What Might Have Been Adventure Can Show the Rust

The illusion of progress is revealed to be one-dimensional if the necessary steps to proceed are taken in an incorrect order.  Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word, “illusion,” and it’s a word that’s interesting because it reminds me of fantasy themes where magic illusions sometimes enter the conversation.  Unfortunately, a more telling example of illusion, in the real world, is when what’s holding together the bigger picture becomes illusory and therefore is fragile.  Like when your nine-to-five gig, whatever’s paying the bills, turns out to be a little more illusory than you would have liked and pretty soon you are out of work, owing to shortcomings which turned up at a time which proves inopportune (the illusion is no more).

If you have an applicable skill set, you probably wouldn’t find yourself holding the reins and coming untethered, but the odd time, I think it’s probably happened to most, you wind up out of luck and what was an illusion of success is revealed to be bogus, which is when you’re back on the streets.  This week’s WordPress photo challenge is an essay on transience, which, if adversity prevails and you can’t master holding down a job or otherwise making ends meet, is where you find yourself if ultimately you meet your doom.  I’ve toyed with transience in my lifetime and it can feel like a bleak spot to live in, but fortunately I’ve remained afield of the game by taking a role in operations at a not-for-profit which entails caretaking the grounds in good weather, and also maintaining on the internet a digital experience, chiefly with Facebook.  You can find Maple Lawn Cemetery, our not-for-profit, on Facebook here:  

www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

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Despite my position in the not-for-profit, at times I still feel the grip of transience, the hold it sometimes seems to want, and it is with some pleasure that I express the aptitude for transience I gleaned from this week’s photography essay.  The concept that an illusory sphere around me, which guides my hand in this lifetime, I am relating today because you can feel sometimes, I think, how the illusion could come apart and leave you in the lurch, with plans for the future cast into disarray and a scramble ensuing to pick up the pieces of a work culture about who you tiptoe.  I am certain that without initiative, in addition to persistence and ability, it wouldn’t take a lot to hit the skids and see chaos prevail.

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Dedication to making any kind of living requires some hard work.  It’s a little not-for-profit, which refines some expertise and adds some structure to the big picture.  I’m not sure it would come apart if it wasn’t in place, but it provides some community building and in general, it’s a wholesome pastime, however tidy it comes together.  The feedback about the cemetery is upbeat.  I thought I would show a couple of photos today, as well as inviting you to, “like,” “comment,” and/or “subscribe” to this blog.  We proceed as a transparent not-for-profit, although we’re not held particularly accountable, as long as we heed some rules and regulations which are important to the operation of a cemetery.  There wouldn’t be much care given to such a spot if we weren’t handling it.  We’ve been doing it four years, and we don’t anticipate much change or much trouble as we keep on going down this road.  We’ll see how our future turns out, but in the meantime, it is not just an “illusion,” that we’re exploring, it’s a reality.

If You No Longer Need Your Depression Meds, Here’s a Common Strategy to Leave Them Behind You

Consider that a guideline for reducing psychiatric drugs you take, according to http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/ the website which informs of such a guideline, encourages users of psychiatric drugs to effect a ten percent rule.  The rule is to reduce a dependence on psychiatric drugs by ten percent per month, which is sometimes known as tapering off, to avoid withdrawal, as in feeling adverse consequences from no longer taking the psychiatric drug.  The site I’m referencing is detailing Prozac, which is the oldest antidepressant available, having been prescribed to patients who need it since 1987.

 

The WordPress Daily Prompt for today is the word, “taper,” and that is why I have looked up the definition of withdrawal referred to by the expression, “to taper,” or, “tapering off.”  I don’t take Prozac, but I have occasionally in my adult life been prescribed antidepressants, usually because work type stressors were bothering me and I needed some extra strength.

 

Friday afternoon a friend of mine of about twenty years gave me a phone call, and in the course of the conversation, he mentioned that depression concerns are overwhelmingly detrimental to members of the workforce, who run afoul of them constantly.  I had some idea already this is true.  I’m not on medication for depression and at the present I don’t suffer much depression, but my friend does, and he’s been with the same employer for what I think he said is twenty-nine years, and for several months now he’s been avoiding working owing to his problem with depression, and being paid seventy percent of the wages he would get if he wasn’t bringing up his depression to his bosses and continuing to work.  He said the situation is tolerable.

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He doesn’t blog, but he takes an interest in both Facebook and in Instagram.  I’m not on Instagram, but the gentleman and I share our friendship together on Facebook, and he is an unabashed anti-social, which leaves me feeling that he is more interested in toying with Facebook than he is in any sustained effort at a BFF kind of relationship (“best friends forever”).  He’s a lot older than me, and that’s fine.  We’re just not having a bromance together.

