Posts Tagged With: accepting love

Day 1147: The City of Love

Philadelphia means the “The City of Brotherly Love.”

[William] Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for brotherly love (from philos, “love” or “friendship”, and adelphos, “brother”). As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely.

Yesterday, I saw lots of love in Philadelphia.

Which photos do you love, brothers and sisters?

Today, I’m going to the Open Call audition for “The Voice” at the Philadelphia Convention Center.  I’m expecting to encounter a LOT of musical love in all the hundreds and hundreds of people trying out there.

After I sing, I’ll either receive a “Red Card” for a call-back or I won’t.  Either way, I’ll show twice as much daily love as usual here at this blog, by putting up a second post with the results.

And no matter what the outcome, I resolve to show and feel the same amount of love towards myself and to others.

Show your love in a comment, if you choose. And love to all who read this blog.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1034: Pleasant/Unpleasant

In honor of Halloween today, it might be pleasant to imagine this post being read by Donald Pleasance (the psychiatrist in Halloween, a movie I have not seen because I know it’s unpleasant).

If you are presently pleasantly or unpleasantly unaware of Donald Pleasance, here‘s “the last aperrience” (do you find misspellings unpleasant?) of Donald Pleasance in a Halloween film:

Yesterday, while I was pleasantly walking in unseasonably pleasant New England weather, I heard some music with many pleasant memories.

I find music like “The Pleasant Pheasant” — with Billy Cobham on drums, Michael Brecker on saxophone, Randy Brecker on trumpet, George Duke on keyboards, John Abercrombie on guitar,  Will Lee on bass,  and Garnett Brown on trombone — exceedingly pleasant. My pleasant boyfriend, MIchael, thinks jazz fusion is quite unpleasant. He finds the Ramones, Joy Division, and the Clash (who have a particularly unpleasant name) very pleasant, instead.

Michael and I met five years ago on a pleasant Halloween in pleasant Harvard Square. Here are some pleasant words we exchanged — through the pleasant online dating site OkCupid — right before that extraordinarily pleasant day:

Me: Sure, meeting at Peet’s is a fine suggestion. You know it’s going to be Halloween when we meet up, right? Do you think we should be in costume? My suggestion is that we both wear masks that are made from printouts from a picture we’ve posted here. That way, we’ll be sure to recognize each other. Otherwise, I might not recognize you unless you have the same exact expression you have in your black and white picture here. In the other picture you posted, you’re too far away, so I don’t think that will provide me much help in spotting you. Although maybe it will when you’re far away. I hope you have a wonderful evening, night, morning, and whatever parts of the day you experience before we write again.

Michael: I’ll keep this relatively short today Ann, so we have a lot to babble about tomorrow. Excellent suggestion concerning the cut out masks incidentally. I cracked up. Ah, I don’t really know what you mean by “black and white” picture though, Ann. I really am that pasty. So is my apartment. I’m afraid I let my hair get kind of long but you’ll know me sure enough. I will be the man with, by far, the scrawniest legs in the cafe.

Me: Speaking of cracking up, I did the same when I read your black and white picture comment. You really are pretty hilarious.  SInce you have given me some helpful hyperboles and superlatives regarding how to identify you (e.g., “the scrawniest”), I’m trying to be thoughtful that way and come up with something similar which will, without fear of contradiction, identify me as being the most of something in the vicinity. But I’m having some trouble with this. I just don’t think I’m that much of a stand-out, either way. The best I can come up with now is that I will be the person with the most curious expression on his or her face standing outside of Peet’s. By “curious” I don’t mean “odd” (as in “curiouser and curiouser” in Alice in Wonderland), but rather “curious” as in “eager to find out.”

It’s pleasant for me to remember that day, five years ago, when Michael and I met, although I went to another pleasant coffee house first, by mistake, and had to rush to get to Peet’s on time, which I found very unpleasant.  When Michael and I share pleasant memories about our first pleasant meeting, he tells me that I had a rather unpleasant expression my face when he first saw me. That’s because I find it unpleasant to be late (especially for something I expect to be surpassingly pleasant).

Here are some pictures I took yesterday. It would be most pleasant if you let me know which ones you find particularly pleasant or unpleasant.

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Those last two pictures I took during a pleasant stroll with Michael on Pleasant Street. Honest.

Pleasant thanks to Michael, Donald Pleasance, Billy Cobham, the Brecker brothers, George Duke, Will Lee, John Abercrombie, Garnett Brown, and pleasant people who helped me write this post, Especially pleasant thanks to you — of course! — for being here, in the pleasant present.

