Posted tagged ‘joy’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

February 13, 2014

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: Joy and … Happy New Year!

January 3, 2014

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 (

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: Renewal

November 14, 2012

There is a lot of optimism in the word renewal. Just its part “new” is exciting – it has elements of curiosity, adventure, and risk. Renewal is a complex concept that requires desire for it and willingness to pay the price. It takes energy, overcoming a variety of obstacles, and often a lot of struggle. The ultimate goal of renewal is joy and satisfaction. Even so, the result may be a disappointment.

Here is my visualization of renewal.

Renewal of life is powerful and joyful, especially in the desert

Saguaro cactus with new growth

House beiing remodeled

An old house becomes a new home

President Obama on television after his re-election

Renewal of hope. The 6th of November was a happy night – for many of us.

People waving American flags

Electric-generating windmill

Renewable energy – a great chance for our planet

Southwestern wall with a windowed face

To renew oneself is difficult – as diverse a challenge as diverse people are. In truth, it is a form of metamorphosis.

So renew yourself! And good luck.

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Text and photos copyright © 2012 by Alicja Mann.

Super Moonstruck

March 22, 2011

Did you ever get struck by the moon? I did — this weekend! I never thought such a strange thing could happen to me, but it did! It was incredible. Actually I got struck on Friday, March 18 — just one night before the full Supermoon — and I was totally unaware of the Supermoon phenomenon. The effect lasted the entire weekend.

That Friday was really a good and productive day for me. It ended with seeing the documentary “Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny.” The movie was a bit boring for me — too much of a tribute and no controversy — nothing really to discuss. So I was sure that after coming home I would be ready to sleep. That was not the case! For some reason I was very unquiet and sensed some strange energy around me and inside me. Instead of fighting it, I went to another room, sat in my favorite, cozy red chair and wrote notes in my journal for quite a while. My mind was racing in hundreds of different directions and my pen could hardly keep up with it. Writing in my journal in long hand usually calms me down. But not that night! I still felt strangely unsettled.

Looking out the window, I noticed that the light outside was unusually bright even though all the lights on the patio were off. They shut off automatically around 1:30 AM. So I stepped outside and there it was — an incredible moon! It was huge, bright, and somehow different than at other times. Our patio looked great, but alien in that moonlight — as if covered with silver dust.

The moon also seemed to be much closer than usual, and I felt as if it were communicating with me. So I looked at the moon’s face with greater interest, examining all the spots on it and wondered, “What is the gender of the moon?” In my native Polish — ksiezyc is male, in Russian luna is female, in German der mond is male and in Spanish la luna is female. But how about English? There is no gender for nouns in English, although a car or ship is definitely a male for me, while I know that they are females for most men. And how about the moon? In most Native American stories it is referred as Mother Moon, so I decided to go with that. I am not sure why — I guess I was in need of a good female friend at that moment. So I looked at her face again with intensity and asked, “What are you trying to tell me?” She was silent, but her face had changed and I could read it — her answer was a question, “Where is your joy?”

Joy?! I was struck by that question and went back inside the house closing the door gingerly as if afraid to upset her. Now I was even more perturbed and energetic. I knew I was struck by that moon and in great need of writing the answer to her question.

After nine pages of my thoughts and a couple of beers I was finally ready to sleep. The moon disappeared behind the trees on the west side of the patio. The next day — Saturday, March 19 — I learned from the news about the occurrence of a Supermoon every 18 years and knew I would spend another sleepless night with that moon. (One interesting place to read more about the Supermoon is on Arizona astrologer Richard Nolle’s website.)

Supermoon image from ESA/NASAAstronaut Paolo Nespoli

ESA/NASAAstronaut Paolo Nespoli took this image of the moon aboard the International Space Station on March 20, 2011, and wrote, "Supermoon was spectacular from here!"

That night, the true night of the Supermoon, was clear calm and very pleasant. I was not worrying about the tsunami tragedy in Japan, or what would happen in Libya, or how to plan my new writing project, or how to market my books, or how my sons were doing, or what gift to choose for my friend’s new baby, or about my travel plans to Louisiana. NO! I watched that moon and listened to music. It was a fabulous night! I was thinking about all kinds of things that make me happy and that give me joy, like listening to good jazz, dancing, gardening, and traveling. Here is an image that represents how I felt that night.

Oh, I know I do not look like that, but I feel like that once in a while and would like to feel that way more often. I received that card from my son (Leo) on one of those days when I did not feel my best and was in need of something to smile about. That card did make me smile and kept it on my bookshelf. Soon I noticed that my logo, which I designed for myself, has the dancing ‘A’ letter and that those two images could dance together. So, I placed the logo next to Leo’s card. The night of the Supermoon I put them in a frame and hung it on the wall. It will be a good reminder for me not to forget about joy in my life. Thank you Leo, thank you Supermoon, and thank you all for reading this. Have a joyful Spring!

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Card design © 2006 by Masha D’yanas ( Logo design © 2009 by Alicja Mann ( Text copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann

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