 

I feel a little bad for him, that he’s kind of tanking, but at least he’s bringing home most of his wages, and he’s responsible and doesn’t waste his money or other resources.  He’s a gentleman with a dog, who I suspect is his true best friend.  Dogs are lovely animals, and sometimes fill the role of a guardian, and I know his dog is dear to him.  I wouldn’t tax him to give me more of his energy, particularly as he is telling me when he does talk about his depression, and I respect his right to manage his life the best he can without unduly aggravating his state of mind.  For everyone, life’s a hard journey.

 

I don’t particularly want to go down the same route in life as he has gone.  I try to work smart, and I use medication to better my performance, rather than to make work bearable.  I enjoy working, I’m “Type A.”  I just feel that pacing yourself is a better strategy than struggling day after day with an enormous workload that results in ailments such as depression, and other kinds, too.

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I just thought I’d bring all this up when I saw what today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is.  All I’m doing here is posting an example of what I am encountering in my day-to-day life and I am not offering advice or recommending you change, even though I suspect if you are on psychiatric medication and you want to stop taking it, you should use a guideline, not unlike the ten percent reduction rate.  If you feel some comfort in reading this post, feel free to, “like,” “comment,” and/or, “follow,” so I know you’re out there.  I wish you well, and if you are suffering from a psychiatric malady, good luck with your recovery and with a better future.

Evanescent As Time Unfolds But is Captured

I remembered my nine-year anniversary on Facebook this month and I was quite moved (and shocked) to find out it had been that long I had been with the service.  Thinking about time isn’t all that easy.  If you haven’t lived life to the fullest, you could well have regrets.  Every day that you don’t take at least one step toward a positive result in the future coming your way is a day that is, in all probability, wasted.  I am not one to tell you what to do but if you asked me and I was being honest, I would tell you that you need to weigh the benefits of today’s action come tomorrow.

 Maple Lawn Cemetery

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is entitled, “Evanescent.”  It’s about the idea that change is measurable.  In the challenge, photographers are invited to reflect on change as it is literally visible in a photograph.  The essay in the challenge this week is quite lovely.  In its concluding paragraph, Krista suggests as an example lighting a fire to mark the arrival of fall, for example.  It reminded me immediately of photos I’ve taken at Maple Lawn Cemetery where I help handle operations when Peter and I have collected fallen tree branches and piled them for burning.  Maple Lawn is a not-for-profit cemetery which is a labor of love for us.  You can find us on the internet in a couple of spots, one, at http://maplelawncemetery.org/ which is our website, and also at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited …which is where we are on Facebook.

I thought I would show you one of my photographs, from Wednesday, November 19, 2014, for the challenge, of my father Peter burning the branches which we remove in the interest of keeping the cemetery beautiful.  I hope you like it.  You’re free to visit us on the web, and if you are interested, you are also welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or “comment” on this post.  Thank you for visiting my blog, and have a lovely week.  If you are another Word Presser investigating the Evanescent challenge, I would be interested to see your thoughts on moments in time and how they are captured on camera.

The Heritage of Louth United Church in St. Catharines and Maple Lawn Cemetery

The United Church is reminding their belonging congregations to ring forty-nine bells on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, in solidarity with the families of the victims.

 

We care-take a disbanded church, Louth United, formerly of the United Church, and also the cemetery which is on the church ground.  We’ve done this for about four years, and I’ve helped design a little website for the cemetery, which you can find here:

 

maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage › oldchurch

 

Sometimes I read the Daily Prompt and the Photography Challenges presented daily, obviously, and weekly, respectively, which make suggestions for blog posts you can write that day (or that week).  This week’s Photography Challenge is an essay on heritage, and since I frequently take photos of our church and cemetery we care-take, I thought I would include one I took June 22, 2015, which shows the driveway entrance to the cemetery, behind the church, and includes the sight of many of the headstones which mark graves in the cemetery.  It is grim but that is where I am about once a week, and I blog in addition to maintaining the small website (above) and also the cemetery’s presence on Facebook:  

Facebook › LouthUnited

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I would be amiss not to thank my mother for her scrutiny of this blog, which is maintained both to feel independent as a member of a not-for-profit and also to show some cool when it comes to bringing life to the Internet, which in this day and age is a given, although somewhat neglected by many small businesses if you check the honest facts.

 

Thank you for reading this post and if you have any interest in visiting elsewhere on the Internet, feel free.  You can also, “like,” “comment,” and/or “follow” if you would like to read more from me (I write this blog almost wholly entirely on my own drawing inspiration from the WordPress prompts and challenges).

