Posts Tagged With: mortality

Day 2224: I’m very aware of the passage of time

I’m very aware of the passage of time, as I took time to express in a therapy group exercise about time.

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Are you very aware of the passage of time?  Do you believe that you have all the time you need? Do you rush and get very anxious because of time? I’m very aware that the passage of time affects everybody.

I’m very aware of the passage of time in my other photos from yesterday.

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I’m very aware that I notice more over the passage of time.  What do you notice, during this very precious time?

I’m very aware of the passage of time that’s bringing me closer to the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time for me sing a new original song at a local Open Mic.  I’m very aware that I need to choose between “Don’t Call Me” and “It’s Not Me.”

I’m very aware that I haven’t yet shared the lyrics of “It’s Not Me.” I will, after sharing this passage-of-time song:

I’m very aware of how much time passed before I found “Time Has Come Today” by the Chamber Brothers. Feel free to pass the time by sharing your favorite song about the passage of time, below.

Before any more passage of time, here are  lyrics for “It’s Not Me.”‘

It’s Not Me

by me, Ann Koplow

It’s not me resenting

the mistakes of the past.

It’s not me presenting

why our love shouldn’t last.

 

It’s not me who’s judging,

It’s not me keeping score.

It’s not me begrudging

Saying “you should do more.”

 

It’s not me who’s hurting,

It’s not me feeling bad.

It’s not me deserting

All the good things we’ve had.

 

It’s not me complaining

From dusk until dawn.

It IS me explaining

That it’s me, moving on.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

I’m very aware of the passage of time as I ask for comments and express my thanks to all  (including YOU!) who have helped me in my blogging passages, over time.

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1691: Matters of life and death

Yesterday, people in my therapy groups talked about life and death matters, because that mattered to them.  They asked each other life-and-death questions, including the following:

If you were immortal, how would that change how you live your life?

If you had control over how you would die, what would you choose?

They found those life-and-death questions — and questions  about other matters (like the sources of fear) —  in the book “If … Questions for the Soul.”

When I answered the second question in last night’s therapy group, I referenced a memorable scene from the TV show St. Elsewhere, where an old man, dying alone in the hospital, asks to be held by an orderly in the middle of the night.  When the orderly lifted the man off the bed and held him in his arms as he passed, that mattered so much to me.

How might you answer those life-and-death questions? I hope you know your answers matter.

I wonder if there are any life-and-death matters in my photos from yesterday. Let’s see ….

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Was losing and finding my wallet this week a matter of life and death?  My next step is quoting Shakespeare:

He who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike.

I took one other photo yesterday.

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Is being calmer a matter of life and death?

Does this YouTube video about a St. Elsewhere cast reunion include matters of life and death?

I have some important matters to deal with today, including getting an INR blood test before I leave for Scotland tomorrow. But what matters most to me, here and now, is thanking all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1526: A Window in Time

During a recent window in time, I saw this:

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During that same window in time, I

  • noticed that the time in that window in time was incorrect,
  • looked at a house with lots of windows near the ocean,
  • thought about the healing power of nature, and
  • considered my own mortality.

How will I use the window in time that is today’s blog post?

I will show you the delicious meal my boyfriend Michael in Massachusetts and my son Aaron in Scotland cooked together in a window in time last night.

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Soon after that window in time, I was happily eating a large piece of that by a window.

How else should I use A Window in Time?

I love windows in time to wonderful music.

I hope you use a window in time to leave a comment.

There’s no window in time like the present to express my appreciation to all who helped me create this window-in-time post and to you — of course! — for visiting me during this window in time, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1458: We’re still alive

Yesterday, in a therapy group, somebody said, “We’re still alive.”  Since that phrase felt very alive to me, I wrote it on my white board, where it still is.

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I heard and wrote that shortly  before I found out that Carrie Fisher was no longer alive, when I  read this on Facebook: “We lost a Jedi.”

