Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Story About a Camera - 2015 Inspire Award Reflections (Fri 27 Aug 2015)

Memories of Jenny - The Time of Your Life (youtube)

This is my 2000th post here at eljeiffel.

I always try to write something for the Annual Presentation of the Inspire Award. Most times it is just for me, but sometimes I share it with a few people. So here it is, unedited from the time it was written on the evening of Fri 27 Aug 2015. I think it is a pretty good way to mark the milestone.

As many will know, I have another obsession in my life - Photography.

I started out buying a small digital camera for our Dec 2000 trip to the Cook Islands to visit Jenny and Jo's Meditation teacher, Barbara, who had moved there to help setup a refuge for women . We didn’t know a thing about paddling back then.

I had bought the camera hoping I would be able to capture our memories. It was a tiny digital camera by today’s standards, 1 Mega Pixel and it cost $1600 duty free and a 64 MB compact flash memory cost more than $300.

I did not flinch and I thought it was all worth it, as my credit card was swiped at Ted’s Camera Store the day before we flew out. 15 years later I can tell you here that it was one of the best things I ever did.

My motivation for the camera came from that fact that Jenny had 11 tumours in her lungs and I did not really know how long we would have together. In the end we had just over 9 years of married life. Given Jenny’s condition, a miracle really ..

We were married on 30th April of that Sydney Olympic year and we honeymooned on Lord Howe Island for 10 glorious days in May 2000. Jenny had a film camera and she took many photos.

On our return flight to Sydney, I remember a conversation we had at the Departure Terminal with an older couple from Whyalla who congratulated us on our marriage. We had briefly met them at dinner at one of the small restaurants on the Island.

They told us they had been married for many years and the trip to Lord Howe Island was a way of creating another experience in life and expanding their memories. Better than [running a busy business or] sitting at home and watching the Telly, they said.

This conversation and piece of simple worldly wisdom has stuck with me and I remind myself of it constantly. It was my main motivation to buy that small expensive digital camera for our December 2000 trip to the Cook Islands.

I took many photos that trip to Cook Islands, even of the Outrigger Canoes in the lagoon at Aitutaka, we had no idea what they were – who would guess our future.

Shortly after our return, Jenny and Jo found Dragon Boating. And over the ensuing years many experiences and memories were created, dutifully captured by our cameras.

I documented the many dragon boat campaigns here and abroad, and ensuing holidays that followed each event.

In the process of this documenting I came to realise the power of photography, not only its visual power, but its ability to record our experiences and remind us of things we have done and who we were. We were doing selfies before the term was even invented. We called them “Holdouts” and I think this might be the main cause of Jo’s shoulder injury.

In those last few weeks at St George Hospital in Jun 2009, I captured the last moments of our lives together. They are the best I ever made.

After Jenny’s passing, It took me a while to pick up a camera again. I had lost my purpose and will. I was hurting and numb all at once but paddled through for a year or two – it helped a lot to be busy and in the company of friends. New experiences were created and I even smiled [for] a little [while].

Lost in the enormity of what had happened so quickly, though it was not a surprise, I found my first moments of comfort and hope, when I decided to start looking at some of the photos from our lives together. It made me cry, but it also made me smile. I was so happy that I had this archive of bits and bytes to remind me of Jenny, Joanne, myself and who we were.

It was only after Jo told me to organise my photos and my Mum said I should start making photos again, that I started to move forward. I was completely broken but I took up their advice and kept myself busy again, organising and photographing again. I am still broken but I live with it better now, it is part of me and who I will always be, but I am happy, optimistic, naïve and creating more experiences.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that we have to go out there and make our memories through the experiences we create for ourselves. And this is what I love about PD’s, we are always out there doing something. This time last year we were in Bologna on our way to Ravena, this year we are heading to Hawaii in the next week and month, next year Adelaide and who knows where after that.

