Proud as a Peacock

The tour bells rang at Filio, indicating the gardens were closed.  Being a photographer, always in search of the perfect golden-hour light, I was a straggler.  The sun was still too high in the northern California sky for my liking. I left, disappointed I hadn’t been able to capture the garden’s beauty in complimentary light, but accepting, to exhaust, that I’m a rule follower.

The sign on the closed exit gate read, USE SIDE DOOR WHEN LEAVING AFTER HOURS.  I exited through the archway of the door with my head down, disgruntled, and stuffing my camera equipment into my backpack.

However, as I learn time and again, we don’t decide when we’re finished. It’s the crazy, little surprises in life that break all the rules and tell us to carry on –

Entering into the side door, used for exiting, the Fioli resident peacock, strode up like a VIP on a red carpet, looked at me, stopped, opened its canopy of fabulous feathers, turned around and showed me its booty and then sauntered right past me and into the closed gardens. The peacock looked back at me, summoning me to join it on the other side, and I followed.

And there we were, back on the inside, after closing hours, with me, fiddling to get all my equipment back out of its storage and shooting this scene of a bird who’d broken all the rules –

Something someone would do who’s

AS PROUD AS A PEACOCK

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I-Think-I-Can

I went into the store to find silk pillowcases for my friend who’s starting chemotherapy on Monday. Unfortunately, the store was sold out of silk, so instead of leaving with a pillowcase, I left with a mantra from the salesperson, who, she herself, five years prior, underwent chemo for 12 weeks.

“My healthy body is under attack and this chemo cocktail is saving me.”

Mantras are powerful –

they center us,

spotlighting the positive, bringing our goals to the forefront and flushing out the negativity that arises from of our fears.

Rest easy, my friend, we can get through this.

Our minds are our most powerful tools-

they work for us, not against us.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

“I-Think-I-Can”

Lisbon, Portugal, October 2016

¡Viva México!

“Everyone is going to go to the cry tonight, but I’m not sure if it’s safe.”

What’s a cry?

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The Cry of Dolores (Spanish: Grito de Dolores) was uttered from the small town of Dolores Hidalgo, near Guanajuato in Mexico, on September 16, 1810. This event is considered the beginning of theMexican War of Independence. The “grito” was the pronunciamiento of the Mexican War of Independence by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest. Since October 1825, the anniversary of the event is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.

Since the late 20th century, Hidalgo’s “cry of independence” has become emblematic of Mexican independence.

Each year on the night of September 15, at around eleven in the evening, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City. After the ringing of the bell, he repeats a shout of patriotism (a Grito Mexicano) based upon the “Grito de Dolores”, with the names of the important heroes of the Mexican War of Independence who were there on that very historical moment included, and ending with the threefold shout of ¡Viva México! from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world. After the shouting, he rings the bell again and waves the Flag of Mexico to the applause of the crowd, and is followed by the playing and mass singing of the Himno Nacional Mexicano, the national anthem, with a military band from the Mexican Armed Forces playing. This event draws up to half a million spectators from all over Mexico and tourists worldwide. On the morning of September 16, or Independence Day, the national military parade (the September 16 military parade) in honor of the holiday starts in the Zócalo and its outskirts, passes the Hidalgo Memorial and ends on the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main boulevard, passing the El Ángel memorial column and other places along the way. – Wikipedia

I now better understand the daunting atmosphere of Mexico City’s city center “Zócalo”-

Had I not faced some of my own fears by traveling here,

I wouldn’t have a picture of the many who’ve cried here

and why…

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Metropolitan Cathedral, Zócalo, Mexico DF

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Metropolitan Cathedral interior
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Bell hung over the entrance to Zócalo for Independence Day

img_0269¡Viva México!

Being independent gives everyone reason to cry.