The Silent Noise of Hearts & Flowers

This is as short story about a woman’s undying love of a notorious player. On this particular evening, they have a date. He is late. She decides to meet him, in hopes of surprising him. Her timing is perfect, as she catches him exiting the florist shop located next door to the building where he works. The look on his face tells her all she needs to know. But she dares to ask anyway, as she mentally prepares to catch her own heart in her hands, as it threatens to burst out of sheer anticipation. Or, because she senses that her lover is about to deliver a blow that her heart cannot withstand.

Are those for me?” Her voice betrayed her as it gave way, collapsing over these four simple words. Her hands automatically reflexed, without any beckoning from her brain, reaching towards the brilliant bouquet that rested so comfortably in his arms. In a failed attempt to appear calm, her lover motioned to swipe his touseled hair from his brow, a nervous gesture she had often witnessed, and had at one time, found adorable.

At that very moment, the collage of colorful petals fell to the ground with a deafening silence. She could actually hear the flowers lying on the ground, where they didn’t belong. Evidently, they didn’t belong with her either. The flowers remained there, sprawled carelessly between them, for what seemed like a tortuous amount of time. He made no move to recover them, but his lips began to motion with what she could only guess, were as many excuses as there were flowers on the ground. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and upper lip, betraying him as well. He spoke but she could not hear him. All she could hear was the silence of those flowers, and the shattering of her heart into a million pieces.

She couldn’t help but notice what an odd scene the fallen flowers and her broken heart made, lying there together on the ground, in misplaced solidarity. Strangely, they seemed to belong together. And had she been the intended recipient of the bouquet, they would have eventually died anyway, just like their love, which she realized at that very moment, had died long ago. Flowers had always been so meaningful to her in the past. They were little colorful bursts of joy that were meant to grow, blossom, and be given and eventually die at some point, much like the heart, which ultimately does the same.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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The Beauty of my Day of Birth

Every year is so much sweeter than the last. My day of birth is more than just getting older. With each new day, I become richer with every breath that I take. I celebrated with my sister earlier today over a beautiful lunch. So precious is our time with family!!

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Race Is Not a Card…

Image result for free google images of deck of cardsImage result for free google images of deck of cards

Does anyone know what a race card is? Surely you’ve heard this term thrown around quite often, especially in the media. It implies that an individual of ethnicity, is somehow using his/her own race to attain some type of advantage as a result. But, here’s the million dollar question: How can a person’s race, be considered a card, that a person can flash or present at will, whenever the occasion seems suitable? Yet amazingly, people are accused of this all the time. In fact, every time I hear the term, I am astounded that it has gained so much momentum and attention over the years and is often viewed as a valid concern.

Now it would be unfair of me to speak for other ethnicities or make generalizations concerning my own, but I do think it’s safe to say that being that one cannot change their race at will, (and why would they want to) any more than they can stop the sun from shining or the rain from falling. But for me, ‘race’ consists of a full deck if you will, that people of various ethnic backgrounds reflect 2-4-7. They represent the entire ‘deck’, all day, every day, whereas a card can be pulled, changed, and altered as often as need be.

Furthermore, would you agree that by accusing a person(s) of playing the race card, also implies that there is some disadvantage that would inspire the use of this so-called card in the first place, in order to level the playing field? If everyone had the same opportunities, the proverbial ‘race’ card instance would be non-existent. Interesting that the very people who often tilt the field in their own favor, then audaciously turn around and accuse the unwilling recipients of these accusations, who in spite of so much adversity, still manage to embrace the life-long hands they’ve been dealt, with both resilience and acceptance. Kind of reminds me of the thinking behind affirmative action. Lets start the conversation. What say you?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Oh Please!!

Never has it been truer than the old adage: you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I’m starting to feel like ‘some of the people‘ is quickly moving into the ‘none of the people‘ category. It has become increasingly difficult to gain the approval and/or acceptance from others, for simple acts of kindness both big and small. The more you try and satisfy everyone, the further away you seem to drift from that goal altogether. To please or not to please? A most appropriate question in this instance.

