Say Cheese! March is Phoneography Month: when the joy is in the picture

These are photos taken of we three.  Is there any purer joy than children who love the camera and are in awe that what they do is reflected back to them? There is an awe in their innocence that they, themselves, are magically recorded.  These are older phone photos but I have been waiting for an opportunity to use them.  And besides, getting the pic also means getting a hug.

                                                                                                                 Almost 3

Almost

100_1394

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Invent a definition for the word “flangiprop” (Noun and Verb Usage)

digital direction

FLANGIPROP is a colloquial term derived from phalanges.

As a noun: it describes primarily the middle digit of either hand which when extended appears to give digital direction which is propped up by the supporting thumb.

As a verb it describes the action of extending said digit as in ‘He flangipropped the maniac driving erratically down the main street.’

A Flangiprop has found respectability in present day society.  At one time it denoted vulgarity, something used only by the uneducated, but since Presidents and Queens started expressing feelings by gesture, it has become fashionable.

Daily Prompt: Helpless When? Always

Illustration of the Parkinson disease by Sir W...

Illustration of the Parkinson disease by Sir William Richard Gowers from A Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System in 1886 showing the characteristic posture of PD patients (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Helplessness:  that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins.  When did you last feel like that – and what did you do about it?

There is no last time to Helplessness.  It is a constant in many of our lives.  It doesn’t necessary pervade every aspect of our day but it exists.  I guess like the number one it is lonely.

What makes us helpless?  I think it is when we have a desire to change or alter something and have no apparent means of doing so.

We are helpless as we watch our children grow and make decisions that we don’t necessarily agree with and we have found out by experience there is a better way.  For some reason the wisdom learned from living does not always get passed along to the next generation.  Unfortunately this is more common than not.

We are helpless as we watch global violence unfold on our TV screens and it means little more than an action movie.

We are helpless as we watch the homeless trying to find shelter on a bitter cold night.

We are helpless as we watch loved ones struggle with and lose the battle against disease:  Cancer, Parkinson’s, Multi-system failure, and the most debilitating -depression, bipolar disease, and Personality Disorders.

And why are mental illnesses the most debilitating?

Unlike physical based illness, mental illness is often not comforted by touch and words.  We may not like it but can at least understand a physical failing or degeneration.  We can understand our bodies betraying us.  We are unable to reach inside someone’s head and remove offending thoughts that charge around causing confusion, fear and pain.  Strange thoughts, strange words.  Frightening.  And all we can do is stand outside the arena of horror as our loved ones fight and unseen but deadly battle.

We are helpless as these victims heap another pile of guilt on themselves knowing what it does to others.  To their loved ones.

We are helpless as we watch parents and children and partners dishing themselves an unhealthy serving of guilt believing that if they had been good, or done things differently the victim, their loved one would not have to endure hell on earth.

Sometimes the worst hells are not the ones we walk through ourselves but the ones others have to go through and we are helpless to change

Helpless.  That’s us.

And sometimes all we can do is pray and believe in prayer and pray some more.  Do you know I have had atheists tell me they have prayed in crisis.  Not to a defined diety but to something.

I have seen the miracle of prayer.  Sometimes prayer may must bring some comfort, some strength if not healing.

Gosh I hope some of you have been able to come up with a funny take on this WordPress prompt.  Otherwise – we – remain- helpless – in too many areas.

Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael – The First Sentence

I usually do not post on a weekend but the Daily Prompt caught my eye and of course I just had to respond.  DP Challenge: Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

My very very first thought was my favorite first sentence is not in my favorite book.  Way back in October 2011 I wrote about three of my personal fave authors and called it Cussler, Koontz and Stockett, and the line said, “Death was driving an emerald green Lexus“.

The first sentence of my favorite book is “He should never have taken that short cut.”  It’s from Michael Crighton’s book TIMELINE and the poor book is barely hanging on to existence.  Well actually it is not hanging on at all.  Its soft cover is curled back from the spine top and bottom.  The back cover has about an inch square flapped firmly back and some of the pages are missing.  At first I kept putting the pages back loose leaf like and then one day a few pages disappeared.  That was okay as I thought I would just fill the gaps in from memory as I read and reread and reread.  This book has served me well for the last twelve years but I can’t put it to rest until I replace it.

I discovered a long time ago that bedtime reading cannot be anything I am currently reading for the first time because I simply cannot put the book down.  So bedtime fare is one of a few fave rereads (although sometimes I get so caught up in it….well you know.)

So my poor book, like a weary soldier continues to soothe my soul and mind and guard against that thief of the night, Insomnia’ and yes it will be retired once I find another copy.

my valiant knight/night

my valiant knight/night

looks pretty weary huh?

looks pretty weary huh?

held together by the last straw I think

held together by the last straw I think

Daily Prompt: What is the 11th item on your bucket list? Nicholson and Freeman

Cover of "The Bucket List"

Cover of The Bucket List

When Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred in the movie The Bucket List society pulled one of their ‘HEY lets grab on to these words because its s.o darn cute and lets assume everyone needs to at least pretend they have a bucket list, and then let’s just say the words repeatedly even if we have to force it into conversation.  The same thing happened with the use of Paradigm or rather the overuse of it.  Another word over used currently is Meme.

