Overhead

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo. The prompt: Overhead

 

During a recent visit to the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, NH, I noticed this steel sculpture next to the front entrance.

Its moving parts caught my attention in the slight breeze…

overhead 2

…as I stood underneath to catch them in motion…

overhead 1

 

In case you’re interested…as it appears viewed from the side…

steel art

info sign

Believe Me

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #60: Belief

This week, let’s think about the beliefs – personally, socially, culturally – that define our realities.

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bxw rock

 

The most profound disappointment in life is when your truth is not believed.

When reality becomes distorted. By people who matter. And even by people who don’t matter.

But those close to you…that’s when the knife cuts the deepest. Because the hope hangs on. And on. And on. Maybe if this, maybe if that….then they’ll believe me.

Wait, I know that’s what happened. I was there. I heard it. I saw it.

But what if we are programmed from an early age to tell the world – or, more specifically, our world – family, friends – no everything is just fine.

My father would stare into the sad face of one of his children and chant over and over: Don’t Smile! Don’t Smile! Don’t Smile! Laughing…as he repeated his mantra. He’d crouch down and get right in front of a small unhappy face, his mouth stretched tight in a wide grin. His brown eyes, behind thick glasses, betrayed the frivolity. They were mocking. Perhaps fearful.
As if we presented the impossible possibility that one so small and helpless could struggle with an emotion so complicated, so fraught with need.
Need for compassion, understanding, some measure of support. Validation. That we mattered.

I understand now why. He had no idea how to respond. Maybe he was overwhelmed. As it reflected his own dark emotional beliefs. The message: Don’t Be Sad. Deny the Sad. It’s not okay.

Of course, it didn’t take long for our smiles to take shape. If for nothing else, to make the laughing father stop. Smiles did not match up with the eyes or heart. And especially they did not reflect our truth.

My mother, on the other hand, would ask us what we did wrong to cause this emotion that made her so uncomfortable.

I didn’t know what to believe.

Now I do.

 

deering A

Taking a Break

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #57: Taking a Break

…respond to this week’s challenge by showing how we and/or others “Take A Break”…How many ways can you think of for getting away from the daily grind and finding peace?

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I like to walk. Outside. I will admit I count steps – or at least keep track of them – via an older model fitness tracker I wear every day. No bells, whistles or flashing lights. Just an app on my phone which records how many steps I’ve accumulated. If I can count at least 5,000 in a day I don’t feel like a slug. 10,000 is the elusive goal. It all depends on how I’m feeling. How well various body parts are cooperating.

If nothing else, it motivates me to push back my desk chair, close my laptop, find my walking sneakers and head outdoors. Sometimes I call a friend to go with me – we chat and discuss the world’s problems.

Five years ago, I had a regular walking buddy – also a good friend – who would drive to my house for an afternoon walk. At that time I lived in a quiet neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. A relatively level road. Perfect for walking and talking with minimal huffing and puffing (more for my benefit – my friend, an experienced hiker, slowed her pace down for me).

Since then, she moved to California and I moved out of the house on the cul-de-sac. To a condo a few towns over. The “walking trail” promised by the developer is no trail at all. Just crushed stone gradually being taken over by grass and water runoff from the roof drains.

My steps outside now consist of walking up and down in front of the condo buildings.  I can also turn the corner and walk further into a neighborhood of matching houses…which are really condos. One “active adult community” next to another…but without many active adults visible.

A big change from the old neighborhood. No swing sets. No children on bikes or running to catch a ball. Rarely anyone at all.

Sometimes I drive downtown and walk to the end of the main street to reach the town “parkway” – which isn’t really a parkway like the infamous Garden State Parkway I grew up next to. It’s a quiet two lane road next to a tidal river. Grassy areas on either side of the road. Lined with memorial benches…often filled with locals finishing up their ice cream cones.

And for those of us who need one…a resting spot…to take a break.

parkway benches

The parkway’s sidewalk is next to the river.

Perfect for walking…especially late in the day…

river downtown

It doesn’t get much more peaceful than that.

 

parkway sign

 

 

 

Photo a Week: Timing is Everything

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge this week: Timing is Everything

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING PERFECT TIMING.

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When you are a 9 year old girl with a 3 ½ year old brother…on a family vacation…enjoying a lake swim…chances are there will be shenanigans.

You might even be minding your own business…practicing your crawl stroke. Watch Me! Watch Me! Or just hanging out and relaxing in the shallow water.

After a busy year in third grade, a kid needs some down time. That’s what vacations are for.

And then along comes the little trickster. The one with the ready grin, giggles and surprises up his sleeve. Even when there are no sleeves.

Up he sneaks…at just the right moment…perfectly timed…for a well aimed splash.

GPC 1991 splash
Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
August, 1991

Let the games begin!

 

[35mm film]

Welcome!

 

For Proscenium’s Friday Follies:

 

door sign

 

A local merchant with a sense of humor. Which I always appreciate…especially these days.  Makes me smile every time I pass by.

This is my first entry into the Friday Follies challenge, as I am feeling the need for some comic relief!

Rectangles

Inspired by the Dutch goes the Photo Challenge: Rectangles

 

One winter day, I was enjoying several hours visiting the “Ansel Adams in Our Time” exhibit at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Along with my husband and two dear friends.

Taking a break at the museum’s cafe…a hot cup of tea in hand…I looked up and was treated to…

rectangle ceiling

…a ceiling view deserving of its own exhibit.