Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Year That Was

  As this year draws to a close I find myself thinking back to everything that happened and picking my favourite memories. Unlike past years there weren't many hugely significant events in my life in 2011, but hundreds of moments that bring a smile to my heart and lips whenever they're recalled.

  One of the biggest things was Sandy's transformation. She's been seeing a lifestyle coach for over three months, not only has she lost over twenty pounds so far but she feels better mentally and physically. She looks better than ever and I'm really proud of her.

  Early in the year I made the decision to stop taking piano lessons. It wasn't an easy choice but with a limited amount of time I wasn't able to squeeze everything in, especially during the evenings. Some things like my favourite hobby (model-building) slipped by the wayside this year, which I've slowly been returning to. Through all of this I tried to keep up with my writing.

  When I began my blog in '08 I vowed that I'd always make time for you, my online friends and I've done my best to do that. 2011 has been the best year for this so far, not only for meeting new people but for strengthening my relationships with you guys both on and off my blog. You've talked to me of deaths and births, lost loves and new romances. Of the hope your graduations and new jobs bring. There were affairs and near-divorces, engagements, new pets, cars and homes. In a very real way I've felt as much a part of your lives as if we saw each other every day.

  2011 was a year of continued personal growth for me, of greater acceptance of other people's lifestyles and choices and meeting them with intensified curiosity. It allowed me to sharpen my communicative skills and reinforced what I've always believed, that it's even more important to listen than give advice (although I love being asked for my opinion). Some of you allowed me to go through some extremely personal things with you, and looking back I also realize more than ever how much I love these conversations and hope they'll continue.

  This year I accomplished something I never thought I would, which I'll be revealing in the upcoming month. I'm excited about it and I hope you'll stay tuned.

 As the remaining few days of this year wind down I hope you're left with some positive memories, as well as hope for what the New Year will bring. Thanks for being part of my life this year and I look forward to more time spent together.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

  Since it's already Christmas in some parts of the world (and has been for some time) I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, happy Kwanza, Hanukkah or whatever other festivity you might be enjoying. May you be surrounded by joy and love, today and through the New Year.

  This is probably the most amazing Christmas e-card I've seen, I'm glad it's also on You Tube. I posted it on my Facebook page today but for those of you who I'm not connected with I'm sharing it here. (If you're a regular reader and would like to be friends on Facebook let me know).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Secret Sunday

Time for the 53rd round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. Let me know and I'll follow along.

Note Secret Sunday will be taking a break over Christmas but will return on New Year's Day.
And now to it...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Apologies and Acceptance

Earlier this week I was in the middle of a situation that got me thinking about apologies and forgiveness. It was between two people, both of whom I know but who don't know each other. Person A unintentionally hurt Person B, there was a heated verbal exchange at the time which I witnessed and was drawn into. I tried to mediate but A wouldn't apologize and instead insisted on leaving, which only further infuriated B (she can be very headstrong and aggressive at times).

None of this involves Sandy by the way.

About twenty minutes later A phoned me and said he wanted to apologize face-to-face to B the next day. Sounds reasonable right? So I left a message with B to let her know. The following morning she called back and told me she appreciated that I cared enough to try to make things right (which I know she genuinely did), but that as far as she was concerned it was over and she didn't want to see his face again.

All this got me thinking. Although I didn't see the incident I do believe A was in the wrong, not because I want to side with B but because I know the circumstances behind what happened. And yes I believe he was also wrong in not staying to work things out at the time.


In the heat of the moment tempers and emotions flare and we don't always think clearly. I respected A for wanting to apologize to B, especially in person and not by phone or e-mail. The fact that B wouldn't accept and wanted nothing further to do with him or the situation was really disappointing. I've known her for years and would have hoped for better.

What are your thoughts on this? In what situations would you not accept an apology from someone?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Part Scrooge, Part Santa

Last week wasn't a particularly good one. The weeks leading up to Christmas are typically our busiest of the year at work, and with a few additional variables thrown in I found the stress was getting to me more than ever. It started affecting my disposition and I didn't like who I was becoming.

