Where Has the Time Gone? – Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Where has the time gone?  I go through periods when i can’t face the keyboard, my thoughts, the world.  I doubt my worth and convince myself that i shouldn’t waste space on the internet with my words and photos.  I make myself appear all artsy, and whimsical online, but in real life i sit in a cubicle all day, do my chores and go to bed most days.  Nothing artsy or whimsical going on here folks.

But when i go back and read random old posts, i realize what’s here is exactly who I am. Writing here helps me connect with that person when i feel so far away from her.  I can go back in time and revisit my happiest, saddest and most whimsical moments any time i want to.   The time i spend doing what i love is rare and fleeting, but in those moments i have hope… hope that someday i will live as the me that i am.  True North.  Someday. Before my time is up.

I recently said goodbye to a very fine man, who really made the most of his time in this world.  He was on this earth for a very long time, and he touched so many people… did so much good.  I wish i got to know him better.  My husband, this man’s grandson and namesake, was recently given some boxes of his old papers… a glimpse of the people he touched, the work that he did.  Old letters when stamps were 15 cents.  Old documents created before computer was even a word.  He painstakingly gathered and documented his family tree, rivaling anything you could find on Ancenstry.com.   I look forward to learning more about this man as we delicately explore the treasures he left behind.

I hope we will find that he lived his True North.

We are so grateful for the time we had you with us, Pop.

“A thousand times we die in one life. We crumble, break and tear apart until the layers of illusion are burned away and all that is left, is the truth of who and what we really are”

~TEAL SCOTT

Goodbye Poppy Time

xo skyblue

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Peace, Hope, Sunshine – Weekly Photo Challenge | Yellow

May today bring you love, hope, peace, music, sunshine.

xo skyblue

This mosaic of yellow moments from previous posts, was inspired by this week’s photo challenge.

p.s. the turtle photo is not mine.  i have no idea who took it, but it’s one of my favorite photos of all time.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie| Don’t Hate my Duck Face

Selfie:A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph. Usually conducted because the subject cannot locate a suitable photographer to take the photo, like a friend. ~Source: The Urban Dictionary

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I started this post last year and just never quite completed it.  Seeing this week’s photo challenge reminded of it, so I thought I’d finish it up.

I don’t personally take many #selfies.  The photos you see here are a few that I have.  The truth is, I just really like #selfies.  And for some reason, I can’t stop studying them.  I see them from an aesthetic, expressionist, perspective… as an inevitable product of the digital, media-centric age.  i don’t take them too seriously, yet i am visually fascinated by them.  I am intrigued by the phenomenon and its creative evolution. #selfies are a form of self-portraiture… an artistic genre that has been popular since roughly the mid 1500’s.

selfie shadow in the grass

selfie shadow in the grass

While I would lean toward views of an underlying, or outright narcissism in regards to the #selfie, this quality can be healthy and beneficial, when practiced in reasonable and relatively limited doses.  I have always been curious what it must feel like to have the confidence to look in the mirror, or at a photo of myself, and actually like what i see – physically… like it enough to blast it all over Facebook and Instagram.  That type of confidence is foreign to me.  I really have no idea what that feels like, since it has quite literally never happened.  Friends and family, and even kind strangers would tell me it’s purely a lack of self-esteem.  And in response, i would say… “yes it is about 50% that, and about 75%… “i do not have the looks or the body to even think about putting myself out there without being pummeled with insults”.

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But a #selfie taker, at that moment they are snapping and posting their photo,  must be experiencing some level of that confident feeling.  I imagine one’s personal thoughts at that moment might range anywhere from:

a.”look at me, I’m not creepy, I have good hygene, hire me” to…

b. “look at me having fun, drinking heavily, looking tan!” to…

c. “don’t act like you don’t want some of this…!” to…

d. “duck face.”

DuckFacePeaceOut

I initially found myself unwillingly surrounded by #selfies as I patrolled Instagram for art, and photography (The social media site that has had my undivided attention since the introduction of high speed internet and mobile devices).   But more recently, i am drawn to them as a form of creative expression.  As inspiration for outfits and gestures for the naive-portraits i draw.  I also ask myself honestly, if it was possible for me to like what i see in the mirror, would i engage in the same activity?… If I answered honestly, I would say, Probably.  Why not? In fact, I have (extremely hesitantly) engaged in at least level a., if not occasionally in level b.  And most of us who have any type of online presence probably have at some point. I know and love many people who practice full on level c and d. #selfies. And I am not ashamed to “like” them. My photos and art, whether specifically self-portraits or not, are just as much “about me”, as any #selfie photo i see on Instagram.  It just took me longer to make it and it’s slightly more anonymous.

