A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape 10/23/2020

I knew the photos I wanted to share for this challenge right away. I love the view of the city I have from my house…of course, the view is not of the city I live in. Nope, this view is of the next city over to the West of me.

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That’s the downtown Seattle skyline, with the glorious Olympic Mountains behind.

These next shots are from an early morning walk when I just loved what the sunrise was doing to the Columbia Center…76 stories, and when it was built, it was the tallest building on the West Coast.

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This towering scraper of the sky has always fascinated me, though I had never been inside it. I rarely go into Seattle. Just not an urban type, although I guess I can hardly say that anymore, given that there is nothing left of the “country-side” my home was part of when I bought it 47 years ago.

Anyway, just a few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of officiating a spectacular and delightful wedding at the top of the Columbia Center. I adore this couple and was thrilled to be asked to marry them, but I have to admit, when they told me where, I nearly fainted. I have a more than mild case of Acrophobia.

I knew I would need to prepare myself so I could be fully present and grounded for their ceremony so I started taking pictures of the building from all over town….trying to make friends with this giant black monolith, towering tall over all it’s neighbors…

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On the day of the wedding, I arrived early to prepare for the celebration. The ride up the elevator to the very top took forever. It made me seasick and break into a cold sweat. When I saw where we would be standing…so close to the windows, I nearly chickened out, but James kept me calm by reminding me that I would be facing inward, my back to the view. (Well, that half glass of Chardonnay he brought me probably helped too. Hmm, I wonder what the Minister’s blood alcohol number is for the legality of the marriage to be in question…😋)

Once I found my footing, I could embrace and enjoy the spectacular view we would all have this day.

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I never told my sweet couple about my trepidation that day but I suppose, now they’ll know. So worth it!! What an amazing, creative, beautiful, warm, interesting wedding. And the “Cityscape” setting? Well, hard to imagine ever topping that!!

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As I was selecting photos, I noticed something! A surprising number of airliners showed up, I suppose headed for landing at SeaTac. How many do you count?

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/a-photo-a-week-challenge-cityscape/

Spirit Lifters; Day 85 of being “grounded” 5/29/2020

To find the Spirit Lifter in this post may require some work.

Dig deep. You’ll see it.

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Being falsely accused of something has been one of the most painful experiences of my entire life. Countless little accusations, misunderstandings that were never quite cleared up.

But there were a couple of huge ones, life changing ones that, had I not heeded my father’s early teaching about having the ability to choose how I look at things, well, those condemnations would have been the end of me.

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And somewhere along the line in my 72 years, I realized there is always, ALWAYS something beautiful to balance out, or even counter-act, life’s repeated icky, dark, mystifying tragedies.

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Of course, retrospect is my best friend, and when I search for light and fail to find it, if I can just wait long enough, it will eventually show up…often reminding me that it was there all along.

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We are all in the middle of the dark right now, but in small, seemingly insignificant ways, if we keep our senses open and awake, we can gather up pieces of light every single day. These discoveries have a cumulative effect, and can eventually outweigh the heaviness of these dark days.

Often, it is not until later that we can see the obvious gifts we have received, in spite of the catastrophe or heartbreak. And sometimes they are miracles that simply could not have happened without that dark time.

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I wrote this on my friend Karuna’s comment section this morning.

Touched My Heart

I just watched and can’t stop crying. Here’s a big thank you, Karuna. I have been teary all morning, because of what’s happening in Minnesota and across the country, after George Floyd was killed. This incident was highlighted for me, following a powerful connection just last week with Milton Grimes, Rodney King’s attorney. And then 2 nights ago, we just happened to watch Rocket Man…

I had been searching desperately for other “perspectives” to choose from today and then I see your post. Thank you so much!

If it’s OK with you, I’m going to write about this today on my blog.

 

Worth the whole watch…

 

I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life
It’s much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me
I can’t find
Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way feel
Don’t discard me baby don’t
Just because you think I mean you harm
Just because you think I mean you harm, oh
But these cuts I have, cuts I have
They need love
They need love, they need love to help them heal
Oh, don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I that see, yeah
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
‘Cause’ losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter K (anywhere in the word) 2/18/2020

OK, so I’m selfish. I decided to make this post be about ME.

I’ve been curious lately about my WordPress “statistics”. In my perusal of old posts, I came across a Draft titled: 7 months, post 149, 92 followers June 13, 2016. I never finished it, I’m sure because I thought it was way too egotistical.

I have tried all these years to be fairly unconditional with myself about all things quantitative with my Blog, so I was surprised recently to see that my number of “followers” (a word I continue to feel so pressured and embarrassed by…) had ballooned to 499!

And even more shocked that I started really wanting just that ONE MORE Follower!

