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 ..

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On Photography and Understanding - Colin Pantell (Fri 20 Nov 2015)

An Angel's Wing over my Right Shoulder - South Cronulla (Mon 02 Nov 2015)

Colin Pantell on Photography and Understanding:

the act of photography [can be a] form of personal understanding of [our] own past
via Dear Japanese: A genuine struggle with the past by Colin Pantell.

I have felt a presence greater than myself, over my right ahoulder, twice in my life. Both times were since Jenny's passing. Will write about it and another moment one day. Have tried not to understand it beyond acknowledging that there is soemthing beyond me that I will probably never quite comprehend or understand. Just happy that I had someone looking over my shoulder when It counted. As the song goes Riding on the Wings of an Angel. Nice photo Rachel.

Self Portrait - South Cronulla (Mon 02 Nov 2015)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Fear and Creativity - Seth Godin (Mon 23 Nov 2015)

Untitled - La Perouse (Mon 07 Sep 2015)

Seth Godin on Fear and Creativity:

fear is a necessary part of actually being productive in doing creative work
via Is productive the same as busy? by Seth Godin.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

When You Get to Asheville - Edie Brickell, Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers / Letterman (Tue 23 Apr 2013)

When You Get to Asheville - Edie Brickell, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers / Letterman (Tue 23 Apr 2013)

Watched this live that night. Amazing performance by all. Steve Martin displaying his amazing diverse talents as a musician on the banjo. Another reason why Letterman was so good. Missing him.

When You Get to Asheville - Edie Brickell, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers / Letterman (Tue 23 Apr 2013)

Friday, November 20, 2015

On Street Photography - Ella Rubeli (Fri 20 Nov 2015)

untitled - Hyde Park / Australian Life formerly Sydney Life (Fri 18 Sep 2015)

Ella Rubeli on Street Photography:

the act of street photography relies on the presence of forces that are beyond human control: light, chance, time.
via Two cutting edge photography shows at Monash Gallery of Art by Ella Rubeli.

In the Beginning - Remembering Jenny (Nov 1989)

[l-r] (front) Jo, Janet, Jenny, Don [back] Tony, Richard, Gerard, Geoff - Our Company's 1989 Inaugural Corporate Games Team (one sunny Sun day in Nov 1989)

I've written about the End, so here is the Beginning ..

The inaugural 1989 Fairfax Corporate Games was how I met Jenny. We both worked at the same company and responded to a call in the company's newsletter, to help organise a team.

I'm not sure I had seen Jenny prior to that, even though we had worked in the same building on and off over a number of years. I was just back from three years working out of Tamworth, my main childhood home town. It was a big company in those days and the Head Office filled a 40 storey building on the corner of Park and Elizabeth Streets.

I remember the first meeting to help organise the team on Level 23. We both got out of separate lifts at the same time and walked in opposite directions to find the meeting room. We couldn't find the meeting room during our opposite navigations of the inner core of the building. When we bumped into each other, I asked her if she was looking for the meeting room for the Corporate Games. She said yes. And, in those first moments I noticed her beautiful blue eyes and friendly manner.

I did not know she had a sister, Joanne, who also worked at the same company, and it was only on the day of the event, that I realised Jenny was an identical twin. We all had a great time and at the end of the day I had to rush off quickly to attend a 5 day residential work course at Dover Heights.

I thought of her often and did not see her again until a few months later, when Jenny rang me out of the blue to meet so she could give me the photo above. We met at my desk on Level 26 and at same time she gave me this photo, she had the courage to ask me to partner her to a friend's Wedding. I was in shock and did not know what to say. What was a beautiful women like Jenny asking someone like me to partner her to a Wedding. How brave was she, and how shy and uncertain was I.

So, I made her endure a night of uncertainty, telling her I had to check that the Wedding did not clash with a hockey game I was scheduled to play on the same day. What was I thinking? I was always going and said yes the next day. At the same time I asked her out to dinner and to see a movie on Fri 30 Mar 1990, so we could get to know each other a little better before the Wedding.

The Wedding was duly attended and I even managed to play my game of hockey before the wedding, scoring a rare winning goal. It was my day!!

