Thanks for reading me. If you've seen my other blog, you'll know it's full of politics and more than a bit of sarcasm. This one is for me.... my journey through self and into realization.

Here is where I intend to explore me - and through my words, I hope you'll learn me, as well. If you learn a bit about yourself in the process, I would consider that the greatest compliment you could pay me.

As with any good exploration, nobody knows what we'll find, but I'm flush with the excitement of the journey, and not worried about the eventual endpoint.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sad, Sad Days

Karen Winrich Obituary

I received some unexpected bad news this week...my sister-in-law, Karen, died rather suddenly on Wed. Morning.  She was 44.

I see my brother, now transformed into a single parent of 5 beautiful children.

I see Mitchel, too young at 3 to fully understand that Mommy is not just sleeping, that she is being taken away from him, to become a spiritual presence only, and not a physical one.

I see Caroline, who did not want to attend the funeral, because she didn't want to go through with it.

I see Katie, the oldest girl, standing next to her father at the receiving line, standing there in shoes too big for her feet.  I find this very ironic... it almost seems as if she's physically trying to fill her mother's shoes by wearing a pair that are too big for her.  She is strong, our Katie, refusing to break down in the light of this tragedy.

I see Matt, the oldest boy, watching over his younger siblings.

And finally, I see Lauren...the middle daughter.  My impressions of Lauren are the strongest.  I see her at the visitation on Friday night, kneeling by the coffin, standing attendance on her mother's lifeless body.  Never straying far from it.  I see her arrange her mothers hands, to hold a flower specially picked by her small hands.  I see the grief, and feel it radiate off her in waves, yet there is a small, sad smile on her face as she acts the valiant little hostess.

At the funeral, I see Lauren again, delicate, the same bittersweet smile on her face as she sits again near the head of the coffin and greets each mourner as they pass by to offer final respects to Kari.

This family has just had its foundation ripped out from under it....but I feel they will be OK.  With a mother like Karen, they are off to a good start, even without her physical presence.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The photography continues.

Been very busy with life lately...but have managed to spend some time behind a camera.  My favorite new subjects?  The band, of course.  They've a few new weblinks for all of us:

Statobahn on ReverbNation



The boys have been busy, busy, busy...and once they shoved a camera in my hands, they've kept me busy, busy, busy too, with the photography of their creative efforts.  The real work for me is after the photo shoot is over...well, OK, it's more fun than work, because I get to take all these wonderful images and play with them.

Here are some of my favorites:

Well, OK, this one isn't of the band, it's the latest in the series of illustrations based on lyrics from Statobahn.  This one is for "Beautiful Ruin."  I've been after a good moon shot for a long time, and, while this one isn't perfect, it is acceptable enough, given the foreground of empty branches.  My poor little camera just can't get enough detail on the moon itself to make a truly noteworthy moon shot.  More later, once I can invest in good digital gear and PhotoShop.

Now for some band pics:

Of all the shots I've taken, this one is my favorite - and I'm not sure why.  There's the reflection in the drum kit, the framing of the piece, the simplicity.  Once I converted this one to a B&W shot, it amped up the punch significantly.

Just look at the movement on this one - the fingers are translucent, as I shot them while Randy was playing his bass.  The string is also captured in mid-vibration.

And here are the boys - from top left:  Pete Torres, Randy Rock, Tony Dietzler, and Dave Hucke.  This is one of several covers I've put together for them to promote their new single.  This one is my favorite, but probably won't be the one chosen, as the boys have the final say (it is THEIR band, after all, I just like to take pictures of 'em).

That's enough for now, I think....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Exploring the World through Photos again

While these photos don't have song lyrics attached to them, I think this batch is profound enough to share with you.

This first one is yet another night shot of the river walkway.  This is the other side of the walkway...not my usual haunt which is down by the fountain and the falls, but it's a beautiful shot.  I love my river walkway...at night, during the day, in rain, snow, and full flood.

And now we go back to my favorite side of the walkway - the falls.  This trio of fountains is IN the river, above the falls, and they light them up at night (obviously).  It's one of the views I have from my apartment windows, although this shot was taken right on site.

This shot was taken last year (that being 2009) at the House on the Rock.  They've got a lot of these huge urns scattered all about the property.  This one was taken from the parking lot.  I love the Eastern feel to the piece, the little dragon clinging to the side.  The oriental influences in the entire place are amazing.  If you've never been to House on the Rock, I highly suggest it - and also suggest a good pair of walking shoes, as the compound takes several hours to walk through.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Exploring: Music and Photography II

Alright - I've completed one more for you...the song from this one is called 'The Bounce,' which can be heard on Statobahn's page.

Although the rendering on the myspace page is EXTREMELY rough (they've since replaced this singer) the song, itself, the lyric and the general composition, is good. (I get to cheat...I've got a different version that I get to listen to, that is much more palatable than the myspace page one :D)  The lyric speaks of how we, as humans, are destroying our environment at a phenomenal pace.

Once again - here's the full-size version:  The Bounce

And here's the picture...

Exploring: Music and Photography

For the last couple of months, I've discovered a new hobby - photography.  Found that I've got a modicum of an eye for it.  Now, paired with inspiration from my boyfriend's music, I find myself going after shots I can envision from the lyrics of his songs.

Always giving credit and links where credit is due and links are available - the band is Statobahn, and here's a link to their myspace page, where you can hear Elegy, but not the other 2 songs.  For that - I'll need to get permission from Dave to add the music here....and I gotta figure out HOW to put the music here, too :(

Inspiration is wonderful - especially when it's springing from such a lovely association.

