Sunday, May 25, 2014

52 Photos Project, Gallery Three: Sugar

 Sugah, is that a sugar spoon I see in that ant pile?

(I am from the South but my sense of proper etiquette has faded lately. I never was too good at formality, to tell the truth!)

"Self Portrait: Artist at Play"

I did not realize I was so well reflected when I took this photo with my phone.

I think I'm going to want to print this one.
And this one:

There is something quite Zennish about polishing (cheap) silver(plate) while sitting on my porch listening to the birds sing. I bought the set at a second hand shop and thought it was complete place settings because it said there were 64 pieces. There might have been 64 pieces but there were only 6 forks, and two of those were a different pattern from the rest! 
I originally thought I might use the pieces for some sort of artsy-fartsy craft project. I might still do that. 

This is my quirky contribution to Week Three of the 52 Photos Project.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thoughts on Gravity, and Grief and Living Fully

(I recently watched the movie Gravity. It was a thriller but it got real personal real quickly. This is my attempt to write about the feelings that were generated while watching this movie. It may not make much sense to anyone who has not seen the movie, I do not know.)

Someone suggested I watch the movie Gravity. I can't remember, in the name of all that is good, under what context she recommended it to me. It was in March and I just now got around to watching it. Perhaps I would not have been ready to see it in March.

I can't decide whether I am grateful to her or angry at her for giving me the heads up about the loss of the astronaut's daughter being a central part of the story. Had I not been warned, I wonder, would I have recognized the similarities to my own life in this story? I also wonder, do other people, who have not lost a child, see this simply as a story about surviving in outer space and miss the deeper drama about the loss of a child and how it sometimes makes you want to give up, and how sometimes, somehow, it ends up being your lost child that inspires you to go on?

I was there, this past winter. I didn't want to kill myself. But I almost wanted to turn off all the lights and just wait for death to come get me. It was not a good time and I am grateful to be in a better place today.

And of course, the thing about dying,--how we're all gonna die, and how most of us don't much think about that until we are faced with an imminent threat, like colon cancer (the thing that turned out okay that forced me to consider my mortality), or breast cancer (the thing that has hit a couple of my friends in the last couple of years, and thus far, they are surviving), or lung cancer (the thing that has hit a very kind acquaintance of mine, and she will not be okay--first it was six weeks with no intervention, and then, six months or so with chemo meant mostly to make her comfortable and maybe give her a little more time with her family)--that thing, our reluctance to think about our own mortality, it's a common reluctance, I assume.

Maybe I've done more thinking than most about death and dying, and what my life might be worth. In other words, what price might I be willing to pay to survive, even for an extra month or two? How hard would I fight? What would be the last things I'd need/want to do if I were faced with a fatal diagnosis and had a tight time frame? Who would I thank? Who would I want to spend some uninterrupted time with? Who would I want to help me navigate that passage? These are all questions I've considered and I have pieces of my answers sketched out in my head. I'm ready, if I have any advance warning of my impending demise. I suppose the next good question might be "How am I going to fully live before I die?" I already know I will die, it's just a matter of when will I die, and what will I do with the time I still have?

The threat of cancer, the loss of my adult son, these are two events that have shaped my life and my thinking in the last couple of years and they continue to shape my life and my thinking in ways of which I am not always fully aware. Sometimes things like Gravity trigger unexpected feelings of grief in me. I was warned, but I didn't necessarily need to be warned. My grief is an important part of who I am, and when it shows up unexpectedly, I do my best to honor it as I continue to live.

If you haven't seen the movie and are planning to, you might not want to look at the quotes below, which I've taken from the website These are just a few of the quotes concerning the themes that ran through the movie that touched me.

Ryan Stone: I know, we're all gonna die. Everybody knows that. But I'm going to die today. Funny that... you know, to know. But the thing is, is that I'm still scared. Really scared. Nobody will mourn for me, no one will pray for my soul. Will you mourn for me? Will you say a prayer for me? Or is it too late... ah, I mean I'd say one for myself but I've never prayed in my life. Nobody ever taught me how... nobody ever taught me how...

Matt Kowalski: I get it. It's nice up here. You can just shut down all the systems, turn out all the lights, and just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There's nobody up here that can hurt you. It's safe. I mean, what's the point of going on? What's the point of living? Your kid died. Doesn't get any rougher than that. But still, it's a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go, then you gotta just get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride. You gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start livin' life. Hey, Ryan? It's time to go home.

Ryan Stone: Hey, Matt? Since I had to listen to endless hours of your storytelling this week, I need you to do me a favor. You're gonna see a little girl with brown hair. Very messy, lots of knots. She doesn't like to brush it. But that's okay. Her name is Sarah. Can you please tell her that mama found her red shoe? She was so worried about that shoe, Matt. But it was just right under the bed. Give her a big hug and a big kiss from me and tell her that mama misses her. Tell her that she is my angel. And she makes me so proud. So, so proud. And you tell her that I'm not quitting. You tell her that I love her, Matt. You tell her that I love her so much. Can you do that for me? Roger that.
Ryan Stone: Never mind, Houston, never mind the story! Ah. It's starting to get hot in here. The way I see it, there are only two possible outcomes. Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell! Or I burn up in the next ten minutes. Either way, whichever way... no harm, no foul!
Ryan Stone: Because either way, it's going to be one hell of a ride! I'm ready.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

52 Photos Project, Gallery Two: Criss Cross

Just so happens I had a few photos with a sort of criss cross theme.

This is one of the old windows on a little room my uncle is fixing up for me. 

This is a view from the inside looking out.

We planted a small garden a couple of weeks ago. I was playing around with my shadow and my gloved hand.

(My contribution to the 52 Photos Project.)

Wordless Wednesday: Hinged

Thursday, May 08, 2014

52 Photos Project, Gallery One: Fire

The porch of my little house in the country. We often sit out here in the evenings and wait for the "booger light" to come on. That is what my grandparents always called the security light. The candles are citronella, and necessary lately because of all the mosquitoes.

When we aren't on the porch, we are gathered out in the yard around our fire pit. There is nothing like a quiet evening in the country with darkness all around and the stars shining in clear skies above.

(My contribution the week one of the fourth year of the 52 Photos Project. I enjoyed participating some before but ended up getting off track. We will see how well I do this time around!)