For those 3 people who are still coming to this site occassionally, I have officially moved blogs.
You can find me at: www.izholidae.wordpress.com
Thanks for stopping by
For those 3 people who are still coming to this site occassionally, I have officially moved blogs.
You can find me at: www.izholidae.wordpress.com
Thanks for stopping by
Yes, it's true. 12 days of swine flu are much less fun than the 12 days of Christmas! The worst part... I found it hard to read! My brain just couldn't focus. At first I thought, Okay...a few days to lay around reading... but No - not capable of that. I was able to knit...it doesn't take as much brain power. I'm just not sure anyone would want what I made while sick...
I am happy to say it all has subsisted and I'm feeling much better. Not "well" yet, but better! Now I'm just easily exhausted. But what do you want after 12 days of incapacitation? 12 days of going from bed to chair to bed and back - with a few minutes at the computer here and there. (I am so grateful for a boss who let me work from home!) Now I have to keep reminding myself how sick I was- so I don't push myself too hard. And that, I think, is the lesson here. I am a driven girl, and I usually push myself too hard. This ordeal brought me down a few pegs... It's okay to not push so hard. But I can now say, "I survived the Swine flu!" It might take me some time to feel back to normal... and that's okay. To come through this with no hospitalization, no secondary infections, and I didn't die... Well that's all God's doing. And I am grateful!
And feeling better happened just in the nick of time... School starts tomorrow! We'll see if I last through all my classes...
I have to admit reluctantly, that I have had this book in my possession for several months. The title sounded interesting, but once I had it in my hands, I couldn't bear to begin. Dr Cury is a brilliant psychologist and researcher... I didn't feel smart enough to read it. I felt bored by it without even opening the cover. I think I just wasn't ready.
Then I got the flu...
Confined to home for a full week and without the energy to do anything else, I found myself picking this book up again and again. Reading a chapter at a time (between bouts of sleeping) I found it to be easily read, easily understood, and brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!
Dr. Cury is wonderful at explaining the complexities of our minds - things that confound even those who research and practice within the psychological fields - in ways that make even us regular folk understand and, more importantly, understand that we're not crazy. OCD, depression, racing thoughts, fear, phobias, living in the past (or future), stressed out, irritable, restless, over (or under)-emotional, ... many psychological ailments you can think of... come from the fact we have never been taught how to think and how to control out minds. (there are things that only meds can help, so don't ditch your drugs just yet) We learn many other things in school, but no one teaches how to control the chaos in our heads. In this book, Dr Cury does just that. Simple, practical, useful basic steps that are easily read and understood- it can be picked up and put down again and again.
So you won't think only psycho, emotionally-challenged, self-help junkies will benefit from this book, I originally wanted to read it for the chapter on "Unleashing Creativity". As an aritst, I've recently felt blocked in that area... and needing help to unblock. This book goes beyond other books I've read on the subject.
Using Jesus as example, Dr Cury gives practical examples of the power of changing the way we think- and the ramifications that change can have on our lives.
"He [Jesus] wanted to each them [and us] to think before reacting, to question themselves, to critique their ideas, and to govern they psyche. ... He taught them to recognize their limits, to not be afraid of their failures, and to control their thoughts. He also taught them to be sensitive and humble, to build strong relationships. He didn't want to produce warriors but people who thought and loved; people who would be capable of turning the other cheek, not as a gesture of weakness, but to surprise the careless and encourage them to think. Walking with him was an invitation to be free and to be a leader of oneself and a director of one's thoughts. Those close to him understood that there was no use in changing the outer world without first changing one's own inner world."
Read it with a highlighter in your hand... You'll find nuggets of wisdom you'll want to return to again and again.
I haven't posted in awhile - but I have been writing...End of semester papers. I thought I'd share this one- It's for Black and White Photography. We were given a list of photographers to choose from and instructed to write about the artists' life, the time period they lived, and how those things influenced their work; as well as to critique an image, or series of images. I've taken out the Turabian referencing, but source material came from Margaret Bourke-White: Photojournalist by Theodore M. Brown and class lectures and films. This is my first draft, and I banged it out in a few short hours. I have left out two of the photos references because of their graphic nature. If you want to see them and don't have a queasy stomach, you can view them here, and here. I'll give it a few tweeks and hand it in next week.
You might want to have your camera near by before you begin reading... You're gonna want to take it outside in a few minutes.
