Info for the next N-N-1

Ashesh Mitra is hosting the next N-N-1. As he recently posted on his blog, From Life To Me:

Welcome everyone to another edition of N-N-1! I am Ashesh, from Kolkata, India and I will be hosting this edition of the project. 

So, N-N-1 basically stands for 1 contestant, one photo and one writeup which has to adhere to a theme which is set by the person who is hosting it. The theme for this edition is “A picture that represents inner peace to you”. Please note that the word limit of your writeup which explains why your photo represents inner peace to you, should not exceed 200 words.

This is a call to arms my friends! I hope to see some interesting posts.

He went on to explain that he want pictures and words submitted no later than March 14th. You can either go to his blog to contact him, or you can send your contributions to me at houseman@comcast.net with the subject N-N-1 Contribution, and I’ll forward it for you. I hope you’ll find the theme interesting enough to consider participating. 

N-N-1 Autumn 2020

Welcome to the Autumn 2020 N-N-1 collaboration. This time around we are commemorating a new season in a…different…kind of year. While everyone acknowledges that the pandemic, among other things, has had a negative impact around the world, most of our collaborators believe that better times will someday return. 

I’m starting with a new member of the N-N-1 family, Anne in the Philippines. Her blog is https://primitivesoup.wordpress.com/ Welcome to N-N-1, Anne!

“Look up”

Taken last Saturday, 27th of September 2020, 05:31 pm (Philippine Time).

Here in the Philippines, we only have 2 seasons – rainy and dry season. There’s supposed to be a lot of rain and it should be slightly colder by this time of the month already but it still feels like summer. This view should be nicer without the tall buildings but our apartment building is also tall so… I’m not gonna complain. Anyway, the skies here are clear on most days. It’s like the skies represent a new chapter in my life because I just recently moved out (just in the downstairs unit so it’s not that far). But it’s my own space, so it’s kind of a big deal for me. It is the first time that I’m gonna be on my own so I’m excited to do things like cook more, dance, sing, paint, exercise (fingers crossed), or just be lazy (hopefully not all the time)! I’m loving it here so far.

Things are not that well and most of our plans this year have been canceled but I’m hoping for things to get better soon. I hope everyone is safe and staying safe!

-Anne

Barb Abelhauser whose excellent blog is The View from a Drawbridge added her contribution.

Seasonal changes. Transitions. 2020. This photo, which I took in my front yard, sums it all up for me. Dark clouds looming. The unknown is coming. This isn’t going to be pretty. And yet, beauty still exists. Flowers still bloom. There are bright spots amid the gloom. I’m trying really hard to focus on them.

At the same time, those bright spots are starting to wilt and pass away. They’re struggling. If times were normal, we could console ourselves with the fact that there will be a new year and new growth. For every thing there is a season. But if we’ve learned one thing from this pandemic, it’s that things aren’t nearly as predictable as we once thought they were.

There’s still hope. But there is no longer certainty.

Stay safe everyone. Wear your masks.

Natalie Garvois, Wild Rivers Run South, sent this sadder testament:

The start of fall

It started with Uncle Arlo, big surprise.

He couldn’t stay away from the Legion bar

Where he and his pals guzzled beer, ate pretzels,

Laughed uproariously, and loved Prez Trump.

 

Of course, they are Rs, all healthy, and maskless.

Uncle Arlo became what they called an asymptomatic carrier.

And when he went home, he gave Aunt Cissy

A big wet, drunkard’s kiss.

 

A few days later she visited Grandpa John and Grandma Julie.

No masks were worn. After all she was family, and she looked fine.

Within a week they all had symptoms, except Uncle Arlo.

By the end of the next week, the three were in the hospital.

 

I was so afraid when Aunt Cissy and Grandpa John

Were put on ventilators and I wasn’t allowed to visit.

All I could do was sit at home, pray, cry, and curse Uncle Arlo.

I don’t hate what he did, I hate his stupidity.

On second thought, I do hate what he did.

 

But Tuesday was the start of fall,

Grandma and Grandpa are home, well but weak.

Wednesday was the day we buried Aunt Cissy.

It was family only at the graveside ceremony,

And even Uncle Arlo wore a mask.

My dear friend cupitonians at This Labyrinth I Roam offers this uplifting contribution from England.

Despite everything being up in the air this year, with plans having to constantly be impromptu, there are a few things that have anchored me. For me, one of those stabilising forces is nature. I find myself watching deliberately and mindfully as the trees have gone from bare to bright green to this firework hue! In its changing, there has been a constant, and it has been therapeutic. It has been a natural anti-depressant to me, just as surely as a sunset always is. I have learnt to sit with my uncomfortableness at not having any control, and truly enjoy a passing moment. I could write a whole chapter on the fairy-tail characteristics of a fleeting moment. They are so special. I am more grateful than ever this 2020 to have such moments of magic. Just like this moment last week when my favourite mood-booster, madame sunset, decided to shine the spotlight on an autumnal tree. What drama! What wizardry! What peace!

