Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It

I’m a little behind on some  of my favorite “challenges” but this one really got my attention.

I’m more of a Pacific Ocean Beach gal, but have been associated with two amazing rivers in my life time.

First, Old Black Water, the Might Mississippi! I had the privilege of living right next to it, in Natchez, MS for many years. And James grew up there. When I crave an Ocean, he longs for the River.

 

For years on every visit down South, it was a ritual for these three brothers to make at least one visit to the bluff overlooking their childhood River.

 

James’s love for his river became apparent to me when we first got back together (at our 40th High School Reunion).

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One year we visited right after Her Majesty overflowed her banks…(picture on the right is on the local Golf Course)

 

And second, thanks to James who found another river to live by, here’s the magnificent Spokane River.

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Now we live in a city far from oceans and rivers…unless you count this kind…

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a raging river, right?
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Well, sort of…

 

😋😋😋

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It

Spirit Lifters-Day 20 of being “Grounded” Part Three

OK, I’ve never had a Facebook page.

I know, I know, but I’m only telling you because I think what I am sharing today is more like what I have seen on Facebook. One of them even came from Facebook.

In my quest for daily Spirit Lifters, I came across these three things that have been a delight to experience!

Since I know dancing, singing and laughter are the best spirit lifters, here you go!

 

The first, though it sets the bar pretty high, is so inspiring, it makes me want to find the nearest dance studio and take lessons. Oh wait…Social distancing would prevent that.

So maybe I’ll just go outside and dance alone on the lawn. Who knows, after they get over gathering still more proof that the oldest resident in the neighborhood is very weird, my neighbors might join me!

We could start a new Anti-Virus Lawn-Dancing CRAZE!

Maybe it would go VIRAL! (ha-ha…too soon?)

 

Next, since there seems to be some bad-mouthing going on in my country about the younger people ignoring the Stay Home edicts in different states, I found this wonderful example of young people, coming together and doing something amazing and spectacular from the safety of their homes!! And I have to admit, I love that it’s a Boomer Song!

(I guess you’ll have to copy and paste into your browser. I don’t know how to make it a link on my post…I don’t really even know if I’m allowed to share these this way.)

WATCH: Berklee Students Create Virtual Orchestra During Coronavirus, Perform ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’

But my favorite is this last one, the one from Facebook.  Delightful, hysterical, touching, and I bet you watch it more than once!

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158289063553653&id=521723652&sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=i

 

Where ever you are, even if your local government has not insisted that you do, PLEASE Stay Home and Stay Safe!

 

Black History Month (African American History) 2/1 through 2/29/2020

 

 

 

“Stand Up”
(from “Harriet” soundtrack)

I been walkin’
With my face turned to the sun
Weight on my shoulders
A bullet in my gun
Oh, I got eyes in the back of my head
Just in case I have to run
I do what I can when I can while I can for my people
While the clouds roll back and the stars fill the night

That’s when I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on
I can feel it in my bones

Early in the mornin’
Before the sun begins to shine
We’re gonna start movin’
Towards that separating line
I’m wadin’ through muddy waters
You know I got a made-up mind
And I don’t mind if I lose any blood on the way to salvation
And I’ll fight with the strength that I got until I die

So I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

And I know what’s around the bend
Might be hard to face ’cause I’m alone
And I just might fail
But Lord knows I tried
Sure as stars fill up the sky

Stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Can you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
Do you hear freedom calling?
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on

I’m gonna stand up
Take my people with me
Together we are going
To a brand new home
Far across the river
I hear freedom calling
Calling me to answer
Gonna keep on keepin’ on
I can feel it in my bones

I go to prepare a place for you
I go to prepare a place for you
I go to prepare a place for you
I go to prepare a place for you

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…

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge-Peace 11/26/19

Inspired by

I feel so lucky all of a sudden because my mind is reeling with all the places where I have felt true peace. Most of them, I have no photos for…like the beaches in the Southern Lau group of the Fiji Islands…beaches so deserted I had absolutely no problem believing mine were the very first human footprints in that sand…ever.

Or a baby sleeping on my chest. Or cat or dog or….

