Archive for October, 2012

At the request of my blogger friends, Northern Narratives and Chronicles of Illusions, here are a couple more shots of the viking church from the ol’ shoe box. If I could only go back there now and take a series! But this is all I have. Enjoy!

Norwegian Viking Church

Norwegian Viking Church

Silhouette of Norwegian Viking Church

Silhouette of Norwegian Viking Church

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This week’s topic is a relative, subjective term, “Foreign.” ┬áBecause all the bloggers who participate in this challenge are from different countries, what represents “foreign” to some is not “foreign” to others. For some reason this topic made me focus on foreign language, which for me represents languages other than English.

I had to go to my photo albums to find photos of places other than North America; it has been many years since I have traveled to continents other than my own. You can tell how old this photo is by what movie is playing! This was taken during a trip to Paris in the 1980’s.

Beverly Hills Copy poster in Paris

Beverly Hills Copy poster in Paris

The second photo I chose is from a trip to Norway, also in the 1980’s. It shows a Viking church with gravestones in Norwegian.

Viking Church in Norway

Viking Church in Norway


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Jake has a great topic this week, but I didn’t have much time to take advantage of it. I had company visiting from out of state. I did have to go into the city to pick them up, so here is a shot of one section of the Boston skyline taken from the car window.

And this is a shot of the street near where I picked them up. The horse is outside of a PF Chang’s restaurant…seems kind of crazy to see a horse in the city. ­čÖé


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The topic for this┬áweek’s challenge is silhouette. I chose a couple of old pictures.

Though my grandmother died years ago, we are still going through boxes of papers and photos. My mother recently found this photo of me and my cat Misty, which I had given to my grandmother. I took the photo when I was in my early 20’s as an assignment for a class, using my trusty Pentax K1000 and a timer with a sheet hung up on the wall behind me (that’s about as amateur as you can get). I had developed it myself, and it shows my inexperience: it has a few brown spots from my carelessness with the developing chemicals, and it was also cut crookedly. Despite its flaws, I was happy to have it. I recently put it in a frame and put it on a table in my home; the imperfections only make it a little more precious.

Looking at it now, I realize it is my own modified version of the photo of Billy Joel from the inside sleeve of  The Stranger album. (I liked that photo so much I drew my own version in charcoal for an art class.) The photo on the sleeve was a great example of a silhouette.

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Rocks, bought and collected

When I was a child I loved rocks; an abandoned gravel pit was my playground. When my father cleaned out the garage, he found bag after bag of my treasures. I still have a few on display in my home today.

I supposed that is why rocks have figured in a lot of my poems over the years, beginning with this very simple poem, written in my youth about a crush.


You love rocks —

Aspire to be one.

I love rocks too,

but you don’t seem

to belong

in my collection.

In my twenties, I took part in a poetry workshop, during which I wrote and shared a long poem entitled “Nothing to do with Hesse.” I dug it out and reread it as I worked on this post, thinking that it seems so stilted as I read it now, but at the time it impressed another young woman in the workshop, though I didn’t know it. Months later a woman approached me on the train and said, “You’re the one that wrote that poem about Hesse…what a great poem that was!” One of those memorable moments in an ordinary life.┬áThis excerpt is where the rocks come in:

A little girl

spent hours alone,

cracking and collecting stones,

exploring the backyard gravel pit

as her private planet…But

that has nothing to do with him.

(Again about an unrequited attraction…my favorite topic in my youth.) It was when I wrote this poem the other day that it occurred to me that I was often writing about rocks, and that they seem to be an important symbol for me.

Heart-shaped rocks

Heart-shaped rocks

Heart Rock

Sometimes I wonder if I am salvageable.

When there is nothing left

but my rock of a heart,

What then?

The only way to know

if there is anything worthwhile inside

is to hurl it against another rock —

or smash it

with a hammer —

only then might the plain gray shale

reveal its story,

old as the earth,

the sediment of years

in multi-colored layers;

only then might it become someone’s treasured

inspiring wonder,


it could be the same,

through and through,

a dull disappointment tossed away,

ground to unknowable



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office toys

Jake chose a FUN topic this week: TOYS. Here’s a basket of my “office toys.”

I used to have a rather stressful desk job. These stress-relieving toys were my Christmas gifts from my husband one year: a Slinky, a pocket Etch A Sketch, and a gorilla whose rubber arms can be stretched, enabling him to dangle and bounce. The yo-yo actually came from a employee work event: a yo-yo expert was invited in to describe and display his talents, and we all got free a free yo-yo.

Even adults need to have a little toy fun every once in a while!

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Cross by I-75 in Tennesee

Cross by I-75 in TN

Okay…I don’t have a beautiful well-captured photograph for this week’s challenge, but I hope you find it interesting.

A word of WARNING though, this is not my usual subject matter and to some people it could be construed as offensive — I do not want to offend some of my cherished readers.

My husband and I lived in Tennessee for a year and a half. One day as we were driving on I-75, we saw up ahead a giant cross, bright white in the sunlight, striking and beautiful. The first time we passed it, it was on my side of the road. It was not unusual in Tennessee to see crosses on hillsides with no church in sight. It did not occur to me to take a picture until we passed by and saw the building below it: Adult Superstore. How strange — was this purposeful irony? A way to ward off the evil oozing from the building? A tit for tat?

I vowed to take a photo on the way back. But now it was on my husband’s side of the road. It was a highway, after all, and we were travelling over 65 mph; what I got was a picture of the cross, but not the sign on the building below. I was disappointed that I did not capture what was truly amazing and puzzling about the sight.

Funny thing though, as I was preparing this post I decided to do a Google search: someone else had captured it on video: (WARNING — DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO IF YOU FIND THIS SUBJECT OFFENSIVE)


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Jake’s Sunday Post topic this week allows me to do a little bragging for my husband. I’ve mentioned it before: he’s a great cook! Here are some of the great things he has made for me!

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It’s great that the latest Daily Post topic intends us to use a gallery to display what makes us happy. There are so many things that make me happy: my family, my kitties, tea, books, gardening and flowers, Christmas, and writing!

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