Sunday, September 30, 2012

Snapshot & A Song - Wake Me Up When September Ends


September has a been a particularly rough month for me with health scares and a myriad of stressful circumstances and events that I'd rather keep to myself. Suffice it to say the net result of all this stress has been a heaviness, a weighing down of my body and spirit.

Last weekend, I was bone tired an no amount of sleep or rest seemed to restore. And there's been something floating around in the air that is irritating my eyes.

I've not been sleeping well either. At the end of my work day I'm most certain that I'll have no trouble getting to bed early, and around 10:00 p.m. my brain turns on and sleep eludes.

It seems to be getting better though. As I continue with the process of paring down of those extra curriculars that drain rather than sustain, I'm slowly beginning to settle into a more comfortable rhythm and manageable routine. I'm not where I want to be with that, but I'm getting there.

Today's song "Wake Me Up When September Ends" has been in my head for the past week - probably because it is the end of September and I'm ready to see it go. Here on the last weekend of September I do feel myself awakening and feeling more optimistic and healed from the loss I have been called to grieve this year.

When it comes to the grieving process, most of us are familiar with the Kubler-Ross five phase model of grieving - denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. Recently, though I've found that John Bowlby's four phases of grief seems to more accurately describe my experience.

In September, I seemed to advance to what he refers to as the "Disorientation & Disorganization" phase which is sort of that liminal space where the loss becomes more real,and depression sets in. Because of the depression, you aren't really ready or equipped to move to the next phase, which fortunately is the last phase - "Reorganization & Resolution."

I am beginning to see evidence that I am transitioning to the final stages. Joy and self confidence are returning - right now in sputters and fits, but good moments are coming with increasing frequency.

Of course, these grief models were actually developed for work with those grieving loss through death and I'm merely working through the ending of a relationship. However, these same principles have been widely applied to all sorts of losses in a helpful way.

"Wake Me Up When September Ends" is primarily a song about grieving. The author, Billy Joe Armstrong of the band Green Day, wrote it about his father who passed when he was a child.

The video for the song; however, follows a different sort of story line. It tells the story of a young couple where the boyfriend joins the Marines and goes off to war where he dies and the girl who loved him is left grieving.

I will never forget the phone call I received last September from my youngest son who had called to tell me that he'd lost one of his men in Afghanistan. As a new squad leader, Marine Lance Corporal Franklin Watson was was the first (and thankfully only) man under his command that he lost. There is no way I can truly understand what that must feel like, and yet I knew enough to know that it was worth the three hour drive to attend this young hero's funeral and deliver in person the message from my son to the family he asked me to convey until he could do so himself.

Today's image depicts my older son Andrew, a retired Marine who served in Iraq, holding a token of remembrance he fashioned out of an old uniform tag to give to the family. Today Andrew's birthday, by the way, and so much has happened in both our lives since that impromptu road trip. I'm missing him very much today.




"Wake Me Up When September Ends"


Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

like my father's come to pass
seven years has gone so fast
wake me up when September ends

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends

summer has come and passed
the innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

ring out the bells again
like we did when spring began
wake me up when September ends

here comes the rain again
falling from the stars
drenched in my pain again
becoming who we are

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends

like my father's come to pass
twenty years has gone so fast
wake me up when September ends
wake me up when September ends
wake me up when September ends

So, let's link up shall we? Here's a few rules before we begin.

  1. Please give credit to the songwriter and/or group - preferably with a link to their website
  2. Link to your blog post or flickr page, not simply to your blog.  
  3. Tell us a little bit about your image and the meaning the song holds for you (more of a guideline than a rule, but it would be nice if you would
  4. Include a link back to my blog, and using my badge would be especially cool


snapshot and a song







Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flower Art Friday #23 - September 28, 2012

Angel Wings

Welcome to the 23rd Flower Art Friday! The gallery opens early Thursday morning and stays open until midnight on Saturday.

This has been another crazy busy week for me and I didn't have much time to take photos, so I'm pulling from the archives for today's image. I don't believe I've shared this one here and it is one of my personal favorites.

Before we get to last week's winners, I'd like to let you know that next week's theme will be pink in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month In addition to sharing your pink themed floral works, I invite you to also share on your blog personal stories or messages of support to those you may know who have been affected by this disease.

As you may know, I recently went through my own breast cancer scare and although everything turned out just fine for me, I became more "aware" of how much support is out there for those dealing with this disease and I was grateful that there are those who work hard every day to work for a cure and encourage early detection.


Now, let's have a look at last week's top reader's picks.

Amy who blogs at Seeking Beauty in Photography


Ruth of R.H. West Photography


Anki-itte


Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday


Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.

Ok, let's link up!












Sunday, September 23, 2012

Snapshot & A Song - Poor Butterfly

poor butterfly

I'm gonna kick it old school here with a song that was written in 1916 and inspired by the opera Madam Butterfly. It later became an American standard performed by multiple artists including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Julie Andrews.

