America's Friendliest Photographer!
Sharing Life's Moments - One Story at a Time!
BE STILL...and SEE Photography
Reflecting on who I am...what is important to me...and the gifts I offer the world, I have reorganized this PhotoSchmoozer blog into separate pages for your viewing. I am about so much...people - relationships - drums and rhythms and especially photography...and I realize that although separate, they are all so INTEGRATED into the Whole of who I am!! It's a very peaceful thought and I am thankful for the intuitive gift to see the connections and the relationships. Enjoy the journey through the blog...and WELCOME. Contemplative photography is about being totally present and seeing exactly what is before you, without filters or judgment. It is about seeing with your heart.Doesn't everyone see what is before them? Not really. You may see a candle on a table. Do you also see the shadows it creates? Or the reflections that the light casts on it? Or it's underlying shape and form?
Sarah is only 8 yet with the presence of someone so much older. She is poied and conversatant, adorable yet silly too. This evening she was wearing her very favorite hat and just sitting doing her homework. Well...she wsa supposed to be doing her homework but she was watching as her mom and another guy were working to teach themwelves fractions!! I asked, "Whose homework is this anyway. They clearly said, "Sarah".
While she was waiting for her papers back, I asked Sarah to pose for me and make whatever kinds of faces she chose. Some are her very special smile, some rather goofy but my only request is that she changes faces. That she did. I can't say that I would call them portraits of a young girl, but her story is to be told and here she is. Sarah writes poetry too and a few weeks ago at the Open Mic night at the Bus Stop cafe, she walked right up and read and explained how she did it. The Photo Schmoozer just watches and waits and then chats before the camera comes out. There has to be some relationship building first and then respectfully, you have to ask permission too. No stealing shots!!
Nothing for months and then two in one day!! It's been a strange past few months. I started a new job in early December and had my foot operation four days later. In my infinite 'wisdom' and with a tad of impatience (I have been told that this is a personality characteristic of mine), I expected healing to happen within WEEKS of the surgery. I called the doctor and they told me it would take the same amount of time to heal as I was wearing the boot. Still going after all this time. Monday I am going to visit and see what is going on. I need some explanation. So with trying to figure out the work, healing the foot, and winter and the ice and cold that came with it, I truly believe I went into some kind of hibernation mode. Top that off with an incredibly limited travel budget and working from home, my office here has been my haven, my retreat, my cave, or whatever else we might want to call it. Then just a few days ago, the temperatures went into the mid 60s, the sun came out with a bright beauty and I stepped out!! I was called to go and see what I could find. I am the Photo Schmoozer after all. So me and my trust Canon SC5IS (I am still waiting for the SX1 to come to the US), just went out to be still and look for signs of Spring. What SIMPLE TREASURES we discovered together. I am sharing them with you in one of my favorite formats - the collage as story. There were brilliant purple crocus with the deep orange yellow center; some buds on the hydrangea(though we have only had leaves from this plant forever), rose bushes with leaves and of course the potting soil and tools that is for starting the seeds and cultivating the garden. As I just stood still, a crocus bud too revealed itself to me - white with purple lines. It almost ended up beneath my foot!! My foot and I still feel like there is some stagnation within (doing some acupuncture and chinese herbal treatment for this), there is some residual anxiety from all of the hibernation and uncertainness of life and the blossoming that has to come with Spring - the new beginnings and the changes that will bring things to life and their infinite beauty. It's a special time for photographers to just go and be still; see, find beauty in the little things, and continue on the adventure. If you don't look for it, it will often find you.
