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, October 21, 2010

Swiftly Swirling and Stupendous!

Usually I am the first to share that to really appreciate life in its infinite beauty, we have to take the time to stop and be still and totally be guided to take in what is all about us.
NOT TODAY!  Here's why!?!  Since I no longer work for ZTT and had to give up the phone with the unlimited long distance, well, it has been less than satisfying.  So I called Verizon to see what it would cost to add and finally, I talked to someone who made sense to me and offered me a package to install FIOS in the house (no, we have not opted for cable TV, but the phone and Internet) and I don't think there will be a day that we will regret having made this decision.  Besides that fact that the deal we got is terrific!  It's way less than our phone/Internet bill was and is basically close to locked in for two years.  So folks, though PhotoSchmoozer really does truly appreciate the value of being still and seeing, really seeing the beauty and gifts of the world around us, today I feel more like the ocean in this picture - churning and resting and just bubbly with excitement!  Then I sent a power point and it was done in seconds rather than minutes.  Now, isn't it time to consider uploading some stuff to You Tube?  Your bet.  Check out Photoschmoozer on You Tube.  I should be able to share a few really good music videos!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Make a Wish: Life is Tenuous!!

Life is full of beauty and the wonder of creations if we take the time to really be still and look.  Now I have to add another behavior to this - LISTEN, really LISTEN.  My friend Allison talks about 'perception check' and oh is she right on target.  I am seeing more and more signs of people not slowing down, perceiving something from their perspective(OK that's what perption is) and then NOT following through for clarification.  Two cases in point:  I have been having blood work and other tests done for ???  The other day, I talked to the doctor and asked what he was looking for since I can't go and see him for a few weeks.  "Oh it looks like you could have lupus. Go and see a rheumatologist".  Please send me the blood test results.  OK.  Then I get them and they are not the ones from the latest tests.  Since Bill's prostate surgery last year, my word that guides life is VIGILANT.  If I must pay attention to the beauty that surrounds me, I must also pay attention to caring for myself and questioning those who are my 'partners'??
   Then I was excited that I had plans to go walking in the woods with a friend on Sunday.  To my surprise, I got an email this morning saying that since I didn't sound definite, she made other plans!  Here is my point about perceptions.  I was looking forward to the time together!!  My question - and then I need to let this go, is WHY did she not ask me for clarification and to see if I was definite before she made an assumption?  Sometimes I get accused of asking too many questions, but CLARIFICATION makes for effective communications.  Wonder if I will ever get over being disappointed in the actions and behaviors of others.  How can I ever get to a simple acceptance and have no expectations??  Sorry folks, that would not be ME!!  Fall is beautiful and I will take the time to go walking in a woods with my guy - we work on communications and relationships - still can be a challange after all of these years, but we still grow together!! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Timekeeper Hand Drums: Woodstock NY

In the previous post, I referred to the drum circle facilitator KR Johnson and his Timekeeper Hand Drums.  It was a treasure of an experience to sit in the back room and play the drums because there was actually a sign that said PLEASE TOUCH!!  The sad part was the young girl whom I invited to play with me and she wouldn't touch a drum!  Where has some of the curiosity and spontaneity gone in many of our young children?  I've even noticed this as I drum in public and invite children and adults to play.  They back away and say they have no rhythm!  Oh my do we have a lot of teaching to do!!  Back to the drums - the brochure tells us about the drum maker and how he became fascinated with wood turning in high school woodshop classes.  Over the next 30 years, he learned everything there was to know about the history, methods and practices of 'cooperage'.   Now he's an active percussionist and an accredited drum circle facilitator.  His style of dress is 'right out there' though his style of facilitating is much more laid back.  What a powerful combination for encouraging people to explore and discover on their own.  Bring the drums, put them out, and the people will play!!

Village Drum Circle: Faces in the Crowd

Let's continue with a great thing -drumming!! After the Drumfest, I thought, "What could be better?!"  The plan was to explore Woodstock and that's where I headed!  Walked around the town, bought a tie dyed shirt and spent time in the back room at Timekeeper Hand Drums (another post to come).  After a healthy lunch of a falafel platter with all kinds of salads/dips, I knew it was time for the Village Green drum circle.  I could hear it drawing me in!  Lucky me - there was a seat on a bench (ok the concrete got a tad bit hard on the "tousch")and a conga drum waiting to be played.  My drums were in the car but I didn't want to give up my place.  What an amazing hour and a half I spent with people of all ages, sizes and shapes!  There was drumming, dancing (I have a few videos!!) and lots of entrainment.  At the begin, K.R.Johnson had us clapping our hands to understand the beat and how it was valuable to listen and drum together.  Then we were off.  His style was to get the group started and then take a back seat and let it happen!  That he did and again, I am filled with gratitude for the spontaneous experience. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mandalal:Hope, One grain of sand at a time

