The Business of Blogging

It seems I have given myself yet another job, where I work for FREE.

My unpaid jobs pay me in a way that money cannot provide.

I enjoy writing my blog. I think it’s because it is socializing. I connect with people I will never see and never know, except through their writing and their pictures.

I read other people’s blogs and yes, we are all stories. There are three that have affected me recently; The Skeptical Teenager, The Beauty Within and another one that I can’t find again. I thought for sure I liked one of her posts, but it’s not on file. She was a woman whose grammar didn’t exist. She wrote in the vernacular and her blog was the story of her life. She only had four posts and I couldn’t believe it~she had 78 followers.

Writing is powerful.

It is art.

It is informative.

It can take you apart and it can put you back together.

Lost Soul

This is a journal. I’m not trying to sell anyone anything or trying to convince anyone of anything. I don’t have a focus, other than my life and my thoughts.

If I have to claim a point of view ~ It’s about becoming a better person and service to others.

Would that mean that doubt and negativity never exist?

IMG_0942 Friend or Foe

I was walking along the bank of the Jacksonville River, taking random pictures, when I saw this man. He was outstanding; the pink shirt, his dreads and the grey in his hair; a striking individual.

I asked him about taking his picture and I was taken back by his voice and diction. I was expecting a James Brownish type voice. His voice was clear and educated. It so, didn’t match his exterior; in my judgement.

I’m glad I took this picture that day.

It’s like writing this blog.

It hands me back my soul-when I think I’ve lost it.

The Path To Hell in 60 secs. or less

Just spend your time thinking about yourself. Or try comparing yourself to other people. Or focus on what you don’t have.

If you want to live in hell, go ahead.

This painting is The Bluest EyeThe title is a reference to Toni Morrison‘s first novel. In the story, the main character, a little black girl, is driven mad because she wants to be like all of the images pushed on her as ideal beauty; white, blonde and blue-eyed.

She has no sense of who she is and as life happens, like it will, she can’t handle it.

If you want to be somebody, be yourself!

This painting was done years ago. I ran across it yesterday cleaning up a shed that houses all of my old art work. I was considering painting over it. But now that I’ve remembered the experience of painting it and what it was about, I think I’ll keep it.

 

 

Calling on a Mantra

I woke up this morning calling on a mantra, to heal my monkey mind. I miss Costa Rica. I miss my garden and the family that lives with me down there.

I miss the love.

I browsed through my photos and one of my Nicaraguan adventures caught my eye. I went as a photographer on a Christian mission trip into three areas; Manchester, Tipi Tapa and the La Chureca dump.(if you can, please read the link on La Chureca for the facts) I hid behind the camera at times to hide my breaking heart. It was an overwhelming experience.These two live at the dump. A shanty town has developed there, housing the families that have come there seeking work. They go through the waste and recycle what’s there. I don’t know the exact facts, but it looked like a lot of other country’s excesses, such as old computers, are sent here because of their danger to the environment. The workers are hard at it in the day, earning a few pennies to support their families.I elbowed my way around to make sure this woman, got these shoes. I wanted her and no one else to have them. As I watched her, throughout the day, she was quiet and reserved. In this picture, her eyes seem to tell a story~a book perhaps. Those discarded flip-flops became very important to me. A person needs shoes you know. And a little color and style never hurt anyone!

This little girl chased the bus as we were leaving. She seemed so happy!

I love this photo and the girl’s shirt. Her eyes are as bright and full of life, as her shirt is dingy. It’s a positive thought/that we can change the world with our imaginations.

I know that as I sit here, in my room, in a place that I find myself not wanting to be, that these people are still at the dump. They have little food. And what they do have is what is brought into them by missionaries~a lot of rice and beans.

I’m glad I have these pictures to reflect on. I don’t pity these people. That day, yes, I saw  poverty. And when I left, I thought, now I know what dirt poor really is. But I also saw happiness and love amongst these people. One that I don’t see around me here in the middle of all of this decadence. Maybe I need to open my eyes.

I’m going to use my imagination and look to the best of the best of what God has given me in my life and move on.

Why not~it’s the better choice.

I think my mantra worked.

Zero Chit-Chat Skills

I’ve stayed away from my blog, for a few days, because I’m all filled up with family. Have you ever been all filled up with family?

