Lens Artist Photo Challenge #87 Part Two Reflections

I guess these are selfies? Kind of? But taken of the mirror so I could send them to my long-time hair stylist. I liked what she did and wanted to thank her. She’s helping me grieve (and sort of hide) a dramatic, medication-induced hair loss the last couple of years. THAT has sure given me a lot to reflect about…

 

 

Next just a simple series of puddles. I grew up in San Diego and puddles were extremely rare, so now I am apparently fascinated by them..

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And last, some surprise shots of one of our family’s kitties! He was recently very ill and is in his own form of quarantine, (NOT the “virus”!) so this is my main way of connecting with him for a while longer. He has grown so much in just the two weeks we have been separated! Can’t wait to feel that air-like fur again!!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections

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…

 

A Photo a Week Challenge: Signs (II) 10/20/19

Uh Oh. I had to circle back to include these wonderful old Neon Signs collected inside the old “Vertigo Building” where I get my hair cut.

 

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(This post dedicated to the person whose blog is entirely about Neon signs. We had an exchange when she saw some of these signs on an earlier post of mine, but I lost her email address. Hoping she spots this and leaves a comment!!)

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/a-photo-a-week-challenge-signs-4/

Photo a Week Challenge-7/19/19 Twisted!

I LOVE this word. Now to find some photos to represent such a fun topic!

First, the definitions of the word…

 

Does it mean warped, as in “unpleasant or unhealthily abnormal thinking”?

Like my best friend’s idea of ART?

 

Or twisted, like…

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James still has toys at 71 years old…

 

 

Or maybe twisted, as the following are some of my favorite photos?

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Don’t worry, he’s not hurt…just “resting and looking at the view”.
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My hair stylist of 30 years, tracking my recent hair loss…yikes!

 

 

Or maybe it’s just that other definition of twisted…

“forced out of its natural or proper shape; crumpled”

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Anyway, I had fun in a twisted way…

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/a-photo-a-week-challenge-twisted/

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge: 12/27/18

I LOVE this challenge.

See, I think I am pretty weird sometimes…what I see, how I see, and what I actually take pictures of.

This challenge frees me up in such a delightful way because you are primed to expect weird!!!

So here goes…definitely some oddballs I can’t classify any other way…

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the irony here is THIS dog has been gone for many years…

I’ll take my Hummer sightings any way I can get them!

 

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Old building in Seattle being completely preserved AND refurbished. Combine the highly polished original flooring with sheet rock dust and a construction worker’s wet-pawed dog.
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amazing old tree

 

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Beach Rock Bouquet
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No comment. Too weird, even for me!

https://nuthousecentral.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/kammies-oddball-challenge-12-27-18/

ChosenPerspectives on “Local Color” for WPC

Local
Local

Inside this relatively ordinary looking building in Seattle is a huge surprise, known only by a few Locals.

Oh, there are hints from the outside that there might just be some history here. Check out the rest of the building’s face.

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But even these wild and clearly vintage signs don’t fully expose the secrets inside the building.

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There is an amazing collection, a neon performance, hidden inside the wide open belly of the old building.

In a tiny space on the second floor, surrounded by this display, is where my “hair therapist” performs her magic on my aging, thinning, silver locks. I’ve followed Kelly for over 30 years to where ever she sets up shop, but this has to be my favorite location.

Practicing re-blogging?

I keep coming across such delightful writers and wanted to pass them on…

https://othermary.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/my-toes-are-betraying-me/

Hysterical!

She’s Baaack! Papa Osprey’s Welcome Gift. And a Storm Brewing.

Wonderful photos for us bird lovers!

here i am

I just want to scoop her up and hug her!!

Now are those “re-blogs” or “pingbacks”?

I know, I know, take the dang wordpress class, right?

all this talk about hair………..

I posted about Hair in response to Marilyn Armstrong’s post  https://teepee12.com/2016/08/11/the-surface-report-today-we-are-shallow/

Then Karuna posted in response to mine

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/sixty-eight-years-of-hair/

Lots of comments back and forth (I don’t know how to share those) but here’s my latest response in response to Marilyn’s comment:

First, thank you🙂 It’s the thinning that’s so hard to deal with. I had a lot of hair for a long time. I think your hair looks GREAT.

And I respond:

These photos of my hair are NOT recent. I’ll have to post an updated photo so no one thinks I’m bitching about nothing! Although I guess it is all relative, eh?
sigh.

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just a warning to those who haven’t seen me in a while…

I’m losing ten to twelve of these hairballs a week now……..

 

(hmm, and I need a manicure…like I ever get those!)

In the meantime, enjoy my response to Karuna’s response.

 

Hair, for Marilyn (surface, my A_ _!)

 

These are all pictures I have already posted at one time or another but Marilyn, at Serendipity recently wrote such a delightful piece on her hair,

THE SURFACE REPORT: TODAY WE ARE SHALLOW

I am choosing to respond this way.

