Saturday, August 25, 2007
Over time or as time goes by you discover an occasional person that you've touched in some kind of way. I'm truly blown away and amazed by these moments because I never expect that what I write or how I may express myself toward someone would linger in their mind and heart longer than the brief encounter which again, I take as a great blessing. Today I received a really nice reminder of what just being good to people can do. Being good doesn't cost a thing but the rewards always come when you least expect it and need it the most.
Let me back track for a second....This morning I woke up very early at 4:45am feeling restless. I couldn't sleep. I mean, my original plan was to sleep at least until 11am since this is Saturday and I've just finished a long hard work week combined with some very stressful moments in my personal life. Anyway, I got up and decided to venture out to the beach. I was curious to see what it looked like at such an early hour. I live quite a ways from the beach so when I got there(Marina Del Rey) it was about 5:30am. The only folks on the beach at that hour were a few runners, some dogs chasing tennis balls into the water, and a few homeless people covering up in an effort to block that early morning sunlight. There I was, walking through the sand with camera in hand snapping a few shots and just taking in the ocean breeze. It felt good but to a certain degree I felt lonely though not so much in that I wish I had someone by my side; I just felt lonely. Life has been rough recently; still is and it's made me feel something that I've never felt before. I mean, I'm not so sure I even walk with that natural quiet cockiness any more that folks say I have or that "kolohe spark" that a special Hawaii friend(Jody) would say I had. I dont feel it... That something that I've never felt before in the past is pure vulnerability... It makes me feel less like I want to get out and about. My camera is probably responsible for the little bit that I do get out because it inspires me to go out and capture life so that I may escape for a moment while composing the shot.
Well, I continued to walk the beach. I saw a couple surfers out doing there thing including the one fella in the picture above looking so content. I could relate to his feeling of solitude though contentment wasn't something we had in common. I walked from Marina Del Rey to Santa Monica beach which is quite a good walk, especially in the sand all the way. Anyone familiar with the area would say "damn, you walked a long ways!" And being that I had to turn around and walk back made the journey one long thought process as I found myself for a moment forgetting about my camera and escaping into a story that I pictured myself in. I dont want to give a whole lot of details because I can see this story becoming a novel but essentially it deals with the major subjects in life; love, relationships, and everyone's personal journey as a result of our choices relating to those subjects. The story is narrated by a woman but is about a man. I could hear this woman's voice so clearly and relate to each step that the man had taken before crossing paths with the lady. As I walked along the shore of Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey beaches, I had composed in my head pretty much the entire outline of the story. When I got home I wrote the first chapter and then I took the suggestion of a friend and rested my mind because despite having an interesting morning, my early rise sort of threw off my day.
And now I get to the point of this blog entry as I really back tracked bigtime there. After my nap I checked my email and found a really cool email from someone I had touched via one of my stories many months ago. A woman that I remember because of her cool name; Suraya Leona. To me, the real true gift/reward of being an author is in how you touch people with your written words. This wonderful lady took the time to email me while on vacation in Egypt. I mean, its not like we've kept in touch at all but for whatever reason she thought of me and reached out. I'm amazed by that kind of thing. Blown away.. I feel blessed and am very thankful. She said in her email that I had helped her a lot when we last wrote to each other. I'm not sure what I did but I do remember her kindness and for that and especially for her reaching back to say hello; I say thank you Suraya.
On another very special note I have to once again say thank you as I did with my picture in the sand to Angela. Her voice and spirit also came at a time when I needed it and still need it the most... Amazing...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Humility, vulnerability, life, lessons, struggle, different light, hurt, pain, worry, anxiety, stuck, alone, money, hate, can't, love, swimming thru rough waters, holding tears inside my soul, watching others celebrate life as I hide from the sun planning my future with nothing. A world of dreams and accomplishments coming to an end. Floating on memories until the oxygen thins. This time in my life has rocked the core of my soul that is the foundation of me and changed my outlook as well as the way I look inward. Gone is the excitement and desire to find you/love...
