If I had to sum up my impressions of Amsterdam in three words I would say bikes, umbrellas and canals. There were a lot of each. To take it a step further, operating a bike shop here is steady employment. As well, I think that selling umbrellas might also be big business.
I stood on an adjacent bridge taking photos of people as they crossed this bridge. This scene typifies the central canal district and is repeated hundreds of times from one bridge to the next.
Because I was carrying a camera I didn't have an umbrella, otherwise it's a good idea to have one. It got me thinking that umbrellas haven't changed much in a hundred years, they still look and operate the same.
Lo and behold, a few weeks later I started seeing ads on TV about new type of inverted umbrella. Without going into all the details I think it's an amazing idea and the only thing I can't figure out is why nobody invented / inverted it years ago. My wife was so impressed she bought four and gave them away as gifts. So here is a tip, someone needs to open up an inverted umbrella stand in Amsterdam, I think it will be license to print money.
What do you see when you look into the future? I think looking into the future is a bit of a fools errand. You think you know what will happen but it doesn't. And it takes attention away from the present moment, the here and the now. Not that I don't dream, set goals have a New Years resolution or two. Living in the present while not losing track of the direction of our lives is a balancing act.
This image makes me think of those kinds of things. It's a metaphor for the uncertainty in the sea of possibilities. We sit on the precipice and look out at the year ahead. We each see something different.
This is an image I took in California as I headed home. The original image looks different, a little more concrete and realistic. But for me photography will often evoke metaphors and I am easily attracted to them. Art is metaphor, a representation of something in our psyches, collective and individual. Artists become immersed in the exploration of metaphors, representing deeper meanings on the canvas.
When I look into the new year I see a clean canvas. I'm curious to know what the new year will bring, yet perhaps the only way to get there is to be present in the current moment.
This is the Manatee Memorial Hospital which is across the river from my home. I don't normally take pictures of hospitals but this perspective across the water was hard to pass up. Reflections make anything look good, it could be a Walmart and if it was reflected in the water I'd probably take a picture of it.
I am fortunate to live so close to a hospital, you never know when it will come in handy. Its come in handy a few times for family and neighbors since I moved here. My wife stayed here once and every now and then we would hear a lullaby over the speakers. Its what they do whenever a baby is born. As I write this it's just before New Years they'll play it again for the first baby of 2017. I imagine it will draw applause.
Did you know the police tend to spend a lot of time at hospitals? There are many reasons but one is that sometimes people get injured as they try to flee. It seems every time I drive by there are patrol cars parked near the emergency entrance.
It's no wonder that police will often marry nurses. They meet in the line of work and it goes from there. They both work in public service so they have that in common as well.
I think its fair to say that hospitals, and the people that work in them have seen just about everything. I hope I don't ever need to come here, but if I do I know I'll be in good hands, and not far from home.