A different garden


To you, it was just picking flowers. To them, it was a massacre.  by:  pleasefindthis, I Wrote This For You

If you didn’t see the boarded windows, the dirty floors, walls, and ceilings, it was just a camp house..just rows of camp houses.

If you only saw the beautiful trees and flowers and grass…. you could believe it was only someone’s garden.

If you didn’t see the barbed wire fences and the guard shacks and the destroyed crematoriums, you might be able to envision a time it could have been a lovely place to live.

If you didn’t have the memories or the knowledge of the left behind shoes, the combs, the luggage and the hair…the horror of the hair….

This is no garden …we should never forget…this is no garden.

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I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you. Everyone else who reads it, doesn’t get it. They may think they get it, but they don’t. This is the sign you’ve been looking for. You were meant to read these words.  by: pleasefindthis, I Wrote This For You

Other garden themed blogs can be found at:

Travel theme: Garden

 

I am woman.. hear me…


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You.Are.Amazing.

As. you. are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.

Be Strong. Be Confident. Be You. ~ Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011

I have been living and working in Lagos, Nigeria now for 18 months.  One of my favorite things about this country is how vibrant and strong the people are.  Specifically the women.  Talk about inspiring folks.  Every day there is a new surprise that faces me down.  In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, my friend and I visited the Nike Centre for Art and Culture.

Every time I visit this gallery I find about 200 pieces I would love to buy.  The work covers everything from photography, to bead work, statutes of wood and metal, oils, fabrics, and really just everything you can imagine.  Well, this installation was possibly my favorite as it covered all of the artistic genres mentioned with a focus on the strong women who create the work.

What I love even more is the owner of the gallery.  Nike Davies-Okundaye – Nike Davies-Okundaye a.k.a. “‘Nike Davies'” a.k.a. “‘Nike Twin Seven Seven'” a.k.a. “‘Nike Olaniyi'” a.k.a. “‘Mummy Nike'”  – Wikipedia

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Talk about a strong woman.  I. LOVE. HER.  She is Nigerian.  She is strong. She is intelligent. She is kind.  She is an art piece all by herself.  What an amazing person.  So generous with her time and her ability to explain every piece of art in her gallery.  If you make it to Lagos, Nigeria and do not stop in to her gallery, you are missing a treat!!

The art presented that was specifically on display for Women’s Day was spectacular.  Created by women about women.  I did not take enough photos to really give it due respect.

My favorite pieces were so amazing!! They were huge though.  If I only had a place big enough to house them.

All of the other work was equally impressive and to be fair, there were many more “favorites”.  Even the work not specifically on display for Women’s Day, had a flair that I could not stop going back to.

For more Nigerian artwork that focuses on the Nigerian woman’s perspective, this book would be an excellent choice to get started.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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Travel theme: Woman

Other woman links:

Woman! Women of Cuba A daily stroll through Bucharest ; Roaming Urban Gypsy2017/03/12/athlete/Woman | Ladyleemanila;

Just exquisite


South Africa

Science shows us truth and beauty and fills each day with a fresh wonder of the exquisite order which governs our world. Polykarp Kusch

Exquisite animals –

I blame it on Walt Disney, where animals are given human qualities. People don’t understand that a wild animal is not something that is nice to pat. It can seriously harm you. James Cameron

Even then I could not help myself.

Exquisite views

Exquisite people places and things

Just one more best vacation ever and it will not be soon forgotten.  Happy half century on the planet to me!!!

Other exquisite posts

Dream, My Joy, Night Owl, Tiny FawnsSbdmb, Nature’s Beauty, eddaz, Emotions,  tenderness

15+ Nearly 21


It took a few days for me to sit down and focus on this topic.  Every time I tried to envision what I would say, a tidal wave of emotions would surface and halt any progress.  I considered not saying anything but that would not really fair to my own need of saying it… of remembering it.. of dealing with it.  Even if it is only once a year.

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I spent almost 21 years preparing for what happened 15 years ago. In spite of the amount of training I received, I never once thought I would need to put it to use. NEVER!  This event affected every single part of my life.

I was a single parent of two young girls putting myself through university.  I had a routine of getting up in the morning, doing yoga, having coffee, relaxing for the very short portion of my day that did not involve chaos and movement.  I would play music while doing yoga, then I would turn on the news and grab my first cup of coffee.