Categories: anniversary, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 387: Why I’m not afraid of going out today

There are lots of reasons why I SHOULD be afraid of going out today, including:

  1. It snowed last night.
  2. It’s 9 degrees, in these here parts 1.
  3. The expected high is only 18 degrees.
  4. I don’t know what the friggin’ wind child factor is — how the outside world is SUPPOSED TO FEEL, according to some cockamamie calculation by some weather wonk — but, I can tell you this: that’s not good, either.
  5. With all of the above (plus my personal health “conditions”) 2, today has more obvious dangers, than yesterday did.

And in posts past, I have certainly written about my fear of the elements (see here, here, here, here, here, or basically any post I’ve written during the winter months,  for obvious or subtle clues about same).

So why aren’t I scared, this morning?

Well, I’ve had some practice — at this point in the winter of 2013/2014 — of dealing with all of the above. And I’ve lived — no worse for the wear. So that definitely helps.

What else helps?

In a previous post, I referred to books I’ve re-read many time, including The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, by Mark Toby.

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Several years ago, I ordered this book, from Amazon, so I could own it again.  While I did not take the photo above, I thought I could have when I wrote that previous blog post, because that book I ordered (plus the one I owned in the 1960’s) looked just like that picture.  However, when I was writing that previous blog post, it was easier to find a photo online, rather than look for the book.

Why?  Because of something else that usually scares me: Looking for something I own, for fear I will not find it.

I’m upstairs, while I’m writing this portion of the blog post. I believe that book is downstairs, somewhere. Today, I’m not afraid of looking for that, either, and I will, in just a moment.

But, wait!  I haven’t revealed WHY I want to look for that book.

Here’s why: This is my memory of the last line of that book, which has been echoing in my head, since I started writing this post:

Fall in love. Love will make you brave.

Aha!  There’s another reason I might be afraid to look for that book: fear that my memory might not be good enough.

Hold on. I’m venturing downstairs.

Hmmmmm.

While I found other treasured books from my past:

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…. no sign of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

What do I deduce, dear readers, from that?  Well, the book could have been destroyed, when the basement flooded at our previous residence. Or, it could be somewhere else, lurking, where we live now.

But, you know what? I’m not scared about any of that. And I’m not disappointed, either, even though I can’t use  my original plan for the ending of this post: A photo of the last line(s) of that book, which I figured would be close enough.

Instead, here’s another ending, which I love.

Thanks to all those reading, today, who love, are loved, or are brave for any reason. And that would include you (even if you don’t know it).


  1. That’s just my way of saying “Fahrenheit”, these days.

  2. Not to worry. I have a pacemaker and recently received a new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, but I’m fine.  Really. I’m not just saying that! I just need to be more careful about injuries — like slipping on ice or getting into a car accident — because I’m taking anti-coagulant medication.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 276: Radical Acceptance

For many years, I’ve been talking to people about the concept of radical acceptance.

Here’s Google’s definition of radical acceptance (attributed to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy):

Letting go of fighting reality. Accept your situation for what it is.

While that may sound simple, many people find radical acceptance challenging to understand, much less practice.

Here are some more attempts from me, to get at radical acceptance:

It’s acknowledging where you are, and being as aware as you can be about that.

It doesn’t mean approving or otherwise shifting how you feel about where you are.

And it has nothing to do with staying there, either.

Radical acceptance is allowing yourself to be as completely balanced and connected to where you are in this moment, no matter what the next moment will bring. (And the next moment will bring some sort of change, even if that change is imperceptible.)

I love talking — and writing —  to people about radical acceptance, because I think it’s helpful and important.

One thing I’m realizing, in this moment, is this: When I think of radical acceptance, I usually think of accepting difficult things — those situations that cause pain, fear, and suffering.

However, I’m aware of a different kind of radical acceptance, right now.

Radical acceptance of love, which can be challenging to understand, much less practice.

It’s immediately obvious to me why it takes work to accept painful situations. I wonder why love and other good things might be difficult, at times, to accept, too.

I do find it easy to accept those things that inspire love in my own heart, including natural beauty,

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animals,

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people,

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and music.

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No matter where those things show up, I usually notice them.

However, I often do not notice the love that is out there, coming back at me.

Sometimes,  that love is more obvious. Sometimes, like this week,  it’s difficult to discount or ignore.

Radical acceptance. I’m working on it, in all ways.

Thanks to Marsha LinehanMonument Valley, Capybara Madness, my parents, Street Pianos,  Luke Jerram, radical accepters everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

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

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