Tag Archives: emotions

A note

 

There on the path you walk everyday a piece of paper catches your attention.

Can it be used in your trash project?

A letter. Or a note. Handwritten.

“Where did you go? I have been waiting. I waited.

are you gone? Did you leave, for good.

I am waiting. ”

I'm waiting
I’m waiting

There are values in pain…

There are values in pain that are difficult
to see without the presence of a guest.

Don’t complain about autumn.
Walk with grief like a good friend.
Listen to what he says.

Sometimes the cold and dark of a cave
give the opening we most want.

–Rumi

 

A little over two years ago I noticed my Mom’s mind wasn’t functioning properly and when we had an appointment at the her Dr’s I ask about it. I wasn’t really used to being around mom that much at the time. She had a man friend and they would travel back and forth from Vermont to Myrtle Beach, stopping here on occasion for Holidays and Dr appointments. At that time I ask to see the Dr as well, to check her responses to normal questions. In his office she seemed to have answered correctly, even with being a bit distracted. Mom was not a very good listener, usually ready with a question about something else, maybe it was a way to deflect until she remembered.

Mom

Sometime later at her Heart Dr’s appointment, the Dr even came out to me to explain what she was to do for her self-care. He was concerned because she would not focus, and didn’t understand what he was trying to tell her, mentioning he would talk with her regular Dr. when I mentioned that we had discussed her memory issues and he was not concerned at this time.

At that point she went off with Lee, her man friend, I am sure which direction at the time. Her greatest joy was being with Lee and his Shih tzu Billy. She had a whole other family and friends there that she no longer had at home in NJ. Sometime later 3 months maybe she came home basicly  for good. Lee was concerned for her and he was having his own health problems.

Taking this walk with her was not my planned version of end life process, yet I was giving the task of being her caregiver, unprepared in every conceivable way. I began walking the autumn path of grief, anger and frustration with her it was not a happy time.

Continue reading There are values in pain…

Listen to the heart!

“The Heart loves service, humility, hard work, dedication, self-approval and self-trust, listening to Divine Guidance from The Uni-verse which Whispers to us, taking action even though we don’t feel like it, getting up and trying again, not blaming but taking responsibility for the outcome of our lives, empathy, and having the willingness to dig in and get our hands dirty instead of leaving our dreams up to someone else.” Mastin Kipp: The Daily Love Blog

Pine cones

For three days I was hoping to write something less dark, more joyful than what has preceded on these pages. Yet my dance with shadow, my ego is the dance partner who seems to lead. Selfishness is the word or action that poked me this morning. My reaction to Mom’s disease, Alzheimer’s is distressing, and abusive to both of us. I realized the resentment I have about the situation taking up my time, my peace of mind, for I don’t know how or I certainly forget when I am forced to try to explain something a half a dozen times.

My heart may love service but not services that is forced, not service that has no seemingly end. There are moments when I feel boxed in trapped in our prison of “service”.  When I am angry and resentment takes voice I blame others, family, social services, mostly family for not showing up, not really being involved in this life/death situation with their own Mother! It is not about them, or is it? It is about my ego, my selfishness… plus being totally unprepared for any of this.

I don’t feel like doing any of it, I want out, I want to run away. What we need is help, social contact for both of us, people willing to spend time at activities with Mom. Social interaction with support group as well as friends.

Long Shadows

As I continue to write I keep hearing a voice say, you can’t publish this, not this crap again, not all this “pain” this darkness. I am writing what is. I am writing my emotional reactive experience.  Mastin Kipp in the blog this morning also writes this, ” Basically, our dreams need us to get over ourselves. Our dreams need us to take responsibility for them. Our dreams need us to SHOW UP even when we don’t feel like it. They are fragile and need tender Loving care. Dreams take time and are often tests of Faith. Let’s meet the test!”

