Archive for the ‘Opinions’ category

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

January 16, 2014

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

* * *

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

December 24, 2013

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: https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/blue-days-of-december/

Again, my best wishes for this Holiday Season!

* * *

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

November 21, 2013

Commonly the word layers is associated with layers of rocks or bricks, layers of sweet tasty cake, or layers of clothes – especially now when cold days are on our horizon. However, there are several meanings of this word. Here is one of them: layer – “a hen kept for egg production.”

Chicken in their coop

Here are my photos of “layers of layers” traveling or rather being transported to their new destination – perhaps to lay more eggs or…perhaps not.

Layers of white containers with chickens (layers)

Chicken in theirs containers being transported on a red truck

During one of my visits in Amsterdam (several years ago) I was stunned and mesmerized by colorful layers of bicycles waiting patiently for their riders in specially designated places – right in the heart of that big European city.

Layers of parked bicycles in special designated multi level place in center of Amsterdam

Many European cities are bicycle-friendly. Amsterdam is in fact super friendly. Consequently, the Dutch can eat their layered cakes without feeling guilty or fearful of gaining weight. Our cities should be full of bicycle-envy and follow Amsterdam’s path.

More bicycles in Amsterdam

 

* * *

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

May 21, 2013

Sometimes escape is possible . . . and sometimes it is not!

A black spider attempting to escape from a  wine glass.

Trees behind a fence seemingly trying to escape.

* * *

Here are a few of my recent Weekly Photo Challenges:

 Photo Challenge: From Above

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/weekly-photo-challenge-from-above/

Photo Challenge: Up

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/weekly-photo-challenge-up-2/

Photo Challenge: Color

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/weekly-photo-challenge-color/

Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/weekly-photo-challenge-lost-in-the-details/

Photo Challenge: Kiss

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/buttons-of-love/

Photo Challenge: Beyond

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/weekly-photo-challenge-beyond/

* * *

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

January 31, 2013

Another photo challenge? And with the theme of LOVE?  “Oh no!” I thought, “I will skip it.” I knew that a huge number of bloggers would respond to it and I did not feel compelled at that time to search for photos of loving couples, mothers with babies, people with puppies, kittens, and roses…. My mind was occupied with a different issue – the issue of growing gun violence in this country. And gun violence is the opposite of love! Gun violence breaks hearts of so many. Although I have addressed the gun violence issue in this blog several times, I still had plans to voice myself about it again. Articles, newspaper clippings and photographs were piling on my desk. A bunch of links gathered on my computer desktop were also waiting when I opened Jim Nintzel’s (Tucson Weekly journalist) tweet informing about the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings the next day—January 30th (which was yesterday)—and I knew immediately that I would watch it. I also knew that I would take that photo challenge on LOVE, even at the risk of being very late.

Hears of love for Gabrielle Giffords

Tucson Loves Gabby

Paper hears of school children for Gabby Giffords

Loving Gabby

Paper chains with messages for Gabby Giffords

Chain of Love

I took these photos two years ago in front of the University Medical Center (in Tucson) where our Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords—affectionately called Gabby by Tucsonans—was fighting for her life after the violent shooting spree by Jared Loughner. Six lives, including 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, plus a number of injured were the horrible toll of that shooting. It placed Tucson at the center of attention of the entire country and the world. That was two years ago and in the meantime several other horrible and senseless shootings have occurred—the latest, and the most brutal, took the lives of 20 children and six of their heroic teachers at the Sandy Hook School.

Yes, it was two years ago. Tucson took time for healing and so did Gabby to recover from the severe head injury inflicted on her. It is remarkable how well she is recovering. We witnessed her painful struggle for many months, admiring her strength and determination. She could finally return her love for Tucson by moving back here recently with her husband Captain Mark Kelly. Mark’s presence by her side from day one of the tragedy and his dedication to Gabby’s recovery became a symbol of a durable love.

