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Friday, June 29, 2012

Birds in Flight: Tampa International Airport

The Tampa International Airport has some beautiful public art including this Pelican Sculpture display that hangs on the ticketing level suspended between the Transfer Level and Baggage Claim. The artist appears to be, Roy Butler, (but I don't yet have confirmation on this) who created the sculptures from copper, nickel, silver and bronze alloys. Each bird weighs about 30 pounds and has a wing-span of about seven feet!

This hanging sculpture appears to have been a part of the Tampa Airport for many years, and used to comprise of 63 birds that traversed a good part of the ceiling! Since the renovation of the airport, this is what remains. I would have liked to have seen the entire piece! I wonder where the other ones went?
Pelican Sculpture - Tampa Airport, Florida
Side view of the Pelican Sculpture - Tampa Airport, Florida


Pelican Sculpture - Tampa Airport, Florida
Front view of the Pelican Sculpture - Tampa Airport, Florida

Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Living free in harmony and majesty...

"Living free in harmony and majesty, take me home, take me home..." was a snippet from Maybe, the opening theme song of a popular television show The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. It aired in 1977 and 1978, and the show launched just as the environmental movement was picking up steam. I was in junior high at the time, and I wasn't just a fan of the show. I imagined living my life in many of the ways the main character, "Grizzly Adams," lived.

In retrospect, the show had meaning because it reflected many of the same values that I had already developed even as a young teenager. Over the weekend, I stumbled across a few of the episodes posted online. It's sugary sweet by today's television standards where children's shows are often rife with "adult" situations. But it still resonates.

When I die, cast my ashes to the wind and think of this song.

Maybe
performed by Thom Pace in 1979 and 2008

Deep inside the forest
Is a door into another land
Here is our life and home
We are staying, here forever
In the beauty of this place all alone
We keep on hoping

Maybe
There's a world where we don't have to run
And maybe
There's a time we'll call our own
Living free in harmony and majesty
Take me home
Take me home

Walking through the land
Where every living thing is beautiful
Why does it have to end
We are calling, oh so sadly
On the whispers of the wind
As we send a dying message

Maybe
There's a world where we don't have to run
Maybe
There's a time we'll call our own
Living free in harmony and majesty
Take me home
Take me home

(Maybe)
There's a world where we don't have to run
Maybe
There's a time we'll call our own
Living free in harmony and majesty
Take me home
Take me home

(Maybe)
There's a world where we don't have to run
Maybe
There's a time we'll call our own
Living free in harmony and majesty
Take me home
Take me home

(Maybe)
Maybe there's a world where we don't have to run
Maybe
There's a time we'll call our own
Living free in harmony and majesty
Take me home
Take me home (fade)
Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Put on your own oxygen mask first

One look at the guy and I could tell he was burned out. He had just returned from a week of vacation, but he already felt he needed another one. He was even toying with the idea of quitting his job. Burnout does that to you.

He was desperate, and I listened to him list all of the pressing matters and needy people that would consume his time away from the office.

I asked him what he enjoyed doing, and if he remembered the last time that he did it. I knew he wouldn't, and of course, he didn't.

Because I work in a 24/7 environment, I am prone to burn-out too, so I passed along some advice that I've learned from the airlines.

Flight attendants lecture us before take-off, that in the event of a drop in cabin pressure, passengers should first put on their own oxygen mask before helping others who may need their assistance. That sounds counter-intuitive, but you can’t help others if you yourself can’t breathe.

Burnout stems from resentment, and although there's a certain feeling of superiority to announce to the world "Who has time to relax?" the inevitable result is a deadness and apathy that has us just going through the motions of life. It can be a hard lesson to learn, but we are more useful to our family, place of employment, and the million other things that we're responsible for if we first give ourselves a chance to breathe.

That means carving out the time to ignore the "To do" list and doing something that recharges, and re-invigorates--whether that something is puttering in the garden, reading that best-seller, or going out with friends. 

Burnout doesn't happen overnight, nor does it go away overnight. But mindfully making time for ourselves to regenerate without guilt goes a long way to repairing the damage--and we owe it to everyone to do it.
Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.