To the Dump! To the Dump! To the Dump!! Ever hear the advertisement on your local radio station? Well, we did and they were advertising BEDS, the newish NASA ones that forms around your body and then comes back to its original shape. We read reviews and talked to a few friends who had bought the name brand one. They said it was great. So, to the Dump!! What an experience for a shopper, for The Photo Schmoozer and someone who is looking to find just about anything in the way of furniture and bedding. We slowly made our way around - being still, going quietly and just seeing what was there. At the back of the store, we found a double recliner chair and sat to regroup before moving on. After a few minutes, we were approached by a kindly white haired 'older gent' who asked if we had found what we were looking for? We said, not yet and asked him to guide us to the beds. We went on a slow stroll with Jack. Now imagine this. This low to no pressure salesperson has been in the business for 60 years and is now 87 years young! His wife died 12 years back, so he asked why bother just sitting around the house?!? We followed. He found what we wanted and we discussesd options. Jack made clear suggestions and made sure to say, "You don't need to buy new box springs. You could put this on the floor." What a relief and what a savings. We laid down and tried several versions and made our decision. The firm would do! Time to pay and Jack had me typing all of the information into the computer for him. Just easier for each of us. Now, the coolest part. We did NOT need delivery (saved another $100+) because this mattress comes in a box that is 18 inches wide, 12 inches deep and 6 and a half feet tall!! WE could come within the week and put it in our van to go home. That we did the next week. When we got there, we found that there was even more of a sale and we got a $225 credit on the price we were to pay!! Again Jack was there for us. He definitely was thrilled when I asked to take his picture and just showed this Photo Schmoozer that age is irrelevant. Attitude and spirit are what matter. Another sterling example of taking the time to talk and listen and gather stories.
Bill and I are making drums - they are beautiful and sound terrific!!We will consider selling some of them, so contact us and let's talk!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Baby Drums: They are For Sale!!!
These are for the little ones - sit on the floor and play-alone or with someone else. Find your rhythm and have FUN!!
What fun to make Homemade Drums!
In September, 2010, I attended the Remo drum company's HealthRHYTHMS training. It was a fantastic 2 1/2 day event - learning about hand drumming and drum circles and the variety of ways that these activities are beneficial to people. Dr. Barry Bittman shared some of the exciting research that he has done that provides evidence of the benefits to participants - team building, stress reduction, FUN, spirit, communication and... Christine Stevens was our co-facilitator - an open free spirit who guided us in drum circle facilitation and then Alyssa Janney shared all of the ins and outs of the business/marketing piece for Certified HealthRHYHTMS facilitators. That I am after the training and fun...and meaningful it is. Call me to talk about scheduling a training event or a series for your friends, co-workers or community: 856-256-8380. At the training, I talked with Roy and he shared how he had made drums (so had Julie...and a few others) They sent us info about sonotubes and how to make drums. The rest has been persistent exploration from my curious husband (with my helping hands) and then my sense of fun in decorating them!! People are beginning to ask to buy them. Why not?!?
This one makes me think of Spring and all of the flowers that bloom in our garden.
Love the colors of this fish drum!!
Subtle yet Expressive
Different colors for African fabric - subtle but beautiful!
This fabric came from Africa. A guy travels there and brings it back to Sam's Fabric Outlet in the Berlin,NJ Farmer's market
Bright and Bountiful
The colors on this drum are so vivid! I am definitely attracted to BRIGHT!!
Beaded Hippie Drum
This one is Anne Marie's favorite. She calls it the Hippie Drum with the batik fabric and the beads.
Out of Africa
Another of the fabrics that have come to Sam's from Africa. I love the vibrancy of the colors I use on the drums!!
Fiery Red Flames
I love the vibrancy of this drum - looks like flamesand the buttons just pop out to add just a bit more color!!
Why This?? Why Now??
Welcome Each Day With a Sense of Purpose!! I have been reading several interesting books on Aging: lessons from other cultures - The Blue Zone and Healthy at 100 by John Robbins. Each tells how important it is to wake up each day with a sense of purpose. When I saw this at the Rt. 13 Flea Market in DE recently, I knew this was a SYNCHRONICITY and a message to share with my friends all over the world! Take it to heart and ENJOY!!
Photo Schmoozer is a registered trademark and a process for engaging people in sharing their life stories and reflections. Photo Diet is the creation of PhotoSchmoozer and may not be used by any one else without written permission from Martie Mollenhauer.