Posts Tagged With: “Beyond the Fringe

Day 369: Old Familiar Faces

Let’s start with the title of today’s post (as is my wont*): Old Familiar Faces.**

My first association with that title is this:  My father singing that line to me, when I was a little kid. Right now, I can hear his voice, in my mind’s ear, singing it.

I now interrupt this reverie with some facts.

My dad used to sing me the 1938 song, “I’ll be Seeing You” sometimes, before he said “good night.” I loved hearing him sing that song.

Here are two YouTube versions of that song. The first, by Billie Holiday:


And this one, with Michael Bublé:


If you played***** either of those videos, perhaps you noticed something interesting.

If you didn’t,  I’ll tell you: That line is NOT in the song.

Eeeeeek!

So, in this post, already, we’ve encountered some interesting things about memory.  It’s entirely possible I mis-remembered that. However, it’s also entirely possible that my father actually DID sing me that line. Why do I think that’s a possibility?  Because of something I may have inherited from him:  A great memory for music, but for the words of a song?  Not so much.

If I had a tape of my dad singing that song, I could listen to it now, and check to see what lyrics he sang. But I don’t have that tape, so let’s move on.

As is my wont*, I have strayed from my original intention for this post.

And what was that?

To write about my mixed feelings and thoughts, regarding  my choosing a new avatar****** for my appearances here on WordPress, as of January 1, 2014. At the beginning of this year, I switched — from the camel and the pyramid (which still adorns  the top of my posts here) — to a photo of the big stuffed tiger in my son’s room wearing my latest pair of glasses (you can see this post for more about that).

What are those mixed feelings and thoughts?  Well, they have to do with self-disclosure.

The issue of self disclosure is a big one, isn’t it?   How much should I disclose about what I look like (and other things, too)?

Last year, I had a guideline about photos of myself, here, and that guideline shifted as the year went on (not surprisingly).  At first, my rule was: No photos of myself. That shifted to this: No recent photos of myself.  That shifted again:  no obvious, recent photos of myself.

Everything can be a slippery slope, can’t it?

And why does that even matter — to show one’s face or not?  I’m not sure why it matters to other people, but I assume it does. Here at WordPress, I notice different people making different decisions about that issue, perhaps giving some thought about what face(s) they choose to reveal.

On New Year’s Eve, I asked my son, “Should my avatar for next year be a photo of myself?” Because I was considering that change and — as usual —  I could see the pros and cons of the different choices.

I love asking my son’s opinion (partly because he often has one). And his opinion was this: “No.”

My son is almost 16 years old and his experience, of course, has been different from mine (a 60-year old woman’s), in many ways.  I’m sure he had many good reasons for that quick decision. But he’s not here right now, so I can’t ask him. (He’s with his father, today.)

In the meantime, I still have mixed feelings.  But, for now, I’m staying with my decision, this (gr)avatar:

Image

Why?  Because:

  1. I like those new glasses.
  2. That tiger reminds me of an old familiar face: a stuffed tiger I had when I was a little kid.
  3. That tiger was given to my son — on his birthday, several years ago —  by some old familiar face(s), my friend Ada and her family.
  4. I’ve written, in this blog, about the importance of tigers to me (here, here,  here, and here, for examples).
  5. Some experts have written about this: if somebody does not reveal details about self (including visual details), others can learn very important things from that person about themselves, due to the phenomenon of self-projection*******
  6. A new familiar face, here at WordPress, Russ Towne  — who has a wonderful blog named “A Grateful Man” and a self-disclosing avatar — wrote this to me recently:

I love your new photo! It brought a big smile to my face.
Russ

Case closed! (For now, anyway.)

Thanks to Russ Towne, Ada, my son, my father, Irving Kahal and Sammy Fain (for creating “I’ll Be Seeing You”), Billie Holiday, Michael Bublé, tigers and experts everywhere, people who make choices every day about what to disclose about themselves, and to you — of course! — for reading today.


* The word ‘wont’ means “having a tendency to do something.” That word reminds me of an old familiar face from college — my roommate, Nancy. We used to listen to this routine from “Beyond the Fringe,” where the word ‘wont’ gets a big laugh. Now, that routine also reminds me of another familiar face: my son. Thanks to Nancy, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller, and Alan Bennett.

** “The Old Familiar Faces” is also a poem by Charles Lamb, which — considering where I went to school — I should know more about.  Nope, wait!  I’m letting go of SHOULDs!  Better. And now that I’ve done that, I can tell you this: it’s a wonderful poem and it’s here.

*** found here on YouTube

**** thanks to wellingtonpub

***** And if you get my posts via email, you may need to click on the title of this post, on the top of the page, to do that. 

****** Called a gravatar, here at WordPress, a name I don’t like, because it reminds me of the word “grave.”

******* Called “transference,” in the psychotherapy biz.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 151: Fringe

This is the definition that just came up for “fringe”:

Fringe (frinj)

Noun
An ornamental border of threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge clothing or material.

Adjective
Not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme: “fringe theater”.

I am planning a trip overseas this summer, with my son.  It’s his first trip out of the country, and we’re planning on visiting England and Scotland.

I’ve started discussing the details of the trip with my wonderful niece, Laura (who is also a terrific travel agent).  She’s been asking me great questions about what kind of trip we would like to take.

Based on past experience, I would love a trip that had some structure, but also allowed room for improvisation.

And I was thinking about trips I’ve taken in the past with my friend Jeanette.

Jeanette and I took several trips together, in the 80s and 90s, and our blueprint for these adventures was establish a beginnning and ending point, and to make up the rest as we went along.

One of our trips, many years ago, started in Edinburgh, which was so beautiful.

edinburgh-thumb-450x281

We also had a great time attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

edinburgh-fringe-festival

(I love Google Images, I have to say.)

This morning, when I was writing  my niece Laura about the priorities for the upcoming trip with my son  (including theater, museums, music, architecture, history and literature, food, fun, interacting with people who live there, walking around, etc.), I included the Fringe Festival as an example of something I would love to do.

Later,  I googled the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  And this is what I found out:

  1. The official name is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (check out that non-mainstream word order).
  2. The festival, this year,  is happening when we’re traveling.
  3. Yippeee!!

So that is really the major point of today’s blog post.

Sure, there’s more that I could write about the word “fringe,” including:

  • I’ve always liked the unconventional, over the mainstream.
  • When I’ve felt bad about myself, I’ve used the word “weird” as a self-critical label.
  • For a long, long time, I’ve loved “Beyond the Fringe” (and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore).

But I don’t want this post to get too peripheral.

Thanks for reading today, everybody!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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