Dreams may not be the correct word here yet the path to my dreams is to journey through this process, finding the joy, finding the magic.  That magic is in my photography, that magic is that walking with my camera I am much more conscious of my surroundings, much more aware of the magnificent beauty in a drying frozen leaf/plant, the way the soil pushes up at times, the bright blue sky against the bare tree tops, that birds still sing and flit from place to place. The scurrying squirrels leaping and chasing each other in search of a meal. The universe is alive, the universe offers each creature the gifts to live each day.

winter pods

That there is a balance to life even when the balance seems to be way off.  “Dreams take time and are often tests of Faith. Let’s meet the test!”  One of the principle of the artist’s way Morning pages is to “Show up at the page, (show up for life) Use the page to rest, to dream, to try.”  That certainly is a powerful way to be present for life, being awake, aware of all actions, good, bad or indifferent. Show up! Showing up is sometimes the hardest part.

I didn’t write yesterday because I didn’t want to feel, I distracted myself, i was too emotional, feeling shame or guilt for my angry, my madness. These are all part who I am. I could not even respond to the comments made my friends on the last blog until this morning because I was too moved by the compassion and support that was radiating there. I am most grateful for each and everyone for  your words. I bow in humbleness. I feel unworthy.

in the wind

Namaste!

Photos: 

{ This blog was written early this morning, I still doubted whether I should publish it. I listened to my heart}

Om Shanti

Om Shanti… I am the light, I am the peace of the world. I am the light, I am the peace of the world. I am the light, I am the peace of the world… Om Shanti. Bliss

Tangled
Tangled

I am the process of soothing the fire-breathing dragon! The fire burns of reaction, of unconscious loss, dragon has been wakened to protect its possessions, its family, it’s lair. A stranger has stepped in disturbing the peaceful slumber.

Dragon awakened last evening after coming back from my nieces Christmas gathering. I ignore as many family gatherings that I can. For I am the stranger among them. I don’t know how to be. There is no drama, just family members who spend time together or at least communicate on a regular basis. Of course I am always invited and now it is to bring mom even though I have asked them to pick her up several times during the past year. Christmas is the one occasion I felt that I would/should show up.

spiral
spiral

I suppose resentment is the response that reacted as anger once getting home. With a confused mother, wandering around the house looking for something she could not name.  I wanted to just set with the dogs, I just wanted to be. Riley’s inability to walk has become a sadness almost too unbearable to contemplate. My patience with both of Mom and Riley blooms into confused anger. Poor Muffin sits there looking at me or wants to go outside.

Sleep was interrupted several times with Riley crying which I think I was sensing in my sleep, the night was not restful. 5:30 am was wake up time. Still hearing cries from down stairs, I prepared to settle at the table with laptop, fresh coffee, dogs at my feet. Once I got everything situated, moved Riley in the room with me, coffee hot, computer warmed up, ready to engage. Mom arrives, wandering about, looking for the comb she using for the dogs. I already explained to her it was on 6 am. The dogs are still sleeping, I am feeling anxious, hyperventilating, trying to keep calm, almost in tears.  Trying to explain to mom the hour and my time, etc. She disappears, Muffin ask to go out, a walk will do us good. It is dark and raining, I am in near tears, walking being present, being the moment, trying to recognise and honor what I have been experiencing.  I say prayers as I walk, I have for years, 3rd and 7th step prayer, St Francis Prayer, another I took in from Joel S. Goldsmith readings.

every direction
every direction

Upon coming in the house and once again getting settle, Mom is dressed, getting her coffee. I can’t be in this energy now. I so wanted to sit with the dogs, to blog etc. Yet the TV comes on and mom wanders from room to room. I packed up and returned to my room, my over stuff sanctuary. Let candles,  downloaded photos I took two days ago, viewed them while listening to Bliss: Hundred Thousand Angels.

I love when I am moved by my own photographs, even stunned by them at times! Having a moment. Those moments seem rarer that once before, yet the magic still can happen.  I research Dragon myth and archetype for dragon was the creature that came to mind. The protector, the fire-breathing beast roaring.  Of course poor dragon should not have to be blamed, as well as anyone else. It is I feeling unsafe, unprotected, maybe even up loved, a stranger to myself and to others.

extended
extended

Om Shanti, the vibration of OM was and always is soothing, moving, comforting.  The affirmation: I am light, I am the Peace of the world repeated  for 5 minutes  gives me hope and a bit of peace. I don’t feel that I am either the Light or the Peace of the world but I can find serenity among those sounds.

