Posts Tagged With: Stephen Sondheim

Day 2853: Other people’s stories

As a psychotherapist, I love listening to other people’s stories.

What I DON’T love is other people who act like only their story is:

  • real,
  • legitimate, and
  • worth listening to.

These days, more than ever, it’s important to make room for the stories that are not being heard. Why aren’t they being heard? Because people with power/the spotlight are

  • loud,
  • disrespectful of others,
  • disinterested in the facts,
  • obsessed with their own grievances,
  • trying to hold on to power, and
  • apparently not interested in other people’s stories.

If you do not leave room for other people’s stories, the dominant story becomes strident, repressive, demoralizing, inaccurate, and eventually obsolete. Personally, I am fighting for other people’s stories (including my own!) to be heard, so we can all survive together.

Here is one person’s photographic story for the day:

In my story, there is always room for the the Daily Bitch, love, AND your stories (in the comments section below).

Yesterday, when I was creating today’s photographic story, I heard the Prologue to Stephen Sondheim‘s Into the Woods, which includes lots of other people’s stories.

My stories always include gratitude for all who help me create these daily stories, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, politics, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2795: This feels relevant for me

Yesterday, my friend Megan texted me something that feels relevant for both of us…

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… so “This feels relevant for me” is the title of this post.

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All these photos feel relevant for me.

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This feels relevant for me:  our beloved kitty Oscar is approaching the end of his life.  The reason Megan’s family has a cat today is because Oscar visited with her and her husband Paul many years ago and, with his relevant charming and chill nature, convinced skeptical Paul that cats could be incredibly wonderful.

As I’m writing this-feels-relevant-for-me blog post, Oscar is crying over his water bowl and I’m crying with anticipatory grief.

I heard the Stephen Sondheim song  “I Remember” from Evening Primrose yesterday while I was taking relevant photos, and this feels relevant for me.

I remember the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis, whom we lost on July 17.  His fight for civil rights and against racism feels relevant for all of us.

Gratitude feels relevant for me, every day.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2730: Rulers of the House

If you saw the headline “Rulers of the House” (which I’m recreating in my house, here and now), what would your immediate association be?

Might “Rulers of the House” be

  • Men?
  • Women?
  • Adults?
  • Children?
  • Monarchs?
  • Elected officials?
  • Appointed officials?
  • Democrats?
  • Conservatives?
  • Corporations?
  • People with money?
  • People with privilege?
  • Sports figures?
  • Animals?
  • Deities?
  • Emotions?
  • Conscious thoughts?
  • Unconscious thoughts?
  • Dreams?
  • The weather?
  • Nature?
  • Technology?
  • Television?
  • Planets?

Do you see any Rulers of the House in my photos from yesterday?

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Here’s what I find when I search YouTube for “Rulers of the House”:

More rulers of the house:

I love the way Jewel Gilchrist rules her house.

Christine BaranskiMeryl Streep, and Audra McDonald are Rulers of the House in this version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” (from the 90th birthday celebration for Stephen Sondheim):

If you want to be one of the Rulers of the House of Living Non-Judgmentally, please leave a comment below.

As always, the rules of this house include expressing gratitude for all those in my life with hearts of gold, including YOU.

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Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2710: Jaw Dropping

It’s jaw dropping to me that I forgot about the invitation (which I included in yesterday’s  post)  to stream Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday celebration last night, with its jaw-dropping lineup of stars:

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I have found many things jaw-dropping lately, including

  • American leadership’s responses to the pandemic crisis,
  • racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia,
  • how difficult it is for people to get what they need,
  • how little there is to celebrate these days, and
  • people’s ability to celebrate, anyway.

Do you see anything jaw-dropping in my photos from yesterday?

It’s jaw dropping

  • that there was no spinach, parsley, or flour at the supermarket yesterday,
  • the delicious meal Michael made anyway,
  • how hard nurses work for us every day of the year,
  • the level of suffering out there, and
  • how lucky I am, here and now.

 

Here‘s the jaw-dropping celebration of Stephen Sondheim from last night:

I look forward to your jaw-dropping comments with (of course!) jaw-dropping gratitude.

Categories: gratitude, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2673: What’s important to remember

This morning, I saw this headline on my newsfeed:

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s important to remember that people are worried and anxious.

It was important to remember to watch Governor Cuomo delivering that message:

It’s also important to remember:

  • to be empathic,
  • to be mindful,
  • to be kind to others and to ourselves,
  • to say the important things to those who matter to us, and
  • that we’re all quarantined now, in one way or another.

