Weekly Prompts-ClocktheTime 11/23/19

Fair warning (as I have stated before about my blog…I share happy stories AND painful stories), as of this writing, this post has no happy ending.

 

Clock the Time

Perfect for me this week. And I hate it!!

I’m in the middle of the longest, most frightening period of time I have experienced in my 71 years of life. In reality, it’s only been about 7 days so far, but for most of the last week, time has “stood still”, you know, the way it can sometimes when it loses all meaning! But in the moments when relevance has slipped back in…hmm, it’s been 13 hours since I’ve eaten anything…the time passing has seemed like an eternity.

I’m having one hell of a time Choosing My Perspective!

It’s been a little like attending a childbirth…where the only important clocking of time is tracking the number of minutes between contractions, or the more important clocking the time issue, the number of hours of labor so far. I’ve attended so many births and in the latter example, I would be vaguely aware of crossing that somewhat subjective line, mostly determined by the Doc or Midwife. It happens when a labor goes from what will later make a good story-I was in labor for 16 and 1/2 hours to the…Uh-oh, this is taking way too long moment. I know that look, that Uh-Oh facial expression on the face of the person there to “catch” that baby…

All the waiting this week has also triggered some deep, internal philosophical debates about the passing of time and the theory about feelings/emotions I have always taught my clients.

My basic premise has always been what I learned early in my training and education as a Psychotherapist.

-Emotions are basically biological…a physiological response to some perceived trigger, real or not.

-Feelings are not right or wrong. They just ARE!

-We can’t control a feeling response…only what we do with it…what we conclude from it and how we express it.

-Ignoring feelings completely is not good for us. They are going to need expression eventually…and the longer we wait, the more messy, and out of proportion they can become.

So this week, I have been trying to practice what I preach. But I’ve gone completely blank.

I had an experience of this kind of Clocking Time a few years ago. It challenged my beliefs about if, how, or when to express feelings. In a routine physical, an enthusiastic young Doctor decided that I had what looked like a life-threatening disease. Melanoma. She concluded that it had probably already metastasized. The biopsies to confirm this would take 48 hours.

A long couple of days, huh? I did not want to give myself over to the looming panic, but I also did not want to ignore the waves of feelings that were coming up, threatening to wash over me tsunami-style. What a balancing act that was! Luckily, I also knew to trust my gut, and the hard-earned knowledge I had of my own body.

My gut didn’t believe it, so I “waited” as that clock ticked fairly calmly. And it turned out to be, of all things, just an “age spot”!

During that eternity, on the clock just 48 hours, time had very little meaning. But a lot of other stuff sure did. Moral, ethical, philosophical debates raged in my head and heart.

Should I tell my family? Don’t they deserve to know?

Hell NO! There’s nothing to tell yet?

Yes but I always do scary things like this alone and never ask for support. Shouldn’t I reach out?

For what? You don’t know anything yet. Just wait!

Ya but I KNOW how PTSD works. The sooner someone who has been through a trauma can feel the resulting emotions, the better.

Yes but, has there actually been a trauma? You don’t know yet.

I think I was able to survive that two days of time standing still because of that little internal voice that was whispering to me that I was fine. When my gut reaction was confirmed, I could feel a huge relief and then use that to turn the whole thing into just an anecdote. Thank goodness, I also knew to get some “there, there” from my closest people. Turned out it was not a death sentence after all, but I still needed empathy for what was a rather a grueling stretch of stopped time!

I know why this current period of Clocking the Time has me in such a state. Fifty some years ago my mother went missing. I knew she was in serious emotional trouble. She had attempted suicide just two years before and this time, I recognized that same dark, dark resignation and resolve the last time I saw her. But because I was only a teenager, no one in authority would listen to me. For three eternal days, I looked for her, more and more frantically as each hour passed.

My gut was right. And I was too late. When they finally found her, she’d been dead for 3 days.

