A Photo a Week Challenge: From the Back 9/29/18

This first shot (below) I did not take (obviously, because I am in the the photo, but it is one of my most important photographs. It’s a picture of me with my very best friend, taken by my other very best friend.

We are all gathered on the beach in Port Townsend to do a Good-bye Ritual for my three pets, all gone withing two months of each other. This beach was my 16 year old purebred German Shepherd’s favorite place to run free.

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This next photo I caught by accident many years ago but to your eye, the true subject matter might not be obvious. This is my very precocious 16 month old grandson, who has come upon his mother, washing her hair in the huge spa bathtub, in a beautiful mountain cabin we had rented. He is mesmerized by what he sees through the door crack and stays frozen in this position, watching, for 5 full minutes (an eternity, if you have ever been around toddlers).

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These two are of our kitten Lucy. Neither really captures her essence but I thought the photos were kind of interesting.

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Boy, I am realizing how poignant photographs From the Back can be…at least the ones I have taken.

The one below is of my son, his wife, and their boys, on what would turn out to be their last Family Outing…EVER.

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A few weeks ago, the photo above of my family would have been one of my saddest ever, but my beloved 18 year old Heart Cat just died so this last picture, right below, has usurped that position, for a while anyway…

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His reflection  “From the Back” in that glass cabinet

really gets me…

 

 

**The “featured” photo at the top is my son, with his son, walking in the woods on San Juan Island.

 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/a-photo-a-week-challenge-late-from-the-back/

Song Lyric Sunday-the Blues

Some might argue that the Black Crowes don’t have a blues bone in their bodies but this song is pretty BLUE!!

 

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-92516/
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She Talks to Angels by the Black Crowes

Lyrics

She never mentions the word addiction
In certain company.
Yes, she’ll tell you she’s an orphan
After you meet her family.

She paints her eyes as black as night now.
Pulls those shades down tight.
Yeah, she gives me a smile when the pain comes.
The pain gonna make everything alright.

Says she talks to angels.
They call her out by her name.
Oh yeah, she talks to angels.
Says they call her out by her name.

She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket.
She wears a cross around her neck.
Yes the hair is from a little boy,
And the cross from someone she has not met, well, not yet

Says she talks to angels.
Says they all know her name.
Oh yeah, she talks to angels.
Says they call her out by her name.

She don’t know no lover,
None that I ever seen.
Yeah, to her that ain’t nothing
But to me it means, means everything.

She paints her eyes as black as night now.
Pulls those shades down tight.
Oh yeah there’s a smile when the pain comes.
Pain’s gonna make everything alright, alright yeah

Says she talks to angels.
Says they call her out by her name.
Oh yeah, angels
Call her out by her name
Oh angel,
They call her out by her name
Oh she talks to angels,
They call her out, yeah yeah
Call her out,
Don’t you know that they call her out by her name

Written by Chris Robinson, Christopher Mark Robinson, Rich Robinson, Rich S. Robinson • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Dark Chapter

52 chapters/stories for my book…that’s how many I have written but the rape chapter is the hardest.

I started out being kind of namby-pamby about it. That’s the feedback I got from my mentor/auntie, an author I deeply respect. She said “Kathie, you have to remove the sugar coating and tell us what actually happened.”

It took many years, but I finally did what she asked, leaving out no disturbing detail. To that version, she responded with “Well, maybe not THAT detailed!”

So I am trying a completely different approach this time.

I am house-sitting for dear friends as I write this. I am in a situation I rarely put myself in…alone for days (and worse, nights) in an unfamiliar house, in a very remote setting. I did all the things that for me are normal when I am in any new place… checked out all conceivable exits…found the quickest routes away from the house, noticing fast exit dangers, like locked gates, stuff to trip over, etc.….discovered any weaknesses in normal security (windows, door locks) and tested how they all sound. And I found the best hiding places inside the house in case escape is not an option.

It’s a pain in the butt to be me.

The point of telling you this is that even though I have done a shitload of therapy and healing work on having been raped, one result remains the same. I live my life differently than most people.

Here’s the opening I wrote when my mentor requested a more “detailed version”, but I edited it in this draft to honor her feedback to not be THAT detailed….

If I do ever get this chapter on paper the way I want it, I will keep my original title.

What I want to know is would you want to read a story that starts like this???

“Being Raped”

Being Raped has to be the title of this chapter. The odd tense of the word “being” implies a current circumstance that captures the experience, as if describing a state of being rather than an action.

That’s why it’s perfect.

In an instant, an event like this can become the definition of WHO you are. There is a part of the act, the trauma, the experience that continues in your body, your psyche, your mind, and your heart…as if it is in fact, still happening right now, always in the present tense.

If you have been raped, the incident just goes on and on and on, granted less loudly with time. But for you, intrusion, in any form will shock your body right back awake, no matter how far into the back of your Secret’s Closet you’ve shoved that rape, hoping to keep it fast asleep.

This will be true for the rest of your life…no matter how much therapeutic work you do. No matter how deeply you are able to heal.

You will never not know the terror of being awakened with a knife at your throat.

You will never not remember the feeling of being held down in your own bed by two men.

And you will never forget the popping sound of a gun being fired in the middle of this surprisingly quiet chaos… rousing the thought that though you may survive this knife, you still might end up getting shot!

All comments welcome! Thank you.

Black and White, Dark and Light

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/black-and-white-light-and-dark/

The link above is to a disclaimer I wrote back in January, expecting maybe to share more dark true stories, but only a couple thus far have insisted on being written.