Let’s see if there’s anything important to remember in my quarantined photos from yesterday:

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It’s important for me to remember that my cousin Liane Plane was in the original production of West Side Story on Broadway, and that The New York Times thought it was important, too, in one of several articles about Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday.

It’s important for me to remember that my friend Jeanette noticed that Liane looks like the dancer emoji💃 in that old photo.

It’s important for me to remember that Liane danced in one of my favorite musical numbers ever, “America,” even though I was too young to see her in it. Here’s “America” from the film version of West Side Story.

 

It’s important to remember that people will be dancing together again, eventually, in New York and elsewhere.

What do you think is important to remember, here and now?

I hope you remember that I’m grateful to YOU, every day.

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

Day 2665: How bad could it be?

How bad could it be?

How can we even answer that question when

How bad could it be that I’m self quarantining, knowing I’m doing the best for myself and for all those I care about?

How bad could it be for me to share these photos with my good readers?

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How bad could it be if

  • Michael cooks delicious pasta and
  •  Oscar and Harley look up and share our happiness?

How bad could it be if Stephen Sondheim is turning 90 years old this month? Here he is playing “Move On” at the memorial service for Michael Bennett, who died during the AIDS pandemic:

 

How bad could it be where you are, here and now?

How good could it be to express gratitude to all those I appreciate, including YOU?

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

Day 2632: Best Gift Ever

What is the best gift ever?

Is it

  • sweets,
  • flowers,
  • clothes,
  • jewelry,
  • a book,
  • art,
  • music,
  • words,
  • comfort,
  • a pet,
  • friendship,
  • kindness,
  • love,
  • home,
  • the Earth,
  • the sky, or
  • pictures?

Is the best gift being happy together?

For me, the best gift, here and now, would be a comment from you.

Finally, I hope you accept my gift of gratitude.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2416: Evolving

To help with my personal evolving, I’ve been reading articles like How to Stop Feeling Overly ResponsibleHow to Stop Being Petty: 7 Sure Fire Tips to Calm Your Inner Rage,  and Change your relationship with food — and stop eating your feelings, and also reading books like My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies and Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.

Yesterday, I saw this at the home of my evolving friend Jenn, her evolving husband Joe, and their three evolving pugs:

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As usual, this post is evolving into a place to share all my photos from yesterday.

 

Did you see any evidence of evolving there? And BTW, any of those photos will be evolving into a larger one if you click on it.

Here’s the result of a search for “Evolving” on YouTube:

And here’s a comment from an evolving YouTube visitor:

Kameron Kargel
3 years ago
That moment you realize that it says envolving and not evolving

Evolving thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2404: ACT

I act, every day, to

And yet, this is my first blog post with the word “act” in the title.  Time to act!

What does “act” mean to you? To Merriam-Webster, it means:

act noun
\ ˈakt \
Definition of act
1a : the doing of a thing : DEED
an act of courage
b law : something done voluntarily
2 : the process of doing something : ACTION
caught in the act
3 : the formal product of a legislative body : STATUTE
an act of Congress
also : a decision or determination of a sovereign, a legislative council, or a court of justice
4 : one of the principal divisions of a theatrical work (such as a play or opera)
a play in three acts
5a : one of successive parts or performances (as in a variety show or circus)
a magic act
b : the performer or performers in such an act
a two-person comedy act
c : a performance or presentation identified with a particular individual or group
They took their act on the road.
d : the sum of a person’s actions or effects that serve to create an impression or set an example
a hard act to follow
6 : a display of affected behavior : PRETENSE
put on an act that deceived nobody
His friendly concern was just an act.
7 often capitalized : a formal record of something done or transacted
8 : a state of real existence rather than possibility
into the act or in on the act
: into an undertaking or situation as an active participant
saw the success they were having and wanted to get in on the act
act verb
acted; acting; acts
intransitive verb

1 : to take action : MOVE
think before acting
acted favorably on the recommendation
2 : to conduct oneself : BEHAVE
act like a fool
3a : to perform on the stage
began acting at the age of eight
b : to behave as if performing on the stage : PRETEND
seemed angry but was just acting
4 : to perform a specified function : SERVE
trees acting as a windbreak
5 : to produce an effect : WORK
wait for a medicine to act
6 : to give a decision or award
adjourned without acting on the bill
7 of a play : to be capable of being performed
a play that acts well
transitive verb