Today, I'm feeling a bit blocked for words so I'm going to dispense with the reflective writing and leave you with this lovely rendition by Sarah Vaughan.




Lyrics by John Golden

Poor butterfly
’neath the blossoms waiting
Poor butterfly
For she loved him so
The moments pass into hours
The hours pass into years
And as she smiles through her tears
She murmurs low
The moon and i
Know that he’ll be faithful
I’m sure he’ll come back
By and by
But if he don’t come back
I just must die
Poor butterfly

So, let's link up shall we? Here's a few rules before we begin.

  1. Please give credit to the songwriter and/or group - preferably with a link to their website
  2. Link to your blog post or flickr page, not simply to your blog.  
  3. Tell us a little bit about your image and the meaning the song holds for you (more of a guideline than a rule, but it would be nice if you would
  4. Include a link back to my blog, and using my badge would be especially cool


snapshot and a song








Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flower Art Friday # 22 - September 21, 2012

sulpur butterfly

Welcome to the 22nd Flower Art Friday! The gallery opens early Thursday morning and stays open until midnight on Saturday.

Todays' image was shot on my back deck. These flowers have attracted a variety of butterflies as well as the hummingbirds I posted about yesterday. The texture is a freebie from RH West Photography (True Grit)

Now for last week's winners.

Patricia



Anna of Fotoanna-photography



Deanna of Snippets from Springdale



Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday


Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.

Ok, let's link up!








Today's Linkups

Photo Art Friday





Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Law of Attraction

hummingbird3

The flowers that I most recently put out on my deck have been attracting the attention of local hummingbirds. Unfortunately, each time I tried to capture them with my camera I scared them off.

So, I decided to head to Lowes and buy a hummingbird feeder to hang in my tree just off my deck. Almost immediately after it was secured to the branches of the crabapple tree, word went out on the hummingbird twitter feed that sweet treats awaited them in my side yard.

I captured a few good shots off my deck, but I wanted to see if I could get closer.

hummingbird2

After positioning myself in a chair at the foot of the tree, I was able to get several sweet shots of these little guys whose love for this glorious red liquid far outweighed any fear they had of me.

Hummingbird breakfast

I see them every morning now and my supply of nectar seems to be holding out pretty well considering how often these hummers are bellying up to the bar.

Some blue jays came to visit as well, attracted to something on the ground at the foot of the nearby pine trees. This got me to thinking that I might just need to convert this portion of my yard into a little bird amusement park with additional feeders, attracting plants and flowers, and a bird bath.

It has been awhile since I've had something to share with World Bird Wednesday. So long, in fact, that I did not know that it has now been taken over by another blogger and has been renamed "Wild Bird Wednesday." I'm so happy there is still a place to share birds when I catch them. :)

Today's Linkups






Sunday, September 16, 2012

Snapshot & A Song - Seasons Changing


Welcome to another installment of Snapshot & A Song - a weekly link party where participants are encouraged to share a photograph and a song that captures its essence. We are a small and intimate group, but new faces are showing up the party one by one.

My image for today was processed using Rad Labs'SX-70 stylet to give it that polariod look and I used one of Fuzzimo's free polariod frames to carry it that one step further.

Autumn is the time that seems to inspire mindfulness of the changing of seasons more than any other. After a long hot summer, we've experienced a welcome respite from the oppressive humidity this week. Although it is still warm, there is a definite whisper of coolness mingled in with those final summer breezes.

I spent a little time this weekend working on gardening things - mainly planting some gorgeous burgundy mums in my front porch pots to replace the flowers long since dead from neglect. I did better with my back deck plants this season, thanks in large part to the irrigation system my dad put in for me. Plus, I just see my deck plantings more because they are right off my kitchen.

Gardening is something I enjoy, but find it hard to do well with my current work schedule. As a result, my front bed (pictured here) has been left pretty much alone. The rose bushes planted last season are still going strong and putting out prolific blooms in spite of my lack of attention.

As I pulled a few weeds and made mental notes to buy some mulch and find time to clean things up, I thought about the changes that have taken place in the last year since I started blogging and there have been many in such a short span of time.

Aside from the ways photography and blogging have impacted my life, the most profound changes came in my family and social life.

  • My baby boy returned safely to us from Afghanistan and is happily enjoying married life with his sweet bride with plans to move back to Tennessee once he's out of the Marines next month.
  • My oldest son moved back home for awhile and then across the country, leaving my nest as empty once more.
  • My four year relationship came to an end leaving me to pick up the pieces and put them back together to form a vision for the future vastly different from one I'd imagined and hoped for myself at this stage of life.  It is still very much a work in progress.
  • I left the church I'd been attending with my former boyfriend, started attending another, and then decided to take a hiatus from church all together for awhile.
As I come to terms with this new life which leaves me largely on my own,  I can identify clearly with the lyrics in today's song:

I'm in this ocean yea I'm really out there
with no one to throw me a line
rolling and crashing I'm rescued by someone
whose face looks exactly like mine

With the approaching autumn, I feel myself settling in and preparing for the "inside" season and actually looking forward to it. Like the leaves that are beginning to fall from the trees, I'm shedding these last vestiges of the old life, old dreams, and tired patterns and making way for something new.

