Weekly Photo Challenge: Fall

Okay, so this week I’m really late.  I don’t live in an area where autumn occurs in the full sense of the word so I was a little lost on what to do.  Like a few other posts that I read, this week was a ‘challenge’ for those of us living in the more tropical of climates.  I looked at the definition of fall to get some ideas and there was one referring to moving downward from a higher to a lower level.  Taking that definition I took a walk with my dog and standing on a hill I took a pic looking back over the valley and the hills behind it showing an array of ‘fall’.




Do Your Duty!

While waiting for a bus one day a not so sane older woman came over to where I was standing and faced me square on and shook her finger at me. Her rant, “Do your duty!”

At the time I was terrified she would scream, grab me or beat me with her stout cane and people going by would assume I’d done something to her when in fact I had done nothing of the sort. I wondered what had possessed her to tell me to do my duty. All I was doing was waiting for the bus to take me from a stressful day at work to the peace and quiet of home.

I grew up in the relative security of a non warring nation but I’ve always wondered about those who have not had it so lucky. Stories or reminiscences about those who have volunteered to fight for our freedom have stuck in my mind from childhood. I had a second cousin who gave his life so I could live. Having never known him, some might say how can you remember? I remember him through stories but most of all I remember him because I took the time to get to know him.

How do you get to know a dead man you never met? Research. One of the joys of military records is the wealth of information just waiting for us to explore. Through it we can once again develop a 3D picture of the person who once was.

Of course some countries have kept more information than others and the same goes for the families. Some have few stories, pictures or items linking them to their relative. The medals and photos have in many cases long since lost the personal connections that once went with them.

It is up to us to bring them back together to tell the story in the present. For two years I have been researching the past of not one relative but the entire crew that he served with during WWII. As a result, today I remember seven men. I know them better in most cases than I know their own living relatives. They have become my boys.

They have become my duty.  ©

Living Without in the Information Age

I don’t own a television, radio or mobile phone. What, you say?

I have had them in the past but to be honest living without them makes me realise just how attached others are to their noise makers. The other day I was sitting in a meeting and mobile phones went off at least 12 times in a group of about 35 people. Only one was on vibrate or silent mode. Some had an individual sound for ever button they then had to press to read their message! Okay, is that really necessary?

Others had to answer their phone so they did the tip toe thing out of the meeting to answer the call. Yes, we are all busy people but really could the person on the other end not have waited until a break in the meeting to hear back from you? I highly doubt it was an emergency that couldn’t wait. Point in case, one of the gentlemen at my table actually spent half the meeting either texting or talking to various people on his phone. On two occasions he was talking to people at our table to discuss meeting matters and when the phone chirped in he excused himself in mid conversation to take the calls. These calls turned out to be something to do with sports stuff that would be occurring that evening…

I must admit I still need my computer and internet to get by or I’d be a little too cut off. However, it seems many of the gadgets today are about filling a space, being heard immediately. They have become a life line in an age where we can’t seem to go without some sort of social fix. We no longer live in a small community of family and friends like many did in the past but is it really any different from the past? Isn’t it really just another form of communication? Well, yes, to some extent that is true but there is something more to it than that.

I must admit that I still get a good deal of information via the neighbour, work and the like. “Did you hear about…, oh, ya, you don’t have a tv…,” and then they proceed to tell me about whatever was on the news anyway so I did not really need the tv and as such I’ve saved myself the trouble of hearing it twice so I’ve acquired time for other things.

So what is the life line of a person without these?

I’ve gone back to using the more creative side of my brain including writing, painting, textile arts, baking, walking as well as other things that present themselves. My life line relies more on me than on others and as such I think that is important. Finding what represents you, the real you, only happens by stopping the noise and looking inward. That is not to say there is not advantages of having information age gadgets. I just think we depend on them a little too much to fill us up.

What might fill you up from the inside if you just gave it time and quiet to emerge?  Step outside the box…