Finally, in our lives we have loss, grief and bereavement. It is a part of living. You make a choice when it knocks on your door. And we have chosen to live in the Afterglow of our loss of Jenny – to remember and honour and be guided and inspired. Accept it and live with it and make the most of it, even let it inspire and motivate you. And that is what Jo and I have done, I would like to think.

“Believe in Hope” as the graffiti’ed wall in Cleveland Street said for a few weeks in July 2015.

Believe in Hope - Cleveland Street / Chippendale (Wed 29 Jul 2015)

With this post it is time to let go of a lot things, including the photos of another time and life. I have shed my life here (and Facebook more recently) like a snake sheds it skin and there is nothing left but to start over again. Time to move on, but it is hard to let go .. but I will.

Trying to make a new start here ( with photos from this point onwards. There will be the occasional post at eljeiffel to mark the odd moment in our lives that are relevant, but for now thanks for coming along for the ride these last, almost, 7 years.

symbolically the black rose suggests death, or the completion of a long journey (Trent Parke’s moving Black Rose photo exhibition at Art Gallery of SA ) - Black Rose / Fitzroy Street / Newtown (Sun 29 Nov 2015)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

On Photography and Life - Eric Kim (Sun 27 Dec 2015)

Eric Kim - UNSW / Kensington (Fri 20 Apr 2012)

Eric Kim on Life:

Never forget where you Came From [..]

And never forget to always love yourself
via Photography is Escapism by Eric Kim.

Had the pleasure of hearing Eric talk back April 2012. Quite the philosopher and I always enjoy reading his posts and many a quote has found its way here, today being another.

What I have found about photography is that is a reflection on and of Life. The beauty of the act of photography and thinking of photography.

On photography as a form of escapism. It is perfect, because sometimes that is what need to get through. And for me, along with the paddling, that is how it has been and will continue to be I suspect And there is nothing the matter with that.

Jo, Eric Kim and Geoff - Jo's holdout - UNSW / Kensington (Fri 20 Apr 2012)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Shake it Out - Florence + The Machine / Saturday Night Live (Sat 19 Nov 2011)

Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out (Live on SNL)

I have always loved live performance. The display of skill and passion, along with the rawness being the appeal. And this is the best from the last 7 years here at eljeiffel.

"Oh The Drama" in the Lyrics. And an amazing Performance . Wow!! You can see it in her. That she is loving what she is doing and thst she is sharing her gift to move us.

To the lyrics, I would add my own Optimistic and Naive view of Life and the World ..

you can't keep a good dog down [..]

a candle burns brightest before it goes out [..]

Such a nice song and performance to finish on here at eiffel. As they say:

a star burns brightest before it dies

And this is how it has felt this last year, particularly the last few months.

And so it is onto the last few posts, where my work will be done here.

Shake it Out - Florence + The Machine (Lyrics)

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around

All of his questions, such a mournful sound
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It's a fine romance but it's left me so undone
It's always darkest before the dawn

Oh whoa, oh whoa...

And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't
So here's to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I'm ready to suffering and I'm ready to hope
It's a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat
'Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I'm gonna let it happen to me, yeah

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And out of the the darkeness a new bright light will glow ..

Shake it Out - Florence + The Machine - Saturday Night Live (Sat 19 Nov 2011)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

In the Pink - Australian Story (Mon 14 Jun 2004)

"In the Pink" - Australian Story (Mon 14 Jun 2004)

"In the Pink" - Australian Story (Mon 14 Jun 2004)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"That is my life story up until now" - Remembering Jenny (Mon 06 Jul 2009)

The cackle of a Laughing Kookaburra announces the first light of dawn as the sun rose on that cold winters day. With no sleep that night preparing for Jenny's Funeral later in the day, I penned these words to honour Jenny's Life at her Funeral. Six and half years later, looking back at what came out in those last few hours, I am happy. What strikes me most is how I chose to "reflect on the little things". And they are what I miss most. Here it is ..

