Tuesday, May 26, 2015

reaching out

Today, I had to visit the local utilities office to straighten out a problem that could not be accomplished online. I was third in line. Only one window open out of 6-8 at noon time. The line behind me ended at the door. A tiny, elderly Asian woman was trying to get the clerk to help her with a problem with her bill. Her gas charges were being made through a secondary company and she had not made this change. She asked the clerk to help her cancel it. He said, over and over, you must call the 800 number on the bill and ask them to cancel it. “Can you help me, I don’t know how to do that?” “No. Can you have a family member or a friend help?” “I have only my husband and he does not speak English. I have no friends.” The clerk was adamant and told her to move aside, as there was a long line. A young man was next in line. He pointed to a nearby chair and asked the elderly lady to sit down for a minute. His task was completed quickly. He walked over to the waiting lady, took out his “smart phone”, called the 800 number and dealt with her problem in a couple of minutes. At this moment, that woman had a friend.

The photo: a little girl at the Carnaval parade on Sunday reaching out her hand to connect with a group of Peruvian dancers moving down the street.

I realized that the issue of kindness had been in my blog last summer. Several meaningful quotes that relate to the scene in the PG&E office: 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

slightly out of focus

Recently I had a wonderful day with photo friends on a “shoot” at a commercial garden center in the wine country. Each area of the center was a garden commissioned for a specific purpose. Beautiful designs, some were gimmicky, others seemed to fit beautifully into the terrain. On the edge of the gardens was a large pond with a little island of water lilies blooming in the very warm afternoon. Obviously planned, but yet they seemed to break free from the human connection. I was so glad for the focus of this picture….enough out of focus to enhance their incredible beauty. Slightly out of focus is my creative mantra going into summer.

Monday, May 4, 2015

at home here

Nature, even in a big city, has so many aspects. I have often driven past this corner, but had not actually walked along this sidewalk in many years. The wonderful Victorian mansion at the corner and the two almost identical houses that were built by its owner for his two daughters in the 1880’s has always been of interest. It is lushly landscaped and I had admired that. I remembered the enormous tree, but had never realized its odd form—almost like a windmill. I assume that it is New Zealand Norfolk Island Pine, but have never noticed one quite in this form. It was a joy to sit on a busy corner and think about this ancient tree, thousands of miles from its origin and absolutely “at home”. So many of us fit that description. I do feel absolutely at home here.