Category Archives: Love

Travel Photo of the Year Contest: I’m a Finalist and Need Your Vote!

Perito Moreno Glacier, Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina
Copyright JC Politi Photography

I am so excited! Bucket List Publications has chosen this photo as a finalist for their Travel Photo of the Year Contest! There are 18 finalists and I have some stiff competition. I would love your help!

You can vote every day until the contest ends. All you do is go see all  the finalists and click on this picture and click “like” or share to mark it as your favorite! You can send it to friends and family to encourage them to vote though Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and lots of other ways. It would mean a lot to get your vote!

As I have mentioned here many times, I have a lifelong dream of becoming a “real” photographer some day. This blog has inspired me to focus even more on this, through fun photo challenges like Ailsa’s Where’s Your Backpack and WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenges.

I turned 40 earlier this year and am dedicating my 40’s to my more creative side. My intellectual self has been well exercised in the past 30 years and it is time to give more attention to creative pursuits. I have invested in a “real” camera and am taking every class I can find.

The Canon in the National Park Series helped me learn a few more technical skills and has taken my photography to another level. Really, the sky’s the limit and I am going to put on my wings and get there! I would love your help.

What do you think? What have you dreamed of doing for years? What is stopping you? What is the next step to reach that dream?

I would love you hear your thoughts….and get your vote! Thanks so much for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Canon Photography in the Parks and You Are Invited to a Photo Blog Party! 

Tuesday Tunes and Canon in the National Parks: Kodachrome

Travel Theme: Flowers and Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside and Purple

84 Comments

Filed under Awards, Blogging, International, Love, Photography, Photos, travel

The Cost of Owning Too Much Stuff

 

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is a thought-provoking blog on the New York Times website that examines the price we pay when we own too much stuff. This article hits home for me as a pack-rat at heart.

In particular, this sentence really jumped out at me:

When we hold on to stuff we no longer want or use, it does indeed cost us something more, if only in the time spent organizing and contemplating them.

Almost everything I own has a twin. If I find a pretty pair of shoes, especially if those shoes happen to be on sale, I feel I must have them in brown and in black. If we are talking about handbags, which are a particular obsession of mine, the options are endless.

But why do I feel the need to own more than one of most things? I know I am not alone. For some people, their downfall is gadgets. For others, it may be tools. Some people can’t get enough clothes.

It is clear that this is about much more than fulfilling our basic needs. And I am the last person to look down upon an occasional impractical splurge, but I am left wondering if it would make more sense to focus on the quality of what we own rather than the quantity.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While I realize this is a problem that can only come with having disposable income, I would be willing to bet that even families living paycheck to paycheck can relate to this on some level. I also think this is highly influenced by culture, and that the United States is a society of hyper-accumulators.

I am fascinated by this tendency which, on its face does not make any sense, but at a gut level is so natural.

What do you think? What is your favorite thing to collect? Are you more likely to splurge on one high-quality item or to buy a lot of smaller, lower-quality, but similar items? Why do you think we hold onto things that we don’t use? Do you have trouble giving things away or do you frequently purge?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Times are Rough: I’ve Got Too Much Stuff! (newsofthetimes.org)

The Hazards of Mountain Living: Colorado Forest Fires (newsofthetimes.org)

Our Disposable Culture and the Gentle Giants of Music (newsofthetimes.org)

72 Comments

Filed under Culture, Home, Love, Parenting, Relationships, social pressures

Tunes Tuesday: Lucinda Williams – Side of the Road

Copyright JC Politi Photography

For this Tunes Tuesday, I am going to highlight a song that makes me think of summer and love. The song I chose this week is called Side of the Road by Lucinda Williams.

Lucinda Williams has so many great song lyrics to choose from, but this particular song has always resonated with me. The song describes a feeling that is hard to put into words, but like the brilliant singer-songwriter she is, she nails it.

It also makes me think of a quote that I have always loved by Khalil Gibran, which is often read at weddings:

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

This is the kind of romance that I want – the kind that respects the beauty of each individual and which becomes even more beautiful when the two are combined.

So, without further ado, I give you Lucinda Williams, Side of the Road.

Side of the Road
Lucinda Williams

You wait in the car on the side of the road
Lemme go and stand awhile, I wanna know you’re there but I wanna be alone
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

I walked out in a field, the grass was high, it brushed against my legs
I just stood and looked out at the open space and a farmhouse out a ways
And I wondered about the people who lived in it
And I wondered if they were happy and content
Were there children and a man and a wife?
Did she love him and take her hair down at night?

If I stray away too far from you, don’t go and try to find me
It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it doesn’t mean I won’t come back and
stay beside you
It only means I need a little time
To follow that unbroken line
To a place where the wild things grow
To a place where I used to always go

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la
La la la la, la la la, la la la, la la la
If only for a minute or two
I wanna see what it feels like to be without you
I wanna know the touch of my own skin
Against the sun, against the wind

What do you think? What song tells your kind of love story?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

27 Comments

Filed under Love, Music, Photography

Olympics Closing Ceremony: Boom or Bust?

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – David Holt

As a follow up to my post at the beginning of the Olypmics, I thought I would do a post to see what you all thought about the closing cermonies.

Whenever the Olympics end, I feel like a hole has been left and something is missing. I was thinking about what I will miss now that the Olympics are over.