Adventures with Peggy
From Machines to Depression, America- Around the World, Life and Death- The Photojournalism Legend of Margaret Bourke-White
Margaret Bourke-White has been “lauded as one of the most accomplished photojournalists in the world.” As her exact birth year was never determined, she began life with an air of enigma that she carried with her throughout her career. Legend has it that she started in photography when she lost a waitressing job that was supporting her through college at Cornell. With her only equipment being a single camera with a cracked lens, she sold photographs of Cornell’s campus and buildings to make ends meet. Within three years it was reported she was earning between $25,000 and $50,000 annually- at the beginning of the Great Depression. Her elusive character is described as “aristocratic, yet humble; self-centered, while world oriented; subtle but direct; intelligent, but not an intellectual; prolific in ideas, but unconcerned with ideology; tough, tender, and glamorous.” She led a life of “adventure and danger” and remained undeniably feminine the whole way.
Fearlessly innovative and daring to her core, Bourke-White was at the right place at the right time for a stunning amount of “firsts” in photography and in history. Other modernist photographers of her day made beautiful pictures of machines and parts, but hers were something more- she was the first photographer to make industrial machinery sexy. She fearlessly crawled out onto a gargoyle high atop the Chrysler Building in Manhattan to take a photo of the NY skyline from a new angle. In the course of her career she was arrested in a Muslim mosque for taking photos during a service, torpedoed off the coast of Africa, ambushed by guerillas in Korea , rode camels in Syria, was stranded in the Arctic, was the first-and only- woman to fly a combat mission, was the first female war photographer, survived a helicopter crash at sea, and was accused of being a spy and forced to do time in a German jail. She was the first woman to fly in a B-47 bomber, was in Moscow when Germany invaded and bombed the city, and was with General Patton when the Allies liberated Auschwitz. She made portraits of FDR, Pope Pius XII, General George Patton, President Eisenhower, Josef Stalin -and his mother, Winston Churchill, and was with Gandhi just before his assassination. She was the first photographer to take aerial photos hanging out of a helicopter, and she traveled more than a million miles through forty-five countries during her career. Battleships, jets, helicopters, camels, planes, trains, and automobiles… Margaret Bourke-White captured the world! Working even after Parkinson’s disease left her unable to hold a camera; she paid assistants to do exactly as she directed them. And this is only a partial list of her daring accomplishments!
As the first photographer hired for a new magazine called “Life” in 1936, she took pictures of more than just her assigned subject- and inadvertently created the first photojournalist essay. A long career with “Life” followed, and they sent her on many exciting –and often life-threatening- journeys to find and document … life.
In May of 1941 her editor ordered her to end a world tour and sent her to Russia. At a time when foreign photographers were not allowed into the country, she brazenly arrived with 600 pounds of equipment and not only got in, she managed to get a sitting with Josef Stalin – who ended up carrying her camera for her. She was in Moscow when Germany broke their truce and began bombing raids on the city. Bourke-White snuck out of the subways, where people were held for their protection, and set up her cameras on the roof of the American Embassy- hiding when soldiers made rounds to make sure civilians were not in the building. She added to her legend by developing her negatives in the basement during an air raid. In 1942, “she received accreditation as an official Air Force photographer.” Denied permission to fly to a conflict in Tunis because of the danger, she was sent on a supply ship for her safety. It was torpedoed off the coast of North Africa and sank. Surviving, with cameras intact, she was given permission to fly a mission into war; thus, she became the first woman to fly into combat.
In 1945, Bourke-White was with General Patton’s Third Army when they liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp. Three of the photographs taken on this journey are the subject of this paper. The horrors that she witnessed during those few weeks would have been more than most people could take. But she not only witnessed the horrible atrocities- wading past mass graves and bodies rotting on the ground- she took the time to take light meter readings and set up compositions. She photographed burned remains, piles of corpses on wagons, and the crematoriums with bodies still in them. She captured the expressions of the emaciated survivors who were so far beyond hope in their living hell that they were incapable of emotion at their sudden freedom. When asked about how she was able to capture such horrors on film, she stated that it was a relief to have her camera as a buffer between herself and what she was seeing. Much later, when looking at the images back in the States, she sobbed.
In the first photograph of this paper, Bourke-White is actually the subject. I could not find accreditation for who took this photo of her. In it, we see her, ever lady-like and beautiful; yet you can almost feel the weight of the sorrow and pain at the reality around her. She is taking a meter reading in front of a wagon load of corpses. The shot she was setting up was very similar to the next photograph of this paper.
