Congregate for The Daily Post-one word prompt

Congregate

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“Hey I heard about this great new breakfast place. Wanna go try it out?”

 

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“Sure, I could eat.”
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“Great menu but it gets pretty crowded.”
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“Yeah, check out the line waiting.”
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“And apparently they will serve just about ANYONE here!”

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“Hey, wait a minute!!! I don’t think THAT guy had a reservation!”
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“Yeah, so what? Wanna make somethin’ of it?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

con·gre·gate
verb
  1. gather into a crowd or mass.
    synonyms: assemblegathercollect, come together, convenerallyrendezvousmustermeetclustergroup

 

A Face in the Crowd for WPC 2/21/18

A Face in the Crowd

This might be a stretch. But if you happen to be a regular reader, you might be getting the idea that I am kind of a Rule Bender in a quiet-ish way.

This week, first came the Weekly Photo Challenge. I searched and thought and plotted to find or take a great Face-in-the-Crowd shot. I had the same weird internal ethical debates I always have about taking photos of strangers without their permission…even a face in a crowd.

Then my grandsons invited me to watch a movie. We watched Okja, an odd little Korean film. (Trailer down below, but it’s full of spoilers…better to watch unprepared, in my opinion.)  By the way, Common Sense Media says 15 years plus, and though my grandsons are 12 and 14, I agree. My oldest one kept saying “one minute you think this is a great kid’s movie and the next it’s really, REALLY not!”

I will tell you that while watching it, I couldn’t help but thinking about the Weekly Photo Challenge Theme….which made me start thinking in a whole new direction.

I love animals and I tell you what, it is getting more and more difficult to eat anything with a face. I have been mostly vegetarian for almost 50 years…no red meat of any kind during that time and only the occasional fish and poultry…including Salmon of course ( I DO live in the Northwest after all) and Turkey on Thanksgiving!

With this movie giving me a new way of thinking of the face in the crowd, I remembered an experience a few years back that left me both in awe for the beauty of it and a kind of disgust and guilt for the fact of it.

On a repeated vacation to San Diego, the place where we stay has this massive Koi Pond. For a quarter, you can feed the spectacularly colorful fish.

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They were beautiful and I suppose there is value in sharing that contained beauty with people if it heightens their consciousness about our cohabitants on Mother Earth. (Don’t get me started on the two sides of the whole Zoo Debate.)

But it was also an example of a pitiful and frightening feeding frenzy.

There was this one fish-face that caught my eye. I kept my eye on him so I knew it was the same one over and over. His face kept appearing midst the fevered quest for food.

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Maybe it was that he was so huge and that made me wonder if this had been his whole life, battle after crowded battle for tidbits of man-made cereal nuggets.

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That thought made me incredibly sad. I mean, Koi can live for up to 200 years! And these guys had already been trapped in this resort pond for 35 years that I know of.

It just felt wrong.

I don’t know any resolution, or if there even needs to be one. I mean, I raise Giant Leaf Bugs and keep them in a terrarium for their entire lives…my rationale being they live almost a year longer in my captivity than in their native wild. My cats are strictly indoor cats for the same reason…longer lives than if they ventured out among the hawks and coyotes in my area.

Anyway, this is my Face in the Crowd post for the week.

I’d love to hear what you think.

 

5 Interesting Facts About Koi Fish from https://www.sweeneyfeeders.com/5-interesting-facts-koi-fish/

 

1. Koi fish originate from Japan and represent love and friendship in Japanese culture.

 

2. Most koi fish outlive their owners, having a lifespan of 200+ years.

 

3. They come in a variety of colors, not just orange. They may appear orange, yellow, white, red and black.

 

4. Owners who received their koi fish as a gift are believed to have good luck.

 

5. In Japan, koi fish are often passed down from generation to generation, as a family heirloom.

 

 

SongLyricSunday 2-18-18

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 2/18/18

Normally, a song immediately pops into my head when I read the theme for the week.

All I got this morning was Earth Angel by the Penguins from the 1950’s. Not the right mood for me today so I kept thinking and finally gave up and Googled. I found a U2 song I thought I had never heard of. Since I am a huge fan, I couldn’t wait to hear this new (to me) song!

Turns out, it is Peace on Earth combined with my all-time favorite U2 song by this amazing group, and I have not only heard it before…I even saw it on TV the night this version debuted….right after September 11, 2001.

AND, I have even posted this exact song before. Not in the context of “earth” but rather about power and escaping danger. It’s a song I have used in my practice for years, especially to inspire someone working to extract themselves from domestic violence.

