The Old Man

oldman

The friendly old man

Never hurt a fragile soul

Happiness spreads all around

Remembering Many

A great deal of notable people were lost in 2016, many this month alone.

This is a just a list of some of the more recognizable names that made headlines this year, causing people to immediately stop and reflect on the lives of these people. People die everyday, but only so many, such as these people, live a full and everlasting life. They all celebrated just one more Christmas before passing on and leave behind a trail of accomplishments and contributions to society in general.

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Florence Henderson

Gene Wilder

Fidel Castro

Alan Thicke

Bernard Fox

Craig Sager

John Glenn

Arnold Palmer

Prince

Muhammad Ali

David Bowie

Alan Rickman

Harper Lee

Nancy Reagan

Gordie Howe

Pat Summitt

Merle Haggard

Leonard Cohen

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

This is in remembrance to them all.

Photo 101: Day 14 – Swarm

Swarm…

A picture of my Facebook or Twitter page wouldn’t work, hardly any buzzing there…

It’s kind of hard to get pictures of people swarming where I live…

So, I guess it’s back to the archives to try to define what it means to swarm:

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A flock of birds – taken at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan

Our closest ancestors to the dinosaurs, birds have always been one of my number one subjects to photograph but, of course, they are so elusive to get pictures of unless confined to one space like here.

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The swarming fans – taken at the Hall of Fame complex at Kansas University

A single drop of red in a sea of blue – still trying to figure out the intentional or accidental symbolism.

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Swarming grads – taken at my college graduation
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Swarming to the wheel – taken at Cedar Point

Swarming to get on one of the original rides of the amusement park that premiered at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

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A flock of gulls – taken at Cedar Point

Or are those pidgeons? The shadows look like the snappy beak of another larger bird that is eyeing the smaller birds as tasty prey. But they are actually the awnings of an amusement ride since I took this through the beach fence.

#photo101

The Four Pillars

The daily verbiage. A nice touch to a day that has been quite the ordinary. Four simple words that look so innocent on the surface but are perplexing to put any thought into. Me in my sleepy state can’t quite get everything out to tackle this.

To be. To have. To think. To move.

Hmm…this is a tough one to decipher. Who am I? Which verb describes me best?  Am I connected to any of them the most? These are strong verbs. Basically the verbs that form the core of the human experience. The four pillars of everyday life.

The one that sticks out the most for me is to think. I am an avid thinker, I think all the time, about lots of things, ideas mostly. I’m always thinking of that next idea that will be big for me, but sadly when I try to live it out for real my expectations can not be fulfilled. There was once a brilliant idea of mine to learn to play the guitar and learn music but that has faded quite a bit in favor of other interests. I’m still thinking about playing again, maybe when something inside me tells me it’s about time, a certain emotion; when I first pluck those strings after a long absence my mind is instantly gratified, a veil being lifted over my head, and I go to a far away happy place. Ok, the sleepiness is gone now. I feel like a car engine that had to get warmed up out of the icy cold and now is running at maximum power…

We are all thinkers but not everyone thinks constructively – giving top priority to things that really matter and will be beneficial to them, instead of letting the negative nellies block the way and bring them down. Those negative nellies are with me everyday and I try hard to fight them and find something positive in myself. There are always thoughts about me doubting my self-worth and wondering why I am slacking behind when I could be running down my dreams at a full pace. The positive thoughts that happen to extinguish these demons in my head are the ones that look like a burst of bright light; the light at the end of the tunnel; the storm clouds dissipating. Music always seems to invoke good thoughts into me and make me refocus on my life goals that get sidetracked sometimes by my worries and fears. “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia is one song that instantly instills hope and confidence in myself.

To be…is about my life goals and aspirations – but I am not so dedicated to those as I should be; I don’t find myself chasing them constantly. In fact, my dreams are vague and undefined most of the time or are rapidly changing to best suit my interests. In my life I have gone from wanting to be a carpenter or architect to being an artist, to being a musician, to becoming an engineer, to becoming a photographer, and now to becoming a writer. They aren’t really things I want to be prominently, just things I happen to be on a minimal level.

To have…the first thing that comes to mind is money of course, but then most importantly love; I’m constantly waiting for that hole in my heart to be filled but it seems to be alluding me. I have an accomplishment of getting a degree from college in engineering but that has to equate to the to be part of finding a career in that field.

To think…getting my words down, having daily thoughts about my supposed future. Assessing my true feelings, my true self. Wondering what makes me special, what’s my clear defined purpose on this planet.

To move…this one involves me wanting to break out of my box that I live in to roam wild. My photography aspirations are dying for this verb to be more in action since it is the only way I can truly find those ‘diamond in the roughs’ that photographers constantly search for and advance their skills. But there is a profound comfort of being stuck in one place. I love being home and having my family around me all the time. I feel happy and content. If I was on my own I find it would be harder for other people to love me because I’m just not that kind of person. I don’t like to open myself up to everyone spontaneously; only when I am coaxed into it and trust has been built can I truly reveal my full character and then it actually feels fantastic for me to take a big step like that.

To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?