You can view a full-sized picture of this one here: Dawn Photo

This was the first - the song that inspired this photo is called "Dawn."  It's a beautiful piece, full of feeling and multi-layered in it's complexity.  The inspiration for this one struck particularly hard, and forced me to be up BEFORE sunrise so I could get down to the river walkway and capture the shot.  I took many pics that morning, but this is the only one that amounted to anything.

Now, the next one is a bit darker - but the song that inspired it IS a dark one, too - the title of this song is called "Elegy," and of the three pieces of music I'm quoting here, the only one you can listen to on Statobahn's page.

You can view the full-sized version here:  Elegy Photo

I'm not sure if I'm too happy with this one yet - I'm using a photo editor that I found online, and it's a bit limited in what it can do.  I'm convinced there IS a PhotoShop purchase in the works, as I find I'm very stimulated with adjusting my photos and adding things to them, but lack the editing tools of 'Shop to really let myself 'go.'  So - if this one gets re-done in the future, I'll certainly post it out.

For the last one (for now :D) I had a lot of fun with this pic.  It was, again, taken at night on the river walkway (hey, it's right outside my doorstep, so it's convenient, and there's a ton of interesting architectural details to use).  The song from this one is a piece called "What's my Name?"  This piece of music is simply stunning - there is almost a tribal feel to the music, the lyrics are powerful.  The first time I listened to this song, I couldn't believe it - in my journal, I wrote "It's potent - it's powerful - it's a spirit-quest distilled into song."

Anyway - once again, the full-sized version is here:  What's My Name?

When I went into the editor, I blurred the edges of the piece first - that lent a certain amount of surrealism to the picture - then I 'twirled' the lamp-post - it looks like a stylized question-mark now - which is PERFECT for the song lyric, and the song in general, because the entire piece is composed almost entirely of questions.

Enjoy my photographic endeavor. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010


This won't be a pretty post.  Nothing fun, or fine, or perky or happy.  I'm riding a strange and melancholy low today.

Part of it is my fountain.  The Fox River is in flood stage, and they've shut off the fountain.  The water left in the pool is stagnant.  There is no joy to the fountain right now, the plaza is in pain, and the river is raging, angry, with tidepools and heavy, swirling waters below the dam head.  Sure, the spectacle of the river in flood mode is incredible, but I'm looking at it with different eyes, different senses, and all I can feel is the pain of the plaza and the rage of the river.  It's put me distinctly off-balance.

As I'm tied deeply to water, the temporary loss of my nexus point is felt keenly, sharply, like a knife in my stomach.  There are alternate points, but nothing is as strong or so potently focused in all 4 key elements as my fountain.

My alternates do include a secondary fountain on a different part of the river walkway, but it's not as strong, not as potent.  Its not circular, for starters, but a curved rectangular shape.  The energy in that fountain can, and does, bleed away at the straight edges.  I can't hear the running water of the falls, for a second point, which is a potent blending of water and air.  I can't feel the occasional spray as the wind picks up water droplets and flings them at me.

I have managed to restore a modicum of balance today - swimming at the pool and then connecting with simple humanity helped...but I still feel the loss of my nexus.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Now this is a tender subject.  Empathy.  Before you start dredging up images of Diana Troi on ST:TNG (oops, my geek roots are showing again...), this is not a piece on the Hollywood or Fiction special-effects and bad acting on the subject of Empathy... this is, at least in my mind....real.

Is empathy, the ability of a person to feel the emotional state of another, real?  I believe it is.  I think we all have this ability to greater or lesser degrees.  I can't think of one single person who doesn't feel their heart twist at a sappy love story or a piece of beautifully written and performed music.  These things are, to a lesser degree, touches of empathy.  They are feeling what the performer is putting into the piece, what the writer tried to invoke when crafting the piece.  It's an appreciation of creativity.. and very much a touch of empathy - to have a feeling invoked in you by another... it's hardwired into our brain circuitry.

So everyone, to this slight degree, has empathy.  Not quite so scary when you put it in commonly used applications and everyday settings, is it?

Now, I'm going to explore a bit further, move into the stronger empathic gifts.  Just as some people are gifted with strength, with charisma, with creativity, there are people among us who have this special sense of empathy in adverse proportion to the strength found within the general population.  Now, whether they've worked to develop it, or its a natural gift is up for debate and speculation, but these people DO exist.  Most simply don't announce it, as, well, let's face it, there's ridicule and the racial memory of which hunts to keep such blatant announcements in check.

Nobody wants to be thought of as unnatural or different - that's another thing that's hardwired into the human brain.

My personal gift (or curse, as I've called it both) of empathy is stronger than most.  (Did ya hear that...I'm coming out of the empathic closet)  It's primarily tied into my writing..and is mainly projective in nature, but does go into receptive as well.... I'll explain.

Part of the reason I write (aside from the obvious one...that I like it) has always been a way to clean the cluttered pathways of my mind.  As I'm cleaning, I'm also imprinting my emotional state into the work... projecting it through the written word.  Some of my best pieces were created when I was in a state of turbulent emotional upheaval.

Because I'm so in tune with the written word, I can, and do, actively read others in what they've written, as well...reading below the 'surface' of the words, so to speak, even when the person doing the writing isn't (or can't) actively project themselves into the work.  There's a texture and an underlayment to all words that I can always pick up on.  The written word speaks very powerfully both through me and to me - yet another reason why I'm a hobby writer, and why I'm so very comfortable with online communications, as well.

Other forms of communication - spoken, sung, artistically created sculptures or paintings or drawings...those I'm not so good at, although I do have crystalline moments of clarity when the originator is actively projecting themselves onto the work.

It is difficult to hit the 'post' button at this point - the bare words simply don't have the punch, the fire, the fervor I'm used to seeing in my written works, proof positive of my hesitation to well and truly come 'out.'  That hesitation, I'm sure, will be felt in the words I'm writing here.

Aaaaaaand........*gritting teeth*  post.