1a : to represent or perform by action especially on the stage
will act the part of Romeo in tonight’s play
b : FEIGN, SIMULATE
act indifference
c : IMPERSONATE
2 : to play the part of as if in a play
act the man of the world
3 : to behave in a manner suitable to
Act your age.
4 obsolete : ACTUATE, ANIMATE
ACT abbreviation
Definition of ACT
1 Action for Children’s Television
2 Association of Classroom Teachers
3 Australian Capital Territory

To therapists, ACT (abbreviation)  also means Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I shall now act to quote the Wikipedia description about ACT:

The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; rather, it is to be present with what life brings us and to “move toward valued behavior”.[6] Acceptance and commitment therapy invites people to open up to unpleasant feelings, and learn not to overreact to them, and not avoid situations where they are invoked. Its therapeutic effect is a positive spiral where feeling better leads to a better understanding of the truth.[7] In ACT, ‘truth’ is measured through the concept of ‘workability’, or what works to take another step toward what matters (e.g. values, meaning).

ACT (abbreviation) also means this:

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When I was caught in the act taking that photo yesterday, I acted to smile and give a thumbs up to the ACT workers near that truck.

Here are other ways I acted yesterday:

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I have to act fast to finish this post with a  Stephen Sondheim song  (which features actors avoiding action by focusing on fault).

 

It’s never just an act when I express gratitude to all who help me act to create this daily blog and — of course! — thanks to YOU.

 

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 2368: The little things

Five hundred and seventy-eight little days ago (but who’s counting these little things?), little ol’ me wrote a little blog post,  Day 1790: Thankful for the little things.  Yesterday, I was a little perturbed by many little things when I was writing yesterday’s little post, so  I sent Michael this little email:

Hello my darling,
I would say we have an infestation of ants .  This is based on many of them crawling on me this morning while I was blogging, which is a new experience for me here at Squanticello.  Let us research kind ways to invite them to leave.
Much love,
Ann

When I got home from work, Michael was more than a little freaked out at the not-so-little size of the invaders, which turned out to be carpenter ants. He said, “Usually I don’t think of insects as animals, but these enormous winged things are definitely animals.” Michael spent many little moments yesterday identifying the big ants’ little points of entry and applying spray that is kind to little things like children and pets.

I didn’t take any pictures of those little things, but I invite you to spot the little things in today’s little photos.

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I don’t see any little or large ants as I’m creating this little post, so I’d say that Michael’s efforts paid off, in a big way.

Here‘s “The Little Things You Do Together” from a little musical called Company:

Here are the great lyrics to “The Little Things You Do Together”  by that musical giant, Stephen Sondheim:

It’s the little things you do together
Do together
Do together
That make perfect relationships.
The hobbies you pursue together
Savings you accrue together
Looks you misconstrue together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s the little things you share together
Swear together
Wear together
That make perfect relationships.
The concerts you enjoy together
Neighbors you annoy together
Children you destroy together
That keep marriage intact.

It’s not so hard to be married
When two maneuver as one
It’s not so hard to be married
And Jesus Christ, is it fun.

It’s sharing little winks together
Drinks together
Kinks together
That make marriage a joy.
The bargains that you shop together
Cigarettes you stop together
Clothing that you swap together
That make perfect relationships.

It’s not talk of God and the decade ahead that
Allows you to get through the worst.
It’s “I do,” and, “You don’t,” and, “Nobody said that,”
And, “Who brought the subject up first?”

It’s the little things…
The little things, the little things, the little things

The little ways you try together
Cry together
Lie together
That make perfect relationships.
Becoming a cliche together
Growing old and gray together
Withering away together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s not so hard to be married,
It’s much the simplest of crimes.
It’s not so hard to be married,
I’ve done it three or four times.

It’s people that you hate together
Bait together
Date together
That make marriage a joy.
It’s things like using force together
Shouting till you’re hoarse together
Getting a divorce together
That make perfect relationships.
Uh uh
Kiss kiss
Mmmm mmmmm.

I’m greatly looking forward to all your little comments, below.

Gratitude for the little things helps me deal with all the little and big things every day, so big thanks to those who help me create this little blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Soon after publishing this post, I made up some new little lyrics for that song, more relevant for tall Michael and little me:

It’s battling ants together
Making sure you dance together
Keeping the romance together
That make perfect relationships.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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