Come on! 500 is such a great number!!

So I’m claiming that desire and offering up a reminder of a few of the posts I feel the best about. Maybe someone will see one they missed, read it and share it? Maybe someone who is a new visitor here will become a “Follower”. (Oh my gosh, can’t we just say “reader”. Followers need a Leader and I am so much more LOST myself than most!)

I hope you will find something from this list that you enjoy, or even better, learn from.

And to the 499 of you, who clicked some box that now labels you in my blogging world as a follower, Thank You so very much for your continued visits, and for the pressure your numbers put on me to be better and better at this whole Blogging thing.

With love and gratitude,

Kathleen Kelly

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The age I was when I wrote  my very first story

 

This was my reader’s favorite. I was actually quite surprised by this, and very touched. I love this sculpture, by a dear artist/friend, Virginia. She made it for herself after being one of “Peggy’s” volunteer caretakers in hospice (for way longer than any of the medical staff expected.) Peggy just kept rallying, saying she was not ready because she was working on accepting her second wing. Virginia, the artist, hadn’t planned on selling the piece. but my sweet James knew how much this piece moved me and, for my birthday, surprised me with it.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/04/15/for-pausesandclicks-and-her-family/

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Peggy contemplating that second wing…

The requisite “K” is in “clicks”. By the way, one of the best photography blogs EVER!!

 

Here are a few  of my favorites.

This one is the story of why I started writing in the first place. I have 52 only slightly edited chapters that I really do want to share in a book someday.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2015/11/19/absolutely-nothing-is-absolute/

And the story I refer to with my embarrassing self photo above, and also in the above post is here:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/12/02/fluffy-the-house-duck/

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I may write more about my Bugs than I do about my cats, or even my grandchildren for that matter. Here’s just one example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/01/08/like-holding-air-in-your-hand/

The “K” here is in the fact I got more “likes” for this post than many others!!

But the whole bug story is here:

Walking With Intention Day 20 by Kathie Arcide

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I have been glued to a camera since my little Brownie, received as a birthday gift in the 4th grade, but I have never enjoyed it as much as I do these days. The convenience and quality of photos available with my phone has been a real pleasure. I definitely have a few favorites, but truly take no credit for them. My favorite category is Accidental Photographs, those long-shot ones you think will never turn out good, show something you weren’t expecting or even that happen with the equivalent of a Butt Dial…

 

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Wait…What???

Here’s one of many. I do crack myself up. I think I’m funnier than anyone else thinks I am.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2019/02/24/lens-artists-photo-challenge-34-close-up/

 

And lastly, I loved the weekly challenge we used to have called Song Lyrics Sunday. It gave me a chance to share favorite music….a LOT of it. Here’s just one example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2019/01/06/a-song-for-helen-who-has-given-us-songlyricsunday-for-so-long/

 

Well, that’s it for this post (which will now be past due). I had fun writing it and confessing such a deep dark secret to you all….that I wanted at least one more follower!

😊

 

WAIT!   STOP THE PRESSES!!! 

(Boy, you have to be a certain age to know what THAT saying means, eh?)

Since I started writing this post, I see a new Follower has joined me!

As of this morning, I have the elusive 500!!

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Needs to have the Letter “K” anywhere in the word

 

“featured image” above is of Loki, 3 months old

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…

 

Photo a Week Challenge; PINK 2/14/19

I can be so judgmental sometimes….

Like Nancy says in her challenge for us this week, I’m also not much of a girly girl. And unlike Nancy, for whom pink  “is never my first choice of color for anything”, in days passed, I actively disliked and avoided PINK.

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But I am cursed (yes, and blessed) with the drive to find a lesson in anything I “actively dislike”.

I wrote about PINK once before.

Some one gave me a gift…a polar fleece vest…in the ugliest color…bright fuchsia?! Not a color I would ever choose or wear…too fake looking….I didn’t even like people who wore this color. AND, didn’t the person who gave me this ugly thing, know that pink is way too “girly” for me? I put it in the closet…way in the back…

A couple of years later, I am on a Spring walk with my camera, in search of new flowers. I come across a stunning flower, the brightest color for miles around (or so it seems). I have these thoughts, “there are so many colors in Nature that we just have not been able to duplicate. We don’t even have names for some of the colors we see in a sunset or a flower. This flower is a spectacular color!! I wish I had something to wear in this color…”

I pick just a blossom leaf or two to take home. I put them in my pocket.

That same week I am doing a closet downsizing for a Goodwill run and find the never worn, long-forgotten ugly pink vest tucked way in the back…..and then I remember those bright colored petals!

 

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Can you see the petal??

I blushed about the same color!

Needless to say, it has become one of my favorite things to wear. I even got socks, a scarf and shoes with a stripe in the same color!