Jennifer Joy Petterson
24 Mar 1962 - 30 Jun 2009
Age 47 years 3 months and 6 days

"That is my life story up until now."

This is how Jenny ended her "Autobiography" written in 5th class (being 1972). I always enjoyed reading this lengthy account (it had 3 three parts) of Jenny's life up to the age of 10. I loved this story and scanned the original into my computer so that I could read it during a quiet moment at work.

Jenny was the eldest identical twin daughter of Norm and Margaret Petterson of Holt Road, Sylvania. With feet eagerly pressing on Jenny's back at the birth, a younger sister followed 5 minutes after Jenny's arrival. This was her identical twin sister Joanne. She was ready to play and from that time on they were inseparable. On the day of their birth Jenny writes there was a fete at the hospital. Jenny would always tell me that Norm bought a wind up koala at the fete that played music. For some reason she did not write this

The Autobiography, even at the age of 10, shows that Jenny had an eye for detail, as this quote reveals.

"At the age of 4 years and 10 months and 15 days we started school and cried when mummy left us."

It documents many facts and figures - birth weights and lengths, when they first walked, where they holidayed and details such as the colour of the caravans they stayed in - all well recorded for prosperity.

They participated in many sporting activities (which has been a constant throughout Jenny's life) - swimming, physie, jazz ballet, and little athletics, to mention a few.

Furthermore, she recalls the date of their first hair cut. - and even allowing me to determine that her first tooth fell out on my 7th birthday .

More generally what can be summarized from the autobiography is that Jenny had a fun filled, active childhood with her sister Joie and friends, which was encouraged and fostered by their loving parents.

Even as babies there seemed to be an order to things and this became even more apparent once they started to talk (yes that date is also recorded). In Part 1 of Jenny's Autobiography:

"One the 3rd Oct 1964 we had our first haircut and Joie said, 'Denny First', meaning Jenny first".
Jenny even then was a stabilizing influence on Joanne.

As stated above Jenny finishes her "Autobiography" with:

"That is my life story up until now."

Obviously she looks forward to the future and how she will fit into the world as she grows up. In recent years these words struck a chord with me. Today, these words have even greater meaning.

Jenny and Jo progressed to Sylvania High. They started part time work at Grace Bros’, Miranda Fair. Jo in "Cosmetics and Womens Clothing" and Jenny in "Hardware and Gardening" - "Same, Same but Different". I often asked Jenny to recall these days and I would get a kick when she could still recite the cost codes of power tools and various hardware items. The attention for detail was paying off out in the real world!!

During high school, the Girls ramped up their sporting activities and started to focus on Athletics, Cross Country Running and also a bit of Tennis. Interestingly enough, Jo and I would have crossed paths at the CHS State Cross Country Championships held at Hurlstone Ag College in 1977.

They also found time to also progress from Brownies to Girl Guides. Musters and camps were attended and they both rose quickly though the ranks to Patrol Leaders, finally achieving the highest rank of Queen's Guide with presentation of the award by the Governor of NSW, Sir Rodden Cuttler.

School and High School Certificates were sat and good grades recorded in all subjects. Geography was Jenny's favourite - definitely an early sign of a future "Travel Bug". She loved a map and an atlas, and this remained another constant throughout her life.

Successful Grades accomplished in the HSC saw the Girls accepted into the Bachelor of Business at UTS.

Following interviews the Girls accepted Business/Administration cadetships with the Electricity Commission of NSW. Our lives crossed similar paths again, as I had the same Interviewer for my successful application for an Engineering Cadetship. We were now working for the same company - be it 12,000 people.

Group assignments were the norm at UTS and they always found it easier if the group consisted of two members - more specifically themselves. Minimizing traveling, they were on the same wavelength, which provided for a consistent approach to completing the assignment just in time.

At work, as was the case during their school days at Sylvania, Jenny and Jo made many friends. There were lots of "Work Outings" with friends from [Work and] Uni.