I have never considered myself particularly pretty. I came of age in the Sixties, with a backdrop of Hair, the Musical, and CSNY defending long hair

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XWmwvT8bCw)

and we were not supposed to care about such things as physical beauty, but I secretly did anyway. (I wore nice, handmade Hippie clothes and always made sure my hair was clean and shiny before I put those flowers in it!)

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Tail end of California Color                                       Living in the Northwest color

After some therapy (in search of my self-esteem) I was finally able to claim for myself, the descriptor “fairly attractive”….and the fact that I had great hair! It has always been too straight and obnoxiously thick, but I liked it anyway. When others were going in for cuts, straightening or perms, I’d have mine “thinned”. Oh, I tried the perms (we’re never happy with the hair we get) but those amazing waves would only last about 2 weeks. Then, having a mind of its own, my hair would spring right back to absolute curl-lessness.

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                                 80’s Big Hair Perm

I really relate to some of what Marilyn describes about the hassles of hair. I thought I would have to shave my head during menopause to avoid that hot, “Itchy blanket” feel on my neck. Pulling it all up in what she called a “scrungy elastic and fabric thingie” was the only option. And my biggest issue was where the heck to put it all when wearing my motorcycle helmet?? It simply would not fit up in there and what was left out would take hours to comb through after a ride. (Don’t even get me started on Helmet Hair!)

Oh and the whole thing of trusting another to actually cut my hair?? I’ve been with Kelly for more than 30 years and she knows she is not allowed to retire before I die!! We are great friends by now, and sometimes, I even bring my own finishing equipment if it’s a day when I want my hair a certain way. She is so great and patient, especially when she has to repair those in-between-appointments bangs cuts I try to give myself.

I can finally acknowledge that I have actually received positive attention for my hair since I was a surfer girl on the beach. In my high school annual (you know that comment they put with your senior picture?) mine was not about talent or intelligence or future success. It was about my friggin hair!

My whole life, total strangers have come up to me in stores, airports, libraries and not just commented on my hair. Sometimes they even TOUCH it!!

I actually like the attention, the compliments, the questions about where I get it cut, what shampoo I use, etc. But not so much the touching. (Hey, I have enough PTSD triggers to master. Strangers suddenly touching me is NOT OK!)

There were also debates with those complete intruders who felt the need to lecture me on my choice “at my age” not to dye! (My hair was white by 42 or so.) Or, to still wear my hair long when “really, that should be for a younger woman, don’t you think?” (f. you!!)

Anyway, now at 68 years old, when I look in a mirror, I don’t see much left of “fairly attractive”. (See my earlier post on “Time”) https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/time-warning-to-young-women-rated-r-for-terror/ )

But it has not bothered me much. The Sixties actually did teach us about much deeper and more important things than our appearance.

And besides, I still had my hair! Until recently, that is.

I haven’t felt well for almost 2 years now. All my symptoms have pointed to a thyroid problem but no one seems to be able to diagnose anything because the “numbers” haven’t matched what their specialty says they should be. So, trying to track down the cause of some pretty bothersome symptoms, I have seen a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, a dentist, rheumatologist, a gastroenterologist, and ENT, a dermatologist, a polysomnographist and two endocrinologists. (I remember the “old days”, before medicare, when I had a fantastic Internist for 35 years, who was the best detective and considered ALL systems when I had a malady!! Sigh…)

Anyway, while they are all trying to figure out (each looking only in their field) what the heck is wrong with me, my teeth, skin and hair are biting the dust. I have always shed a lot but had so much hair I never cared. Now, my eyebrows and eyelashes are completely gone, and my hair is coming out in piles! I had to give up really long hair (my favorite style) early last year but have refused to go short short as it is just not me.

But it gets thinner every day and I no longer like it. I am disgusted with myself but I feel all self-conscious (again) and am pretty depressed about the whole thing. I really did expect to like my hair until the end, wearing a long gray braid down my back, like a proper elder, looking the part of a sage, a crone.

As my self-esteem is once again plummeting, I read Marilyn’s delightful post. She wrote it for the word prompt Surface, and used the word shallow, but I found such deep relief to know I am not alone with my hair issues. Thanks Marilyn and to your commenters as well.

Then yesterday I took James to the VA Hospital for his colonoscopy.

I passed a young-ish, white haired nurse on my way to the waiting room. She stopped me, hand on my arm, and whispered “Oh yay, another beautiful white haired woman!” Then she asked if everyone tried to get me to dye it. We had a quite a sweet moment!

My first thought, in my lost hair, lowered self-esteem state? “Wow, they sure train the employees here to be nice to visitors.”

But then I had to go to the car for something and a guy driving a truck in the garage stopped, hand-rolled down the passenger side window and said “Wow, I really love your hair!”

Hmmm, maybe I’ve still got it???

 

Marilyn, if you are reading this, THANKS AGAIN!!

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