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November 21, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

#NHBPM – Ekphrasis Post for Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge

So, November is National Health Blog Post Month.  I didn’t actually know about this until today (and wouldn’t have been able to fully participate anyway, because of everything else that has been happening this month), but what a neat idea.  (I did receive emails about it, but didn’t have a chance to look into it until now.)  I would like to participate in future years, even though the fact that it is in November will make it difficult, along with NaNoWriMo.

But anyway.  I followed the link and decided to sign up when I read, “Even if you’re not sure if you want to post every day and simply want to check out all the fun prompts (that cover a range of topics from being a patient, to being a blogger, to simply pondering your existence – you can sign up here!”  I received the list of prompts and will attempt to post as much as possible during the remainder of November, though it likely won’t even be every day from here forward.

The prompt for today is:

Ekphrasis post. Ekphrasis (writing about another art form) – Find a Flickr Image in Creative Commons that inspires you in some way (positively or negatively) and free write about it. Give yourself exactly 15 minutes to write without stopping. Don’t think! Brave bonus: Publish to your blog without editing! (You can include a disclaimer)

So, here goes.  (And please consider this my disclaimer.)

I chose this photo by Marco Bernardini because of his translation of the message on the sign: “In the most wonderful places someone leaves a bit of himself… imbeciles leave trash”.

At first, the obvious comes to mind (or at least it was obvious to me), and the sign seems to be a creative way to say “Please do not litter”, but I also saw a deeper meaning that can be applied to life.  Throughout our lives, in our relationships and even in brief encounters with others, we leave something of ourselves, even when we aren’t aware we do.  I’ve always been strangely surprised when someone tells me that something I did or said had a profound effect on them.  I guess for most of my life, I just didn’t believe I left that much of an impression, so when I find out I have, it surprises me.  It shouldn’t surprise me, though, because I’ve always been kind of fascinated by the concept.  It was a big part of the reason I decided, when I was just a kid, that I wanted to write as an adult.  I was fascinated by the concept that I could write a story that could touch a complete stranger, somewhere, and cause them to feel.  Whatever they would feel – happy, sad, amused, angry – would be something they felt as a direct result of what I wrote, what came from my own mind and heart.

But we leave other things, as well, in life.  Not just creations of fiction or art or music, or whatever.  We affect others by our actions, by listening, by being there for a friend or a family member, and even sometimes with nothing more complicated than a smile or kind word to a stranger in passing.  We may go on about our day and not even remember passing that stranger, but that person may always remember us.  The little boy whose smile changed my day a few years ago won’t remember me, but I think I will always remember him, and the lesson he taught me.

I used to love the TV show Joan of Arcadia.  I remember an episode about the ripples we send out, and the importance of being mindful to send out good ripples rather than bad ones.  That concept was actually carried out in other episodes as well.

Bad ripples are like littering.  Leaving trash lying around without regard for who will have to clean it up.

I had a hard time choosing a photo to blog about.  I originally did a search for “balance”, thinking about the topics of my most recent health-related posts and how interesting the results of that search word would be in photos.  It was.  I found this photo by pearlbear first:

Next, I found this one by KTDEE:

I didn’t know that the back of a fly looks like an eye, complete with lashes!  How cool is that?

Then, I found this one by Marco Bernardini.  I’ve always loved paintings and photos that make me want to walk into them, and I wanted to be able to walk around in this place and explore.

I began to look at several other photos in Marco’s stream before seeing the sign, and then I knew that was what I had to write about.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Kerro:

    Great photo you chose, and great way to write about it. 🙂 I’m sorry I didn’t know about this blogaffair for November – I would have loved to have joined in 🙂

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