Solitude I Can Justify

2017-12-31

Not to be idle, and also to say farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018, I am doing the free WordPress course, ten days long, called Developing Your Eye, to help me get a little better as a photographer. Honestly, I am a week late, but there has been holiday fun, the intense winter weather, and other reasons to procrastinate.

To complete the exercise for Day Six of the course, I took to the idea of solitude. How I thought to illustrate solitude is to show the vantage point of a walking trail up the street from where I live, between an elementary school where some of my education took place when I was little, and a gospel chapel on the other side of the trail.

2017-12-31
A gospel chapel the last day of the year

While I don’t attend the chapel, this point of origin symbolizes for me the distance between my home now, to the road to where my parents live, and where I spent my teenage years and most of my twenties. Down the street I live alone. The solitude is having left where I resided in my younger years.

2017-12-31
On the path beside the gospel chapel

In 1978 DC Comics gave us the big screen adaptation of the Superman comic starring the late Christopher Reeves–I realize the film belongs to a generation older than mine. Superman, reflecting on his power, travels north to his Fortress of Solitude to find answers about his fate and his obligation as a hero.

The silver screen images of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude became so iconic that even in the present Henry Cavill version of the Superman saga the recreated Fortress of Solitude in his films strongly resembles the design of the 1978 film with Christopher Reeve. The nineteen seventies Fortress of Solitude has been translated to the current Superman films with a similar design that remembers Superman on film in the seventies and eighties.

Why does the caped superhero require solitude? Solitude can permit a person to approach life with his own direction, unimpeded by the feedback of others.

The town here is small but it is a city–it is never that lonesome. There is contact with people each and every day.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t cultivate an attitude of preserving solitude, and I imagine it shows in the style of the blog I write and in the appearance of the photos I take. I imagine many humans likewise treasure their solitude, particularly in that as adults there are so many demands and requirements for living in a Western culture that we have little choice but to conform.

When there is an opportunity for solitude, in contrast to what we are tasked with doing in the course of day-to-day work, solitude becomes extremely valuable, at least in small measures. In other words, silence is golden.

I realize it is ironic I am writing that when blogging can be seen as a search for a community (and WordPress is an inclusive community). Blogging is a given in this day and age–if you have even a basic amount of computer literacy, it is not surprising if you are blogging.

If you are doing business, and you personally have some computer literacy or otherwise a member of your team is computer-literate, you should have a blog. Even as I assert my blog is not making me money, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to pursue it. I suppose I am trying to have my cake and eat it, too, but I have the solitude that I think makes me truer and I am likewise active at participating in the Internet, which is millions and millions of others.

I don’t think foregoing solitude is the answer, but I respect those people for whom blogging is not just satisfying as an opportunity to make discoveries, but who profit financially by being business-savvy with the blogging that they do.

You can find my church at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

The Silver Screen in the Storm

2017-12-29

I am extremely late working on this free course from WordPress to help me get better as a photographer.  With the extreme winter, the busy holidays, and the relative difficulty of thinking how to proceed, at last, I am ready to make a post with the next exercise in photography at the ready and on the Internet.  Day Four of the beginner-level WordPress course “Developing Your Eye” asks participants to reflect with a photo about bliss–this is what I have for you.

 

2017-12-29
Landmark Cinemas at the Pen

One of the cool things I got to experience when I was a boy was watching a film, and for a long time, we didn’t have cable television in our house (I suppose it’s lucky we had electricity–joking, of course, we certainly did)… but I did get to visit the movie house and it opened what I expect will be a lifelong cycle of happiness creating memories that contain a component of elusive bliss.

 

I can remember without being aware of much else famous movie titles that I got to see, and I suppose the end result of a childhood like that is an adulthood rich with “geekdom”–that movies continue to light a casual passion in my life and I remember to enjoy them.  They light a bit of freedom that should be cherished amid the changing times that sweep by all.  The movies remain an institution of great cultural impact and richness.

 

My photo today is of the exterior of the commercial cinema in the mall in the other end of town, and, as previously mentioned, the winter weather so far this year is fierce–you can see the swirling snow.  I nearly came home with less clothing than I’d worn.

 

Blogging with WordPress is an amazing hobby–I am consistently impressed by the visitors who leave “likes” on the posts which are of a passing grade.  I hope that by the end of this course in photography I have improved as a photographer and I hope blogging takes me into 2018 with aplomb and continues to serve as a communication tool by which excellent connections are forged.  Thank you!

Splashes of Shape In a Light Winter Snow at Christmas

2017-12-22

To make improvements in my photography I am participating in a free ten-day course from WordPress which is helping to get me a touch better at snapping pictures. I am a day late today but I want to go back to yesterday’s instructions which were to think of water and try two orientations with your photo, horizontal and vertical.

The vertical photo is better than the horizontal photo because it is like a piece of experimental photography. The little touch of color which are blurred Christmas lights give the photo the best element of visual appeal it possesses. The horizontal photo is blurry, which is normal across the board for cameras–sometimes a blurry photo is effective if you think of a blur being a selling point for what you might coin art photography (art).

In this case, mine is more butt art–more effective when I reached beyond my stride than when I tried something that would work for me. I’ll show you both photos.

2017-12-22
Water Between Snowbanks
2017-12-22
Water Between Snowbanks Vertically

Home

To celebrate the end of 2017, I am participating in the ten-day Developing Your Eye course available for free from WordPress.  My aim is to improve my photography and to enjoy similar photos shot by others interested in photography on WordPress.  I shoot with a point-and-click for ease (I count myself a beginner).

