who scheduled this echocardiogram for me?”

“On Monday, I saw a doctor named Mark who never smiled, and he wanted me to get this echo done here, today.”

I definitely saw smiles on some faces when I described Dr. Mark Z that way, and after waiting for a short time (during which I snapped this photo, in the waiting room of Pediatric Cardiology):

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… I was ushered into a room with Dr. Mark Z.’s extra special echocardiogram machine:

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…which to me, didn’t look particularly special, but I have to have faith that my committee** of cardiologists knows what they’re doing.

I didn’t take the name or photos of the nice woman (mentioned above in a previous interruption) who did the echocardiogram on me, yesterday.  The test took a long time, as it usually does, because of my unusual anatomy. In the course of the test, we discussed many things, including:

  • my experience of other echocardiograms in my life (and I have had a flock** of those, believe me),
  • my son, and
  • her teenagers.

After the echocardiogram was over,  Dr. Mark Z made another appearance in my life and told me, in no uncertain terms, that he and a surgeon had looked at the pictures of my heart and, in his opinion, I needed

  • heart valve surgery and
  • ASAP (probably next month).

When I was talking to Dr. Mark Z about this, I expressed many feelings, including fear and sadness, and I told him about some difficult experiences I had, as a child, when doctors didn’t know much about how to deal with kids with cardiac problems. Dr. Mark Z was very sympathetic.  At one point, he said to me, “Do you want a toy?”  which struck me as very kind.

I said, “Of course.”

Here are some photos of Dr. Mark Z., giving me a toy:

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As you can see, I was wrong about Dr. Z never smiling.  He also gave me a free t-shirt:

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which reminds me of another time I got a free t-shirt but — don’t worry — I’m not interrupting this story to tell you that one.

After the echocardiology test, I had an appointment to see Dr. Deeb Salem. Let me interrupt this post now, to tell you some important facts about Dr. Salem:

  1. When I was in my 20’s, I decided to leave Children’s Hospital in Boston and choose a cardiologist I wanted to work with, now that I was an adult,
  2. I interviewed several cardiologists at several famous hospitals in Boston,
  3. I chose Dr. Salem, because he treated  me with respect and said things  like “You  know more about your situation than I do” and “You’re obviously very smart,” and
  4. he was obviously very smart.

On my walk to see Dr. Salem, after the echocardiogram and the discussion with Dr. Mark Z, I was trying to adjust to the idea that I was going to need major heart surgery and soon. As I had admitted to Dr. Z., I have a lot of fear about heart surgery, because of experiences I had as a kid.

Then, I had a looong meeting with Dr. Salem. We interrupted each other a lot, as we always do.  At one point, he interrupted me to tell me that he always schedules me as his last appointment of the day, to give us time to talk.

Here is Dr. Salem, being interrupted by a phone call from his son:

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I could hear his son, during this phone conversation, asking his father about a worrisome stomach problem he was having. Dr. Salem and his son kept interrupting each other,  and I kept laughing, as I was listening to them. When Dr. Salem hung up, here’s what we said to each other:

Dr. Salem: Let me ask you this.  Who do you think, out of all my children, reminds  me most of you?

Me: That one.   I was thinking, “He interrupts you more than I do!”

Dr. Salem: Yes.  That was my son, Michael. He is very smart and he asks a lot of questions. Thank you for helping me prepare for Michael.

I can’t tell you everything Dr. Salem and I talked about yesterday. I don’t have time. I mean, we talked for way over an hour!!

I have to interrupt the telling of this story, so I can get to work on time.

However, I do want to interrupt any conclusions you might have drawn about what is going to happen to me in my heart in the near future by letting you know all this:

  1. Dr. Salem thinks that the data is still inconclusive.
  2. He discontinued one of the heart medications the committee** of cardiologists started on Monday, because (a) it was making me feel sick and (b) it’s probably not going to help that much, at this point,
  3. He went over all the possible and likely outcomes for my future, including (a) heart valve replacement and (b) heart transplant,
  4. He doesn’t think surgery needs to be done in January,
  5. He knows that I am seeking a second opinion from yet another cardiologist at my old hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and he said, “If you like this guy, tell him I would be happy to talk to him,” and
  6. Even though we talked about very scary things, I believed, at the end of this conversation, that Dr. Salem will do everything in his power to meet my request: “I want to live as long as possible.”

I interrupt this post to tell you this.  After seeing Dr. Salem yesterday, I feel MUCH BETTER.

Feel free to interrupt with any comments, whatsoever.