Photo Challenge Entry, Ambience at Our Quiet Church

In the spirit of photographic art, many, many people have their hand in at taking digital pictures.  Life is routinely captured visually in an electronic format, and even if you, like me, are somewhat rudimentary in your ability to take a good photo, it doesn’t mean that inspiration never strikes.  The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is a blog series that offers help when it comes to gathering your wits at the sending end of a photograph.  Drawing inspiration from the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges is useful, because both are you becoming part of a state of awareness surrounding photography and also that you are elevating your ideas to the level of relative expertise.
This week’s Challenge is on the subject of ambience, which is explored as a route to bringing up the mood of your audience by rendering photos which are full of excitement, as with light, for example, that can be enjoyed with the sense of sight and also reflected upon.  This week’s Challenge invites the post of an ambient photo, which for me is ideal as I always feel lucky when something I’ve snapped shows comparative ambience (to something duller).  I’m part of a nonprofit where I take photos of our grounds, because I’m there routinely, and I’m familiar with the place.
There’s a church and cemetery, to get to the point, where our nonprofit handles the caretaking and other duties.  We have a webpage:  http://maplelawncemetery.org
I’m also blogging, as you can clearly see, which is taking in interest in our operation in the capacity that it functions as a small business, and while we’re firmly a not-for-profit, it is the work we do of which we’re proud.  All this being said, I’ve selected a photo I took which is dated October 9, 2013.  Without much more to say, I present it here as part of this week’s photo challenge and it is below.  While I am not exclusively discussing our work as a not-for-profit, I will continue to blog regularly and if you have an interest in this, feel free to “like,” “follow,” and/or subscribe.  Thank you.
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Would We Never Look Back

If you never joined the battle, there is no need to retreat.
A peaceable, slow-paced life, with the vantage point of relative contentment and steadfastness, is thought of as desirable if you place the emphasis of your goals on the desire for meditative reflection.  It’s not unheard of, naturally.  It’s what resembles retirement.  If your aims are to forget modern trappings, then staking a claim to a life of modesty and withdrawal may be what, if you are young enough to choose, you create yourself doing.  If you aren’t drawn into the momentum of the rat race, if for whatever reason you find yourself removed from the shotput exercise of dogged competition, this could be the life for you.
I work for a not-for-profit carrying out operations at a tiny cemetery which is mostly out of the way http://maplelawncemetery.org
Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word retreat, which at first led me to think about possible ways to experience retreat, and moreover how to avoid entering a situation from which you require retreat.  The goal of enacting progress which leads to the outcome of realizing one’s ambitions might be successful, or it may bring you to a halt from which you can, optimistically speaking, turn about face and retreat to safer territory.  You need to be prepared for what’s ahead when you are up against difficult odds, and this is what is somewhat euphemistically referred to as hard work, or dedication to one’s own pursuits and prowess.  It isn’t without risk that an individual commit himself to scoping success.  It just is much safer that the same individual weigh in himself the possibility that he will need to retreat, and to leave himself an exit strategy, that if business goes south in a hurry, that he, too, can back on out of there and make a hasty retreat.
I hope it doesn’t happen to you.
If you liked my post today, let me know by clicking that “like” button and/or “following” my blog, and commenting.  It is to be seen what will be had in 2017, and may there be for you both victories, and a safe return.  All the best!
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David Marcu

retreat

Fortune is the Result of Aim Coupled with Dedication

Today’s WordPress daily prompt is the word, “fortune.”  When you reflect on fortune, you might think of the sixty hours you could put in at work each week, and the money that goes with the right efforts of long hours of effort.  You can make mastery out of your life, if you have the right drive, experiences, and initiative.  It may take early mornings, long hours of study, and perspiration.  However, if you write your own formula for ingenuity, you might find yourself gearing up for sought-after rewards.  It is up to you to make your fortune.
With any luck, you’ve gained some intuition by your education.  You’ve become schooled, set goals for yourself, and become aware of the dictates set by your own heart.  You’ve gone forward into employment, taken on entrepreneurship, begun to accumulate material wealth.  It is the first ties you have to success.  You have the key to the door for future growth.
I’ve become interested in Patrick Bet-David’s channel for videos on YouTube about entrepreneurship, known as Valuetainment.  Bet-David is like a philosopher to the business world.  He has a deep-seated drive to enrich himself and he undertakes a radical approach to business savvy.  His vision for Valuetainment, as I understand it, is to communicate expertise for those likewise amassing countless hours of the single-minded pursuit of achievements of commerce.  What first captivated me about Bet-David and Valuetainment is Patrick’s thoughts on the future of Twitter.  He has clearly reflected at length on what can be done for the future of the ailing social media giant.  I knew then that Patrick Bet-David was a man of excellent character and insight into concerns which personally were aware in me.  I was stunned that the man has such a terrific grasp of questions which were likewise occurring to me, and of course to many others.  You should take a look at what he said.
I will continue to share some of the Valuetainment YouTube videos, to Twitter, knowing that occasionally they will spark an moment of interest in people exploring both popular social media platforms.  It is necessary to put in the hours for success if you want to be like Bet-David.  I’m a lightweight, merely playing; but there will be those for who Valuetainment presents answers.  Do take a look.
Don’t overlooking subscribing to Valuetainment on Youtube, and consider “liking” this post, “following” my blog and/or commenting.  I appreciate you dropping by, and good luck to you whatever you take on in 2017 and beyond.  I wish you all the best.
A photo by Liz Weston. unsplash.com/photos/-g57yzlni2Q
Liz Weston