Om Shanti Om Shanti Om Shanti : I am the Light, and the Peace of the World

Photos: 

Questions for the questions…

“When you welcome your emotions as teachers, every emotion brings good news, even the ones that are painful.” – Gary Zukav

under the spell

Is lack of sanity an emotion? Have I gone insane? Have I created a Groundhog day event of the life? If so why? What has become so frightening about my life that I refuse to live it. Live it fully once again… These and many other questions may or may not be answered in the what follows today or any-day soon.

I have heard the voice to write like a woodpecker hitting a tree trunk, knock, knock, knock, knock, hammering away the stubborn layers of bark, and hard word to get to the meat of thing.  I mentioned to a few friends that I have been hearing that voice to write, to begin to blog, do morning pages again. Morning pages were responsible for the beginning of this blog. After writing the morning pages for the length of time required/suggested in the book The Artist Way, 12 weeks, Julia Cameron suggest to continue writing morning pages to keep the flow going.

So are these blogs going to be morning pages? It is a place to start, a beginning.  And we can only begin where we are.  So here I am ready to stand before myself and everyone naked through my words. Even trying  write this, flinging off the darkness, the cover of silence, feels vulnerable. So be it.

It is the Holiday Season, and… in the past few weeks I have been journeying down memory lane. First it was joining the Magnolia NJ Facebook page which I thought may be a good way to connect with local goings on. I didn’t and still don’t have a lot of connection with the community I live in.  Even as a child, I seem to have lived or created a different reality to the one outside. Did I have imaginary friends, no not really. I had religion, I was on the search even than.  Well being in this local group opened up closets that have long been closed. Do I even want to go there now?

The first snow of the season opened the doors. Someone was recalling sledding down hills, streets, etc. The one hill I recall was behind my girlfriend’s house, we were teenagers, which went down into the major road. The girlfriend would become my wife in a few years and then my x-wife a few years after that. Well x-wife messages me that her Mother has passed, and she and Mike her husband, and my best friend from our Air Force days, along with daughter are here to attend the viewing, did I wish to join them for lunch? I did. I attended the viewing as well.

The Three

Earlier in the week a member of the Magnolia group posted our grade school graduation photo, we were the first graduating class from St Gregory’s, 1967!  Oy! Even had to locate myself, people I have had no contact with in years. Some I even went to high school, some my first crushes…  Just to meet a two of them a few days later at the Senior Christmas Lunch.

Class of 1967
Class of 1967

These are all unfolding stories, unraveling memories, there was a mention of a young man who had died in a car accident who lived across the street from us, how I remember that young man, the pain of that loss…

What is the purpose of all of these dusty memories? And none of these “stories” have anything to do with my sanity or insanity, or do they?

Each of those memories have expanded stories of course, those stories may get to see the light of day for the may shine on some of the shadows of my earlier life.

For now Mom’s Alzheimer’s is holding steady, I see some patterns which make dealing situations a little more responsive rather than reactive. I don’t think I am very good company for her, and in some way, I think it is becoming abusive. Abusive emotionally and spiritually for both of us.  The day to day routine of going about our day is rather unproductive, meals, chores, a few walks for her if the weather is cooperating. She cleans those house, more or less. Fusses with the dogs. Makes strange combinations of food items, if I am not there to pay attention. Always asking if there is something she can do, when I am doing my own chores, or making meals or baking. I would be nice to have help but help is more like supervising, so it is easier most times to do it myself.  We found some old coloring books, she has begun doing some those pages. Her attention span is not long, even shorter if I am doing something within seeing or hearing distance, she wants to “help”.

As for art/photography: I realized I have not been taking as many photos in the past few weeks, could be the weather, could be not motivated which scares me. I view photographs everyday, belonging to several photography groups keeps them passing across my screen. Events have been difficult to attend, I do have one small photo in The Plastic Club’s Exhibition of “Weather”.  Gearing up to curate a Photographic Society Exhibition in Feb. which could be the project that gets me through the winter.

frozen

 

Welcoming the teachings of emotions has got me to these pages. Is there good new here? Yes the writing, and the exposing. The painful emotions of confusion, anger, loss that come from memories of the past, or even desire for the future while I seek to live in the moment are the lessons of evolving, even though it feels like going backward. It is in the “welcoming” hello emotions set down and chat or come along while I take some photographs or make meals or do everyday chores. What do you have to say to me?

