A Photo a Week Challenge: Timing (again) 8/3/19

Maybe you had to be there to understand the whole Timing part…

A few days ago, in the late afternoon, I walked through my darkening Group Therapy room. I was headed for the door into the main part of  my house, and was stopped in my tracks by a stunning image.

There was one narrow beam of sunlight, still left in the day, and it was streaming through the row trees that border the west side of my property. This spotlight shot through my window, perfectly aimed at a crystal elephant that sits on the window sill (a precious gift from my grandson).

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The combination sent a laser-like rainbow clear across the room! It was huge and landed on the only section of West-facing, uncovered, white wall.

I knew I wanted to snap a photo of the results but, honestly, by the time I got back from the sprint to get my phone, it was already fading…and fast!

I got these shots…and then it was gone!!!

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Good enough photos I suppose. But it triggered in me the idea for a photo card, which I have made for years, and give as gifts.

I set my alarm for graduated sundown times, for the next three days, and waited for that perfectly timed beam to recreated the rainbow wall-art, so I could create my imagined photo.

But it never happened…not even close and no amount of staging, shifting, twisting and turning of my crystal elephant brought that big color spectrum result from a few days earlier. One of the days, I even ran across to my neighbor’s house, whose kitchen I know gets a ton of late afternoon sun. Me and my elephant, racing the sunset, frantically searching for the right timing and position.

No luck!

But I’ll tell you what I was after so you can picture it yourself. And who knows, maybe you’ll come upon a perfectly timed rainbow someday and can capture my illusive photo.

It’s an image that would be good for everyone!  (In my opinion.)

Here it is: Imagine the hand shadow in the photo below, imposed across that rainbow. I can think of so many uses for a greeting card like that, especially for some of the struggling, newly “out” young people I work with these days…

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-photo-a-week-challenge-timing-is-everything/

Hopeful, uplifting songs for today, July 4th, 2019

My favorite patriotic song! Dedicated to Julius and Luca!
I Am a Patriot
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
I was walking with my brother
and he wondered what’s on my mind
I said, What I believe in my soul
ain’t what I see with my eyes
And we can’t turn our backs this time
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
people who understand me
I’ve got nowhere else to go
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And I was talking with my sister
she looked so fine
I said, Baby, what’s on your mind
She said, I want to run like the lion
released from the cages
Released from the rages
burning in my heart tonight, yeah
And I ain’t no Communist and I ain’t no Capitalist
And I ain’t no Socialist and I ain’t no Imperialist
And I ain’t no Democrat so I ain’t no Republican
I only know one party and it is freedom
I am, I am, I am
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my county is all I know
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
I want to run like the lion
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
I said what I believe in my soul
Ain’t what I see with my eyes
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Steven Van Zandt
I Am a Patriot lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
And this one too! New to me
Americans
Hold on, don’t fight your war alone
Halo around you, don’t have to face it on your own
We will win this fight
Let all souls be brave
We’ll find a way to heaven
We’ll find a way
War is old, so is sex
Let’s play God, you go next
Heads go up, men go down
Try my luck, stand my ground
Die in church, live in jail
Say her name, twice in hell
Uncle Sam kissed a man
Jim Crow Jesus rose again
I like my woman in the kitchen
I teach my children superstitions
I keep my two guns on my blue nightstand
A pretty young thang, she can wash my clothes
But she’ll never ever wear my pants
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Learned the words from my mom and dad
Cross my heart and I hope to die
With a big old piece of American pie
Love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
Seventy-nine cent to your dollar
All that bullshit from white-collars
You see my color before my vision
Sometimes I wonder if you would fly
Would it help you make a better decision?
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Learned the words from my mom and dad
Cross my heart and I hope to die
With a big old piece of American pie
Just love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
Let me help you in here
Until women can get equal pay for equal work
This is not my America
Until same gender loving people can be who they are
This is not my America
Until black people can come home from a police stop
Without being shot in the head
This is not my America
Until poor whites can get a shot at being successful
This is not my America
I can’t hear nobody talkin’ to me
Just love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American (love me baby)
I’m American (love me for who I am)
Until Latinos and Latinas don’t have to run from walls
This is not my America
But I tell you today that the devil is a liar
Because it’s gon’ be my America before it’s all over
Please sign your name on the dotted line
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Charles D. II Joseph / Janelle Monae Robinson / Jon Webb / Kellis Earl Jr. Parker / Nathaniel III Irvin
Americans lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

