EVERYDAY IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY

Fireside Chat  — What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?


I'll tell you how the sun rose ...

I woke up this morning to the bubbling and gurgling sound every asthmatic recognizes as a head cold with benefits. When I finally got my coffee, the computer turned on and all the other small things and not so small things done, and it was time to check the Daily Prompt. Lo and behold, it suggested I invite someone over and listen to his or her life story.

That didn’t appeal to me today. Too much bubbling and gurgling in my bronchial tubes. I would prefer inviting someone over to listen to my life story. It’s that kind of morning. I initially considered Sigmund Freud. He was a notoriously good listener, but his “penis envy” shtick never worked for me. I want a gentle, sympathetic ear to listen to my tale of woe. I need Harvey.

ELWOOD P. DOWD (Jimmy Stewart):

Harvey and I have things to do. We sit in the bar. Have a drink or two. Play the jukebox. Very soon the faces of all the other people turn towards me and they smile. They say: “We don’t know your name, mister, but you’re a very nice fellow.”

Harvey and I warm ourselves in these golden moments. We came as strangers — soon we have friends. They come over. They sit with us. They drink with us. They talk to us. They tell us about the great big terrible things they’ve done and the great big wonderful things they’re going to do. Their hopes, their regrets. Their loves, their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. T

hen I introduce them to Harvey, and he’s bigger and grander than anything they can offer me. And when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back, but that’s — that’s envy, my dear. There’s a little bit of envy in the best of us. That’s too bad, isn’t it?

I’d just helped Ed Hickey into a taxi. Ed had been mixing his rye with his gin, and I felt he needed conveying.

I started to walk down the street when I heard a voice saying: “Good evening, Mr. Dowd”. I turned, and there was this big white rabbit leaning against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that, because when you’ve lived in a town as long as I’ve lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name. And naturally, I went over to chat with him.

We talked like that for a while and then I said to him, “You have the advantage on me. You know my name and I don’t know yours.”

And right back at me he said, “What name do you like?” Well, I didn’t even have to think twice about that. Harvey’s always been my favorite name. So I said to him, I said,

“Harvey.” And, this — this is the interesting thing about the whole thing. He said, “What a coincidence. My name happens to be Harvey.”

I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.

I want a long, pleasant evening with Harvey. Maybe with the wood stove fired up. It’s a nice touch. Homey. It makes the house smell woody and smoky.

Who is Harvey?

P-O-O-K-A. Pooka. From old Celtic mythology, a fairy spirit in animal form, always very large. The pooka appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one. A benign but mischievous creature. Very fond of rumpots, crackpots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?

I thought everyone knew but you youngsters probably haven’t seen it. It’s in black and white. No one wants to watch old black and white movies anymore. They want action and CGI in blazing color with lots of sound effect. Harvey is a peaceful, gentle, funny movie without special effects. It is about a 12-foot invisible (mostly) rabbit from … mythology? Another dimension? A Pooka.

Some people can see him. Many others can’t. Regardless,  Harvey is the best friend you always wanted. And I would love to borrow him, just for an evening. I hope the dogs won’t mind.

From the lips of Elwood P. Down:

Oh, yes! Yes. Yes — these things always work out just the way Harvey says they will. He is very, very versatile. Did I tell you he could stop clocks? Well, you’ve heard the expression ‘His face would stop a clock’? Well, Harvey can look at your clock and stop it. And you can go anywhere you like — with anyone you like — and stay as long as you like. And when you get back, not one minute will have ticked by. … You see, science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space — but any objections.

Harvey. I’ll invite Harvey over for a lovely chat. Tonight, maybe.

THE SERENDIPITY SETTING ON THE OLYMPUS PEN PL-5

I just became the tickled pink owner of an Olympus PEN PL-5 camera. It arrived today, having sped here from Arizona, where its previous owner, an old and loved friends, has upgraded to the OM-D.

Somewhere between yesterday afternoon and this morning, a nasty cold hit me like a runaway train, but the arrival of the camera distracted me enough that I forgot how crappy I was feeling … at least for an hour.

The camera, probably while being packed, had gotten set to the Art Bracket setting. I have never used any of the Art effect settings on any of my Olympus PEN cameras. It turns out that the results of using this setting are … well … interesting. Serendipitous. You really don’t know what you will get.

It’s kind of fun. You snap one picture and the camera gives you 12 versions, each using a different Art effect. The focus and bokeh also change. These are some results. What do you think? interesting, yes?

BRIGHT JANUARY SKIES

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons

I very recent became aware of this challenge thought several blogs I follow. I thought about it, then realized — I can do this. I live in the woods and I shoot pictures of my woods frequently, in every kind of weather. In fact, whenever something naturally interesting is going on, my woods is the first stop for me, photographically speaking. The fact that the woods what I see when I step out of my kitchen to my deck probably helps.

72-No-Snow_1

The point of this challenge is:

Find a location near your home, take somewhere between 5-20 photos and post them in a gallery in your blog. Continue to do this every month. If you live on the countryside, there’s probably plenty of locations to choose from nearby: a field with some trees, a beach, a mountain, or just a simple dirt road? It can be whatever. Just keep the project going throughout the year.

Try to shoot every month, so that in the end of the year, you’ll have a nice and diverse set of photos in your portfolio. The idea is to capture all the changes: the seasons, the weather, different times of the day, some night photography perhaps?

72-No-Snow_8

I’m a little late getting up to speed, but not very late. Just a few days. Next month I’ll be on time.  Here are my pictures for January, 2015.

72-BW-No-Snow_2

It has been unusually warm for the past few days. Add unusually warm to unusually free or precipitation, not counting all that heavy rain during the Patriot-Colts game on Sunday.

72-No-Snow_3

I woke up this morning to brilliantly bright sunshine and dark blue skies. Perfect puffy white clouds were floating casually across the sky as if they didn’t have a thing to do but float.

Just a few days ago ...
Just a few days ago …

Oh, wait, they really don’t have anything to do but float. On second thought, I think I’d like to be one of those little puffy clouds.

thechangingseasons_6367 large

AND NOW, A WORD FROM VOLTAIRE

DELIBERATE MISQUOTATION – This week’s prompt requires you to revise the past by restating a quote to mean something quite different than it originally meant.


I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend 
to the death your right to say it. Voltaire

Voltaire


An up-to-date rendering might be:

I don't agree with what you have to say. If you don't stop
 saying it, I'll shoot you. - Marilyn

There is no way that I can reconcile the original with my version. They are antithetical, at opposite ends of the  “tolerance” spectrum. But I think my revised version is a pretty good expression of life in the 21 century.

No one wants compromise. Or open dialogue. No exchange of ideas, but we have an over-abundance of “righteousness indignation” into which everyone can tap. It leaves little room for people to reach out to one another. I’m sure there are people who would like to reach out, find a meeting of minds. Even those who politically, religiously, or otherwise oppose each other.

We have forgotten compromise. Lost the will to try. And nobody wins.