Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pictures that Talk

     A long holiday weekend and some chill time for many of you. We relaxed and had a leisurely day and took time to look through  photos of trips from last year. We put them up on the computer screen. Just had the pictures fading in and out in no particular order. (This is a photo from Key West and has a GREAT story that I'll share another time).
    It's the photos that didn't carry a lot of weight in the significance of all the photos we take in a row, at the time when you pressed the shutter button, that now are the ones that really speak to you. I get into the messages that are meant to be shared. I am particularly drawn to pictures that are imperfect, have objects off kilter or unusual settings.  Photos that make you think, make you react. I love the unusual, the quirky setting. I am moved by symbolism and the chance to connect and touch someone.
   At times, I like the structured and staged photos of people or things. You know everyone looking at the camera and smiling kind of pic. Everything perfect. Only it never is. There's always something that catches your attention. Photos tell a story. The story of the object in front of the lens, and  about the person on the other side of the lens. Of course, there's another viewpoint. It is YOU, the person looking at the photo. A three way conversation going on, no one talking and everyone influenced by another. If pictures could talk we say . . .  they do, there IS a story there. We just have to look and listen.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Visitor

     There are some experiences in life that remain intensely real for a long time in your life. Memories that we tuck away, that come out when you don't expect them.
     I remember when my father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Earlier that week, he had had his first of only a few chemo treatments before they decided it was to no avail. Keep him as comfortable as we can they said.
      His illness was rapid in it's progression and hostile in it's take over. I used to make the 45 minute one way trip to my parents house almost daily trying to take care of both of them with very differing health and the emotional issues that go with it. (mother had dementia and multiple strokes.) The doctors appointments, the cleaning, the bathing, the laundry, the meals, medications, therapy,  phone calls and back up support for when I wasn't there. And then turn around, go back home to take care of family , although the children were older and more self sufficient, but still needing attention and nurturing. And as life goes, other concerns consumed me there as well.
     It seemed that no matter where I was, I felt I should be at the other place.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reading People

     I have recently met someone for the first time. A close and long time friend of a person that I think the world of. I was excited to meet them.
    It ended up being a longer evening than anyone anticipated. We met for a drink and appetizer, only to have it become appetizers, dinner, and then back to my place for conversation and drinks. The clock ticked away and everyone got comfortable. We talked about life, travel, people and family. Lots of laughing, and the body language seemed very relaxed for all. Everything seemed positive and they were smiling and stated several times what a good time they were having.
     Now, I am a hugger, and after spending all this time with them, as they were leaving, I gave out my usual, what I consider, very sincere hugs as everyone headed towrd the door. There they stood, last to go. They had their arms crossed in front of them and their body turned sideways. Not exactly a welcome for any type of body contact, let alone a hug. I wasn't sure what to make of this. After all, this was after about five hours of talking and laughing. Yet their words were upbeat and kind.
     What is is about some people that makes them put up barriers from the outside world? Within the next 24 hours, I did hear from my friend saying that the other party apologized for not giving hugs. Funny, no one said or indicated any need for an apology. That means that they thought about it and yet something in their chemistry couldn't take them there. Were they tired, was it alcohol, ( a few drinks at most) or something else that I missed?
     Next time, I will invite them for an opportunity to exchange a hug. And allow them respect if they need space and refuse or if they need that invitation. Somehow, I think they would want the latter.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nurture and Inspire

     Somedays I live in my own world.
     But it happens only when I am alone. I can be pretty good at tuning everything and everyone out. I kind of like being in that world at times. If there are other people around or noisy goings on, like construction, television, loud talking, etc then I have a hard time going there. I need isolation and quiet, or noises that are acceptible to me and maybe not others. I need that down time. It doesn't have to be long. A few hours. But it has to be. It gives me time to reflect, time to think, and not be interrupted. You see, most of my life I have been a people pleaser and at any given time I have been inclined to put your needs or desires as having more priority than mine. Just drop mine and help you carry yours. That kind of thinking and action only catches up to you. At some point you have to go back to where you dropped off your priorities and pick them up and start from there. Or that passive aggressiveness steps in. No one person is more important than another. We have to make time for us, as we make time for others. Self nurturing is a primitive need.