 

Right now, we are 7 days into hoping to hear from (or about) my teenage grandson, who “ran away” in a very dangerous state of mind.

My gut is failing me. Strangely and frustratingly silent.

And it’s been the longest week of my life….

juju-not-feeling-well

 

 

Photo Challenge Clock the Time

Pull up a Seat Challenge 10/25/19

I’ve been saving photos for this challenge for a while so here goes:

One of my favorite places to Pull up a Seat (if I can’t be right next to the Pacific Ocean) is on my sister’s porch….especially at, but not limited to, sunrise. Nothing like having your morning coffee on this porch in the early summer.

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Deck Garden 3

But then there are benches all over their property for sitting and becoming one with Nature…

Or you can be like Ola, the Wonder Dog, and plant yourself on one of the bridges over the pond between the house and the gardens and green house. (Although this might be better titled “Pull up a BED“.)

Ola, still on duty

 

Ah, but the memories of me with my grandsons pretend-fishing off these bridges…Maybe that’s my favorite.

Pull up a seat

 

I love seeing where other species choose to Pull up a Seat.

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Then there’s our friend Mark who has a very boring selection of where to Pull up a Seat

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At our Mountain Retreat, someone has chosen to Pull up a Precarious Seat, but for very good reason!

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They were putting in a new glass roof over our other favorite place to Pull up a Seat…our Porch Swing!

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It looks out over a beautiful valley.

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I always hate when this time comes each year when the porch seat gets tied up to make room for firewood…

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Then I just remember all the different butts that have planted themselves here.

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Father/son moment

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Three Brothers

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Then there were two…

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And I know James is not looking forward to being just one…

But he’ll have so many memories to savor…pulling up this particular seat!

porch swing

 

 

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2019-Week 42

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sun & Water

OK, OK, so the feature photo above is NOT of sun and WATER…but when I took the photo, I thought it was!! We were on a fast moving train and I snapped several before I realized it was not water, but some sort of agricultural stuff.

Then I remembered another picture I took while also moving fast, late for the San Juan Ferry, so no time to pull the car over for a better shot. But it was a stunning sunrise for a few miles!!

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The wetland north of Everett, WA.

 

Still wracking my brain for a Sun and Water photo, I found these next three, but they were kind of standard and I wanted something different.

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OK stretch, I thought…water, sun, sun and water, two of my favorite things to photograph. Surely I had something!

Oh YES! This summer we went to The Wheel, our Church of the Blue Dome…which is a group (2 to 50 people) who meet on a mountain top, every Wednesday evening, and have for more than 20 years…rain or shine…sometimes to share food and music, sometimes to play Frisbee golf, sometimes to Walk the Medicine Wheel, and sometimes to drum. But always open to something miraculous.

These were taken at this year’s Solstice Wheel.

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I have been there when coyotes come right up close, when Owls join us to serenade, and when it has snowed or rained or hailed in a big circle all around without touching us at all. So this gorgeous rainbow, doubling itself and then showing us two Pots of Gold locations at once, was miraculous but not a surprise. Sun and Water. What a beautiful combo!

 

All of this got me thinking about Sun and Water in it’s different forms. That’s when my very favorite popped into mind.

A few years ago, when driving my grandsons along the north side of Hood Canal out of Belfair, WA., the sun rise was at the perfect point for spotting THIS on the side of the road!

 

 

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It only lasted a few minutes so our timing was fortunate! (I do wish camera phones were what they are today, but I love this memory!!)

 

OK, last thing, if you’ve a mind to…

I wrote a short story (true) a long time ago. I posted it on my blog when I was still new, so I did not properly credit one of the photos to National Geographic (although their name appears in the lower left corner, so I hope that’s enough).

It’s one of my best stories, and although Sun and Water figure prominently in the tale, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. It is the telling of one of the more profound experiences of my life. Please read if you like. When I first posted it, I had only a handful of “followers” and not much response. So please comment. (Less an ego thing than a bare, naked soul that needs recognition.)

