weekly photo challenge

Angel

“Monsters will always exist. There’s one inside each of us. But an angel lives there, too. There is no more important agenda than figuring out how to slay one and nurture the other.” – Jacqueline Novogratz

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This is the original photo, taken through the windshield while driving at night.

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This week’s photo challenge is: Refraction

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Fine Art Photography, Verse, weekly photo challenge

Illusions I Recall

I looked upon the simple tree and there I saw the symbols that showed the way. I was rooted there in awe.
Yet the answers they held eluded me, its limbs so twisted and crossed. This time and place, it wasn’t mine.  I turned away; I’m lost.

digital art photo editing fantasy

The weekly photo challenge is: Dreamy

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Write it Now

Foreshadow

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I have often thought my parents didn’t raise me … I merely drifted up, like a detached leaf floating on an unpredictable breeze.

I’m not sure how long I stood there gazing over the fields, letting my mind wander at will, only to come back to this same thought.  I don’t know where the feeling comes from except that I can’t remember much in my childhood on which to hang my hat.  I can’t find any flags that mark a beginning, or an ending, loss or elation, wonder or disillusionment.  Just placid waters on a mild summer day with intermittent clouds and isolated showers, like the view through the window.  How then did I become the person I am, and what events directed my journey?

My middle daughter had prompted this mood.  Grown up now and a mother herself she said, “I know you as Mum.  I’d like to know who Lynne is.”

Now in my sixth decade you’d think I could answer that question but instead it raises questions, primary being, “Do I know who Lynne is?”  And that was followed by a desire to know what had shaped me.

I looked down at the dining table sitting in this sequestered corner of the living room.  I am proud of our modest home, more so because I have lived in much less.  I love the hardwood floors and the few pieces of refinished furniture that fill this space. It is always lit with light flowing in the tall windows through which I gaze.   In years now lost to time, in another life with another husband, when I dreamed of such a home, it included many of the refinements Graham had built into this one – a front porch, a large entrance hall, counters in the kitchen that are taller than standard to accommodate my height.  Even the long curving driveway had been part of my plan.  The foresight of Graham in building these features into his home long before he and I ever found our way back to each other make a good argument for fate and destiny, if I believed in such things.

The Daily Post writing prompt is: Foreshadow

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weekly photo challenge

Endurance

The Cathars were a religious sect in the southern regions of France in the 12th and 13th centuries.  They opposed what they perceived as the moral, spiritual and political corruption of the Catholic Church.  As a result, Pope Innocent III launched a campaign against them that resulted in the death of about 20,000 men, women and children, Cathars and Catholics alike.   The Cathars retreated to strongholds in the Languedoc region of southern France where they were held under siege by their persecutors.  Queribus, one of the fortresses, endures today atop the highest peak in the area and is a reminder of what the Cathars themselves endured.

cathar stronghold Queribus

cathar stronghold Queribus

cathar stronghold QueribusWeekly photo challenge: Endurance

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Challenges, Travel Theme Challenge

Surround Sound

What sounds go with these photos?

Oom-pah-pah, Warnemunde, Germany

Oom-pah-pah, Warnemunde, Germany

Steady rhythm of soldiers marching in unison, Copenhagen

horse and caleche

Clip Clop on pavement – Calèche in the market, Ottawa

Revelry and laughter - Tallinn, Estonia

Revelry and laughter – Tallinn, Estonia

Ailsa’s travel theme challenge: Noise

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Write it Now

Overload

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Halcyon days of my youth … I don’t wish to go back, I’m quite enjoying myself in the here and now.  But, Bob Dylan sang it to me when I was a teenager in the ‘60’s … “times they are a-changing”.  And they did.  And, I’d venture to say, faster than they ever did before.  Time and technology have proven to be, in my opinion, a toxic combination.

We left the closely knit extended families who worked together and prayed together somewhere out in the forests and on the prairies.  Now we have the 21stC family.  We zoomed right past the “nuclear family” and ran smack into the “blended family”– relationships complicated with step parents and half sisters and relatives scattered like dandelion seeds on a summer breeze.  Moving to the next town, the next province, across the country, over the ocean, it’s all the same as we hop a plane and disperse ourselves around the globe.  We have greater mobility than ever before.  And, I’d say, less stability … unravelling even.

So to keep up we “multi-task”.  We set the dishwasher going while the clothes spin in the dryer and the vacuum robot performs its programmed rounds while we pay our bills on the telephone and shop on the internet while waiting for the potatoes to cook.  We talk on the phone while we drive, watch movies while we fly, broadcast our news to everyone at once on Facebook.  Email has taken over and letter writing has become a lost art. We talk, calculate, take pictures, send mail, watch television, and make a movie all on our once lowly telephone. Less and less we take time for one-on-one or face-to-face, or heart-to-heart.

We do all this, and we do it fast. Cars go from 0 to 60 in seconds; personal missives and business documents speed from Canada to Hong Kong in the blink of a cursor; planes can cross the Atlantic between breakfast at 7 a.m. and coffee break at 10, and man flies to the moon in a capsule and is home in a week.

Our world has shrunk. News of events that happen in the remote regions of Africa or in the bombed out villages of Iraq or Afghanistan speed through “cyberspace” from the furthest reaches of our world and land in our living rooms, in “high def” colour and surround sound.   The impact of the cyclone in Pakistan, the tsunami in Indonesia, the suicide bombings in Afghanistan … all served up the same day with supper.

Our world has shrunk because of the speed of technology, but our sense of responsibility for family has been stretched out of shape by distance and consequent apathy, and now  it has to be shrunk back to fit society’s need for us to take care of our own, because society no longer has the resources to do so.

Everything is so inter-related that a computer glitch in Air Canada’s reservation system in Toronto can create line ups, long waits, flight delays and cancellations in airports around the globe;   the domino effect … like a house of cards.

What has it taught us?  Instant gratification.  And what happened to patience?  The listing for “patience” in the dictionary will soon be followed with “archaic” and a definition that tries to impart the understanding of the foreign idea of waiting for something.  I suppose anticipation will also disappear – with instant gratification there is no time to anticipate.

Privacy is down to zero and personal rights and freedoms seem to be the exclusive right of the minority.  Anywhere, at any time, someone can make a video of you with their phone and post you and your day on UTube before you get home.

We went from wars of fighting a known and see-able enemy to the technology of missiles that chase aircraft.

From children in happy, healthful outdoor play until the lights come on, to children bound to indoor game-boy stations, hiding from neighbourhood nasties, under the watchful eye of fearful parents.

A better world?  Definitely a different world.

The Daily Post writing prompt is: Overload Alert

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Challenges, Travel Theme Challenge

Taking Photos Saves $$

On our last trip I had decided NOT to bring home more ‘stuff’ that needed dusting.  I took pictures instead, and as Ailsa said, saved money.

Warnemunde, Germany

Warnemunde, Germany

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia

pottery in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russia

Kubota machinery

Green Valley, Ontario

market

Byward Market, Ottawa

Ailsa’s travel theme is: Merchandise

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