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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy 1/2 Year!

Words In Our Beak’s goal is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. The book includes hundreds of images of flora and fauna, links to movies, as well as to informative narratives that have been created by the author.  Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

Well, dear reader, today is June the 30th 2012, which means that tonight is New Year's Eve for the half year! Six months down, and six months to go! And, as I promised in this past Monday's post, I am posting on a non-scheduled day in honor of the half-year.

As you may recall, last year at this time I wrote a three part post in honor of the half year, where part one was looking back at January and February, part two was looking back at March and April and part three was looking back at May and June. 

This year I will start with the image of thorns (posted above this entry). These thorns belong to one of the rose shrubs which grow in my urban (NYC) garden. The image was taken on the first of June, when my roses explained to me that in no way do their thorns have the power to hurt in the way that humans hurt each other with unkind words. The thorns were compelled to voice their opinion after they learned of Abraham Lincoln's quote re thorns which is this: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” 

The thorns felt they were often given bad press; and they brought up another quote: "Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us," (from the writer/philosopher, Voltaire). The thorns admitted that it's hard to disagree with Voltaire's premise, but like me, they feel that this "type" of quote can be interpreted as dismissive, especially when one is going through angst in their life. While it is necessary to move on when one encounters rough times, it is also necessary for one to know he/she is not alone.

As someone who has Neurofibromatosis Type-One (NF-1) and is also legally blind, I've known the power of a human thorn. First of all, NF-1 is anxiety provoking because of its variable and unpredictable nature. Moreover, it can be physically painful, and furthermore, the ignorance of the general public surrounding this condition causes them to say things such as, "You would be such a pretty girl if you did not have those bumps on your face." (And this is one of the kinder remarks that I've been told over the years about my NF-1.)

As for my vision loss, one of my eyes turns in, causing remarks such as, "you look like a dog going blind," to be directed at me.

That being said, there are many folks out there who suffer much more than yours truly from their individual medical afflictions, and one advantage of being born with afflictions is that it usually causes one to be more empathetic to folks who are marginalized for whatever the reason. At least this has been a "motivator" in how I interact with others, especially in my volunteer work with the elderly, and it has been the impetus for my mission in my indiegogo Campaign, which I launched last week — a campaign whose slogan is "The very old, they are miracles like the just born; close to the end is precious like close to the beginning." 

To help raise awareness, about the truths implied in this quote, I will be giving voice to the things I grow in my garden as they share their life experiences via an imaginative combination of animation, music, voiceover, and photography, as well as charming story-lines.

Therefore, as you might surmise, the things I grow in my garden have been very excited about this opportunity, and there has been quite a bit of chatter amongst the things I grow, as to who will be featured in a given venue. Today, I will use this year's half year review, featuring some of the images taken in my garden during the first six months of the year, images that I anticipate will be included in the Virtual Stories (mini garden themed movies) for my indiegogo Campaign. They can be seen in the Virtual Story (mini-movie) posted below:

That's it for today, dear reader, and I will be resuming a Monday and Friday Blogger posting schedule AFTER the 4th of July. (You can always catch me on my tumblr Pages, Facebook, Pinterest on the other days).

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