Category: Photos

Then…til Now

Then…til Now

“Then…til Now”, replaced “Depression – Where Am I From? …. Where Am I Going?” as the current tagline for the blog. In addition you may have noticed a change in theme from ‘Parament’ to ‘Misty Lake’.

I’m not clear at this point whether there’s any benefit to these blog changes or not but I felt that some change was in order, almost like a new beginning (to the blog). From a timing perspective it ties into me being ‘med free’, so from this point I won’t be on any medication for depression.

That in itself is a bit of a milestone for me and time will tell if it was the correct decision or not, however I do feel better and I want to move on, on to a more normal life (whatever normal is). My early retirement last year has freed me from the stress and the anxiousness of a job I neither enjoyed nor felt particularly attuned to. The industry, and my company, is going through a time of change and those changes were something I had little interest in accommodating, certainly not after already putting in 38 years and beating my head against the wall for the last 5.

As I’ve indicated in previous posts I believe my depression was more a reactive depression, or situational depression, than the psychological depression I first thought it was. Those circumstances are now behind me (at least for now) so I want to look ahead, not back. ‘Nuf said.

So my forthcoming posts here will hopefully be of a more positive note, and much like the photo below I will be displaying buds of new growth. I’d like you to stick around to see.

willow buds, new growth
Willow buds
Weekly Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

Technically this Weekly Photo Challenge is a ‘Phoneography Challenge’, to be taken with a phone or other device with a camera installed. In my case it would be my iPhone 5. You can check out the link to the Challenge criteria here.

The question over how ‘neighborhood’ should be spelled arose quickly. In deference to my ‘neighbours‘ to the south I will spell it their way.

When I first learned of this weeks challenge I was a bit intimidated, however once I opened up Lightroom (my newest favourite photo software) I quickly relaxed and said to myself, “self, do not be stressed”. It appeared upon further examination I had a few shots I thought worthy of entry.

Part of the question, in my mind, is what constitutes ‘Neighborhood’, or ‘Neighbourhood’, and if not taken too literally it could mean anything in your field of living. I am assuming some latitude here.

The shot below was taken a couple weeks ago of the Kootenay Lake, from a vantage point on the shore of the lake. It was a beautiful ‘spring-like’ day, a cool breeze wafted off the lake and the optimism of life carried me forward. This location is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from my home, still within a broad description of neighborhood.

lake, Kootenay Lake, water, scenic
Kootenay Lake

The next shot is a view from my deck taken about 3 weeks ago. You can see the disparity of the weather, and such is common here in the Kootenays. Did I tell you I yearn for Spring?

deck, view, scenic, snow
View from my deck

The next shot however is pushing the boundaries, even in my mind, of what the neighborhood is. If, some may say, it’s anything in your immediate vicinity then this picture will comply, however even though I was in the vicinity of the Sonora desert I don’t really think it fits the bill. I guess I just thought it was neat, and although it’s not technically a good photo it has a certain something (at least to me).

desert, iPhone, cactus
Sonora desert
Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Lost in the Details ….

“The devil is in the details.”
-German Proverb

When the Weekly Photo challenge was first put out my first thought was macro, however seeing as I don’t have a macro lens (yet) I would have to come with something else. The quandary dogged me for a while until we were at my grandson’s 1st birthday and one of the children’s parents showed up on a new motorcycle, a chopper with less than 10 km on it.

The bike was a beauty and while I know next to nothing about choppers I can appreciate beauty and the art of the detail when I see something that exhibits those traits. The art involved, and the craftsmanship and vision one must have to both conceptualize and bring to fruition something on this level. The devil is definitely in these details.

motorcycle, chopper, engine, motor
Details in the divine
Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

home, hearth, fire, chair, reading
Home is Where the Hearth Is

Home….., home is where the hearth is.

That’s my take on a popular quote:

Home is Where the Heart Is
Pliny the Elder

Now I honestly have no idea who Pliny the Elder is but I’m sure a quick search on Google or Wikipedia would answer that question.

Home, is where you are most comfortable, perhaps the happiest. It can be in your own home or somewhere else with a loved one. It’s where you feel content, no false front required or desired. Hopefully home is with those you love most, your family, a wife, your children or your grandchildren.

family, loved ones, children, grandchildren
Family, Loved Ones

Home, where the cares of the world ease, where you can be at peace and problems outside your world evaporate.  It’s a place to care, and be cared for, to love and be loved.

Home ….. is Home.

