Today’s Breaking News

Oak Creek Vista Colorado Plateau Photo: 
JoHanna Massey

“You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal.-”
Like A Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan

Today’s Breaking News: 

Having voted early by mail I skipped both the latest ‘soft launch’ of  Trump TV and the third and last United States Presidential debates, both which aired in the same evening this week.

The townhouse is a clutter with Halloween decorations, the neighborhood flush with political and property For Sale signs. Familial holiday plans are  made, and  people are misbehaving in Walmart. The color and mood of tourists and residents alike is pulsing purple, as Arizona goes  Red to Blue. and JoHannaMassey.com has just over 1000 followers.

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Talk about making Granny happy! Thank you so much. I enjoy creating this space. Even more, I love being able  to connect globally with so many interesting people and learn of their lives, interact, and watch their own websites grow and thrive.  It is pure magic. A gift I never considered even possible for most of my life as the technology did not exist.

Two new bookshelves, only a few more boxes until I am unpacked, five pots of privet to grow out to learn topiary, reading The Art of War- Sun Tzu- the Thomas Cleary  hard copy translation, A Reporter’s Life by Walter Cronkite.  Evenings with old Woody Allen movies, Hollywood Ending, and Broadway Danny Rose up next for shared  viewing pleasure. Giving

Bob Dylan another listen, and had quite forgotten just how much I enjoyed some of his music, or how globally relevant it feels today.

Sweet Terry and I have been binge hiking, the weather and availability of so many places to explore making it impossible to remain indoors. Photographing our hikes, being inspired and invigorated by entire days spent with nature. I am  excited to share in a separate photo essay  what was a colorful day out and about yesterday, up Oak Creek Canyon to the Snowbowl to photograph the fall foliage.  Been embracing every moment in a stretch of perfect days.

And again, thank you for your part in making JoHannaMassey.com such a  success. All my best to you. Be safe and have a peaceful week coming.

You can find the photo essay on our day out from Oak Creek Canyon to the Snowbowl here:  Stretching Cycles of Years

 

 

High Above Kayla

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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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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

Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen

Museum of Rome Italy Photo: JoHanna Massey
Museum of Rome Italy Photo: JoHanna Massey

“The most beautiful people
We have known
Are those who have known defeat,
Known suffering,
Known struggle,
Known loss,
And have found their way
Out of the depths.
These persons have
An appreciation,
A sensitivity,
An understanding of life
That fills them with compassion,
Gentleness,
And a deep loving concern.
Beautiful people
Do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Rosss

 

 

 

Often, and especially around the holidays, in family and social situations I can have moments when I forget that it is the sum total of all of my interests, years, knowledge, and experiences that have created this best yet beautiful version of myself.

I’ll let relatives remind me, and entertain each other,  with stories of some misstep I took in my life that occurred twenty, forty,  fifty years ago. Slices of my life that I have long ago left behind keeping only the lesson learned.  I’m so old now that most of the ones who were actually involved or alive at the time are dead, and my old sins are often recounted by someone who wasn’t in the same geography, or  not even born at the time.  The evolving versions  not even close to what actually occurred.  Instead of my wading into these tales of my life expressing the valuable lesson learned, or express that my feelings are hurt, or often that it isn’t even true and to just STOP IT….I am at risk of lowering  my shoulders, and scuttling  to the kitchen for more molasses cookies, finding  a quiet corner to read, and  be the first to leave. For most of my life, that was my response.

It is my belief that many families have someone like me. Who has filled this role since childhood, and no matter that we  walk the world with a light step, good morals, deep faith, confident, with self esteem, accomplishments,  success, adventures, and all the knowledge and wisdom acquired from living a long life,  when we step over the threshold of a relative’s home over the holidays, without vigilance we can easily become  the slumped shoulder cookie eating kid in the corner reading, brunt of every joke and example of misadventure. I write this post today for any and all of you who may recognize some version of yourself in my flaw.

My flaw is I never called it off with them until I was old.  I allowed it as a child, allowed it as a youth, and an adult.  Whether it was assigned by the tribe, or I appointed myself is lost to me at this point. I just know for certain I allowed a level of disrespect I would never accept from anyone outside of the bloodlines. This flaw has largely been set  aside by me. It is not easy, but  I retreat to the corner with a book and molasses cookies much less often now, and when I do it is usually because the Grands have worn me out and I need some respite.   We teach people how to treat us. It is the time in my life when I  share who I am with my family in all of it’s gentleness, strength, experience, adventure, and beauty. Some of them are meeting me for the first time.

This is in response to WordPress,Prompt: Flaw..What is your worst quality?

