Saturday, 19 November 2016

Through One Lens

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano
I was alone with my camera. Well, not really alone. I am never alone with my thoughts.
This week personal anxiety was taking a massive toll in my heartland. Fears about the future. Fear of people. Fear of taking a leap.
I stepped out on a Wednesday. Neither hot, neither cold. Neither grey, neither blue. Somewhere in between.
A bee is flying amongst the flowers. He, she, it, makes a solitary figure, but if I pull back the lens I see that is not so. There are many hovering bees all around. I’ve heard about the bees disappearing. It makes me glad that I have flowers in the garden. I should plant more flowering plants then. For the bees. Do bees enjoy the flowers the way humans do? Or is it just another day at the office for a bee?
I leave my street and head toward the shops. I see a ‘no u-turn’ sign. I am near the school. Why do people ignore that sign? Do they think the law is merely a guideline? Or do they think that rules only apply to others? There is symbolism in that sign – you can never go back. That’s sad, but it can also be a good thing. Got to keep moving forward.
Cross the street and nearing the tracks. A woman walks slowly in my direction, hunched forward on a walking frame. You know those frames that double as a seat. Those seats must be nice for resting. But I notice how hunched the people are that use the frames. 
The woman is stooped with white silvery hair that makes me think of angels and baby lambs. Her skin is feathery and delicate. She has elegant white leather gloves on. Gloves are disappearing, along with the bees. I compliment the woman on her gloves. But what I really wanted to ask was ‘can I take your photo?’. But I am too scared to ask. An opportunity lost. Too many of those. It hurts my heart.
Past the tracks and another sign is before me. I stop to read it:

Because when you
& look around,
this life
is pretty amazing.

How very Ferris Buellerian.
I was on my way to visit the vinyl shop. I change my mind.
There is a dog. He is sitting patiently waiting for his person. Only he is not a he. I later discover he is a she, after reading the collar – Trish. Trish the gorgeous. Trish the tender hearted. Trish of the honey brown amber.
I kneel to take a photo. Trish stands and walks toward me expectantly, with the heartbreakingly beautiful trust of a dog to a human. She is only held back by her tied leash. If that leash wasn’t on her there would be nothing that she couldn’t achieve.
I enter the op-shop, not far from Trish.
A woman hovers near the children’s literature near the front door. She asks me if these are the children’s books, then explains that she’s never worked here before. I say ‘yes’. Never be rude, even if the answer appears obvious. It hurts when people make me feel stupid, and refuse to give an answer. I don’t want to do that to others.
In the op-shop I find a wonderful book on three dimensional graphics. Perfecto! I was recently making something with paper. The whole family has, really. I start something wonderful, and the girls follow my lead. My interests become their’s. They become me, and I become them.
One of the women working in the shop speaks to another, commending the work of another, “That young one did a good job organising this area.” The other responds, “Did she?” Tone polite, but questioning. Perhaps she can’t see it, or doesn’t really have any further to say.

I wait to be served at the counter. I stare at a wall of plates and bowls. I want to take a photo. I want to ask permission. Fear kicks in, and the only photo I have is the one in my mind.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Finding the Words

There are things I wanted to say in the past few days but have truly struggled to find the words to express such things. Another thing blocking my ability to write was not having something to say that could either solve or sooth a situation that is dividing a massive nation. I am in deed referring to the 2016 US election. What could one person say, really?

Politics should never be treated as a joke, because getting the job of protecting all your people and finding social and economic solutions for those people is a seriously important job. So, how did it happen that a self serving, mediocre business man [I use this titles ‘business’ and  ‘man’ rather loosely], with the attention span of a… Wait! What was I saying? Yes, well… how does someone like Donald Trump alienate so many Americans and still get a majority vote? There are a hundred bullet point answers to this question, which I’m not going into because people that are ten times more qualified than me have already covered it.

What I can say is this, for any country, and not just America, this is a wake up call to what happens when the people are so disillusioned by past and current governing bodies that they would grasp at any person offering an alternative lie.

Like any country trying to support itself, America needs help, but I don’t think it can come from a man who promises destruction to those who simply said no to him. People can improve themselves, sure, if that is a personal motivation for them, but I do not see Donald Trump as a person willing to put aside his insecurities and contempt to be the leader that America needs. Winning votes is one thing. But telling angry, frustrated tax payers what they want to hear is nothing compared to the truth – that there is seriously hard work to come for the President Elect – a man who seems to be trying on different roles like he’s working through a bucket list.

It was a painful week for American’s who had hoped for another outcome, and a disappointment to friends of those Americans. Many people discovered that while democracy is fair, it doesn’t always feel right. And yet what we can learn from history is that time doesn’t stand still. What is fact now can change tomorrow. Donald Trump isn’t president yet, so until then anything can happen. He may still take the oath, but with his history of wrongdoing it is only a matter of time before he messes up his own place setting in the white house. The people have voted, but they can vote again, and again. And they will.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


This scene from Gossip Girl was pretty much sums up my day yesterday…


Three Things

Trump is president elect.
The cat hissed.
I am eating chocolate.