It seems life if full of questions, even questions for the questions.  They seem to be strange traveling companions these “questions”. These too will reveal themselves…

it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation,

Perhaps the hardest thing about the path is that it’s

entirely up to us how far we go, how deep we go,

how authentic we become. No one else can do it

for us—it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation, it’s

adult responsibility.  It’s such a private decision we

come back to time and again—Am I willing to do

the work to find and to live my path? Do I have the

faith, courage and persistence I need to keep getting

back up off the ground when things go awry? How

badly do I want an authentic life?  What price am I

willing to pay to create one?   Jeff Brown

DSC_3110

 

Am I a willing to do what it takes? Paying the price sometimes feels to high, for the price seems to be my sanity, my voice, my creativity!  For the past year I have been my Mother’s caregiver, not a position I apply for but one that seems to have been dropped in my path. It is my challenge to find the way through what seems darkness of financial, government and state administrations that are riddle of, do this, go here, now go there, fill this out, did you see this person or that, have you appeared for the Doctor, Lawyer, etc?

In the mean time I pull myself into distractions, food via sugar, Facebook via photography sites, which are rewarding and educational creating a time-lapse of heightened senses . A Tumblr account that started out as a porn page but has “evolved” into a more sophisticated high-end on-line pictorial magazine with Art, fashion,  food, coffee, decor, etc. Scattered around is still porn!

Yes I still get out each day to photograph while walking the dogs, each moment a bit of letting go, allowing nature to sooth my wounded darkened soul. I still continue to seek forms of expression with the photography. Joining the Black and White Street Photography.com page has been an eye opening experience. One is which I am challenged each day to “see” differently.

DSC_3221

 

it’s all ours, it’s the art of self-creation, it’s

adult responsibility.  It’s such a private decision we

come back to time and again…

Is it? Is the art of self-creation over and over and over again an “adult responsibility”? Right now the art of self creation looks like chaos, feels like a big heaping mess, one that is being trudged through to get to the other side. I have never really been responsible for someone else life. Not for one who can’t make their own choices,  for one who, remembers somethings and forgets most other daily activities. Nothing about feels “authentic” it feels forced.

Am I willing to do

the work to find and to live my path? 

DSC_3222

 

For some reason yes I am willing to do the work to live and keep on the path while in the process of caregiving. That is why blogging is so important. It is my voice being shared, it is an expression of who I am at the moment.  Even though the path seems so dark and lonely at times, there are great moments of light, great moments of happiness, I was thinking joy but I believe joy is something else. The work I do to stay on the path is my creativity, making photographs, promoting those photographs, with whatever energy I have. Sometimes I feel like the drunk at the bar who is always talking big and grand about the places and things he is going to do, yet never gets off the bar stool.  Talking dreams, clouds in the sky, imaging this or that, yet the end is the same, talking. Let me tell you that is not the case. The Exhibitions, the artist dates, the promotion may not be as steady as it once was. It still trickles, it still flows.

Each day of endless questions and repeated answers, it’s still filled with beauty all around.

 Do I have the

faith, courage and persistence I need to keep getting

back up off the ground when things go awry?

It seems that I do have the faith, courage and persistence to get back off the ground. Or you wouldn’t being seeing this blog, I wouldn’t be part of a group exhibition that is now hanging at the Galleria in Deptford NJ. I have a photograph at Cafe 12 as part of that group show for the Photographic Society of Philadelphia.  One of my photographs taken a few years ago was just featured in a group on Redbubble.com.

Caregiving, maintenance  of finance and a house with yard didn’t seem to be part of my path yet they are that which informs me of who I am right now. Much of that I struggle with that struggle helps peel the layers of unknowing away.

DSC_3643

it’s

entirely up to us how far we go, how deep we go,

how authentic we become.

