Perspective-photo Challenge 7/25/2020 a fun story in pictures

I’ve written a lot of posts that contained embarrassing self-disclosures, but this one is a stretch, even for me.

First of all, I’m not clear who to credit for this challenge, but since perspective is one of my driving, life-force words, I’ve decided to just write and share photos anyway.

Here’s the story.

I have been photographing a tiny piece of mystery debris on my street for over a year. No idea why. Can’t really justify it except I spotted it, and became intrigued, and over the months, it evolved into a mild obsession.

I have thought at length about why in the world I would become so interested in this scrap of trash, and the only thing I can come up with is my Dad. It’s his fault really. He taught us very early on that boredom was a sin against Nature, and that if we used all of our senses, and just changed our perspectives, we could always find at least one miracle.

“Just look at the ground”, he would say. “It’s covered with magic!”

(I wrote about this in a story, with working title  The “Ruler” and the Torn Screen or One Square foot and posted it on on V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #40 “Things my Father said”)

https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/18412

I guess what grew from that particular Dad-Lesson was a life long habit of looking down at the ground, always in search of treasures! No surprise one of my favorite activities in life is Beach Combing. I have huge collections of rocks, shells and beach glass! I have even been known to collect tiny treasures right off the street, especially if it’s been too long since I’ve had a trip to the ocean.

I’m fairly easy to please.

I have photographed what I am walking on many times…

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Even modern day litter…

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So spotting this one piece of junk on my daily walk was not the surprise. It simply stood out. Unidentifiable, it caught my eye.

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The surprise was that I started looking for it every day. Every single day. I became more and more curious about why it never, ever moved. Its location was on a high-traffic part of the street. With all the cars, bikes and people passing over that very spot every day, it should have been run over…repeatedly.

So I decided to actually start tracking it…on purpose…and taking its picture…

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Uh oh, I had bonded with a fragment of litter.

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Seriously, and now, over a year later, and I’m even writing a Post about it.

But wait , as Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “the rest of the story”

Last week on my regular morning walk, I got to the top of my street, where my Scrap lives…and it was gone! GONE!

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I figured a car tire had finally knocked it off to the side, but after a long, elaborate roadside search (yes, a search) for my missing piece of rubbish, I had to accept it was over. My mystery remnant was truly missing.

 

In a world of uncertainty, a tiny, but predictable piece of my daily life, was gone. Sigh.

Believe me, the symbolism and the underlying explanations for this attachment are not lost on me. Been thinking about it all week. The pandemic. Being locked in my home, except for this daily walk, for 142 days. Reminders of my Dad, and wondering how he would have looked at today’s confusing, emotional, frightening new normal, ETC.!

I tried to find a replacement touchstone, something more permanent, and spotted this whale (or maybe it’s a country in Europe)…

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But when looking through photos for this post I discovered this formation, permanently embedded in the street, had been there all along.

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Anyway, this morning….I’m on my walk, approaching the former location of, you know who, (my reliable and familiar bit of trash), I decide maybe one more look around…

And there, well off the pavement, directly in a beam of early morning sunlight, I see this!

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I was disproportionately happy!!

And YES, of COURSE I brought it home with me, and put it in the cabinet with all the other treasures! It’s just not safe out there for such a vulnerable little guy.

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Yep, I’m glad I’m so easily entertained. Thanks Dad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A good photograph is knowing where to stand’

Spirit Lifters (personal); Day 124 of being “grounded” 7/7/2020

I move through most days completely alone now…occasional human sightings out on my walks, and I can hear my family in the upstairs of the house, but rarely lay eyes on them. I tell you what! I am about ready to risk my life for a hug with my grandson!! sigh.

BUT, I am also still surrounded with Spirit Lifters! I just have to remember to look, listen, smell, etc.

Here are my most recent miracles:

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This lovely wild flower…
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…that is actually so tiny you could miss it if you weren’t on the look out for a Spirit Lifter!
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Great shot for my Bird Butt collection.

 

Camera function Mystery…

For some time now, my phone camera will not capture true purple…except when she damn well feels like it!

Though the flowers below are lovely, she insists as showing them as pink, dark pink, fuchsia, etc. They are actually a deep royal purple! (You can see tiny flashes of the deeper color purple at the center of the flowers or a little like the lavender in the vase with the pink rose.)

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I’ve had some pretty “cheeky” bird visitors lately, right outside my living quarters. These Grosbeaks were fun.

 

And I don’t know who this next fella is but he apparently did not want me taking his picture. That glare made it very clear!

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Maybe you’d have to live in the Great Northwest to appreciate these shots. First of all, slug tracks are rare when it is supposed to be 80 degrees outside. It seems our summer came and went (in about 5 minutes) back in June and the slugs think it’s Autumn…time to leave their drunken silver trails all over everywhere! (Not sure you can see them but given how slowly they move, you’d think a straight line would be much more efficient in their travels.)

