Posts Tagged With: saying “goodbye”

Day 2351: Long story, short

Because I’m hosting a retreat for group therapists at our home today, I need to make a long story, short.

Yesterday, I had a long day in which I

  • visited the hospital’s gift shop,
  • facilitated a Coping and Healing therapy group,
  • did individual therapy,
  • responded on short notice to people in crisis,
  • said “au revoir” — feeling sad AND happy — to graduating social work intern (and my co-writer and co-performer of the song “Nobody’s Perfect”), wonderful Nat Shirley,
  • exchanged short horn-honks with another yellow Honda Fit like mine,
  • had a short conversation with the two lovely people riding in that Honda Fit, and
  • sang one short original song near the end of a long Open Mic night, all the while being my short self wearing a long skirt and long earrings.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, sharing photos might be the best way to make a long story short.

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Amelia and Percy, my new Honda-Fit friends, told me a short story about how she thinks our cars are yellow and he thinks they’re lime green.

Here‘s me telling the long story, short, about how I left the house before I felt ready:

 

Please leave your long or short comments, below.

Long gratitude, short:

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 1734: How do we work together?

How do we work together? That seems to be an important question these days.

How do people at Mount Auburn Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab work together? Based on all the hours I’ve spent there over the last few years, I’d say they work together beautifully. Kathy — the head of that department who has worked there for many years — is retiring and her last day was yesterday. I was invited to a surprise party to say thanks for all her years of working together so well with so many people.

Here are some photos I took at Cardiac Rehab yesterday:

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I loved working together with Kathy, Danise, and Carla all those hours I spent in cardiac rehab. I worked out what I wanted to write to Kathy beforehand.


If you can’t work out what I wrote there, it says

Dear Kathy,

Thank you for your beautifully kind and caring heart, which has helped heal and strengthen so many hearts, including mine.

Is there any evidence of how we work together in my other photos from yesterday?


There were donuts at the party celebrating Kathy’s working together with others at Cardiac Rehab, but I couldn’t get it together to take a photo of them.

“How do we work together?” is also the question that inspires this incredible number from Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along:

How do we work together without gratitude? I don’t know.  So, thanks to all who inspired this post and to you — of course! — for working together with me.

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

Day 1585: Excellence

If you came to this blog today looking for excellence, you’re in luck.

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My social work intern, Justine …

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… has shown excellence in individual and group psychotherapy this entire year. Justine is so excellent that I recently acknowledged her excellence with a list titled “Reasons Why Justine is Awesome.”  When we said goodbye yesterday, Justine demonstrated more excellence.

 

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Justine shared the excellence of that ant quote during the therapy group we both facilitated yesterday. Because of that ant, we all sang this excellent song:

At that same excellent therapy group, as we were saying goodbye to Justine, we all acknowledged Justine’s excellence as well as the excellence of this helpful thought:

The pain of the loss is directly proportional to the importance of the connection.

Do you see excellence in my other photos from yesterday?

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Please share the excellence of your own thoughts and feelings in a comment, below.

Thanks to Justine, our therapy group, Frank Sinatra,  Greg Stones, and everybody else who contributed to the excellence of today’s post. Also, thanks for the excellence of your visit to this blog, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 998: Last Time

Last night, I sat in some excellent seats at Boston’s Fenway Park for the last time.

Here are the seats.

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The first time I sat in those excellent seats was in the 1970s, when I bought a share of season tickets along with several of my co-workers at Management Decision Systems. The last time Management Decision Systems operated as a company was in the 1980s, but that season-ticket-sharing among former employees has lasted through the years.

Every year, through the 1980s and until 1998, I would sit in those seats for six regular season games. I also lasted, in those seats, through many Red Sox playoff games.  When I was blessed with a son (for the first and last time) in 1998, I passed my share of those excellent seats to my Red Sox-fan sister, Ellen. Ellen, since the last time I was the owner of that share of those seats, has invited me to at least one game per season.