 

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This Way Returning Home

This is the bridge that traverses the creek across which I ride home when I am done my work at Maple Lawn Cemetery.

Devising Content that Stands Out from the Crowd

A blog remains an essential requirement of life with the Internet in 2017.  It is neither a lost art nor spurious.  If you are serious about your name on the Internet, you need to be blogging.

 

It is not without a sense of urgency that we experience our lives.  The long and short of the problem is that with so many demands on our time, it is urgent that we get to the belly of the beast and jot those “X’s” onto our to-do lists.  With Christmas approaching this time of year, we have even less time on our hands to devote to pastimes such as blogging.

 

When I think of everything in life that demands our attention, and I am not a parent, nor even really a career man, the no. 1 thing I think of is the rush to post content on social media.  That being said, and I’m sure you’re doing a good job of this already if you’re on the Internet, it may help to reflect that writing content is all about capturing interest.

 

Content needs to provoke interest and to continue to do so (being “evergreen”), at a time when there is constantly all the more competition against which you need to pit yourself (it’s cutthroat).  You have what is literally a finite amount of time available if you are handling the reins of your social media.  Therefore it is with some urgency that you need to keep your content coming.

 

You are almost certainly on social media already if you are reading WordPress blogs.  It is up to you to conduct yourself with excellence.  When I blog, I draw on the WordPress daily prompts for inspiration, and I want to present a relative amount of truth and dedication to the hobby so that I am not merely spinning my wheels.

 

Startup Stock Photo
Startup Stock Photo

If you want to “like” this post and/or “follow” the blog, by all means, of course, you are welcome to do so.  You can leave me a comment as well.  Thanks for reading, and good luck with your content!

#GivingTuesday Ambassadors for Maple Lawn Cemetery

As a kid, I got to trick-or-treat.  It’s what a kid thinks of as being cool.  I have my mother’s skill–at times she lent assistance to costumes that helped me fit in for the walkabout going door-to-door.

 

I think it always seemed to feel shorter than it was.  The other disappointment was reaching adolescence.  It was no longer very advisable to try trick-or-treating if you were too big for your breeches.  You’d see those porch lights go dark.

 

Four years ago my father decided that in his retirement years he would take on the responsibility of operating a little cemetery on the outskirts of town (doesn’t that sound like it’s from a horror script or something of that kind?) and we are partners in the cemetery’s operation, although generally speaking, he is the boss.  Is it ghoulish?

 

Well, it kind of is.  Not everybody could handle it.  For me, it is nice to be part of an operation of that kind, and I feel I’m inclined to do it.

 

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 8:36 AM

November 28 is known among not-for-profits as Giving Tuesday, and it is like a holiday for charities, when they ask for gifts.  There’s only a couple of things that are pressing on us.

 

For example, when the car lost control and drove into the tree out by the church, it tapped the sign for the church and one of the legs of the sign was cracked nearly in two.  Getting a new sign would be nice, although our budget is strictly limited to operations.  It does require replacement, however.

 

We don’t make much doing what we do.  It isn’t entirely true that we scrape by, but we’re not getting rich.

 

We’re comfortable and we’re honest, given that we deal with funeral practices on a regular basis and we understand that discretion is required, as is respect and common decency.  We’re Christian people.

 

It isn’t necessary to help, but if you have any interest in the ghoulish, and you would like to help by becoming a fan of our Facebook page, retweeting my tweets about November 28, or reblogging this post, you are welcome to leave a comment expressing that you would like to be a Maple Lawn Cemetery ambassador.  We’re on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouthUnited and my twitter handle is @findingenvirons  We also have a website that you can click through to see with http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/

 

Although Giving Tuesday is six years running, this is the first year I’ve decided to try my hand at participating in it.  It’s not a race, it’s just that with the damaged sign, and even the wear and tear on the John Deere that I employ to assist with the operation of the cemetery, any help at all would be appreciated.  If you are a freelance creative, and you work for cheap, you are welcome to inquire if you think your talent would fit in with what my father and I are doing on the Internet.

 

Naturally, even if your thoughts for the season are all about Hallmark, I understand completely, and you are more than welcome to like this post or even to follow the blog.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 11:40 AM

Have an amazing Halloween in 2017, and maybe we’ll even see you back in 2018.  I wish you good tidings.

How it is the Passerbys Glow

By Jen H.

Each week WordPress provides a photo challenge, that you can participate in even if you only have a cell phone with a camera (it’s clear a camera is good, too).  Looking for the challenge this week, it turned out WordPress provided the challenge to show “glow.”

By Jen H.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/glow/

The idea is to play with the idea of glow, such as taking a picture just after sunrise, or before sunset, the latter being what I did.

 

I took a photo of a plaza just as the sky was glowing red and the clouds were disappearing into the night.  The stoplight in the street was red, meaning the cars headed that direction were stopped and waiting for the light to change.  One single vehicle had made the light and can be seen proceeding in the direction from which I’d walked.

 

Some of the details in the photo I took are lost to the disappearing light, which adds mystery, I think, to the picture, and makes it a little more interesting.  The “glow” challenge gave me the idea for the first time to try capturing with the camera a location that was glowing from sunset.

 

I hope you like it.  If you take part in the weekly photo challenges (each Wednesday), maybe I’ll see what you shot.  That would be nice.

 

What’s more, the WordPress Daily Prompt today is the word “release.”  It is too complicated an idea to explore, but I think again how it is to be expressive, particularly on WordPress, where an inclusive atmosphere is intended, is quite a positive release, I’d argue, to let emotions that are within come to the surface.  Human beings are creatures of expression.

 

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your blogging!