Weekly Photo Challenge: Time is Change

There’s no such thing as Time.  It’s not a thing; it is a concept.  It tries to explain why we see change, which is a thing. 

This looks different!  time tree

This difference is a change. Why did it change? Because the tree fell.  When did it fall?  Ah, now we need a concept for that moment and for the changes since that moment.

Leave a messageThis looks different.  This is a change.  Is it about the time?  47 years doesn’t mean much.  The changes mean a lot.  There was a man, a husband, a father, a singer.  Now, there is no man, no husband, no father, no song. 

What about this change?

time OWWIt might look like a change from what you’re used to, but some people see this every day.  No change; no time.

In order to feel a sense of time at all, we need to be able to imagine what something was like before and how it’s changed.

scale 2And then we try to measure the rate of change.  How long did it take for this to become something different?

time caveWe humans get to think about change and time because we have such big, big brains. Other species don’t. That gives us a huge amount of responsibility.  We should be taking that seriously, noticing changes and imagining what the future might be like. 

victory 2In time, we’ll see what changes.  And we’ll know how we’ve participated in that change as well. 

Time

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant in Color and Shadow

How much color is a “Woman of Maturity” allowed to wear, anyway?  Mother Nature gets away with quite a lot: yellows, oranges, reds, purples, blues and greens of infinite shades.  For the better part of the year, she is clad in the most spectacular array of rainbow hues. 

 

And in some parts of the world, she spends months at a time wearing a shroud of monochrome, showing her age and her unique gravity.  This hints at perhaps a serious contemplation of the energy it takes to be fecund and exuberantly colorful.  

Don’t let this muted color palette fool you.  The ol’ girl is just as vibrant as ever, and her maturity shows in her ability to exhibit her shadow side with just as much style and grace as she displays on her sunnier face!

May we follow her example and not be ashamed to show our true colors in their full spectrum!

Vibrant

Weekly Photo Challenge: Optimism is a Choice!

Good things are on the horizon.  There’s a pink dawn behind the frost on my second story window.

optimistic

I feel hopeful that the new day will be fair.

victory 2

I believe we can always try to do better, that we don’t arrive, we practice.

With hard work and perseverance, we CAN clean up a mess and get things in better order.  (I’ve lived here with Steve for 5 years; for the first time, we have all our clothes stored out of sight.)

closet

I believe that ‘obstacles’ and ‘obligations’ are simply the wrong terms for ‘opportunities’.  (My daughter quit her job and went back to college this week!)

optimistic 2

I am an optimist, an idealist, and proud of it!  The glass is waiting; FILL IT UP!

glass

Optimistic

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Alphabet

A is for Art, B is for Bernie, C is for “Comming Soon”…. and I didn’t follow this prompt to the letter in constructing my gallery. However, it raises some interesting questions, such as:

How many letters are in the Post Office in Embarrass, Wisconsin? 

What does “Recombobulation” mean, anyway?

What do you make of the printed word?

And finally, what will be written on your grave marker?

 

Alphabet

The Nature of Nurturing

This article was written as a feature for the Be Zine and will be published later today.

Spiritual Lessons from Nature #5

The great fur bulk lies supine, inert, warm, creating a sheltered harbor in the deep snow in contrast to the flat, icy landscape. Two milky cubs clamber dough-footed all around, exploring clumsily, arousing no concern. They orbit close by, drawing into contact periodically to suckle and nuzzle. The wind blows a moderately threatening question of survival through the morning. Mother closes her eyes to the sting, looking sleepy and stupid, lifting her blinking face to the sun. She is the solid thing in a shifting drift, placid and mountainous, serenely established on the face of the horizon.

This image of motherhood was suggested to me by a wise psychiatrist as I sat in her Pasadena home with my husband while our daughter crawled at our feet. I was 22 years old and suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety. I wanted to be the perfect parent, to do everything right in order to raise up a child who would take her place as a blessed jewel in the crown of my god. My models spoke in scriptural tones, living or in print. My aspirations were clear, I thought, my inspiration abundant.

