Category Archives: Positive Advice

September: 12 Important Events To Remember…

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.” Helen Hunt Jackson

September: 12 Important Events To Remember...

September: 12 Important Events To Remember…

Even though some things that comes to mind in September are : Labor Day, Autumn, start of the NFL and college football season, 9/11, and the return to academic pursuits, there  are many other things that take place/have taken place during this month. Do you know that the name – September – comes from the Latin word for Seven and used to be the 7th month of a 10 month year in the oldest Roman Calender? Below are twelve important events to remember. What do they share?

Labor Day -  This cherished holiday is celebrated on September 1st in the USA, and honors the American labor movement, the social and economic achievements  and the many contributions to society made by workers everywhere. We celebrate it to honor all who lost their lives in horrific, nightmare jobs that ignored human safety and decency; sweatshops, unsupervised factories, windowless/airless basement sewing shops. It became an official national holiday in 1887 and is celebrated with parades, picnics and BBQ gatherings. Labor Day is often associated with another key event; International Workers’ Day  which also celebrates the contributions workers have made to the growth and well-being of their country.

Back to School -  Typically, September is the month students in countries around the world return to school. After a long summer season of surf and sun, kids, young adults, adults and teachers return to the grind of daily school or college demands.  Shopping for books/supplies is a huge part of this tradition, and the marketing efforts to attract families to buy all sorts of related products has grown.

Autumn – The first day of September welcomes the start of Autumn/Fall in the Northern hemisphere and Spring in the Southern hemisphere…  It signals a change of seasons and, in my part of the world, we begin to prepare for the cooler temperatures by unpacking our fall and winter gear.  Autumn heralds a beautiful change in foliage colors as lush green is transformed to warm gold, brilliant red, burnt orange, and endless shades of brown.

“We awoke one morning in September, and the world lurched on its axis.” Jeb Bush

September: 12 Important Events To Remember...

September: 12 Important Events To Remember…

Middle East Peace Accord –  In September 1993, President Clinton championed the signing of the Middle East Peace Accord  and witnessed the handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn. It was a historic moment, a ‘day of awe’, that many hoped would bring peace to a fractious region.  May efforts at true peace prevail around the world…

9/11 Attacks –  On Tuesday, September 11, 2001,  we witnessed a series of horrific events that remain seared in our collective minds.  The US came under terrorist attacks;  The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon,
Flight 175, Flight 93 and Flight 77 were attacked and led to catastrophic loss of life. We all remember where we were that dreadful day and we pray that it would never happen again. Every September, we honor the spirit and the families and friends of all the people who lost their lives on that day.

National Preparedness Month –  Since 9/11, the United States designated September as National Preparedness Month (NPM). During this month, Americans are encouraged to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities. In times of natural disasters, acts of terror, and other emergencies, it is important to have a plan and know your community plan. Purchase a survival kit, find out what resources are offered in your area and plan ahea.  If you need more information on how and what to do, visit FEMA.  NPM is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security.

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” Henry Rollins

September: 12 Important Events To Remember...

September: 12 Important Events To Remember…

International Literacy Day - September 8 is the date UNESCO  chose to encourage literacy globally. This year, the theme for International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Sustainable Development”. Literacy empowers people to make smart decisions on economic growth, social development and environmental integration. It helps communities to stop wasting natural resources and promote sustainable development. Literacy is not just formal education but also lifelong learning.  According to a special message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, “Today, 781 million adults worldwide cannot read, write or count. Two thirds of them are women. More than 250 million children are unable to read a single sentence, even though half of them have spent four years in school. What kind of societies do we expect to build with an illiterate youth? This is not the kind of world we wish to live In.” Support Literacy in your communities. Give back!

National Hispanic Heritage Month – One of the joys of living in the USA is our exposure to people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. National Hispanic Heritage Month begins  on Sept 15 and ends Oct 15. It celebrates the “histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.”  America is not a homogeneous society; it is made up of people from other cultures, with diverse political leanings, and personal orientations.  We celebrate them all and even detractors find themselves in the minority when this subject arises.

National Grandparents’ Day -   Has been celebrated  since 1978 and  is observed on the 1st Sunday after Labor Day. This year it falls on Sept 7, 2014 and gives families a chance to connect with their elderly relatives and enjoy the connections and wisdom that comes from maintaining those ties.  I’m thrilled that more countries are adding a date to  officially recognize this important date. Do you celebrate it?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue In Art…

“Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.”  Alfred Hitchcock

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue Art in grafitti

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue Art in graffiti

All of life is in constant dialogue. From our every day conversations with each other, to the display of art to compare or to contrast technique or form, we are surrounded by sounds and images that convey messages. As I thought about this exercise, I had the desire to run out and capture shots that would highlight this constant juxtaposition of sight and sound in artistic dialogue. I wanted to show how the mundane and profane occupy space in our world; sometimes with great difficulty.

