Some Photos & Fancies

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


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Afloat

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Sometimes it seems as though we can hardly keep our heads above water, then struggle one more time to reach the surface and find ourselves exhausted. We may have struggled toward the surface from fear of the unknown or a possibly dangerous world below us.  We may avoid the water altogether and continually fly above the surface finding ourselves reveling in the magnificence of free flight. These reasons for fearing or rejoicing in an underwater or above water experience represent extremes, extremes that bring strong positive or negative feelings up front and center in our minds. While extremes of feelings can be helpful in the short-run when we face short-term positive or negative circumstances, they are a detriment if allowed to continue indefinitely. It might be of some value to learn to float – hanging comfortably between the deep sea and the light air and be able to enjoy them both. While floating our powers of observation re-emerge and we can take pleasure in our surroundings and learning about them. When we become too busy or involved in our own small portion of life that we cannot observe the rest of life around us we may begin to sink again to the depths of inconsequence and ignorance. When we become so ecstatic or joyful that we ignore the rest of life around us we may float above the surface of daily life with the same result. Once we’ve learned to accept that there are depths to which we may sink and heights to which may rise we can choose our place to float between them. One wouldn’t want to live completely without extremes, but it’s much more comfortable to find our floating place and know that after the joys and sorrows we can return there. For in the place you choose to float you’ll find your sense of the permanence of some things, your expectations about people and events is not jarred, and your life is on an even keel until the next sinking or flying occurrence. Wouldn’t you rather find a floating place than see-saw from high to low endlessly?


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Who, me?

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When someone calls or even says your name you as you’re walking down the street or are in a crowd you will most likely turn around or look around even if you happen to know that it can’t be you being called. And you’ll ask, who me? If someone really doesn’t want to be seen or doesn’t want to respond to someone else right then and they get spotted…they’ll ask, who, me? Or if someone has done something they’re not very proud of and gets caught…they’ll ask, who, me? There are many reasons to ask the question and they fall into to two categories: those who want to be called or recognized and those who don’t. The positive aspects of asking are visible and immediate if you choose to respond after the call and your response. You can then contribute to a project, help another, or greet a friend not seen for a while. Although one may not want them to be, the negative aspects are visible to others when you respond with incredulity, guilt, or reluctance in your voice. Once you’ve answered with your “who, me?” you’ve opened yourself up to a conversation that you will most likely find will continue whether you want it to or not.  If you are too busy or don’t like the person calling you, you do have the choice of not responding. But it’s very hard not to at least turn to ask if it is you being singled out for some purpose; it’s almost impossible not to  respond. Perhaps this is because we all want attention whether it is positive or negative attention. There seems to be a visceral or deeply ingrained response mechanism that prompts one to ask if one is wanted for some purpose that has the words out of our mouths before we can make a conscious decision. Though there are times we may wonder why we responded, we’re probably better off having done so; if we hadn’t responded we would never know what we may have missed by not responding. Curiosity and openness about new or even familiar things can’t help but put us is a position to learn and grow. Don’t you think almost anything could happen when you answer Who, me? to a call?


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Rainbows

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There is no such thing as a standard rainbow, all rainbows are wonders of light and moisture. There are traditional rainbows, and we all know what someone means when they say they’ve seen a rainbow. These traditional rainbows have the possibility of good luck or money associated with them. It seems to me that not everyone should assume they are deserving of the good luck and good fortune possible upon finding the end of the rainbow. Those who have made an effort at anything positive or helpful to others should surely be the ones eligible to win the jackpot or pot of gold. Or perhaps it only takes a positive attitude and sunny disposition to able to win the prize. In any event, we cannot make those kinds of decisions – after all the luck and money associated with traditional rainbows is a purely random thing. In the back of our minds we’re always wondering, just a little, whether the luck or money might come our way.

04-30-12 018a Even if fortune doesn’t smile on us that way we are lucky enough to have a plenitude of other kinds of rainbows, too. Because of the properties of light and water rainbows can be seen almost anywhere the two are combined, with a light source added. Whether it be in a wave’s spray, though ice in a glass, or a droplet on a flower we see the same combination of colors in the same order. The newness and amazement are always present when a rainbow is spotted even if we’ve seen one only minutes before. Perhaps it is an unknowing, but realized function of our brains that is celebrating the fact that we can see at all.  Or perhaps it is the delight in harmonious color and something viewed in a normal place that is made extraordinary by a rainbow. It seems a shame that many animals cannot see what we are seeing. They can see in other spectrums, though, so maybe they can see their own rainbows, ones that we cannot see. Whatever really happens when rainbows appear they always seem to bring a touch of joy to the moment. Doesn’t a rainbow make your day feel a bit more special?