Ooops!  I forgot to interrupt this post with more photos from yesterday:

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What song would I like to interrupt this post with, now?  I honestly can’t remember, at this point, what songs I heard yesterday. Are there any songs I know about “Interrupting”?  Can’t remember that, either.

How about this one, about gratitude?

(If you want to interrupt your reading of this post to find “Thank You,” performed live by Sly and the Family Stone on YouTube, look here.)

Thank you to the gaggle** of doctors I have seen over the last 61 years — most especially Dr. Deeb Salem — and to you, for reading this interrupting post so kindly and patiently, with or without interruptions.


*  The  Interrupting Abe Lincoln  and Interrupting Therapist jokes include these lines: (1) “Four score and seven years ago” and (2) “We have to stop now.”

** While that first footnote would have been a perfect way to end this post, I need to interrupt here to direct you to this Wikipedia page, for collective nouns like “bevy,” “gaggle,” “team,” “committe,” “flock” etc.

Categories: personal growth, tribute | Tags: , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 680: I love you

Dear Readers,

WordPress tells me, this morning, that I have NOT used “I love you” as a title, yet, for a post.  I love you, WordPress, for letting me know.

WordPress also tells me that I have NOT tagged the Marx Brothers before, in six hundred and eighty days of posting.

I love you, Marx Brothers.

(“Everyone Says I Love You,” from the Marx Brothers movie “Horsefeathers,” found here on YouTube)

Yesterday, I believe I told my sister, Ellen, that I loved her, in my post for her birthday. But I didn’t say those exact words.

I love you, Ellen.

Why do you suppose those words can be difficult, challenging, or otherwise risky to say? I would love it, if you let me know what you think about that.

I love including lists in these posts, so here’s another one.

I love:

  • people
  • animals
  • my work (doing group and individual therapy)
  • natural beauty
  • food
  • writing this blog
  • traveling
  • taking pictures for you

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  • and many other things (and not necessarily in that order).

What do you love?

Love,

Ann

Categories: blogging, love, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 635: Moving

Letting feelings and thoughts move through you freely, can help you move forward. When I witness other people doing that in therapy, that moves me.

Now, here come lots of my thoughts and feelings about “moving,” moving onto your screen!

  • In order to move forward past self-consciousness and towards singing in public, I published a vocal performance yesterday.
  • Before I posted that video, I was moved to delight when I played it back, particularly pleased that my cat, Oscar, did not move — as most cats might — when my singing moved into my upper register.
  • Yesterday, I took some photos as I moved through my day. (I didn’t realize, until today, that they were all about “moving.”)

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Jeff: Say hi to Derek Jeter for me this weekend. 

Me: How did you know, Jeff? He’s in the on-deck circle, and will appear, in a way, in tomorrow’s post. 

Jeff: I wish I could see. No Yanks-Sox on TV here in VA. But I’m still all teary-eyed about last night’s game. That guy has meant a lot to the boy in me who still gets a thrill playing shortstop on my company softball team six months a year. Can’t wait to hear your take on #2. 

I have one assignment for myself this weekend, to help me move forward. I want to send a card to Walter Gamble, M.D., who was my cardiologist during my time at Children’s Hospital, from the 1960’s through the 1970’s.  Dr. Estes, one of my current cardiologists, told me recently he saw Dr. Gamble at a funeral of a colleague. I am moved to share, now, the exchange I had with Dr. Estes, about that:

Dr. Estes: I saw Walter Gamble and I mentioned you. He remembered you, Ann!  Can you believe that? All those years ago!

Me: Of course I believe that.  Don’t you think I’m memorable?

Actually, I was moved to contact Dr. Gamble before, when I found  — in my old records from Children’s Hospital — an empathically moving letter about me, from him, to another doctor.  Soon after that, I sent Dr. Gamble an email which — I now assume — did not move to the right location.

Now, thanks to Dr. Estes, I have accurate information, so I can move forward in contacting Dr. Gamble. Here’s what I’ve done, so far:

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Now, when you look at all those smudged letters in that second photo, you might think I was moved to tears while writing that.

Nope.  It was just my left hand, moving a pen across a laminated surface. I’m sure I can find a more moving card to send, today.

Thanks to Jeff Schwaner, Derek Jeter, Walter Gamble, Mark Estes, and to others who have moved me, as they’ve moved along themselves.  And thanks to you — of course! — for moving, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 609: Invisible

In order to start making some of my thoughts and feelings visible to you today, here’s an image from yesterday’s post:

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If my reason for including that photo in Day 608: Low hanging fruit is invisible to you now, it wouldn’t kill you to read that post, you know.