So, you might conclude, why even bother? And who could blame you if you feel this way? Especially when you’re more likely than not, to be shot out of the sky. Why would you not opt to fly closer to the ground, where the crash landing is bound to be less painful? But what fun would that be and what about your satisfaction? When you’re a ‘people-appeaser’, it’s very hard to retrain yourself to be of the opposite mindset. And why should you feel like you have to change who you are? How unpleasant of an experience would that be for you, to behave in a way that goes against every grain of your character, just for the sake of what others may or may not think?

You might find, that as soon as you change your modus operandi, those very same people, who couldn’t acknowledge your good efforts in the past, will come for you, with guns a blazing, to show their…wait for it, wait for it…. displeasure in your ‘new attitude’. Which would be more disheartening for you, the seemingly never-ending hard to please people around you, or the facade you decided to wear, in a sad attempt to please those who cannot be pleased? After all, isn’t misrepresentation of yourself, the worst representation of all, since it does not reflect the real you?

What are you to do when going left wreaks havoc, and going right compounds things further to your disadvantage? Should you continue doing what makes you feel good, even at the risk of having your good intentions and gestures promptly returned to you, like a letter that unexpectedly comes back to you in the mail marked, ‘return to sender?’ In the end, you have to be pleased with yourself before you can please anyone else, right? Or are you simply reading this post while concluding, “Oh please!!”

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

2014 in review

Thanks so much to all visitors and fellow bloggers for taking the time to visit my blog. A special thanks goes to my most interactive and frequent comment makers: D’aller Naturel, Levi Thetford, connorphoto, Viktoryarch, and ubecute. Your constant support is invaluable to me! May I continue to bring you solid and entertaining content in 2015!! 🙂 🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Did You Know…(7)

 

    • Rochester New York (Roc City) was host to one of the first downtown indoor malls in the U.S. and was dedicated on April 10, 1962.
    • Victor Gruen not only designed Midtown Plaza but also Southdale Center, which was located in the suburbs of Minneapolis in 1956.
    • The idea of Midtown Plaza Mall was born as a result of discussions between Gilbert J.C. McCurdy, owner of McCurdy’s department store and Maurice F. Forman, owner of the B. Forman Co. department store. .
    • As suburban shopping malls outside of Rochester began to emerge, Midtown Plaza lost its vibrancy and started to struggle in the 1980s.
    • The last original tenant(s) of Midtown Plaza was a Record Theater store and a U.S. Post office.
    • On October 16,2007, it was announced that Midtown Plaza would be torn down and replaced by PAETEC Headquarters.
    • Midtown Plaza’s final Christmas season was celebrated in 2007. Midtown Plaza’s chief engineer donated a 40ft Douglas Fir tree. *Getting the ‘holiday’ tree into Midtown Plaza was always a major event, as traffic was interrupted on N. Clinton Ave near the side entrance to the plaza. The tree(s) had to be dragged into the mall on its side. I feel honored to have witnessed this on many occasions, being that I worked downtown for several years before the mall’s closing.
    • The “Monorail” was a familiar structure during every Christmas holiday season. **Hundreds of kids would wait patiently in line with their parents to get on this train that rode high above the mall floor traveling in a square formation. Sadly, the ‘monorail’ had its last go-round on December 24, 2007.
    • Six Rochester Radio Stations of Clear Channel Communications signed off the air on midnight on December 31, 2008.
    • Midtown Plaza closed its doors to the mourning public for the last time on July 29, 2008.
    • The Adirondack Transit Lines Bus Station, the last Midtown Plaza occupant, closed on November 3, 2009.
    • Geri Kavenaugh designed the Clock of Nations, a very well known Midtown Plaza attraction. This infamous clock was representative of twelve nations and had twelve cylinders displaying a puppet scene for each nation. When the Clock of Nations was originally unveiled, it was revered as an important piece of art. The original puppetry had to be replaced in the 1970s because it had not been well-maintained. Oddly enough, a local housewife contributed her handy work to the replacement puppetry.
    • Once Midtown Plaza closed, the Clock of Nations was moved for a brief time to the Greater Rochester International Airport terminal. It’s permanent residence is now at the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