I also wrote it when I only had a handful of followers. I am delighted and so surprised that I now have 142 amazing people who read what I write and who look at my photos. I feel so honored.

I love the exchanges I am having with so many of you. I feel like I am actually forming friendships, not something I really expected from blogging! (even though you told me I would, Karuna!) And it may be those friendships that are inspiring me to dig a bit deeper now in my sharing.

Anyway, I thought I would repeat the warning, you know, just in case you are not in the mood for “dark”. I can feel a couple of those stories bubbling up to the surface here soon.

If you do read them, I’d love a comment, any response, but especially if you think the story might have value for someone maybe working through something similar.

Thanks so much.

Kathie

 

“featured image” above is artwork by 10 year old Julius. A gift for the wall by my writing desk.

Song Lyric Sunday, 9-11-16

I couldn’t write this on Sunday. I couldn’t even think about it on Sunday. I do not understand why the anniversary THIS year would be any more difficult than all the other years but finally realized, for 13 of the last 15 years since it happened, I have done something on the anniversary with all that grief. I have connected with others and we have used our grief to express gratitude, mostly to our local first responders, in honor of their brothers and sisters lost on September 11th, 2001.

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We got up to 55 dozen cookies a couple of years ago…had to borrow neighbors’ stoves, had several cars full of moms and kids delivering cookies, etc.. There are 11 firehouses in our city and we made sure each got plenty of thank you cookies (Grandma’s chocolate chip recipe). Even made some gluten free options!

The kids also made thank you cards and we made old school Music CD’s with all the 9/11 songs we could find.

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Our local fire fighters and EMT’s were so grateful and gave the kids such wonderful tours and attention!

Anyway, when I was trying to come up with a song for

Our theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song that refers to a city/state/town.

I could not pick one place so here’s the song I decided on.

It did affect us ALL, everywhere!!!

(I very much prefer this song performed by my dear friends Riley and Maloney but couldn’t find a video of them.)

Be sure to listen until the song really takes off!

As for credit, here’s what Wikipedia says:

I’ve Been Everywhere” is a song which was written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, and made popular by Lucky Starr in 1962.

The song as originally written listed Australian towns. It was later adapted by Canadian Hank Snow for North American (predominantly United States)toponyms, by Australian singer Rolf Harris with English and Scottish toponyms (1963),[1] and by John Hore (later known as John Grenell) with New Zealandtoponyms (1966).

 

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-91116/

ChosenPerspective on Edge for WPC

 

Edge

I take a lot of “perspective” photos but the word this week brought up a completely different image for me.

Most animal people have that one special relationship, that stays with them forever…a “heart pet”…sort of an animal “soulmate”.

For many years, mine was an animal I won at a Saturday afternoon matinee. It was close to Easter and there was a drawing for a baby bunny, a tiny chick and a duckling. My ticket stub was the winning number for my very own DUCK!! I raised that duck in my bedroom, even “house broke” her. I was nine years old and simply didn’t know that was impossible to do.

Many animal friends later, I had a huge, beautiful purebred German Shepherd named Joy. Another heart animal for me….She lived until she was sixteen years old!

I’ve written about that amazing dog many times.

Here’s an example about Joy.

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/5706/

But then we come to Zorro.

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I have never been so in sync, so bonded, so in love with an animal before. He is 16 years old now himself and has his own long story. I treasure every single day with him. I am very clingy with the Big Z right now, but Zorro is not the focus of this week’s post so back to the theme for the week.

“Edge” is the name of my daughter’s most beloved cat. Edge only very recently left, after too short an illness for my daughter to prepare herself at all. A quick trip to the Vet, lots of tests and boom, he was gone. This loss completely broke her heart.

I have often thought that sometimes the loss of a pet can hit us even harder than when a human loved one dies, in part because we can love our pets from such an innocent, child-like place in our hearts.

And really, what human in our adult lives can love us as unconditionally as our heart- animals do?

Edge’s sudden departure and my daughter’s devastation are why poor Zorro is getting smothered these days. I know when I lose Zorro, I will undoubtedly be a nine year old, inconsolable child for quite a long while.

Below is my daughter’s story about her sweet “Edge”. She took this picture.

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I met Edge on Valentines Day in 2003 at the animal shelter.  He’d been abandoned at 6 months old and all 4 paws were severely frostbitten as it was -20º outside here in Minnesota.  It was love at first sight. I didn’t claim him as much as he claimed me. He had gigantic, long white whiskers and his face had odd splatters of white, making him look like he’d been in a paint fight. I named him The Edge on the way home in the car after the U2 guitarist. Some of my favorite things about him – when I’d come home from work and open the front door, he’d be on the stairs waiting but would act startled and then hop sideways with his hackles up back up the stairs.  It made me laugh every time.  He also would flop on my head whenever possible, whether I was sleeping, doing yoga, reading, he didn’t care.  If my head was accessible, he was on it. From the time I got him, he made a loud, rattling noise when he breathed, like a 90 year old man, which had limited charm when he camped on my head.   When Sarah would come over to visit, I’d let Edge out the door and he would run down the corridor meowing to greet her. He knew how to open the medicine chest in the bathroom and if he felt ignored, he’d open it and knock everything off the shelves and into the sink. He was such a good companion, loved to be picked up and hang out with me on the patio.  This is one of my favorite photo’s from my patio a few years back. I love how crazy his whiskers are, how happy he looks and how much we enjoyed hanging out in the sunshine together.