THE NARRATION – Marilyn Armstrong

When I was little, I had imaginary playmates. I talked to them. They followed me around. I was never bored because I had friends who really understood me.

After I started school, my shadow friends left, never to return. Instead, I got a narrator who has been my lifetime companion. Whatever has gone wrong in my life, I suggest you blame it on the narrator.

It’s all his fault.

“Narrator?” you ask. Before you decide I’m schizophrenic, a lot of writers have one or more narrators. I understand the narrator is my voice. He has just one story to tell. Mine.

My job is to live. His is to tell the tale. His is the eye that sees all but isn’t involved. He witnesses — but causes nothing, changes nothing, makes no suggestions except to correct grammar. I wish he were a better proofreader.

My narrator does not instruct, chastise, or judge. He records events, remembers the background, and fills in the story. I’m in charge except I can’t get him to shut up. He gives me a third person perspective on my life. I’m so used to hearing the running commentary, I don’t know how else I could see the world. I’ve grown fond of him. And yes, it is always a male narrator. No idea why.

There are narrators and then, there are narrators. You can get into serious trouble if you forget the narrator is you, not an “other” entity. Should you find yourself listening to a narrator who is telling you to blow things up or kill someone, you might want to drop by a doctor’s office for a little chat. Just saying.

Of course, if you know it’s God talking to you, who am I to interfere?

Through the years, the narrator has filled the holes in my life story, adding “He said, she said,” describing action and scenery, “novelizing” my reality. I have grown fond of my narrator and wish he could type. It would save me so much work.

A couple of years ago, the narrator left for a while. It was a particularly turbulent period, so maybe the noise in my head was too loud and I couldn’t hear him. Eventually, he came back. There a correlation between when I’m writing and the voice of the narrator. If he’s gone, so is my creativity.

The narrator can be distracting. I have had to learn to not let him derail me. He does not respect the moment. A running commentary in one’s head during sex makes it difficult to focus. Men take this personally and trying to explain always makes it worse. They then think you are not merely disinterested, but also nuts.

A narrator can also take the fun out of parties. You have to make an effort to participate, not just observe. With the narrator describing the surroundings and each individual you meet, while occasionally arguing with other narrators (sometimes I have more than one), it’s tricky to connect with people. When narrators argue, I have to step in, settle the dispute, tell all but one to shut up.

Problem is, there’s more than one way to see stuff and when a lot of points of view clamor for attention, it gets noisy in the brain-space. It can keep you up at night. It can keep your partner awake too

What light through yonder window breaks?

I’ve learned a lot from my narrator. I’ve learned to see life as an endless story with chapters, back stories, weird incidental characters, tragedy, romance, hope, and despair.

My job is to live it, not forget to write it down — and fix the typos.

Kavanaugh Is Not Fit To Be On A Supreme Court Because Of What He Didn’t Do

How could he show such emotion and it not be true? Well gee, have you ever heard of actors?

THE SHINBONE STAR

On Tuesday a pampered, hugely advantaged and once beloved 81-year-old black man went to jail for 3-10 years for a crime he undoubtedly committed 14 years ago, and perhaps 60 or more equally appalling offenses that escaped judgment since he grabbed the golden ring, the prosecutors said.

Former comedian and America’s marvelous TV dad Bill Cosby will spend what is perhaps the balance of his life in a Pennsylvania prison cell paying off his sentence for drugging and sexually abusing women for a hobby.

Thursday morning a privileged, white Maryland federal appeals court judge born with a silver spoon embedded in his psyche goes to a mock trial before the Republican-controlled judiciary committee of the U.S. Senate for committing an alleged high school sexual assault and an alleged prurient exposure offense while at Yale University during periods of acute alcohol inebriation. His character is on trial. Potential Supreme Court justices…

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MY BROTHER ESAU WAS A HAIRY MAN, BUT I AM A SMOOTH MAN – Marilyn Armstrong

BEYOND THE FRINGE – TAKE A PEW

Because for reasons unknown, being hirsute is offensive to God. And from this, Monty Python was born.

You may put away your bibles. Don’t forget to drop some money in the basket.

CIRCLES AND CURVES: CEE’S BLACK & WHITE CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Circles and Curves


This first shot is the camera that took the rest of the pictures. It is a Panasonic Lumix FZ-1000. After I gave Garry the FZ-300, I realized I didn’t have a long lens anymore since the 300 was my long lens. It was why I’d bought it and it had been brilliant in the pursuit of small things a long way off.

Panasonic Lumix FZ-1000

There wasn’t any (affordable) upgrade version of the 300, but I found a really good price on the FZ-1000. It does a lot more than take long shots with its zoom. It is a very smart camera. Sadly, I am not as smart a photographer and though it is some months later, I’m still learning what it will do.

Lots of curves and circles but you’ll have to look for them.

One of the things it does (finally!) better than any other camera I’ve owned is to take pictures in “real” black & white rather than “sepia” and white.

Utensils in a form titled “Ice Cold.” Maybe because it’s so blue?

Taking originals in black & white leaves limited ways you can use color in the final print since there was no color in the first place. Using monochrome filters, I’ve been able to find some interesting variations on a theme of black & white.

Garlic drying in a barn

From antique to sparkling, it’s kind of amazing. I think I will own this camera for years and never fully grasp its capabilities. There is a manual, but it was not written by a writer.

Yellow berries along Manchaug’s stream. This is where I start to wonder where monochrome ends and some version of B & W begins. This is considered a monochrome format and to a degree it is. But … is it really? I love the texture of the berries and leaves, so I included it … but still, I wonder.

Many of its abilities are not explained in a way that makes sense. To me. I’m sure someone understands what’s being discussed, but I am not one of them.

Over time I will, presumably, figure them all out.

SOFT COLORS – Marilyn Armstrong & Garry Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pastel Colors


I’ve been doing a lot of pink lately for the September Pink-O-Thon … so now I need to find some pastels that I haven’t recently used. Surely I’ve got some that are not pink, right?

Sure I do. I just need to find them.

Somewhere in my 100,000 photographs, they are waiting for me. Waiting …

One pastel kitten – Photo: Garry Armstrong
The soft tones in the mosaic in downtown Uxbridge – Photo Marilyn Armstrong
Softly falling water – Photo Garry Armstrong
Gently nostalgic by the Blackstone River – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Softly lit orchids – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Soft begonia macro – Photo Marilyn Armstrong
Graphic stone and falls – Photo Marilyn Armstrong
Pastel dam and falls – Photo Marilyn Armstrong
The falls and grasses – Photo Garry Armstrong

 

 

FUCHSIA – DARK VIOLET WITH WHITE – Marilyn Armstrong

FUCHSIA – DARK VIOLET WITH WHITE


And from now to the end of the month, it will be fuchsia. I have a lot in different colors, at different stages of development … and I love them.

Macro fuchsia – Dark violet and white