FashionDiva

My purpose in writing this post, is not to express any judgement of the #selfie or what anyone shares online. It’s simply to light-heartedly notice those that succeed in catching your eye… regardless of the perfect six-pack and the number of hottie-hearts it generated.  What is the photo really capturing?  What comes through?  What are they hiding? I have always been fascinated and inspired by portraits, and self-portraits… of all styles, genre’s and mediums.  I have also always loved beauty and fashion… but don’t expect to see me wearing the latest designs and hairdo’s.  I did enjoy some of that in my more youthful years, but these days fashion is a painful afterthought.  As a hopeless introvert, I am very comfortable as the wall flower, the people watcher, the voyer to fictional personas.  I am happy to be a humble observer in this #selfie mania… to imagine what the person could be thinking, and who someone is behind the mask of that image.  I find #selfies to be among the many (while quick and easy) forms of self-portraiture and creative expression… an expression of sometimes deep and inward, sometimes practical, and often times shallow and self-centered motives… but regardless it is capturing a moment of a person’s existence.  It’s important to that person for whatever reason, and that’s fascinating.  And, it is out there in front of the entire world… forever.  Powerful.

I began sketching a lot of naive portraits and #selfies without thinking about it much.   I do my best with the little formal education I have to capture facial expressions and gestures, while embracing my lack of skill and artistic knowledge and just have fun with it.  It wasn’t until I saw some of my sketches laid out and in print, that I thought about why I chose them as a subject and decided to write about it.

Share your #selfie thoughts and photos!  Get crazy creative, and as dolled up as you like!  Nothing wrong with feeling pretty… and flaunt it whether you’ve “got it” or not!!

Join in the challenge here!  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/weekly-photo-challenge-selfie/#more-68713

xo, skyblue

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~selfies by me.  Sketches by me. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition | Toolbelts and Daisies

My husband loves this word… Juxtaposition.  And by “loves this word”, I mean… he mostly likes to make fun of it’s common use in the artsy realm.  He’s got nothing against this realm.  He would just much rather build robots, or make stuff explode with his pellet gun.  And he likes to find any silly reason to use the word “juxtaposition” in his sentences and daily banter.  It’s part of his funny way of entering my world for a few moments in his busy day… where he might stop and hug me and make me laugh.  We bicker a lot, like any couple would, but it always comes back to laughter.

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We, him and I, are in fact… a juxtaposition… of epic proportions.  We couldn’t be any more so.  Him with his power tools, technical savvy, and “guy” stuff…Me with my paint brushes, and belly dancing, and “girly” stuff… we are just that.  Juxtaposed.  Our personalities are very distinct, but somehow complimentary spices in our recipe… our relationship.  It’s peanut butter an jelly.  It’s apple sauce and pork.  It’s red wine and pizza. It just works.  I am not sure if it works because we are opposite, or if it works in spite of it.  Maybe it’s because he can cook. And I am terrible at it.  🙂  But don’t get me wrong… this little juxtaposition we have going on here can be incredibly frustrating and utterly exhausting. 

PB & jellyIt terrifies me knowing that someday… one of us will inevitably go.  Yup… that’s just part of it all.  Morbid, I know.  But I hope until then, this juxtaposition will be strong enough to withstand life’s tumultuous, yet so very delicate nature.

In the end, it’s the one that matters most.

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IMG_5595xo skyblue

This post was inspired by this weeks WP Photo Challenge.

Graveyard Photos: walking with my friend, also my belly dance teacher, in a cemetery near her house… Probably taken with one of my digital cameras. 

Other Photos: stuff in my house.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts: When life was black and white.

The company I work for was founded in 1934.  This week’s Writing Challenge reminded me… there are a bunch of old manufacturing photos in my office that I have never really stopped to look at, even though old black and white photos usually stop me in my tracks.  I mean, i know they are there.  I walk past them several times a day.  I know I looked at them when I toured the building on my 3rd or 4th nerve-wracking interview a few years ago.  But I probably haven’t stopped to look at one since.  Who’s got time for that, seriously?  It’s work. Your working.  And 60 minutes is barely enough time to change my clothes, get in a workout, shower, get dressed, call back the debt collectors, pee and choke down a cheese stick… so stopping to look at photography isn’t exactly on my mind at lunch-time, or any other time I might walk by. But I saw the challenge and decided today I would stop.  I would find a couple of moments during lunch to stop and notice one or two of the cool old photos, that I know are there.    I stopped, in my tracks, and thought to myself, life must have been so much simpler then.  Before computers, and smart phones, and Facebook.  Much harder, I’m sure… but simpler.  I can’t believe this all looked like that! b&w manufacturing1 I enjoyed these few moments, losing myself in the black and white images.  Thinking about the people that may or may not still be with us… that made all this around me happen.  Pretty awesome when you see what goes on here now. And when I was done, I even had a minute to spare…  in which I thoroughly enjoyed my cheese stick. … I typically would have taken some photos, of the photos… but I wasn’t really sure if I was supposed to and I chickened out.  I couldn’t post without photos thought… they looked something like the ones in this post which are all part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria, in Victoria, Australia... which were really interesting to look at too! b&w manufacturing2 b&w manufacturing3Anything like that where you work? Find out more about the WordPress challenges here at thedailypost.wordpress.com. Have a nice weekend! xo skyblue

