We talked in early June about taking current photos as part of the website’s Under Construction Project.
I’d been faulted for using dated pictures, and in the interests of full disclosure, not having anything to hide (but very camera shy) decided to satisfy the curiosity of folks who have done the math and wanted to know my age.
But Karen, the artist in the crowd, is really busy. The subject didn’t come up again until 10:00 this morning. It’s Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 – birthday eve for me. I’m entering my 70th year, to be exact.
Oh my gosh!! I was up all night adding four new pages to rethinkingsurvival.com as well as outlining a series of articles to post both here and on LinkedIn. I took time out for breakfast around 4:00 a.m. and, refueled, went back to work. I was really on a roll.
Three separate medical emergences in the past month (fortunately, I’m the one who becares, not one of those in crisis), have put me seriously behind schedule in terms of blogging and website improvements. So I was pushing myself to “catch up.”
But photos – now? Trust me, I looked as sleep-deprived as I felt. But, okay. Full disclosure. This is me after an all-nighter. My buddy is Meeka-dog, a chocolate lab who is as old for a dog as I am for a people. The white around her nose gives her age away.
Sarge-dog wanted his share of my full attention. Jolted me awake. Made me laugh. Earlier this year, he did his kangaroo routine out in the field and came down hard on a sharp object that tore his hind left leg wide open. It took a week of round-the-clock care to see him through the worst. Today, only a scratch remains to remind us of how close we came to losing our dear boy.
Next we moved outdoors to continue the photo session. The weather was sunny and clear. The wind was unusually strong. The temperature was close to 90 degrees. So I changed into something cooler to walk along the Wisconsin River. We drove down the road to the local park where people camp and picnic, launch their canoes and swim . . . despite the strong current warnings.
Here I’m enjoying the wind in my face. The sun is in my eyes, but you can see that the river is relatively low and sand bars high at this time of year, especially because we haven’t had much rain.
Muscoda, the name of my home village, is a Native American word. It means “Prairie of Flowers.” The winding path along the river leads to large fields of flowered prairie land that Karen especially loves. She often walks the dogs here early mornings. They run in the fields while she enjoys quiet introspection time.
As we walked, I told her that my birth date is exactly on the doyo seasonal marker – the high point of summer, after which the season begins its gradual decline into fall. Although the change isn’t apparent until it’s full blown come the September equinox, the first signs of fall appear every year exactly at my birthday time. Sure enough, though unnoticeable unless one pays close attention, the leaves were already beginning to show the yellows and reds of autumn.
Familiarity with the patterns of nature and recognizing their signs makes me a futurist, I suppose. : )
There’s a delightful wood building on the path. Though you can’t see the roof in the next picture, it looks almost Chinese in structure. I was starting to enjoy this process. I actually started hamming it up for the camera. : )
The deck of this pagoda-like hut is surrounded by huge trees. I love the contrast of this next picture. The proportion of me compared to nature is humbling. Makes me instinctively look up towards the sun.
At dinner, I was asked which of these pictures I’ll use as the new avatar. I answered, None of them.
We did take a few close-ups, but none capture the essential me. After I catch up on the writing and then maybe, just maybe, get more rest, perhaps we will do this again later.
In the meantime, I’ll continue using my two older, favorite pictures. Both of them, like the 70th birthday photos, remain meaningful markers. Though I don’t look like the 33 year-old me on the outside any more, I’m still the same person I’ve always been on the inside. My gravatar photo was taken by a professional photographer while I was fully engaged in talking with a newspaper reporter about a subject dear to my heart. He captured that passion. I identify with the feelings projected in that photo. It’s the true me. So, for now, I’ll keep it as my avatar.
The other in-nature photo was taken for a magazine article published by the Association of Humanistic Psychology in the year 2000. Because the subject was holism, I chose a photo that showed the whole me, and in the outdoors, rather than using a traditional head shot of just the thinker part of me. So it will remain on the About Page. It too is true to who I AM.
For those who were curious to know what I look like now, I understand. So, for the internet friends who asked, true to my word, here is the full disclosure I promised.