I had trouble choosing a picture to use. My first choice was a shot of my absentee ballot, but then I switched to this one.
There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace – those qualities you find always in that which the true artist captures. You can find it in the tuning of the seasons…

                                                                        from Dune by Frank Herbert

 I hope that with this change of season we will once again see the symmetry, elegance, and grace of life. It felt as if summer was going to hang on forever. But then, a few days ago I walked out of the grocery store and could see Autumn rolling in. I’m ready for the change.

N-N-1 Callout Autumn 2020

Pandemic, Racial Turmoil, Political Agitation, Sexual Unrest, Mother Nature fighting back. Just another day in the paradise that is the U.S.A. How are all of you doing? I know that these problems have their equivalents everywhere, and I hope you are all coping. I propose we have an N-N-1 to celebrate the changing of the season. If you don’t know what an N-N-1 is, let me briefly fill you in.

Everybody who wants to participate takes a picture within a stated time period. They then write something in either prose or poetry to reflect upon the picture. The send the picture and words to a central person, in this case me at houseman@comcast.net. The designated person will compile the words and pictures and publish them in their blog. Everyone is free to repost the compilation in their blog if they have one. But you need not have a blog to participate.

Yes, I know that the season change happens Tuesday and that this isn’t enough advance notice for many of us. So, let’s all take a picture between Friday the 25th and Sunday the 27th based loosely on the changing of the season. It can be a picture of nature, a change that may come to your life, or anything else that fits that theme from your perspective. Send me your picture and write up (no more than 200 words) no later than Thursday October 1. I’ll put everything together and post it on October 3rd. Feel free to share this callout with anyone or everyone. They don’t need to have a blog, but if they do, ask them to share the name so that we can add it to their picture and words.

If you have any questions feel free to comment on this post, or send me an email. I’ll respond as soon as possible. 

Until then, please stay safe.

Call for Participants: N-N-1: The Quarantine Edition

It is happening again! Please consider joining us. Some of you want to. I know you do. If you prefer, just send your entry to me at houseman@comcast.net. I’ll keep your identity secret if you wish.

The View from a Drawbridge

For several years now, I’ve participated in a delightful photography/creative writing experiment that was created by two of my favorite bloggers, Anju, who writes This Labyrinth I Roam, and Norm, who writes Classical Gasbag. They thought it would be interesting to see what people all over the world were doing/seeing/experiencing at the same point in time. As Norm explains it, in N-N-1 the first N stands for the number of participants, the second for the number of photos (they should be the same), and the 1 stands for one time.

The subject for this N-N-1 will be Quarantine. Our worlds have been turned upside down by COVID-19. What are you and/or your family and/or your community doing to cope during these strange times?

So your assignment (should you choose to accept it) is:

  1. Contact me using the form below, and then I’ll send you my e-mail.

  2. Mark your…

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The Colors of Spring, an N-N-1 experience.

This picture and words came from Natalie at Wild Rivers Run South .

A very small section of Grandma & Grandpa’s library

Grandma and Grandpa have a wonderful library.

I think they have every book they ever bought,

And some of my aunts’ and uncles’ as well.

It is an added benefit of living with them.

 

I can read what they read when they were my age.

Literature, science, biography, mysteries and more.

I see what influences they have had up ‘til today.

I know why they are like they are with me.

 

And they talk to me about life today,

With all of the problems in the world,

And how they see things. They say,

“It is Spring today. We can renew our hope.”

I love them so much.

Lauren, in Valencia, sent this to us. My hope is that she will start her own blog, or at least continue to participate.

Laurencian Tales -Lockdown in Valencia.

My frying pan now lives on my balcony, and brings me hope.  Just over one week ago, on the 13th of March 2020, Spain declared a state of ‘Lockdown’ in response to the Coronavirus epidemic.  Overnight, an entire nation was asked and obliged by law to change their lives, to stay indoors or “quedarse en casa”, for the greater good.  The streets are now deserted, shutters are down, and the city has been put to sleep.  Not even a walk in the park is allowed. Going to the supermarket (the one thing we are allowed to do) feels like a dangerous and depressing mission that you should avoid.  Our lives are now “en casa”, and I appreciate more than ever the freedom we had before. 

But every day at 8pm (and sometimes more often), there’s a powerful symbol of hope.  The whole city, and country, head out onto their balconies to applaud the inspirational health workers, who are devoting everything they have to fight this epidemic.  We clap, cheer, sing, play music and bang our pans together in admiration and appreciation.  Banging these pans has become a form of communication, unity and of supporting one and other through this difficult time.  And every day when I hear that sound, I know I am not alone.  We are in isolation, but we are together. And despite being under Lockdown, from my balcony this week I have witnessed the Valencian spirit blossom and shine in a way that I never imagined.  