 Todays Music: Simply Red- Grandma’s Hands

Flawed

Today, Not Tomorrow

The future starts today, not tomorrow.
Pope John Paul II

IMG_0189I am struck by how the definition of  Future changes as I have gotten old. Once when I thought of future, it stretched far out ahead of me with often very challenging set points that needed daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, decades of focused attention. Future was synonymous with responsibilities to family, jobs, children, bills,  elder care, community ….a very long ever expanding  list that stretched many years ahead in time and space, missing so many details of a day as I looked and thought thousands of days forward.

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Now, Future is what happens today, next week, maybe next year, with a keen knowledge that though I am healthy, fit, and full of energy, I have used up the majority of my years in this particular physical body. Clueless  if any part of me transcends this lifetime, or where that spark, essence, spirit part of me will go if it goes anywhere. I’m hoping for some ancient olive tree, or grapevine, maybe the woods between Amalfi and Pontone. Could be Heaven, could be a Redwood Tree in Northern California, …I am leaning towards trees, but would accept a pair of sturdy angel wings.

The pressure is off when it comes to contemplating Future. I focus on the details of this day. Today is my past, present, and future. As ornate and detailed as this angel’s wings. I believe it is true for everyone, no matter what their age or responsibilities. My future today included some housework, a hike, a long distance phone conversation with a dear friend, listening while  my daughter spoke her truth, and creating this post.

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This post is in response to WordPress Friday Photo: Ornate                                     And WordPress Daily Prompt: Six of One, Half Dozen of The Other- What does Future look like to you?

I’d like to say the photos are self portraits, as I really did see this woman in the  mirror this morning. I recognized her immediately. An angel statuary I had photographed in Sorrento Italy.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Today’s Music: Funky Space Reincarnation- Marvin Gaye

 

Camera Lucida: Reflections

“There is, I believe, no person, however insignificant in the world, but, if an account of his life and adventures were committed to paper, would be entertaining in some degree: the follies of our own life, and those we are liable to be drawn into by others, will constantly afford matter for serious reflection.”
Henry Spencer Ashbee

Cohansey River Thaw- Photo: JoHanna Massey

If you are new to my website, Camera Lucida is a regular feature created by Julia at My Red Page where she inspires us to express our creativity through story and/or photo focused on a well chosen and often challenging theme. Camera Lucida is where the very hippest coolest of the bloggers are showing up to submit their work, enjoy,  and be inspired by their fellow Lucidites. I’ve been involved for several months now and it is not only great fun, but I have connected with so many talented people who support and encourage me to my best creativity.

This weeks theme: Reflections

It’s always interesting to look at reflections…are they really the same as the reality?

How many times did you look at your own reflection and wondered if that’s how the world sees you…?

This week’s theme is: Reflections…show us how we look at the world upside down…how we see ourselves from the other side…how water seems to be the borderline between reality and imagination…show us who looks back from the mirror…make this week your own and tell us a story that will make us reflect:)

This is the most perfect theme for me this week as I am sailing Sophia up the Cohansey River immersed in writing Connor’s Reach, and the images that are reflecting back at us from the breaking up of a very long novel writing freeze are exhilarating, and indeed hard work.

I’ll be over to visit with all the coolest of cool ones  soon to see what you have created for this week’s theme, and if you haven’t joined  Camera Lucida yet… we look forward to your arrival!

 

“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real,
And you’re just a reflection of him?”
― Bill Watterson

Today’s Music: In My Life- Beatles

The Frog Ocean – My Determined Ghost (Part 1)

“The past is a very determined ghost, haunting every chance it gets.”
― Laura Miller, Butterfly Weeds

Autumn on The Frog Ocean is my determined ghost. My family trees have  roots there. Family Trees that are varied, colorful, and often divergent.  There are members of the clans who by choice never leave, some move a few miles only to return, and some, like myself, who  leave  the Frog Ocean, only to remain haunted when Autumn returns.

You must exercise care when visiting The Frog Ocean. It is  a state of mind as much as  it is real, part of the marshy labyrinthine of not quite solid ground, in the southern most parts of the state of New Jersey.

Peace and blessings,  to those real and spirit alike                                                       All Hallows Eve Approaches                                                                                              When past and present break apart                                                                               And ghosts rule this in between.                                                                                   Hiding in plain sight.

Come back next week for:                                                                                                The Frog Ocean : My Determined Ghost Part 2  where I embrace Halloween as I figure out and play with  my brand new Pic Monkey!

Today’s Music: Tom Watts- The House Where Nobody Lives

Once You Have Tasted Flight

For once you have tasted flight
You will walk the earth
With your eyes turned skywards,
For there you have been
And there you will long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci

It was my good fortune to first taste flight from that slip of a runway at the  Sedona Aiport, Sedona Arizona USA. I have indulged, enjoyed, and savored it since. A heart filled with gratitude to  Lt. Colonel Ricardo W. Mestre,                US Air Force Retired, for teaching me how to fly.

Today’s Music: Beatles Blackbird

 

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Boundaries.”