wordly images

postcards – from the edges of another place and time(?)

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on May 25, 2010

Chichen Itza, MexicoImage: Jones-2009, Chichen Itza, Mexico

I was reading an interesting article recently by a travel writer (Guy Trebay) who still sends postcards from wherever he travels to. I say ‘still’ because it does seem as if the action of putting pen to paper (or card) and writing ‘wish you were here’ is a thing of the past for the majority of us. What with the advent of the electronic postcards – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, iPhones – snail mail seems far too….well, slow. Not only from sticking the postcard in the box and then its journey from the senders location to the recipients location (and depending where you are in the world, you could get back before your postcard even arrives!), but also the physical effort that one has to put in to find the appropriate card and then wrack your brains to find a witty way to compress your travel stories, onto a tiny 3 1/2 x 5″area;  aside from the cliched ‘wish you were here’ or ‘wish you weren’t here’. And, don’t forget you have to buy the stamp and stick it on too!

On the whole we seem happy to have shrunk our worlds into the electronic medium of (often round-robin because it saves time) communication and, hey, I am more than guilty of taking the easy option of late. There was a time that I wouldn’t even think twice about sending a postcard whilst on my travels – if only to my dad to stick on his fridge. However, it seems such a shame that we don’t take the time to hunt out interesting, quirky, or cliched postcards;  especially looking for just the right card for i.e. your best mate, the one that only they would get the joke or the nuance of that particular card.

As Mr Trebay so succinctly put it ‘Historians of Facebook and Twitter will be left to scrounge around the internet for the fugitive relics of the present communication age’. Not for them the scene upon scene of diverse wonders of far off places – the sun set over the costa del sol, camels posing in front of the pyramids, African drummers on a beach or, god forbid, those ‘naughty’ 70’s cartoon postcards, depicting two old men sitting on their striped deck chairs, eyes popping out of their heads as two young, comically-endowed busty, blonds (as they seemed to have more fun – allegedly!) walk past in itsy-bitsy bikini’s; with some lewd comment written underneath a la: “eeeh, Stan, you don’t get many of those to the pound these days!”

Lets not deprive ourselves of this ancient(ish) ritual (apparently, the first souvenir postcard was printed in 1893 in the US) , nor the pleasure of our friends or family picking up their post, shuffling through the usual generic brown or white-enveloped bills, boring circulars etc, only to come across a flash of colour in the midst of it all and with a personalised note, just for them, written in ink on the back to-boot.

How refreshingly old-fashioned, I say.

HJ – May 25th 2010, NYC

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reverie – synonyms: absorption, abstraction, castle-building, castles in the air

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on May 4, 2010

2 Sunset, Slaotsburg, NY2 Sunset, Sloatsburg, NY – Image: Jones-2o10

Just back into the city after a blissful few days up country, dog-sitting for friends in their wonderful house by a lake – the lake being at the bottom of their garden!

What a contrast, being back in the noise-polluted streets of the city to the tranquility of the countryside…..surrounded by woods, wildlife, star-filled night skies, the full moon reflecting off the lake, and…….quiet stillness at night, until the dawn chorus sets off and the woods and lake come alive once again.

Back to the city and the constant drone of the huge air-conditioning units around the apartment block, the cacophony of the 24/7 traffic, horns blaring down 6th Avenue. I lie there at night waiting for the blissful few minutes when the air conditioning re-booting, wishing that I could fall asleep in those brief moments and escape the constant electronically-induced hum. The white noise of the city.

So, it begs the question: why do we choose to place ourselves in situations where there seems to be no respite from the perpetual drone of city life? Is it to distract ourselves from standing still and really looking at ourselves? Do we think that we are missing out if we are not in the hub of it all  – whatever ‘it’ is?

Would living in the country eventually present its own version of that perpetual drone? Quite possibly…..but then I’d rather take a chance, even in these uncertain financial times, and build my castle in the sky, surrounded by the constant hum of nature, over the oppressive concrete canyons of a city any day! Or, better still, a tree-house in the bush, by the balong, in West Africa but thats another story…..

But then……..I always have been a country girl at heart so why fight it.

HJ (May 2010)

PS and the best part is, is that we get to go back to the country in a couple of days and savour its delights for another week or so! Better get my architect’s head on!

smiley happy people

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on April 22, 2010

Spring has most definitely sprung!

Image: Hellyj-2010 (Central Park, NYC, April 2010)

Cherry Blossom

Mothers laughing, as their children run beneath the trees,

trying to catch the blossom

as it falls like little cherry bombs, exploding on the ground

around their feet.

HellyJ – April 2010

a short walk in the gambian bush…..

