Daily Post Photo Challenge: Careful

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Barbara Licha; ‘ Listen time passes’ seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. image: Su Leslie, 2015

Barbara Licha’s sculpture, Listen time passes  seems to me to fit very well with this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge theme — careful.

The work is a series of figures encased in wire boxes suspended on poles by a cliff-edge. Although grouped, each figure exists in its own space, separated from the others by the tangle of wire which forms both a  prison, and the support structure that prevents each figure from falling into the ocean.

Barbara Licha; ‘ Listen time passes’ seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. image: Su Leslie, 2015

Detail: Barbara Licha; ‘ Listen time passes’ seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. image: Su Leslie, 2015

The title of the work is a line from the opening monologue of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Under Milkwood’.
The narrator is describing, in rich and careful detail, nighttime in the small town of Llareggub where the inhabitants experience in their dreams the wild and fantastical denied them in their careful waking lives:

The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrogered sea. 

You can listen to the wonderful Richard Burton as The Narrator, delivering the opening monologue here.

‘Under Milkwood’ is one of my favourite plays; and the opening monologue one of the best ever written. It reminds us that no matter how carefully we craft our social selves, our dreams and passions and loves and losses will always shape our actions and relationships with others. Barbara Licha’s work similarly speaks of the carefully constructed, parallel worlds we each inhabit; touching but not always connecting.

3 days, 3 quotes: day 3

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Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Leanne at Nihongojapango challenged me to participate in 3 days, 3 quotes and I’ve decided to share lyrics from songs by Billy Bragg — one of my favourite song-writer/performers.

I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware
I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care
-- New England, Billy Bragg

This was probably the most difficult quote to choose. I could pretty much have taken a line from any of the love songs he’s written because they all speak to me of some time in my life, or in the lives of those I’m close to.

Part of this challenge is to invite three other bloggers to contribute. But today I’m just going to suggest that anyone who’d like to share their favourite quotes — please do so.

 

3 days, 3 quotes: day 2

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Kowhai; a New Zealand native (the word means yellow in Maori). Kowhai is also the symbol on the Women's Refuge logo. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Kowhai; a New Zealand native (the word means yellow in Maori). Kowhai is also the symbol on the Women’s Refuge NZ logo. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Leanne at Nihongojapango challenged me to participate in 3 days, 3 quotes and I’ve decided to share lyrics from songs by Billy Bragg — one of my favourite song-writer/performers.

Valentine’s Day Is Over, from the album Workers’ Playtime, is a song about moving on from an abusive relationship.

Thank you for the things you bought me
Thank you for the card
Thank you for the things you taught me when you hit me hard
That love between two people must be based on understanding
Until that's true you'll find your things all stacked out on the landing
Surprise, surprise
Valentine's Day is over

I’ve chosen this song to quote from because it’s difficult to live in New Zealand and not be reminded how big an issue domestic abuse really is and how far we as a culture have to go to address the underlying issues. Just this week a local broadcaster with a conviction for assaulting his former partner was called out on not only making flippant comments about violence in a FaceBook post, but then downplaying his own abusive behaviour in a second post (1)

As many of you know, for several years I’ve been involved with NZ Sculpture OnShore, a charity sculpture exhibition that raises funds for Women’s Refuge NZ. This organisation helps over 20,000 New Zealand women and children a year who are experiencing domestic violence. Leaving an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for a woman and her children as violent partners lash out, causing greater harm or death (2). Organisations like Women’s Refuge are essential; providing help to leave and safe places for women to go.

 

Part of this challenge is to invite three other bloggers to contribute. I’m always a bit nervous about this. On one hand, it’s an acknowledgement that I am interested in what you have to say, and on the other, I know that we’re all pretty busy and don’t necessarily welcome an extra “opportunity” to blog. And then there is my concern that the people I don’t ask might feel slighted … you get the picture?

Oh, I know, I’m over-thinking it, right.

Well here goes. Joanne from My Life Lived Full, Maureen from Kiwissoar and Gallivanta from Silkannthreades;  I’d enjoy knowing what quotes inspire or motivate you, make you laugh, or just made you stop and think. So, if you’d like to participate post 3 Quotes ( one a day) on 3 consecutive days and nominate 3 bloggers in each post to participate.

 

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(1) What Tony Veitch should have said. Newsworthy, 3news.co.nz, 20 October 2015

(2) The Most Dangerous Time, Guardian Australia.

3 days, 3 quotes: day 1

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Anti-TPPA demonstration, 15 August, 2015, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Anti-TPPA demonstration, 15 August, 2015, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Leanne, at Nihongojapango, is a fellow Kiwi living and working in Japan. I really enjoy her blog; not only for her observations about life in her adopted country, but because I find her thoughts on all sorts of things really resonate with me. Which I guess is a roundabout way of getting to my ready acceptance of her invitation to contribute to the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge.

The universe of possible quotes to share is vast; and trying to impose some sort of logic got me thinking about how some phrases become sufficiently meaningful that we choose to quote them — and perhaps even to live by them. For me, the decision to harvest a particular constellation of words is because their form captures an idea more strongly, more succinctly, more beautifully than I believe I could achieve myself.

A writer who consistently does this is Billy Bragg. It’s a huge bonus that his words are also song lyrics, and I get to enjoy the music as well.

So my 3 days, 3 quotes challenge posts will all feature lyrics from various songs by the “Bard of Barking“, starting with these lines from Days Like These:

Peace, bread, work, and freedom is the best
we can achieve
And wearing badges is not enough
in days like these

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Anti-TPPA demonstration, 15 August, 2015, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Part of this challenge is to invite three other bloggers to contribute. I’m always a bit nervous about this. On one hand, it’s an acknowledgement that I am interested in what you have to say, and on the other, I know that we’re all pretty busy and don’t necessarily welcome an extra “opportunity” to blog. And then there is my concern that the people I don’t ask might feel slighted … you get the picture?

Oh, I know, I’m over-thinking it, right.

Well here goes. Raewyn at Decocraftsdigicrafts,  Janet at This, That and the Other Thing, and Meg at Move the Chair;  I’d enjoy knowing what quotes inspire or motivate you, make you laugh, or just made you stop and think. So, if you’d like to participate post 3 Quotes ( one a day) on 3 consecutive days and nominate 3 bloggers in each post to participate.

On windy days and disappointment

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Apple blossom. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed and Aviary Photo Editor.

It is proving to be a miserable Spring here. Too cold to work in the garden for long and so windy that the blossoms which so recently promised so much, are struggling to remain on the trees. The lawn is spread with prematurely browning Kowhai flowers and I fear for the Tui who should be feasting on them. And although it’s getting dark later in the evenings, I’m not at all tempted to go out into the blustery twilight we are experiencing night after night.

So much for the season of rebirth and renewal.

My melancholy; my general grumpiness and sense of being somehow cheated, actually surprises me. Once upon a time — when I had a career and ambitions of corporate greatness — my life was lived so entirely in the artificial world of offices, bars and cafes that I hardly noticed the passing of the seasons. Now — when I can no longer answer the question “what do you do” according to the employment-related expectations of those who ask such a question — I am constantly and acutely aware of the natural world.

Of all the photos I have taken recently, this one captures the discontinuity and perplexity in my world right now. The flowers look staged, as though the branch has been chopped from the tree and taken indoors. It looks like an imitation of nature, re-created in the studio, and rendered in black and white for artistic emphasis.

But the shot was taken in a local park; real flowers on a real tree.

It’s just that, like our Spring, it really doesn’t seem that way.

This week the theme of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge is black and white.