October Photo a Day Challenge-10/15/18 Autumn Colors

I published some of these for another challenge already but I am so completely in awe of a particular representation of this theme. It’s close to my house and I look forward to seeing it each year.

I have been calling this the “Wonder Wall”. I drive by other walls like this in my travels around Seattle and Bellevue (Washington), covered with color, but nothing like this one. Most are along the freeways. Here, I park and can walk by, slowly, taking close-up shots. I really love it.

 

(These are also my first attempts at short videos so I’d appreciate it if you let me know if they work! Turn down your volume and imagine tweeting birds because unfortunately the best light is during rush-hour traffic!)

Just to give you an idea of how many photo ops there are at this wall, these I’m posting today are all different from the ones I already posted on the Lens Artist’s Challenge-Changing/Changeable.

You can see that one here:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/10/14/lens-artists-photo-challenge-10-14-18-changing-changeable/

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https://citysonnet.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/october-photo-a-day-challenge/

A Photo a Week Challenge-Gilded

This slide show may take a while but it’s the best way to really appreciate this work of art from a dear friend, Virginia. Working with ceramic and gold leaf, she sculpted this in honor of one of her beautiful and wonderful hospice patients, Peggy, who took a very long time, longer than medically possible, to make her decision to die. Virginia described Peggy’s process as one of deep, and conscious contemplation. I hope you enjoy the slides.

(actually, it’s not letting me do a slide show AND it is cutting off parts of the “featured image” so I am going to post them all in a row as “individual images.)

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/a-photo-a-week-challenge-gilded/

SongLyricSunday 9/30/18 theme “Search”

Oh boy, I accidentally did a whopper piece of personal therapy this morning, searching for a song about Search.

I immediately thought of all my life long searches!

First, my youth, I searched for my biological father who left before I was born. I know, in this day and age, it should be easy right? Well, his name was Michael John Kelly. (Might as well have been John Smith!) I started at 13 years old, looking up that name in local libraries. They used to carry phone books from all over the United States, so, using my babysitting money, I would write post cards to as many addresses as I could afford postage for.

Then, in my twenties, I started searching for my daughter, who I had to give up for someone else to raise.

I’ve written about her several times. One example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/05/14/song-lyric-sunday-mothers-day-2017/

Here’s the piece of work I did this morning.

In thinking about a song for today’s theme, I realized even though I had the best (step) Dad in the world, and have found, and dearly love, my relationship with my daughter, I am still searching. Sometimes quietly, in the back ground, but sometimes, frantically, like my life depends on finding…what?? I don’t really know. (Well, I do, but that’s another post…)

At 70 years old, there are so many other things I still and always searched for that are unlikely now. That’s not me giving up. That’s the healthiest part of me, gently and lovingly, coercing me back into the present moment.

I guess that pushy voice, my “Guardian”, has always been there, Sometimes it’s audible and sometimes it is blocked by unfinished grief…but it’s constant and reliable when I am willing and able to listen, to hear.

And most importantly, to accept that it is there for ME, not just my clients, my friends, my family, not all the other lost souls I share that voice with when I forget to listen for myself.

You go Alanis! Thanks for always sharing your “therapy” with us in your music!!

You, you who smiled when you’re in pain
You who soldiered through the profane
They were distracted and shut down
So why, why would you talk to me at all
Such words were dishonorable and in vain
Their promise as solid as a fog
And where was your watchman then
I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian
I’ll be your warrior of care, your first warden
I’ll be your angel on call, I’ll be on demand
The greatest honor of all as your guardian
You, you in the chaos feigning sane
You who has pushed beyond what’s humane
Them as the ghostly tumbleweed
And where was your watchman then
I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian
I’ll be your warrior of care, your first warden
I’ll be your angel on call, I’ll be on demand
The greatest honor of all as your guardian
Now no more smiling mid crest fall
No more managing unmanageables
No more holding still in the hailstorm
Now enter your watch woman
I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian
I’ll be your warrior of care, your first warden
I’ll be your angel on call, I’ll be on demand
The greatest honor of all as your guardian
Songwriters: Guy Sigsworth / Alanis Nadine Morissette
Guardian lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 9/30/18

 

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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/

A Photo a Week Challenge: The Fruits of your Labor

I’m a Professional Childbirth Attendant. Almost 40 years so hundreds of births now.

But my photos are not about that kind of labor.

This is called Zen Bead Embroidery.

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I started this one with the two tiny copper giraffes

You start with a color theme, or maybe a single button or charm or bead.

Next, collect and collect and collect some more, beads, buttons, rocks, shells, charms, tiny trinkets of any kind, until you have a gathered a bowl or box or pile full of the colors you want to use.

Then, settling as much as you can into a Zen mood, you simply start sewing things onto whatever size canvas/cloth you have chosen. No plan necessary. This is a moment to moment experience. No rhyme or reason. The only patterns will be those that occur to you or that simply emerge as you labor. There is no right, no wrong, and there are no mistakes.

You will spend however many minutes or hours you wish in each stitching session…until you know you are done.

Don’t worry if you cannot muster that Zen feeling. The stitching will assist you.

Or, if you have ever sat through someone’s labor and childbirth, you will already know how.

Frame, if you wish.

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I wanted to be able to call this one Ocean so I just gathered blues and greens and whites for foam

If you figure out that you actually like doing this, you can even choose an image, and let yourself fill it in, Zen Bead Embroidery style.

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And then, you can frame it, or keep it, or give it to your son, your original, 10 pound “labor of love” and tell him it is a “once in his life time” gift!!!

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/

A Photo a Week Challenge: “Fruits of your labor “

9/11/18

A couple of years ago, on this date, I posted about 9/11. Maybe you’ll read it and let me know what you think.

It starts like this…

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 noticed, going back to find this, that the song I originally chose didn’t work so I’ll try this one here)

 

Please read my earlier post (link below) if you like and join me in remembering…..

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/09/14/song-lyric-sunday-9-11-16/

SongLyricSunday…on Friday, 9/7/18

I have had a grief-filled week and came across this song. (Thank you Carol.)

Nothing to do with cars, and I could save it until this theme comes around someday, but today is when I needed it, and there it was. It might not be new to others but a wonderful surprise for me.

The music is lovely and haunting, and the video is beautiful.

Full screen and volume up for this one.

I am resilient I trust the movement I negate the chaos Uplift the negative I’ll show up at the table Again and again and again I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen These times are poignant The winds have shifted It’s all we can do To stay uplifted Pipelines through backyards Wolves howling out front Yeah I got my crew but truth is what I want Realigned and on point Power to the peaceful, prayers to the waters Women at the center All vessels open to give and receive Let’s see this system brought down to its knees I’m made of thunder, I’m made of lightning I’m made of dirt, yeah Made of the fine things My father taught me That I’m a speck of dust and this world was made for me so let’s go and try our luck I’ve got my roots down down down deep So what are we doing here What has been done What are you going to do about it When the world comes undone My voice feels tiny And I’m sure so does yours Put us all together we’ll make a mighty roar I am resilient I trust the movement I negate the chaos Uplift the negative I’ll show up at the table again and again and again I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen…

 

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 9/2/18