Meraki


Meraki (noun) Origin: Greek | Putting part of yourself into what you are doing.

This is a modern Greek word that’s often used to describe the instance wherein you leave a part of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work — so it’s like when you intensely love to do something or just about anything that you put something of yourself into it.

Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become. ~ Johnny Weir

I started this blog in July of 2012.  I initially started writing this and showing off the places, people, food, and art to help my kids be a part of what I was doing.  For the most part, they are largely oblivious that I am still writing this.  Initially I did it for them, but I have realized that over the years,  this blog has been something I have been doing as much, if not more, for myself as for them.  

Every time I go back and read what I have written, I can place myself in the exact place or state of mind I was in when I wrote it.  The pictures encapsulate where I was, and sometimes who I was, at that particular place and time.  A lot of what I wrote cracks me up.  Reminds me that I have not made gigantic philosophical leaps over time.  I am still the silly, weird, dorky, child that I was at 10.  I still wander and wonder about all of the things I come across. It takes very little to amuse me, make me smile, and/or destroy me.

I have on occasion gone back over some of my posts and have felt slightly embarrassed because what I wrote was a bit too ridiculous and stream of consciousness style.  I have considered deleting some posts for that reason, but changed my mind.  Those posts are likely more me than many of the other more lucid posts.  I am Sam, Sam I am, I am what I am. Auspicious beginnings was one of the first posts I wrote and yes, even now it is all true.

I put my all of me into my blog.  My soul, creativity, and love.  I started a diary when I was 9 years old (1976 if you struggle with math). Ironically, it took me over a year to start writing in it.  Like all diaries, I started out writing daily 9 year old drama and eventually moved to weekly, monthly, and eventually yearly entries.  In 2013, my daughter gave me a new diary called “The Happiness Journal” I wrote in that one for five years every single day.  I cannot honestly say those things were the happiest things I could have thought of, but they were also all me.

It’s so bizarre.  I can see myself in each of those pages in full form.  The love, hate, funny, angry, and sad person that wove me through my life.  I am 54 years old now and I imagine that at some point my kids will find this slab of my mind in print and laugh and cry as they work their way through what is likely going to be a 50+ year retrospective of my imagined but really felt joys and failures.

Seriously, leave me alone I was only 10!! Cracks me up though and I can seriously see angry little Sami, stonily sitting in her basement bedroom furiously writing out my little world’s woes.  Ah to be 10 again!

When my daughters were born, I began a journal of their lives and when they turned 17 or so, they were completely filled with my random wonderings of their lives and I presented these to them as a Christmas present one year.  I believe that they each still have that documentary evidence of my love for them during the first part of their lives.  I hope that they know that all of those words, photos, clippings bring back memories to me that are as real and poignant to me now as they were when I entered them into and onto those pages.

So my meraki appears to be documenting my own life and experiences and even the life and experiences of the ones I love.  I have been diligent about it.  Accurate to my own first-hand experiences and memories.  If you have read anything I have written here or looked at anything I have painted there.  You will see me.  You will see what I saw.  You will see and understand the things that have been important to me.  The things that are still important to me.  I hope you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy the ride and the read.

Meraki mumblings:  Leha; Pooja; Princess; Merakisbsc; Gavin; Whisperer; Jess; Adyeshablog; Roy; DanielleAnika

.

Day 27 ~ Highest Heights ~ Hiawatha Trail


“If you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. But if you run with dogs, you will learn how to bark.”
― Ojo Michael E.

“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of heights,” she said, shimmying along the edge.
“Not heights,” he murmured. “Just falling.”
― Victoria Schwab

Originally the route of the Hiawatha train, my sister and I biked this trail back in July or August.  I will add other amazing pictures later.  It was something I had wanted to bike it for years but like most things you think of in life, you just never get around to it.  My favorite views were from the railroad bridges.  So cool.  We had a blast.  You drive to the top, ride your bike down, and then get bussed back up to the top to your car.  Now that i have done it once, I would consider starting earlier, from the bottom.  I would ride to the top and then coast back down.  It’s a 15 mile ride, which sounds horrible at first, but i watched older folks down to kids biking up and it’s not really horrible.  Coasting down would be the best.  It was the best.  I hope you enjoy the bridge photos up there but if you ever get the chance to visit Idaho. I would highly recommend this bike ride. (you can also rent the bikes directly at the top.  So much fun.

Ridethehiawatha; route of hiawatha;

Day 23 ~ When we all were black and white


When I think of black and white photos .. I think of the olden days.. like… you know.. my mom and dad’s era and before.. A romantic period of time that was all black and white. The photos were glorious in that you just can not determine when they were taken.  There is something so special about them that it makes me want to go back to that time and meet all of the folks in the photos.  I think that black and white photos are more interpretive.  When photos are in color you can often guess the era and sometimes even the location the photo was taken.

“I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter

I think that is why I love black and white photos.  With black and white, you can get away from the distractions and focus on the content.  It’s like an Alfred Hitchcock show.  When you are not allowed to see all of the details, your mind has to make up what is not obvious. It’s more attractive and more mysterious in my opinion.

A final few of my favorites from the past.  Just can’t get enough of the black and whites.

Land of Confusion- perspectives of people and regret


DSC00819

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
― Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind

I constantly have a story running in my head.  It might be about myself, a person or sometimes even an object.  Physical posture and minute facial expressions cause my mind to whirl into motion creating entire histories about a person’s happiness or sadness and the entire story behind the slump or jump of an individual.

DSC04744

The following photos are of people that caught my attention in motion or manner.  I’m sure you can imagine some of the stories I made up about them.  Of course I have no real idea of what’s going on in these pictures but oh the stories I can come up with.  I hope you enjoy.

DSC04750 DSC04746

“Tell the story that’s been growing in your heart, the characters you can’t keep out of your head, the tale story that speaks to you, that pops into your head during your daily commute, that wakes you up in the morning.”
― Jennifer Weiner

Yes, they are sweeping the road which is 90% dirt

6:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  Sun barely up and YES, they are sweeping the road which is 90% dirt.  Did I mention it was a dirt road?

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
― Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings

Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion;  Perspective; Humble Pie – Regret.

“I could not stop talking because now I had started my story, it wanted to be finished. We cannot choose where to start and stop. Our stories are the tellers of us. ”
― Chris CleaveLittle Bee