Tribute to “Life on the Rocks” – the Area of Gander

A couple of weeks ago I posted my reflections of “Life on the Rocks” and today I want to pay a personal tribute to the people of that area. This is the area around Gander, Newfoundland. This name may sound familiar to you – maybe because there is an airforce base there, maybe because it was mentioned in the news during the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center.

When the airspace in the U.S. was shut down the flights that had come out of Europe were diverted to Gander. I posted about how this isn’t a highly commercialized area – there aren’t many motels and hotels. We had heard that the people of Gander put people up in their own homes and the community fed these hundreds of people.

We were talking to a man who lives close to Twillingate which is on an island north of Gander. We expressed our appreciation that the people of Gander took in the stranded travelers and he stated that it wasn’t just Gander because there wasn’t enough resources there to meet the need. People from all over the area took people in. They opened their homes in a time of need.

When we are driving down the road past lots of houses, I often wonder what is happening in them. What kind of people live there and what their life is like? We had the opportunity to talk to some of the people who lived and worked in this area and they were genuine, warm, friendly, and helpful. If you ever get stranded or lost, be sure it is in Newfoundland.

 

Thoughts on Pictures, Blogging & Experience

I really enjoyed reading the blog of Matthew J. Flood titled On Pictures, Blogging, and Experience because I have been wrestling with whether photographing our experience is a barrier to experiencing it. I used to believe this was true although I have to admit to albums and boxes of photos taken while on vacations for the past 50 years in order to save the memories.

Since I purchased my new camera I have been looking at these old photographs of trips and family events and realize that the vast majority lack significance. They are simply a recorded image without meaning, and 99% aren’t very good images. I save them because…

I am new to blogging (a little over a month) and my experience of sharing some of my travel stories and reading other bloggers has changed my perspective, however. I am finding that thinking about how to capture an image, the essence of a place or an event or nature, forces me to think about what I am looking at; to appreciate it more deeply. It is forcing me to think about what I want to record and why, what I find beautiful or worthy, and what is important.

Matthew states in his post that, “After seeing or eating or doing something new, writing about it (and this is true of journaling too) forces me to pause and consider; having an audience (however small—Hi Mom!) forces me to dig deeper and find the interesting parts of what I’ve seen.” I have been journaling for the past 8 years and it forced me to clarify my thinking and to clearly write what was going on in my world. Writing helps us to create meaning, can actually help us to define ourselves. It helped me to heal.

New World Order

New World Order (Photo credit: CowGummy)

I also wonder if blogging is just a new form of a very old tradition – oral story telling to relay history, tradition, culture, find meaning…  I enjoy writing more than speaking so blogging is giving me a fun way to tell my stories. Blogging is allowing me to share a piece of my world in words and images. It is also allowing me to share my experiences, my perceptions, of other people’s worlds. What is exciting about this is that our huge network of potential readers allows us to share perceptions and experiences of each other’s worlds. It gives us the potential to better understand our similarities and differences.

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to admit to feeling a little bit whelmed by the fact that my blog is visited by people from a multitude of countries. It has forced me to think very carefully about the images I post and what I say. I think about whether an image and description of something I have seen or experienced in another country, especially a country that is poorer, will seem offensive to those from that country who may visit my blog. It is so easy to be ethnocentric – believing what we have, what we value, what we do is the normal or natural way.  This is especially problematic for people from countries that are super-powers or with very high standards of living. What we observe elsewhere can be seen as strange and weird or maybe just quaint or funny, but in a way that is subtly inferior. My previous work led to increased cultural sensitivity but this is challenging me to even greater awareness.

In any case, it is exciting for me to be challenged in the way I think about the world and to have found a new way to express who I am through my pictures and words. Thank you for allowing a piece of me to enter your world.

Copyright © Patricia A. Bailey and I Miss Me, Too/imissmetoo.me 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material or images for commercial purposes without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. I encourage you to use excerpts for noncommercial purposes but please give full and clear credit to Patricia A. Bailey and I Miss Me, Too. by providing specific direction to the original content by provided the URL for this blog: http://imissmetoo.me

Trust Revisited

I posted a linked to Meryl Spiegel’s poetry and photo on Trust last week but I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Having a chronic illness impacts on our relationships in so many ways and at the same time our relationships become so much more important to us because of our need for added support. We need to be able to trust.

We need to be able to trust that people will believe us when our pain is invisible. We need to be able to trust that people will listen when we need to talk but we also need to be able to trust that people will love us enough to gently tell us when we need to stop whining. We need to trust ourselves enough to be able to hear.

We need to be able to trust that others will stand up to us and tell us we are being mean when we lash out because we don’t feel good.

We need to be able to trust that the people who love and care about us will be firm in their encouragement when we don’t have the strength or courage to do what we need to do to feel better.

Meryl says this all so well. Thank you.

Recovery Thru My Lens

can I trust you
to guide me
run beside me

can I trust you
to stay on track
allow no slack

can I trust you
to listen up
not to duck

can I trust you
to stand your ground
not let me down

©Meryl Spiegel 2012–All rights reserved–No reproduction without permission

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