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?
In my formative years, I grew up at the NJ seashore - Wildwood to be exact - and never have I seen the furor that has arisen over Hurricane Irene. We had Hazel in '59 and another in March of '63 that had us getting around town in rowboats. Never did I remember a state of emergency and mandatory evacuations. In our area, the local Shop Rite stores closed at 8 on Friday night and will be closed all weekend. I have seen many other cancellations because of what might be. Today I read that the NY City subways will be closed at noon. Wonder where she will head, what her strength will be and how everyone will fare. We can only wait and be prepared!! Peace to all.
This is a very special person- I call him the Energizer Bunny because he is often up before 6 am, goes to synagogue to pray, goes to the gym to work out and can prepare a decent meal!! This is my Uncle Irv - he is soon to be 89 and is just 'cool'. He has stories to tell, is interested in lots of things, and knows the importance of maintaining connections to his family. Just the other night he came from Philadelphia to see Jim, Jon and Greg playing at the Coffee Works in Voorhees - stopping for a bit of shopping at Cherry Hill Wegman's first. He forgot his cane, so "no problem" - he closed up the umbrella and used that to help him walk with ease. He stayed til the bitter end too - cousin Bob drives,but Irv is a good spirit. He wanted to visit family and so he did!!
Here's a picture to be treasured - me/PhotoSchmoozer, Uncle Irv and sister Lisa hanging out together at Coffee Works - just enjoying one another's company. Isn't that what family is all about.
Son Jon has come back to the United States after living close to 12 years abroad - Australia and Tokyo. Interesting is that he is going to live in Chicago, the last place he lived in the US before moving across the ocean. Why do I need to explain that? Well, he is here in Pitman for a few day's visit before heading off in his new charcoal gray Toyota Camry. Having him home often means music events and last night was no exception! We went to CoffeeWorks in Voorhees,NJ, to listen to Jon playing with buddies Jim Six and Greg Potter- all singer/songwriter music. When I walked in, I looked around to see interesting individuals and saw the three guys sitting at the chess table. Although they were all fascinating to watch as they intensely concentrated, Marcus was most interesting to me. I, PhotoSchmoozer shared that he would be an interesting photographic subject - and he said sure. As the evening progressed, we talked about our shared interest in photography, how to make some money with it as well as being of service and of course, types of cameras and equipment. The coolest piece - the portable printer he had. He went to the car and brought it in so he could make immediate prints of what I had taken -and he was to send one to his mom in Florida. Again, I share the lesson of not learning all there is to life unless you are still, look around you and open up to life - including people!!
See the serious intensity of Marcus' concentration!!
Today I present to you, my friends, the total awesome beauty that we are given from the Universe. Grounds for Sculpture has multiple ponds that are just lush with these magnificent water lillies - they are in different locations, are different sizes but they all show and reflect their magnificence. For me, this is a representation of Total Peace and Gratitude for my life!! More words are not necessary- the picture expresses what I see and feel when I am still and just look. Remember to unwrap your gifts too every day!! These are stress free and at no cost but setting aside the time to nurture your heart and soul!!
Connections...and Integration. Dial me up anytime...Ihave been contemplating my life, my interests and my connections. I have been wondering how to take what appeared to be separate entities and give priority and importance to each of them without overwhelming myself! Yesterday I woke with theword INTEGRATION firmly planted in my brain. It took me the day to ponder its significance and now I GET IT! I understand clearly that IF I have a central core of beliefs and values, then all that I do will "fit" into the picture of the whole. When I was at Grounds for Sculpture yesterday I took this picture - this morning I realized that it exemplifies my inner workings - each of the circles fits together to integrate into the whole!! Then I shared the Integration thought with my Synchronicity buddy Tony - and you guessed it - he had the same conversation last night with his wife! Oh my...just oh my!! Just pay attention...life happens!!!
On a typical day in the quiet Boro of Pitman, there is Alcyon Lake, the dam and the creek. After close to 12 hours of seriously heavy rains, nothing was typical. I walked across the sloshy fields and came upon the creek. Now doesn't this look like the white waters where folks go rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon? I just stood mesmerized by the torrents of water rushing past and changing the creek into ???
On the typical day that I am talking about, these three bushes are on the ground at the edge of the lake and NOT sitting on what appears to be their own island way out there in the lake. Where did all of the water come from and where will it go??