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Grooming

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Grooming is necessary if only to maintain one’s health. We can see examples of grooming in our homes and just about everywhere else. All of the animal kingdom except man has no choice but to perform its grooming activities outside or in rudimentary shelters. Sometimes this behavior is watched and studied by man, or at least watched, commented on, and photographed. What people don’t seem to realize is that they, too, are watched while grooming in public. Or perhaps they just don’t care that their personal rituals may have negative (or too positive) effects on others. This is their privilege, there are no rules and regulations regarding public shaving, plucking, or applying makeup that I know of, but it is distracting to others and is very dangerous when people are engaging in grooming behavior while operating a vehicle of some kind. Yes, I’ve seen people dressing and doing their hair while ostensibly steering a boat. One shudders to think what aircraft pilots may do. Public groomers seem to me to be very self-involved and have very little time for the world around them; they have time only for the small circle surrounding them and their immediate interest. This may be unfair to the surreptitious lipstick/lip balm applier or to the person who stealthily runs a comb through their hair, but one can tell these people are trying to be discreet and not to make a production out of grooming necessities. Public grooming is sure to be no issue for many people, and it is not a major issue; it points up the differences between personality types and may actually be useful in defining a person’s personality and proclivities. Used as a tool that way, the extent and frequency of grooming publicly may really be a game-changer. Public grooming or private grooming – do you have a preference?


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Swept

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Sweeping is not only about cleaning house, and a broom is not the only thing that can be swept with. To sweep is an all-encompassing term that includes everything from sweeping dirt away to sweeping clouds away or being swept away in a storm. The term has inundated many aspects of our language, is appropriate to it, and it is understood whenever it is used. We can be swept off our feet by a stronger foe, or by circumstances beyond our control, or by the winds of change. Amongst all this sweeping it seems that we should be able to have a bit more control over our lives and the situations so that we’re not swept away by everything. If we allow ourselves to be swept away easily we’ll find we haven’t got idea one of where we’ve ended up or why we’ve ended up there. We can’t always avoid being swept away by something but we should know how to try to stop that strong and repeated pressure. Having a strong sense of self and direction can help with the aim of following our own paths. Recognizing the beginning of a sweeping motion will help as well; for then we can react against the motion if we so desire. We do want to be swept away sometimes, especially if we recognize where we’re being swept and wholeheartedly want to go there. We want the sensations of a new love, or the feeling of success and fulfillment from a job well done, or the satisfaction of completing a task that has compelled and eaten up all our time. We wouldn’t want to be swept away by a mob, or caught up in a friend’s vicious wrangle, or be unable to stop playing when on a losing streak while gambling. A sense of balance and a sense of self is really all that is needed to find a path through the brooms reaching toward us every day, and to make our own decisions about being swept. Is holding your own broomstick more appealing than succumbing to others’?


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Flight or fight

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There are now three recognized reactions when confronted with something startling or potentially dangerous: flight, fight, or freeze (can also be considered a category of flight). The physical reactions at the beginning of all the reactions are very close to the same, the subsequent actions are the determining factors of the strategy and the label that will prevail. The individual reactions have been developed from early childhood on; none speak to the character or value of the different beings having the reactions, though males tend toward aggression and females toward flight. Those who always fly or always fight will have more difficulty coming unscathed from all their negative encounters since they are much less able to adapt to these situations than those who take a brief moment to evaluate it, then decide which reaction to go with. Always fighting is more likely to create an even worse situation than the original one, always fleeing may not resolve the problem, and freezing is a temporary solution at best, one must prepare for flight or fight once the paralysis , voluntary or not, has lifted. These strategies have their positive and negative aspects but one must learn to use them only when one must. A society of beings all fighting or flying all at same time all the time wouldn’t work very well. There must be an organization, a pattern in all societies that allows its members to live unthreatened lives the majority of the time. There are bodily functions that are activated or depressed when an individual is threatened that can hurt that individual if they go on too long. One must be able to live in proximity with different species or see the end of your own species from unnatural or extensive fright responses. The flight or fight response must be finely honed because there will be circumstances when it is necessary for survival, but thinking about those circumstances so much that a healthy balance cannot be maintained is a mistake you don’t want to make. Wouldn’t you like to have your chosen response ready to be used and not blunted by overuse?


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Aging

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Aging occurs throughout one’s life, indeed it occurs all day, every day. One tends to think of aging as something that only happens in one’s life from middle age to older age, then even older aged. Yet we do most of our aging the most quickly when we are quite young and very young. The growth of the body and of the brain is most rapid when we are babies and toddlers while, generally, the least change happens when we are older. We must know this subliminally since birthdays are celebrated the most elaborately when we are younger and birthdays tend to be forgotten, except the decade years, when we are older. The visible effects of aging on the body include changes in size and function on both ends of the spectrum and the visible changes from aging in the facial features present similarly.  However, aging in the more elderly is treated with veneration and there is hardly any or no appreciation for aging in younger or growing people. Granted, in many cultures the major milestones of growth and celebrations for youth merging into adulthood are elaborate and community wide; these rites of passage do not hold the homage to or defer to the emerging adults in the way that many of the elderly are considered wise, with an unearthly spiritual superiority. Even in Western cultures, where older people are often ignored and shoved to the side, there remain fairy tales and old stories recognizing the wisdom and wealth of knowledge older people possess . Also, in Western culture, growing children are often ignored and shoved to the side, left to themselves or to caretakers to raise. It seems that aging is something of a bad word and negative concept in the West. The idea of change in general is anathema; there is, rather, a need to conform to a model of unchanging and inhuman physical and mental characteristics that has led to a very peculiar sense of how to treat members of our own society. I would think that transitions at all times for all ages should be acknowledged and celebrated, wouldn’t you?