Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do. Live. BE come YOUR DREAM - Subway Light Cover / New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

Do. Live. BE come YOUR DREAM - Subway Light Cover / New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two Years Ago Today - Sat 29 Aug 2009

Sitting on a Bus half between Montreal and Toronto, as I was booking our accommodation for the next 4 nights, I realise the date.

It is 29 Aug 2011, and it is exactly 2 years to the day that we won the 500m Senior A Mixed Final in Prague.
World Champs - Australian Senior Mixed 500m Team - "As I came across the line I glanced upward and I pointed to the heavens" Lance A – Prague/Racice - Day 4 - 29 Aug 2009

As I think back to those moments and the two years that have followed, I have many emotions. I look at the photos of myself and I can't even comprehend how I was even there paddling after barely 10 weeks since Jenny's passing. I also think of the time between then and now, and I try to comprehend what I have been through to be here now. As I look to the future, I really have no idea what is next. Anyway, I try not to think about that too much and just try to be the best I can with what I have been given.

Geoff - post 200m Senior Open Final "letting go" - Racice/Prague 2009 - 28 Aug 2009 (picasa)

It is hard for me to even explain that day. I have tried here a few times (*). I am grateful (*) for the experience and feel lucky that I was on the boat that day.

I have been trying to find an appropriate Warrior of Light passage to mark this moment. Maybe the following is appropriate. I know my own failings and I would like to think that I live life with Faith, Hope and Love ..
A warrior of light knows his own faults. But he also knows his qualities.

Some of his companions complain all the time that
'other people have more opportunities than we do'.
Perhaps they are right, but a warrior does not allow himself to be paralysed by this; he tries to make the most of his virtues.

He knows that the gazelle's power lies in its strong legs. The power of the seagull lies in the accuracy with which it can spear a fish. He has learned that the  reason the tiger does not fear the hyena is because he is aware of his own strength.

He tries to establish what he can truly rely on. And he always checks that he carries three things with him:
faith, hope and love.
If these three things are there, he does not hesitate to go forward.
from Paulo Coelho's - 'The Manual of the Warrior Light'.

Past, Present and Future - Winston Churchill

Saw this Winston Churchilll Quote at the Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston last Monday.
If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.

Winston Churchill

Graffiti - Manhattan Bridge / Brooklyn (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

The Warrior of Light is a Believer - Tampa 2011 Reflections (30 Aug 2012)

The following quote (I have posted it here about a year ago) is the last thing I said to the Team as I handed out the gifts to the Aurora's Grand Master's Leadership and Management Team.

I had thought of this story as I reflected on my campaign for Tampa 2011 over the last few days of the event. The campaign did give me a goal and focus at a time (might be best called a distraction) when I was struggling most with Jenny's loss. In many ways it helped give me some purpose to my life and I would like to think that the experience was worth it just for that.

I was proud to deliver my Crew Leader Speech (*) to the Aurora's Squad and to be able to nominate Joanne as a possible Flag Bearer. I will publish the nomination here when I get home in a few weeks time.

For the rest of 2011, I plan to just paddle and enjoy myself just doing that. Having thrown everything at the campaign, I need to start picking up the pieces of that has been neglected through distraction and keep moving forward.

It was a difficult campaign for me in many ways and with all that happened I would still like to think that I am still a believer. After all three steps forward and two steps back is still a step in the right direction.
The warrior of light is a believer.

Because he believes in miracles, miracles begin to happen. 

Because he is sure that his thoughts can change his life, his life begins to change. 

Because he is certain that he will find love, that love appears.

Now and then, he is disappointed. Sometimes, he gets hurt.

Then he hears people say:
'He's so ingenuous!'
But the warrior knows that it is worth it. For every defeat, he has two victories in his favour.

All believers know this.
From the The Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coehlo.

Stencil - Lower East / New York City (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge - Brooklyn (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge - Brooklyn (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

We can see the eastern support of the Manhattan Bridge and the dark underside of the Brooklyn Bridge in the top half.

Water - East River - Brooklyn Park (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

East River - Brooklyn Bridge Park (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Looking towards Lower Manhattan towards where the Twin Towers once stood.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Manhattan Bridge - Brooklyn (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Manhattan Bridge - Brooklyn (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

A Fence (4 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

A Fence (4 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

Everyone - our painted friend, Rob and the red-shirted man (except Rachel) seem to be looking at each other.

A Fence (3 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

A Fence (3 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Fence (2 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

A Fence (2 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

A Fence (1 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

A Fence (1 of 4) - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

The guy with the red shoulder bag and drink (*). Only just noticed this.

Doubt and Fear - Paul Coelho (Wed 25 Aug 2011)

Some wise words from Doubt and Fear (*) by Paulo Coelho (*) [Wed 25 Aug 2011]
despite the fear and the bruises of life, one has to keep on fighting for one’s dream.

As Borges said in his writings
“there is no other virtue than being brave”
And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear

Red - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

Red - Financial District - New York City (Fri 12 Aug 2011)

As the following posts will show, I was drawn to the graffiti on the temporary construction barrier fence.

Some times you get lucky.

In this photo I had noticed the fence graffiti and was just starting to move over to photograph it, when I saw the first man in the red shirt emerge from the subway. I quickly noticed the yellow and orange paint and then framed my shot.

Decided to wait just a moment to see if anything would become more obvious to my visual filter. In waiting for this brief moment I got lucky with another man with a red shirt emerging from the subway and a passerby with a red shoulder bag coming into frame. That was the moment to press the shutter. I did not notice the red flavoured drink of the passerby until reviewing the photo.

