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?

DRUMS, Rhythms and Relationships

Friday, April 30, 2010

Pay Attention to Your Words: They Have Meaning!!

Yesterday I was talking with Conni-Joi and sharing the fun I am having weaving the web of collaboration in Delaware and New Jersey.  I can begin to see how many strands are  integrating for the good of infants, toddlers, families and staff.  She was fascinated by my words and asked, "Have you ever looked at the Spider as your Power Animal?"  No I had not but now I have and WOW are the messages I discovered ever so meaningful!!  Listen...The spider is a Weaver and she is creating a delicate, magical tapestry!  Weaving is joining separate strands of fabric into an integrated pattern and Spider (ME!!) is the master weaver!  She has the ability to see our lives as a whole  and live in a more integrated way.  Her web is not an entanglement but a network of roads to travel.  Spider is associated with the spiral, the symbol of Universal energy.  Through her we realize that we are all connected to life and all we have is the infinite NOW!  Can you imagine this wonderful message started with sharing a few simple words with a friend!  Who could say that life is not  meaningful!!  Stop, be still and pay attention.  There are always messages and lessons to be learned!!!  PS Now we are approaching May and my countdown is at 147 days!!!

Crops in Our Own Back Yard

OK - the backyard crop is NOT enough for us to open a farm market in our front yard BUT it is enough for Farmer Bill to harvest and for us to eat and thoroughly enjoy.  On a whim a few years back, we brought home a few asparagus plants and found them a home in the garden.  They grew!!  As tasty as they are, is as much fun as they are to photograph after the crop has been harvested.  They have wonderful feathery 'leaves' and bright red berries.  IF you live in NJ, head out now to find yourself some wonderful Jersey asparagus.  You won't be disappointed!! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Playing in the Sandbox

It was a really HOT day in Central Park in New York City and PhotoSchmoozer was there with the Gloucester County Photography group for a day of photo ops!  What could we see?  What would we share?  My focus (no pun intended) is on relationships and especially those with and among children.  How fortunate to get to a shady spot and see this group playing together.  Lucky to have a zoom so I wouldn't bother them, I stood outside the fenced in area and was STILL and watched.  They used their words, they used one another's shovels and buckets, they all decided to remove their shoes and they watched one another.  There was no sand throwing, grabbing or otherwise out of sorts behaviors. Lately, as I have beeen 'playing in the sandbox' with big people through my work and volunteer efforts, I keep thinking back to the children in the park and wondering when children lost the sharing and become so much more about their own interests.  I have been working a lot with collaborative efforts and wonder why these big people can't sit in the sandbox and play well together?!?  Is it about funding, self interests, and a lack of realization that we are all working toward the same goals?  Is it about needing to use power to be right and control others? Is it forgetting that times are challenging and IF we all played well in the sandbox and shared our toys, there would actually be more for everyone?!?  I wouldn't point fingers or name names, but I do have my child-like wishes that people would stop, watch, and reflect on the mission that we are ALL about and share their toys!! 

Monday, April 19, 2010

IVY and ELLIE!! Too Sweet!!

A few months ago, Allison showed me a stuffed elephant she had bought for her friend who was going through chemotheraphy.  It made me laugh when I squeezed the foot and listened to her singing!  No, I don't remember the song, but it was lively.  A few weeks ago, I knew I had to purge more 'stuff' and the elephant needed a new home.  My friend, Heather, in Nebraska has a four year old and I have decided to somewhat adopt them as the daughter/granddaughter I would love to have - so I thought about finding a new home for the elephant.  I packed her up for mailing and sent her winging to a new home.  I also wrote a note with one of my greeting cards using my photos - gosh people love those!!  This one had a pair of pink cowgirl boots. I thought Ivy would like them!  Turns out she has a pair of the boots, named the elephant "Ellie" and it's her best friend.  In fact, she often sleeps with her.  Yesterday Heather took pictures of Ivy and Ellie and sent them to me.  Today I share them with you.  She is a charmer - so full of energy and imagination - a free spirit that many of us long to be.  I hope to go and meet her in person so we can dance together and sprinkle fairy dust all around us.  Make a never know when it will come true!!  My Guardian Angel, Filaree is such a spirit and everyday, I can feel her coming more alive in ME!!  Just the other day, someone said, "Martie you are such a free spirit!"  Ah to believe other people's perceptions.  Every day a little bit more - Believe and your wishes can come true!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stand Up and Be Counted!!