 

Lucy keeps me entertained inside the house, finding even cuter sleeping positions every day.

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And she is such a smart ass…

Here she is giving me a very clear hint.

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“Uh, these Treat Balls are both empty…don’t I deserve a Spirit Lifter too?”

Back outside, there’s this really tall weed that started blooming. Nobody knows where it came from or what it is but I decided to let it stay in my small flower garden, just out of curiosity.

And any visit I get with my upstairs occupants is appreciated!

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Master Loki has certainly become a Princely feline! What a beauty he is!

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There are a few more inches of this glorious tail that my photo didn’t capture!

 

There you have it! My Spirits are lifted just sharing all of this. I hope yours are too.

Please comment and tell us how YOU are staying healthy and content.

Thanks!

❤💙❤💘💗

 

Spirit Lifters:Day 101 of being “grounded” 6/14/2020

Life and the world have been a bit distracting of late. For a while there, even I, the self-appointed champion of uplifting things, had a difficult time finding stuff to share.

But here are just a few things that hopefully bring you a sliver of beauty or a tiny laugh or little piece of inspiration to hang in there…yep, even longer than we had hoped!

 

I have enjoyed the wildlife in my yard lately.

This guy is relentless!!!

 

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scared deer in Spokane

Brazen intruder in Bellevue

 

 

 

And Bunnies everywhere!!

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And of course, flowers!

 

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And my favorite, the Birds…

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But of course, also the indoor wildlife…even though it’s often hidden…

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Where is that silly cat now???

 

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No wonder I can’t make a smooth bed…

 

Creative Quarantine

Spirit Lifters: Day 75 of being “grounded” 5/20/2020

OK, it’s really getting long now…so it’s time to seriously shift our perspectives and consider instituting new, healthy daily habits into our “new normal” lives. Along with taking care of ourselves physically, we simply must attend to those other parts that are being insidiously drained, even damaged during this pandemic.

Here’s one of my regular self-care habits, a potential, inspirational resource, as well as a couple of new musical treats.

This is an excerpt from the newsletter of one of my favorite people, Karen Drucker. She is a talented musician, comedienne and public speaker.

Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for
awhile…including you.
Anne Lamott
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
Joseph Goldstein
This is precisely the time when artist go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
 Toni Morrison
I have to admit I have gone through every emotion during this last month of shelter in place: thrilled to be home; deeper connection with my hubby; anxiety about gigs cancelling and how to pay bills; feeling like I need alone time; happy to not have to fly followed almost immediately by wondering if I will ever be on a plane going to a gig again! Back and forth – happy, panic, bliss, fear. Lather, rinse, repeat!
The most positive thing for me, though, during this time has been connecting back to doing music. My friend, Alan Cohen, has a great expression: “Make the main thing be the main thing!”  I realize that with all the gigs and traveling and hyper-busy-ness, I let the joy of creating music get pushed to the back burner. It seemed to me I just didn’t have the time. What has become clear to me as I analyze what really lights me up is how writing and performing healing music helps my soul. When I get emails from people telling me that a certain chant helped them get through cancer treatments, or how singing along with me during this challenging time we are in is easing their anxiety – these messages validate what the main thing is for me – creating music. Right now, what feels like a suspension in time also feels sacred to me to be able to have the space to write and record again.
The greatest gift along this healing path that I have received was delivered this month – a beautiful 64-page booklet produced by Unity Churches featuring my “Heart of Healing” songs. It includes essays written by various writers and Unity ministers, with affirmations around each of the themes that the songs convey. This is a free booklet available to anyone. Even though this project was started last year it seems so perfect for what we are all going through right now. For information on how to receive your booklet contact: The Heart of Healing
So like the quote above from Toni Morrison, I am committed to do my part in helping us all heal by writing songs that, hopefully, will uplift, heal, and connect us as we all get through this challenging time together. I wish you peace during this time and hope that we will meet in person soon!

 

Here is Karen’s calendar (lots of virtual options) and a way to hear her music and to get her newsletter.

Calendar

Or her main website;

https://www.karendrucker.com/

If Karen isn’t your cup of tea, find a person or organization who speaks your language, fires up your brain, and touches your heart.

And really important, keep access to it easy, handy for those days when you need something to balance out the bad news we are be inundated with daily! (I read the Greater Good Science Center articles.)

When all else fails, music can make us think differently, feel deeply, or just smile!!

 

And this really fun one that was around even before this Virus took over our lives!

 

Look up more songs by  Playing for Change ! I bet you’ll find something you like.

That’s it for now. As always, I love comments, any kind, and I’m not getting many, so if you “like” this post, take a minute to write me something, just a sentence will do!!

