Some Photos & Fancies

Photographs; & questions you wouldn't think to ask yourself…


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Contrast

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The contrasts between objects and the contrasts between ideas are very much the same. Contrasts are sharp delineations between anything and they can be complementary or completely opposite. Complementary contrasts can be more alike than we know and only appear contrasting to the brain, though they may really be different versions of the same thing and may occur within the same frame of reference. In the photograph there are contrasts between colors, between the stillness of the trees and the movement of the water and the teal, and between what our eyes want to see and what they do see. What we perceive our eyes to see are upside down trees, what our retinas really see are right side up trees. These differences in perception accompany all our senses and especially our thinking. What we may observe about behavior or another person’s thinking may not be what that other person is doing or thinking at all. Most of the time we make the assumption that what we perceive and think is correct, and we make those assumptions based on a single, quick impression and forego a moment to stop and really look at or think about what is happening. There are occasions when split second thinking is necessary, but not the majority of the time. We may find upon a little thought that what we assumed was a major contrast in perception is really very close to what we think and feel, and only presents itself in a different manner. We miss out on a lot of pleasures and friendships by assuming contrasts rather than complements and hurt others, both human and non-human. We also assume that contrasts in behavior point to a positive versus negative dichotomy and this is another assumption that costs us more than we may think it does. Just because something is different than we’re used to, or appears that way, doesn’t mean that thing is wrong or bad. To avoid assumptions and embrace contrast with openness is a way to invite more people and more ideas into our lives. How would life look or be interesting, exciting, or stimulating without any contrasts?

To you and all of yours: I wish you an Interesting, Exciting, and Stimulating New Year.


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Sense of place

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The sense of place both as an inner sensation and as a memory or actual place is originally derived from childhood experiences of places and events. For some, the sensations and sense of place that make a place home is the similarity to whatever home looked, smelled, and felt like when one was a very young child. For others the sense of place, though also derived from those childhood experiences, the sense of place is purely spiritual or emotional. For everyone a sense of place is necessary to their sense of well-being. With a sense of place comes a feeling of familiarity, of belonging, that brings comfort and the ability to rest and fortify oneself for the challenges found outside that place. For others it is a mental state based on how a place resonates within one’s head. Most importantly, having a sense of places means having a place inside or outside one’s head that is completely known and where one can always return. With this sensation as a base people can operate more confidently in their lives and meet life’s challenges more effectively. Such a place is needed to retreat to or to move forward from with confidence. One’s sense of place can be equated to one’s sense of self and where one belongs, or wants to belong, in one’s own world. Attacks on the sense of place through denigration of, jibing at, or encouraging you to change that place can have very negative effects. It is not that one’s sense of place can’t be altered by oneself, it’s that it should bot be altered by an outside influence, directly or indirectly, or one could become lost and feel dislocated without knowing why. The sense of place is a very personal thing and should be studied, not just noticed every once in a while; and should only be changed as a person changes with the tides of life. Would you want to continue to associate with a person wanting to change your sense of place?


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Co-dependents

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There are many synonyms for co-dependent and all of them are correct to a certain extent. Synonyms themselves can be classified as co-dependent given their dependence upon words of the same species and meaning. Parasitic and symbiotic are the least used and most unappealing synonyms related to co-dependent but also the most correctly classified with the pathological forms of the term. There is a stigma associated with all three words that is not justified since they are merely used to describe an existing mental and/or physical state. It does not seem reasonable to stigmatize the terms or the co-dependents for something that everyone on the planet is part of at some time during each day. Co-dependents can be bugs and flowers, co-workers, sharks and pilot fish, and many other pairs or groups. Co-dependents can have minimal contact or have one living inside another’s body. Other words equivalent to co-dependent are mutually dependent, reciprocal, collaborators, interconnected, and attached. None of these bear a stigma, but all of them can be equated to their negatively profiled counterparts. Perhaps this is a way to define gradients of the pathology that is sometimes present with co-dependency and is a way that may help to alleviate negative symptoms. Although perhaps using such terms as definitions creates those negative perceptions rather than creating a desire to explore the specific situation and possible positive attributes to the co-dependent relationship. Being part of a co-dependent relationship can be a very positive thing for all parties, but more important is a realization from the start that co-dependency exists. With that knowledge and the knowledge of how to use that kind of relationship to the best advantage, being a co-dependent can be a positive, long-lasting experience. Don’t you think we ought to be able to manage our current and inevitable future co-dependencies so that they are positive ones?