Being at an age to travel independently, they made many "trips away". These were always well documented with many photographs taken, always with people in them (themselves typical) and some local landmark behind.

Jenny documents in a 1995 twin survey that they had traveled overseas on 13 occasions, as well as numerous holidays in Australia.

At work Jenny was provided with early work experiences, mainly in Purchasing (there were lots of cost codes to remember there). Jenny then pursued a career in Internal Audit, specializing in large mainframe computer systems and business systems. This was the days before PC's. Joanne followed a more traditional path into financial and management accounting. As PC progresses throughout the organization, there were now many PC Id numbers to remember.

All kinds of sporting activities were tried and some pursued more than others. The main sport would then become Touch Football, participating in three separate competitions each week. Also they found the water and learnt to row single and double sculls, as well as 4's and 8's.

Through a combined interest in running, Jenny and I crossed paths in organising our company's participation in the inaugural Corporate Games held in Nov 1989. I can remember the first time we met and I how I was instantly attracted to her smile, blue eyes and lovely [nature]. On the [day of the Games] I realized that Jenny was an identical twin. We all had a great day.

Afterwards, I often thought of Jenny and a few months later out of the blue, she arranged to give me a team photo from the day and then asked me to partner her to a wedding. I was stunned. We agreed to go out on 30th March 1990 before the wedding in order to get to know each other better. We had dinner and saw a movie. She then showed me photo albums of her travels late into the night - it just seemed so easy to listen and talk to her and even then I hoped that she we would be the one for me. I could not believe she was interested in me. After a month we were going out and a 10 year courtship ensued.

During this time many milestones and life changing experiences occurred. The Girls completed their Masters [in Finance at UTS], Norm (their father) passed away suddenly in hospital, on [Tue 0]2 Jun 1992.

In late Mar 1997 Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer and a mastectomy followed a few weeks later. She returned to work and got on with her life. On New Years Eve 1997, Margaret (their mother) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Margaret was referred to Jodi as her Oncologist and numerous chemo courses followed. The Girls would attend all consultations with her. Around the same time Jenny's cancer recurred in the scar tissue of the mastectomy. This is when Jodi also became Jenny's Oncologist. Now Margaret and Jenny were having chemo at the same time.

Through a cancer course at Royal Nth Shore, Jenny found Barbara (now Sister Suscila) and that's where they found meditation and a natural/spiritual approach to healing. Around this time Jenny also joined the Sutherland Shire Cancer Support Group which was facilitated by Liz, a social worker with Calvary.

Stong relationships were established and developed with Jodi, Suscila and Liz and though each of their own skill sets and support networks helped influence Jenny's approach and ensuing journey with cancer. I believe they helped Jenny to embrace her cancer and to live life to the full.

Unfortunately Margaret's cancer was quite advanced and spread quickly. Jodi saw in Jenny and Joanne a strength of character and asked them to care palliatively for Margaret at home, while she would make house calls. This has been Jenny and Jo's greatest gift in life, caring for their mother at home for 8 weeks (Jenny was still having her chemo at this time) until Margaret succumbed to her cancer on 28 April 1999 (her wedding anniversary).

Jenny's breast cancer spread to her lungs and in late 1999 scans revealed 10 tumors. A hormone therapy treatment started. Jenny and Jo traveled to visit Suscila in Alice Springs and visited Uluru for the Millennium. Jenny would recall later that she had an amazing experience lying in the red desert sand at the foot of Uluru.

Shortly after her return from Uluru we became engaged and we set about organizing our wedding in just 10 weeks. The big day being the 30th April 2000. What a day. We sang “Song of Joy”. We exchanged vows and rings and then kissed as Husband and Wife. At the reception we made toasts, spoke and danced the night away. A rainbow theme being the unifying element with rainbow inspired flowers, ribbons, cake, speeches and songs. We honeymooned on Lord Howe and shortly after our return Jenny retired from work to pursue her passions (on Jodi's suggestion).