My dear friend cupitonians sent me this beautiful picture from England. She can be found at This Labyrinth I Roam.

River Aire, Leeds. Even with social distancing limits, I found this view right near my new house.

The first day of Spring was meant to be the symbolic start to a new phase of my life, especially after the stress of the last few years, and the write-off that was 2019. But it seems the universe has other plans for us. As well as teaching us to celebrate the little things, it’s a reminder to stop waiting on a magical time when everything is perfect so you can finally go after what you really want. Pandemic or not, the skies are still blue, and the rivers still run wild. Trees that imagined their lives were over are suddenly budding with the promise of new life. Life is a cycle. No matter how hard it gets, there’s comfort in its predictability. And so, we live to fight another day!

And finally there is my contribution:

Spring is here!

Like the other participants, I took my photo on March 19th, which was the first day of Spring (also known as the vernal equinox) in the northern hemisphere. And so I went out looking for a sign that Spring had sprung. Oh, I could have taken a picture of the daffodils and tulips that had popped up through the earth in our front yard, but I think that I have done that before. Instead, I went out into the country, alone, ensconced in my auto, searching for the first sign of greenery.You can look at the picture above to see how that turned out. It was a dreary day. Sorry this photo isn’t more upbeat.

 

N-N-1 call out Spring 2020

Sherlock? Is that you?

I wasn’t looking for Sherlock Holmes when I went to the library the other day, but…

***

About a week ago I noticed that our daffodils had poked through the soil to gather some sunlight. It was a sure sign that Spring is almost here. In honor of that event, I feel that it is time to have another N-N-1 collaborative event. For those who don’t know what N-N-1 is, let me attempt a brief explanation.

N-N-1 is an event where a group of people from various parts of the world take a picture at a specific time, write briefly about the picture, and share their photos and words in one post on one blog. This time around we will be taking a picture on the March 19th, the vernal equinox. Of course, if you live or find yourself in the southern hemisphere on that day, it will be the autumnal equinox. 

Everybody is welcome to join in. If you or any of your friends or family would like to take part, just take your picture, write briefly about the picture (prose or poetry), and send it to me at houseman@comcast.net no later than March 22nd. I’ll compile everything and post it on this blog, Classical Gasbag. If you have a blog, include a link to it so that I can add it to my text.

If you have any questions you can send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer them. Feel free to post this call out so that others are aware. Thanks!

I received an e-mail

I received an e-mail from my good friend cupitonians at labyrinthiroam@gmail.com, the other day. She is hosting our next N-N-1, and I want to share the invitation with you. If you want to participate this time around, please contact her at the email above, or let me know at houseman@comcast.net, and I will forward the information to her.

If you are not familiar with N-N-1, it is a community of people who enjoy sharing photographs and descriptions of what they are doing during a specifics period of time. The project points out both our diversity and sameness. The more the merrier. Below is the text of the email. 

Hello, hello, hello, 

Summer is well and truly here, and so is the season for another glorious N-N-1 post! While we’re all suffering enjoying the high heat of summer, perhaps we could take time to take a photo in the first weekend of August? 

Days: 1st-4th August

Time: Any time you aren’t busy melting

I’ve left the days and times flexible as I understand most of us are living through a heatwave of sorts and so motivation could be up and down. The theme is also open! 

I will send you a reminder closer to the date. 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions, 

This Labyrinth I Roam

N-N-1 Season Changes

The latest edition of N-N-1 (where the first N stands for the number of people participating; the second N stands for the number of photos; and the 1 stands for when to take the picture) was hosted by Natalie Garvois at https://wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/n-n-1-season-changes/. I think she did a fine job. If you would like to participate in the future, contact me at houseman@comcast.net.

Wild Rivers Run South

I have been honored to offer this most recent N-N-1. Thank you to everyone who participated. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Princess Butter, whose blog is asplashofmylife.wordpress.com, has a short, but very sweet, entry for this N-N-1.

It could be spring, summer, or winter, for all I care. Right now, it is all about love for us. image1Here’s hoping for an everlasting season of happiness and cuddles. Occasional showers are permitted. 🙂

Barb Abelhauser has the wonderful blog theviewfromadrawbridge.com/ . She tells us about the change of season and of the change in her working conditions.

Seattle Opening DayAs a bridgetender in Seattle, the first Saturday in May is a pivotal one. This is the official opening day of boating season in the emerald city. Granted, you can boat all year ‘round, but today is a day of celebration. There are races and a boat parade…

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A strange dream and an announcement

Mason

This is a picture I took of my grandson, Mason, at a track meet a couple of weeks ago. He was waiting to be called to compete in the shot put event. He had finished his competition in the hammer throw event, where he had thrown for a new personal best and made it into the finals competition.