The progress of mistakes

“If we are to make progress, if we are to grow, if we are to live our dreams, then we must begin to expect that mistakes and problems will arise – and not meet them with the arrogant belief that they shouldn’t be there, but instead bring awareness and patience to the situation and know that problems are there to teach us and they are an inevitable step towards mastery.”  Mastin Kipp: Daily Love Blog:http://thedailylove.com/

behind the curtain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each morning for weeks, no months, I have desired to write, to blog, always getting distracted by one thing or another. Which is always just me getting in my own way. There is always something to distract us from our journey, always another shinning object, another mistake, another detour, yet all paths on the same journey to our destination. The road less traveled is not as easy to walk, ride, but I believe a much more rewarding one. A journey made from our own choices, our own visions of who we are, where we wish to go.

Since last fall I have become my mother’s caregiver, finding out her dementa/Alzheimer’s is worst than we thought but not as bad as it may become. Yet a new chapter in both our lives, lives interrupted by illness, aging, unclear paths untraveled by either of us.

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes depression became my companion, I felt betrayed in some ways by my sister and brother in law who bought a house and moved out of the family home after 55 years! It was just Mom, the dogs and I! I knew some of the steps to take to get the help, Doctor appointments, contacting the county/senior service, I knew but I didn’t do much about it. I stood stunned in my path, going numbly from day to day. Was there, is there an arrogant belief I should not be there? Not arrogant, just a shocked misunderstanding of where I was in my life. Did I ask myself is this what I called forth? If I called being a caregiver to my Mother it was not a conscious calling. Is this part of growing up, being responsible?  If it is part of growing up and being responsible is sucks!

An older male friend commented this way about my being in this state of presence about my Mom just yesterday: “Please know that in the process of your frenzy and fury over dealing with your mother that you are doing the work that honors both of you. (This is a better way to think about it then prompting her to talk about fourteen hours of labor!!!”  Yes, I am trying to move into the higher vibration of all of this.  and slowing this is coming to be, yet part of me is just numb or angry, feeling love in this process is a difficult to reach. As the quote says above; “but instead bring awareness and patience to the situation and know that problems are there to teach us and they are an inevitable step towards mastery.” I am far from mastery in this matter, I seek advise and guidance, sanity through photography… the shadow of me

Yes, depression will still continue to shadow me, yes mistakes will jump up in my path, yet the journey continues, everyday the challenge to create, every moment that challenge to Be Present, to who I am and who I saw up as is unfolding.

Question of the day: Are Mistakes markers for your awareness?

exercising your power of choice.

“… through exercising your power of choice judiciously, you can learn to see how you and your actions can work in harmony with the world around you. You may experience the grace of living in harmony with the universe only a handful of times, but the experience is characterized by a feeling of trust and a rapport with your surroundings.” Carolyn Myss

The power of choice

I read the above quote after having read the Fourth Step process in Alcoholics Anonymous: The process of taking an inventory of our lives, seeking the places we find resentment, anger, selfish behavior… and fear. These choices of fear selfish behavior, anger and resentments do not allow us/me to experience the grace of being in harmony with the universe, those choices do not create trust and or rapport with my surroundings, they do just the opposite.

Continual Flow

I say this because I find myself more and more in just those moments of choice, to control a situation, to be get angry because someone needs some or is hovering, in an unconscious caring way. I hear myself in those moments, when I am making a sarcastic comment, getting angry of a diver on the road that is going the speed limit, or even the dogs, when it seems to me an inappropriate time to want to take a walk, in those moments I have to breathe, I have to say how important is this to my sanity and my relationship to this situation. Constantly readjusting my attitude, realigning my self with the Higher Power. For each moment is a moment to learn who I am, or who I am not or even no longer wish to be.

Self-centered, resentment, anger, and fear...

There is some really wise words which when used as action to move beyond ourselves, from  Alcoholics Anonymous page 420 which states, “Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.” For I have unconscious expectation of how things are suppose to be, I have egoic reason why, a situation, person, place or thing should act accordingly, the wisdom goes on to say, ” The higher my expectations of other people are (and myself), the lower my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But when my ‘rights’ (ego) try to move in, and they too can force my serenity down. I have to discard my ‘rights’ (ego) as well as expectations, by asking myself, How important is it, really?  How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety? And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level – at least for the time being.”

For at least the time being, for the moment is just that only a moment, yet when anger and resentment have become present the moment lives on in my energy much longer. Yeah but ego says what about my ‘rights’ what about me, in a flash, you are not important, the state of being is, presence of mind, the action of Love is the state of being. Love of self, to be Love of others, Love to others.