At the Sydney Olympics later that year we must have held the record for the most sessions attended - handball becoming our favourite. We had many fond and inspiring memories from the whole event.

At that time, just over 9 years ago, we had no idea how long we would have together. This did not stop us and we tried to live a normal life with goals set for six months at a time. Holidays were planned and taken - a trip to the Cook Islands to visit Susila over Xmas 2000, a 4 week trip to North West Australia in May 2001 and a return to Lord Howe in Oct 2001 so Joanne and my Mother could share the experience.

Another constant was our annual trip to Mt Kosciusko for a benchmarking 22km walk around the Main Range. This year was her hardest effort – but she did it. Maybe it was a sign of things to come.

In late 2000 I bought a small digital camera to document our travels and lives. I did not know how much time we would have share and the camera gave me some comfort that I could capture our memories.

Jenny's cancer was ever persistent and there was always something going on - radiation, more chemo, hormone injections or tablets and numerous operations - we could watch “House” and could easily relate to the medical terms.

Through one of her chemo treatments, Jenny found a Dragons Abreast flyer at the hospital. This would be start of the biggest change in our lives. Jenny and Joanne took to paddling like "ducks to water" and I found myself photographing them and the dragon boats that they trained and raced. It gave them opportunities to travel wide and far. Our holidays were now planned around Dragon Boat regattas locally and internationally.

Jo would make the NSW and Australian Team to Poland in 2003. Jenny was held back by a course of chemo and numerous trips to the hospital. She still remained involved by videoing the teams at time trials at Penrith.

In 2004 she would make the NSW Team and compete for her country in the World Championships in Shanghai. There could not have been a prouder person when Joanne's Premier Mixed Team won a bronze medal in the 500m race.

During the 2004 Shanghai campaign Jenny’s journey was captured by an Australian Story episode titled "In the Pink". She was nervous participant and a little uncertain about how it would be scripted and received. We all nervously awaited its airing on that June long weekend Monday - unaware as to its content. The episode captured the essence of the Dragons Abreast Movement in Australia, showing all sides to cancer and it's impact - positive and negative.

The episode would popularize Dragons Abreast Australia beyond it's creators wildest dreams. Clubs quickly popped up everywhere across the country and continue to do so. Meanwhile, Jenny and Joanne would become the most well known (yet most humble) paddlers in Australia.

Others today have told of Jenny's inspiring feats on the water and there is no need for me to repeat them. She just loved to paddle and found great comfort amongst her paddling colleagues. It provided a sense of normality to her life and she just seem to fit in, even with compression sleeve on her right arm or the missing hair on her head which was always discreetly hidden by a colourful selection of bandana's.

Jenny empowered many people (with and without) cancer to pursue their dreams. She will live on through Joanne and I and no doubt many others from her inspiring journey. Thinking of Jenny will help influence our decisions and motivate us to achieve our dreams and to decide what is right.

I will miss hearing you breath as you slept. I will miss calling out “I love you” as I leave for work each day. Whistling at the front door when I got home and hearing you whistle back. You were the most amazing thing to happen in my life I am having trouble comprehending the way forward. You provided me with love and gave me hope and life purpose. I would always say to Jenny “I am the lucky one”.

A couple of quotes from her regular talks and Australian Story follow and I think there is something there to inspire us all. No matter the circumstance.

“Cancer is something that people do not expect to happen to them and no matter who is diagnosed, and at whatever time in their life, it is a shock which has huge ramifications for not only the person involved but also their family and friends. It takes a lot of adjustment to get used to.”

“I feel I am so lucky and have a wonderful life. I have had some great opportunities through breast cancer to meet some very inspiring people. Geoff and Jo have been a constant source of support for me. Breast cancer has totally changed my life but for the best.”