When I transferred my share of those excellent seats to Ellen, my last request was that we do our best to make it to a World Series Game. The last time Ellen and I succeeded in that was in 2013 (which I thought would be my first and last year of blogging). The first (and only other time) Ellen and I made it to a World Series Game  was in 2007.  This is not the last time I’ll think about those games. Believe me, memories I have from many games  —  when I and others were in those excellent seats — are going to last.

Here‘s a Wikipedia page about the ups and downs of the currently-last-place Red Sox. The last time I read that was a few minutes ago.

I think the last time I sat in those seats (before last night) was when Ellen and I were at our last Red Sox World Series Game (described in this blog post and this one, too).  Here, perhaps, is the last blog post (before today’s) where those seats have appeared (when our image lasted on national TV, no less).

Here’s the last time I’ll explain this at WordPress: Last night was the last time I’ll sit in those seats because Ellen has decided  it’s the last time she wants to buy them.  The last time we discussed that, Ellen asked if I wanted my share of those seats back, and my last thought  was “no.”  This might not be the last reason, but those seats cost a fortune.   Indeed, between the first time I sat in them and the last time we sat in them, last night,  the price of those seats has quadrupled.

It’s not the last time Ellen or I will go to a Red Sox Game, though.  Last night, we talked about lots of ways to attend games in the future.

Today is probably the last time I’ll post these photos from last night, when I was rushing from a therapy group to meet my sister, her spouse Linda, and our cousin Lani, for the 7:10 PM game.

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The guy in that last photo was yelling, “Get your programs here!  It’s the battle for last place!”

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Thank you, fans, for lasting through all those photos.

Last night, sitting in those seats for the last time, I heard these two songs (videotaped from different seats at Fenway Park).

Thanks to all who helped me create this not-last-time blog post and thanks to you — of course! — for reading it (probably for the last time) today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 980: Dash

If you dash by here regularly, you know that I dash off a post every day, whether I am feeling particularly dashing in the moment and/or whether my hopes have been — temporarily — dashed.

I’ve even dashed off some posts about a favorite punctuation mark: the dash.

But I’ve never been dashing enough — before dashing to dash out this dashing post on my dashed iPhone keyboard on this dashing Labor Day — to use the word “dash” as a title.

Why am I dashing to do that today?


Yesterday, I heard the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis– for the first time — at a funeral.

I shall now dash over to Google to see if I can find “The Dash” there.

When I dashed over to Linda Ellis’s website, I found that she had dashed off a request to NOT post her poem “The Dash.” I hope you dash over to her website, now, to read “The Dash.”

I will dash off this explanation, here, of the title of “The Dash” — it refers to the dash between the date of birth and the date of death, on a tombstone and elsewhere.


Besides reading “The Dash” at yesterday’s funeral, the loved ones of the deceased shared many beautiful memories of their wonderful family member, neighbor and friend, whose birth year  — before her dash — was 1921. Her son sang — with deep and moving feeling — some of this song:

That’s Judy Garland, singing a dashing version of “Embraceable You.”

Dashed if I didn’t see Judy Garland earlier yesterday, when my friend Deb and I had dashed over to a dashing and darling  restaurant in Lynn, Massachusetts.
  
      

  
  
  

   

Judy Garland is in two of the photos I took dashing around Mildred’s Corner Cafe yesterday. Above, she’s dashing around on stage and is next to the dashing Gregory Peck.

After the funeral, my dashing friend Deb and I dashed around Swampscott, Massachusetts, where Atlantic Ocean waves are always dashing up on the shore.



  
After Deb dashed me back home in her dashing Honda Fit,  I dashed over to the stairs to take photos of our dashing cat, Harley.



Then, my dashing boyfriend Michael and I dashed over to our dashingly local supermarket (which has many dashing products) — for our weekly shopping and to say goodbye to dashing cashier, Al.

  


  
  


That’s dashing Al, wishing us a dashing “Adieu.” Usually, Al dashes off a “See you next time” as we dash out the door. Last night, embraceable we embraced in some dashing hugs.

