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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Coincidences...not!! Listen to this!!

Pitman held the 2nd Annual Arts and Music Festival yesterday.  The weather was perfect; there was some good music and some great food to welcome those who came out to be a part of the day!!  At the end of the day, we went to Bus Stop cafe.  This couple, Bev and Chuck were sitting at a table and there were a few stools in the otherwise crowded place.  We asked if we could join them and they said, "Sure."  As we were talking, she recognized us from years ago when Bill had Signworks.  He had done signs for the Cerebral Palsy center where Bev worked when they had a golf tournament.  We caught up, traded contact information and decided to keep in touch.  Now the wild and wonderful part!!  Our niece, Rebecca is a student at Goucher College in Baltimore.  She shared with us that her friend, Jen (from CT) has relatives in Pitman.  This morning, I got an email from Becca with their names.  Of course - you guessed it!  Jen's aunt is Bev!!  I immediately shared the story with Rebecca/Jen and called Bev.  I also called my sister Lisa, because we love to share the synchronicities that pop up in our lives all the time.  The more you are awake and aware of these, the more they appear!  Wild and Wonderful!!  Pay attention!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Pied Piper of Pitman!!

It was Fourth Friday in Pitman, NJ.  The weather was perfect, the town was crowded with families walking, talking, laughing and eating the ice cream, cotton candy and other food for their enjoyment.  The restaurants were crowded (Sweet Lula's had their grand reopening!! Welcome back Anthony and Lula) and the antique car show in the park was crowded with cars and people checking them out.  As we walked the streets, listened to the music in front of Venice Cafe and chatted with old and new friends, I saw a man carrying a basket and surrounded by a group of kids.  What was going on?  As I got closer, this little Pug was the scene stealer and precious he was.  He was attracting young and old and just totally loving the attention he was receiving.  I know that there are animals for all kinds of helpers and healers and the attention this one received, as well as the looks on people's faces, just showed how true that was. 

An Imperfect Sleep...Thoughtful Reflections

Last week, I was talking to my dear friend Susan (which one, since I have many Susans in my life, you have to decide!!)  She and I do a daily report about how we slept and why that might be so.  This conversation was no different!!  Two 60 something women talking about their interrupted sleep and what we do in the interim!!  All of a sudden, Susan talked about her 'donut hole' sleep!  "WHAT??"  I said.  To her the metaphor was perfect and when she explained it to me, yes, it was.  Look at sleep like a donut - maybe one that is puffy and filled with lovely cream rather life a soft pillow.  Now when this is interrupted in the middle of the night, well, there is a hole in the donut!   When I went on an adventure to Atlantic City the other day, I saw a piece of bread on the beach, and decided that it reminded me of another version of sleep.  The whole soft piece of bread with a hole in the middle!!  So, being PhotoSchmoozer and having my camera with me, I took the picture and am sharing it all with you.  Make sense to you??
Voodoo Doughnut Documentary Project Now we really have to admit that though the picture of the bread and the hole is cute, these 'holey' donuts sure do look tempting!!  I signed up for Zemanta(not sure yet how it all works) and when I write words, they give me a bunch of extra pictures to add if I choose.  WOW I got my donut picture AND told my sleep story with bread!!  Win...Win!!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Perfect Peace, Love and Contentment!!

Posted by PicasaIt was a perfect Saturday at Camp Jam in the Pines in Monroeville, NJ.  I felt like we had stepped back in time as we were surrounded by so many people who were wearing their tie dyed long skirts, flowers in their hair, sporting beards and were totally chilled out.  My comment, "If you are uptight, you had better leave because this was no place for you!!  We joined the crowd, set up our chairs, listened to music and people watched!  Food was organic and vegetarian and outstanding.  The vendors were from Woodstock, NY and knew how to put the black bean toastie together on a grill fired by propane tank!  We got into the 'nothing' frame of mind, though without the beer or other mellowing agents that were around us!!  No problem. The sunshine did it for us!!  Mid afternoon,  as I was walking barefoot through the grass, I saw the perfect picture of love, peace and contentment - the 'poster children' for the event and here they are.  We almost made it until the end...Caravan of Thieves, Infamous Stringdusters and New Riders of the Purple Sage - like Jerry Garcia was back again in the 60s!! 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Sweet Sounds of Rhythms and Relationships!!

