Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic


I am a sentimental fool, often nostalgic for my collection of antiques, which I gathered throughout my lifetime. I have a difficult time letting go. For example, I have the original Barbie and Ken dolls, including the Barbie Dream House, convertible, and all their clothes…in mint condition! How does one sell a lifetime of memories when moving abroad? Yet, I promised my husband that I would at least try to let go of my cherished possessions.

I made this video five years ago, in my attempts to empty our Boomer nest. This week’s photo contest challenges us to remember or recapture a moment of the past…a longing…a remembrance…the Golden Years. Instead, I made a video of my atonement for being a sentimental collector. If you are wondering…I still have ALL of my sentimental collections stored in our house in the states. I honestly did try to let go…but it’s a slow process for me.

Timeout for Art: Good Bones


Design in art, is a recognition of the relation between various things, various elements in the creative flux. You can’t invent a design. You recognize it, in the fourth dimension. That is, with your blood and your bones, as well as with your eyes.
David Herbert Lawrence

Southern hospitality is the backbone of the Southern United States. For the past two weeks, I accompanied my talented mother to her weekly painting class where I was greeted by an enthusiastic instructor who has a third eye and a creative spirit. As my mother prepared her palette, the instructor invited me to sketch the architecture of the “Old South”, which the class was painting in oils.

IMG_3147Mom reflected on the good bones of the shotgun house, painting the foundation first, before adding the lighter details. The shotgun house was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the Civil War to the 1920’s.

IMG_3150Good bones! I think this is a camel-back shotgun house because it has a second story.

IMG_3148I settled into an architectural frame of mind as I attempted to make the shotgun house seem old and well used. Of course, that meant adding lots of winding ivy. After all, you can’t invent a design. It’s just a matter of adding a creative twist with your blood, your bones, and your eyes.

IMG_3170Checkout Lisa’s Timeout for Art: Bones for many creative artists.

 

Snowden in Nicaragua?


“US fugitive Edward Snowden has abandoned his request for political asylum in Russia after learning he would have to stop leaking intelligence reports, the Kremlin said Tuesday, as the American awaited asylum decisions from 20 other countries.” (Dmitry Zaks, AFP, July 2, 2013).

According to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, other countries in which Snowden may seek asylum include China, Cuba, France, Germany, Italy, India, Nicaragua and Spain. Nicaragua??? My expat home?  I’m torn with conflicting emotions if Nicaragua were to accept Snowden.

On the one hand, I believe that Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor. A traitor is someone who gives information to the enemy. Are ‘We the People’ the enemy? Don’t we have a right to know about our government’s secret surveillance program, especially if it is ‘We the People’ who are being watched?

Certainly, it is no secret because George W. Bush authorized warrantless wiretapping of international communications after the September 11, 2001 attacks as part of the war on terrorism. In 2005, public disclosure ignited the outrage of the potential misuse of data mining of e-mail messages and telephone call records in the NSA call database. We’ve known about this for years.

I’m siding with Snowden on this issue.  He is not a traitor, only a concerned citizen who risked his life and his professional career to inform us of the potential dangers of warrantless wiretapping and government surveillance of its own citizens.  Let’s face it, we all know that we are being watched, not only by our government, but by the marketing media who records every click, every ‘like’, and every internet move we make in the digital age.

The other day, I was researching metal detectors and protest music. Weird combination, I know, but sometimes in my mind works in mysterious ways. In looking for protest music on YouTube, a little ad at the bottom of the video tried to direct me to metal detectors. What??? How could they possibly know that I was researching metal detectors? Honestly, browser snooping scares me. It unnerves me to think that my every move on the internet is recorded for marketing purposes.

Yet, what frightens me more are the potential problems for Nicaragua. If Snowden were to receive asylum in my expat country would I offer him my guest house as a reprieve from the mad warlock hunt? Impulsively, I would say, “Yes”. I admire his bravery and his tenacity.  On the other hand, I imagine this scenario or nightmare…your choice:

Snowden snuggles peacefully under the mosquito net in our guest house, while unidentified flying objects circle the periphery of our property. Strangers disguised as lone fishermen, paddle around the lake wearing night goggles and Google glasses. Economic sanctions by the U.S. prohibit the export of Nicaraguan coffee, gold, and beef. The United States, Nicaragua’s main trading partner who bought 29% of Nicaragua’s exports in 2012, stops trading with Nicaragua. All U.S. expats and tourists are stopped at every border crossing, strip searched and aggressively interrogated. Legal expats can no longer leave or enter Nicaragua without special permission from the U.S. Tourism comes to an abrupt halt. Fear overwhelms the local people struggling to make a living because all trading has stopped. NGOs are prohibited from sending donations and supplies to Nicaragua. Nicaragua, my beloved adopted country, quickly loses all economic gains it has made in recent years.

If Edward Snowden knocks on my door in my little oasis of peace, I’m afraid  I would have to say, “Sorry, Edward. I admire your bravery, but I am a coward with too much at risk. Please find another country for political asylum.” For you see, I love Nicaragua more than I admire Snowden’s courageous whistle blowing. Life is all about making informed decisions. Every choice has a consequence whether good or bad, right or wrong, bitter or sweet. Laurie Buchanon says, “The life we live is an expression of the choices we make.” I chose Nicaragua before, and I will choose Nicaragua again. Surely, Snowden understands that individual choices can have global consequences. I wish you the best, Edward Snowden. Safe travels in your search for peace and political asylum.

Snowden in Nicaragua?