General Patton, being outraged that the people in the nearby town had allowed this camp to exist and did nothing to stop the atrocities happening inside, ordered his men to “round up 1,000 people” and force them to walk past the corpses and see what they had allowed to happen. His men brought back more than 2,000 townspeople. Bourke-White captured their faces as they were forced to look upon the horror of what Nazi Germany had done in this camp-just outside their doorsteps. Everything in the photo is in focus; the woman crying and covering her eyes, the man seeming to stroll with his cigarette, the soldiers who had forced them to come witness it all, and the pile of emaciated corpses- all in perfect focus and detail. It seems to be broad daylight of possible early afternoon; the shadows on the ground indicate the lighting was quite bright. Yet her exposure is not blown out or overexposed. She has captured every important detail in crisp focus. The composition itself, with the woman on the left and corpses on the right, with others further back, draw your eye in- into the horror of reality- so that you see the whole picture. There is also juxtaposition of movement in the people walking and the terrible stillness of the corpses that also draw your eye into the photo. It is a brilliant, yet terrible photo- Beautifully photographed with horrific subject matter.
The third photo of this paper is of Nuremburg just after the war. It too, is a well-focused composition. Everything is in perfect detail; the bombed out buildings, the rubble, and the women coming and going to market- even the sky on that bright day. Nothing in the city is intact; nothing was left standing whole. Everything had been destroyed- Yet life goes on. Bourke-White captured the realities of war.
It is no wonder she was enigmatic and legendary - and hailed accolades from her peers. Brilliant, innovative, ground breaking, and fearless… Margaret Bourke-White was a photographic genius of her time and praised with international fame. But by far, my favorite quote about her is this: “The World’s Most Famous Photographer was a Girl”.
I know it's been a long time since I've posted something new. For the three of you who actually read this, I am sorry. This semester has been the hardest so far. Why did I think 16 credit hours while working was a good idea? I'm exhausted!
I was hoping to get down to Nashville this week- officially break week. Unfortunately, there is no break for me. I have 3 (count 'em-Three), papers to write, an Italian exam to study for (it will be the first day back from break), and a big photo project to do- all in this one week. Joy. Needless to say, drivng to Nashville is not going to happen in this time frame. And I'm sad. I need the break. I miss my peeps there! The good news? There are only 3 weeks after this break- and I am DONE with this semester!!
In getting ready for the future to become present, I've been trying to raise support for Italy. I use the word "trying" because it hasn't been going well. I've sent letters, I've talked to people, I've had meetings, I've sent more letters, ... I'm not sure what else to do. And yesterday, a friend told me she's not surprised that I'm not going in January because of what people have been saying to her about it. Namely, that they don't see the purpose for me going. That it doesn't seem like a real need. That they aren't going to support me because I'm not going to be saving orphans or feeding the hungry in a hut somewhere hot and dirty. And I thought I was discouraged before... . So I've been praying and wrestling and mulling...Obviously, I need to reword my letter. Need to rework my approach. How do I convey that it IS important that I go to do this work. Yes, it's in a conference center. No, that doesn't mean I won't be impacting lives for the kingdom. I WILL be impacting lives for the kingdom! Just not with street evangelism (which is not my gifting).
This morning, I woke up with a headache. It's the second time for that just this week. I thought about not going to church, but knew that God had something to say- so I should go hear it. I didn't really talk to anyone on my way in- A few hellos, but no real conversation. I'm not in the mood today. My head hurts, and I'm tired. I just want to sit here quietly with God and listen to see if He'll say something to me today. I need it. I'm discouraged. Just as I got settled in my seat, a sweet man who is on the mission board came over to me and said, "Iz, I just want to thank you for your gift of hospitality!" HUH?!
It seems that when I met with the mission board two weeks ago, after I left the room the conversation turned to them talking about how I had impacted more than half of them through my gift of hospitality. At least half of them had been to my tiny house in Nashville! And he just wanted to thank me for using my gift of hospitality to put people as ease and make them feel welcomed. I cried. Yep. Cried. God spoke loudly this morning -and now I know where to place the empahsis when speaking to people about supporting me as a missionary.
A beautiful thing that happens at Victory most Sunday mornings is something called "Victory Circle". During a song, the alter is opened for anyone needing prayer to come up and lay the weight of whatever it is at Jesus' feet. It is so beautiful because no one stands there alone. The whole church seems to pour to the front to lay hands on those who are in need. It is a powerful time. I didn't want to go forward this morning. I don't like being "needy". Don't like everyone knowing somethin's up and I need help. God made me go today. I NEED support to get to Italy. And I can't do it. I can't make it happen. So I went to lay that at His feet. I was crying, so I don't know how many people actually gathered around me, but it felt like there were at least a dozen hands on my head and back. This is my CHURCH! And they stand behind me! They CARE that I'm discouraged. And through two simple things, a man thanking me for my hospitality and people silently and annonymously praying over me, God encouraged me. I will live to fight another day.