Thanks so much.

Chosen Perspectives

Spirit Lifters-Day 62 of being “grounded” 5/6/2020

Here’s a new collection for you, of feel good, feel deeply, and feel connected things to watch, read and listen to!!!

 

 

 

And if that didn’t delight you and make you laugh, just look up almost anything by Jeanne Roberston…

 

 

And I keep this on in the back ground sometimes or check it out all day long. These baby eagles are hysterical to watch at this age. What a miracle it is that we even can.

Skip ahead to about 55 on the counter. Then if you want, skip ahead to 10:48.

Or this one is amazing also!

 

 

If you need to get up and move, watch this standing. You’ll be bopping around before you know it!

 

 

To connect with deeper meaning and the bigger picture, read this lovely contribution

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/irish-american-teachers-poem-covid19-outbreak

The poem reads…

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

 

 

BEST for LAST!! This is so sweet!!!! 

My favorite thing yet. I have watched it several times and feel moved toward hope again and again.

The Great Realization-a Bedtime Story

 

Spirit Lifters-Day 55 of being “grounded” 4/29/2020

Watch this to help meet your Recognition Hunger…virtually!

 

And here is one of my favorite organizations. I have loved their newsletter for a long time and they are a wonderful resource during these days. I especially liked the collection of articles in the April 21st issue.

 

 

 

https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/

 

 

And for some good feeling laughs, another episode of Some Good News from John Krasinsky

 

 

Lastly, look what I found on my walk yesterday…growing in a long stretch of icky weeds.

I’m tellin’ you…ya gotta keep your eyes open for these sweet things!

 

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Hope you are hanging in there. Please share any Spirit Lifters of your own in “Comments”.

(mostly) WordlessWednesday on Earth Day, 2020

Earth Day slide show

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Earth Day Entertainment and Inspiration

 

 

 

 

Downhill from Everywhere by Jackson Browne…released today…

Jackson Browne Drops New Song for Earth Day, ‘Downhill From Everywhere’

 

 

 

And best for last, DEFINITELY X Rated, so watch when your kids are at Home School in the other room…

Spirit Lifter-Day 29 of being “Grounded” Part Five

 

If THIS doesn’t bring a smile, the Virus has already WON!!!

Fight it! Fight back!! Don’t give in!!

 

And if you need even more “uplift”, read (or re-read) this!

 

Warning: Cuteness Overload!  (first published in January, 2016)

Well, it all started early last June…..

1) This guy starts visiting outside regularly and riling up Phineas and Zorro (our indoor Cat Bosses).

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We think this is an “Evil Wild Tomcat”, just stirring up trouble.

 

2) Then James has a big surprise. He sees movement under the wood pile, just beyond where we sit on our porch swing to look out over the valley. He literally drags me dripping out of my shower to come and see!!

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It’s a close call but, after a while, I convince him to put this baby back where he got it as it is WAY too little for humans to mess with.
3) Then later that day I see a different ,but regular visitor in our yard and she is glowing in her bulging state, so I have to take her picture.

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(Can you see why she is “glowing”?)
4) James, uninterested in my Mama Deer, has stationed himself by the woodpile, you know, just in case….

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5) And sure enough, look who he finds!!!!

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UH OH!!

We already have two “very bad cats” (aren’t they all?)

So I am screaming, “NO, no! For god’s sake, don’t FEED them!”

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I had a hard time getting James to put them back. I’m afraid we may have three new residents if I don’t watch him (James) closely!
6) Speaking of watching closely, apparently “Evil Tom Cat” is actually “Protective MOM!” Here she is guarding the woodpile.

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7) And as if this was not enough “cute” for one day…as we arrived home from a quick trip to town, look who we nearly ran into!!! Our Glowing MOM!

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She is still licking them off.

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We watched as she led them off into the woods for safety, and no doubt, so she could have a rest.

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She’s not so Robust/rotund anymore, is she?

 

 

8) Had enough Cuteness for one day??? Not so fast! We get home and have to check on our 3 new little “guest” kittens, right? And guess what!!!

 

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We discover this white one!

Now THERE ARE FOUR!!!  So far, anyway……..

I’m exhausted from delight!

As Paul Harvey would always say “And now, the rest of the story.”

Any guesses as to which one we kept??

We eventually found homes for 3 of them, with folks who were committed to socializing these terrified feral kittens, but this little tough one, the smallest, would just not leave us alone. She would bound out of hiding to see us, even as her siblings would scatter and hide.

 

IMG_2317Meet Lucy, named by my grandsons who wanted her to have a strong (super hero) girl name. (The movie Lucy had just been released and though they were not allowed to see it, they got the idea from the previews.)

 

(parts of this story were published previously in Pacific Northwest Green Friends Newsletter)


Next Chapter:

Lucy’s Story