Martin Luther King Day 1/20/2020

Over the Holidays, I started binge-watching West Wing on Netflix…well, to be honest, I should say RE-binge watching. I actually own the fancy boxed set so have seen every episode many, many times…just not for a while. (We currently don’t have a single DVD player in the whole house.)

I started it again in early December as a distraction from some personal drama, but I quickly realized how much I have needed this kind of political antithesis for quite a while now.

Trump Escapades Inundation should be a category in the DSM-5 under the PTSD diagnosis heading…

My only real connection to POTUS is that I truly empathize with his hair issues, my own having thinned dramatically enough that I have to experiment with all manner of the “comb-over”.

Watching the brilliant portrayal of how life in the West Wing, and in our country, could and should be has been just as inspirational this time through as all the others.

I am a die-hard Aaron Sorkin fan and have absolutely loved everything he’s done; all the movies, and TV shows, especially Sports Night, the Newsroom, and the way too short Studio 60. We need a ton of sentimentality and idealism these days just to counteract some of the other stuff that’s happening. And Sorkin is the master!

The last episode I watched had the following quote in it.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of start.”  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

And then I remembered a couple of days ago I saw the episode where Aimee Mann singing James Taylor’s wonderful song, “Shed a Little Light”.

So in honor of MLK day, and to do my part, for just a few moments, to distract from all the…well, you know, I found 3 versions of this beautiful song.

The first, just the song so you can concentrate on the lyrics (printed right below).

Next, a really moving cover by The Maccabeats and Naturally 7  that James Taylor himself really liked!

And last, another wonderful, uplifting version by James and friends.

If you can sit through all three versions, you’ll be singing right along by the end, and maybe even a little inspired to Keep on Trucking no matter what unbelievable thing you-know-who does tomorrow.

1st version…

“Shed A Little Light”

Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood, that we are bound together
in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong.
We are bound together by the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead.
We are bound and we are bound.

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
And though the body sleeps the heart will never rest

Shed a little light, oh Lord, so that we can see, just a little light, oh Lord.
Wanna stand it on up, stand it on up, oh Lord,
wanna walk it on down, shed a little light, oh Lord.

Can’t get no light from the dollar bill, don’t give me no light from a TV screen.
When I open my eyes I wanna drink my fill from the well on the hill,
do you know what I mean?

Shed a little light, oh Lord, so that we can see, just a little light, oh Lord.
Wanna stand it on up, stand it on up, oh Lord,
wanna walk it on down, shed a little light, oh Lord.

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist, there is a hunger in the center of the chest.
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
and though the body sleeps the heart will never rest.

Oh, Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
and recognize that there are ties between us.

All men and women living on the Earth, ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood.
2nd version, James’s favorite cover…

 

 

3rd version, sing along. I dare you!

 

Thank you Dr. King, for being one of my most important teachers…

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

I had a slightly startling revelation as I was plowing through thousands of photos from 2019….and No, I don’t mean realizing that I take way, WAY too many pictures. I already knew that.

I had already picked 29 “favorite photos” before arriving at the end of February. I was exhausted trying to choose so I stopped there.

It became clear that, only on occasion do I take a photo hoping it will capture exquisite beauty or be all “artsy”. Instead, often I snap away at images that will enhance a good narrative. Good visual aids for a tale that might interest, tickle or inspire someone.

I guess I’m saying I prefer story telling over photography, which is what startled me. I might be saying that although I am an extremely visual person, and I still hate writing (see my bio), I’d rather write you a story with photos than anything else.

So here are the pictures I picked (for January and February)…with the most brief explanation an overly wordy, *unpolished writer can come up with. (*ending my sentence with a preposition…)

 

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This is the Seattle skyline, especially the Columbia tower. I took this while trying to distract myself, waiting at the Harborview Medical Center to find out about a very blue, slightly broken ankle…and yes, I took pictures of my ankle but will spare you. It was so cool to see the Tower from this perspective, having just officiated a wedding at the top a few months prior.

 

 

Next, we have a poignant plea tacked onto the neighborhood’s most beautiful old tree. The note was written by a very young environmentalist, a precocious 6 year old, when she realized they might cut down this tree in the process of building a new home across the street from hers.

The note didn’t work so I felt compelled to capture as much of the mystery and beauty of this tree’s remains as possible. I did several posts on it.

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Next, I thought I’d experiment with my new point and shoot Canon on the occasion of the Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. I was not that disappointed given the limitations of my equipment.

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We had a ton of snow in January, a bit rare for the Seattle area. I worried about all the birds I feed all year round (mostly Crows, Hummingbirds, and a variety of seed birds). I had wondered what would happen in the snow to the Covey of Quail that visited each morning to clean up under the bird feeder, after the messy House Finches had their breakfast.

I guess I needn’t have worried…

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Throughout the last few years, I have shared about my bugs. I love photographing them (and coming up with silly captions).

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Lucy says “I know, I know…not a toy, right?” (Good Kitty.)
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Giant, Spiny Australian Leaf Bug…GIANT indeed…

 

And of course, my cats. This was Lucy’s way of comforting me while I had to stay off my feet for a while for that ankle thing.

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My favorite photo of Lucy last year though was the one at the top of the page.

You know that thing older people sometimes do, where they are frantically searching for their glasses, only to find them right there on top of their head? Well, I took this shot after a frantic 20 minute household search for Miss Lucy. She has never been outside (our neighborhood is plagued by coyotes) so when I couldn’t find her, I panicked! I called and called her and though she is normally, the sweetest, most sensitive, gentle and affectionate cat I have ever had, this photo captured something akin to disdain. A kind of judgment at my ignorance, having walked literally right under her nose probably 10 or 12 times! sigh.

 

I walk daily, and if I keep my eyes wide open, like my Dad taught me very early on, I can make the same exact walk completely different every single day. I look for anything Nature has re-arranged (since yesterday) for my personal viewing pleasure.

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This is one of my all time favorite photos…a total accident!

 

 

Thanks to the Lens Artist Photo Challenge. This was really fun…and I fear there may have to be more installments. I hope you’ll comment.

And visit more of my Blog in the future!

Happy New Year from ChosenPerspectives!

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

Photo a Week Challenge: Clouds 12/30/19

Another delightful challenge from Nancy Merrill.

I do so love me some clouds.

As Nancy wrote in this challenge: I’m a sucker for a beautiful clouds. Fluffy clouds. Streaky clouds. Dark and foreboding or airy and almost not there. I’ve never met a cloud I couldn’t love. 

I know what she means. Clouds really speak to me. And maybe, because I grew up in San Diego, where there were rarely clouds, I have a different appreciation for them.

Of course now, living in the Pacific Northwest, actually seeing individual clouds, rather than the sometimes oppressive gray ceiling, brings me pleasure in a similar way.

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“Overcast” or low ceiling does not stop  the Blue Angels!

 

Most of us love the beautiful, often intense color of a sunset,

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but sunrise is my favorite.

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And then there are those times when clouds can be a bit intimidating, even when they are simply doing their job.

 

I think one of the miracles of life, of Nature, is when the clouds put on an unexpected show for us.

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Especially one we can’t explain…

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Yep, clouds are the best…..

 

Anyone else hear Judy Collins singing just now??? (sorry about any ads…)

 

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Straight up into the only real cloud around!

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/12/26/a-photo-a-week-challenge-clouds-2/