It's always about serendipity and being in the right place at the right time!!  Years ago, maryi and I and a small group of women drmmed at full moon time at the 'farm'.  We lost touch over the years, but I still kept drumming in my head and heart though I didn't exercise the hands.  A few years ago, One Spirit book club had a kit with a hand drum, book and CD by Christine Stevens, music therapist and Remo Drum company's music director.  I bought it!!  Everything came alive.  Then I read The Healing Power of the Drum and invited Robert Lawrence Friedman, the author, to do a drum circle/workshop in Pitman last October - full moon and our anniversary.  After that, some drumming at the farm and in our living room - more drums and more connections.  I was invited to Pitman Manor to drum with the senior citizens women's group.  We went back again Christmas Day to drum with those more involved.  It was a pleasure to see so many show their spirit through their eyes or a brief smile as I placed a drum mallet in their hands and encouraged them to try!  I saw my sister, Lisa, do the same thing (twins born 9 years apart).  The story continues as Carol, the activities director at the Manor invited me to her house for a Christmas Eve open house. There, a young man, Aubrey, had a ceramin doumbek and I totally loved its 'sweet' sound.  I looked around and finally discovered Full Circle Drums - Ishmael and Patra, on a mountain top near Santa Barbara, CA. What you see is what I got!!  Ishmael offered to send me pictures of 5 drums he had just made that were not yet on their web-site.  and I could have first choice.  I chose Spiral Mandala.  Now I am going to a drum circle tomorrow in Baltimore, MD with Jonathan Murray and another next week near home (more about that after it is over!)  In September, Conni-Joi and I will be spending 3 days with Remo,Christine Stevens and Barry Bittman,MD, for a Health Rhythms training.  (See the Remo web-site for more details about the Princeton, NJ training 9/9-11)  After that...the world is wide open and you can be sure you will hear about Spirit of Joi: Rhythms and Relationships for fun, healing and self-discovery.  Keep reading and invite us to drum with you or your group.  Life is full of spirited, energetic like minded souls and I LOVE IT!!  Join our circle or do you have one of your own?  Share that with us  
Life is too fragile to not live, love, laugh, dance and DRUM!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

U of PA Seniors Celebrate THE END!!

Yesterday I met my sister, Lisa, at the Union League in Philadelphia.  She had stayed at their Inn and was in town for a ULI event.  As I was driving through town to find a parking lot, I started seeing these HUGE groups of  students dressed in yellow Sesame Street t-shirts.  Once I found Lisa, we were sitting on the front 'porch' of the Union League, rocking away, and a group of kids posed on the step. Being the ever curious Photoschmoozer that I am, I had to find out what was going on!!  Here is what I discovered...Sunday is their graduation, so en masse, they decided to go from Second Street all the way back to their campus on a BAR HOP!!  Oh to be  young and energetic and celebratory.  What's next for them?  Didn't matter yesterday as they walked and laughed and stopped and drank. They were living in the present moment!!

Now here is the funny part of the conversation!  After I noticed the definite individuality of their shirt designs, I looked down on an arm and saw ALL of this writing!  Of course, I had to ask about that as well.  Seems it is her agenda for the day with the names and addresses of the bars they are going to!  Live and Learn.  If you don't ask, you don't find out.  Wonder why Mom always challenged me on that and said I asked too many questions.  Funny, I am working with someone now who says the same thing.  Soon that relationship will be over and I will be off with Young spirited, bright, creative and curious friends and colleagues.  Won't have it any other way from now on!!  Life is too short not to be lived to the fullest!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ducks in a Row!!

Years ago, I worked with Sydelle and any time we sat down to plan, she always talked about 'getting our ducks in a row'.  She always had great intentions and then the planning turned to working at a fast pace to get something done.  My task was to come in after and truly work to 'get the ducks in a row'.  When I was sitting at the lake yesterday watching the families that are hatching and growing strong there, I thought of her and our work together.  (OK, I know they are geese, but close enough because there was a mallard family as well!!)  Then I thought about my life now and all of the healing and transitions that are happening - sometimes at what feels like warp speed!!  I suppose I am refelcting and quietly planning and striving to get my ducks in a row.  The challenge of it all is to BE STILL (my favorite words but not always my favorite practice in reality) and allow events and experiences to flow.  I've been having a 'mind dilemma' yet when I sat still under my healing tree and later at the lake, the solution became so simple and clear.  Maybe we all need to pay attention to how we are guided and not think that we are totally responsible for outcomes!  How about that for a beautiful insight?!?  Try it; life could be a lot simpler and more peaceful.

Totally by Chance!!

Talk about synchronicities and incidents occurring by chance!?!  Here is a 'perfect' example!  I was quietly sitting in my rocking chair on the front porch the other day watching the debris falling from the roof as Ron and crew finished the final clean up.  All of  sudden this 2x4 fell down and STOOD STRAIGHT UP IN THE GROUND!!  Lucky for me to see this.  I looked across the street and the neighbor was out for his hourly smoke.  We just waved and laughed at this!  Could it happen if planned?  NO way!!  I went down the steps and the guys were standing up on the roof and laughing too!   The hole is still in the lawn, left when they took the board out of the ground!  It's the simple things in life that can bring humor and joy.  Pay attention!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tip Top Teamwork!!

Today I am still on the Teamwork topic.  A few days ago, it was the children playing in the sandbox in Central Park, Manhattan. Today it is about a group of guys working together on the roof of our house!  They had to strip it to the bare bones to prepare to put the new roof on.  Now, as it their life depended on it, and it does in some ways, these guys were there for one another.  Not only did they appear to work well together, but they definitely lived the meaning of teamwork - Together Everyone Achieves More.  Some tore off, some did the plywood and some others did the shingles.  They each has strengths and used them effectively.  It's been less than a week and it will soon be finished.  No easy challenge since we have a three story house with lots of steep roof pieces and peaks.  Even for those of us who don't engage in physical labor like these guys, we can learn a few lessons - know your strengths, respect your fellow workers and get in there together to get the job done!  It's about discovering strengths which leads to cooperation and collaboration.  Maybe someday child care, Head Start and related fields will really step up and do the same!!  It would be a blessing and we would all benefit!!