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on August 20, 2009

a 700 mile odyssey

a 700 mile odyssey

Please visit

http://www.adventuretravelblogs.com/700miles

for updates on the expedition

Where: The Gambia, West Africa

When: November-December 2009

What: To circumnavigate The Gambia, West Africa, by foot from the ‘Gardens for Life’ project  in the Western Division of the country and returning there approximately 8 weeks later (see map pg8)

Why: A Twofold Expedition:-

• An Anglo/Gambian journey to preserve, through photographic and audio means, a modern account of the people and stories of rural Gambia. This collection of pictures and words  will lay the foundations for a unique multi-media interactive website to be used as an ongoing tool to conserve these oral histories and current observations of life in The Gambia by Gambians. The photographs  taken along the way will also be used to produce a, first of its kind, fine art ‘coffee-table’ book of The Gambia.

•‘Gardens For Life’ (an Eden Project) charity, which help to educate, support and encourage schools and children around the world on how to create gardens and grow their own food. GFL also have a number of these gardens in The Gambia. Therefore, the walk will be a fund-raising tool for the charity and the Gambian schools, through sponsorship and donations.

Who: Jason Florio, Helen Jones & local Gambian’s, Abdouli Janneh & Mohammed Njie

please link to my ‘other blog’ www.ashortwalkinthegambianbush.wordpress.com for further updates.

this is what has been keeping me busy lately……expeditions are  a full time job!! please pass the link around as we will need as much support as possible (and a wee bit of sponsorship for the walk too……more on that a little later on). Thank you! Hxxxx 🙂

‘voices of the silenced majority’

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on June 9, 2009
'forget what you think youknow......'

'forget what you think you know......'

http://www.occupation101.com

Synopsis

‘A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unlike any other film ever produced on the conflict — ‘Occupation 101′ presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the never ending controversy and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions’

I don’t want to get too political on my blog but after having recently seen this documentary, I feel so compelled to share this………I’m truly hoping that the Obama (Administration) lives up to its brave, foreward-thinking words…………..and begins the right way………..

“So let there be no doubt, the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own” Barrack Obama, Cairo, May 09

Tesuque Village, Santa Fe State, NM, May 09 (hellyjphotos.2009.copyright)

wabi-sabi

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on June 9, 2009
the beauty in imperfection

the beauty in imperfection

Galisteo, Santa Fe State, NM, May 09 (hellyphoto.2009.copyright)

contemplation

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on June 2, 2009
purpose and intention.......

purpose and intention.......

high upon a deserted mesa

feeling like we are at the top of the world

walking and contemplating whats behind and whats to come

the sense of peace is difficult to communicate…….

no sirens, no bleeping cell phones, no incessant chattering  to distract

……..or detract

the silence is almost deafening…….how beautiful is that?

Bandelier National Park, New Mexico, June 1st 2009 (hellyjphoto.2009.copyright)

its looking like a beautiful day

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on May 24, 2009
so throw those curtains wide
so throw those curtains wide

Drinking in the morning sun
Blinking in the morning sun
Shaking off the heavy one, heavy like a loaded gun

What made me behave that way?
Using words i never say
I can only think it must be love
oh anyway
It’s looking like a beautiful day.

Someone tell me how I feel
It;s silly wrong but vivid right
Kiss me like the final meal
Kiss me like we  die tonight

Cause holy cow i love you eyes
and only now i see the light
lying with you half awake
oh, anyway
it’s looking like a beautiful day.

When my face is chamois creased
If you think i wink I did
laugh politely and repeat
Yea, kiss me when my lips are thin.

Cause holy cow i love your eyes
and only now i see the light
yea lying with you half awake
Stumbling over what to say
well, anyway
It’s looking like a beautiful day.

So throw those curtains wide
one day like this a year’d see me right
throw those curtains wide
one day like this a year’d see me right

Elbow ‘On a Day Like This’

for JRF

Washington Square Park, NYC, Sunday May 23rd 09, 6.15am(hellyjphoto.2009.copyright)

we take colours, chameleon like……

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on May 14, 2009
from each other....'

from each other....'

Sebastian-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort (writer – 1741-1794)

Puerto Vjieo, Costa Rica (hellyjphotos.2005.copyright)

expiration?

Posted in Helen Jones - Wordly Images by hellyj on May 13, 2009
samsara

samsara

Is there more than this?

Is there (was there) another life………after this?

Does all consciousness come to an end the minute we pop off this mortal coil?

Hmmm……the question of human destiny after death can kind of blow your mind if you allow it to…..

A view which prevails in the religions of the East, Hinduism and Buddhism, regarding the idea of rebirth is that they believe that the present life is but a simple link in a chain of lives that extends back into the past and forward into the future….this chain of lives is called ‘samsara’ (which literally means ‘continuing on’ or ‘wandering on’ – signifying the repetitive cycle of birth, ageing, death and rebirth).

I like the idea of wandering on……….a sort of meandering from one existence to another……but, hang on a mo…..doesn’t that then perhaps  imply a continuous searching?

Like I said………it can kind of blow your mind…………

Montauk Beach, Long Isl, NY (hellyjphotos.2009.copyright)