The Susan in Rosendale, NY for Drumfest 2010 and then explore Woodstock and the surrounding area AND include a sleep over!!  Best laid plans aren't always in our control.  This time that was the truth and Susan had to go to Reading, PA to be with her mom.  What's a girl to do?  The decision - since we had a hotel room and it was paid for, why not stay!?!  After a big hug with Susan to send her on her way, Drumfest 2010 was waiting for me.  Strolled through the Farmer's Market on the way inside and bought round bumpy rolls made of soft pretzels and the most smooth sheep's milk cheese to keep it company.  What can I say about Fre Atlast ( and Drumfest.  It was an honor to be there with about 50 men and women to pray for the world - environment and peace  by painting with sand on the mandala, learn about the djembe, its sounds and then to play together!  There was incredible energy from the teachers and the participants.  Throughout the time, the heart beat drum was beating.  The sound was begun on Saturday and continued through the night until it was put to rest early Sunday afternoon.  Then the mandala closure ceremony.  We took a spatula and each of us pushed a row of the colored sand into the center, offering our prayers and wishes for the world.  Mine was the people would take the time to BE STILL and truly listen to one another!!  My world has expanded and I am thankful that I made the decision to go for the adventure.  It's not an easy thing (for me at least) to go into a room where I don't know anyone, but that is a short lived feeling and then all become one.  UNITY is the theme of drumming.  No doubt about it.  Everyone is a drummer and everyone has rhythm.  That is the lesson and the blessing of the drum.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Saturday morning at 8 and we had already dropped Jon off at the airport for him to go to his other home - won't call it his home because he fits in both worlds.  Now we focused on the first day of the rest of our lives and Bill's birthday - time to celebrate the event.  Since we were in the city, I said, why not breakfast at the Famous 4th Street Delil at 4th and Bainbridge.  If you have ever been there, you would know about the quality and portion size but...well, we can easily forget.  So Bill ordered corned beed hash and eggs...had Jon been with us, we three could have eaten from this plate (with extra eggs) and still had some to bring home!  The hash was made with fresh cooked corned beef and potatoes with a few vegetables thrown in for 'healthy' eating!!  It was great...and still is!!  Later, we went to sit by the river to watch the planes and ships and just relax in the sun.  Happy Birthday Bill and so many more to come with health and FUN!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Synchronicities and My Sister!!

Meet my sister Lisa Hope.  We've shared a LOT of years of life's adventures and together we love to pay attention to the synchronicities that come into our lives every day.  We call one another and say, "You have to listen to this!"  The other day, she was here and talked about the meeting of the Executive Directors of the Urban Land Institute - she heads the one in Bethesda, MD.  They are all coming to DC to meet, greet and play!  One of the decisions for each person to share a photo that expresses his/her essence.  What to do??  The other night I took a ghoulish picture of her at a music happening - the CD release party for Blank Pages!  We talked about whether that was her essence.  Then this morning, realizing that today is her birthday, I looked back on a set of photos I had scanned for her 50th birthday project.  I collected a few favorites and decided that this would be a Birthday Wish - a celebration - and an expression of her essence!!
       HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER!!  You deserve special days and the years that go with them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Camden Adventure Aquarium and US: Perfect Together!!

Ever have one of those days that, at the end, you can sit back and say, "This was pretty close to as perfect as it can be?"  Well, I can put October 6, 2010 in that category. This was to be a 'family be together day' and that it was!  We started out at Sam Asch, just checking out all of the instruments.  I bought one DVD from Drums of Passion to enjoy and drum with.  Then lunch at the Silver Diner - they have a new menu that they introduced today - Farm to Table, emphasizing the local farmers and how fresh and healthy the food is that they serve.  Quite good and there might be a post on Jon's blog next week about it all.  Then we headed to Camden to go to the Adventure Aquarium - in all of the years that it has been open, we have never gone, so today was our one time!   After that, home to cook dinner together, drink some good wine and watch a mighty mediocre movie.  The lesson from it all:  Have no expectations and you will be rewarded!! 
Now hope you take the time to see the videos I took of the sea creatures.  They are totally beautiful and so peaceful/relaxing.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Synchronicity of Love Apples!!

Today was a quiet alone day, a day to work on HealthRHYTHMS projects and an application for ZTT consulting.  I put on a drumming CD - Drum Cargo by the Gordons and stayed focused.  With it raining as much as it was, there was nothing outside to distract me from what needed to be done!  The application was not complicated but in the process, I discovered what a DUNS number is and how to get it.  Now I am ready to go and be a consultant for the Federal government and its grantees!!  Then I set myself up with professional liability insurance, brought it down for the mailman, and heard my stomach rumble!  No, it wasn't like a drum circle rumble!!
   So, what's for lunch.  Yesterday was CSA day and one of our treasures was heirloom tomatoes.  I picked one from the bowl and put it on the counter.  Look closely at the picture - a HEART shaped tomoto!!  I had to get the camera.  Reflected on tomatoes being 'love apples' and thought how appropriate that this was heart shaped and named appropriately!  I so enjoyed a heavy rye bread, goat cheese and the tomato - absolutely a taste sensation. Once again I paid attention to what was totally present in my life and found a story from it all!!  Besides all of that, my application has been faxed in and now we wait for connections and decisions.