SongLyricSunday 3/17/19

 

“You’re watching the official music video for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Teach Your Children” written by Graham Nash. Originally released on the 1970 CSNY studio album “Deja Vu”, “Teach Your Children” is featured on a 2018 Graham Nash career retrospective entitled “Over The Years…” Get a copy here https://rh-ino.co/overtheyears The video is a collaboration between Graham Nash and celebrated filmmaker and animator Jeff Scher. The imagery frames the youth-led liberal activism of 2018 against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and Peace demonstrations of the 1960’s, providing a powerful visual aid to Graham Nash’s relevant-as-ever appeal to teach not only our children but also our parents well. “I wrote Teach Your Children because we have much to teach them. Conversely, I believe we as parents have much to learn from them as well. I think that Jeff Scher did a wonderful job of animating my lyrics and positioning the song in a contemporary setting.” – Graham Nash (2018)”

Teach Your Children

Lyrics

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
Songwriters: Graham Nash
Teach Your Children lyrics © Spirit Music Group

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/spring-break/

heart break….

FIRST, here is a music video to play, softly, in the background as you scroll down to read this. ALL the words are not quite right but the sentiment of the chorus is perfect.

 

I walk up and down my long, dead end street (the equivalent of about three city blocks) 2 or 3 times, every day, all year round. Not very far for an athlete but a good number of steps for me.

I love my neighborhood. And I love to take pictures of the things I see.

I have a favorite tree…

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Looking East at sunset
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Looking West
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When she undresses in the Fall, she blankets the entire neighborhood with her clothes.

This tree is huge, old, lush and glorious. I love to stand under her when it’s pouring down rain. You can stay completely dry and the sound of those heavy drops smacking her leaves and then bouncing off is amazing!

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My neighborhood is changing so much these days. One by one, the older homes are being flattened, in order to be replaced with huge and mostly beautiful new houses.

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My son grew up (part time) in the “yellow house”, two doors away. They had a pool, and a kid exactly his age. For a time, when the neighborhood was full of young, single Mom’s, we would babysit each other’s kids and on Friday nights, we Mom’s would have a “progressive” relaxation evening. We’d go from one house to the next, to the next, for snacks, and wine. Among us, we had an outdoor Sauna, a hot tub, a pool and we’d finish at my house on my deck. I had the best view of the sunset.

Other great families have lived in the yellow house too over the years, but…..it has been the next one to bite the dust.

What a back ho and dozer can do to a home on purpose, in just 2 days, is exactly the same thing we see on the news, someone living in Tornado Alley, whose home gets flattened in minutes.

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Yellow House…….. gone…

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Looks just like what’s left after a tornado

 

I get this, intellectually, but I have so much judgment about it…the waste, the destruction of usable space, and the loss of history. At least, this builder is big into recycling, re-purposing, and replanting. He (and the owners) saved as many bushes and plants as possible and offered them to the neighbors.

But to me, personally, what is way more painful, is murder of the trees. I know that’s a dramatic (and controversial) way to say it, but what else can you call killing a huge living thing that’s been here since before you were born??

I’ve written about this before…kind of like eulogies, but I think each one of these ancient stately beings deserves at least that much when they are taken down.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/10/05/tree-daily-prompt-from-chosenperspectives-10-5-16/

 

There is a young, mystery ecologist on the street and I’m just sure she wrote this sign the day the heavy equipment showed up at the yellow house…and she pinned it to my favorite tree.

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but they didn’t….

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So disrespectful of her remains…

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I will miss her so much, and I am committed to working on understanding the perceived necessity of her demise.

This may be all that’s left of her…

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But THIS is how I will remember her!

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my beautiful favorite tree…THIS is how I will remember her…

After the Queen interlude, see if you can put yourself all the way in the following short video…so you can meet my friend. Volume UP! (You may have to scroll up and down while viewing to see the whole thing.)

 

 

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve written about him many times before….my greatest teacher…

This year, I find myself singing instead.

It reminds me to NOT give up…..

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.learnoutloud.com/Free-Audio-Video/History/-/I-Have-a-Dream/7283

Veteran’s Day 11/11/18

I try to write a Thank You letter to the Veterans in my life, every year on this day…also on Memorial Day.

I also have to admit when I started writing these yearly notes, I did so from a place of “universal guilt”… a cousin to that instant feeling I have when I spot a traffic cop following me, even when I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

“something happening here…”

But I realized a few years back that though many of my generations’ brothers and sisters treated each other poorly…well, horrifically…during the conflict over the Vietnam War and its Veterans, I personally never threw pig’s blood at a returning soldier.