“I don't understand how things work out, and why things work out the way they do. I feel like I've been lucky. I don't understand how cancer works, I don't know why I've been blessed the way I have been.”

“It's just in the lap of the gods.”

Enjoy your new “Island Home” and those that surround you [there]. You know that “We’ll be There” and we know that “You’ll be There”.

As we said to each other before we nodded off each night .. Jenny:

“Good Night, God Bless, I Love You.”

"That is my life story up until now."

He Who Seeks Beauty Will Find It - Bill Cunningham (Oct 2008)

He Who Seeks Beauty Will Find It - Bill Cunningham (Oct 2008)

Paul Byrnes on Bill Cunningham:

His own mode of dress is self-effacing, workman-like. In Paris every year for the fashion shows, he buys a $20 blue smock with lots of pockets, the kind worn by Paris garbage men. There's a funny scene here where he wears a new one to his investiture as an Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
via Life through a lens by Paul Byrnes.

I saw this movie at the Dendy Newtown in Sep 2011 shortly after our return from the USA. It was an unusally cold rainy working week day, but he brightened my day with his enthasasim for life, fashion and photography. Forever an inspiration ..

"Very deeply I think he feels he does not believe he deserves it. That's why he deserves it .. Even more."

It's not work, it's pleasure - Bill Cunningham (Oct 2008)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Autobiography by Jennifer Petterson (1972)

Always puts a smile on my face.

On Remembering - Reciprocity Failure (Sun 20 Dec 2015)

I can't remember where I took this one - Somewhere between Ultimo and Chippendale (Fri 04 Dec 2015)

Reciprocity Failure writes:

What possible life lesson is to be learned when one can no longer remember, let alone understand?
via Good Riddance 2015... by Reciprocity Failure.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

On Self-Doubt - Streetshooter (Sat 19 Dec 2015)

Stairway to No Where - Ultimo (Fri 11 Dec 2015)

Streetshooter on Self-Doubt:

Did ya ever feel like your going against the flow that others do? How about feeling like you’re alone and there are many others around? How about you doubt yourself and what you’re doing? Not a pretty picture huh [..]

The land of complacency and mass acceptance swallows up many individual people every second. That hunger that wants to devour us has an insatiable appetite and is coming for you any minute.

via Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 37 … Olympus Pen EP-5 … One ShoT pEr ShOOt by Streetshooter.

When you doubt yourself, that is when you need to believe in yourself the most. Streetshooter. My favourite photoblogger!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

On Taking Pictures that Matter - Marc Riboud / Ayesugul Sert (Apr 2005)

untitled - not sure it matters but I think it says something, to me at least - Barcelona (Mon 05 Aug 2013)

Marc Riboud on taking Pictures that Matter:

We take good pictures, we become good photographers by living life, by talking to people, avoiding preconceived ideas, and being open. That’s how we get to take pictures that matter.
via Marc Riboud on Photography, Hard Work and How We are All the Same by Ayesugul Sert [original here]

Friday, December 18, 2015

On Memory and Emotions - Mark Scruby (Oct 2015)

Summer Early Morning Light - eljeiffel House / Alexandria (Mon 14 Dec 2015)

Mark Scruby on Memory and Emotions:

We are nothing more than the sum of memories. They are the basis of our emotions. We use them to mark out who we are and the journey we have taken in life; they inform how we behave in the present and the decisions we'll make in the future.
via The Book: The Terrace House - Reimagined for the Australian Way of Life (page 155 Cloud Space).

Thursday, December 17, 2015

On Photography and Discovery - Mike Peters / Bryan Formhals (Sat 03 Sep2011)

path - Mount Kosciuszko (Thu 08 Jan 2004)

Mike Peters on Photography and Discovery:

For me, photography is a path of discovery that reveals itself as I move along , one foot in front of the other, one image at a time.
via Mike Peters – The Dream by Bryan Formhals.

