Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stars and Stripes: May 26, 2013

With Memorial Day upon us, I thought I would find my best photo of a flag to commemorate the holiday.  I found one close-up photo of a large flag blowing in the wind just outside the Washington Monument.  It could have been a post card.  But tomorrow is Memorial Day, NOT the 4th of July.  On this occasion, no shiny and bright wind-blown flag from grounds of the Washington Monument could compare to this faded and tattered flag that unpretentiously  honors the grave of one of our brave veterans who gave his life for our country.          

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Legacy of a Best Friend: May 19, 2013

Most weeks when I choose my photo of the week, I have a pretty good idea what I'm looking for before I even start scanning the external hard drive.   This week I was looking for something bold and dramatic.   Somehow I ended up on this photo.  I couldn't move past it.  It's so simple and so powerful.  Two young girls walking along a path holding hands.  No games, no toys, no cell phones; just two best friends.  It made me think of my best friends from childhood.  Some I still talk to, while others have faded into the mystery of time.  In retrospect, a funny thing happens when we go through different stages of life.  We gain new friends and, sometimes, new "best friends."   We might have a best friend from high school, another from college, one from our first job, and another from our first neighborhood, etc.  Sometimes that means that the pool of "best friends" grows, but more often we end up losing some along the way through disagreement, relocation, life changes, or, sadly, even death.

When I think about my best friends, I realize that many of them have left a "best friend legacy," i.e., some lasting impact on my everyday day life, whether they introduced me to a favorite restaurant, encouraged me to try a different food, or taught me a new sport, skill or favorite expression.  One of my best friends from college and I used to complain about the long wait and high prices at the barbershop.  We thought our problem was solved when we learned that a classmate was a barber who would come to your room to cut your hair!  Perfect, except our classmate proved to be a little too busy and unreliable, so we decided to buy our own clippers and cut our own hair.  The only problem was that he didn't trust me to cut his hair and I didn't trust him to cut mine, so we each cut our own.  Initially, it was a little scary learning how to hold the mirror, adjust the guards, and get a straight edge, but eventually I got the hang of it, and I never went to a barber again.  Not only that, but every time I cut my hair (or, now, shave my head), I always think of him and how much money and time he has saved me over the years.

So I will leave you with a question: what are some of your best friend legacies?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Opposite Directions: May 5, 2013

Last week a close friend moved to the west coast.  She had been living there for a few months, but now the move was official.  As I reflected on our friendship, my eyes became fixed on a photo hanging in my office.  In the photo, which I took in Santa Monica, a man and woman are riding bicycles on the same path, but going in opposite directions.  I looked at the photo again and wondered if the path is a circle that would allow the riders to meet again, or if the path is a straight line that will have them riding in opposite directions for the rest of time.