Oskar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone But Not Forgotten

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Oskar

His name was Oskar, but I frequently called him “Mr. Wabbit” … because he was such a “wascal.”

My¬†mother gave him to me as a birthday present in 1994 … the year my grandmother passed away. That period of time¬†marked¬†a major turning point in my life in so many ways, and this little guy rode the waves of change with me.

He was there when I quit corporate to follow my dream.

He, and his lovely Princess, a little black cat I rescued, was there when my first marriage dissolved soon thereafter and I became a nomad, moving five times in three years.

He was around when I met my second husband. (He¬†promptly fell in love with him … animals know the good ones … it was a sign ;-)).

He was my buddy through thick and thin ~ a source of comfort and laughter and joy.

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Oskar II

He was a snuggler … with me; with the bears. He liked to talk.¬†He was a good listener. And he took good care of his Princess.

Oskar¬†was an outdoor cat (that is to say, he was allowed outside) and always came home when I whistled the tune, “To dream the impossible dream …”

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Oskar III

He had purr-sonality plus. He liked to be the centre of attention when we had visitors, loved to play with the dogs or curl up with them on the couch.

He lived to the ripe old age of 17 when, sadly, he succumbed to cancer.

I will always remember my Wascally Wabbit.

Yes, he’s¬†gone … but certainly not¬†forgotten.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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¬©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Dramatically Angular … Sydney Opera House

Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

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The opera house ~ on the stage and in the hallways echo the dramas of life and vision and creativity.

The Sydney Opera House immediately comes to mind as a place of great theatrical drama, spectacularly reflected in all its dramatic, angular, architectural glory.

One little story … the tour guide told us that when the great (and superstitious) tenor, Luciano Pavarotti,¬†sang at the opera house in 1983 he could not be persuaded to walk on the purple carpet because it was the same colour¬†as¬†coffin lining.

That, my friends, is a dramatic angle …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

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¬©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Where the Niagara Falls Over the Horseshoe …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

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What a vantage point this must be for the bird who descends into the mists coming off the thundering waters of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara, Ontario.

Descent

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At a height of 188 feet (57m) and a width of 2,600 feet (790m) these falls are an impressive sight.
The average annual flow rate is 85,000 cubic feet (2,400 m3). That’s a lot of water tumbling down the Niagara River from Lake Erie, descending over a rocky precipice and into the Niagara gorge on its way to Lake Ontario.

Niagara Falls

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The verdant green colour of the water is a byproduct of the estimated 60 tonnes/minute of dissolved salts and “rock flour” (very finely ground rock) generated by the erosive force of the Niagara River itself. The current rate of erosion is approximately 1 foot (0.30 m) per year down from a historical average of 3 feet (0.91 m) per year. According to Niagara Parks, it’s estimated that 50,000 years from now, even at this reduced rate of erosion, the remaining 20 miles (32 km) to Lake Erie will have been undermined and the falls will cease to exist.

Horseshoe Falls

Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. ūüėČ

(NB all information here sourced and attributed to Niagara Parks.)

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

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¬©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Where Light and Shadow Falls

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

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poppies

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This is top of mind right now due to the tragic events in Ottawa and Montreal this week,¬†and¬†the senseless killing of two members of Canada’s military by rogue terrorists. And, of course, with Remembrance Day around the corner, the plight of our military is certainly held more in our hearts at this time of year.

This image reminds me of the great sacrifice members of our military make in the name of peace. And not just the ultimate sacrifice of life, but often the loss of vitality in mind, body and spirit and the toll it takes on their families and relationships.

Equine experiential learning is also top of mind for me at the moment as I participate in, and learn to facilitate, this healing modality.

Programs are available to help military veterans manage their PTSD and return to civilian life. For instance, Can Praxis out of Alberta, Canada and sponsored by Wounded Warriors of Canada is just one of many.

If I were to write a book about this it would be an inspirational collection of stories showing¬†how the healing power of the horse has helped veterans reclaim their lives. I would put this image on the cover, perhaps with a superimposed image of a horse quietly grazing to illustrate peace and vitality and call it ~¬†“Where Light and Shadow Falls: Veterans’ Journeys of Healing by Way of the Horse”¬†or something like that.¬†The bulk of the proceeds would go toward supporting programs such as this.

It’s about reconnecting with the heart.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the poppy has the symbolic colour¬†of the heart.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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¬©Dorothy Chiotti … ¬†Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

Italian Light Play

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

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Light play.

Expressions of light toy with our senses.

My senses were beautifully tickled in Italy last June.

What light?

Early morning light bursts through the Tuscan sky.

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Piazza del Republic

Bubbles of light paint the Piazza Republica in Firenze.

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Venetian Refraction

Subdued light mirrors Venizia.

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Tuscan Refraction

A laser beam of light targets the Torre de Mangia in the Piazza del Campo, Siena

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Florentine Refraction

Another nod to Firenze with light play on the River Arno

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Refracted Colour

A dance of light upon the River Arno is a visual treat.

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Be dazzled and delighted by the play of light, for it will make you smile.

¬†Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

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©Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Dream Sequence

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

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Dreamy

On a trip to the local garden centre to photograph flowers I came across the resident feline. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard her called by name, but I do know that on this occasion she was happily pregnant and languishing on a garden chair enjoying, as cats often do, an afternoon sunbeam.

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Dreamy II

She looked so peacefully recumbent I stopped for a few minutes to capture her dreamy tranquility. Naturally, she felt my presence and through half-closed eyes gave me the feline wooly eyeball.

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Dreamy III

And then, all was forgiven as she rolled onto her back and disappeared, once again, into kitty slumberland.

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Thank you for visiting … and if you’re celebrating “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Dorothy

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¬©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

Music … An Explosive Expression of Humanity

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.
Billy Joel

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Music.

The universal language.

” … an explosive expression of humanity.”

Where there is music, people gather.

A¬†note, a pulse, a rhythm touches the air and we are moved, respond … differently.

Sing along; tap a toe; meditate; all out dance.

It’s our differences that make¬†us human, and humans, with our differences, make up humanity.

Old World Music

On our recent trip to Italy we met with two musical surprises.

The first was in Florence. During our last evening in Florence we stopped by the Ponte Vecchio where two talented guitarists had set up and attracted a large crowd of tired tourists winding down their day.

Musica Ponte Vecchio

With a view of the beautiful River Arno as their backdrop and surrounded by the ancient air of the old bridge,¬†the¬†duo’s¬†energy and whimsy added a twist of¬†musical ambiance¬†to an already magical setting.

As I gazed around the haphazard audience I was moved by how so many diverse cultures could gather together in one place and happily listen in on the musical conversation being struck on these two guitars.

Music speaks to the soul of what’s important. It is healing when we allow it this capacity. And at the end of a long day tramping through the streets of an¬†ancient city, it is restoring too.

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Two weeks later in Venice we experienced much the same thing in the Piazza San Marco.

music iv

In the evenings, parlour orchestras (I guess you’d call them) set up on a rotating basis to play the classics (Vivaldi, Handel, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lloyd Webber, etc.) to draw traffic into the cafes.

Tourists of every persuasion gather in the square to eat gelato and move about between the bands.

Musica San Marco

For a hefty sum, if you so wish (and we did one night) you can park your tired derriere at a table and enjoy some refreshment ~ a glass of wine, or cappaccino and biscotti, perhaps ~ while listening to tuneful melodies resonating into the square.

A different expression of music in another city but no less magical than
that we’d experienced in Florence.

And so it goes anywhere in the world where the universal language of music
speaks to the hearts of all.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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¬©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014