On Embracing the Present - Thai Nguyen (Tue 15 Dec 2015)

Pacific Dragons - Thanks to Caitlin for the Photo - SIRC / Penrith (Sun 13 Dec 2015)

Thai Nguyen on Embracing the Present:

There’s no point dwelling in the past and letting it define you, nor getting lost and anxious about the future. But in the present moment, you’re in the field of possibility - how you engage with the present moment will direct your life.
via 10 Powerful Life Lessons from The Alchemist by Thai Nguyen.

Never a better place to embrace the present, than the moments before, during and after a Dragon Boat race.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

On Love and Loss - Joel Meyerowitz (Fri 20 Jun 2015)

Jenny and Geoff - St George Private Hospital (Fri 20 Jun 2009)

Joel Meyerowitz on Love and Loss:

All is being lost and yet there is nothing to do but love and care for them while watching the decline.
via All is being lost (Fri 26 Jun 2015) by Joel Meyerowitz.

Some might say I am stuck in past. But I don't really care about those thoughts. It's too hard to be anything other than who I was. These are my memories and they all I have now.

The power of photography to remember. They are all about the past from the very moment they are taken. So maybe all I am now is just a photography of love, loss and a life that was well lived.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On Certainty - Maggie Barrett (Tue 15 Dec 2015)

Untitled - ATP / Redfern (Mon 14 Dec 2015)

Maggie Barrett on Certainty:

When we are stripped of certainty we are in reality. And reality is not always to our liking. Tough Luck.
via The Road to Recovery by Maggie Barrett.

On Stopping - Joel Meyerowitz (Mon 14 Dec 2015)

Untitled - Newtown (Mon 14 Dec 2015)

Joel Meyerowitz on Stopping:

I finally had to stop [..] and give it a moment of my time
via Unknown (14 Dec 2015) by Joel Meyerowitz.

Had to stop and photograph this one. I was reminded of this photo I took in Madrid in Aug 2013.

Monday, December 14, 2015

On Finding A Solution - Blake Andrews (Mon 14 Dec 2015)

Untitled - SIRC / Penrith (Sun 13 Dec 2015)

Blake Andrews on Finding a Solution:

Sometimes the solution is just out there helicoptering somewhere beyond our grasp.
via Go ahead, just ask a question by Blake Andrews.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

On Photography and the Ordinary - Adam Marelli (Wed 09 Dec 2015)

Untitled - Fushimi Inari-taisha - Kyoto (Fri 14 Sep 2012)

Adam Marelli on Photography and the Ordinary:

The more ordinary the better.
via What did Japanese art do to photography: Part 2 by Adam Marelli.

Another common term photographers use to describe the ordinary is banal, being the hallmark of my own photography. In Japan in Sep 2012 I was at my banal best.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

On Change - Simon Sinek / Notes to Inspire (Wed 09 Dec 2015)

Untitled - Alexandria (Wed 16 Sep 2015)

Simon Sinek on Change:

affecting change is the confidence and courage to simply try.
via affecting change is .. by Notes to Inspire.

Still can't believe I had the courage to buy a house at 19.5% Interest Rates during the recession we had to have back in the very early 1990's. To renovate it 23 years later was the bravest and most courageous thing I have ever done. As well as the best. It took three years to go from a thought to reality. It has given a 108 year old house a new lease of life and it has changed my life. The impact of the courage to affect the necessary changes will out live me. It will be my legacy to the world.

Afternoon Light - Alexandria (Sat 07 Sep 2015)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

On Sadness, Joy and Curiosity - Maggie Barrett (Mon 12 Oct 2015)

Spirited Away - Perisher Valley (Mon 24 Jun 2002)

Maggie Barrett on Sadness, Joy and Curiosity:

I am banishing sadness to its rightful place in the corner of the soul.

Instead, I invite joy and curiosity: 2 states that so often go hand in hand.

via Embrace Yourself by Maggie Barrett.