I still believe it’s important,  every day, to remember we’re still alive, because eventually every one of us will be still.

Here‘s the best song for this post —  Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here” from Carrie Fisher’s Postcards from the Edge:

 

I often sing that song when I walk around, still alive,  and see scenes like this:

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Which images are still alive, for you?

I’m very grateful we’re still alive as I thank all  who helped me create this post and you — of course —  for still being here.

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1241: How ’bout them apples?

How ’bout that title?  Do you know what it’s ’bout?

How ’bout a definition from the Urban Dictionary?

How bout them apples?

Rur. What do you think of that? (Often used to express admiration; bout is short for about.)

Tom: I got first prize! Mary: Well! How bout them apples? Joe got a job as a newspaper reporter. How do you like them apples?

How ’bout these apples?

IMG_2371 How ’bout that sign on the elevator of the hotel where my sister and I are staying in Rochester, Minnesota?

I’ve only got ’bout ten minutes this morning before I have to leave for ’bout eight hours of medical tests and doctor consults at the famous Mayo Clinic.

How ’bout that saying that an apple a day keeps them doctors away? Because I eat ’bout one pink lady apple per day, I’m ’bout to give up on that idea.

How ’bout them pictures I took yesterday?

 

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How ’bout them …

  • quotes from “Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death” by Irvin Yalom,
  • giant corn,
  • Minnesota sunsets, and
  •  other images.

How ’bout this post?

How ’bout a bout of thanks to my sister Ellen (for accompanying me on this bout of cardiac consultations) and another bout of thanks to every other helpful person ’bout me, including you (of course!).

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1237: Immortality

Some say that human beings are the only creatures aware of their own mortality. I say that a yearning for immortality, of some kind, affects most of us.

People can seek immortality through

  • art,
  • religion,
  • their children, and/or
  • their work.

Where I work, I found this message about immortality:

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Should I submit any of my other pictures from yesterday to the hospital’s research study on human immortality?

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Last night, at live piano karaoke, I sang an immortal song:

Speaking of (im)mortality, I killed it.

Any thoughts or feelings about immortality? If you leave a comment, it will live forever in my heart.

Immortal thanks to Judy Garland, my handsome son Aaron, the Red Sox, the hospital where I work,  piano karaoke, people who are so good and so caring and so close, and you — of course!  — for reading this all-too-mortal post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1220: We Live Here

We live here, where the weather forecast is rainy and cold every day before I go back to work on Monday.

The Pat Metheny Group lives here, playing “We Live Here.”

We live here near Boston, where there are lots of things to see and do even when it’s rainy and cold.

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“We Live Here” was playing in my headphones as I walked around Mount Auburn Cemetery in nearby Cambridge (where I used to live).

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Many birds live here in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

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After I took that photo of those ducks that live here, my phone stopped living, temporarily.

We all still live here, thank goodness.

Living thanks to all who contributed to today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter where you live.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 332: A Once in a Lifetime Day

The title of this post refers to Thanksgivukkah* —  which is both Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah.

In case you haven’t heard, both of these holidays occurring on the same day is verrry unusual.

Just now, I did a Google Image search on “Thanksgivukkah” and found lots and lots of treasures.

And, did you guess?  I’m going to share some of those with you, now, along with some of my thoughts.  And as I like to tell people, “We’re all human, so our thoughts can go lots of different places.”

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There we go!  It’s the title of my post AND the date.  I like starting out with “just the facts.”

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Isn’t that cute?  Here are some other thoughts I have about that photo:

  • That baby looks very happy.
  • Am I the only one who is thinking “Boy, this sure points out that this baby is going to die!”
  • What’s the expression on that turkey’s face?
  • Does he know his tail is on fire?

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My thoughts:

  • Wow!  Does this mean this once-in-a-lifetime holiday has made it to the cover of The New Yorker?
  • Wait. No, it doesn’t.
  • I guess this proves that I should start reading the New Yorker again, so I don’t make mistakes like that.
  • Does that turkey know his tail is on fire?

