A SERENDIPITOUS PHOTO STORY PROMPT

MARILYN’S LEAP OF FAITH

This is the kind of stupid thing I do which can be a big hit or a total flop. I have no idea if anyone is interested. If you are not, please do not participate. Don’t be a pill about it, though. I’m not recruiting anyone.

I would like to keep telling stories linked to pictures. To help the process along, I’ll publish a picture and write something about it. You can use my picture as a prompt. Or you use any picture you like as a jumping off point. Link back to me (send a pingback) and I’ll publish it.

I’m not going to do this every day because that’s a bit more responsibility than I’m ready to take on. I’m aiming for at least two weekdays — Tuesday and Thursday to start. I’ll do more if I see sufficient interest.

I’ve been reluctant to host a regular “challenge” because my life is full of challenges and they aren’t much fun. You will have to forgive me if I miss a day here and there, or if Thursday is comes out on Friday. I’ll do the best I can.

Each of you is free to jump in. No themes for now except what’s in the picture. My current thinking is to leave things loose. No one needs to worry if they have “the right” picture.

What do I mean by story? Something written in words.

Poetry, prose, fact, or fiction. A couple of lines about the camera and how you got the shot. A fanciful tale of time travel and parallel worlds. Video if that’s your thing. Old pictures from your scrap-book. Weird pictures from the internet. Cartoons. Pictures of your family vacation and how the bear stole your food.

Your trip to Paris. You flight from Irkutsk. You favorite dog, cat, ferret, cockatoo. The weird boyfriend you had in high school. The last book you read, the next book you plan to read, or why you don’t read books (but you write them)(don’t write them)(would like to write them).

Television shows, movie stars, classic film, history, language. Fiction, non-fiction. Everything, anything as long as you include a picture and some text.

It sounds simple. It is simple. Every picture has a story or ought to. Otherwise, there are no rules. A pictures, some text. That’s it. Short or long, truth or fiction. Prose or poetry. You’re in the driver’s seat.


Warning! I’ve never done this before. There are a few technical issues I’m not entire sure about, but I hope to get them ironed out pretty quickly. I’m using today’s post as the first of the series. It’s got a lot of pictures in it and you are welcome to choose one. Or pick your own!

You can take a hint from the topic (communicating between generations) or write whatever strikes your fancy. It’s just a point of reference.

You don’t have to do what I do. Just … do something! I’ll try to get these out early enough for everyone, but time zones around the world differ. I apologize, but the world is large and round and always in motion.

I’ll try to post the ideas a few days in advance on the page, but links won’t work until the day of publication. As I said, this is new for me, so be patient while I work out the details.

  1. GENERATION GAP – GROWING UP BOOMER – Tuesday, April 21, 2015
  2. MAKING MARIJUANA LEGAL – Thursday, April 23, 2015
  3. FIVE PHOTOS FIVE STORIES: Let’s start with a Serendipitous Bang (DAY 4)

GENERATION GAP – GROWING UP BOOMER

My generation — the post-war baby boomers — had an unusually high percentage of dysfunctional relationships with parents. I thought it was a self-selecting sample. I had a pretty awful childhood. My father was a sociopath who should never have been allowed near children, much less to be a parent. Maybe I was just attracted to kids like me.

1963. I'm in the front, in the middle, arm on my knee.

1963. I’m in the front, in the middle, arm on my knee.

Blogging has given me a broader perspective. Younger generations have issues with parents, but they can talk, if both sides try. In my growing-up years, not so much.

“The Generation Gap” was a laugh line for comedians, a mantra for the young. Most people blew it off as media hype. It was not all hype. My parents, Garry’s parents, most parents of the boomer generation grew up during the world wars. With the Great Depression in between. They learned to be alert, to hoard goods, and food. You never knew what might happen. Be prepared for everything.

75-edited-GarryMomDad-WW2-300

They believed in America. Righteousness would prevail. They were solid citizens, responsible soldiers, dedicated parents, dependable workers. They determined to pass these values to us. Working hard and doing the right thing would always pay off.

They didn’t talk about family values. They lived them. They believed. Even when they weren’t good at expressing their beliefs in positive ways — or expressing feelings at all. They wanted their kids — us — to be an expression of their lives. The work that never ended. The house they bought, even though both parents had to work two jobs each to keep it.

If they were religious, they went to church. Or synagogue. Or whatever else was their place of worship. Minorities taught their non-white and Jewish offspring to keep their heads down and fit in. Don’t be conspicuous. Talk the talk, walk the walk. Go to college. That was how to get ahead.

Racial mixing terrified parents on both sides. Terrible things happened to mixed race couples.

Our parents had formative experiences in the Depression and World War II. The emergence of my generation in the early 1960s coincided with a vast wave of change. It engulfed America. So great was the change our parents were left in the dust. Clueless, unable to understand what was happening to their country, their world,  their children. War had been the ultimate righteous cause, and now there was Vietnam.

Rebellion? At home? How could that be? “We gave them everything! We worked our fingers to the bone to give them all the things we never had.” Except we didn’t want those things — not yet, not the way they wanted us to own them.

Marilyn 6th Grade class

Many of us eschewed a safe, job. We wanted freedom to find our way. To discover values based our experiences. The world was flying by at warp speed. We boomers didn’t agree that America was on the side of the angels. We weren’t sure there were any angels.

Our music was strange. Clothing, haircuts were aggravating or worse. But the culture was the bridge they could not cross. The willingness of a generation to experiment with sex and drugs. To “try anything once” when they had been largely unwilling to try anything at all.

Some parents found a way to communicate with their kids. My mother got there eventually though by then I was an adult. A dollar short and a decade late. To her credit, she never stopped trying. If she had lived a few more years, she might have discovered she liked the new world.