I still have to ask, do I think that little of myself to continue to react in such a manner? The reason for this writing is to awaken that place of serenity, to create emotional sobriety on a regular basis, not a sometime, someplace experience, an experience that is a state of being, Being Love, I am Love. I use to sign off with I am Love, all the time, than something shifted, because what I was experiencing was everything put love from myself. So it was time to “trudge the road of happy destiny” once again.

Serenity

Once again the practice of choosing consciously or judiciously choosing actions that are in harmony with the world around will offer the grace of serenity, will allow me to be present and leave the present to the past when the next moment comes, and I have acted Lovely from self into the world Lovely .

Question: What are your choices saying about you?

All Photographs are register @ Jeff Stroud. and can be purchased through me or http://www.redbubble.com/people/jeffstroud

unconscious truth!

The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something more than truth. Adrienne Rich

Twisted strength

There seems to be such an anger within me these past 24 hours. It has been shadow dancing with me. Claiming my spirit, and my self-will. I stay away from people, places and things and the little monster still shows up, out of the blue, seeming to make the simple things difficult, difficult things a source of fire I don’t even desire to go near.

Yet according to the stars and planets it is my time to shine, as a Leo, it is anyway. But instead I am hiding out. What is it about all those everyday adventure that I wrote about yesterday has been gripped in fear of getting them done?

I need to find the light in all of this, I am going to cast my light on this shadow and find out what it wants, why it is still there. It seems like the joy and enchantment I was feeling and experience last week has caused an opposite to present itself. Ego screaming you are not allowed to be enchanted, you are not supposed to find joy in everyday experiences. I say Boo to you ego, Boo! You need to get in step here, I have love to share, joy to spread, art to create and your dancing on my toes! We need some new choreography. This does not have to be painful or difficult, it can be fun, creative, joyous… Trust me!

Beauty in the drought

In chapter 10 of The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron writes; “In a creative life droughts are a necessity. The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity. When you are in a drought know that it has a purpose. And keeping writing your morning pages. To write is to right things. Sooner or later – always later than we like – our pages will bring things right. A path will emerge. An insight will be a landmark that shows the way out of the wilderness”

The biggest thing on my mind this morning was to write, no matter the anger and or frustration I was feeling, the concern over the computer, once again I was and am having difficulties with my pass word working. I worked on it this morning a bit, I hope I have gotten things cleared up.

 

This has not necessarily been a creative drought or block it has been an emotional spiritual dry spot. I may not have photographed a much yet I have been inthralled with Bystander: A History of Street Photography,it has been a source of history, creative input, lessons about photographers, to cameras.

Viewing or pursuing

How the photographers where influenced by either their art training or the style of art of the day. It seems many early photographers took up the camera to make pictures of the area in which they wished to paint. Gave them a moment stopped in time, the light and shadows aren’t changing. Some photographers used different cameras to get a different feel for a shot. Other photographers where working for the city or state to capture moments in history of areas of city streets and buildings that were about to be demolished and rebuilt.

At the Fair

What I have learned through this process is how to look at a photograph, what am I seeing, am I seeing the whole picture? It has also caused me to think about why I am attracted to street/candid photography as a way of photographing as well as a form of art, how do I make this more conscious in my my creating?

I am sure I have cycled through these places before, and will again. The drought doesn’t last, and even while there there is beauty in it dust. For there is light in the darkness or darkness within the light!

A quote from Meister Eckhart, “Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.”

Growth question: When in your darkness can you see the light? I the light can you dance with the shadows?

 

a day at the fair…

My Morning space!

 

I have been sitting here in tented space in the yard, feet on the ground, surrounded by nature, feeling the humidity on my skin, the chatter of birds, the sounds of the day waking up. Having spent time in my reading practice, not the practice of reading, but of jogging the mind into wakefulness, with literature  that offers refreshing idea’s of mind, body, and spirit, in the midst of that, I was brought back to a memory of yesterday, not much in the moment, this experiences filled me joy and creativity even if I was not completely aware of it at the time.

