Posts Tagged With: Paul Simon

Day 3275: Unforgettable lines

Last night, I asked a question about unforgettable lines on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, I had noticed unforgettable lines in a story about CNN’s 2021 Hero of the Year, Shirley Raines, whose non-profit Beauty 2 the Streetz (which she started after her young son died) provides food, clothing, beauty services, and other nourishment to the homeless in Los Angeles.

“You don’t need to be whole to be the missing piece in others’ lives” is profoundly unforgettable.

Do you see unforgettable lines in my other images for today?

In the midst of adding those images to this blog post, I stopped to create (I hope!) unforgettable lines for a new original song, “Forgettable.”

I think there are many unforgettable lines in Paul Simon’s song “The Cool, Cool River” including “sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.”

I’m looking forward to unforgettable lines from you in the comments section, below, and I hope my gratitude for you is unforgettable!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 3093: Random photos

Yesterday, I sent out this tweet about random photos:

My brain has too many tabs open and here are more random photos (and tweets) that tell you something about me:

That last image shows somebody on Twitter responding to my request to share a random photo that tells us something about them.

I think it’s difficult to share random photos in the comments section here, but if you could, what random photo would you share?

Here’s a random photo of my late father, in honor of Fathers Day:

Here’s the random song I’ve been thinking of since I started writing today’s random photos post:

As always, I take and share random photos to express my gratitude to YOU.

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

Day 3016: How are we all supposed to stay sane?

Five insane years ago, I posted this on Facebook:

How do you think we all did? Did we stay sane? And how the hell did we stay sane through THOSE five years? (I’m not going to recount all the insane things we went through for reasons of sanity).

Personally, I stayed sane by sharing my thoughts, feelings, and images with you here, every day.

It’s amazing I’ve stayed sane through all these years.

Music definitely helps me stay sane.

Here’s to many more years of staying sane together!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2831: When we were sane

Yesterday, when I was trying to remain sane amidst insanity in the USA, I took this photo:

I think the world liked us better when we were sane.

What’s helping you stay sane during these insane times? Personally, I’m blogging, taking photos, walking around with my Sharpie looking for sanity, and listening to music.

I’m also staying sane by enjoying Michael’s delicious cooking, like swordfish on a roasted red pepper purée with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.

Let’s try to stay sane together by listening to yesterday’s pictured playlist (here, here, here, here, and here on YouTube).

Now I’m imagining the supporters of our insane President singing “Button off My Shirt.”


by Ronnie Milsap

I heard the word going ’round town
They say you’re making a fool out of me
Baby, it took me some time to come ’round
To realize you were not what you seem
Each day passing
The clock is my friend
Help me get back on my feet again
Like a button off of my shirt
Just an everyday distraction
You’d be over-reacting if you think that I still hurt
You’re just a button off of my shirt
And someday I will replace you
I don’t care what I have lost
You got what you deserve
I was down, down, down
I’m not the first
I won’t be the last
To make the mistake of believing in you
I don’t intend to live in the past
Just like they say
Some you win, some you lose
You never loved me and you made it plain
Now it’s my turn and I’m playing your game
Like a button off of my shirt
Just an everyday distraction
You’d be over-reacting if you think that I still hurt
You’re just a button off of my shirt
And some day I will replace you
I don’t care what I have lost
You got what you deserve
(Love and affection)
You started (changing directions)
You threw it away
You never loved me and you made it plain
Now it’s my turn to make you understand
Like a button off of my shirt
Just an everyday distraction
You’d be over-reacting if you think that I still hurt
You’re just a button off of my shirt
And someday I will replace you
I don’t care what I have lost
You got what you deserved
Like the button off of my shirt
Just an everyday distraction
You’d be over-reacting if you think that I still hurt
You’re just a button off of my shirt
And someday I will replace you
I don’t care what I have lost
You got what you deserved
Like a button off of my shirt
Just an everyday distraction
You’d be over-reacting if you think that I still hurt
You’re just a button off of my shirt
And someday I will replace you.

Your irreplaceable comments also keep me sane and so does expressing gratitude to all who help me blog daily, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2639: Nuts! We’re all nuts!

Hello, my fellow nuts!  Today’s title is inspired by the very first photo I took yesterday:


We’re all nuts because people are still

  • ignoring requests from governments to maintain social distancing,
  • hoarding certain provisions,
  • acting in old ways in the face of major new realities, and
  • personalizing, labeling, minimizing, magnifying, blaming, fortune-telling, mind-reading, negative-filtering, and all those other nutty cognitive distortions.

I hope that we nuts can figure out how to save ourselves and the planet before it’s too late, so we can keep being nuts together in less nutty ways.

All my photos today are nuts!


If you’re nuts about any of those photos, you can click on them to enlarge them.