A month later we were out in the city with a group of Jenny and Joanne's work friends (I was hanging out with them by then - they were all accountants and I was the engineer), and as we passed a rowdy group of men, I instinctively held Jenny's hand. Whoops - but she held my hand back and did not let go.

That was our beginning, our destiny for a life together, until the day she transformed herself into our memories.

And, it is through our memories of Jenny that she lives on, this photo and post being just one.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

On Ideas - Breaking Smart (Fri 13 Nov 2015)

Untitled - Alexandria (Wed 14 May 2014)

Breaking Smart on Ideas:

Ideas that occur at the beginning or end of a project are usually worthless. Ideas that occur in the middle of a project are priceless
via How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change a Person? by Breaking Smart.

Too much time on my hands today. Catching up a little on some interesting posts over the last few weeks.

On Housing - Ray Edgar (Fri 13 Nov 2015)

Untitled - Alexandria (Wed 19 Aug 2015)

Ray Edgar on Housing:

The terrace house is an excellent model for compact and sustainable urban housing
via Let there be light: how architects are transforming traditional terrace houses by Ray Edgar.

On Angst and Anger - Sam Esmail / Karl Quinn (Fri 06 Nov 2015)

Brooklyn Bridge - Brooklyn (Wed 17 Aug 2011)

Sam Esmail on Angst and Anger:

It's not necessarily bad that you have angst or you have anger – it's what you do with it, how you interpret it into something profoundly moving
via Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail: The revolution will be televised by Karl Quinn.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On Caring - Adele Horin (Sun 11 Oct 2015)

Jenny, Jo and Geoff - the night before brain surgury - St George Private Hospital (Tue 16 Jun 2009)

Adele Horin on Caring:

In sickness and in health, we have our different ways of caring; it’s an extension of who we are, how we love, and our culture
via In sickness and in health: what sort of carer will be you be? by Adele Horin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On Caring - I Wrote This for You (Mon 02 Nov 2015)

For a second, the wind blew so hard - Wind in the Willows - Qingpu (Wed Oct 2004)

I Wrote This for You on Caring:

For a second, the wind blew so hard [..] and you had the only hand I wanted to touch.
via The In-between Things by I Wrote This for You (Iain S. Thomas).

you had the only hand I wanted to touch - St George Private Hospital (Mon 29 Jun 2009)

On Anger - Rebecca Propst

Untitled - Busan (Fri 07 Sep 2012)

Rebecca Propst on Anger:

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
via Fear of Anger and Avoidance of Conflict by Rebecca Propst.

Have learnt much about anger recently. Thought anger was a futile emotion, but it much more complex than that, as the above quote indicates. If it's there, it's generally there for a reason. It needs to be acknowledged, addressed and can't be harboured for longer than necessary. It takes great strength and emotional intelligence to confront and deal with.

I've been angry when I should not have been, and not angry when I should have been. And there have been many times when I was entitled to be angry.

The difficult emotions and actions around anger are something I've tried to avoid for a lifetime. When it was unavoidable, it usually resulted in a pent up and regretable response. So now knowing a little more helps. As I was told recently:

Know more, Do more, Be more

Monday, November 16, 2015

On Writing - Sam Esmail / Karl Quinn (Fri 06 Nov 2015)

Our dog, Polly and Me - Tamworth (1964)

Sam Esmail on Writing:

write what you know
via Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail: The revolution will be televised by Karl Quinn.

Often feel I really don't know, what I know, if that can make sense. And, maybe that is what I've been trying to do here the last six and half years - to find out more about myself, what I have experienced, felt, learnt and come to know.

As U2 sing in Beautiful Day:

What you don't know you can feel it somehow.
One of my favourite lyrics ever. It describes who I am and why I behave the way I do, both in life and my random uncomfortable writings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Guy, Eileen, Rose, Adele, Jo, David and Geoff - Alexandria (Mon 09 Nov2015)

[front] Guy, Eileen, Rose, [back] Adele (Eve's Daughter), Joanne, David and Geoff - Alexandria (Mon 09 Nov 2015)

Monday, November 9, 2015

On Portrait Photography - Vinson Cunningham / The New Yorker (Tue 03Nov 2015)

Mena - Love this photo. Thanks Mena - Brisbane Library (Mon 18 Jul 2011)

Vinson Cunningham on Portraits:

One of the great joys [..] of looking at a portrait is the imperfectible act of reading a face. Is that a smile or a leer? Anguish or insight? Focus or fear?
via Humans of New York and the Cavalier Consumption of Others by Vinson Cunningham.