I always try to keep my attitude in check and remember that the people around me are rarely the source of the problem. A couple times I let it show that these things were getting the best of me, which isn't setting a great example for my crew. A few deep breaths and short walks usually did the trick.

It wasn't all bad though, actually most of it has been pretty manageable so far. I'm trying not to think too much about situations that are unresolved.  Somewhere along the way I decided to treat everyone to pizza for their hard work, it's not much but since I don't have a budget this kind of thing has to come out of my pocket. Sometimes you just have to take a moment in the chaos to enjoy yourself.

photo credit here.

Monday, December 12, 2011



Could we but give our souls a voice
Loud enough for those who doubt to hear,
We'd sing of summersongs within our hearts
And hear them echoed in return.

But soft words
Sometimes become weapons
Turned against us by those we hold dear
We watch our worlds crash around us,
Left to sweep up the pieces.

The threads that keep us together are thin
Woven in strands of fate and chance
A web which bends in the breeze
But is rarely strong enough
To hold against a fleeting wind.

Yet fleeting winds and fleeting moments
Are all we have
And all we cling to.
Forever hopeful
That those moments
Will never end. Registered & Protected

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Secret Sunday

  Time for the 52nd round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

  All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. Let me know and I'll follow along.

And now to it...

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Never am I more aware of my innocence lost than when I gaze into the eyes of a child at Christmas. Registered & Protected

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When It's Over

  We were talking yesterday about how we would like to be remembered after we're gone. I hope when that day comes my life can be summed up in four words: "He made a difference."

  How do you want to be remembered?

Photo credit here .

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Secret Sunday

Hey everyone, it's time for the 51st round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty. All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free.

As always, I'm listening...

Friday, December 2, 2011

New York's First Subway- The Story of Alfred Beach

                                                            song starts at 0:10 seconds

  I've always romanticized the story of New York's first subway since I first heard this song by Klatuu many years ago. I love it because it tells the tale of one person with a vision and how he stopped at nothing to make it come true.

  Alfred Ely Beach was born on September 1, 1826 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was an avid inventor who secured several patents. In 1847 he got one for an improvement he made to the typewriter, ten years later he received a patent for a typewriter that created embossed letters which he saw as a way of educating and communicating with the blind.

  By 1849 Beach was being plagued by city traffic. From his office he'd hear noise from the over-congested streets below, and every night it took him nearly an hour to get home. Believing that either an elevated railway or a subway beneath the streets was necessary for New York City, he settled on an idea for a subway thinking it would be less noisy and less dangerous.

  In 1866 Alfred began experiments with pneumatic power. He had been granted a patent in 1865 for a pneumatic transit system for mail and passengers that included a design for pneumatic tubes. (These are still in use in some buildings and in the drive-through tellers at banks).

  At the Fair of the American Institute in New York in 1867, Beach exhibited a tube in which a 10-passenger car was driven back and forth by a powerful, 100-horsepower fan. The idea was met with a great deal of interest and enthusiasm.

  Knowing that state senator William M. Tweed would extort thousands of dollars from his project and other politicians would block the idea out of concern for the safety of surrounding buildings, Alfred put up $350,000 of his own money. He rented the basement of Devlin's Clothing Store and then, with his twenty-one year-old son Fred as foreman, secretly began tunnelling under Broadway with a boring machine. For fifty-eight nights workers stealthily hauled bags of dirt out of the tunnel, dumping them into wagons specially fitted with wheels muffled for silence. While these wagons hauled the dirt away, others arrived with tools and bricks for the tunnel walls.

  Beach designed a waiting room 120 feet long (the entire tunnel measured 312 feet) and embellished it with a grand piano, a fountain, ornate paintings, and even a goldfish tank. Instead of entering a dark dreary tunnel, the customers on the pneumatic subway would find themselves in an elegant, airy salon lighted with zircon lamps. The walls of the waiting room were adorned with frescoes.