Like many of my peers at the time, I didn’t really understand who exactly to be mad at- the military vets, or those who drafted them.

“what it is ain’t exactly clear”

So I focused my energy on Peace instead.

I was that girl with a wreath of flowers in my hair, who shoved daisy’s into barrels of the guns of local law enforcement, clad in riot gear. Young men about my same age, I have to add, who were just doing their own confusing jobs.

“there’s a man with a gun over there”

In the 1990’s I tried to open my mind to a new generation of returning veterans, so badly wanting them to have a different experience than those brave men and women, drafted or not, returning from Vietnam.

And then 9/11 happened and did a permanent number on my heart and soul. It was the birth for me of a new level of awareness. People the world over were responding to “attack” event with such dark black or white hot absolutism.

That all coincided with my father’s death so his lessons to me as a kid naturally came rushing back with a warm, loving vengeance. I considered, for the first time really, what he had been trying to say.

There is always more than one way to look at something.

“nobody’s right and everybody’s wrong”

So now, if I say thank you to a stranger in a military uniform, or when I send out my gratitude, in a note or blog post, I feel no guilt. I still don’t like or understand war, but I have room in my head and heart now for many, many more ways to fight for peace.

And I am grateful, and deeply respectful for those who choose the military (and law enforcement) as their vehicle to accomplish that.

This year, my sweet James wrote the letter below to his family. He and his siblings have had a wonderful, daily tradition, thanks to their 96 year old mother’s deathbed request. She insisted that they all stay in touch, even though they have lived across the country from each other. The emails to each other, all these years later, is one of my favorite all- time uses of the internet.

James says I can share today’s note with you too. (I have altered it only to remove other people’s personal stuff.)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Good Morning

Today, we remember those of us who have served and died in service to freedom of expression, religion and political choice. I must admit that I am distressed by the present political situation in this country and the direction we are taking. Having said that, I honor all men and women who have participated in protecting us and giving us the right to chose our lives in a turbulent world where such freedom is becoming less and less available. I have heard from the men I served with in Nam and am reminded of the quality of men I was lucky enough to have shared that experience with. 
I had a fun trip to the islands. He picked me up at the ferry landing. We did a couple of errands in town, then joined a group of men for
The Stand Up Men Against Domestic Violence
on the courthouse lawn to remind citizens that violence against domestic partners is not acceptable as a solution to personal problems. These men have been doing this every Friday for the past four years. They organized after a couple of domestic violence deaths on the island reminded them how prevalent this problem is in our society. Two deaths were recorded there in the past twelve months so it continues to be an important issue for those who suffer at the hands of their partners. 
You can read about this amazing group here:    http://safesj.org/sum/
These guys are truly Veterans of their own local “war” against domestic violence. And they deserve to be honored, celebrated!!
Afterward, we went home where we a nice lunch and we relaxed the rest of the afternoon. About five pm, started a fire in the fire pit and we sat around with an adult beverage until men began to show up for the poker game. By seven, there were eighteen men there. We adjourned to the poker tables and played poker ’til around ten thirty, then back to the fire pit for another round of chat before everyone trickled away for home. We cleaned up the poker mess before retiring sometime between twelve thirty and one am.
(I included the description of their gathering after because it demonstrates for me that there are many really wonderful men in the world, a message not so clear in the media these days. Their “Poker Game” has been a monthly tradition in this smaller community for around 20 years. They rotate the home where it takes place. They have what they call a “Party Bag” (different from a Gift Bag) where each person throws in some of the money they win (they play with quarters) and the money is used for things like replacing the worn out felt on their vintage poker table, or, get this, a nice night on the town with the wives! These guys also golf together, and once a year, they take the Poker Game to a beautiful mountain town many miles away, for a retreat weekend of golf and poker.
I love the men in this small town. I have witnessed several times over the years, how one guy can put out a call for help (or not put it out) and the rest just show up, barn-raising style. It’s just the way they live.
James ends his letter with:
We plan on accepting Applebee’s free dinner for Veteran’s this afternoon. My worker, John is a Navy vet so he’ll get a free meal too. 
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Am I lucky or what??
Again, thank you to all who served, men and women, who made the choice, regardless of their reason. It was a precious, brave and probably unbeknownst to you at the time, a healing decision to make for all of us.
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
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