And He will provide the support I need to get to what He's called me to do in Italy.
This is created and posted by one of my co-workers in Italy. I, unfortunately, did not meet him while I was there...but look forward to some silly antics.
We are going through a series at Victory called, "One Month to Live". This morning was titled, "Leave Boldly". Based on I Kings 2:1-4 where David is on his deathbed talking to Solomon, the question is -Who is going to be at your death bed? Those are the people you should be giving your best to! Your time, your energy, your attention, your love, ... Who are they? And are you really giving them your best? Where are your priorities?
How true! Yet how many of us spend more time and energy with those people than the people around us that really matter? Do you spend more time at work than at home? Do you bring work home? Do you spend more energy on Monday Night Football than on activities with your family? When is the last time you did something together outside the realm of television - expending energy on a walk, a bike ride, a board game? Even just a conversation over hot cocoa? Do you know the dreams and aspirations of your children? Your spouse? Are you helping them achieve them? Or are you too caught up in your own busy-ness? Are you investing in the lives of the important people who will be at your deathbed?
Will they care when you're gone?
I love Marcus Buckingham. There. I've said it. I've seen him speak several times and he is fearless, effervescent, charismatic, and knows how to work a room like nobody's business. But I have a few issues with this particular book.
To begin, it feels like the same book he's written before. This one is just the girl-power version. The front cover cries out for you to take the "Strong Life Test - Discover the Role you were Born to play", so I did. The question are fairly ambiguous and could be answered more than one way. The first result was quite far out in left field, so I took it again - answering the questions from a different mood. Still me - just on a different day. Not surprisingly, I got totally different results. Does that mean that the role I was born to play depends on my mood? Am I a stereo-type?
In chapter four we find this:
"A strong woman feel that her needs are fulfilled. She may sometimes feel tired- and given all the roles women are expected to play today, who wouldn't be? - but she doesn't feel overwhelmed and empty. In fact she feels the opposite of empty. She feels filled up. Her purpose needs are met - she feels she is dong what she is supposed to be doing, however imperfectly. Her relationship needs are met- she has a loving husband, a supportive boss, a caring group of friends."
Does this mean because I don't have a husband that I'm not a strong woman and can't possibly be fulfilled? That because my relationship needs are not always met that's why I'm tired and overwhelmed at the end of the day - instead of the fact that I'm in 16 credit hours of grad school while working and - having just accepted a job overseas that I am delirious with excitement about- planning an international move? That's just malarkey. I am strong, confident, and feel completely fulfilled - despite (according to this) that I am not married with a marvelous boss and fantastic, well-behaved children.
As much as I love Marcus-and no one does stats like he does- I did not love this book more than anything. There are some great things here. But I think most of them have been said before. If you need some self-esteem and are feeling down on yourself, it is a good reminder to look at yourself how others truly see you- instead of the way you THINK others see you- and accept your fabulousness. But I'm beyond all that. I'm a few pounds over my ideal weight, I'm starting some wrinkles, my hair is thinning, and I need reading glasses...But I am happy, self-confident, and fulfilled. I'm living my strongest life. Even without a fantastic husband and perfect children.
At the end of the day, I still love Marcus...And I may buy the next book. Maybe the next one will be different.
...and re-tested. I did not change every answer, but there were a few that I hesitated on the first time through, so I gave the other answer this time. Both seemed to be the "right" thing in the situations, so I answered this time with the other one. (did that make sense at all?)
Here's the revised result:
You begin by asking:
'How can I raise the energy?'
You are acutely aware of the energy in the room, and you feel compelled to do what you can to elevate it. You do this with your outlook—you are an instinctively optimistic person.
Your best quality:
Your infectious energy
Step in and take responsibility for the group
Be careful you:
Don’t get sucked dry by emotional vampires
Your smartest career move:
Any job where you’re paid to keep a group of people excited.
Although this "lead role" sounds more like me than "creator", my supporting role is still "teacher"...which completely baffles me! What's up with that? Teacher? Not so far... But I will admit here that I have been dreaming of finishing my degree online while I'm in Italy so I can teach at the college level when I get back in a few years... Weird, huh? Never have thought of myself as a teacher before....