I also feel at home outside, in my yard. I can be in my garden or just sitting under the maple tree with a book, perhaps a beer at my side and thoughts of relaxation and calmness washing over me. Not a care, nor a concern, a oneness with life and nature ….. hold on, maybe that’s the beer talking. Better take it easy……

adirondack, chair, peaceful, relaxation
Holy Place

I call that place under the maple tree and surrounded by cedars my ‘Holy Place’, and I look forward to visiting it again soon, when the spring sun comes and the warmth takes the snow away. It will be one of my outside homes.

Another area I like to call home is sitting on the deck. It’s a place to catch the morning rays of sun and perhaps the cool breezes as they wash over the space. I’ll likely hear the wind chimes playing their rich tones, like so many church bells tolling their virtues. I’ll be reading there too, or perhaps posting to the blog, or journaling my morning pages. I’ll feel the peace, the warmth of the sun and the calmness.

I will be ok there, in any of those places I call home. I can recognize my fortune and acknowledge my gratitude. It’s good to be home.

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I bumped into Gloria today. Well, I didn’t really ‘bump’ into her, but you know what I mean. I saw her, in Safeway.

At first sighting I didn’t recognize her. I was approaching the Starbucks counter to order my grande Americano, and chatting with my daughters friend, when I glanced toward the door and saw this lady that seemed somehow familiar. Now in hindsight I’m almost embarrassed to admit that but it has been about a year, or close to it, and in my defense I think she changed her hair colour, so that may have thrown me off. Funny I didn’t know her right off the bat because my previous relationship with her was a significant chapter in my life.

I started ‘seeing’ her maybe 2 or more years ago now. I am married but we met with my wife’s consent, she’s understanding that way.

Now, before you get the wrong idea I had best explain.

A few years ago I had finally reached the end of my long emotional rope, particularly at work. I felt depressed, unappreciated, and generally unhappy, so I went to my doctor to seek advice. Well, he interviewed me, gave me a questionnaire to fill out at home, then sent me packing to the hospital for a number of tests. Once I had completed the questionaire and the test results had come back to his office we had a second visit. There was nothing conclusive he said, nothing really abnormal or standing out that could cause me to feel that way. He had thought thyroid perhaps, or some vitamin deficiency, but I was normal, or healthy even. He recommended exercise, and perhaps avail myself of the ability to seek counselling, perhaps through my works EFAP (employee and family assistance) program. I did, and it was through that system I met Gloria. She became my counselor/therapist.

Healing
Healing

So to make a long story short we met for some time, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly how long, but she has helped me in a number of ways. In almost every session I came away with something to think about, and some of them I’m still thinking about. I miss our sessions.

Bumping into her in Safeway I will take as a sign, as a signal that I need to re-connect.

I’m a big believer in fate, in the thought that things happen for a reason, that there are circumstances that are presented to us and if we see them, if we recognize them for what they are, they can lead us down the right road. They can guide us toward making the ‘right’ decisions, perhaps to choosing one avenue over another, and that one/correct way will lead us to the light (and no, I’ve not been smoking crack).

My sign today was seeing Gloria. She makes me remember from whence I came, my path, and the healing I’ve done. I’m close to the end of my journey and I feel so much better. I still have a ways to go but the healing has begun.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

What does green mean to me?  Well apart from the obvious (to me) of plants or nature, and money, it also means envy.  In my particular case it’s envy of those who get to spend more time with my grandson Madden.

Madden-0165-2-copy
Madden with green sippy cup

Madden lives a few hours drive from me and whenever we visit I always try to get some good shots of him doing whatever it is that interests him at the time. In this particular shot he was trying to get the hang of using a sippy cup, a break from the usual bottle and one that provided me with entertainment and him with sporadic bouts of frustration.

At 6 or so months in this picture he is becoming more aware of things around him, both his immediate environment and of his poppa, frequently pointing this strange thing at him that often emits a bright light.

He is one of my best subjects, I can’t get enough of him. I’m thankful I’ll see him next week and my envy can be mitigated.

I’ve Done Some Naval Gazing, Guess What I Discovered

I’ve Done Some Naval Gazing, Guess What I Discovered

I’ve tried to do some navel-gazing lately, unfortunately all I’ve come up with is ……. lint, and if I have to explain that I’ve missed the mark.

The website Answers.com defines “navel-gazing” as:

na·vel-gaz·ing (nā’vəl-gā’zĭng)
n. Slang
Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue.

According to Wikipedia it’s also known as Omphaloskepsis.

“Omphaloskepsis”, is contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation.

Now while I would love to be able to accomplish this in part, the ‘introspection, or contemplation’, it has so far eluded me. I typically have any number of things running through my mind, but many of them are not fit for mixed audiences or small children. They often seem to bolt through my thoughts like a streaker across the infield at the top of the 9th. I wish I could hang onto those thoughts long enough to digest them fully but they frequently elude my attempts, they are in … and back out again just as quickly.