***

Chalk up another strange dream for me. I had this one a few mornings ago. I should have written notes when I first woke up, because I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some details. But I’ll do my best to remember.

In my dream I was once again working for the State Employment Service, though I seemed to be in Texas rather than Indiana. I had just transferred into an office where I had never been before. The office was strange in that the building had no rear wall, and behind that was the employee parking lot. A row of staff desks separated the main work area from the parking lot. Nobody seemed to think this was strange.

This was my first day as the new office manager. My first duty that day was to mollify an upset job seeker who believed we weren’t doing enough for him. I eventually calmed the person down and he left. I turned to look out at the parking lot and saw three men dressed in jeans, blue work shirts, cowboy boots and Stetsons. They had just pushed my car out of the parking lot and into a ditch. Nobody seemed to care except me. And then I woke up.

I have no clue what brought the dream on. I know for sure that it wasn’t because I miss working. I haven’t missed being at work one day since I retired. I doubt that I ever shall.

***

And now for the announcement. I received this email the other day. If it interests you, feel free to contact Natalie.

Hello,

My name is Natalie Garvois. Miss Anju and Mr. Norm asked me to host the next N-N-1. With some fear in my heart, I accepted. But because of the person I am, I want to make this one slightly different.
We have done themes before, and I like them, so this time let us do the theme “Season Changes.” The theme is voluntary, so you are not required to stick with it. Secondly, rather than be forced to take your picture on a specific date and time, or even just a specific date, you have a three day window to take the picture.
Now for the details:
Take your picture sometime between Thursday, May 2nd and midnight on Saturday, May 4th. Send your picture, a bit of writing (no more than 200 words of prose or poetry) to me at ngarvois@gmail.com no later than midnight on Monday, May 6th. Oh! All times are local to where you are. I’ll put all of the submissions together and post them in my blog, wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com, and send you a link so that you can reblog the post if you want to. You do not need a blog in order to participate. If you know somebody who would like to participate, please forward this email to them. You can even post this as an announcement in your blog if you want to.
Thanks for your time.

N-N-1 February 2019

It’s time for you to enjoy another N-N-1. Once again we have people in different locales sharing their different contemporary lives with a picture and words. One thing they have in common is an interest in sharing (giving and receiving) with others. 

Natalie Garvois sent this picture and description (surprisingly not in verse). You can find her blog at Wild Rivers Run South.

A Day for Poetry

I visited Nana Julia this afternoon. She invited me to look through her treasure trove of books and pick out a few for myself. I found this textbook of poetry she had saved from college. I shall never be a Whitman; but I can read and appreciate the greatness of others. My Nana never wrote in her books. She didn’t want to ruin their pristine condition. I only wish that she had saved her notes, so that I could also have those memories. Thank you, Nana, for sharing the book and the beauty.

One of my favorite bloggers, and good friend Cupitonian, submitted this from England’s Lake District. Her blog is This Labyrinth I Roam.

Putting aside Mother Earth’s obvious cry for help (summer weather in February?!?!), I was able to inhale the stunning views while road tripping with our windows down in the land known for its rainy and bleak weather! Instead of snow and misery, we were gifted with stunningly laid out landscapes of postcard-friendly views! At some point during the trip, we lost our mobile connections and we had to use roadmaps! It was all very heady and exciting.

At some point during our drive, we came across William Wordsworth’s house. Looking at that eyesore, I couldn’t understand how he could’ve written about nature the way he did living in a place like that. And then we saw where his back garden led! His poetry now made sense. His house gave him a view of a confluence of River Cocker and River Derwent!

It made me sympathise with WW, a man I wouldn’t normally have anything in common with. Living in the moment and celebrating the little things allows you to be a 100% present in your own life as it happens! What more do you need than that?

Next is a submission by my favorite Princess; Butter be her name. She is out in California, and her blog is A Splash of My Life…to color the world

If you see an Indian girl belting out songs in her car at stop lights, with all hand movements and emotions, do say hi to me. Taylor Swift or TSwizzle or TayTay is someone who I didn’t care about until 1989 happened a few years ago. She may not technically be strong, but girl knows how to write lyrics and create music. While you may judge me for loving this popper, I will be busy singing(yelling) ‘Out of Style’! #TayIsMyBae

(Hopefully I will get to explain the context of this picture soooooon!)

And finally what I was doing at 5:30 p.m. on Friday the 21st.

Cindy has decided that she want to grow her own herbs this year. Since she was out winning the bread for us, I went to a local store and started shopping for seeds. My question is, “Why do they always put the herb seeds as low as they can?” I’m not fond of the bending and stooping. I hope Cindy gets a good crop.

There you have the February N-N-1. If you enjoyed this post, and want to participate in the future, just fill in the form below and send it to me. I will see that you get advanced notice of future events. If you think you would be willing to host a future event, just add a note to that effect in the message box.