And I was exhausted.

scillastick 001_NEW

The good doctor looked at my 98-pound frame and announced her diagnosis with authority. She looked at my daughter exploring a paperback with her fingers and mouth and recognized great intelligence. It seemed to her that we were not badly broken or dysfunctional, but we needed to relax. Parenting is a living thing, a responsive dance with biology, and although we humans are biologically social creatures, heavy-handed social structure can strangle our relationships and bind us into damaging patterns. My reliance on the authority of these constructs seemed helpful at first, but that lock-step really tripped me up when my children were in their teenage years.

The tendency to defer to “experts” in my Western affluent culture is a dangerous trend for parenting, I think. It can lead to a mistrust of instinct and compassion. That can also translate to lower self-confidence and heightened anxiety in both parent and child. I see that demonstrated in stories of helicopter parent vigilantes, DCSF over-reactions, and soaring statistics on depression and suicide in young people. I also see that in my own 4 children 30 years after my initial visit to an “expert”. They are still working out their concerns about “doing it right” and their responsibility to “make good decisions”. A good decision is perhaps a lot easier to make than we suppose.

tinyjosh 001_NEW

My only son was born hastily into the world when the doctor noticed fecal matter in his amniotic fluid. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck as well. At six pounds and six ounces, he had a slight case of jaundice. I brought my fragile bundle home, and the hospital equipped us with a bili light to give him extra skin exposure to the blue light that would help convert bilirubin. I was instructed to give him plenty of fluids and to let him lie under that lamp in just a diaper and protective eye shades for a good 8 hours a day. I kept a detailed record of the time he spent nursing and how much glucose water he would drink from a bottle, and I charted his time in the bili-box. Newborns have an instinctive response to feeling a “sudden loss of support” called the “Moro reflex”. They flail their arms out and cry. This is what my son did when he was in that chamber. It broke my heart. I decided, in my 24 year old wisdom, that what he needed more was to be swaddled and held. So I wrapped him up tight and carried him into the living room. My mother was visiting and helping me with my older child. I poured out to her my worry about whether I should follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter or whether I should comfort my son. She and I commiserated about the difficulties of parenting, and I realized that she wasn’t going to help me decide. She was going to help me by letting me decide and supporting my decision.

And that’s the other sustaining image of motherhood I gained early in my parenting.

scillamom 001_NEW

When they’re young, lie down with them. When they’re older, support their decisions. Your presence is the greatest gift you can give your children. Don’t try to give them too much of anything else. They need to get those other things themselves.

team Galasso

And that’s all I have to say about that.

© 2015, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight and Gravity

Things that are not weighty can be significant nevertheless.  What is greater than a seed on the wind for the future of a plant?

weightless 2

What is more important than light that lifts the soul in the dark of winter?

weightless 5

And something as weightless as a feather is essential for a bird to soar.

weightless 4

We are wise to take the ethereal seriously: the death of the canary in the mine, the evaporation of a pond, the butterfly that will not migrate. They tell us vital things.

Vivid

At the same time, we must examine the gravity we feel about death.  Is it really such an enormous thing? It is altogether common and expected.

weight

And even mountains move – eventually.

Battleship Rock NM

The cosmos is forever dancing with the forces of gravity.  The stars are light on their feet; they twirl and twinkle, smiling their whole lives long.  We are made of star stuff.  Let’s lighten up!  After all, what could be more meaningful?

Remember this post when you feel like you’re doing too much heavy lifting. 041

Weight(less)

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Circle of Life

I see life in the miracle of the spherical –arboretum in winter

  of the cycle, the whole, balanced circumference – eye 1

of endings that beget beginnings, the disappearance that creates an opening that begs a new adventure –

natural bridges state park

of gestating generations.

may apple

Life encircles all around.  Literally.

appleMay this year bring you the peace and joy of Life – wherever you may see yourself in the circle.  And thank you for including me in the embrace of your life by your visit!

Circle