I’d like to make this visible, now: I had some thoughts and feelings, yesterday, about “The Invisible Man” — and the rest of those Classics Illustrated Comic Books — which I kept invisible.

That’s not unusual. I have lots of feelings and thoughts when I am writing anything — some of which I show and some of which I keep hidden.

Why do any of us keep certain thoughts and feelings hidden? Perhaps, because of:

  • fear of others’ reactions,
  • shame,
  • assuming we’re alone with these thoughts and feelings,
  • an old habit of keeping secrets, and/or
  • having so many thoughts and feelings, that we must pick and choose what we reveal.

Should I make visible some of my Invisibles from yesterday?

Sure. My sister might sell some or all of those comic books. I have mixed feelings about that. I have lots of memories, very visible to me, now, of reading them when I was a kid.

Actually, now that I think of it, those vivid memories might be enough.  I may not need the actual comic books visible in my life, at this point.

That was a helpful thought.

What’s next?

If I were visible to you now, you might see that I am

  • eager,
  • perplexed,
  • a little worried, and
  • hopeful

about transforming other thoughts and feeling about the topic “Invisible” into a blog post, good enough for you and me.

Here’s another thought I’m having about “Invisible.” It’s  a song by Clay Aiken.

Something I have kept invisible, until now, in this blog:  Starting in the year 2003, I saw many Clay Aiken concerts, along with several people who were very visible in my life, at that time.

As I’m writing this, their faces are visible in my mind. I’m wondering if any of them are reading my blog, these days. If they are, maybe they’ll make their reactions visible to me, by making a comment! (That would be cool.)

Here’s a video of Clay singing “Invisible” on his JukeBox Tour in August 2005, with Spanish subtitles:

(YouTube video found here)

Whenever I decide to include a video here, YouTube usually gives me several choices. My decision process — which is visible to me and likely invisible to anybody else — includes these preferences:

  • Live performance.
  • Good enough audio.
  • Good enough video.
  • Something familiar to me.
  • Something unfamiliar to me (like a different locale or language).
  • People being given credit.
  • Applause!!

Now I’m wondering this:  Am  I giving enough visible structure to this post? If not, here’s a helpful question I ask myself when I am writing, every day.

Have I made my important reasons for writing this post visible enough — to my readers and to myself?

For this post, I’m not sure if I am totally in touch with what’s important about “Invisible.” When my intentions seem somewhat invisible to me, it helps to make a list, quickly, without thinking.  What else do I want to communicate, here and now, about “Invisible”?

  • Other people’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions are often invisible to us.
  • When I create anything (including a blog post), parts of my process are inevitably invisible to others.
  • It’s your choice what you make visible and invisible to others.
  • When I was a child and dealing with a congenital heart condition and many hospitalizations, I sometimes felt  invisible and — sometimes — too visible.
  • These days, feeling invisible can be a good thing, especially when I’m walking around in public, singing or dancing.
  • When I was recently talking to my managers at work about feeling invisible in a weekly meeting, one of them said, “Maybe you are more visible there, than you think.”

Okay!

Before I end this visible/invisible post, I shall now make visible some images I captured yesterday:

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There are two things I want to make visible about those photos, above. For me, visibility often includes answers AND questions.

  1. I am trying to make visible, here, the tree in our backyard which, after tomorrow, will be visible no more.
  2. What the heck is that very visible squirrel — in the first photo — holding in its very visible mouth?

Thanks to Clay Aiken; to all the people I’ve met along the meanderings of my path (invisible and visible); to trees, dogs, and other living things; and to you — of course! — for both the visible and the invisible you bring here, today.

Categories: friendship, inspiration, mystery, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz, tribute, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 601: Out of time

If you’re like me — and you try to guess the ending of things based on whatever clues you have — you might be speculating, right now, what this post is going to be about, based on its title.

What could a post titled “Out of time” be about? What would be your guesses, at this point?

I’ll wait, while you think about that.

In the meantime, let’s see if I have any music to offer you, that fits in with “Out of time.”

I know! How about one of the late, great jazz pianist Dave Brubeck‘s compositions  challenging the conventional uses of time in music?

Which one, though? There are so many! I mean, there’s the very popular Take Five, Blue Rondo a la Turkand It’s a Raggy Waltz (which already got its own blog post, here).

I’m choosing Unsquare Dance, written with the odd time signature 7/4 — with seven beats per measure, instead of the usual 4 beats (or also conventional 6 or 8).