  Alfred operated his demonstration railway from February 1870 to April 1873. It had one station in the basement of Devlin's clothing store, at the southwest corner of Broadway and Warren St. and ran for a total of about 300 feet, first around a curve to the center of Broadway and then straight under the center of Broadway to the south side of Murray St. A single car which fitted snugly into the cylindrical tube nine feet in diameter was propelled by a giant fan. Operated by a steam engine, it drew air in through a valve and blew it forcefully into the tunnel. This single car was driven from Warren Street to Murray Street, the other end of the line. Reaction from the public and media was mostly favourable, with people walking away dazzled by the opulence and impressed by the subway's practicality.

  Sadly in 1873 Alfred Ely Beach's dream of an underground pneumatic subway ended under political opposition and corruption. Beach died of pneumonia on January 1, 1896 in New York City at the age of 69.

  New York's first subway remained forgotten until February 1912 when a construction crew - digging for a new Broadway subway, the BMT - chopped through the wall of the Beach tunnel. Unaware of the pneumatic tube, the workers were flabbergasted at what lay before their eyes.

  With the exception of some rotted wooden fixtures, the salon retained its original splendor. The magnificent station fired their imaginations; not only did they delight in the vision of an underground fountain but in the discovery that there had been a subway operating under Manhattan years before they began digging. Beach's tiny railroad car was still on its tracks...

 The BMT City Hall station now includes part of the original pneumatic tube.

City Hall Station  

  City Hall Station opened along with the rest of the Interborough's first subway line on October 27, 1904. It was immediately clear that expansion of the subway system would be necessary and additional lines were built. But ever-increasing ridership eventually required the Interborough's five-car local stations to be lengthened to accommodate longer trains, and so the IRT underwent an extensive program of station lengthening in the 1940s and early 1950s.

  Due to its architecture and its being situated on a tight curve, City Hall station was deemed impractical for lengthening. The new longer trains had center doors on each car, and at City Hall's tight curve it was dangerous to open them. It was decided to abandon the station in favor of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge station, so City Hall was closed to passenger service on December 31, 1945. The street entrances were sealed and the skylights were covered over.

  The station was spruced up for the October, 2004 IRT Centennial celebration. The skylights were uncovered, lighting fixed or replaced and a stairway to the street reopened. A VIP ceremony was held there on October 27, 2004 and for a few hours after the station was open to the public once again.

  New York's City Hall station has remained closed since, but fortunately it's been captured in photos. I think it's gorgeous...


(Note that I've borrowed heavily from some of these articles, therefore I claim no ownership of this text)

City Hall Subway Station (photos)

City Hall (IRT East Side Line) (photos)

Inventor of the Week

Beach's Bizarre Broadway Subway

Alfred Ely Beach

Thursday, December 1, 2011


 There's been too much silence here lately, words haven't flowed easily and I'm not entirely sure why. It's not that I don't want to write, there's been no great crisis in my life or anything holding me back. I've just been having a bit of a struggle thinking about what to talk about. Something, anything. If I don't start somewhere it won't happen, so I'll just start and see where it leads me.

  Randomness, I like the sound of that.

  In the past week two friends have sent me invites to their private blogs, which I've willingly accepted. I love the thought of having a more intimate space to write, free from the eyes of those who are closest and would profess to know what's best. That idea sounds tempting sometimes. Outside influence from other people, by the way, hasn't had any bearing on my lack of writing lately.

  I think I just haven't been in that mindset. The last while has been pretty stressful, mainly at work. Throw in a pending brake job on our car that might run close to $600, plus a quote from our trusted contractor to fix the backwater valve in the basement floor ($1750) and the few weeks have been...interesting. And if I'm honest it's affected my attitude, which is unusual because I don't often let things get to me and I don't like it.

  It's not like I've been walking around angry or upset all the time. I've just taken each hit as it comes, deal with it (rant and swear a bit if I need to) and move on 'til the next "surprise". But I'm human and it takes its toll sometimes.

  It's funny. As I said to a very dear blogging friend a couple days ago I love listening to people tell me about what they're going through (good or bad), and I always tell them not to apologize for dumping on me because I don't see it that way. Yet when I feel I'd like to unload some of my own frustrations, worries etc. I rarely do because I don't want to bring someone else down. The same thing I encourage from others I discourage in myself. I'm extremely lucky to have those people I can say anything to and not only count on them to be a shoulder, but also to be direct with me. I love that.