For me travel photography is not about landmarks but colour, combination and lines. This photo seems to make all the failed efforts worthwhile.

This is all described brilliantly by Henri Cartier-Bresson (*) here

The Future is Unwritten - Joe Strummer - Alphabet City / NYC (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

The Future is Unwritten (*) - Joe Strummer - Alphabet City / NYC (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Thu 22 Dec 2011 - More details here (*).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fire Stairs - Lexington Ave / Harlem (Thu 18 Aug 2011)

Was drawn to the long shadows of the fire stairs on the wall. Worked the corner pretty hard for a few minutes trying to capture something interesting on my tiny Canon S95.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Crowded City of Colour - New York City (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

A Crowded City of Colour - New York City (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Location:New York - Cnr 48th and 8th

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Warrior of The Light knows how to lose.

A repost of a previous post that seems very appropriate at the moment. Makes you realise what has been achieved in the past with great friends and paddlers. Will just have to keep sticking at it and maybe things might go the right way next time.

The Warrior of The Light knows how to lose.

He does not treat defeat as if it were a matter of indifference to him, saying things like
Oh, it doesn’t matter
To be honest, I didn’t really want it that much.
He accepts defeat as defeat and does not try to make a victory out of it.

Painful wounds, the indifference of friends, the loneliness of losing-all leave a bitter taste. But at these times, he says to himself:
I fought for something and did not succeed. I lost the first battle.
These words give him renewed strength. He knows that no one wins all the time and he knows how to distinguish his successes from his failures.

From the The Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paulo Coehlo.

Senior B Mixed 200m - Tampa 2011 (Fri 05 Aug 2011)

Little Wonders
Rob Thomas

Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Been doing a lot of "letting go" lately.

Keep Moving Forward (Little Wonders Video by Rob Thomas)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Grand Masters Crew Leader Speech - Australian Auroras Team Dinner - Tampa / USA (Mon 01 Aug 2011)

On behalf of the Grand Dragon's I would like to congratulate everyone here on their achievements in reaching this point in their Climb to Tampa 2011.

We are just about to summit and the reality of our training and efforts over the last nine months will soon become crystal clear. This time next week, Tampa 2011 and your efforts will come the most recent addition to the history of Australian Dragon Boating at International Events, in this case the 2011 IDBF World Championships here in Tampa.

In talking about Dragon Boat History, on behalf of us all I would like to acknowledge all of those people, teams and squads that have become before us. They have shown us the way forward and they have demonstrated that anything is possible.

I would like us to reflect briefly on previous Australian Squad Members who have left this world and who inspire us from above. They are:
  • Margaret Cantwell - IDBF Worlds (Berlin 2005)

  • Jon Taylor - IDBF Worlds (Berlin 2005)

  • Jenny Petterson - IDBF Worlds (Shanghai 2004, Berlin 2005, Sydney 2007) and Asian Games (Macau 2006)

  • Maurice Cowan - IDBF Worlds (Shanghai 2004, Berlin 2005)
On your behalf, I would also like to acknowledge and thank your "supporters in paddling" - your coaches, managers and team mates.

In particular I acknowledge and thank your "supporters in life" - your understanding families and friends who have no doubt made many sacrifices to see you here representing your country at the highest level in your sport.

As we sit here now, I would like you to think back that very moment you decided and were inspired to become part of the 2011 Auroras Squad. As you reflect over the time from that decision to now, you should be truly proud in your achievement and transformation as a paddler and a person.

At this moment, I would also like you to think of those people in your life or who have been a part of your life and are not on this world now. I would like to remind you of the pride they must have to see you here now and to be racing in the Green and Gold on the water over the next five days.

Today as I watched the Aurora Teams from all Divisions go through their last training drills, I was truly moved by what I witnessed. On the water, I saw a squad unified in technique, drive and purpose. Off the water, I saw teams united in arms and I felt truly proud to be Australian, in a way I have only felt a few other times.

For those who have put in place this National Selection System, there should be a hugh sense of satisfaction in the results that has been achieved as we sit here now. Dragon Boating in Australia continues to move forward from the top via the AusDBF decision making process and from the ranks, through the coaches, managers and paddlers.

Change and the willingness to try new things is always a tricky and difficult process - Who moved my Cheese (*) - (that one is for you Nicola who was there for me when I had my own fears). It is hard to move away from our comfort zones even if the we are willing to change, for you see change is a step into the unknown - a "leap of faith" some would say - and this is always a risky business.

In the end acceptance, willingness and a committment to change is the only way to improve.

To achieve longevity and success in any sport requiries an acceptance of change and adaptability. So for those who have experienced campaigns past, I congratulate you. You are role models.

For those, who this is your first campaign, I also congratulate you on accepting the change and challenges in sitting here today.

I will leave you with a quote from Cadel Evans, winner the of the 2011 Tour de France, Sunday week ago. He said in an interview the day before the now famous Stage 19, which included the famous Alp de Huez Mountain Stage:
"All you have to do is stay calm and go as hard as possible from the start to the finish. It's quite simple, [..] You are only riding a bike from point A to point B."
But as we all know through our own sport and experiences over the last nine months, there is more to it than that. He expands:
"but in terms of technique there is so much in terms of peddling and breathing, and there is the corners. Just concentrating on riding out beyond limit is very taxing."
In closing, just like Cadel, I want you to realise that you are an elite sports person. You represent your country with "Pride, Power, Intensity and Passion". You are at the top of your sport at this very moment in time.

I wish you all the best as you put in place everything that you have learnt in this campaign, in your paddling career and your life, to achieve your personal and team bests, because afterall that is all we can ask of ourselves.