I’ve written a lot of posts that contained embarrassing self-disclosures, but this one is a stretch, even for me.
First of all, I’m not clear who to credit for this challenge, but since perspective is one of my driving, life-force words, I’ve decided to just write and share photos anyway.
Here’s the story.
I have been photographing a tiny piece of mystery debris on my street for over a year. No idea why. Can’t really justify it except I spotted it, and became intrigued, and over the months, it evolved into a mild obsession.
I have thought at length about why in the world I would become so interested in this scrap of trash, and the only thing I can come up with is my Dad. It’s his fault really. He taught us very early on that boredom was a sin against Nature, and that if we used all of our senses, and just changed our perspectives, we could always find at least one miracle.
“Just look at the ground”, he would say. “It’s covered with magic!”
(I wrote about this in a story, with working title The “Ruler” and the Torn Screen or One Square foot and posted it on on V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #40 “Things my Father said”)
I guess what grew from that particular Dad-Lesson was a life long habit of looking down at the ground, always in search of treasures! No surprise one of my favorite activities in life is Beach Combing. I have huge collections of rocks, shells and beach glass! I have even been known to collect tiny treasures right off the street, especially if it’s been too long since I’ve had a trip to the ocean.
I’m fairly easy to please.
I have photographed what I am walking on many times…
Even modern day litter…
So spotting this one piece of junk on my daily walk was not the surprise. It simply stood out. Unidentifiable, it caught my eye.
The surprise was that I started looking for it every day. Every single day. I became more and more curious about why it never, ever moved. Its location was on a high-traffic part of the street. With all the cars, bikes and people passing over that very spot every day, it should have been run over…repeatedly.
So I decided to actually start tracking it…on purpose…and taking its picture…
Uh oh, I had bonded with a fragment of litter.
Seriously, and now, over a year later, and I’m even writing a Post about it.
But wait , as Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “the rest of the story”…
Last week on my regular morning walk, I got to the top of my street, where my Scrap lives…and it was gone! GONE!
I figured a car tire had finally knocked it off to the side, but after a long, elaborate roadside search (yes, a search) for my missing piece of rubbish, I had to accept it was over. My mystery remnant was truly missing.
In a world of uncertainty, a tiny, but predictable piece of my daily life, was gone. Sigh.
Believe me, the symbolism and the underlying explanations for this attachment are not lost on me. Been thinking about it all week. The pandemic. Being locked in my home, except for this daily walk, for 142 days. Reminders of my Dad, and wondering how he would have looked at today’s confusing, emotional, frightening new normal, ETC.!
I tried to find a replacement touchstone, something more permanent, and spotted this whale (or maybe it’s a country in Europe)…
But when looking through photos for this post I discovered this formation, permanently embedded in the street, had been there all along.
Anyway, this morning….I’m on my walk, approaching the former location of, you know who, (my reliable and familiar bit of trash), I decide maybe one more look around…
And there, well off the pavement, directly in a beam of early morning sunlight, I see this!
I was disproportionately happy!!
And YES, of COURSE I brought it home with me, and put it in the cabinet with all the other treasures! It’s just not safe out there for such a vulnerable little guy.
Yep, I’m glad I’m so easily entertained. Thanks Dad!
I move through most days completely alone now…occasional human sightings out on my walks, and I can hear my family in the upstairs of the house, but rarely lay eyes on them. I tell you what! I am about ready to risk my life for a hug with my grandson!! sigh.
BUT, I am also still surrounded with Spirit Lifters! I just have to remember to look, listen, smell, etc.
Here are my most recent miracles:
Camera function Mystery…
For some time now, my phone camera will not capture true purple…except when she damn well feels like it!
Though the flowers below are lovely, she insists as showing them as pink, dark pink, fuchsia, etc. They are actually a deep royal purple! (You can see tiny flashes of the deeper color purple at the center of the flowers or a little like the lavender in the vase with the pink rose.)
I’ve had some pretty “cheeky” bird visitors lately, right outside my living quarters. These Grosbeaks were fun.
And I don’t know who this next fella is but he apparently did not want me taking his picture. That glare made it very clear!
Maybe you’d have to live in the Great Northwest to appreciate these shots. First of all, slug tracks are rare when it is supposed to be 80 degrees outside. It seems our summer came and went (in about 5 minutes) back in June and the slugs think it’s Autumn…time to leave their drunken silver trails all over everywhere! (Not sure you can see them but given how slowly they move, you’d think a straight line would be much more efficient in their travels.)
Lucy keeps me entertained inside the house, finding even cuter sleeping positions every day.
And she is such a smart ass…
Here she is giving me a very clear hint.
Back outside, there’s this really tall weed that started blooming. Nobody knows where it came from or what it is but I decided to let it stay in my small flower garden, just out of curiosity.
And any visit I get with my upstairs occupants is appreciated!
Master Loki has certainly become a Princely feline! What a beauty he is!
There you have it! My Spirits are lifted just sharing all of this. I hope yours are too.
Please comment and tell us how YOU are staying healthy and content.
So, I got tired of depending on what I could find online to share as Spirit Lifters and decided to really focus on finding things closer to home!
Look what I found!