  My greatest source of happiness continually comes back to people, and the past weeks have been full of (mostly) online conversations about relationships.The start of something new. Or something fading. Wondering if this new guy is right or how a first date will go. How amazing is it when someone you've always looked at as having all the answers e-mails you for advice? Awesomeness. If you want to turn a bad day around for me, drop me a line to talk about some situation in your life you're struggling with and let's see what we can come up with together. These conversations are my fuel, my fire.

  There will always be crap to deal with but there will always be good along with it. Things between Sandy and I are better than ever, she's shaken up her lifestyle and is looking and feeling great. My family will be together for Christmas. I've been thinking a lot about people in my life, those I'll never meet but who mean more to me than they'll ever know. If you're reading this chances are you're one of them.

  Hard times don't last. People do.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Secret Sunday

We've had a nice relaxing day after our Christmas party last night, everyone had a good time but it's been a welcome break getting caught up on some writing.

It's time for the 50th round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty. All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free.

As always if there's anything you want to share, I'm listening...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I give thanks my love
For the space to breathe,
For allowing my curiosities
Free reign to find treasure
In that which most would deem mundane.

I give thanks my love
For shared days and nights,
Summer rays
Warm blankets through winter's chill,
Strolls through Autumn's leaf-strewn streets.

I'm thankful for the comfort of family
To love and be loved in return,
For strangers who become friends
Friends who become closer
Through late-night conversation,
For a chance to somehow help it all make sense.

I give thanks for acceptance and non-judgement
For eyes that see truth but still find beauty,
For passion
Warm oatmeal and hot tea
Children's laughter


And you.

To all of my friends in the US, A very Happy Thanksgiving. ♥

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Secret Sunday

Hey everyone time for the forty-ninth round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty. All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free.

As always if there's anything you want to share, I'm listening...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keeping It Real

“People are screwed up in this world. I'd rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.”

~ Ned Vizzini, It's Kind of a Funny Story

This is exactly how I feel!

Monday, November 14, 2011

What Is There To Love About Fall?

   You'd think after being off work sick all day I'd have felt like putting aside a few minutes somewhere to write this post. Yet here I sit at 9:00 at night putting this together.

   So here it is...

   I hate Fall.

  The main reason I hate it is because I love summer too much and Fall brings an end to it. No more blissfully warm temperatures, no more days by the pool. Tanned bodies on the girls and boys of summer are once again wrapped in heavy clothing and packed away for another year. No more muscle cars cruising the strip. It's all quite sad really.

  But since there's no getting away from it I've decided there must be some things I like about Fall. So I made a list.

  • the smell of a wood burning fireplace (this is definitely one of my favourite things about this time of year)...

  • the spectacular show of colour in the vibrant yellow, orange and red leaves...

  • the sound of those leaves rustling as we walk around the neighbourhood...

  • coming in from the chill and sitting down to a cup of hot chocolate. Preferably with those tiny marshmallows...

  • the smell of Autumn in the air...

  • no more mosquitos...

and finally...

  • no more worrying about getting sunburned.

   What's your favourite part of Fall?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Secret Sunday

Hey everyone, time for the forty-eighth round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty. All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free.

As always if there's anything you want to share, I'm listening...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

100 Countries

With the addition of Bermuda to the list, Life In Quotations has now been read in 100 countries. As my readership grows I'm becoming increasingly interested in what you guys would like to see here. I'm open to ideas so if you've got any let's hear 'em! And as always, thanks for reading me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Greater Understanding- Virginity

credit: DeviantArt

This is the latest in my "Greater Understanding" series, in which instead of taking a topic from a textbook I present real people's experiences in their own words. I had been speaking with a friend of mine about sex recently when I realized her views might be something you might find interesting...

 "I was asked to write about what it means to me to be a virgin. Barry, I guess, gave me free reins on this question. So I will attempt to not ramble on aimlessly.

