Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: GOING WIDE

LOOOOVE this prompt. Simply love.

Thank you, P.A. Moed.

Yesterday, self was at Cal Shakes’ only production for 2021: The Winter’s Tale. Last year they were forced to cancel their entire season. Wanted to weep.

But whoa, what a way to make a comeback: The Winter’s Tale is ace.

Picnic Grove Next to Bruns Amphitheatre in Orinda

Cal Shakes’s Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly leading the post-play discussion.

The Thrill of Anticipation! Audience files into Bruns Amphitheatre to see Cal Shakes’s first production in two years!

43 at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 11 Septemer 2021

As a nation, our adjustments have been profound.

In the weeks after 9/11, I was proud to lead a united, resilient people. So much of our politics has become an . . . appeal to worry, anger, and resentment. I can only tell you that on our day of trial and grief, I saw people reach for their neighbor’s hands and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.

I saw people reject prejudice, and accept people of the Muslim faith. That is the America I know.

This is not mere nostalgia. this is the truest version of ourselves. This is what we have been, and what we can be again.

On 9/11, the terrorists discovered that a random group of Americans is a remarkable group of people . . . They shocked the terrorists. This is the America I know.

Self found it significant that in his speech, 43 mentioned that we “have seen evidence that” we continue to see terrorism today, but on a new front, at home: “In their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit, and they must be confronted.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Thursday Doors Challenge: East London

This challenge is hosted by Dan at No Facilities.

Somewhere Near Tower Hamlets, East London, November 2019

Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge (CBWC): WEATHER

Very happy that I found a photo for the CBWC this week.

Algodones, New Mexico (December 2019)

Six-Word Saturday Challenge: Golden Gate Park, Viewed from Above

This was from yesterday. Self went with a friend to see the Judy Chicago Retrospective at the de Young Museum.

It was a beautiful day, so we went up to the Observation Tower.

The Challenge Host is Travel with Intent.

Directly across the way is the California Academy of Sciences. Renzo Piano did the design. The living roof is her favorite thing. Six inches of soil were transported up there. The result: meadow. The Academy offers a naturalist-led tour that self highly recommends.

Here’s a view that shows more of the foreground:

Thursday Trios (on the Last Friday in August 2021)

Summer is over. Over over over.

But thank you to Mama Cormier for hosting this challenge. Her gallery today has roses and garbage bags and a trio lawn bowling. Fun!

Without further ado, self’s trios:

Triangular Table, Observation Deck, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Geraniums on Front Porch

Sally Loo’s Café, San Luis Obispo

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 7: Central Coast

Self still playing catch-up on the Photographing Public Art Challenge, co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao, which she adores.

She just completed a road trip to the Central Coast. She loves doing road trips because it’s a break from the unrelenting heat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Robin’s, 4095 Burton Drive, Cambria: Each Table Top is a unique patchwork of tiles. Mine had a plane.

Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

Fence as Art: Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

How Iceland Changed the World: Introduction

Self has finished reading the Amanda Lindhout memoir (written with Sara Corbett), A House in the Sky. She decided she would just have to get it over with. She wasn’t even sure she’d have the stomach to read it all the way through, but the writing is amazing. That’s what amazing writing can do: it holds you hostage. Self spent the whole of this beautiful day (sun was shining, and it was NOT HOT) just racing to finish A House in the Sky.

There are some parts that, okay, made self laugh, like the part where Amanda and Nigel are being taken to yet another “safe” house. They were being held in separate rooms and when she sees Nigel, she notices Nigel is shirtless and wonders if . . . okay, never mind. Nigel was unmolested. Lucky for him, he was a man. They sort of respected him. There is a lot about her feelings for Nigel in this book, which adds to the sadness because . . . Amanda was clinging to him so hard, just to make it through, and Nigel was essentially helpless, and made a lot of promises he didn’t mean, because — hey, there were hostages!

Anyhoo, she’s alive, he’s alive, it’s all good.

Onward!

Self’s next book might seem like a strange choice, except that her son has gone there. To Iceland. All by himself. She found out recently.

And also, once, self spent Christmas in Paris, and the only other guests at her tiny hotel in the 17th arrondissement were a Filipino family who were on their way to Iceland for a family vacation, and came with tons of luggage.

Imagine the odds of two different Filipino entities meeting in a Paris hotel on Christmas day! And we didn’t even know each other from Adam! The three kids of the family ranged in age from — if self were to guess — five to 10. WHO GOES TO ICELAND FOR FAMILY VACATION. For that matter, who spends Christmas alone in Paris! But self wasn’t alone! She was with Francine and Francoise, who were so circumspect they never greeted her a Merry Christmas and acted like it was just an ordinary day! All they said to her that day was: “Madame, you must go to the Louvre. NO LINES TODAY.” Which turned out to be very good advice.

This is a very digressive post! Finally, the Iceland book:

Introduction:

The town of Selfoss is a rare find. Nearly all of the sixty-three towns and cities in Iceland were first established out of nautical convenience, in sight of approaching ships, but Selfoss sits inland, away from the stony coast. I grew up there, landlocked.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Uneasy in Mogadishu

Airport security use whips to keep order in the Mogadishu Airport, one barely grazing Amanda’s head. Amanda’s traveling with her ex-boyfriend, who left his job as a gardener in Glasgow to have some thrills. But on the flight to Mogadishu, he projects uneasiness. Amanda’s managed to snag an actual assignment this time, but the organization pays for hotel, transportation and food only, NOT security. Since she is not completely reckless, she’s arranged for a private security firm.

Once on the ground, it is immediately apparent that Amanda and Nigel are rank amateurs. They’re targeted almost immediately, this Canadian woman handing out $5 tips and this Australian man tagging along to take pictures he can hopefully sell.

They are met at the airport. Aside from the driver, there are two other men who pile into the car with them, all holding weapons. They take off for Mogadishu at high speed, at one point passing “a pickup truck with four lanky teen-age boys riding in the bed, their arms clamped over a mounted machine gun that pointed like a spear out the back.”

And yet: “The city was beautiful despite itself.”

Self is beginning to understand how Amanda Lindhout survived her experience. But Nigel? The jury’s still out on Nigel.

It turns out there is only one private security firm, and they’ve assigned their best people to escort a team from National Geographic. Amanda and Nigel are assigned the B Team. One guy quits before he even meets them. That leaves ONE inexperienced guy to provide security.

Amanda asks the National Geographic photographer (who is French) what places they’ve been, and he politely but firmly declines to tell her because “In Somalia, you can’t do the same thing twice. They will catch you.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Kabul, Through the Eyes of Amanda Lindhout: 9 June 2005

Self hopes Amanda Lindhout became a travel writer, because her descriptions of Kabul are gold. She hitches a ride to Kabul with a man and his son who live in Peshawar but visit relatives in Kabul regularly.

I’d taken a taxi that day to a wholesale market area near the center of the city, which sprawled in all directions, straddling the banks of the Kabul River, devolving into a labyrinth of crooked alleys. I bought a plastic cup of raisins and apricots mixed with pistachios and honey-sweetened water and ate them with a spoon. I browsed through little shops. In one, I found a shelf stacked with bars of soap, their wrappers showing a photograph of a smiling woman’s face, except that every face had been scribbled over with a marker. This was a fundamentalist Islamic move, something the Taliban once enforced strictly. Any images of things made by Allah weren’t to be replicated by a human hand, because it counted as playing god. Amanuddin had explained it to me: it was okay to paint or print a photograph of a car or building but not a person or animal. Idolatry was a sin.

A House in the Sky, p.64

« Older entries

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through fashion and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other