The idea of a bucket list is fine but it just doesn’t excite everyone and what happens is that those who don’t have a list but want to fit in are forced to make a list.  And making a list of ten things (who the heck decided 10 was the magic number anyway?) can be taxing on one’s inners – souls, psyches etc etc etc….  Then at least nine things are listed that you don’t really ever want to do but you must be able to produce to be ‘acceptable’.  Then of course you start to feel guilty that you really don’t want to do any of them.  Then comes the challenge of adding Mystique.  At least one item must be nefarious, vague, baffling to an outsider and requiring explanation such as ‘Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world. as Nicholson eventually did.  To make the  list indeed a list then you must add a total of ten to fit in.

I loved the movie.  I love the idea of lists – if they work for you.  If making a list and then actually going and completing tasks and stroking off work for you then that is wonderful.

It doesn’t work quite that way for me.  I have faced my mortality and the best I could do at that time was to express immense gratitude for waking up and still be breathing.  I have no far away lands drawing me, no great adventures calling.

I love how some self important people no longer talk at great length about Bucket Lists, they just slip it into conversation, ‘Oh yes we completed our trip around the moon.  It was after all the fourth item on our bucket list.’  Soft, subtle, but just a wee bit of an air of that old monster conceit.

It’s strange that I truly admire and envy those who not only embrace A Bucket list but who also do check things off.  We all search for what we think we are looking for or should be looking for and for me these days it seems to be more of an inward search rather than external targets.

So what is my 11th item on my bucket list?

Beats me.  I would rather read about yours!

Daily Prompt: Morton’s Fork – To Read or To Write

Elizabeth Browning

Elizabeth Browning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Daily Prompt folks picked a suggestion by Courtney that certainly seems a lot easier than that old Shakespeare quote: To Be or Not To Be.  Although really if one is then you already are Being which of course is a very very superficial interpretation.

Today’s Challenge from WordPress is: If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not your own), which would you pick?  Why?

For me there is no challenge.  I am definitely a reader.  I’ve tried writing…okay..so I continue to try.. and it is difficult.  Okay Okay…sometimes it is fun.  Well most of the time it is fun and there is a certain satisfaction to be had in creating but, and this is a pretty big BUT, I am a reader.  Of many things.

If I have four books at hand then I will devour them within a week.  I know, we are not talking about books.  The Challenge pertains to blogs.  Your blogs.  And yup I will surrender my pen or rather keyboarding digits to read what you write.

Reading (blogs) is more than information gathering and it brings to mind yet another poem.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning‘s How Do I Love Thee.  If I had one thing I have not had in this life it would be the relationship she had with her partner, coauthor, and husband Robert Browning and the passion and devotion she so sweetly shared with the public.

You see for me, reading your blogs, inspires, educates, motivates, consoles, comforts, exhilarates, invigorates, provokes, prompts, excites, and generates a whole mess of thinking great thoughts.  Why I wish I could list all of you and what you do for me (although that is what I am seeking to do in my Friday Following in the FootSteps series – about to be continued this week). To name names in a single post fills me with fear of forgetting even one person and besides it would take pages and pages and pages and … well you get the idea.

To read and not write, if it had to be one way or the other is a no brainer for me because in addition to all the reasons there is one even more important.  In sharing yourselves, your thoughts, you are allowing yourself to be known.  To be cherished.  And therein lies the real truth.  You have become part of my world, part of my existence.  And my life would be poorer without you.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Bowning (1806-1861)

Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Meaningful Possessions

I am a little late to the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge Being Saturday and all.  The subject matter is ‘ tell us about your most meaningful possession and since I have spent most of my life making sure that possessions were not meaningful, I honestly thought I had nothing to contribute.

Then last night outside under the stars I asked myself that same question and the answer came crystal clear.  I do have one possession that matters.  Would I fight to the death over it?  No, but while I have it with me I will savor the meaning and remember.

Dad's leather purse

Most Meaningful Possession

My Dad is not someone I write an awful lot about which always puzzles  me because he was the center of my existence.  While my mother tried to teach me how to darn socks (darned if I could understand why – being the diva I was I could not see myself ever darning anything), and knit and keep the house cool in  the summer by pulling down the blinds on the east side in the morning and on the west side in the afternoon, my Dad taught me other things.

Have you found it surprising, if you have ever had to clean out a home after someone dies, what seemed important to that person?  Have you ever held an object and wondered why it was stored in a tin box with other seemingly meaningless objects?

When it was time to do this for my father there were a number of treasure found.  His gold ring with his initials had been left to me but I decided it should go to the oldest son of the oldest son and gave it to my brother for his son.

There was one treasure I was not even aware of until about ten  years ago (and Dad died in 1981).  The gift came from my sister.  I wondered at it at first as it was a small suede leather bag measuring three and half inches at its base, two inches at its neck and five inches in length.  And leather tie to tighten it.  Engraved into the leather appears to be a Mayan calander or something zodiac like.  I truly do not know exactly what it is.  This bag and other ‘treasures’ were kept in an old tin box in his top drawer.  It was a pretty beat up tin box and I remember seeing it as a young child and wishing I could see inside.

Anyway I thought this was a strange gift but I was touched deeply and then my sister said, “open it”.

Inside were five pennies, each with the birth year of my brothers and sisters and me, and one nickle with my birth year.

Meaningful possessions

The feeling of holding something my dad felt was important enough to be a tin box treasure and understanding the depth and the heart of my sister was overwhelming.

There has never been another gift that has meant as much and each time I pull that leather string to close the bag I feel like I am ensuring my family is tucked in safely.

Die for it if I had to?  You know what?  Just maybe!

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