Then, Michael and I dashed home, and I took more shots of dashing Harley.


What about this post is most dashing, to you? Do not dash my hopes — dash off a  comment, please.

Dashing thanks to Linda Ellis (for the poem “The Dash”); to Mrs. Ruth Epstein and her beautiful family and friends; to Deb; to Michael; to Mildred’s Corner Cafe; to Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck and all the other dashing movie stars Deb and I  saw at Mildred’s yesterday; to the dashing city of Lynn and the dashing town of Swampscott; to Al our dashing cashier — who is dashing off to focus more on hospice work; to our cat Harley — who dashes up and down stairs and, usually,  off of tables; and — of course! — to you, for dashing over here today.

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 973: The New Cool

The new cool for this blog is to get right to the point, so here’s the new cool I saw yesterday:


Cool! Who knew?

Here are other kinds of cool I saw yesterday. Are any new to you?


  
  
  

  

  
  
  
  
  
That’s Al, our friendly neighborhood supermarket cashier, looking kind and cool.  Al is retiring after 23 years, which is cool for him but not cool for me. Yesterday, Al was kind enough to tell us that his first and last days are, coincidentally, the same — September 6. That’s kind of cool, don’t you think?

I think it’s kind of cool to discover new kinds of music. I shall now be kind enough to include one new result of searching for “cool kind” at YouTube:

 

“Cool Kind Daddy Blues” may not be new, but it sure is cool to share that with you.

Since kind is the new cool, please be kind enough to leave a comment. Whatever you write, it’ll be cool to me.

New cool thanks to Al, to Anna Lee Chisholm, to Blues Girls everywhere,  to the kind of cool boutiques they have in Belmont Center, to Star Market, to everything new and not-so-new I saw yesterday, to cool and kind thoughts when it hits 90 degrees Fahrenheit today, to whatever kind of cool sign-in book I decide to use at my 45th high school reunion, and to you — of course! — for the new kind of cool you are, every day.

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

Day 971: You just never know

On Thursday evening, a long-time participant in my Coping and Healing groups — after listening to what other members were sharing and discussing — offered this  helpful conclusion:

You just never know.

You just never know what somebody else intends to communicate, but I felt like I knew what that person meant.

You just never know:

  • what is going to happen next,
  • another person’s experience,
  • why people make the choices they do,
  • another person’s thoughts,
  • all the feelings somebody else is having,
  • how and why other people behave the ways they do,
  • what our leaders are thinking,
  • how everything that happens might have an effect,
  • how other people see you,
  • what it’s like to be another creature on this earth,
  • how to keep up with rapidly evolving technology,
  • how we’re all going to survive,
  • how to make meaning out of senseless cruelty,
  • how people go on after traumatic experiences,
  • what beauty you are going to encounter,
  • how kind strangers can be,
  • how much time we have in this world,
  • what the heck I’m going to blog about any given day, and
  • which images are going to capture my attention, as I make my way through this world.

For example,

… you just never know what I’m going to bring back from Scotland.
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You just never know what’s going to show up outside a hospital gift shop.

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You just never know what beautiful natural scenes exist close to where you are.

If you know anything about me from reading this blog, you probably know that I’ll be doing my darnedest to get outside for lunch on a Friday. You might also know, if you’re a long time and faithful reader,  that my Friday lunch choice, from the cafeteria where I work, is kick-ass macaroni and cheese (not pictured).

You just never know what people are going to say at a goodbye party, although that usually includes words of appreciation never before spoken. After I took that last picture above, I witnessed many others expressing love and hopes for my wonderful co-worker, Mary, who is retiring from our hospital-based practice.  Mary, when saying goodbye to me in front of everybody, mentioned Friday macaroni and cheese! You just never know how well somebody can get to know you, in only four years. I told people at that going-away party that if I didn’t know I would definitely see Mary after she leaves next week, I knew I’d be bursting into tears.

You just never know how many connections you’re going to make in one day.


  
  
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You just never know what  amazing things you’re going to see when you’re spending time with somebody you love.