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/02/12/calling-the-dolphins/

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/a-photo-a-week-challenge-sun-water/

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

A Photo a Week Challenge–8/22/19 What’s for Dinner?

Nancy Merrill’s challenge this week immediately made me think of the many times James and I have had the wonderful experience of house-sitting for my sister and brother-in-law, in the San Juan Islands. It’s like a second home for us, but without the incredible amount of work it takes to maintain paradise.

I’ve written about this wonderful place many times before, but today’s topic, “What’s for Dinner?” made me realize just how special our experience has been.

First, the location is truly exceptional…it’s house and setting are unlike any other!

But it’s the food that we get the biggest benefit from! They work year round work to keep their garden and green house producing beautiful fruits and vegetables….and we just get to come in and EAT there for 2 or 3 weeks each year.

Here are some samples of dinners we’ve had there, where almost every ingredient is picked, plucked, harvested and gathered…from these famous gardens!!!

Thank you so much for this experience!!

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/a-photo-a-week-challenge-whats-for-dinner/

Photo a Week Challenge: Timing 8/1/19

I thought I’d better start with a definition so you have a context for my post on Timing this week.
Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary and other sources define “fan” as a shortened version of the word fanatic. Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion“.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_(person)
It appears that I am that person to whom they are referring…especially when it comes to  the Blue Angels.
I write about them a lot!
They perform in my area every year at the same time and I have been known to plan my whole life around their annual SeaFair visit. I know exactly when to expect them.
See, their initial arrival path is directly over my house….or at least it used to be.
This year, they have moved the “flight safety performance box”, supposedly so the new Light Rail did not have to close down during the Angel’s performances. I assumed that meant I could no longer sit out on my deck, which I have done for most of the last 30 years, to see the bits and pieces of their show that involve the airspace right over my head!
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Anyway, yesterday I had an appointment downtown and figured I wouldn’t miss anything. But guess what! On my way home, a 21 minute, 10 mile drive, my Angels flew directly over the freeway SEVEN TIMES!!! Talk about TIMING!! (On the Thursday of their 4 day visit to the Northwest, they scout and practice for the show they will do over the weekend.)
That timing would have made for spectacular photos, but of course, I was driving so couldn’t (wouldn’t) be snapping away with my phone camera.
My connection to the Blue Angels started when I was a very young child, small enough to still sit up on my Daddy’s shoulders. He would take me to see them practice. The Blue Angels are inseparable in my heart and mind from my father. For years, as an adult, I would call my Dad so we could be on the phone together for that initial roar of the Angel’s arrival each year!
So the fact that I was barreling down the road, with Blue Angels roaring overhead, on what would have been my Dad’s 102 birthday, had me in tears all the way home.
I arrived home, and even though I knew I had missed all their fly-by’s, I went up on the deck anyway, to finish this new round of grief about my Dad.
Here’s what happened the minute I sat down!!

Needless to say, the timing of this started a whole new round of joyous grieving.

Hi Dad, and thanks for the visit!

More posts on the Blue Angels:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/08/04/blue-angels-time-again/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/01/19/silence-for-wpc-1-17-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/10/11/wordlesswednesday-10-11-17/

The stuff these challenges bring up for me is amazing!! Thanks again Nancy!! 

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

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

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge-7/7/19 theme-Grandparents

Ahh, controversial topic for me.

My Mom’s parents figured prominently in my young life, but pretty much continued their emotional excommunication of my mother, with my sisters and me. So there was no closeness. Mostly disdain.

I never met my “father’s” parents because I never met my biological father.

My Dad’s parents were gone before I was born.

I was close, for a while, with a boyfriend’s step grandmother.

Just not much experience with grandparents. So I became dedicated to being a good one myself!

I am “Dammaw”! Hear me roar!

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Disclaimer: I’m responding strongly to this topic, but obviously not with my own photography. 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/a-photo-a-week-challenge-grandparents/