You ever felt like you were dying inside; living on hopes, dreams, wishes, wants and all those positive things that you believe in your heart should be your destiny? How could these tough times invade your path? How could life throw you the kind of curve ball that feels like it's suspended in air forever. You keep swinging at it to make it go away. You pray, you try to stay strong as others suggest; keep your chin up, etc but its still here; still there. What's worse is when you can sit back, imagine and recognize that you had it ALL before; your life was truly good but then you saw a glimmer of that perceived extra-special-something that you always wanted but was out of reach so you look the other way; the opposite direction of good common sense and you go for it. Your decision only makes sense during that moment when you might as well had worn a blindfold because now that your vision is clear you live your life in fear of what will come behind a mistake that has you labeling this as the worst ever year; a year that seems to have no end...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
As life goes through its motions, you find yourself enduring some sort of heartache. And, if you’re a creative person you find your ways of expression becoming a little deeper because of what you've been though. If you write; you have more things to say. If you play music; you find a little more of an emotional connection to your instrument. If you paint you’ll find a little more realism reflected in your art. I’ve been through a few things in life though I never claim to be alone in my experiences. One can always find another who is worse off or who has suffered and endured greater challenges but to each comes its own trials and tribulations. Lately, I’ve found myself lost in thought, writing down ideas and words that will make for great stories. Hopefully what I express will help others and perhaps entertain. Maybe what I say will even give second thoughts to those that might be on the verge of following a similar path; right or wrong.
One thing that I do claim myself to be and am very proud of is that I am indeed a very creative being. I use many ways to creatively express myself. Perhaps it has to do with being the introspective person that I am; quite often put down because I don’t talk as much as some say I should talk. I figure all the differences that every single individual brings to the table of life is what makes this world go round and round. In other words, despite any ups, downs, and in betweens, I am me and for the most part I’m proud of that fact. I only say for the most part because I’m not proud of all decisions that I’ve made in life but then again, that brings me back to the point I’m trying to make. Life adds depth to the ways in which we express ourselves, especially with respect to those whose means of expression have to do with creativity.
Lately, I’ve noticed an improvement or perhaps more depth in two other things that I do creatively. One is my guitar playing. I love the guitar and have always messed around with it. I’ve been a big fan of the instrument as well as those famous and not so famous who play it. I used to play in a group with my uncle and we’d play at weddings and backyard parties with just me, him and a drum machine back when the technology wasn’t so great and the sound was so cheesy. Back then I hadn’t really lived and experienced all that I can now look back on so from a creative stand point I’ve come to realize that I had very little emotional history, if you will to put inside my playing. Now I find myself up late at night sometimes restless, thinking about tomorrow; I reach for my acoustic guitar and start to strum. I play with feeling. I strum chords that sound really good. The guitar feels like a natural extension of my body as if it belonged in my hands. I grip chords with ease and don’t always have to look at the instrument. Playing relaxes me; thus I’ve found more depth in this creative form of expression, which I imagine is due to my life and the living that I’ve done.
Photography has turned into a passion of mine unlike I’ve ever imagined it would. Perhaps it was handed down by my father who was a real serious photographer and had about twenty cameras and a professional dark room/studio in his house. Anyway, my need to capture moments in time has become a sort of daily craving. Many times when I don’t have my camera in hand, I find myself capturing moments visually with my mind or looking at things differently because I’m trying to figure out how I‘d photograph the subject. I look at people, scenery, objects, etc with so much more in mind than a simple glance. I believe that my photography is now showing a lot more depth not only due to me becoming that much more familiar with my camera but mostly because of that certain vision inside of me which sees things in my own way based upon my life’s experience. I really believe that if you have two photographers taking pictures of the same thing, you’ll likely see two very different visions. I experienced this recently by comparing a shot of a wall that I had taken in downtown Atlanta. It was the very same half brick and concrete, graffiti covered wall that a friend of mine had photographed before. She chose to highlight the entire wall and bring out the soft yellow tones of the concrete area whereas, I chose to focus in on the red brick area, which included a window with broken glass. I brought out the red, white and black tones of that section of the wall. I look at my photographs and wonder what goes through my mind before hand and why I chose that particular subject. I’m not sure most times. It's basically a gut feeling... I just feel some sort of emotional thing while at the same time I’m surprised by the end result because I’ll see a little bit more than what I’d seen when I initially took the shot. I love photography and most of all, I love being creative. And with life comes a deeper means of expression especially if you pay attention to every detail of it; good and bad, right or wrong.... but anyway...