  What does my virginity mean to me? It means a lot to me and yet it means nothing. It’s one of my greatest tests of will, strength and even pride, yet one of my greatest insecurities. I like to put on a show that I don’t care, that this piece of tissue that was once used to ensure that the purchase of a wife was securely made, that the semen that entered her body was his alone, and the offspring that came of that union could only be his and no others, is something I care little about. But I think I’ve been putting on a guarded exterior to keep the world from knowing that I do care and that this is a piece of myself that I have chosen not to take lightly.

  I used to hate telling people, and to be honest still sometimes do. I’m involved in several organizations that revolve around violence against women, where we talk about what it means to be sex positive. People always assume being sex positive means being kinky and pro-sex work and being accepting of all different sexual interests. But I find that they consistently forget that being sex positive also means that it’s ok to make the choice not to have sex till you’re ready. That’s where I fall, in this grey zone where I’m choosing to remain a virgin, not for religious reasons, or to conform to societal norms but because I love myself enough to not have sex before I’m ready.

  In my younger more naïve days I most definitely thought that I was saving myself for marriage. But as time passed, it no longer felt like it was enough to save myself for an imaginary man that may one day sweep me off my feet and marry me. As I developed, and learned more about my personal views about the world, being a virgin became a political symbol. I found myself getting sick of the notion of waiting for marriage, of waiting for a man; a man who would maybe possibly, hopefully, someday find me, a perfect man who’s been waiting for me to give myself to him. I’m 26 and though I am still a virgin I’m no longer waiting for a man. Why should I save myself simply because societal norms dictate such notions? What is marriage but a contract binding two people together for as long as they choose. Marriage is a symbol, just as virginity has become.

  There was a point in time where marriage was nothing more than a property transaction. Where the man bought himself a wife, to take care of the household and of course produce an heir. It was required that she was purchased as a virgin, he needed to take note of the virginal blood to ensure that he made a sound purchase. She was a piece of property, she belonged to him, her body was his and any product of that union absolutely had to belong to no other man. It was the only way he could ensure paternity of any child born within the marriage. Those were the origins of women saving themselves for marriage. As soon as that concept came to play in my mind I knew I could never save myself for another human being, whether it be a man, a woman or anything in between. (I should probably add this caveat….for those who have saved themselves for marriage I see nothing wrong with that, these are simply my views on my body).

  So what am I saving myself for? I’m saving myself for….myself. I’m saving myself for that moment in life where I go, you know what? You’re ready. Is it still about the other person? I can’t say it’s not at all about the individual I choose to sleep with but all I know I that the weight won’t be on him but on me. On feeling like I love myself enough to give away something I hold precious. The only requirement I have of him is that he has to be worthy of my body, my soul, my heart. I hope that whenever I lose my virginity that just happens organically, like I’m naturally supposed to move in that direction. I don’t hope for candles and rose petals, just myself and that other person, ready to take another step into life. Maybe this will be the person I spend the rest of my life with, maybe it won't. I don’t know, but what I do know is that it won’t matter because it won't be about forever, it will be about how I feel about that person and how I feel about myself in that moment. What I want to remember years from that day is…it just happened and it was great."

 Thanks L. for contributing. Your words, as always, are appreciated. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Staying True to Myself...and to You

There are two types of people in this world. Those who blog and those who don't. People who choose not to claim their own little piece of the internet and put themselves out there will never understand how therapeutic and freeing it can be, despite how scary it feels sometimes. They'll never experience, especially the people closest to us in our everyday lives, the kind of acceptance and non-judgement we discover from these perfect strangers we grow to call friends.

  When I first began blogging after my car accident I revealed nothing of myself. Over the following two years I slowly rediscovered who I am and became more comfortable with what I found. I consider this a victory, because for a while I had lost some of my self-confidence and sense of self-worth. I not only pulled out of the place I was in but became what I think (and hope) is a better version of myself. On a few occasions, most recently this past weekend, I've had people I'm closest to tell me I should change the way I present myself online. That's not going to happen.

