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Carpe Diem


Although I had two years of Latin in high school—a very useful thing in terms of words and learning other languages, this phrase was always a mystery to me.

Carp are a fish local to Wisconsin known for in-edibility with numerous extensive recipes with many ingredients–cooking it on a board with spices and sundries–and then tossing the fish in the dumpster and eating the board instead.

I wondered about why I should be reminded to eat a fish daily particularly if it was a carp.

In medical school, I learned that the carpal bones were part of the hand–and I learned some not to be repeated limericks to remember their order…some of those limericks were more salacious than others and I have relegated them to distant memory so that I might not embarrass family and friends by reciting them as I pointed to the appropriate portion of their hands—a favorite between lecture activity in medical school.

In much later years I learned it meant to ‘seize the day’, take advantage of opportunities presented, not thinking that tomorrow that same opportunity would present itself.

When I was twelve, I was given a Brownie camera as a birthday present. Film was dear as was processing and so each photo was chosen with care. I still have one of those photos with the crinkled edges. I interpreted it in fabric in later years as I mined the shoe box full of family photos that my mother kept for some reason in the bathroom buried underneath well-worn towels.

Imagery that tells a story or gives a sense of place are my favorite kinds of photos–not ones that are heavily photo-shopped or made with techniques making them suitable for a calendar or greeting card.

The photo above–a wet leaf on a paving stone set in Judith Baker Montano’s garden in mid November of this year with my shadow to the left—is that day’s Carpe Diem image.

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