What made me think of this topic today is a tv series I’ve been watching with my wife, “Sons of Anarchy“, about a motorcycle ‘club’ and it’s evolution. One of the main characters has found a journal written by his late father, one of the original founding members of the club chapter. In it the father commented on the path the motorcycle club had taken during his involvement, and the decline or stepping away from original goals (in his mind). The father philosophized over the causes and his perceived resolutions, the whys and what to do’s.

It was this dialogue he had with himself in the journal that sparked this most recent introspection of mine. I thought how important that would be, to leave a commentary on one’s life for your children, a blueprint of your thoughts and feelings on life’s events. A capturing of your life’s perceptions, an inside look into your head. That is in part what I had hoped to accomplish here, in this blog.

This blog was/is my journal but it does not have nearly the introspection I had hoped it would, it isn’t deep nor as philosophical and that may have to be ok. However if it is to be a record of my thoughts and dreams, my opinions and perceptions, I’m going to have to step it up a bit.

This may be a challenge for me. My thoughts, while sometimes deep, are also occasionally erratic and perhaps superficial. I have been known to hedge my bets, to sit on the fence, and to be non-committal. None of these lend well to a thought provoking internal dialogue, never mind a journal that would hold much interest. I can be self-deprecating and perhaps even to a degree self loathing, the latter certainly not admirable nor helpful.

I chalk up my fence sitting and similar traits to my ability to see multiple sides to any given situation. In my experience things are seldom what they seem.  There are generally at least 3 sided to any story, yours, mine, and the truth.  This belief, and likely some fear on my part of putting my personal opinions out there, holds me back.  Also connected to that string of thought is that by my expressing strong opinions and perceptions here I may hurt someone, even unintentionally.  I don’t want that.  So I’m stuck.

That all being said perhaps I am able to be open, is that not what I just did, even a little?  Perhaps there’s more in my navel yet to discover.

Old Truck DSC_0728-74-copy
Old Dump Truck, put out to pasture

ps The attached photo has nothing to do with the topic, I just thought it was cool.

I’m Struggling, Grasping for a String

I’m Struggling, Grasping for a String

Today is another challenge, I want to write, to post something meaningful.  My mind is blank, the ideas aren’t coming, I’m struggling.  I’m looking for a string, a concept to grasp and write about.

I just finished reading a post by another blogger, a specialist in blogging and creating blog and web traffic.  His name is Daniel Scocco and his topic was “A Quick Strategy to Increase Your Traffic.  You can read the post here.  It was very informative and suggested a number of ways we could increase the number of page views, the traffic, on our blogs.  Good ideas all.

It’s an interesting post, one which would undoubtedly help any of us, certainly me.  The caveat in my case seems to be finding the time.  I realize if the task is important enough you WILL find the time, you’ll MAKE the time.  I suspect at this time in my life it just isn’t that important.  I also believe there will be a time when it will.  There are certainly aspects of his suggestions I WILL employ, good ideas.

I started to write this blog to supplement my paper journal, to create a diary if you will of my ’emotional state’, a record of my mood and journey (to use an over-used word in my mind) out of depression.  If for no one but myself it has been a beneficial exercise.  Along the way I have attracted a few followers and created some interest, and that has been …… mentally supportive.  I search for the right word but it doesn’t come, needless to say it feels good.  I don’t feel as burdened by the yoke of depression as I once did.

I’ve seen this site morph into a venue where I frequently bitched, still do on occasion, to one where I’ve developed additional interests.  Maybe re-developed is a better term.  I’m thinking specifically of photography, the art of taking pictures and seeing beauty in the people and things around us..  Blogging is not only a means to not only talk about myself but to strut my stuff (light-hearted humor attempted!)

rail, tracks, railway, perspective
Tracks to the future

Whatever the reason the outcome is the same as it is for so many of use.  Blogging gives an opportunity to speak and be heard.  A means to dialogue with those of similar interests.  Somewhere we can feel connected.  A path or road on our journey through life.

Mine sometimes feels like this photo, I’m taking a path but I can’t see my destination, I can’t see much beyond the next 1/4 mile what life holds.  It’s an interesting trip though.  I’m glad to be on it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

In order to try something new I decided to enter a photo in the WordPress Weekly photo challenge.  Let’s see where this process takes me.

I took this shot while on a ferry ride from Vancouver Island.  The fisherman at first appeared to be struggling a bit with his boat, but shortly after successfully beached it.

Man pulling on boat