It’s so sad when I drive through downtown Rochester New York in this day and age. The place where Midtown Plaza once stood, looks completely different. Had you not seen what it looked like before its demise, you might find it difficult to picture what was once there. I’m just glad I had the opportunity to become very acquainted with Midtown Plaza before all these changes were put into affect. Nothing beats those memories!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

A Festive Occasion!

 

Okay, before too much time goes by, I want to mention the awesome 13th annual Xerox International Jazz Festival that just took place in my neck of the woods! This exciting event took over ‘Roc City, Rochester New York, from June 20, 2014 – June 28,2014. I guess you kind of had to be there, but I will do my best to give you a recap of my take on this fantastic music-filled event. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you may feel like you were there too!

There was definitely something for everyone at this music festival. You could literally walk through the streets of downtown Rochester New York and pretty much listen to the music of your liking, at any given moment. Unbelievably, there were more than 79 free concerts this year. Die-hard music fans  had the option of purchasing a Club Pass, which allowed entry into any of the tents where musicians were performing and activities were taking place. So, you could literally see oodles of performances nightly if you chose to with the use of the Club Pass. I may go this route next year and split the cost with someone, $189.00 for eight days of musical bliss. That way, on the days I don’t attend the festival, the other person can. However, this would eliminate the option of going to the festival with that person obviously, but no worries. There were so many people at this event, that there certainly was no shortage of interesting and friendly people to connect and converse with, my kind of occasion!

A reported 196,000 people attended the festival with over 1500 musicians from at least 19 countries; all gracing the festival with their crowd-pleasing music while performing for more than 325 concerts in over 20 venues in Roc City’s downtown East End Cultural District. Can you say A-MAZING?! What a boost to Rochester New York’s economy, in addition to some of the most versatile music ever in one place! There were at least 3 sold-out shows one of which was Earth,Wind & Fire. Other headliners included Janelle Monae and Michael McDonald. I did have the pleasure of seeing Michael McDonald’s concert and he was spectacular! It was thrilling to see that he can still hit those high notes and produce that one of a kind, uniquely soulful sound that is his and his alone. I loved it!

I did manage to take in the festival a couple of times and found the festive atmosphere to be both contagious and delightfully intoxicating. Even if you didn’t attend one of the shows or free concerts, you could find a seat some place or bring your own chair and sit,watch all the excited festival-goers and listen to the music, which was within ‘earshot’ from anywhere in the vicinity!

This annual event definitely put Rochester New York on the map, positively. You might also be impressed to learn that generosity certainly raised it’s lovely head in lieu of this musical extravaganza! Twenty one musical instruments were unselfishly donated to the Rochester Education Foundation at this year’s event. These instruments included: violins, a saxophone,clarinet, and many more as well as instruction books and accessories; all this, for the benefit of Rochester City School Students. Five thousand free pedometers were given to festival attendees compliments of Rochester General Health Systems, so that participants could keep track and measure their steps; a proactive move to promote walking and optimal health. Eric Waugh produced live paintings during the Lou Gramm concert with proceeds to be auctioned off to Hillside (Family of Agencies).