Here‘s one of my favorite songs about how we’re all nuts (from before the days of social distancing):


If you’re nuts like me, please leave a comment below.

I am grateful to share this nutty blog with you, every day!




Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2581: What would you wish for?

On this 2581st day of this daily blog (which is also the Lunar New Year), what would you wish for?

Would you wish for

  • health,
  • happiness,
  • love,
  • laughter,
  • life,
  • peace,
  • prosperity,
  • everyone to be happy,
  • no snow,
  • people to be nicer,
  • moments of joy,
  • universal health care,
  • a cure for cancer,
  • a salary raise,
  • no student debt,
  • mental health,
  • yoga,
  • self care,
  • safety,
  • a trip,
  • 50,000 steps a week,
  • a new label maker,
  • kindness, and/or
  • for wishes to come true?









Would you wish for more photos from me?













I also wish for a good birthday for myself on 02/02/2020, for great music like this

… and for comments about what you wish for.

I wish you knew how much I appreciate all those who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.


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

Day 2335: Stillness

Yesterday, in the stillness of the night, I facilitated a Coping and Healing group where we focused on the topic of “stillness.”



After everybody had shared their thoughts on stillness and we had finished wrap-up with three minutes remaining until the end of the group, I suggested we spend that time in stillness.

Do you see stillness in any of my other new photos?









During the stillness of the latest software update for my laptop, I started writing this post on my phone.

I am going to break the stillness here with the songs I mentioned in my written thoughts on stillness, shown above.

Fred Parris and The Five Satins recorded that song in the stillness of a Catholic school basement in 1955.

Here are Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel still  performing “Still Crazy After All These Years” in Central Park on September 19, 1981.

What are your thoughts on stillness?

I’m still ending every blog post with gratitude, so please accept the stillness of my thanks for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.


After I published this post, I discovered that my only other post about “stillness” was published exactly four years ago, to the day. What are the odds of that?


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

Day 1942: Obviously

Obviously, sometimes people are going to say things you obviously don’t want to hear.

Yesterday, somebody in therapy was obviously perturbed about people expressing unsolicited and often indirect opinions about what they obviously thought she should do.

Obviously, we  made a list of how she could reply.


Obviously,  having a list of possible replies to upsetting comments can help reduce stress.

Obviously, I like to take photos and share them with my readers.








What’s obvious about those photos, to you?

Obviously,  my handwriting is difficult to read, so it might not be obvious that we talked, wrote, and drew about dreams in a therapy group yesterday.  Obviously, it would be helpful if I typed what I wrote.


When I was a child, I had a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. It was so beautiful and soothing and cool.  Magical land with lots of colors — pastels.  (I was) walking or riding down a road. Not like nature, not “normal” but safe and sweet and lovely. Trees and structures

I was never able to dream that again.

However, many years later I was at Disney World on a ride about imagination and one of the parts of the ride looked like my dream.

Obviously, I enjoyed that ride at Disney World.

Obviously, “The Obvious Child” by Paul Simon is a great song to include here.

Obviously,  I’d like to know your reactions to this post

Obviously, I gather and share gratitude in this blog, even if the words aren’t always completely obvious.



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

Day 1924: Impossible

Some people feel it’s impossible to blog daily for over five years.  I believe it would have been impossible for me to face the world  as effectively as I have since January 1, 2013 without this blog.

Yesterday, I saw something impossible at a local restaurant.


Because it was possible for me to do so, I took that impossible flag with me. I guess I like taking on the impossible.

It’s very possible to find impossible quotes on the internet.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. — Francis of Assisi

There is nothing impossible to him who will try.  — Alexander the Great

Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.  — Amelia Earhart

Without knowing what I am and why am I here, life is impossible.  — Leo Tolstoy

It always seems impossible until it’s done.  — Nelson Mandela

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ — Audrey Hepburn

Even if it turns out that time travel is impossible, it is important that we understand why it’s impossible  — Stephen Hawking

Have a vision.  It is the ability to see the invisible.  If you can see the invisible, you can achieve the impossible.  — Shiv Khera

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.  — Walt Disney.

It’s kind of fun for me to share my impossible and possible photos here.




If it’s impossible for you to see the details in those photos, please click on any one to enlarge it.

After blogging for so many years, it’s impossible for me not to share photos of something I’ve shared before.


It’s impossible to say what goes on in that room at the Hingham Shipyard movie theater.

The impossibly talented Paul Simon sings “to dominate the impossible in your life” in The Rhythm of the Saints.

Unless it’s impossible, please share your thoughts and feelings in a comment below.

As always, it’s impossible for me to create this blog without the help of others, including YOU.



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 65: To dominate the impossible in your life

“To dominate the impossible in your life” is a line I really like, from a song I really like (“The Rhythm of the Saints”), from an artist/songwriter I really like (Paul Simon).

