What Lens Do You Use? Not Your Camera, You 1

If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. —- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve learned about various camera lenses through WordPress’ Photography 101 over the last few months, and amazingly it has helped me to understand people better. We all look at life through our own lens.

So which lens do you use when you are looking at relationships with others; macro, wide-angle, or telephoto? Do you look at things so closely that you fail to see the outer world? Do you take the wider view and sometimes have blurred edges and distorted images? Or, are you more versatile and able to change your focus based on the situation at hand, while occasionally missing the details or blurring the background or even blurring the foreground? Or, like me do you find there have been times in your life when you’ve changed lenses or even times when you wish you had changed your lens?

This month the Bloggers for Peace challenge is to focus on our family especially those we don’t fully embrace. Those who read my recent photo challenge post about family know that in Hawaii ohana means family and much more. I am thinking seriously about how the way I view situations has contributed to dynamics within my ohana. Of course living in a culture that discourages outing members of our ohana, I had to find a way to address the challenge without addressing any individual or group of individuals. The letter below is my response to the challenge. And if it touches a chord for you, I hope you will reach out.

Dear Ohana,

Some of you may no longer realize that you are still part of our ohana, but you are. There truly is no way to remove someone completely from your life once they have touched it enough to be ohana. Believe me, I have tried to remove some of you. The reality is you and I were viewing the situation through different lenses and this resulted in a failure to communicate. It happens.

Unfortunately, it happens too often in this world. I’ve searched my soul to find answers to help bring peace back to our ohana. Honestly, it is still a process. I hope you are working on this from your side too because obviously there are always two sides to any problem. I still have hope that deep within your soul you care enough to want a solution.

I am willing to admit at least half of the failure to communicate rests with me. I hope you are willing to meet me halfway, so we can finally view the situation through each other’s lenses and begin to fully understand one another. I wish you nothing but peace and your reply is not essential for my peace, so you do not need to respond quickly or even at all. Still, I hope you will reply at some point because leaving you behind is not an option.

With aloha,


Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure (Highly Valued) 2

This week for the WordPress photo challenge, Krista asked us, “What do you treasure? What’s important to you?”

There are so many treasures in this world. Personally, I’m grateful for the simple treasures like time spent with family, friends, our pets and Mother Nature. What about you? What do you treasure?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie? It Is Like Asking a Fourteen Year Old to Use Carbon Paper 6

For those who have never heard of a selfie, watch the 100-Year-Old BFFs on Steve Harvey as one of the friends explains it to the other, “You don’t and I don’t, but they do.” They are a joy and I really love the answers they give to questions about modern pop culture.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands is obviously younger than me because this week for the WordPress photo challenge, she is asking us to share a selfie. I am a Baby Boomer, so asking me to share a selfie is really like asking a fourteen year old to write a theme paper in cursive, making three carbon copies. Some of them might know what I am talking about and even how to do it, but they would not want to do it.

Luckily, I do know what a selfie is since I have teenagers, but honestly sharing a selfie just is not me, but I’m up to the challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object (or Objective of the Object: Kung Hei Fat Choi!) 2

Traditionally, Chunlian or lucky red papers are hung in doorways of homes in China. I learned the papers are red because the Chinese word for red sounds like prosperous and red symbolizes joy, virtue, truth, and sincerity. Today the messages are for success, health, wealth, prosperity, joy, peace and harmony, etc. It is important to take down and discard the old Chunlian just before Chinese New Year.

Today is the first official day of Chinese New Year although Honolulu has been celebrating for a couple of weeks. Therefore, when I saw today’s WordPress weekly photo challenge was object, I knew I would be using photos I took last weekend during our Chinatown celebration to wish you many blessings in 2014 while sharing the objects I photographed.

Kuan Yin is the Chinese name for the bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara, who can be depicted as either male or female. Many stories about her remind me of the stories of the Christian Saints. She also is known as the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy which makes her a favorite of mine. You can learn more about her by reading: What is Kuan Yin? at Religion Facts (dot) com.

While the bamboo was my object in the second picture above, I love the lady in the window. She was photographing the lion dance too.

I took video instead of pictures of the parade.

I took video instead of pictures of most of the parade. Thus, this is a screen shot from my video.

This year my photo objects were different from a couple of years ago, thanks to Photography 101.

Kung Hei Fat Choi! (Happy New year! May prosperity and all good things be with you and yours!)