Pic and a Word Challenge #190: Before all this shit

Usually I zero in on the good stuff but it’s time. I’ve been saving these for the day just like today.

First, it was exactly one year ago today that I joined Patrick’s Pic and a Word challenge for the first time with this eucalyptus post. I have missed only a few weeks. Thank you, Patrick, for your words and images.

Next, a poem that burst forth today. And I haven’t even started on the male gaze and the female venom.

I want to tell you
Before deluge  
before disrepair
before self-destruction
I want to tell you
Before I start
saying what I won’t regret
tipping my dog for a smile
charging for mom’s pictures
I want to tell you
Before the bad overpowers the good
all grapes turn sour
first world problems disappear
I want to tell you  
we done did it ourselves. 

What you are about to see are scenes of discomfort around where I live. You know and I know that this is nothing. People are dying, animals are tortured, crime is the norm, it’s hard to live. And yet, this is Tuscany. It’s scary to feel it creep in.

In response to Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Challenge #190: Before


  1. Great 😬😳😰 I’m suddenly very very glad to be raising my boys over here where the playgrounds are pretty and well kept and primary school don’t have prison fences or graffiti.
    This reminds me of the last time I took a photo of some pretty flowers and aimed intentionally so that an ugle pile of trash right next to them was out of the frame. Sometimes I think I should do a photo session of ugliness where I don’t crop out the bad parts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everything to make you love your country more, SMSW. 😉 But seriously, a photo session of ugliness is also necessary sometimes. Here there is so much trash that I’m taking photos of it as art shoots. That prison fence is not around the school, mind you. That photo just makes it look that way. Not that it changes much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We live in a beautiful world but some do not see it. They reflect the ugliness of their hearts onto their surroundings. The malaise is there everywhere. It would be so good if they put their artistic tendencies to some positive use instead of dirtying the world like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been looking for ugly signs like these when we travel. I’m finding them everywhere. So sad. Once people start dividing the world into “us” and “them,” hatred creeps in. It is ugly and evil, pure and simple. I’m so glad you posted about this, MMM. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting exploration of the ugliness around us. Always enlightening to show reality. I remember a few occasions going for a walk in the forest and seeing garbage of all kinds left behind. Seeing and photographing a car tire blemishing a pristine scene was eye-opening. More care for our Mother Earth is needed to fill everyone’s heart. Sadly it is not so. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Olga. I think it’s important too. But as you can see, I didn’t even include trash. It is so common and normal around here in Italy to see pieces of furniture, TVs, computers just lying around. I take photos of those too and will make a compilation one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on the anniversary. Though, it feels like your presence has always been here. Yours is such a strong and insightful voice — on emphatic display here — and that presence is always welcome. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is the sad reality one can see anywhere in the world! I really like this post in all its ugliness. It’s so easy to look away from the unpleasant sights of the world and ignore them. But that doesn’t make it go away, or solve the problems. Thanks for the reality check, Manja!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am sad that this is on your mind so much, as it clearly is from your regular photos. I hope you can put the anger/sadness/fear/empathy away now and then, when it’s time to do that. I think you must, since you always exude so much joy. I am glad to know that you are not in denial about the ugliness in the world; that instead you see it, and think about it, and also continue to live your life with some joy in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Crystal, for your concern and understanding. Oh yes, joy wins with me, big time, but all those other things are here too, and it may be more and more noticeable that optimism should truly be a new revolution.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Manja! Yes, there is so much ugliness in the world – in thoughts and behavior. And it does need to be noticed – ignoring it would make us complicit. I’m glad you you notice and give voice to these symptoms while also highlighting the love and loveliness of the world around you! ❤️


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