I simply cannot close out this article without mentioning the food trucks! Oh my! I had never had the pleasure of eating anything from one of these mobile feeding machines, until now. Lets just say that the pleasure was all mine! I had something called ‘meatball in a cup’. It was truly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, one of many reasons to come back! Is this an event that you would consider attending in the future? Next year’s festival will run from June 19, 2015 through June 27, 2015, so plan early and mark your calendars! You will not be disappointed!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know?…(6)

 

http://www.history.com/topics/niagara-falls

 

    • Approximately 12 million tourists travel from parts all over the country to witness the magnificent Niagara Falls every summer. The grand Niagara River is made up of 2 water falls: The American Falls which are found on the American side of the border and the Horseshoe or Canadian Falls which are on the Canadian side of the border. These 2 waterfalls define the border that lies between New York and Ontario, Canada.
    • At the age of 63, a schoolteacher by the name of Annie Edson Taylor, became the very first person to go plummeting over the Niagara Falls in a barrel! How’s that for being a daredevil?
    • The Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie provide the water that runs over the falls. However, 90% of that water runs over the Horseshoe Falls/Canadian side.
    • Niagara Falls is the largest electric power source in the world.
    • Initially, 5.5 billion gallons of water per hour cascaded over the falls. Currently, the American and Canadian governments control the amount of water flow in an effort to slow down erosion. The Horseshoe Falls erode back about six feet per year. Eventually, the American Falls will no longer exist if erosion continues to occur at this rate. That would be tragic wouldn’t it?
    • Niagara Falls seems to be a ‘honeymooners’ hub” if you will, again making it one of the most popular attractions in the world.
    • Marilyn Monroe starred in the 1953 film called “Niagara”. This film was shot with the majestic Niagara Falls in the backdrop. *Please click on the video link above for more interesting facts.

***Incidentally, this wonderful attraction that draws countless people in droves from everywhere, is about 1 hour and 25 minutes away from where I live! Even more unbelievable, is the fact that I rarely visit this picturesque place, even though it’s practically in my back yard! I’ll have to change that, especially since it is one of my favorite places in the world to visit! Would you think Niagara Falls,New York is a place you’d like to visit?

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Still…I Write

Writing is truly a gift that I have been blessed with. I say that because sometimes I am amazed at the onslaught of words that come to me. Sometimes, in such abundance, that it’s overwhelming. I can only conclude that these colorful expressions must come from God above.

From as far back as I can remember, I have loved everything about writing. As a young girl, I would take a book and copy the pages, word for word, just because I loved to ‘write’ and the whole writing process. A pen and paper – two best friends; like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together and one without the other simply doesn’t work. I enjoyed the way a pen and pencil felt between my fingers and the magic I could create with these instruments.

I learned early on the value of words and all the different meanings one can express through their creative and intellectual usage. Little did I know at the time, that I had a whole lot of things to express from within, some from pure imagination, while other thoughts were to be born out of sheer life experience. 

I will admit that there are some days where as much as I like to write, I simply don’t always feel up to it and  often feel guilty as a result. It seems I can’t squeeze out one consonant, vowel, syllable, fragment, phrase, sentence,etc. It seems impossible to make even one participial phrase dangle or one subject and verb come to an agreement. I often wonder why if I enjoy ‘writing’ so much, are there times when I don’t have any interest in putting my pen to paper or my fingers to my laptop keyboard? Sometimes, it feels like not a single creative thought is anywhere in sight. So, I often look back at things that I’ve written previously and try to take my mind back to where it was when I wrote those pieces. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience because on the days when creativity seems to escape me, I wonder how and if I can find it again!

So what do I do in these instances? I muddle through and write anyway; even in the midst of a seemingly blank canvass. I release that first drop of ink, that first keystroke onto the fresh white space that is just waiting for me to fill it with substance.  Even when my heart doesn’t seem to be in it….still, I write. When the ‘word well’ seems to have run dry…still, I write. When creativity and imagination seem to have taken an unexpected vacation…still, I write. Pen and paper come together again to form the bond that can only be created by their melodious union…kind of like that peanut butter and jelly that forms a perfect partnership! What’s your take?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Image: Free google images

 

Harbour Lights

This is such an awesome view that I just had to share it on my blog; compliments of Kevin at WildCamera Words. Not only does he have a great eye for capturing spectacular photos, but he also has a wonderful way with words. Enjoy!

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