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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Turning to One Another...Reflections...

My thoughts today are reflective so I chose a picture that is reflective as well, full of views, ideas and insights, but many without clarity.  Reflection can be a literal as what we are seeing here, what is in a puddle or a mirror or it can be what is going on within ourselves.  For me today, it is more of the within.  As our times wind down on the Zero to Three project  for Early Head Start - I could say 'only' a few more months or oh my still almost three months to go.  Which will it be?  Depends on the time and the day, the weather, the people, and the phases of the moon. (Yes, Grandmother Moon will be full in a few more days)  I find that a virtual team is a huge challenge, especially when team members don't have a vested interest in making it really work!!  Even conversations on team calls - I wish they too could be responsive and reflective - are less than satisfactory.  Many times I feel that what I say isn't heard and the words fall flat between us.  It doesn't mean that I don't value myself or my words, it means that people just don't listen to one another!!  Her opening sentences resonate in my heart:  "I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again.  Simple, honest, human conversation.  Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well."  A challenge with face to face conversations and truly a difficulty in a virtual team when no one really listens to one another.  My wish is for change and we know that the world needs changing in this respect.  it won't be on this team, but there is always another time...different people...and different purpose!!  Think about your listening - really listening skills?!?  Are they a part of you or do you need to embrace them?!?  We begin to come alive when we can sit together and talk about what is important to us!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Official Summer Solstice Welcome!!

It's official!  This picture was taken at exactly the time of the Summer Solstice.  It shows all of the bright vibrancy and warm expectations of the summer season.  This is the longest time of daylight hours for the year.  We celebrated last night with rituals and drumming to bid welcome and ask for respect and sustencance for ourselves and especially Mother Earth. Blessings to all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wacky World of the Beach!!

Meet my friend Annee! We met as professional colleagues a number of years ago and what we share has grown in leaps and bounds beyond that to an enduring kinship, sisterhood and shared values and philosophies.  For her 40th birthday (oh a few years back), Annee received a condo on the beach in Ocean City, MD.  What loving generosity from her very caring husband.  We have spent time there but just a month or two back, she acknowledged my growing love of hand drumming and invited me to come to the beach to spend the day with her and her staff.  That I did!!  Need I say it was a great time?  Nah - you can tell by our faces and 'beach hair'.   Isn't a picture worth a thousand words???   The amazing parts were the connections we wove with her staff and her children and 'stray children' on the beach as we set up a tent and played with the drums and percussion instruments.  This won't be the last time that this happens.  We are talking about again and the possibiliites of making Tube drums so that everyone can have one to call her own.  It was very difficult to leave the beach and Annee yeseterday early AM to move on toward home.  Our relationship changed it dance steps - more peaceful and even more in tune as we are each evolving into the wacky women we are totally meant to be.  Watch for more escapades.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daddy's Pride...

What a delight!!  Meet Jim Pierpont, the owner of the Hallmark Shop in Pitman.  We seem to have a game - whenever I go to take a his picture, he moves slowly to the side and hides!!  This past Saturday at the bike race was totally different and you can see why!?!?  When it comes to his beautiful daughter, all of the rules are set aside!  Aren't we all lucky to see the love and fun in this relationship!!

The Glory of Reflections

Found a bakery and got a brownie yesterday for a late afternoon 'treat' or so I thought.  Didn't I know the reactions from the sugar and the chocolate? Of course, but temporarily it tasted pretty good - well, at least fair!  So being wound up by it all, I thought that the best way to settle would be to go out under my grounding tree and pick some lemon balm for tea.  As I walked down the steps and looked, there was a huge puddle from some serious rainstorms a few hours ago and the most beautiful reflection of the pink clouds from the sunset!  I knew I had to catch and share this vision and so I did!  See, the PhotoSchmoozer lesson came to me clearly and I share...stop and BE STILL to always see what is in your world!  I did and in itself, this was a wonderful way to settle.  Then I made the tea and listened to a Judy Collins concert on WXPN's Gene Shay folk show.  What a perfect evening and a great way to end the weekend.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yellow Shoes a Biker Doth Make

June 12 was the first annual Bob Riccio Tour De Pitman and 67 riders turned out on an absolutely gorgeous day to do the 50 miles course.  They rode 17 times around the route - in a town that seems flat but...It was fun to go to the parking lot at one end of town before the registration to see the transformation of guys into bikers and to hear their conversations about the race and the terrain.  I was able to share from a bit of personal experience that they had several good hills to negotiate many times over.  OK, it is NOT like the Manayunk Wall in that race in Philadelphia, but still it is a challenge.  Amazing thing is that 57 of the pack finished the race.  The riders came from the tri state area and there were many teams represented.  The main sponsor besides the Pitman Chamber of Commerce was the Caffeinated Cyclist, a fairly new bike store in town.  What did I learn from the experience?  The guys are great - friendly and real competitive team racers AND most bikers wear yellow shoes. From my perspective, not what I was told, I also took note that bikers have fantastic muscles in their legs that affords them the pumping power !!  What a sight to behold!!  Great team - great volunteers - great sponsors and Yeah Pitman!!  PhotoSchmoozer walked all over town and felt so a part of the town and the events. Thanks to all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bark Bash Bonanza!!

