Early Morning Mourning


Yesterday I attended my 4th funeral in a year, and my 10th in 10 years; most of them for loved ones who left far too soon by suicide. I also missed some other funerals I’d have liked to attend over those years. I luckily had a chance to ride to this funeral with some friends who I loved, but had never talked about anything really personal or deep before. As we talked it was fairly light and reminiscent of our lost friend, but we all shared a bit of our other recent losses. They had lost friends, family, and loved ones too, and this was our second funeral this year we’d been to together. It’s interesting to me how a shared experience helps you share more of yourself with others than you normally would.

#NaNoWriMo2019 goals


Last year I used #NaNoWriMo to inspire myself to write something. Anything. I ended up writing a single personal essay that, looking back, was quite foundational for much personal growth this year. It was also the instigation to finally starting this blog and trying to give myself permission to write stuff just because I want to.

This year I don’t know that I have something transformational like that again, but I want to write a post each week and have 4 ideas queued up for that. I may swap something else in as I go, but I’m looking forward to getting a couple of these in particular out.

I know #NaNoWriMo is supposed to be about starting a book draft or something, but I just see it as a writing motivator regardless of what.

So, hopefully we’ll see more post here soon! :)

This is life too

Personal, Travel

I recently got the chance to travel to Barcelona for work to teach a two-day workshop. I decided to extend my stay a bit before and after to get some vacation time and check out the famous city.

I already talked a bit about how I like to try to get to know the attitude of a city, and have some specific things I try to learn. One is getting the physical walk of the city down well enough that sidewalk tourist sales people ignore me. I can usually execute it well enough to not be bothered within 2-3 days.

This time I also tried to go even deeper in understanding the attitude behind the walk, not just the physical movement of it. I always have to get a little bit of the attitude correct for it to work, but this time seemed harder to me for some reason. I think it might be because the attitude is so different from my own that it took more work.

The Crosswalk Game

Personal, Travel

When I travel to a city and have time to walk around, I really love to try to understand the attitude of the city and the people who live there. Of course I can never really learn that from just vacationing or working there for a few days, but I always try to internalize the feeling a bit and get my own interpretation.

I have a few systems to determine how well I’m doing. For example, it’s a good sign when most of the time the store checkout person doesn’t just assume English even though I’ve got American written all over me. Another one is that when I’m in a tourist-heavy area, I’m ignored by the people passing out flyers and trying to get us to go to their events. That trick is mostly down to walking style and confidence matching the locals. It usually takes me 2-3 days to get it down enough that I’m totally ignored by tourist-seekers. I really love that stage, because I can walk around and be ignored by everyone. I can make eye-contact and smile at those people instead of trying to avoid them so I don’t have to say no ten times to get away.

St. John’s Bridge

Support structure under the St. John's bridge. There are 6 kids climbing up it.
I was admiring how those horizontal lines might make it possible to climb this structure and then came around the corner and found a bunch of kids climbing it. I was very proud of them.

I’ve been meaning to get out and photograph this bridge for a long time but haven’t gotten to it. I had a few hours today so I drove on some foggy and winding roads to take a some photos today. It really is a very beautiful bridge.

I’d love to make it out for a sunset/sunrise. Today was completely overcast which makes for fairly boring skies but for mid-day shoots that’s way better than clear skies. I over-processed some of the highlights and contrast settings to try to make it a little more interesting to various levels of success. :)

Anyway, you can check out my pictures in my flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brackenm/albums/72157711021724842