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Speaking of my mistakes, this t-shirt illustrates a mistake I made about Thanksgivikkuh (in addition to misspelling it)  yesterday. I assumed that Thanksgivvikuh occurs once every 70,0000 years. Nope!  It occurred 125 years ago, the last time —  in 1888. The 70,000 year-gap applies to the NEXT time it comes around.

Some thoughts:

  • I wonder how they celebrated it in 1888?
  • I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve t-shirts.
  • Or the New Yorker.
  • The guy wearing that t-shirt is expressing an interesting hope about his future.
  • I wonder when Thanksgivvikuh will fall next?  81,181?  160,099? Or a different year entirely?
  • Whenever it is, will that guy be seeing me then, too?
  • The Jewish Calendar makes no friggin’ sense.

Hmmmmm.  Since that last photo involved some math, this post is taking longer than I expected.

Maybe I should wrap this up.  I want to celebrate my only chance at this once-in-a-lifetime event.

But there are soooo many images, out there.

How about this? I’ll show you some more, and you can supply your own thoughts:

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o-THANKSGIVUKKAH-MANICURE-570***********

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I especially like that last image, because now I know I’m not alone in my spelling mistakes.

In my image search, I also ran across some videos, and I want to to include one. It’s difficult to choose, but here it is, from my home town (and thanksgivukkahboston.com):

Before I end this post, just one more thing.

My title — A Once in a Lifetime Day — doesn’t just apply to today.

It applies to all our days.

I give many thanks today, for my family, for my friends, for my home, and for all my readers.

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* I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

*** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

**** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

***** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

****** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

******* I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

******** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

********* I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

********** I found this image here, for which I give thanks.

*********** I found this image here, for which I give …. you know.

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

Day 321: The gift of mortality

When I was in my 20s, I was talking to a friend where we both worked, at a high tech company.

That day, we were talking about mortality.

He, who was also in his 20s, declared that people of our age could not possibly have a sense of our own mortality.  We could not  really understand, said he, that we would die some day.

I had heard that before, but that was not my personal experience.  I was born with a congenital heart problem, received my first cardiac pacemaker at age 10, and was definitely aware of mortality issues, in ways my friend was not.

This is my recollection of the rest of that conversation:

Me: Well, that’s probably true for lots of people. That’s not my experience. I’m very aware of mortality issues. I know I’m going to die, and I think about that a lot.

Him:  I don’t believe it. You might think you know you’re going to die, but you don’t really know that.

Me: (pause, not knowing what to say to THAT.)

Him: Look, if you really knew you were going to die, you wouldn’t show up to work here every day. You’d be doing things you REALLY want to do.

Me: (Laughing out loud)

Him: What’s so funny?

Me: I have a lot of trouble showing up here every day.

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That conversation has always stuck with me, because it represents something important.

I have always had trouble spending time on something that doesn’t feel like a “good enough fit”, because I am sooooo aware that my time is limited.

I think that has served me very well.

It has guided me, continually, in improving my situation, at work (through career changes), in love, and at home.

I’m not saying my progress has been perfect or linear, in any way.  (See this post for more about that.)

However, increasingly as I’ve aged, my presence indicates an active choice to be there.*

Every day, when I post, I am choosing whole-heartedly to be here.

I may never know what form the post will ultimately take, but I trust in the process of creation.

That’s how I feel about life, too. I don’t know the course, and how it will end, but I am committed, as much as possible, to every moment.

Okay!  It’s time to choose an image, to end this post.

(Pause, while I check my iPhone for a photo that’s a “good enough fit”.)

Okay!

When people in therapy report progress, strengths, or anything worth celebrating, I sometimes say, “If I had some confetti, I would throw it.”

Here it is:

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Thank you for celebrating with me, here and now.

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* With some exceptions, of course. I never want to be present when it’s time to do my taxes.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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