  
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And you just never know when the inspiration for a blog post title is going to hit. Yesterday, on my drive home to spend Friday evening with my boyfriend Michael, I noticed something I’d  never known before, and I pulled over to the side of the road to photograph it:

    
  

You just never know when a local marching band is going to appear on a main street.

You just never know when auto-correct is going to slow you down — it just took me many attempts and minutes to write “Main Street” in that last paragraph without initial capitals.

You just never know when I’m going to give up fighting auto-correct.

You just never know what music I’m going to choose on a Saturday.

You just never know when a beloved friend is going to raise you up by inviting you to go to a musical, like my friend Barbara did yesterday. Six hours from now, know that Barbara  and I will be at a matinee of Kinky Boots, in Boston.

You just never know how others are going to comment on something you create. I guess we’ll find out, below!

Unknowing and knowing thanks to those who helped me create this post today and to you — of course! — for all you know.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Day 934: Feelers

Yesterday, I found out that Kerri,


a nurse I’ve happily known for years, is leaving Boston for sunny Florida next month. As we were bidding each other a fond “adieu,” I said to her

I always have my feelers out for kind, wonderful people, and from the moment I met you in the Emergency Room all those years ago, I recognized how amazing you were.

Feeling the need, just now,  to looked up “feelers” in the dictionary, I found this:

An animal organ such as antenna or palp that is used for testing things by touch or for searching for food.

I don’t know about you, but my definition-seeking feelers have never previously  touched on  “palp,” before today.

And, my blog-creating feelers would change

searching for food

to

searching for nourishment

… but otherwise, I feel that definition is fine, for the feeling purposes of this post.

Speaking of feelings, I told Kerri I was glad for her but sad for me and other feeling, Boston-based people who know her.

As you might have felt before, I often have my feelers out for images that strike my feeling fancy, as I feel my way through a day. Here’s what my photographic feelers found yesterday:
  

  
  
  


  

  
  
  
  




  

What do your feelers tell you about those photos?

My feelers are telling me that other  feelers might assume — from those feeling photos — that I have cancer. I do not. I have a cardiac condition that necessitates my getting antibiotics before I visit my dentist, and I get those antibiotics in a cancer infusion center, where my fine-feeling-friend Kerri works (until August).

Also, there were many things my feelers encountered yesterday that did NOT make it to this post and — as usual — I’m hoping I didn’t hurt any feelings.

Here‘s what my musical feelers have brought back from YouTube:

Bernadette Peters is singing “I Feel You, Johanna” from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sweeney Todd.
Also, my feelers found this:

“I Peel You, Banana” by Robert Adams.

Feeling thanks to Kerri, the Infusion Center at Tufts Medical Center, Cam Neely, Dr. Del Castillo, Dr. Gonzalez and Michel (not pictured) at Beacon Hill Dental Associates, everybody at my high school reunion planning meeting last night (not pictured), Bernadette Peters, Stephen Sondheim, Robert Adams, and you — of course! — for bringing your feelers here, today.

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

Day 850: Drowning in the sea of ____.

Because I never learned how to swim, perhaps it’s easy for me to feel like I’m drowning in seas, sometimes.

Because, in four days,  I’m having surgery — which could prevent my very unusual heart from drowning in the sea of heart failure  — I could be drowning, now, in the sea of:

  • anxiety,
  • fear,
  • worry, and
  • other uncomfortable feelings.

However, I am staying bouyant, well enough, to notice the many different  seas all around me.

Here’s the sea of music I was pleasantly drowning in yesterday morning:

As I was drowning happily in the musical sea of Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, and the rest of the New York Rock and Soul Review‘s “Drowning in the Sea of Love,” I drowned in the sea of …


… hot dog rolls, near Fenway Park, and

… trees, in the Longwood Medical area of Boston, Massachusetts.

Then, I did a therapy group at work, where people talked about drowning in the seas of

  • financial worries,
  • medical problems,
  • confusion,
  • isolation,
  • troubled minds,
  • judgmental people,
  • self-doubt,
  • guilt,
  • shame, and
  • other overwhelming problems.