I’ve used that line, many times, to describe dealing with a situation that seems unbearable.

How to bear the unbearable?

Sometimes, you just have to. 

You may bear the unbearable by looking at the situation differently — by telling the story differently.

And telling the story differently is often a wonderful coping strategy.

Sometimes, though, it can involve denial — choosing not to see part of the truth.

On the other hand, how can we see all of the truth of a situation?  The truth is usually open to interpretation. As I wrote way back on Day 11, in  You Might as Well Be the Hero of Your Own Life , we make choices whenever we tell stories.  And our lives (and we) are so complex, we always make choices when we tell our own story.

So we have to leave things out.  Is that always denial?

And this makes this whole issue of “the truth” even trickier:  As we do our best to make meaning of life, we will use some cognitive distortions .

I often refer to Cognitive Distortions in my posts here.  Cognitive Distortions (a term used by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are just human ways of thinking. That’s why I don’t like the word “distortion.”  (Yes, I have a judgment about that.)  (Yes, I have judgments about many things.) (I’m human.)

In my work as a therapist, I often choose to use the term “Automatic and Unhelpful Thoughts,” instead of the term “Cognitive Distortions.”

But whatever I call them, I think those thoughts are inevitable, at least for most humans I’ve met.

Especially “Fortune Telling.”

We don’t know the future, but — in order to feel safe enough — we will make predictions about the future, based on our past.

I have yet to meet a human being who does not use Fortune Telling.

And I have “debates” with people I work with — in individual and group therapy — who argue that cognitive distortions are useful.

Of course, they’re useful, in some way.  Why else would we do them, and keep doing them?

However, it’s important to notice when trying to predict the future gets in our way.  When it makes us anxious.  When it holds us back from pursuing something that might help us. When we automatically go to the worst-case scenario (using a particular “distortion” called “Catastrophizing”).

So how do we figure this all out?  How do we use what we know, from the past, to feel safe, without restricting ourselves with fear?

How do we dominate THAT impossible in our lives?

So far, this post (except for the reference to Paul Simon and his song) has been all about generalities.

I think people learn better from the specific, so I’m going to give you some specifics now, from my life.

Here’s something I deal with:

I was born with a very unusual heart.

The on-line article I’ve linked to, above, is a pretty good one, I think. You may not want to read it.  Maybe you do.

If you do read it, I’m going to suggest something.  After you read it once, read it again (maybe pretending that you just received this diagnosis) and look for the things in that article that sound reassuring.  Then, read it again, looking for the things that sound scary.

Because both of those things — the reassuring and the scary — are there.

The condition is really rare, so a lot of people don’t  know about it. (As a matter of fact, I once went on a date with a cardiologist, who did not know about this condition.  When I told him about it, he made a very common mistake about it — confusing it with a much less rare condition.  I corrected him.) (That was our first and only date, by the way.)

People with my heart condition can lead very normal lives — so normal that sometimes it’s not even known they have this condition until after they die (sometimes at a very old age).

People with my heart condition can be quite sick, or can become quite sick later in life.

Once, when I was about two months pregnant with my son, I stumbled across a Very Scary Article about my heart condition, which said that women with my condition should not become pregnant because pregnancy would seriously weaken their hearts.

When I called my cardiologist in a panic, this is what he said to me, “Ann, you have such a rare condition, that any article about it uses a sample size that is so small, that the results are suspect.”  And he told me that he did not agree with the article, and he made a great case for why that was. So I stayed pregnant.  And I have an amazing 15-year-old son.

Thank goodness that I believed my cardiologist.  Because I could have easily decided that he did not know what he was talking about  — because, after all, he was making a recommendation based on a too-small sample size, also.  I might have left him for the care of a cardiologist who did believe that I should terminate my pregnancy.

But I didn’t.

But while I was pregnant, how could I make the “right” decision?  I would have to have been a fortune-teller. I would have had to have been psychic.

Which I wasn’t.

So I did the best I could.

And it was the “right” decision.  In retrospect.

That’s what’s so tricky. There is often no “right” decision.  We just do the best we can, with the information we have, believing in the experts we trust.

And if we make a decision that turns out to be the “wrong” one — that is, the experts weren’t correct, the outcome implies that we “should” have done something different — we need to make peace with that, too.

Otherwise, we will be hindered — and sometimes tortured — by the past. The past will get in the way of us living in the moment.

Which of course, happens to all of us humans.

Here’s an “antidote” I suggest to people, about making peace with the past.

Look at the Context.  Instead of automatically blaming yourself for a problem, think about the other factors that may have contributed to the situation. If you regret a previous action, consider that you might have been doing the best you could at the time.