Earlier in the day, yesterday I decided to get out of the house, I had no real plans, thoughts where to go to the Town Center for the last day of the used book sale in which $3.00 buys  you a paper shopping bag of all the books you can fill it with. This was my third trip to this sale. The finds have been amazing from science fiction, biographies of Walt Whitman, Thomas Eakins, some mystery thriller, a couple of spiritual text of Neale Donald Walsch and Matthew Fox, and heaven only knows what else. This sales is a fundraiser for the counties of Camden and Burlington to raise money for scholarships for women.

I had loaded my camera, and packed my computer with cord and books, because after the sale I was planning to hang at a coffee shop, to read and to write, sip on some nice rich coffee, maybe have big fat muffin of some sort. Yet while choosing books, Linda had called, we had talked earlier about a street festival in Philly, at the Piazza, and area of Philly that is being gentrified with new shops, and gallery creating a fresh area North along the river where people can celebrate their weekends.

Im ready for my close up!

Linda’s call suggested there was also a county 4H Peach Fair Festival and that she and Brian where going to go there, I said no I would just hang, but after I finished filling my bag of  books, and got into the car, I change my mind, called Linda to see if they had left yet, which that hadn’t. I said I am on may way, I will pick you up! So off we went to the County Fair, Peaches and 4H what more could one ask for? These country fairs are a bit of a cultural shift, farmers, kids, cows, horses, rabbits and birds, barbecue foods grilling filling the hot summer air with aroma’s mingled with the other earthier scents of the animals. How often do we get this close to farm animals that you can pet, look their eyes and even talk too?

A fair Moment

Well the afternoon was hot, we wander about, the three of us sometimes going in different direction, according to interest and energy levels, about an hour later we headed back up to the Van, which we were permitted to park in the shade, under some old pine trees. Back at the van we sat around had some lunch of shared tuna wrap and left over coffees, and water, a few cherry. Brian was feeling the heat and his energy level was fading fast, so off we head back to suburbia, of course another stop at the super Wawa! Freshen of up our beverages, and on to the next leg of the adventure. Linda suggested the fine arts fair at Cooper River in Cherry Hill, sounded like a grand idea, B, we dropped off at home, to rest to make some dinner, for it was now 3 O’clock.

Because of the late hour of the day the fine arts fair was quiet, better to see, and chat with the artist, about their day, about their work, and whatever comes up in conversations. Linda is very good at this, she seems to invite everyone in, showing interest, asking questions, examining that art in front of her, whether it is jewelry, pottery, soap making, photography, etc, she is child like in her enthusiasm, one reason she is great to hang out with! I learn more, I find out more, the whole experience is enriched by her presence! The one artist we spoke with was a South American, a 20 something young man, who hand crafted string in a process called knotting, which looks like crocheting, which is than attached to stones, the craftsmanship is amazing and a great way to wear pieces of sacred stones. We continued to wander, chatted with a Photographer,  an English guy, who had a lot of his work done of canvas which I have been considering have some of my work created on. It adds a different dimension to the work, offers another option for buyers. His booth was like a small gallery with deep gray textured panels, the art hanging from artist wire, which allow the work to hang straight, offers a much more pleasing viewing. We traveled around bit more, it was getting late, the artist were beginning to pack up, or just off chatting with each other, and I wandered over to this booth of photographs that had caught my attention, because they were also on canvas, but besides that they where bold and creative. In some ways they are product images, yet they where colorful, eye-catching panels of 20 x 40 with 2″ depth with themes. The first one I saw, where of a piece of paper near the bottom of the panel, the next one was a pair os scissors standing on end like a ballet dancer, I had not caught the theme of this guys work as of yet, when I truly looked at the first panel, if realized it was shot of rock, making up the game, rock, paper, scissors, title Rochambeau ! Looking around at the others I had that moment, ah ha! playful, artful, creative, here were panels of marshmallows, Graham crackers, and Hershey’s to create S’more. I was entranced!  In walks the artist, another guy and his little girl, who found these photograph panels as playful and creative as I did, she was even beginning to suggest idea of new panels or enhancements to the ones already thought of, Greg the artist was thrilled and was taking note!  I have not spent that much time viewing photographs in ages.

When was the last time you spend the day at a fair?