A few weeks ago, Allison and I spent a day with folks at Read Aloud Delaware conference connecting, presenting and visiting with old friends.  Our workshops were about Capturing the Senses in a Literacy Rich Environment and of course with Infants and Toddlers.  As Allison said the other day, "We are the infant/toddler experts!"  Feels so right!  Now we have to get people to pay attention to the uniqueness of those years.  It will come.  But yes, I am digressing.  I've been told that my mind wanders but then it comes back to task!  As we talked about neurons and firing connections through experiences, we decided that a tangerine would be a great way for a hands on activity!  So we brought bags of tangerines (lucky for us, there were only 25 in each group).  As we talked about  a sense, we talked about how the simplilcity of the tangerine could be used to see, hear, smell, touch and taste.  As we got to the touch and taste pieces, we encouraged everyone to peel theirs and live the experiences. As I began peeling, I got the 'message' to keep the skin intact and that I did!  Comments about creativity came my way.  So I thought, "What if I kept this and dried it out?"  That I did and as it took form, it reminded me of a person - maybe I will create a doll.  Today I took it out to the garden for a photo op and this is what I am sharing with you.  Remember I always talk about capturing the moment??  Well, here's another cool example of how the peel became a doll person!!  What can you do to create something fun out of the ordinary and unexpected!?!  Give it a try!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spirit of JOI!! Rhythms and Relationships

NOTHING IS BY ACCIDENT!!  A few months ago, I went to a drumming workshop in Mullica Hill.  I did not take the time to make my own Native American drum since Bill had just come home after surgery, but I did choose to buy one from the teacher.  I digress - so what else is new??  There were about 8 drums in one corner of the room and I went to sit with them and quietly listen to decide which one was talking with me!  Right there with me were several gentle souls who listened to the sounds and took part in my decision making.  One of these people was Conni-Joi and she is a Joi!!  Now the amazing fact is that she lives a few blocks from us!!  It's unusual for me to go somewhere and connect with someone who lives in my town and even on my 'side' of the town.  Since then we have been walking - this picture was from one day recently at Betty Park by Alcyon Lake in Pitman - talking, cooking and sharing energy and healing.  Now we have joined a CSA =- organic vegetables weekly and will build our relationship on healthy living and healthy cooking.  Maybe someday - you will have to wait to hear about this - we might expand our activities to reach out in healiing ways to our world!!  For now, we live the simple way and share quiet experiences - music, drumming, and especially love of nature!  OK Mom, so I continue to talk to everyone and once again, I show that it is necessary because you never know!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Look Up! Look Up! What Do You See??

Sunday was special in so many ways!  DARE to AFFIRM is all about RESPECT and when I got a postcard for a show with the same name - Respect - a Woman's Journey, well...I knew I had to go. It was Allison's birthday and I decided the perfect treat would be an adventure to Philadelphia for lunch, the show and whatever else presented itself to us.  Waking up to perfect weather was the first gift of the day!  Going out to play with a friend was the second.  Our intention was to laugh and have FUN and that we did.  It was lunch at Famous 4th Street Deli - funny though - PhotoSchmoozer forgot to take a picture of the GIANT piece of cake we had - layers and layers of banana cream, chocolate and cake!  It was enough for the entire birthday party!!  Then we had to walk it off by strolling down South Street.  One of the lessons learned there is to look around, look down and look UP!  That's why the giant ant is on this blog.  It was 'crawling' across the top of a building!  There used to be a shop called Zipperhead and these ants are left over on the building.  IF I had just people watched or walked straight along with a focused purpose, I would have missed this and so many other murals and signs.  Just a lesson to all of you...stop where you are and look all around to see what is really present in your world.  You will be so totally surprised!

 Yet another surprise!  These friends were travelling up the side of the building to go and visit their friend at the top. What a celebration was to occur!!  See I said that you had to look all over!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Everyone Celebrates FUN!!!

Everyone celebrates something!  What about YOU!?!?!  As PhotoSchmoozer travels out and about and talks to lots of people, I hear that some celebrate opening their eyes in the morning, getting out of bed and just being thankful for being alive!!  Others celebrate LIFE in a big way; the seasons; phases of the moon; family and on and on.  In spite of the war and destruction, we all need time to be mindful of what is special to each of us.  This week, my family and I went to celebrate Passover with our 87 year old uncle and his son (another story, another time!) I met a 94 year old woman in the grocery store yesterday who had her 'macaroni' and meatballs cooked and ready for a celebration with her children and grandchildren and maybe some great grandchildren too -15.  She will have everyone at her house for holildays until she can no longer do it!  What a role model.  I talked with her in my favorite produce section.  My mom always wondered WHY I talked to everyone.  I know WHY!?!  Do you?  If you don't engage, you might miss some of life's most wonderful stories and lessons.  Then, driving home from a massage yesterday, I had to pull over and capture this giant celebration!  Thanks to those who took the time to brighten up our world!!  It's never ending and I for one, celebrate having a LOVE OF PEOPLE and a JOY for relationships.