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts #eatinghealthysucks #gymselfie

Let’s not kid ourselves. Giving up sugar, donuts, french fries, soda, coffee, donuts, bread, pizza, fast food, ice cream, donuts… it all sucks.  I’ve actually given up NONE of those things… but I have tried hard to cut back.  It’s all I can handle.  An Apple Empanada from Taco Bell is about as exciting as my life gets!  I’m much too weak to say never.

But sugar… I’ve really got to get serious about eating less of it.  Middle age has it’s way of telling you that.  I was recently shocked when I started paying attention to all sugar i was eating.  And that was just in my yogurt and my oatmeal!   And how fun is yogurt and oatmeal anyway?? If i have to eat that every day, then why I might as well get a donut!!

Frosted.

But instead of giving up all sensibility for a daily chocolate glazed (which would be f*cking awesome!)… i decided i could have the occasional root beer, Happy Meal, or mmm… donut… if I just simply get the sugar out of the things that are, let’s face it… pretty lame anyway!  No offense yogurt and oatmeal.  You have fantastic health benefits… but you are not a donut. 

yogurtIn all seriousness, I really do have a lot of respect for those who choose to eat consciously and stay active… no matter how moderate or extreme their habits are.  I am terrible at it!  But we all don’t have to be #cleaneaters and #fitnessmodels.  Right?  If I can just make a little more effort today than I did yesterday, and a little more tomorrow… maybe I can get somewhere with this.

I HAVE to get moving too.  I sit all day, and it’s soooo not good.  And lunch is the time.  For me, that’s the only time I can even hope to stick with it.  And it keeps me out trouble (like driving to the store for a donut).  This week’s WordPress challenge asked us to look around at lunch and document what you see (i paraphrase)… and this is pretty much what I see every day.  And it’s not horrible.  It gives me a chance to listen to gangsta rap.

It hasn’t been an easy week… I am almost done with my first week of plain yogurt.  Ugh.  I didn’t want to do it.   I have to throw a bit of honey or raisins in it, but it’s a start.  The oatmeal was a much easier adjustment.  But it’s gotten easier through the week, and I’m pretty sure I can do this.  In the name of name of longer life, and tighter buns.

#gymselfie

#gymselfie

now where’s my donut?

xo skyblue

p.s. sorry I didn’t post at lunch… I was a little busy listening to Pitbull and trying not to think about donuts. 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/weekly-writing-challenge-lunch-posts/#more-66914

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

IMG_5908Predictable, I know.  More cats.

… but when I think Window, I can’t help thinking about my cats.  I sometimes wonder if I’m doing the right thing, keeping them inside… not letting them roam free in the woods and the streets.  I figured the least I could do, when we looked for a new home, was make sure our first cat, Stewie would have plenty of sunny windows to lounge in.  He had no windows to enjoy at our last place, since the ones we had were all tightly covered for safety and heating purposes.

Now Stewie and his younger sister Olive, have plenty of windows for sunbathing, birdwatching, and catching a breeze.  It makes me happy to see them in their windows, enjoying the warm sunshine and sniffing the fresh air.

This one is in our front room, where they like to watch cars and people go by, and the birds flying to the old maple tree and the feeder.  This is also where we often see them waiting for us when we come home from work, right before they arch their backs in a lazy stretch, and jump down to greet us at the door.

Who waits in your window?

xo skyblue

T’s Birthday Wish

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Hold a treasure close to your heart.

Close your eyes.

Then…

Make a wish..

Say a prayer.

Sing a song.

Twirl around.

Tell someone Thank You.

Tell someone I Love You.

Tell yourself I Love Me.

Believe in Peace on Earth.

Know that you are loved.

Then…

Go out into the world and follow all your dreams!

Happy Birthday Sweet T

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xo skyblue