Gabrielle Giffords with her husband Mark Kelly

Gabby and Mark – photo PK Weis

And there is another story of love, love larger than life. It is Gabby’s love for her work, her loyalty to her constituents, her love of Tucson, of Arizona, and of this country. Such love requires solid dedication. And our former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, demonstrated that before the Tucson tragedy and she demonstrates that now while still recovering. Her tireless effort to do the right thing for society is so inspiring that TIME magazine recently featured her on its cover.

The cover of Time magazine

Gabby’s short and moving statement yesterday in front of the Judiciary Committee touched me deeply and, I am sure, touched millions. I was tearful watching her with amazement that two years after that horrible day of January 8th of 2011, “our Gabby” could deliver her statement and that she looked so beautiful, as if nothing had happened! But it did happen! That is why she was there. In spite of the limitations that tragedy had placed on her, she was there in an effort to prevent similar future tragedies. If that is not an expression of love, than what is?!

Gabby Giffords making statement in front of the Judiciary Committee

Gabby Giffords making her statement

“Speaking is difficult but I need to say something important,” stated Gabrielle Giffords at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying – too many children. We must do something. It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act….”

That’s right— there is no excuse for inaction. And yes, it will require some love by the people for the people to get involved and to demand significant changes to our current gun laws and regulations.

* * *

Here are some links for you to explore:

@shuttlecdrkelly pic.twitter.com/sAHvgnXe

Jim Nintzel

Violent Imagery Shapes Our Reality

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/violent-imagery-shapes-our-reality/

American Tragedy in Tucson

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/american-tragedy-in-tucson/

 * * *

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann except photo (cropped) of Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly              © 2013 by PK Weis

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

January 24, 2013

It was a day full of symbolic images tied to the history of this country—cherished with pride and joy by many.

Imafeof the Inaguration 2013

Beyond Images (c) 2013 by Alicja Mann

BEYOND those images are the dreams, hopes, and great expectations of many Americans. Beyond those images also are disappointments, criticisms, and political conflicts that were left behind for that celebratory historic moment.

The day of the second Inauguration of President Obama was like an elegant portrait of this country, carefully staged and shared proudly with the world. And as such portraits tend to be, it captured the best images of us. We should be aware of that, but enjoy it without any guilt feelings because such is the purpose of most celebrations.

The determination of Latinos, women, gay people, and African Americans secured a second term in the White House for our first black president. Our diversity and prosperity were very visible in that celebratory portrait of this country. As The New York Times writer Sheryl Gay Stolberg stated, “…the faces of 2013 Inauguration Day were the faces of those left behind by the political process in decades and centuries past.”

And that is something truly to be proud of.

P.S:

I took this photo watching the second Inauguration of President Obama on television in the comfort of my home.

***

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

December 18, 2012

Delicate – delicate fabric, delicate flower, delicate touch, delicate feelings….

Delicate Neckline

Delicate

Delicate is not robust, but sensitive, tender, and can be easily damaged. Yet delicate butterflies are strong enough to travel miles and miles to their destination point.

Delicate is vulnerable and fragile. The joyful side of delicateness is its delight. But it also can have a whisper of darkness – a fear of destruction and even death.

Butterfly

Darkness & Fragility

Flower Girl

The flames of the candles that I arranged on my studio table are delicate and can be extinguished easily with a whisper of the wind—just like the lives of 20 children were extinguished with the deadly power of the gun in their school last Friday. Seven lives of adults where destroyed as easily. The fragility of life is no match for the power of a gun.

Candles 27

Tears like drops of water are delicate, but hold the vision of a powerful river if in numbers.

Chalice

Let our tears fall, again and again, not into the pool of forgetfulness and acceptance but into the river of change. Let them unite us in a powerful movement with determination to change.

***

Please take action at these links:

http://www.demandaplan.org/stories

Share your personal message of condolence with the families of Newtown, Connecticut.

You might want to read my earlier posts:

Violent Imagery Shapes Our Reality

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/violent-imagery-shapes-our-reality/

American Tragedy in Tucson

https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/american-tragedy-in-tucson/

***

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe to it. Thank you!

* * *

Text and photos copyright © 2012 by Alicja Mann.


%d bloggers like this: