shadow dance

melody within
plays only for me as I
dance with my shadow

graceful


The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Graceful

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The Greatest Sound in the World

unity

Unity ~~
harmonic voices
sing as one to the beat of
hearts aligned in love


The Daily Post Discover Challenge: The Greatest _______ in the World

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Wordless Wednesday 1/18/17

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If Only They Could Tweet

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George Washington, 1st US president
@realGeorgeWashington
“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” #FreedomTrumpsSheep

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Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president
@HonestAbe
“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” #UGottaReadIt

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Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US president
@TeddyR
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president… is morally treasonable to the American public.” #SNL #MerylStreep

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd US president
@FDR
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” #EleanorActuallySaidThat #FLOTUS_Rocks

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Calvin Coolidge, 30th US president
@SilentCal
“The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of…”

Calvin Coolidge, 30th US president
@SilentCal
“all privileged classes.” #HashtagsAreSilly

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Dwight D Eisenhower, 34th US president
@Ike
“In most communities it is illegal to cry ‘fire’ in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to…”

Dwight D Eisenhower, 34th US president
@Ike
“manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?”
#thebuckstopshere #bargainingchips

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Harry S Truman, 33rd US president
@GiveEmHellHarry
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” #YouCanQuoteMe #ButGiveMetheCredit

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James Madison, 4th US president
@DollysHusband
“Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.” #WhatsAHashtagAnyway

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Warren G. Harding, 29th US president
@WobblyWarren
“America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.” #IHateMyNickname

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William Howard Taft, 27th US president
@OldBIll
“We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the results of their…”

William Howard Taft, 27th US president
@OldBIll
“enforcement.” #LegislateFirstAskQuestionsLater #SAD

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Woodrow Wilson, 28th US president
@TheSchoolmaster
“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men.”

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Training for the Marathon

“There is much to do and no time to lose because the soul of our country is on the line. We must be brave and stand up.”
~~ Congressman Jerry Nadler

lifting-the-weight

Artwork commissioned for the sole use by Maggie C.

The soul of our country… I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the soul of our country; to the soul of our society; to the soul of our generation. And – for that matter – to my own soul.

I am not in any position to preach. I’m not immune to biases; to the divisive mindset of “us” versus “them;” to the smugness of believing that my soul is in the right place; to the complacency of assuming that it’s those “other souls” that need adjustment, and so I have the right – nay, the duty – to sit here at my laptop spewing rhetoric about the lost soul of our country.

And yet, just yesterday I wrote about the gutting of our societies’ values and mores. Life is so complicated these days.

I respect Congressman Nadler’s statement as quoted above from his essay on “How We Resist Trump and his Extreme Agenda.” And standing alone, it does not convey his full meaning in those words. But I find the part about “no time to lose” rather thought-provoking. And that other part: “the soul of our country is on the line.” What does that even mean? And exactly when did our country’s soul become “on the line?”

Was it the day Donald Trump declared candidacy? Was it the day Hillary Clinton began using a private email server for official government communications? Was it the day Vladimir Putin took a liking to one presidential candidate over another?
Will it become paramount on Friday of this week when a new president takes the helm of our soul-conflicted country?

And when did this country’s questionable soul status reach the tipping point to where there is suddenly “no time to lose?”

As I said before… Life is complicated.

I would also say, metaphorically, that life is not a 50-yard dash. Life is a marathon. We begin the moral leg of the marathon on the day we make our first ethical choice, and to beat my metaphor to a bloody pulp, I can say that the marathon is run one step at a time; one ethical choice at a time.

lifting-the-world

Artwork commissioned for the sole use by Maggie C.

No time to lose? Perhaps. Time to assess whether we are on the right track (there’s that pesky metaphor again)? I would say yes. And today I’m doing that as best I can. And I will do so tomorrow. I will do so on Friday, the day of the presidential inauguration.

I will do so — and continue to do so – because that’s how a marathoner stays in the race. And – ultimately — because my soul is on the line.


The Daily Post one-word prompt: Marathon

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Weekend Coffee Share (1/15/17)

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#WeekendCoffeeShare is graciously hosted by Diana at ParttimeMonsterBlog.com.


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the snow from last week is lingering on. There’s been no new snowfall, but temperatures have remained too cold for much of it to melt. With only my dog Chules and me accessing my fenced yard, it is still relatively pristine and white. I like the way it reflects light – both by day and night – and makes everything seem brighter and more cheerful.

The US will have a new president as of the end of this week, and I am not alone in dreading what that might mean for the future of human rights and ecological preservation. Or, for that matter, ecological rights and human preservation. There’s not enough snow anywhere that can make the current political scene appear cheerful and bright.

I’ve been dealing with a general sense of anxiety and malaise for the past couple of weeks. It’s been frustrating not to be able to tie it into any specific source; having nothing I could pinpoint and say this is the reason I am feeling unease. With an unknown cause, it becomes more challenging to deal with the effect.

But maybe my subconscious has been wrestling with the apprehension of what the future holds as fundamental values and mores are being gutted in our society. Maybe the anxiety is born of a sense of helplessness, while at the same time knowing that the “help” has to come from within me. And within you.

I didn’t intend to be all doom and gloom when I sat down to write this. Maybe I need to forego the rest of my coffee and get outside to play with my dog in the bright sun and cheerful snow. It won’t make the world’s problems go away, but it will boost my spirits. And that might be just what I need to move from helplessness to hopefulness; from despair to decisiveness; from inertia to activism.

Snow angels, anyone?

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The Ambiance of Campfire Smoke

camping2

While the focus (pun intended, sort of) of the weekly photo challenge is – go figure – photos, this week’s theme of “ambiance” reminded me of a post I wrote 3½ years ago for one of my prior blogs. I’m posting a portion of it here. With photos, of course.

From July 2012:

… As we approached our camping destination, my daughter and I began to see signs on the road advertising campfire wood for sale. We stopped at one location, where a trailer was parked next to the road, holding wood that had been packaged into bundles.

A lock box for collecting money was secured to the trailer, and a sign listed the price per bundle and also advised us that we were “on camera” (apparently in case we intended to defy the honor system). We paid for two bundles of wood, loaded them into our car and continued on our way.

camping1

After pitching our tent, we wandered around the camp for a while and as it grew cool in the late afternoon, the mosquitoes began feeding. It was time to build a fire. I set about the task, scrunching up some newspaper we had brought, loosely placing scraps of kindling wood over the top of that, and selecting a few of the most promising pieces of firewood to set on top.

I touched a match to it and watched as little flames consumed the paper and made their way onto the kindling. Most of the flames burned out within a couple of minutes, but one tenacious little flicker remained at the base of one log. I sent it good vibes, willing it to spread.

My daughter watched me standing there staring at the flame and asked, “Have you done this before?” I realized that I hadn’t. “Aren’t you supposed to do something more to it?” I assured her that it just needed a little time to get going, and I continued to watch as the flicker dwindled into a wisp of smoke.

camping3

More paper, more kindling, a lot of rearrangement for best combination of air circulation and proper wood contact. More matches. More attentive scrutiny, and finally we had a fire. Mission accomplished.

Throughout the evening, as we sat watching the mesmerizing flames and talking, we would pause to consult as to whether the logs needed to be pushed together, whether it was time to add a log to the fire and if so, what the proper placement should be. What had begun as an initial chore to get this whole campfire thing rolling was turning into a continually evolving process of the ebb and flow of flames, the balance and timing in feeding the fire… a delicate dance with nature’s elements.

And, lest we begin waxing too poetic, a lot of smoke in our eyes. It was absorbing, in a good way. And fun.

camping4

After returning home from our trip, I conducted a Google search on campfire building which yielded over 7 million results. Techniques, tips, step by step instructions, words of wisdom from scoutmasters and even from Smokey the Bear (I had a crush on him when I was a kid).

I had not thought to look up any of this information before setting out on our trip because it never dawned on me that I didn’t really know how to build a campfire. Had we been on some sort of survivalist outing in the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter, this oversight wouldn’t have been a good thing. But as it was, it was refreshing to figure something out on our own, with a little trial and error, a little contemplation, a cooperative effort, and yeah, probably some sheer luck thrown in.

Maybe I need to learn to trust myself a little more, to savor the process in activities rather than only focusing on the outcome, to stop and smell the… smoke?

I’m looking forward to the next time. Maybe we’ll discover something else we didn’t know we couldn’t do.


The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Ambience

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