The ducks were 'lost'. Usually as soon as we walk toward them, they go scurrying off to get themselves to safety in the water. When we walked about, they were sitting and not moving - some appearing lost. This guy stood poised for ??? He too hadn't quite seen anything like this in his lifetime.
I missed the biggest floods of the day. A woman was there when we walked over and shared her story of the water that, earlier in the day, had come up and over the guard rails and totally flooded the streets. When we got there, things were heading back to normal....whatever that is!?!?!
Keeping with the Shoes/feet theme, this giant good is what greeted me as I was walking toward the labyrinth at the DE Art Museum yesterday. The statue, a giant sitting with his head in his hands, reminded me too much of how so many people in our country are feeling now - so to lighten up the mood, I took a picture of both of his feet. Just when I finished, this guy came by and stood looking atthe giant feet. We had a conversation about sizes and he agreed to do a comparison photo for me. Not one of his counselors came to see what I was doing taking his picture - maybe because it was over in a flash - I thanked him and he ran on his merry way. I decided to call this one Walk a Mile in My Shoes -a Comparison about life. What do you think??
A few years ago, sister Lisa and I went on a Road Trip Adventure to Cape Cod and Boston because of niece Kat. Now we went again because Kat was working in theatre for the summer in the Adirondacks. Another adventure and another road trip. Last time, I was already into taking PhotoSchmoozer pictures of people and their feet. We talked about our 'someday' book about Unity and Diversity related to people and their shoes. Now during our time in NY state, the project continued!! Here are a few of the people we met and the shoes they chose to walk in.
We went to a Native American PowWow in Harriman State Park. I was so enjoying the dancers and the drums (and yes, the crafts) that I almost forgot to stop and realize that there were incredible beaded mocassins all around me. Here's one example - the man was quite surprised when I asked him to stop so I could photograph his shoes.
These belonged to the cutest little guy asleep in his carriage and I was careful to assure his mom that I was only going to take a picture of his shoes because I thought they were wonderful! At that point, she beamed and was quite proud.
These - well - sister and I were sitting out in Lake George one early evening and her feet were just poised for the picture taking!! These were the shoes that she wore for just about all of the adventure - never would have worked for my toes, especially since my surgery, but she said they were wonderful and that had to be the truth from her perspective.
We saw several plays at the Pendreagon Theatre in Saranac Lake and the morning after found us gifted with a behind the scenes tour. Here sat a pair of shoes that had been on stage for Dangerous Liaisons the night before. Looks like they were having a well deserved rest.
The last to be shared in this blog- they belonged to quite
a character - Aimee - the owner of a great Fair Trade shop in Saranac Lake. She was colorful and we totally enjoyed being in her shop - in fact, I had to go back another day for yet another scarf for a friend - loved the work - and loved the colors too.
So we traveled for six days, saw mountains and lakes and people and here is a wonderful representation of a cross section of what we experienced. Never can tell how we will see things until we stop to take the time to look around!!
It was 6 am the morning of the first day we climbed the 74 steps!! and stayed at Fogarty's B&B in Saranac Lake, NY. Another time, you will see the steps- steep they are!! The night air was chilly and we slept with the windows wide open. The sun came up so early and I awoke feeling really rested. Now wasn't it just convenient that I had a perfect rocking chair to sit in and be still by the window? No chance or luck there - strategically planned. I was sitting and gazing - waking up actually -and these lilttle clouds came tip toeing across the mountains - a biggish one and then a baby following. Then,they were gone just like that!! Still gazing, I looked at the lake and saw a magical mist on the water. How still, how peaceful and how perfect. The church bells chimed the hour, a few cars went by and that was about it until we got up and went downstairs for Jack's regular breakfast - eggs and bacon served with carbs if we chose.
Lessons learned - NOT - never shoot into the sun!! In my mind's eye and as I age, the lessons learned are that rules are made to be broken! This is one case and I was gifted with this view - Never listen to everything you are told or even be good enough to follow the rules! The only rule is to do no harm to others. Other than that, let herrip!! That I did and itwas glorious!! I sat and rocked and watched for three mornings - one of my definite treasures of my NY state adventure with"Baby Sis"!! Lucky us!!
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?!?
Gerbera Daisies for Rebecca!!
This is Rebecca's Favorite Flower, so this drum is dedicated to her
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.