  I'm a very curious person, emotional and at times intense and I like writing about what I feel or what I find in myself or others. Once in a while I lose a reader or two (usually coinciding with a post involving sexuality). I'm fine with that; everyone has their likes and dislikes and I only want people who are comfortable with me to follow this blog. There are members of my family who won't read me for the same reason, and to be honest I prefer it that way. I think the biggest mistake someone starting a blog can make is to mention it to somebody who will eventually want to censor and mould them into something they think they should be.

 I make every effort to be open with people, I welcome different points of view and I accept those who disagree with me.  But I expect the same in return. I believe we shouldn't be afraid to be ourselves and express that to others, whether we know them or not. Some people will love us for it, some will tolerate us and some will be uncomfortable with it all. That's just life. During my time blogging I've discovered writers who are constantly uplifting, some who are negative, dark, spiritual, Aetheist, worldly, naive, and in some cases people who face significant psychological issues. I accept whatever people share with me publicly or privately, if it's something I take serious issue with I may choose not to get to know them. But I'll never expect someone to change to suit me.

And I'll never hide who I am here just to make someone feel better. Ever.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Secret Sunday

"Goodbye" by Sugargrl14 

 It's a beautiful sunny Fall morning in Toronto. We started it off with our usual breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal and bacon, followed by a big cup of latte. The second best way I can think of to start a day. ;)

  Time now for the forty-seventh round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty. All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free.

As always if there's anything you want to share, I'm listening...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Through My Eyes...

I'll always believe that people are inherently kind. I believe there is more beauty than ugliness in the world, for every moment of evil there are ten moments of goodness and that there are more people willing to love and be loved than to hate. I believe our lives move in the direction our minds steer them and that no matter how dark or hopeless things may seem for any of you reading this, they will get better.

I believe we each have something in us that no one else has. We can change the world one person at a time, I'm working on it and I want to thank you for making a difference in mine.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


If you want to make a difference don't move mountains, move people. Registered & Protected

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Secret Sunday

Hey everyone time now for the forty-sixth round of Secret Sunday, a chance to share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty. All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free.

As always if there's anything you want to share, I'm listening...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Think I'm Afraid of Becoming Who I Am


 I had the most amazing dream last night. I know it was sparked by a conversation Sandy and I had about her blog post before we went to bed, and how we both feel we're meant to do more with our lives. We want to do more.

  As much as we have in common, Sandy and I are also different in many ways. She's more of an outdoors person, I'm just as happy being in my studio writing. She loves walks, I prefer a vigorous treadmill workout. She has an intense interest in physical well-being, I'm interested in mental health. But lately it seems we're at the same point in our lives, we both want to do something to help people. We find great reward in it. Sandy's considering a career change to become a lifestyle coach and I want to follow what has become my passion: psychology. Which brings me back to my dream last night.

  It was my first day as a psychologist. I was in my office, it was spacious with lots of windows and I was sitting at my desk which was massive. Twice as big as anything I'm used to. I was starting a session with my first patient ever, a young man in his late teens/ early twenties. Good-looking guy, dark (almost black) hair. I felt a bit unorganized and unsure of what to do, the session was an hour-and-a-half and I remember thinking I should set the timer so we don't go over. He was laying on a couch in front of me (I know, cliche' right?) and began talking about his mother I think, or someone in his family. Although I had never held a therapy session with someone I was very comfortable in the situation. Somewhere in there was my mentor, I can't recall what he looked like except that he had a coffee complexion like someone from the Islands.

  My office was at or near the top of an extremely high building. At one point I felt the floor sway slightly, then I had an overwhelming feeling. I dropped to the floor, it felt like it was tilting on a sharp angle and I called out that we were going to fall. My mentor said, "No we're not." And we didn't, the building hadn't moved at all.

  What do I think it means? Overall it's pretty obvious to me that it speaks to my dream of becoming a therapist. Does the fact that I'm near the top of the building very high off the ground, or that I speak from behind a massive desk represent a subconsciously over-inflated ego or feeling of importance? I hope not. I found it really interesting that my first patient in the dream was a young man, since it's almost exclusively girls and women who speak with me about things they're going through. (Notice I didn't use the word 'issues', I don't really like it). He was talking about relationships with one or more of his family members, could he have represented me? Was I as a therapist speaking with myself as a patient as a way of saying I need to work through some things? I'm not sure.