Can’t help myself. Such beautifully written words.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On Solitude and Silence - Maggie Barrett / Feeling Our Way Around (Sat 21 Nov 2015)

Solitude and Silence - somewhere between Charlotte Pass and Perisher Valley (Mon 24 Jun 2002)

Maggie Barrett on Solitude:

I have come to know solitude and to embrace its silence
via Let The Healing Begin by Maggie Barrett.

On Discovery - Seth Godin (Sat 05 Apr 2014)

Sky, Horizon and Water - somewhere off the Sydney Coast (will hVe to look through the archive to discover where and when)

Seth Godin on Discovery:

Discovery is what happens when the universe helps you encounter something you didn't even know you were looking for.
via Search vs. discovery by Seth Godin

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

On Belief - Matthew L. Jacobson (Tue 17 Jun 2014)

My Mum and Me - Goulburn (Oct 1960)

Matthew L. Jacobson on Belief:

Behind every child who believes in themselves is a parent who believed first
via Teaching Kids to Work Hard by Matthew L. Jacobson.

Thanks to Jacque for the quote.

On Tears - Iain S. Thomas

Tears and Comfort - Park Guell / Barcelona (Thu 08 Aug 2013)

Iain S. Thomas on Hope and Love:

I hope every tear you ever cry makes you feel a little bit better
via 300 Things [here by Iain S. Thomas].

While I have shed a tear just about everyday for what has been lost - a life, a love, a relationship and a future - I have only shed them to myself. There have only been two times since Jenny died that this has not been the case.

The first time was at the end of the day of Jenny's Funeral. The others headed upstairs when we arrived home that cold winter's evening. I stayed downstairs and went into one of the rooms, closed the door and in the darkness curled up on the floor under the desk and let out a howl that I had not heard before or since. The others came down and comforted me. I had broken down after a week of being brave and doing what I had to do. The other time is for another day but would happen a few months later in a small town in the south of France.

You go through stages and when you stop shedding tears for a time, you wonder if you are forgetting or your heart has just turned to stone. Invariably, something happens - a person, an event, an anniversary but mostly a song - and the tears flow again and you feel better. There is no need to be comforted. I am strong enough to shed them on my own. They are mine only and I find comfort in them because that's what they are for, to make you feel better.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Knowing you, knowing me - Urbanbites / King Street / Newtown (Sun 29 Nov 2015)

Knowing you, knowing me - Urbanbites / King Street / Newtown (Sun 29 Nov 2015)

Up early for a big day. Decide to go get a coffee, but the local coffee shops wont be open until 8am, so decide to go up to the coffee shop you lived in for the first six months after Jenny's passing. It was frequented many times in the subsequent years and many fond memories with family, friends and mostly, myself, in my thoughts that the place nurtured. If I could write, I could write a book about the place and what I felt and experienced there. Many of the early blog posts implicitly encapsulate this, so I am glad to have made the effort.

It is over 12 months since I have been here and when I arrived just after 7 this morning, I sat and noticed the small changes that a prolonged separation facilitates and makes so obvious. I noticed the staff. Many were the same, which says a lot for the place which becomes incredibly busy later in the day and night.

I am served by a young waiter I know by face. He has been here for as long as I can remember. We don't know each others names but we know each enough to know each other even after 12 months of not seeing or even thinking each other.

You are touched when he remembers to ask before I can say what he is just about to say "large flat white?". "Thanks, that would be perfect" I said, "you remembered". He smiled and then proceeded on his way to make sure my coffee arrived to please me as best he could.

This is the second time in a week you have experienced something like this. And you wonder how and why?

You've walked through life trying your hardest not to be noticed, for that is where a shy person finds refuge and comfort. However, it's moments like this that make you realise that you do exist and in some ways touch people. Maybe it is because you touch people by just being there in the corner, trying your hardest to not be noticed ...

"Knowing you, knowing me" as the ABBA Classic goes ..