Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

Posted February 13, 2014 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Celebrations, Feelings, Photo stories, Photography, Thoughts

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I love selfies – especially with others! Here is my most recent one. I took it yesterday with my two favorite Valentines.

 Selfie hoto of three persons - author and two men. Photo altered to be very colorful for Valentine'sDay. h

Happy Trio

Have yourself a very colorful Valentine’s Day tomorrow

and the entire weekend as well!

From Tucson with Love – Alicja

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Text and photo copyright © 2014 by Alicja Mann.

Weekly Photo Challenge: OBJECT(s)

Posted February 6, 2014 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Thoughts

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These are rusting memories of broken objects of our wishes and desires.

Piiles of broken, rusted objects

Rusting Memories

Now abandoned and enveloped in their defiance, they dream for reincarnation (via recycling) and to become again – objects of our wishes and desires.

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Text and photo copyright © 2014 by Alicja Mann.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

Posted January 16, 2014 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Arizona, Opinions, Photo essays, Photo stories, Thoughts

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Besides being an opening in the wall of a building (framed and glassed) or the side of a car or train, a window symbolizes an openness, freedom, opportunity, and hope. So does a door, one might say, but a door can be shut in front of us and separate us from others – rapidly and powerfully. A door is not as penetrable as a window with its fragile glass. One can look through a window both ways – from inside out and from outside in.

Girl looking into glass window

Curiosity

People looking out train windows

As the world goes by…

Tucson traditional windows

Tucson traditional windows

Tucson modern windows & reflections in them

Tucson modern windows & reflections in them

Windows are vulnerable, just like our feelings. There is a reason why a house without windows often represents sadness. So when Roy Orbison sings, “I am moving to a house without windows,” it is clear that he is unhappy because his heart was broken by the loss of a great love.

A table with bottle of wine next to the window decorated with delicate curtains

Solitude

And there is another type of symbolism that relates to eyes and windows. Some see eyes as the windows to our (so called) soul, while others see them as windows to the world and how we perceive that world.

A decorative ceramic plate by Fornasetti

Piero Fornasetti’s concept

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann, except for the Piero Fornasetti decorated plate © 1995 by Fornasetti

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy and … Happy New Year!

Posted January 3, 2014 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Arizona, Celebrations, Essays, Events, Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Places, Thoughts

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This past year I started with “dancing my troubles away.” I also danced for rain in Tucson while on Solana Beach last June. In both cases the dancing was not very effective – my troubles did not go away, and we did not get as much rain as we needed.

Every New Year is supposed to be joyful, and of course often it’s not. When you live long enough, you lower your expectations. To my surprise, this New Year’s Eve was more joyful than I anticipated. For that I am very grateful to Tucson’s Laffs Comedy Caffe! That is where I met the New Year of 2014 (http://www.Laffstucson.com).

Comedy Club at New Year's Eve

Alicja laughing

Every one of us defines joy differently. However, we can all agree that a smile is a good indicator of joy … I mean a genuine smile!

Rodney's Smile

It is hard not to feel the power of Rodney’s smile, which is totally disarming. He owns a one-man-operation restaurant on the main street of Wilcox, AZ. If you are ever in Wilcox, I am sure you will try his cooking as I did in November.

Rodney Menu posted on the window

There is another type of smile full of joy that is not interactive, but self contained. This flower girl in a wedding ceremony on a Cape Cod beach just couldn’t resist the joy of touching and sifting the soft, warm sand.

Flower Girl smiling while playing with the sand

I experience a similar feeling of joy while looking at luminaries – the characteristic holiday lights that are common in this part of the country – their soft glow evokes a soft smile.

Luminaries in Tucson

Happy New Year 2014! 

Let it glow with JOY for each of us!

Alicja at New Year's Celebration

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

Posted December 24, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Feelings, Opinions, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Thoughts

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Loneliness of ONE or power of ONE?

Actually, feelings of power and loneliness are tied together. Any powerful and magnetic personality in politics like Nelson Mandela or Vaclav Havel could attest to that, and so would persons involved in visual arts, writing, composing, or performing. Actually, we all experience such feelings at one time or another.

Red color is usually associated with power while blue with sadness, but really we live all colors of the rainbow and in a variety of their shades.

Here is my selection of “ONE” for the photo challenge of this week, which happens to be Christmas week.

I wish you peaceful Holidays in whatever color they happen to be for you – Alicja

Road sign reading Population 1

Population ONE

Blue Peacock

Proud Blue One

Trombone player alone

Necessity for ONE

Truck with picture of huge bear

ONE bear on the road

Lonely dove waiting

Waiting ONE

One red bass lying on the floor

Red ONE

Blue Shadow of the author

Blue ONE

P.S. Three years ago I wrote in this blog the post “Blue Days of December” and perhaps some of you would like to read it: http://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/blue-days-of-december/

Again, my best wishes for this Holiday Season!

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Posted December 12, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Celebrations, Events, Feelings, Kudos, Memories, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Places, Thoughts

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Silver Bridge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

There are many grand things, events, and people that I have encountered in my life, but the day of hiking the Grand Canyon down and up with my Canadian friend several years ago stands out. It was awesome to be able to face that ancient and grand creation of nature and at the same time to feel our minuteness in contrast with that rocky giant. I took this photo on Silver Bridge over the Colorado River – at the bottom of the Canyon, facing the lengthy journey (9.5 miles = 15.3 km) up the Bright Angel Trail to reach the top before the inevitable arrival of darkness.

I wrote about that hike in my post Footprints Left Behind  http://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/footprints-left-behind/

Potrait of Nelson Mandela

A similar feeling of awe and humbleness enveloped me last week when we faced the departure of Nelson Mandela – his strength, vision, perseverance, and political skills were not only grand, but super GRAND and will continue to inspire others for many years to come. I am happy to cherish memories of encountering that man during his visit to Boston in 1990 – soon after his release from prison. Even though I was a minute spot in the huge crowd of others who gathered at the Hatch Shell to honor Mandela, I will never forget that grand day.

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

Posted November 26, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Celebrations, Events, Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography

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I am running out of time this week for my blog writing, but not for writing a thankful note to my readers. Readers that I know and readers that I do not know, and for the very faithful ones who make comments regularly.

I am truly grateful for your presence in my life.

Thanksgiving flowers in a vase

THANK YOU, GRACIAS, MERCI, DANKE, ARIGATO and, in my native tongue, DZIEKUJE!

This year Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Jewish Hanukkah. Supposedly such convergence will not happen again for about 80,000 years. How this was calculated beats me, but one thing is sure – I will not be around for the next time! So we will celebrate this year the combination of both important holidays -THANKSGIVUKKAH! Somebody came up with this tongue twisting new word – cute enough to name some babies born at this time of this year, I suspect.

Something unexpected and amusing happened this morning. A daily blog written by my artist friend (painter) GC Myers (gcmyers.com/)  arrived as usual in my mailbox – thank you GC! It included Thanksgivukkah Anthem, a humorous musical creation by the Jewish singing a capella group Six13, that I am delighted to share with you.

Photo of a computer screen with the image of Six13 singing group

Please, please, click on this link and have a lot of ha ha’s with your family and friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yaFUcQZSvoE

Have a very joyful Thanksgivukkah Day!

From Tucson with Love – Alicja

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann


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