I’m full of Mama and Daddy, my oldest sister, my brother, my daughter and my oldest granddaughter is in there, and I never forget my grandmother. I feel like my grandmother’s life is my birthmark. She committed suicide, the year I was born. She was a war bride from Paris. The poor woman was lied to and brought from Paris to the backwoods of North Florida. Can you imagine?

My family is complicated, confusing and something, best not to think about.

This is why I stayed away; it’s all too dark and depressing. It’s crazy making.

I cannot say what I want to say.

AS THE PENDELUM SWINGS

I want to rescue

I have a fear of people

I have no chit-chat skills

I love too much

I sometimes have zero barriers from the world ~ then I want to keep the world at bay.

Life becomes a swing

I can’t make chit-chat

This Guy

That’s an unusual name. I took my granddaughter, to the Fernandina Beach, skate park yesterday and had the pleasant surprise of running into this guy. He’s high energy.

Skate photography – it’s different. However, photography is photography.

It’s all just another day in the neighborhood.

I left the park thinking, I’ve gotta get a fish eye!

Here’s two pics of my youngest granddaughter on a rip stick.

Mr. Rogers would approve.

Shootin’ from the Hip

Between the saltwater and the sea strand

That is where you will find St. Armand‘s Circle on St. Armand Key, Florida. You will also find this Simon and Garfunkel statue, in the window of one of its shops, of which, there is 130.

I cherish Armand’s Circle. I first discovered this people watching haven, on my ’09 Florida Road Trip. I had to come back. The people, the clothes, the window shopping and the food is a magnet for me. Where else are you going to see a teenager wearing brown leather shorts, eating ice cream, wiling the time, lapsodasically, in decadent heaven. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture her image. I missed her, as well, as many others. It’s one fascinating person after another, in this circle. And you just walk and walk, around and round; looking in the windows and at each other.

When I started trying to get photographs, I could tell I was handicapped, with the camera at my face. It was too obvious  and crass. I’m brave, but I just couldn’t do it. After all, this is Florida, not Manhattan. So, I decided to shoot from the hip. I held my camera, as it hung from my shoulder and just aimed and shot. These are the random results of Armand’s celestial shoppers.

Pretty in Pink
Difficult to buy for ~
Everybody’s mother ~
I’ll take that one ~
Sweet azules padres ~
It’s all about style ~ mariposas viejas
Arm flaca ~
Bling~Bling
Shifting years of beauty ~
3 generations of “The Browns”
These girls need sunglasses!
Bliss and Happiness ~
Exiting ~

I had to tear myself away from the circle. As we were leaving, in the car, I snapped the Exiting ~ photo. You can’t see it in the photo, but the girl on the right looks like a doll. She has the finest features and is wearing pancake makeup. I have to go back! I always look forward to another day or night on the circle!

I guess that makes it bucket list.

John Ringley, the circus giant, created the circle. To me it is one of the Greatest Shows on Earth.

Between the saltwater and the sea strand

Over 55

I’m sitting on a porch in Bradenton, in an over 55 community. It’s sunny and peaceful. It’s just too darn cold on the island, right now. I know! I know! It’s whatever degree up North, but I personally could care less how cold it is up north. Everything is relative and I’m a southerner and when it comes to certain things, like the weather, it’s about ME. OK?

I guess it’s the same for age too. When you’re younger, it might be difficult to recognize the intricacies of this trailer park. It’s been here for about fifty years and the trailers are OLD. But they are all kept up and added on too. It’s colorful and artistic. I wish some folks up in NE Florida would take the hint.

Resting on the porch this morning, I have had a chance to upload surf pictures to my Facebook page. I really enjoyed it.

Here are some of the pics:

Looking at these pics, I am impressed. This spot is tricky. The waves jack up and break over shallow water. I wouldn’t want to surf it. People who don’t surf, don’t really understand the difference of beach breaks, point breaks, ground swells and wind swells, wind direction, cold fronts, low pressures, reefs, where the waves originate, what it takes for them to break, peaks, short boards and long boards. And who is Kelly Slater? According to Lance Armstrong, he’s the world’s greatest athlete. I don’t really have the time to explain all of this important information. I don’t really know all that much anyway.

You only have so much time in life to learn what you want to know.  And the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.

None of us have a crystal ball to tell the future, but it’s predictable that if you don’t die, you will get older. And you don’t know what older really is til you get there. So no matter where you are on the continuum of life, be in the now.

Don’t worry and be happy.