Or the aftermath of beautiful love-making. (Yes, I said it…and definitely no photos of that.)

In my everyday life, one of my favorite places to get calmed and grounded in peace is the porch swing at our Mountain Retreat. It’s not just the view, though it does look out over a beautiful, peaceful valley.

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There is simply something magical in the energy right there, in that spot.

porch swing
The swing, with the huge addition to the house being built all around it.

We have all taken naps there. It’s just that peaceful.

BUT here’s what this challenge really brought up for me. A week from now, on December 8th, almost 39 years ago, we lost John Lennon.

It was a heartbreaking day for me but there was a gift in it I have been grateful for again and again all these years.

I remember the moment I found out so clearly. I was stuck on a bridge in typically frustrating commuter traffic…stop…go…stop…go, when I noticed that every one of my pre-set radio stations was playing a John Lennon song. Uh oh.

I knew what that probably meant. Sure enough, I heard the official announcement when I switched to NPR (National Public Radio).

I burst into tears.

You know how when you are driving, especially slowly, you catch movements in the cars right around you. We were stopped and something in the car just on my left caught my peripheral vision. I turned to look, my make-up running tears streaming, and found a young man half my age, looking right back at me. He was also crying. We locked eyes for an intimate eternity, and there is no doubt in my mind, we were sharing the same devastating moment. It was confirmed when we both rolled down our windows and realized we were listening to the same song on our car radios. Imagine.

It was almost as if our intense connection spread because around us, there was a small cluster of about 8 cars that did not move for several minutes, even though the traffic ahead had opened up. No one behind us even honked.

I don’t know how to describe this but other windows must have been rolled down too because through the air, floated snippets of Instant Karma, Imagine, and Whatever Gets You Through the Night from pumped up radio volumes all around us.

A strangely and powerfully peaceful moment…

For years, I have shared this story as an illustration of the truest form of human intimacy. An example of how we can be completely connected with anyone, including total strangers…no judgment, no bias, no words even necessary. We can connect with almost anyone through shared pain or shared joy. It’s the same experience we have when we make eye contact with someone else who is also watching a baby, or kitten playing, or a Mama duck herding her ducklings across a road. There is complete peace in those moments, sadness or delight….because for a moment, we know that we are all in this together.

Just imagine finding enough ways to co-experience this level of harmony…that we might actually save ourselves……….

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Peace

A Photo a Week Challenge: Signs 10/17/19

(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.

 

 

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Antebellum home called Edelweiss. James played here as a kid. Now owned by author Greg Isles
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On the wall at Edelweiss. (Read the top part!)

Mississippi may be lacking in some things but HUMOR is not one of them.

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Best Tamales anywhere!!

And these are also in front of Fat Mama’s Hot Tamales!

 

 

I love a sign that makes me laugh out loud…

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Then there are pretty signs

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Or mind-blowing signs…..

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I couldn’t believe we were finally here!

 

 

Or signs that cause a double take…say WHAT now???

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Back ups2 for missing picture folder 251

 

 

But my favorite sign is in my neighbors front yard!

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Thanks  for coming along. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

 

Background Music!!!

 

SIGNS by  Five Man Electrical Band

Lyrics:
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.

 

 

 

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

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #64: resilience

I follow V.J. and her Blog, One Women’s Quest. https://onewomansquest.org/aboutcontact/

I find her inspiring, again and again.

And though this week, she asks us to post about resilience, using any form of creativity, but not actually using the word, I can’t help myself. The song/video I’ve included here is titled Resilient. I post this song often because I actually use it as part of my own routine for energizing myself to what ever degree the day (and my physical limitations) allow.

I find it difficult to sit still through, even on a day when just standing up wears me out.

Make it big on your screen and pump up the volume. Then let it wash over you.

If this doesn’t inspire (stimulatemotivatecauseinclinepersuadeencourageinfluencerousemovestir)

you to find your hidden strengths and to take on the challenges in your own life, I hope you will find something that does. 

And it would be so cool if you comment below on what does work for you. Or go to V.J.’s blog and POST!!

Thanks.

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #64: resilience