It's official!!  I was there!!  Today I got a message that I had been tagged on Facebook and I went and found this picture of me drumming last weekend in West Cape May.  For someone who is mostly on the other side of the camera, this was way fun.  It's small, but it is official.  Trying to enlarge this makes it totally fuzzy. 
 Enjoy!!  I did.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Abundant Berry Blossoms and Fruits

It's that time of year and we couldn't be happier.  When they tell us that we need to have 6-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day and it is the beginning of summer in South Jersey, why it is Heaven on Earth!!  OK...I am rushing the season with the abundance in this picture, BUT the strawberries have been here for a few weeks and they are absolutely lush and sweet this year!!  Now today, the letter came in the mail to tell us that our CSA at Muth Farms in Williamstown,NJ, would begin on 6/21.  There will be fresh organic vegetables for months and then they shared that they will have organic blueberries for sale too!  This is the time for health and healing and nurturing for our bodies.  The summer fare will be light and lovely and we will be so peaceful. Hey, we won't have a choice with the hot weather now will we?  Remember to take advantage of local, fresh produce.  You will be doing yourself and your mind, body and spirit a total favor!!  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Norman Taylor: Exceptional Artist

First you see the face...and then the smile...and then you hear the voice. Norman Taylor is a singer/songwriter, acoustic performer. His style is connected to country blues, as well as influences from country, 70s rock, soul and gospel. The audience is magically drawn in to the sounds of his deep voice and the music that comes from his resophonic guitar! Lovely. Just lovely!! Last week at the Arts and Music Festival in Pitman was no different. He performed at the Bus Stop Music Cafe and then we connected as we were walking down the street!!
Then I thought back to a special evening    
months ago at the Bus Stop when Norm was performing.  Of course, PhotoSchmoozer had her camera right there and was sitting front and center to watch the performance.  What fascinated me that night besides the music was the hands playing the guitar - the picks, the slide and the variety of ways I could see his hands playing the instrument.  I hope that you can catch him sometime soon and hear, really hear what we so enjoy!!

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Performers and the Audience!!

Can you tell what a glorious day it was in West Cape May??  From most perspectives, it was just that - from the HEAT perspective, the term would be 'schvitizing'!!  Just look at the enthusiasm on the faces of my fellow drummers and percussion musicians to know how we all felt!  Was it for the people or for the performers?  I would have to say both without a doubt!  We marched down Broadway to get to the Park, then into the park and to the performance area.  The looks on people's faces as we passed was priceless and there was eager anticipation from those who filled all of the chairs to be in the audience.  Wish you had been there?  You can go next year - always the first weekend in June.  If not, find a group, pick up a drum and find out how you can get in rhythm - with yourself, with others and with life!!  It's a simple step to take for feeling good  - and no experience necessary!!
I truly believe that when it comes to drumming, just about everyone wants to bring out the playful child within - some never lose it, some lost it when they start into the public school system and some strive to regain and capture the feelings as they move into the different way of thinking and being that comes with middle age and beyond!!  No matter...drumming can be one way to express yourself - or dancing - or singing - or - the important thing is to get in touch with who you are and live what makes your heart sing!!

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Bark Bash 2010! Drumming Fun!!!

What a feast for a drum enthusiast's eyes!! Bill and I found the Bark Bash place in West Cape May and a perfect parking space besides!  See the tent?? It consumed the entire back yard!  There were chairs set up in a circle (hey, this is a drum circle after all!!) and so many instruments in states of completion and finished.  We were wlecomed by drummers, instrument makers and other new drumming enthusiasts.  My words for the day - warm and welcoming.  I was anxious about going alone (and Bill's good nature supported me - he came, though suffered from the HEAT!!) Now I know that next time, I could do it alone and not at all feel like a stranger.  I first talked with Mark - not Mark Barkbash, but another who offered to take me and introduce me!  The next post will have people and names attached to them - now - the drums!  First we drummed for a long time, then it was time for lunch - a great barbecue with contributions from many other folks too (Thanks Carol and Mark!).  After that the group practiced for the afternoon's performance at the Strawberry Festival down the street in the park.  We all paraded down and performed.  The special part of the event, was watching the audience enjoy every minute. Then they came even more alive when there were lots of Sound Shapes for them to use!  Isn't it so much more fun when everyone has a chance to be a real part of the happenings?!  PhotoSchmoozer had a grand time taking pictures, drumming and just watching!  Made some valuable contacts with Auggie Doggie (Brigantine drumming on the beach soon), Julie who will be at Remo's HealthRhythms and Louise from Murray Grove Drum & Dance Fest (August 13-15).  Oh there were so many more but that will have to wait for another blog post!!  I promised adventure and that we had!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Epic Adventures...Then and Now!!

It was a cold and icy day in January of 2001 when the two of us pulled out of our driveway with The Cocoon(our RV) and our old 87 Ford van.  We had finally come to the decision to give up the responsibility and head out for points west.  We had only two destinations that were set - first was Pensacola to visit cousins Ellen and Larry (yes, this picture is on the beach in Pensacola before the oil spills were anywhere close by).  Our second destination was San Antonio.  Jon had moved to Australia and he was coming to Texas for a week for training!!  Off we went - needed to stop in Asheville, NC to see my Deltec home - - check them out - it is still in my dream plans!!  Totally open and light and airy with a sense of freedom!! 
So you ask, why am I writing about this today?  The job is winding down (can't rustle up thelocal 'team' much anymore) and I reflect on what is next?!?  So I gaze longingly at RVs on the road and know that again PhotoSchmoozer and faithful companion will go out there to see what the world has to offer.  For now, the next adventure is to Cape May, NJ tomorrow for Barkbash - a weekend celebration of drumming!! and then home to Bus Stop for expanded bluegrass!  What a full day and what stories we will collect!!  My point is that adventures are everywhere and NOT just to unfamiliar and exotic places.  Everyday in everyway, life is an adventure.  Live it!!