First, I must rest and regroup.

In spite of my intentional paring down and making space, there are still loose ends to tie up before I can settle down a bit. There's the humane shelter fundraiser photography book to complete, which I hope to finish before I board a plane to Camp Shutter Sisters in late October. At work, we are preparing for a big office move the first weekend in November. But, after that I do intend to keep things as low key as possible - even through the holidays.

This will be far from a dormant period. Lots will be going on underneath the ground, so to speak. Watch for the roses in the snow...


Seasons Changing
by Christine Kane
Click here to listen to a sample.

I'm in this rose garden waiting for my love
my hair is caught in the thorns

I'm in this church running down the aisle
my heart is broken and my...my dress is torn

seasons changing on me now
wait for the flowers to grow
watch for the roses in the snow

I'm in this ocean yea I'm really out there
with no one to throw me a line
rolling and crashing I'm rescued by someone
whose face looks exactly like mine

seasons changing on me now
wait for the flowers to grow
seasons changing on me now
watch for the roses in the snow

I'm in this open room
I'm painting pictures of romantic far away lands
out in the distance I hear you calling
I go out and offer you both of my hands

season's changing on me now
wait for the flowers to grow
seasons changing on me now
watch for the roses in the snow

Ok, so its time to link up. Here's a few rules before we begin.

  1. Please give credit to the songwriter and/or group - preferably with a link to their website
  2. Link to your blog post or flickr page, not simply to your blog.  
  3. Tell us a little bit about your image and the meaning the song holds for you (more of a guideline than a rule, but it would be nice if you would
  4. Include a link back to my blog, and using my badge would be especially cool


snapshot and a song








Saturday, September 15, 2012

Art Set Free

Emerald Morning

One of the primary reasons I started this blog a year ago was to connect with others who shared my interest in art/photography. It seems appropriate that I would be posting about such connections here in my blogoversary month.

I was pleased to participate in Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap, which enabled me to share and connect beyond the blogosphere. Her annual event drew artists from eleven countries around the world.

The event's grand finale is a blog hop for the participants to share their experience, which is the reason behind today's post. I've already posted about the cards I received here, here and here. The last card I received was this wonderfully composed architectural image with an abstract feel from Juli Lyons in Toronto Canada.




The experience far exceeded my expectations and I was surprised at just how happy getting a little surprise in my mailbox each day during the swap made me. For sure, it was better than the bills and scary letters from radiologists.

As I mentioned in those other posts, there was an element of serendipity evident in each of the cards I received - each in a different, but equally meaningful way.

Today I have a final little story to share about how I was personally influenced to liberate my art as a result of participating in this event. On the day I mailed my cards to Kat, I also was also scheduled to take down my art from the first gallery showing of my art ever at a local Italian restaurant.

After I took my art down, I decided to stay and have dinner. They had a little live music going, which is something I always enjoy and I was killing some time before heading over to Italian Movie night at the local "secret" Italian society I recently discovered.

The waitress asked me several questions about my pieces and she said she was particularly drawn to the image below (click to see the blog post), which was the very first piece of "photo art" that I printed on canvas.




Several times she said how much she loved the colors and the feel of the piece and wished she had the money to buy it.

Well, you know what happens next right? I've never heard Kat's voice for real, but inside my head she whispered, "liberate your art...you know it will feel soooo good."

So, after I paid my bill I wrote her a little note on the back of one of my business cards and left the piece behind for her as a "tip."

It did feel good! :) What felt even better was to experience first hand someone reacting to my artwork. She sent me a really nice email a few days later thanking me.

My image at the top of this post has nothing to do with the swap, but it does evoke feelings of freedom for me. I took the shot on my recent business trip to Florida and used texture from another generous blogger/artist, Jerry from Shadowhouse Creations, who liberates his art every day providing the most incredible textures, overlays, tips, and tutorials - absolutely free.

So, this concludes LYA 2012. Looking forward to 2013, Kat. Thanks so much for hostessing.


Kat posted a sweet video highlighting one card from each participant. Be sure to check it out :)

Mine shows up about 5:33 into it.










Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flower Art Friday #21 - September 14, 2012

orange butterfly


Thanks so much to everyone who participated in Flower Art Friday last week. We had some phenomenal submissions. We have two repeat winners this week and in honor of Bonnie's first win in our challenge, I used her "Nitty Gritty" texture on my image for today. It worked really well without a lot of adjusting needed in simple overlay blend mode.

So be sure to stop by and say hello and congratulations to last week's reader picks!

Birgitta


Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art


Henrietta Hassinen


Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday


Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.

Ok, let's link up!








Today's Linkups

Photo Art FridayOrangeFridayBadge



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