Alas, time is my enemy and I can only show you this series and I hope you find meaning in them. The above is striking in its message of artistic infinity; the Keith Haring shots were from the Brooklyn Museum and upper Manhattan; the black and white squares from the Met Museum and the zigzag from my head band. Remember the famous “crack is whack”? Are the above sharing space or competing?

The dialogue between client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have, because when you’re talking about building a house, you’re talking about dreams. Robert A. M. Stern

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue Art in Convex

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue Art in Complex forms

In the above, I had to bring in art that finds function near places of work or residences. The red Alexander Calder installations are huge yet they can be found in major cities in the middle of active, busy people living their lives. The smaller red Calder is in Chicago and the bigger one is at Storm King in New York. To reflect, literally, Stern’s comment about home, I thought The Bean in all its majesty is reflecting both people and buildings. Have you seen any of the above? What were your first impressions? Calder’s red structure is powerful and The bean is complex… But tell me your thoughts.
Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.”  Jane Goodall

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue Art in Conversation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue Art in Conversation

I love the playfulness of this next set of artistic dialogue pieces. If you noticed, that happy cow on the right is alive and well … at Stone Barn Farm in Westchester County. The other metal one is not, but brings great value too because it was auctioned off to help children in Vermont. The woman (a Henry Moore) is giving the finger but, I can assure you, not to the three legged Buddha who remains serene even when life becomes unbelievably complicated that words can’t express it well… In all dialogue, there is the unspoken:Sometimes we hear it clearly and, at other times, we might have to listen with an inner ear; intuitively. What do these photos say to you?
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Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY

History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It’s been around a long time. Terry Pratchett

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY - A window display wolf shredding the curtains

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY – A window display of a wolf shredding the curtains

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY - Tangy leaning against  a fav spot showing frayed thread from his scratching.

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY – Tangy leaning against a fav spot on the sofa showing frayed thread from his scratching.

When I think of the word – fray – what often comes to mind are images of the persecuted, the lonely, the frazzled, and the homeless. I know that we can see it all around us and, perhaps, in our own lives too. One thing the word reminds us to do is to count our blessings and find the good and joy in even things that could make us feel so down.

I didn’t think I could come up with suitable shots but, lo and behold, I dug deep and found a few. I hope you like them. The first shot is an Anthropologie store window dressed for the holiday season; depicting a wicked wolf tearing up the frayed curtains, trying to ruin our fun. The second one is of our family cat, next to his favorite scratching post, the right arm of one of our sofas. I caught a glimpse of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness book behind his head and it’s perfect; I highly recommend reading Tony’s book.

“It is of course a magic carpet.”Abdullah had heard that one before … Does it welcome a man home to his tent? Does it bring peace to the hearth? Or maybe,” he said, poking the frayed edge suggestively with one toe, “it is said to never wear out?” Diana Wynne Jones

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY - A window display collage of a wolf shredding the curtains

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRAY – A window display collage of a wolf shredding the curtains

I was walking around Rockefeller Center, during the last Christmas holidays, when my eyes caught a series of remarkable displays in nearby shop windows. I took a ton of pictures of the figures in the intricately created displays and saved them. I was thrilled when I found the photos above; perfect for the assignment. While the wolf/fox(?) might be trying to wreck havoc in some fairytale, in real life, frayed items of clothing are precious in the eyes of people who have nothing but the clothes on their backs. My dear friend and fellow blogger, Nicole Melancon, shares a fantastic series of shots of children in frayed clothing in Ethiopia.  They remind us to be GRATEFUL and to GIVEBACK! You must take a look and support her peace efforts.

I told Nicole that her beautiful pictures and post brought back memories of my trips home and elsewhere; it’s quite common for children to wear clothes shipped from far away countries. Often the clothes are sold in the marketplace for pennies… When feasible, some care agencies provide the clothes for free. They are appreciated and valued by the families and kids. Hope (See Gilly’s post on Hope ) is something that people hold onto in poor areas and the clothes offer a glimpse of opportunity and possibility for more. Some kids go naked when such aid is unavailable.. Both set of photos reminded me of the war in Nigeria when shiploads of clothing arrived from aid countries. Nicole also recommended an inspiring book worth reading –  The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz. You won’t regret checking out both Nicole’s  and Gilly’s blogs, and reading Jacqueline’s book.
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