96-Me Young in MaineI always told Mom I was more her daughter than she would ever understand. She was no wimp. Dutiful insofar as she gave up the education she wanted to get a job and contribute to the family. Otherwise? She did her thing. Joined the Communist Party, but the boys were cuter at the Socialist club. So she dumped Communism for a better social life.

She was an atheist and a cynic. She didn’t think much of the human race and even less of my father — the one thing on which we always agreed. She loved me, in her way. It wasn’t what I wanted or needed. She didn’t give me appropriate advice or protect me.

1972

1972

Eventually, as an adult, she supported me. I wish that support had been available when I was young and fragile.

Being a parent to adult children today is easier. We understand where they’re coming from. We may not think they’re on a productive path. It’s hard to watch them make mistakes they’ll pay for later. Nonetheless, we “get” the world they live in because we live in it too.

75-edited-wedding-2

There are generational disagreements (assuming there are no religious issues), but not unbridgeable chasms. I get my granddaughter even if I think she’s behaving badly. I figure we all behaved like jerks, and it’s her turn. I hope she’ll skip the worst things I did. Save herself some pain and agony, but it’s her life.

96-Mom-May1944

My mother didn’t understand “it’s my life” as a concept. Most parents of her generation never got it. They disapproved of us. Their faces were wreathed in permanent frowns. We couldn’t do anything right. Whatever we were doing was wrong by their standards.

Grandpa-Samuel-Seiden-web

We couldn’t bridge that gap. Couldn’t yell across it. Love wasn’t enough to break the barrier. Not all, but most parents did the best they knew how. They were flawed, damaged, believed stuff we find peculiar in 2015, but they meant well.

I think I finally understand. It only took a lifetime.


 

When I was growing up, you wouldn't discuss anything
with a member of an older generation. Nothing was 
safe. We lived in different universes and had no 
common language. 
Polite Company

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

5 PHOTOS, 5 STORIES – GARRY AT THE DAM – DAY FIVE

FIVE PHOTOS, FIVE STORIES CHALLENGE – DAY FIVE

There is a challenge called Five Photos, Five Stories.  I secretly hoped to be asked to participate in it. Looked like it was right up my alley.  Sure enough, Cee at  Cee’s Photography Blog asked me to join!

I have been following Cee and participating in her challenges for a while.  If you aren’t familiar with her and her beautiful work, I invite you to visit her.

The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo (or more!)  each day for five consecutive days.

2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or nothing more than a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to you.

3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is supposed to be fun. It is not a command performance!

72-Abstract-GA-Dam-Heron_006

I was not shooting alone at the dam. Garry was there too. I always find it interesting how similar — and different — we shoot the same scene. Some of our pictures are nearly identical.

72-Abstract-GA-Dam-Heron_016

For others, he finds a way to shoot it differently and it often works better than my way. (Not to be outdone, I pushed the limits of my camera to its 600 mm limit to capture details of the Great Blue Heron’s feathers. It’s a bit of a trick to overcome camera shake. It’s also very easy to lose the target entirely, have to back off and zero in on it again. The heavy use of the telephoto and frequent refocusing eats your battery in a big hurry.)

72-Downtown-GA-Dam-Heron_002

Because of his perch on the ledge, Garry got angles on the falls I couldn’t get. I’m much too chicken about falling. His fearlessness is impressive and scares the pants off me.

72-GA-Dam-Heron_042

Nonetheless, I admire his derring-do. When I was young, I would do all kinds of crazy things to get a picture. I’m surprised I didn’t get run down by a truck or fall off the edge of a mountain. These days, nope, no way. But Garry will still go literally out on a ledge.

72-Uxb-Dam_089

I leave the ledge to my better half. These are some of his pictures.


The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive day

2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.

3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!


I got more than a little negative feedback initially, but eventually, quite a few of you have joined in. You’ve been sharing wonderful stories and beautiful images. I am so glad. This is an idea whose time has come.

It’s simple. Most of us have more than enough pictures to never run out and cameras and phones to take more whenever we want. I have more than 100,000 images in files, many of which I haven’t looked at for years. This is a great reason to go poking around in the archives of my life!

The Daily Prompt is dead. WordPress is not going to bring it back, so we all need to find something else to do. I like this. If you want to be realistic, the Daily Prompt wasn’t so great when it was “in full flower.” Many of the prompts were silly, morbid, and could be answered in a single word. This is more fun and seems to me what blogging is about — showing pictures and telling stories.

This being the final day of the Five Day, Five Story Challenge, anyone who wants to continue is welcome.

You are welcome to link with me. We can form a network of photo-and-story bloggers. If you send a pingback, I’ll accept your link. We can prompt ourselves and each other. We can make our own prompts. If you sign up for emails from me, you’ll know when a new one comes out.

I am subscribed to most of you already. If I’m not, let me know and I’ll fix it. Onward and upward!

Today’s Participants (I will keep adding to the list as your posts come out):

  1. Bright Eyes|Evil Squirrel’s Nest
  2. Photos and Stories behind them: In the Motorway Tunnel, Day 3
  3. FIVE PHOTOS FIVE STORIES: Garden Fresh Greens ! (Day 3)
  4. FIVE PHOTOS, FIVE STORIES CHALLENGE (DAY FIVE): OCEAN’S FURY
  5. FIVE PHOTOS FIVE STORIES: Let’s start with a Serendipitous Bang (DAY 4)
  6. Photos and Stories behind them – day four – The secret places in Bern the capital town of Switzerland
  7. I Went To A Carnival, And A Baseball Game Broke Out!