Who Chose Passion Over Security

Grandmothers

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to forget.

She had Grandmothers
Who longed to remember.

She had Grandmothers
Who shipped their infant
in a shoebox
To a childless sister in Sanpete County
With a note:
“Sorry to trouble you, but he don’t want kids right now.”

She had Grandmothers
Who were desperate from betrayal and
Killed themselves by diving

Head-first into a rain barrel
After carefully placing their glasses
On a clean hankie.

She had Grandmothers
Who left the pots and pans
To ‘soak’ under the lilac bush.

She had Grandmothers
Who took early retirement,
Who chose passion over security,
To make time for an affair
With a childhood sweetheart.

She had Grandmothers
Who joyfully greeted the dawn.

She had Grandmothers
Who braced themselves for the day
With valium, coffee and TV news.

She had Grandmothers
Who were uprooted by their grown children
And moved to an old

Barrack on the edge
Of a windswept nowhere
Where she spent twenty years
Sipping Black Jack Daniels and
Reading condensed editions of books.

She had Grandmothers
Who loved other women openly
And with devotion and she had

Grandmothers who did not speak,
Even to their daughters,
Of their love of women.

She had Grandmothers
With ample pensions who moved
To a retirement village
Where a dark haired young woman reminded her
To take her pills
And where someone came twice a month
To clean the wall of mirrors
That made her room look bigger

She had Grandmothers
Who loved the smell of babies and bacon,
And of coffee, oranges at Christmas,
Wet horses in the rain, and men.

She had Grandmothers
Who trailed the scent
Of rosewater, whiskey, and coal oil.

She had Grandmothers
Who reeked of smoke and patchouli.

She had Grandmothers
Who were beaten, berated, and betrayed
By their daughters.
She had Grandmothers
Who were raped by their sons-in-law.
She had Grandmothers
Who seduced their sons and their nephews.

She had Grandmothers who read out loud
And who sat on the stoop and taught the children,
Even the boys,
How to thread strings of lilac.
She had Grandmothers
Whose grief and pain was bottomless.

She had Grandmothers
Whose laugh was contagious.

She had Grandmothers
Who left Sweden, who left Scotland, who left Wales.

She had Grandmothers who were born, lived
And died in one time zone.

She had Grandmothers
Whose brains and blood were splattered
In the snow and on car windshields
In the supermarket parking lot
On the day her husband
Was served the restraining order
And came and shot her in the head.

She had Grandmothers who packed imaginary bags
To take imaginary trips to visit people
Who had died 40 years ago.

She had Grandmothers who were vegetarian.
She had Grandmothers who were Unitarian.
She had Grandmothers
Who slowly drank warm water for their constitution
And she had Grandmothers
Who snorted cocaine.

She had Grandmothers who played cards
With the same group of women
Once a month for thirty years
Who called themselves the “humbugs”
Who didn’t know that they were a “moon lodge”
And never once called into the four directions.

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to forget.

She had Grandmothers
Who tried to remember.

She had Grandmothers who said
We would be better off not knowing.

She had Grandmothers
Who whispered lies.

Julien Puzey
Spring Eqinox 1998

On this day we honor our Mothers, I share this favorite poem by Julien Puzey.  I chose the Argentine Giant Cacti during flowering for the accompanying  photos as this delicate bloomed but tough, resilient, often prickly cacti reminds me of the Mothers , Daughters, Sisters, Grandmothers, Nieces, Cousins, and Aunts within my own family. For generations, a fair bunch of rascally women if ever there has been one. Proud of, Grateful to Each and Every One. Happy Mothers Day!

 

 News/Music: Lady Madonna- Beatles

A Grand Gift Of Silence

“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson.
It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”
Sherlock Holmes via Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A recent day of shared silence… hiking the  Little-Horse Trail #61 to Chicken Point in Sedona Arizona. A hike which I now share silently with you in Photographs:

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

New Oxford American Dictionary-
Origins: Middle English: from Old French, from Latin silentium, from silere be silent.                                                                                                                            
silence–  | ˈsīləns | noun complete absence of sound: sirens pierce the silence of the night | an eerie silence descended over the house.                                         the fact or state of abstaining from speech: Karen had withdrawn into sullen silence | she was reduced to silence for a moment.                                                    the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something: politicians keep their silence on the big questions. •                                                                                       the state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer: a moment of silence presided over by a local minister.

verb [with object] cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking: the team’s performance silenced their critics | freedom of the press cannot be silenced by tanks. (usually as adjective silenced) fit (a gun or other loud mechanism) with a silencer: a silenced .22 rifle.

PHRASES in silence without speech or other sound: we finished our meal in silence.

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A Safe and Peace-filled weekend to each and everyone.

 

News/Music: Simon & Garfunkel- Sounds of Silence

Two People: The Photographer and the Viewer

“To the complaint,
‘There are no people in these photographs,’
I respond,
There are always two people:
the photographer and the viewer.”
Ansel Adams

Indeed, let me consider us….. in terms of photographer and viewer.  I am present in my photographs. Behind the lens of the camera with a Mind’s Eye that contains everything I have encountered so far.  I choose what to show you, holding  sway over what the narrative is. Does/can objectivity ever rule my choice? Rule the lens?  And you who view my photos, and perhaps share your own with me …well here you are with all your  perceptions experience, knowledge, beliefs, values, and interests. So what do you see?

When I began my website, I began to take photos with much more of an eye for telling a broader story with the photos, aware that the photos on  JoHannaMassey.com would be viewed in the public. I often make links to websites so viewers can go further in knowledge.  As a viewer, I am  just thrilled with the quality of photos I view on your websites. Enjoy so much the opportunity to know globally…. individuals, places, lifestyles, and events, often told through photographs. Has your Lens Eye changed since having a website with photos? Any thoughts you would share on Ansel Adam’s idea of  Two People: The Viewer and the Photographer.

Wishing everyone the best and highest for this brand new gift of a morning.

If you want to see more photos of Amalfi and Pontone you can stroll along with me in Thou Paradise of Exiles: Italy.

In response to Cheri Lucas Rowlands Friday choice this of Landscape at   WordPress Weekly Photo Theme: Landscape. 

High Above Kayla

There isn’t time,
So brief is life,
For bickerings, apologies,
Heartburnings, callings to account.
There is only time for loving,
And but an instant,
So to speak,
For that.
–Mark Twain

DSCN1578 (2)Just before dawn, my Daughter and I  made the familiar predawn drive from her home to the Denver International Airport. It’s been an excellent visit with my Broncos loving family.  Goodbyes curbside, and I am off to the TSA before catching a quick flight back to the high desert. Once the plane received a good de-icing the flight was quickly airborne, giving a nod to Kayla below us. In  the next hours 480 flights from Denver would be cancelled. What a joy to spend a few days with my family,  totally miss the approaching storm. AND……

Not even once in Colorado did anyone suspect I remain a Panther’s fan.

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DSCN1576
Making Snow-globes With The Grands

Photo: JoHanna Massey

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Happy to be back everyone!

Today’s Music: Carolina Panthers Theme Song