Our newest family member is Milo, a 5 month old Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix, and is he ever a sweetheart. If you know both breeds, you can see them very clearly in Milo’s demeanor, looks and behavior. He has a ton of Collie energy and is an absolute lover of everyone, people, dogs, and cats, like a Golden.
We had been looking for a playmate in the neighborhood for Milo, for play/training, as well as to burn some of that Border Collie energy…since we don’t happen to own a herd of sheep. 😋
Milo already adores his personal cat, a gorgeous Maine Coon kitten about 8 months old now. Instant friends, but mostly indoors.
So Milo needed an outside playmate too.
A friend who visits us regularly got a puppy a couple of weeks after us, also named Milo. This Milo is supposedly part Pit and part Shepherd but we sure can’t see it. Maybe Pit bull in the face and in loyalty, but to us he looks more like a tall, lanky Black Lab mix.
Here’s their first meeting!
You can see our Milo wanting to “herd”.
It was so cute! They each took a turn bringing their favorite stick to the other one.
Come on! Let’s PLAY!
They are so uplifting to watch together!
Two Milo’s…hopefully life long friends.
If you have discovered surprising and uplifting things around your home, will you please share in Comments?
OK, it’s really getting long now…so it’s time to seriously shift our perspectives and consider instituting new, healthy daily habits into our “new normal” lives. Along with taking care of ourselves physically, we simply must attend to those other parts that are being insidiously drained, even damaged during this pandemic.
Here’s one of my regular self-care habits, a potential, inspirational resource, as well as a couple of new musical treats.
This is an excerpt from the newsletter of one of my favorite people, Karen Drucker. She is a talented musician, comedienne and public speaker.
Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
This is precisely the time when artist go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I have to admit I have gone through every emotion during this last month of shelter in place: thrilled to be home; deeper connection with my hubby; anxiety about gigs cancelling and how to pay bills; feeling like I need alone time; happy to not have to fly followed almost immediately by wondering if I will ever be on a plane going to a gig again! Back and forth – happy, panic, bliss, fear. Lather, rinse, repeat!
The most positive thing for me, though, during this time has been connecting back to doing music. My friend, Alan Cohen, has a great expression: “Make the main thing be the main thing!” I realize that with all the gigs and traveling and hyper-busy-ness, I let the joy of creating music get pushed to the back burner. It seemed to me I just didn’t have the time. What has become clear to me as I analyze what really lights me up is how writing and performing healing music helps my soul. When I get emails from people telling me that a certain chant helped them get through cancer treatments, or how singing along with me during this challenging time we are in is easing their anxiety – these messages validate what the main thing is for me – creating music. Right now, what feels like a suspension in time also feels sacred to me to be able to have the space to write and record again.
The greatest gift along this healing path that I have received was delivered this month – a beautiful 64-page booklet produced by Unity Churches featuring my “Heart of Healing” songs. It includes essays written by various writers and Unity ministers, with affirmations around each of the themes that the songs convey. This is a free booklet available to anyone. Even though this project was started last year it seems so perfect for what we are all going through right now. For information on how to receive your booklet contact: The Heart of Healing
So like the quote above from Toni Morrison, I am committed to do my part in helping us all heal by writing songs that, hopefully, will uplift, heal, and connect us as we all get through this challenging time together. I wish you peace during this time and hope that we will meet in person soon!
Here is Karen’s calendar (lots of virtual options) and a way to hear her music and to get her newsletter.
If Karen isn’t your cup of tea, find a person or organization who speaks yourlanguage, fires up your brain, and touches your heart.
And really important, keep access to it easy, handy for those days when you need something to balance out the bad news we are be inundated with daily! (I read the Greater Good Science Center articles.)
When all else fails, music can make us think differently, feel deeply, or just smile!!
And this really fun one that was around even before this Virus took over our lives!
Look up more songs by Playing for Change ! I bet you’ll find something you like.
That’s it for now. As always, I love comments, any kind, and I’m not getting many, so if you “like” this post, take a minute to write me something, just a sentence will do!!
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
BEST for LAST!! This is so sweet!!!!
My favorite thing yet. I have watched it several times and feel moved toward hope again and again.
(Scroll to the bottom and hit play if you’d like music while you browse my SIGNS!)
I love Signs. I take pictures of signs all over the country. Some are funny, some thought provoking, some are informational, and some are great just to prove you were there!
We spend a lot of time in Natchez, Mississippi. Wonderful old signs with history lessons everywhere.
Mississippi may be lacking in some things but HUMOR is not one of them.
And these are also in front of Fat Mama’s Hot Tamales!
I love a sign that makes me laugh out loud…
Then there are pretty signs…
Or mind-blowing signs…..
Or signs that cause a double take…say WHAT now???
But my favorite sign is in my neighbors front yard!
Thanks for coming along. Hope you enjoyed the tour.
SIGNS by Five Man Electrical Band
And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply” So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do” So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”
Whoa-oh-oh Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house, “Hey! What gives you the right?”
“To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in” “If God was here he’d tell you to your face, Man, you’re some kinda sinner”
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign? Now, hey you, mister, can’t you read? You’ve got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat You can’t even watch, no you can’t eat You ain’t supposed to be here The sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside Ugh! [Lead Guitar]
And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray” But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.” Wooo!
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign? Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Sign Sign, sign
Re-released in 1971 on the A-side, “Signs” reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
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