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Twilight

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Twilight can be thought of more as a concept than as a time of day. When twilight is mentioned one immediately thinks of watching light dim to darkness, hearing a hush fall over the world, and sensing a waiting stillness; and this can happen at any time of day. The body senses the way the brain has been trained to feel about the word ‘twilight’ and responds with sensory reactions that have been associated with actual twilight or the idea of what actual twilight may be. There are both positive and negative feelings and responses regarding twilight; these are based on one’s personal feelings about endings and what endings mean. Besides being the timeless gap between day and night, twilight can also be considered as the state between middle age and old age, between a strong relationship and the end of a relationship, between a fulfilling career and the end of or retirement from a career. These transitions from endings to beginnings can be wonderful preparation for the next stage in life and an uplifting place from which to look back, but too frequently any ending is looked at as being negative. Instead these twilight transitions might better be looked upon as a vacation after strong travails and a pause before new and possibly daunting efforts. Having already completed the tasks being left behind, looking forward in a positive manner would be a natural and pleasant thing to do, though looking forward is often accompanied by worry and trauma. It is important not to get caught up in the completed story of the past just as it is important not to turn anticipation into anxiety and stress looking toward the future. Twilight can work best as a quiet bridge, with no traffic, conveying one from an ending to a beginning. Isn’t it better to relax and recharge in a quiet twilight than to remain wound tight?


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Dancing

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As an expression of emotions of all kinds dance is a wonderful vehicle. So many activities can be defined as dance it is boggling, but we know that it must involve some kind of movement of the body, from almost nonexistent motion to frenetic gyrations.  Generally, dancing is not solely for oneself, it expresses feelings, stories, and invitations to one or more others. Dancing is not limited to humans, a large part of the animal kingdom uses dance for the same reasons we do, and we humans recognize that. Almost every expenditure of dance energy for all dancing species is some variation of relief from a plethora of positive and negative stimuli. One can dance melancholy, sadness, or grief; happiness, joyousness, or ecstasy; satisfaction, pride, or disappointment; send a message or make a comment. Once you’ve recognized and acknowledged a current or past mental state in your life you can express it in any way you please with dance. The venues for dance also meld with the dance itself. If the place and time do not match the emotion or message you’re attempting to send the impact of your dance is lost. All forms of dance with all their expressions of emotion and their messages convey those emotions and messages most effectively when directed to their intended audience in a place where that audience can be found. When this is accomplished one finds the enhanced communication can convey worlds of information and, generally, a feeling of well-being or satisfaction ensues even if the emotion or message is sad or not necessarily what one wants to know. The fact that information about feelings, likes, and dislikes has been communicated and that one is not alone is enough to give some comfort and relief from negativity. Primarily, though, dance evokes positive, joyful feelings and that is even more valuable than sharing sorrow or anger. The more life-affirming and positive dance can be employed the fewer negative feelings need to be expressed. Why wouldn’t anyone want to share and dance their joy?


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Holiday colors

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Therories abound regarding colors and their symbolism. The colors of the holiday season can be put into two of those categories. The additive primary color scheme that includes red, grean, and blue and the psychological shceme which includes red and green as two opposing colors out of six. White is a part of the psychological scheme as well and is opposed to black. Which makes one wonder why red and green would be opposed, possibly because they are so complementary? The third category are the subtractive primary colors red, blue, and yellow. All these theoretical schemes are based on perceived color within the human brain from information gathered with the rods and cones of the eye. All of which makes it pretty dry work determining the symbolism of colors, specifically for the colors associated with this holiday season. So to blazes with that. The red, green, and white commonly associated with winter celebrations all over the globe symbolize different things to each person who recognizes the holiday. It’s only fair for people to let these different things be public or private, whatever one wishes, and to make no judgements about anyone’s choices or preferences. In any case ’tis the season to take more pleasure in giving rather than taking, to give peace a chance rather than support conflict, to spread and feel joy rather than sorrow. I wish those three things for all and sundry, may you enjoy this time. Do you have some wishes too?


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Cleanliness

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Being clean means something a little bit different to everyone. For some it means showering or bathing every day, or more; for some it means once a week or once a month with water. And for some doesn’t mean bathing at all in the west’s traditional sense. Clean may also mean sharpness of execution or winning everything or a strictly defined end or break. The one thing all these types of clean or cleanliness have in common is the idea of edges, of sharp differences between one state and another. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one state is better than another, just that there are perceived stark delineations between the two states. As tends to be the case, we assign positive and negative values to the cleanliness concept; clean/unclean itself is something judged by parties not cognizant of the circumstances. These attitudes do not allow for any of the gradients or degrees implicit in everything to do with life and the living of it. If there is a clean break in a relationship of some kind the assumption is that there will be no contact whatsoever between the parties and this is very rarely the case. If there is a clean sweep in a political contest or any other kind of contest there are sure to be fits and starts, not smooth sailing to an uncontested victory. And if the execution of a task appears clean, sharp, and flawless, undoubtedly there was much blood, sweat, and tears spent to present the end product. Physical cleanliness can be viewed in the same manner. A person or object may appear to be less than clean, but may, in fact, be completely sterile while a person who appears undeniably clean may be crawling with unsanitary microbes. Which brings us to judging by appearances: it is never a good idea to look, assume, and judge. Only knowledge gained by studying the circumstances can inform you of the cleanliness of an object or event. Should you make uninformed judgements or search for the truth of a matter before judging?