(that two-minute YouTube video found here)

Even if you’re somebody who — in usual times —  does not listen to music within a blog post, I recommend you listen to that. It’s quick and nourishing food, for the brain and the heart. I listened to Dave Brubeck a lot when I was growing up, and I think it made me smarter.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes!  Inviting you to speculate about what this post might be about. I think I’ve left enough time for you to think your own thoughts about this, so I shall now introduce what I might guess in response to my own question (assuming I did not know the answers, which I obviously do, but never mind).

What a Post Titled “Out of Time” Could Be About

  • Death. (Eeeek!)
  • Jet lag (after returning home from a trip, say).
  • Bad medical news.
  • A decision to stop doing something (like blogging or work).
  • Dissociation, or another psychological state of disorientation.
  • A discussion about how anxiety (about death or unanticipated losses, for example) can screw up one’s sense of time.
  • Unusual musical compositions, that play with time signatures.
  • Speculations about human experiences of time, in general.
  • Not having enough time to do things you would really love to do, like reading other people’s wonderful blogs, here on WordPress.
  • An invitation to live life to the fullest, since we never know when we are out of time.
  • A way to re-introduce a cool picture somebody took, even though she’s already shown it in a previous post:

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  • A way to introduce a rant about holiday merchandising showing up earlier and earlier, all the time. For example, I observed this, yesterday evening, at my local pet supply store:

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Halloween in AUGUST ?!?!?!?!?

And don’t get me started about dressing pets up in costumes, because I’m almost out of time, for this post.

Before I stop, however, I would like to reassure my readers about the following: There is nothing bad (e.g., scary medical news) going on in my life right now. It’s all good.

One more thing: Feel free to comment about anything at all, no matter how out of time you are when reading this post.

Thanks to Dave Brubeck, to those who think a lot about time (including blogger extraordinaire Swarn Gill), to creatures everywhere (costumed and uncostumed), and to you — of course! — for being in time with me, here and now.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 589: One Thing

`12On August 12, 2014, as I prepare for a trip to the United Kingdom, I would like to focus on one thing.

Here’s a quote about One Thing, from the movie City Slickers:

(found here on YouTube)

Focusing on one thing, and letting go of all distractions, allows one to be mindful and more present in the moment. That can reduce anxiety.

Does it matter what that One Thing is?

What do you think?

Because I tend to have lots of things on my mind, at any one time, here’s a list of possible One Things for me, today:

  • It’s the anniversary of my mother’s death, six years ago.
  • Robin Williams, whose genius and life-force seemed huge and unstoppable, is no longer with us.
  • Traveling can bring up fears and anxieties, for me.
  • I have too much to do at work, as usual.

Geesh!  Having a list, like that, of MORE than one thing … kind of defeats my purpose, doesn’t it?

What to do?

Well, listening to music often helps me focus on one thing.  But what one musical thing should I choose, today?

I see that One Direction, a UK group, has a song called “One Thing.” However, I don’t know that song, so I’m going to do what I usually do. That is, I’m going to share, with you, the one tune that’s playing in my head, right now.

If you play that YouTube video until the end, you’ll find out why that one tune was on my mind.

What else did I want to tell you this morning, about the concept of One Thing?

I decided, over the weekend, that — in order to make things easy on me and my son, while we are attending the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland — I may choose to show only one photo, each day, in my blog posts.

That’s very different from what I usually do, though. And breaking old habits is very difficult.

To practice for this possible new habit, today I’d like to show you only one photo, which I took yesterday.

But how to decide which one photo to show?  As usual, I took several photos yesterday, not knowing what my blogging topic would be today.

And here’s one thing you should know about me:  I love multiple possibilities, choices, and options.

I know! I’ll practice limiting my photographic choices today,but I’ll still show you more than one thing I took yesterday.

After all, I MAY show you more than one photo daily, from Scotland. It just helps me to know I have the option to include only One Thing.

I now choose these four shots from yesterday (in order of appearance):

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I would like to end this post with one thing from Robin Williams.

My first choice, for that, would be an amazing  stand-up routine I spent a long time searching for, just last week, so I could share it with my son:  “Come Inside My Mind” from his 1979 album Reality … What a Concept.

I can’t include that here, right now. But one thing I can share is his final words from Reality … What a Concept (see Robin Williams Wikiquotes):

There was an old, crazy dude who used to live a long time ago. His name was Lord Buckley. And he said, a long time ago, he said, “People–they’re kinda like flowers, and it’s been a privilege walking in your garden.” My love goes with you.

Many thanks today, to one and all.

Categories: in memoriam, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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