Now I’m wondering if I owe my gift-giver an apology…….

 

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So I had to get to the bottom of this. Why such a strong reaction? It’s just a color, right?

Way too long a story (including a couple of years of hard-core therapy) later, I traced my prejudice back to a relatively off-handed comment from my Aunt. I had run away from home at 15 and ended up living with her in high school. She sewed these beautiful clothes for me, whole outfits for daily and church wear, as well as various Prom-type formal dresses. Always in hues of pink.

My favorite color is blue, since very early childhood, and my Aunt knew this so one day, I asked her to make me some thing BLUE. Her response, the casual remark I mentioned above? She said, “No, pink is better. Then the boys will all think you are still a virgin….”

I was shocked and protested, apparently way too much, because it was a disagreement we were still having when she was on her death bed. She never believed me and I never forgave her for that.

Still painfully ironic today because no budding young Flower Child, Hippie-Chick, California Girl in the 1960’s ever successfully fought harder to “save herself for marriage” than I did.

Talk about swimming against the tide of the sexual norms of those days!

So when I finally became more “enlightened” by the late 60’s and early 70’s, apparently I buried the reason for, but still held on to the active dislike of all things PINK!

Aren’t you glad you asked??

Oh wait, you didn’t…another bright pink blush here…

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I have since fully embraced PINK in all its hues and tones, in nature, as well as in my decorating choices.

 

Here’s an example, if you feel inspired to read more about it. I wrote it to anchor the gratitude I have come to feel for my ancestors (especially my Aunt) and all their powerfully feminine (and PINK) influences in my life.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/05/24/heritage-for-wpc-5-17-17/

 

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Faded photo from 1965…outfit all pink, including the shoes!

Thanks for reading and I really love comments, especially when my vulnerable, pink insides are kinda hanging out there for all to see….

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/a-photo-a-week-challenge-pink/

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/

Music Playlist for Changing Relationships

The story behind the need for this playlist in the first place is way too long (and very personal) so I will spare you. The short version is this. The combination of music represents the ending of the very best, most fulfilling, most love-filled 25 years of my life.

And even though I put together this CD in the first place for a very specific, very close group of dear friends…chosen family, really…I have found this group of songs really helpful in my therapy practice for several clients needing to grieve over the years.

The info about, and lyrics for, each song are available online (would have made this post way too long) and I hope if any of this music speaks to you (sings to you?) that you’ll research further.

 

Grieving the changes in Relationships

 

Miles Away by Marc Cohn

Sometimes we just need to be in the feelings for a while.

 

 

Help me Understand by Juliette Wyers

       Then comes the struggle for meaning.

 

 

We Just Disagree by Dave Mason

Sometimes this is the only thing that makes sense,

 

 

Thank U by Alanis Morrisette

       And then we can move into Gratitude, even for the difficult

 

 

Thank You by Karen Drucker

       Slowly adding to our list of appreciations

 

 

My Thanksgiving by Don Henley

       Until we realize, we wouldn’t really trade a minute of it,

 

 

Love Heals the Wounds it Makes by Eva Cassidy

       And any left over pain will slowly mend,

 

 

I Miss You by Randy Newman

       Leading us back to our original state of Love and oneness….

 

 

Voyage of the Soul by Frederick Delarue

       Where in lies the greatest peace of all.

SongLyricSunday 10/7/18 Theme “Found”

This song was the back drop for one of the great loves of my life. It was even kind of “our song”. (Us and billions of others, I’m sure!)

But that relationship, for all its surprise and wonder and beauty and fun and joy, quite nearly killed me off.

I’m recovered, 20 years later, from its ferocious ending, but my professional life never did.

 

Nick of Time
A friend of mine she cries at night
And she calls me on the phone
Sees babies everywhere she goes
And she wants one of her own
She’s waited long enough she says
And still she can’t decide
Pretty soon she’ll have to choose and it tears her up inside
She’s scared, scared she’ll run out of time
I see my folks, they’re getting old
And I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me
And it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself
It’s what we all go through
Those eyes are pretty hard to take
When they’re staring’ back at you
Scared to run out of time
When did the choices get so hard?
With so much more at stake
Life gets mighty precious
When there’s less of it to waste
Scared to run out of time
Just when I thought I’d had enough
And all my tears were shed
No promise left unbroken
There were no painful words unsaid
You came along and showed me
How to leave it all behind
You opened up my heart again
And then much to my surprise
I found love, baby
Love in the nick of time
I found love, darling
Love in the nick of time
I found love, baby
Love in the nick of time
Songwriters: Bonnie Raitt
Nick of Time lyrics © Bonnie Raitt

 

 

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 10/7/18