  Feeling that the building is going to topple I think represents a fear that I might fall, in other words that I might not be as effective in helping people as I want to be. I do think about that. It's one thing to spend time privately with someone reading through a massive e-mail they've written (which I LOVE to do), giving my thoughts or just listening quietly if they just want someone to talk to. But it's another thing to be in a professional role where I'm expected to make a difference. I don't know, maybe they're not that far removed afterall.

  In any case I don't feel that I could ever stop doing what I'm doing. I want to step out of my comfort zone and do more, I think maybe I'm just afraid of becoming who I am. That doesn't mean I'll let fear or uncertainty stop me though.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Featured Blog- And In The Morning There Were Birds

  I've visited hundreds of blogs since I began my own two and a half years ago. During this time I've stumbled upon a small handful of sites run by people who, for different reasons and in different ways, have had an immediate affect on me. And  In The Morning There Were Birds is one of them. The owner of this blog is Teresa Queirós (Teresa Q), a twenty-four year old photographer and actress from Aveiro, Portugal. Self-taught, she discovered an interest in photography in 2004 but only recently started taking it seriously. Most of her work is shot on film and has a very warm, almost ethereal quality which I just love.   

   Why have I connected so strongly with her work? I think the answer can be found in something she wrote a while ago,

"I find the human nature very interesting, so I love portraits- I love to see honesty and vulnerability in them. And that’s what I usually go for. Other than that I just enjoy creating beautiful images- I’m an aesthetic person I guess."

  I've always been fascinated by the many sides of Woman; her mystery, her strength, weaknesses and emotions. This is conveyed through Teresa's photography but she also reveals some of herself as well, she speaks more through her art than through words. Most subjects are friends (actresses or otherwise); she rarely uses models and I think the results are more organic and natural.

  I hope you enjoy her photographs and words (in gray) as much as I've enjoyed the chance to bring them to you...
"I do feel that there's always an underlying message or story behind everything you do, even if it's not concious. Everyone is a series of ideas and experiences and emotions, so everything you do artistically has a way of translating who you are, somehow, and that's a message in itself."

"For me light has the ability to bring things to life in a magical way - or an ominous way, or a beautiful way, or a mystical way (it all depends on the light you're working with) - and, most of times, light is what makes the picture."

"I'm inspired by a million things; I'm inspired by movies and music. I'm inspired by light and beauty and people - and by the bones that give them structure. I'm inspired by emotions and words. I'm inspired by dancing and movement. Art in general inspires me just as much as life."

"I like feminine portraits, I like the feminine nature, the emotion and sensitivity."

"I do take self portraits from time to a way of expressing myself emotionally."

" some point I'm always hiding behind my hair or my hands or... whatever! It's like I have to force myself not to hide."


"I like stories, and dreams, and lullabies, and melancholy, and softness, and light, and mystery..."

her brother Eduardo

A few of her photos left me unsure of how to feel. I love the way images can evoke emotion...

"I don't think I have a favorite scenery, sometimes light makes the scenery all by itself. I like to shoot outdoors, though, surrounded by nature."

 "I've started doing theatre when I was about 15, I think, doing some workshops and little events here and there..It's one of my biggest passions, along with photography and singing. I like to play complex characters who are somehow damaged by life experiences. I like characters with secrets, characters who aren't easy to read, the ones who say the most without saying a word. I like intriguing characters - just as much as I like intriguing people."

  Teresa, I've been wanting to feature your photography for some time and I'm grateful for the chance to show it here. Thanks for taking the time to collaborate with me.

  If you're interested in learning more or seeing more of this work, here are her links:

And In The Morning There Were Birds  (blog)
Female photography inspiration ("The DPhoto" article)
Interview (nineteen questions)

All work remains property of the owner, Teresa Queirós.  © All rights reserved.