Featuring Dave Stewart and Natalie Imbruglia. From the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon, which aired live on 35 broadcast and cable networks on Friday, September 21, 2001. The original versions of both songs can be found on the 2000 album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

There is a lot more about this song here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_on_Earth_(U2_song)

Lyrics

Peace on Earth

Heaven on Earth – we need it now
I’m sick of all of this hanging around
Sick of sorrow – sick of the pain
I’m sick of hearing again and again
That there’s gonna be peace on Earth

Where I grew up there weren’t many trees
Where there was we’d tear them down
And use them on our enemies
They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you

And it’s already gone too far
Who said that if you go in hard
You won’t get hurt?
Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth

Tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth
No whos or whys
No-one cries like a mother cries
For peace on Earth
She never got to say goodbye
To see the colour in his eyes
Now he’s in the dirt
Peace on Earth

They’re reading names out over the radio
All the folks the rest of us won’t get to know
Sean and Julia – Gareth, Ann and breda
Their lives are bigger than any big idea

Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on Earth
To tell the ones who hear no sound
Whose sons are living in the ground
Peace on Earth

Jesus in the song you wrote
The words are sticking in my throat
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time
But hope and history won’t rhyme
So what’s it worth?
This peace on Earth
Peace on Earth —

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/u/u2lyrics/allthatyoucantleavebehindlyrics.html#05

 

Lyrics

Walk On

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no – be strong

Walk on – walk on
What you got, they can’t steal it
No, they can’t even feel it
Walk on – walk on
Stay safe tonight

You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly – only fly for freedom

Walk on – walk on
What you got, they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it or buy it
Walk on – walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on – walk on

Home – hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home – I can’t say where it is, but I know I’m going
Home – that’s where the hurt is

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on

Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind

All that you fashion – all that you make
All that you build – all that you break
All that you measure – all that you feel
All this you can leave behind

All that you reason – it’s only time
Love in a fever – no, not mine
All that you sense – all that you scheme
All you dress up – all that you seem
All you create [fades]

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/u/u2lyrics/allthatyoucantleavebehindlyrics.html#03

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Variations for WPC by ChosenPerspectives

Variations on a Theme

Lessons in Prejudice

This might be a stretch, but I have discovered a hidden prejudice.

I’m not being too hard on myself for it though. We have all been inundated with this bias for eons. Not that a history of being misinformed excuses racism or anything.

But this is a black vs. white thing.

I know the bad guy is usually on the black horse and the good guy on a bright white steed. I know black cats are supposedly scary and bad luck. I also know the black dogs in an animal shelter are the last to be adopted. Oh, and supposedly we all have this dark side and we need to be sharing more light in the world.

What the hell is all that anyway? Where did it come from?

I’m sure someone out there knows way more about all this than I and this is not really a post about the archetypes in history anyway.

It’s about Mushrooms.

I don’t really know anything about mushrooms…except that I will enjoy them in a salad or sometimes even sauté them in butter and they are yummy. But what isn’t yummy when sautéed in butter, right? But that is the extent of my knowledge. (I know, I know, I came of age in the 1960’s in California so I should at least know about “Shrooms”, right? I just never went there…)

But on my daily walks, I recently spotted some of these fungi growing and started photographing them. I found quite a variety, including some cute little patches that reminded me somehow of tiny fairy villages…or families.

 

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There were a lot of different kinds, shapes, sizes and colors. I do live in the Pacific Northwest after all and it is seriously WET up here.

 

All of these were so interesting…their patterns of growth, their shape, size, and their similar but different hues. I’m probably passing up some fancy truffles or something, but I also know some mushrooms can be toxic. I have no idea how to identify those, so I just left them ALL alone for whatever creature eats them in the wild of my suburban neighborhood.

Then I spotted these, right in my own yard.

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They literally popped up overnight and gave me the creeps when I bent down to snap a picture with my phone. They just LOOK evil…like they could reach up and grab me, or spit blinding venom in my eyes or something.

 

Even if someone told me these mushrooms were an extremely sought-after delicacy, I think I’d rather eat a snake than go near these things again. I’m afraid to even remove them. They might release deadly spores into the air.

They are scary looking…especially because they are black, not a clean white or a warm, enticing golden color…you know, how mushrooms are supposed to look.

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I’m sorry but this guy is COMING for ME!

I purposely did not Google (yes, it is now officially a VERB) mushrooms before I wrote this because I didn’t want to influence my initial reaction. I finally tried Wikipedia, Googles Reverse Image, etc., etc. But I never found my new arrivals. James says they look like they are from Mordor.

I did find this one interesting site.

http://mushroaming.com/Pacific_Northwest

I could not find this dark thing anywhere and it grows right in my front yard!

But again, this whole thing does NOT have me wondering about gourmet VS toxic food.

It has me thinking about Black VS White…..