Anyway, I was going to write in this post about a particular aspect of my condition that I’m finding difficult to bear right now.

It’s not mentioned in the article I linked, but people with my condition, if their heart valve leaks (which it often does) are prone to endocarditis.

(By the way, I’m assuming that some people who are reading this do not want to read the links here, for their own reasons.  For some people, the links might be TMI — Too Much Information.  That is completely okay with me. And, I hope, you can still read this post without reading the links and still get something out of it.)

Anyway, I have a leaky valve.

Therefore, I am prone to endocarditis.

It’s a potential danger, which my wonderful cardiologist communicated  to me, when I was in my 20s.

That was a communication I received, despite my human wish to deny that as a possibility.

So, when I was 7 months pregnant with my son (20 years after my cardiologist communicated his concern to me), and I developed a fever, I asked to be tested for endocarditis, for the first time.

Now, we (me and my medical team) thought my request to be tested was kind of weird, because (1) I had never developed endocarditis before and (2) there was no reason to believe that I had endocarditis.

I did not have any symptoms of endocarditis, except a fever.

I had a fever because I had the flu.

But, my cardiologist, when I called him and told him, “I would like to be tested for endocarditis,” said the following:

“Well, why not?  It couldn’t hurt.”

When I went to the hospital to be tested, this is what the Endocarditis Specialist said to me,” You have a fever because you have the flu.  So, there is no reason for me to test you for endocarditis.  You’ve never had endocarditis. However, since you’re here and your cardiologist has ordered the test, I will do the test.”

And when the results of the test came back, I got a call from the hospital as follows, “Get in here right away.  You have endocarditis.”

And the test caught it so early, that I was fine.  My heart had no damage.

However, the treatment was that I needed was to be on IV antibiotics for six whole weeks.  And the doctors told me that the medication they needed to use might affect the hearing of my unborn child. But they needed to use that medication.

I had to dominate that impossible, and choose the treatment.

The day I got off of the six-week regimen of IV antibiotics, was the day my water broke.

My baby did not have any hearing problems.

My heart was not damaged.

Okay, here is where the story gets even weirder.

About six or seven times since that first bout of endocarditis, I have asked to be tested for endocarditis again. Each time, my symptoms have been different. Each time, the doctors could have said, “There is no real reason to test you for endocarditis.”  But they didn’t say that. They tested me for endocarditis.

Two of those times, I had endocarditis.

Each time I had endocarditis, we caught it quickly enough that my heart was not damaged.

The other times, I was “wrong.”  I did not have endocarditis.

Several doctors who know me, when they tell my story (sometimes in front of me, to medical students) describe me as “amazing.”  They say, “It’s like she’s psychic.”

But I’m not psychic.  Nobody is psychic.

I guess the way I make sense of this story is that I must be incredibly tuned in to my health and my body.

But sometimes I’m wrong. And I get anxious “for no reason.”

About two weeks ago, I started to wonder whether I had endocarditis.

There were lots of reasons why this might not be true.  The symptoms were this: I have a pain in my hip.

That’s it.

There are lots of reasons why my hip might be sore. I walk a lot. I just turned 60.  I’ve been wearing boots that don’t give great support.

Lots of people have hip pain.

I don’t have a fever.  Before, when I’ve had endocarditis, I’ve had a slight fever.

After I first got the idea that I wanted to be tested, I talked myself out of it.

Which I’ve done before. Sometimes, when I get the fear of endocarditis, I decide not to get tested.

So, when this thought has come into my head over the last week or so — “I am afraid that I might have endocarditis,” I talked myself out of it.

I did not want to get tested. I wanted to believe that I was just imagining things.

Because I have, many times before.

However, after talking to several experts and friends, I decided to get tested yesterday.

But coming to that decision — weighing all the factors, trying to figure out what the truth was, trying to balance my fears about the future and my knowledge of the past, telling myself I was not psychic (which is true)  after having had all these experiences where a “psychic” feeling had prevented severe heart damage, figuring out how I can live my life safely but not be paralyzed by fear — was really, really hard, dear reader.

It felt like I was trying to dominate the impossible in my life.

I made my decision — I got tested.

I feel fine about that decision.

I feel fine as I am writing this post.

My boyfriend, Michael, thinks I don’t have endocarditis. He’s been pretty psychic, himself. He predicted, in 2010, the outcome of the last presidential election, when nobody was predicting the winner.

I will find out in a few days.

Whatever the outcome, I will work hard NOT to think in terms of “right” or “wrong” decisions — that is, whether I “should” have gotten the test, or not. Whether I “should” have gotten the test earlier.

I  plan to tell myself that I did the best I could, with the information I had.


I will let you know, when I get the results.

Thanks for reading, so much today!

And I wish you all the best, in dominating the impossible in your life, whatever that might be.

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

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