However, the mutual support of the group kept everybody afloat for a good while.

Later that day, I was drowning in the sea of Starbucks

  

where I said goodbye to the wonderful barrista, Erin.

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— who also works at Starbucks and who was trying not to drown  in the sea of beverage orders — helped me not drown in the sea of sadness about Erin’s leaving by giving me this:

It’s a new chocolate cookie straw at Starbucks, which was soon

drowning in the sea of chai tea misto, in my office.

Those flyers —  on my desk, next to the tea misto —  are for a Group Therapy Conference in June, where I’ll be drowning in the sea of other group therapists and amazing learning.  I will be giving a workshop there on June 6 about my therapy groups, so I hope I won’t be drowning in the sea of  presentation jitters.

Yesterday, I was also drowning in the sea of


      

construction work,


cups,


cupcakes, and


pet supplies.

Don’t these guinea pigs

look like they’re drowning in a sea of colored paper?

Here’s to everybody staying above water for another day!

I am drowning in the sea of gratitude for everything I witnessed yesterday and for you — of course! — for drowning in the sea of this blog post, here and now.

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

Day 685: No matter where you go, there you are

I first heard the sentence

No matter where you go, there you are

in the movie Buckaroo Banzai (which has a longer official title, which I’m not going to look up right now, because I have other places to go).

Let’s see if I can find that quote from Buckaroo Banzai on YouTube:

Not only did I find that clip on YouTube, I discovered that lots of other people around the world love that quote and that movie.   That clip also includes other quotes I like:

Is someone out there not having a good time?

Is somebody crying, out there, in the darkness?

What’s your name?  Who cares?  I care.

Don’t be mean.  We don’t have to be mean.

Anyway, it’s time for us rejoin the adventures of Ann Koplow across the nth dimension (where “n” = how many dimensions you think there are, in this universe).

Today, I am going to Worcester, with my friend Peggy (not Penny), to see Pat Metheny and his Unity Band/Group (which includes Antonio Sanchez, who did the amazing drum score for the movie Birdman) (and if you want to find out more about that score, you could click that link, y’know).

Where am I seeing Pat Metheny and his Unity Group/Band, tonight?

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I found both those photos of the Hanover Theater on the Wikipedia website.  The second photo shows the seats I occupied when I watched the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour recently (described here and here).

No matter when I go to the Hanover Theater, there I am.

Yesterday, I went some other places, and there I was.

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I was stuck in traffic as I tried to make my way to Fenway Studios to say goodbye to my long-time friend and artist extraordinaire, Paul Nagano, who is leaving the Boston area to move to Hawaii.

I finally found a legal, free parking space (!!!!) and there I was, at Fenway Studios:

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…  where I saw my old, beloved business partner (and longer-time friend), Jonathan Stark, and his lovely wife, Jen.

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Before I took this picture, I told Jen that I loved her jacket. When I asked if I could include their picture in this blog, Jonathan said, “Yes, but only if you say that my jacket is fabulous, too.” (Jonathan and I worked together, for many years in the 1980’s and 1990’s, creating marketing and advertising materials, including print ads and promotional videos. One of the secrets to our success was to listen to and respect each other’s wishes.) (So there you go, Jonathan.)

I took a few more photos at Fenway Studios, yesterday:

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… but I didn’t get to spend much time with Paul and his amazing artwork.  Therefore, I am going back there, today, before I head out to Worcester later.

Now, let’s see if everybody has been paying attention. How would you complete this sentence?  “No matter where you go ….”

?

And here’s another question. Are you going with me?

(You can go here to find Pat Metheny and The Metropole Orchestra playing “Are You Going With Me?” in the Netherlands. No matter where Pat goes, there he is.)

Thanks to Buckaroo, Penny, Peggy, Pat, Antonio, Paul, Jonathan, Jen, Birdmen, cats, musicians, artists, and everybody else who ever goes anywhere, including you (of course!).

Categories: friendship, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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