SYW (Share Your World) for 1/22/18

The questions posed by Cee Neuner in this innovative challenge:

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

 

My Answers:

List 2 things you have to be happy about? 

  1. I am so happy that James is home. He’s been in this 2 weeks here and 2 weeks gone cycle. It is a little hard on us because we both do really well being alone so there is a big adjustment on both ends of his travel: when he leaves, remembering the comfort of solitude, and when he returns, adjusting again to the joys of sharing the everyday life again.

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2. I am relieved and blissed out (oh, it is too a word!!) that my 17 year old “Heart-Cat” is still alive since I was told back in October he might only have days to live. He definitely has kidney disease and has lost a ton of weight, but he is still here and as ornery as ever.

Well, maybe not. This is a cat who, for 17 years, has let no one pet him but me. And even that never included him being on my lap…but these days, he accepts pets from everyone and will sit on my lap for a whole hour if I let him.

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Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

I have been a “rock hound” since I was a small child. My Dad, in his quiet genius, got us a rock polisher. We would find rocks on the beaches and from the mountains and everywhere in between. Then we would wait…literally for months. Opening that polisher was a miracle every time. I learned so much from that experience, especially about delayed gratification and memory and anchoring experiences. I could write a book about all the lessons from this amazing, covert teacher. (Oh wait, I AM writing that book. My Dad is who taught me about choosing perspectives.)

Early in my therapy practice, I learned that some clients really needed concrete reminders of the things they were leaning, so, being my father’s daughter, I gave them Quartz, Lapis, Hematite or Amethyst hearts….and over the years, hundreds of polished rocks.

And, I have a basket of what’s left of a really old collection of pieces of polished petrified wood, from long before it was illegal. Not exactly rocks, but in my mind they qualify as “gems”.  (There is a great story there, too long for today’s post but this has reminded me to write about it.)

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Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

Oh I am definitely a hugger. You might even say I have hugged for a living for more than 40 years.

I’ll just let that sit there and see if you have any questions.

 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

David Letterman’s new Netflix show, called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. His first interview was with President Barack Obama. I laughed and I cried, and I longed for more of the intelligence, humor, depth and light these two men bring.

What a waste……..

 

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https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/14846827/posts/1741990336

In Honor of Dr. King

WordPress will not let me re-blog or add photos right now but here are the posts I want to share again today. Maybe you saw them before but in case you didn’t…

Please do comment. I feel so alone with this these days….

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/01/18/more-to-honor-mlk/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/01/18/in-honor-of-dr-king/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/01/16/dr-martin-luther-king-part-2-2/

 

 

Veteran’s Day 11/11/17

I guess every generation has its war. For mine, it was Vietnam.

I was so angry about that war and I could not have told you why………other than my well-intentioned, but naive Flower Child commitment to nonviolence.

Even though I could not have justified it with any political understanding, I marched and protested and wrote passionate letters and participated in every way I could think of…believing with my whole being that we could actually stop the war.

Though I lost my innocence back then, as well as many friends, I never lost my belief in pacifism.

It took going to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC some time in the early 1980’s for me to finally be able to make room in my black and white thinking about the Vietnam war. I had never even considered how many of those names on the Wall represented men and women who chose, out of honor and deep-held passions of their own, to fight for our country.

I was still biased, and so angry on that trip. I made pencil etchings of 17 names, “brothers” from my childhood, that had served in Vietnam…but did not make it back home. Each one of them had been drafted.

Now, this print of Lee Teter’s Vietnam Reflections War Memorial Poster sits in the most prominent position in my office/Group Room. Everyone who comes to me for therapy is greeted by this powerful image. Such a small homage to all those we lost, in that war, as well as because of that war.

Vietnam Wall Painting

We didn’t know back then what we know now. So many of us would do it all differently…

especially the welcoming home part….

This is one of my favorite videos ever.

 

I ask for forgiveness for not knowing this back then.

And I dedicate this post, with deep gratitude for their service, to the following people I am blessed to have had in my life. Most, but not all, served during the Vietnam War.

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force

James Fletcher-US Army

Jimmy Schack

Mary Paananen

David Taylor

Joe LaFayette

Eddie Leachman

Ari Cowan

Bret Burkholder

Vince Horan

Saralee Blum

Jim Sorensen

Ron Holst

Michael Adams

Dale Beuning

Colonel James Kowalski

Kirk Boettcher

Mriana Williams

Richard Hartman

James Malone

Shawn Dennis

Colonel James Sampson

Steve Dryden

Don Ulmer

Lou Chirillo

Dave Bartholomew

Jason Bogar

Colonel Bill Head

Captain Roy Gurd

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

PS Sorry I could not get WordPress to work yesterday so this post is a day late…