A few things I will miss:

The inspiring stories of the athletes and how they got to the Olympics

The photos of the athletes when they were kids

The Visa commercials after a US athlete wins an award

The Moms and other family members

The antics of Usain Bolt

Seeing Kate Middleton cut loose

The Phelps – Lockte rivalry

The beautiful photos of the London Bridge with the Olympic rings

Watching runners who look like they are on a fast forward video

The celebrations of all things British

Ryan Seacrest…well, maybe not that last one

What do you think? What did you think of the closing ceremonies? What were your favorite moments in the Olympics? What will you miss? What won’t you miss?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

 

29 Comments

Filed under Culture, Love, Peace, Sports

Helicopter Parents and Tiger Moms: Turns Out Neither Knows Best

Copyright JC Politi Photography

There was an opinion piece in the New York Times this weekend called “Raising Successful Children” which generated quite a bit of discussion.

The article examines the latest parenting research which found that giving children autonomy and allowing them to make mistakes leads to the best long-term outcomes.

My parents did a great job with this. I was sent to a sleep-away summer camp for the most of the summer every year in my formative years. I feel like this helped shape who I am more than almost anything else.

I worked for a wonderful organization called Amigos de las Americas which provides opportunities for young people to live in remote villages Latin America, where their autonomy is simply not in question.

These types of experiences can really help young people develop confidence in their abilities. The Times article lays out research to prove this hypothesis.

But it seems that it has become harder for parents to give their children space to make mistakes and to develop their independence. The article points out that there has been much attention devoted to “helicopter parents” and “tiger mothers” in the news in recent years.

I am not a parent and I can imagine that it would be difficult to find the balance between protecting your children and letting your children forge their own path. But I am intrigued and curious about what makes it more difficult for parents to do this today than when I was younger.

Certainly, when I was younger, we had parents who lived vicariously through their children, but I don’t feel like there was quite as much of what I see as overprotecting children.

What do you think? Do you think that parents are more protective now of their children that when you were young? Do you think this has to do with the increased dangers in our society like gun violence and crime? Do you struggle with this as a parent? Have you found any tips or strategies you would like to share with others?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

The Ritalan Generation: Why do some children fall behind in school? (newsofthetimes)

The Power of Strengths and Weaknesses: Giving kids permission to just be (newsofthetimes)

A New Kind of Playground: What happens when young children are connected with technology? (newsofthetimes)

52 Comments

Filed under Career Planning, Culture, Education, Love, Parenting, Relationships, social pressures, Technology, Youth Leadership

Our Disposable Culture and the Gentle Giants of Music

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Who would throw away a piano? And why does the mere thought of this make me sad?

There is an article this week in the New York Times called “For More Pianos, the Last Note is a Thud.” The article explores a new trend, in which pianos are being abandoned or destroyed at an alarming rate.

Some of the more disturbing excerpts from the article include:

 “Instead of spending hundreds or thousands to repair an old piano, you can buy a new one made in China that’s just as good, or you can buy a digital one that doesn’t need tuning and has all kinds of bells and whistles,” said Larry Fine, the editor and publisher of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, the industry bible.

“In wintertime we burn them,” he said, pointing to a round metal stove. “This one has eaten many pianos.”

Maybe it’s because I played the piano when I was young. I remember countless hours sitting at the piano, staring at the picture on the wall wondering when my practice session would be over or sneaking into the kitchen to change the timer that was set to document my 30 minute practice.

But there is something that makes me melancholy when I think about these gentle giants turned into firewood.

Learning to play the piano takes work. But the relationship between a pianist and her instrument is special – if a person puts in the time on the piano bench, the piano rewards her with the beautiful gift of music which she is free to share far and wide.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Edwige Lombardi-Munhoven (cat called Gina)

We have become too cavalier about destroying our history. I am reminded of neighborhoods across the country where people tear down gorgeous historic houses to build McMansions. It is heartbreaking.

And the people building those McMansions with three bedrooms for each occupant can’t find the space for a piano?

What is this world coming to?

What do you think? Does this story make you sad or do you think I am just being nostalgic and resistant to progress? Are there other items that you grew up with that are now being disposed of that you hate to see discarded? Do you see any hope for reversing this trend?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Piano Adoption (A great resource from the article noted above, where people can post pianos for adoption or can adopt a piano)

Romance in Paris: Why Do French Bookstores Continue to Thrive? (newsofthetimes.org)

Times Are Rough – I’ve Got Too Much Stuff!  (newsofthetimes.org)

The Importance of Slowing Down in a Busy Bee Culture (newsofthetimes.org)

74 Comments

Filed under Culture, Economy, Environment, Ethics, Love, Music, Relationships, Technology

Tunes Tuesday: You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

Copyright JC Politi Photography

My Tunes Tuesday pick for today was simple. John Lennon’s “Imagine”, is meant to honor the Olympics where, every two years, nations from around the world come together to put on a glorious display of athleticism.

The Olympics are a beacon of hope. It gives me great hope that countries can set aside political differences and take time to celebrate top athletic talent, sending their most dedicated and passionate young athletes to compete as equals on the athletic field.

I am waxing poetic about the Olympics and I know that not everyone shares my view.

But it seems to me that when people around the world can finally see each other as people, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or any of the other many things that define us, we will be able to come together to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

We are not our nation’s politics. The Olympics is a great example of this simple fact.

What do you think? Do you think the Olympics have any lessons to teach us outside of the three weeks in which the athletes compete? What lessons do you see? Or do you think the Olympics are much ado about nothing?

Copyright JC Politi Photography

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Imagine
By John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try
No people below us, above it’s only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger a brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing for the world

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
Take my hand and join us
And the world will live, will live as one

If you liked this you might also like:

Tunes Tuesday: I Want to Write Like Bob Dylan

Tunes Tuesday: We Didn’t Start the Fire

Tunes Tuesday: The Boss and The River

 

33 Comments

Filed under Culture, International, Love, Music, Peace, Photography, Photos, Poetry, Politcs, Role of Government, travel, violence, War