On this morning, I turned on my television and as I turned towards the kitchen to get my first cup, I saw what looked like a burning building in NYC.  I thought it was strange because my tv didn’t have special movie channels (I was too broke to afford that package) and it was ALWAYS on the Today show at this time of day.  I glanced back toward the tv trying to work this out when I saw the second plane hit.  Thus began the beginning of the end of my life as I knew it.

I was in the Navy reserves and had been for close to 15 years by that time.  In the beginning I expected to be called up immediately.  Every day I held my phone with me for 24 hours a day just waiting for it to ring with that call.  I went through each day, with my nerves on edge, my breath held, and eyes on the news at every opportunity with shock a constant emotion that made it difficult to think and act normal. My oldest daughter told me to stop watching the news because it made her sad.  Like an addict, I would sneak peaks of the news while the kids were sleeping our out playing.  This seemed to go on and on and on.  There was no break from it. So much unknowing.

After about a month, I relaxed.  I expected that others had been called up and maybe I would be allowed to continue my very average life, maybe there had been some resolution and things were just winding down.  I slowly started letting my guard down and gaining hope that life might indeed return to as normal it could ever be again, for myself and for the nation.  Despite the horror, we would carry on.

About a month and a half after the towers fell, I was waiting in line to get some take out sushi for my kids.  There was some soft Japanese music playing in the background of the main restaurant, pop music playing in front of me, and the sound of water trickling from a fountain in the entrance.  My phone rang, I answered it thinking it was my kids wanting me to change their order.

The world stopped, but the sounds around me continued on as I was given the notice that I would have three days to pack out my life, put my degree program on hold for an undetermined amount of time, and get my children to the east coast to live with their dad while I moved to an undisclosed location.  The world continued to move around me at lightening quick speed, while at the same time it seemed to be going in slow motion.  Chaos and turmoil intermixed with a numb silence. Back and forth..forth and back.  I have never been able to completely express the madness and calm that encompassed my life during those 3 days.

Over the next 10 months I made friends in a distant location, I had experiences I will never forget, and most importantly we all survived.  We were all changed. Irrevocably changed, but we survived.  About 5 years later, I was mobilized again, and again I was changed.  My life, my plans, my kids, my employment.  Everything changed.

I had nearly 21 years of service by this time and decided it was time to retire from the military.   I do not regret a single moment of the time I served.  I am usually not the type of person to want to go back and change the past.  As if you could.  I am proud of my service and proud of the people who served beside me. I believe that everything from my past has made me into who I am today.  Though I am a new person…for better or for worse…I will never forget the before sam..the before people of our nation…the before world.

I overheard someone recently say, “Oh boy, it’s almost that time again.” The person next to him said, “What time?”  He replied, “You know…9/11 memorials.  We won’t be able to do anything without having to hear about that.  It’s going to mess up a lot of plans I have.  I wish we could just get over that.  It’s not like it’s going to happen again!!”  At first I was angry and a little shocked.  Then I relaxed and realized that, I too sometimes wish we could go back to that mentality.  That innocence. That ridiculous feeling of untouchability. We can’t do that.  We should NOT do that. We do not have to live as victims and in fear, but we should never forget what happened and how easily it happened.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  Santayana “The Life of Reason. 1905”

Nearly 21 – years of service.  All of it is remembered fondly.  Never can forget.

Some of my favorite posts about New York.  One of my favorite cities.  Always will be.  I hope you enjoy.

Growth

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Perspective – New York Adopt Me;      A tale of two cities;      A city;    NEW York;   In the background;    Peace youse;    All aboard;

Two days on, One day off – Accra, Ghana


I was lucky to have an opportunity to participate in a very quick trip to Accra, Ghana for work with a short half day to tour a few markets.  It was interesting to compare Accra to Lagos in the area of food, style, art and living.  So much was familiar with just enough differences to make it quite interesting.  I’m hoping to be able to go back and see some of the people and places outside of the city.  I hope you enjoy.

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

I don’t like landscapes. I like cities. Lots of cities. I like buildings. I like streets. Dario Argento

Posts I liked

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