Friday, November 6, 2015

On Following and Leading - Tim Elmore (Thu 05 Nov 2015)

Untitled - Main Range / Snowy Mountains (Fri 01 Jan 2010)

Tim Elmore on the relationship between Following and Leading:

When you are an effective follower, you’ll eventually become a person of influence… and hence, lead other people. Following simply comes first.
via The First Lesson Leaders Must Learn by Tim Elmore.

Always been an individual, a loner in many ways, which came from a lack of acceptance amongst young peers as a small child, one with wrinkly, dry, cracked skin that was very different to those around him. So, from a position of exclusion, and within the limits of the resulting introversion and shyness (two very different things), my Parents encouraged me to participate in team sports, hockey being the one that stuck. I have worked hard to be a good team member and a good follower from a young age. Never wanted to be a leader, it's just not in me. And, when forced into these positions amongst a group, it has been a mostly uncomfortable experience which have left a few scars, from which I have learnt much about myself and others. However, within a small safe area of influence, that which a shy introvert is comfortable, I have been able to make a contribution to something other than myself. At least that is what I would like to think.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On Love - Skip Broussard / David Brooks (Wed 11 Oct 2015)

A Heart - Red - Newtown (Thu 17 Sep 2015)

Skip Broussard on Love:

there lies at our core an elemental desire to love and be loved
via PURPOSE: Children Know This by David Brooks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

On Photography and Ambiguity - Streetshooter (Thu 29 Oct 2015)

Shroud of Erskine Creek - Water - Erskine Creek / Mount Gower / Lord Howe Island (Mon 22 Oct 2001)

Streetshooter on Photography and Ambiguity:

The thing is, to have all three elements of the self - find and realize your intent. The Eye, Heart and Mind work together to find the subject and realize the intent. The entire process from start to finish is ambiguous and should be allowed to remain that way.
via Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 28 … Street … Deciphering and Realizing Intent by Streetshooter.

Our group stopped here about half way up Mount Gower to rest and to refuel for the second and more difficult half of our ascent of Mount Gower. For some reason I made a photo of the water with the reflection of the over head canopy and shafts of light breaking through. It was just a photo of the water, I thought. When I saw this photo on my computer screen a few weeks later, I decided it would look better in Black and White and made the transformation. In doing so a beautiful women revealed herself out of the relections in the water. I hope you can see her. Not everyone can. For me I see photos and I see people in photos.

The words Ambiguity and Uncertainity are interesting words. Closely related but very different. I think I can understand and feel the difference. Hence I would like to substitute the word ambiguous above with uncertain. I'm not exactly sure as I feel the word ambiguity has quite a few shades of meaning in that it can be difficult thing or a good thing depending on the context of its application. Post inspired by a engaging discussion with Carla. Thanks Carla.

Monday, November 2, 2015

On Change - The Story of Telling (Mon 02 Nov 2015)

Jenny and Geoff - Cape Leveque / Western Australia (Tue 08 May 2001)

The Story of Telling on Change:

the most important driver of change is the willingness to make it happen
via by The Story of Telling.

Most times change is optional - you do or don't do something about it and it is a theme that has appeared here many times over the last 6.5 years. Sometimes change is foisted upon you without choice and often without notice. Again it is up to to you decide whether to do something about it - to become a victim or a survivor. Or you can just try to ignore it somehow, but it will always catch up with you, so this is not a great option. Often it is best to take a little timeout to acknowledge the change, if you can. Ultimately, it is up to you to make the difficult steps to keep moving forward from the place you landed.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

On Photography - Past, Present and Future - Joel Meyerowitz (Tue 27 Oct 2015)

School Holidays - Camera in Hand - Canberra (late 1960's)

Joel Meyerowitz on Photography and the Past, Present and Future :

We can never imagine the work we might make in the future – that’s part of the wonder of all art making – but when we are in the present and can look back, as I can, over 50 years of work, there seems to be a continuous path that unwinds in a way that sometimes seems inevitable.
via A Full House by Joel Meyerowitz.