Thursday, December 16, 2010

Follow up tribute..

I’m old enough to have been blessed with the kind of experiences where I never feel like I’m missing out when it comes to the wild, the crazy, or the sort of experiences of today that are considered the “in” thing to do. What I miss is the potential of what could’ve been and how special the potential long lasting memory would feel like after having gone through it. Such is the case when I think about Mr. Narciso Peralta. The funeral has come and gone. He is missed especially by his daughters, his son, his wife and grandchildren. And I miss him very much too. It makes me question time and why things happen when they happen. Though he lived a full and wonderful life, I wish God could’ve given him many more years so I could enjoy his presence a little longer.

After experiencing my first trip to the Philippines last year, I placed within my heart a new dream to look forward to that would coincide with the dream that I experience every day. Like when I see my love’s smile or hear her voice or rest my head on her shoulder. My new dream and it may sound simple to others, but I truly looked forward to that day when I could hangout on the front porch with Narciso in San Carlos, Pangasinan in the Philippines and also going walking with his wife, Myrna to the market or to church; anywhere as long as I could experience what to me would feel really nice and special. I’m a strong believer in moments and how much they can potentially mean to your life, though it’s probably human nature to waste time and not realize the greatness of what you have. As I’ve grown older, I’ve gotten better at appreciating what means the most and what I can carry with me regardless of where I travel. That sort of thing is carried within the heart and soul, filed under experience and hopefully exuded through some kind of wisdom that allows you to see and actually care about all that you’ve endured. Right now, this is a moment to endure because the pleasure that I could’ve received had that simple dream been allowed to come true would have been enormous. Not to mention the blessed occasion of seeing Narciso and Myrna enjoy their golden wedding anniversary and all the smiles, laughter, and togetherness of the family. Wow, it would’ve been the ultimate in good times.

Sadly, reality is a different story and dreams have to climb in the backseat sometimes. There will still be incredible moments and a lot of love shared amongst family but the presence of Narciso will be missed a great deal. His memory however, will be treasured forever… He’s gone too soon... Another one of those, “life ain’t fair” moments.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Narciso Peralta

God took with him another great one from this world. But this man leaves behind one of the most incredible families to ever exist on this planet. I'm sure he feels proud though he left too soon because I was looking so forward to many more smiles, great stories and blessings on the front porch. I will miss Narciso Peralta very much but the little time that I've had in his presence will carry me a long way in memory. And each one of those memories makes me smile. I was just wishing he could be there for the special days ahead and what a thrill it would've been to sit with him on a porch somewhere in the Philippines. I imagine he'll simply be there in spirit and I look forward to that moment. For now I pray he watches over his beautiful family and guide them from heaven. Rest in peace and in love..... always....

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Shining Moment...

I had a nice shining moment today. I was honored at work with what they call the Presidential Award. I felt like Obama with my nice new suit purchased at the Hollywood Suit Outlet for a nice low price.... *smile* The moment was nice. I was honored and touched. As always, missing my mom and wishing she could've spent that moment with me but as they say, she's watching down on me with pride. If there had been a moment of words given to us who received this award, would've definitely raised the trophy in her honor. Nevertheless, I was blessed to share the moment with friends and my love who keeps me shining from within, always.... So, cheers to the moment!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What's the curve on this midterm?

"In a perfect world where America is sincere about helping or even allowing Obama to do good things for this country, everything would surely be alright for everyone or at least headed in that direction. Right now, direction is about as sure as a coin toss."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leftcoast Sanity

I hungout on a Saturday morning checking out the "Rally For Sanity" put on by John Stewart. Or, I should say, a smaller version of it held in Los Angeles. It was okay... I'm not sure if it inspires sanity but hopefully the overall effect of it inspires folks to go to the polls and vote intelligently. The event here in LA looked like there was maybe a little over 100 folks in MacArthur Park; all watching a slightly large projection screen that broadcasted the actual rally held in Washington DC today. It looked like a pretty amazing event to experience live in person. I've always wondered what it would be like to stand in the Washington mall and witness a sea of people as far as the eye can see. I heard a report stating that this event today was "this generation's Woodstock." Yikes! *smile* Respectfully, I dont think so. A major event. A pretty cool idea, but a couple hours can no way equate to 3 days of a life changing, true representation of the culture during that time. This event will fade away. Woodstock; we will forever continue to watch the movie and be amazed by what went down... Still, I think John Stewart has something to be proud about. I wish the turnout in LA was larger and with a greater representation from all that make up this huge city but nevertheless, it was cool... Now, time to vote...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And Then...

and then it was Grandma's turn as she waited for her bus to heaven. In the end, her strength was all but zapped from her completely. She couldn't communicate, she couldn't walk, she couldn't do for herself, and she couldn't even understand completely when her son passed away before her. As much as it might seem ideal to be able to avoid pain and sorrow, I think an individual misses out when one doesn't feel and experience the whole gamut of emotions... Perhaps later on she understood. After she was wheeled in front of the casket, she became a little more quiet. After she'd seen the tears rolling down my face, she kept her head down. And when she was brought home, she didn't eat much... And then three years later on this day(Oct. 23rd) grandma passed away. Senora Mae Rivers. I'm grateful her beautiful spirit remains and the many lessons in life that she taught me through example and pride....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another anniversary..

Time is like a double edged sword. It flies by and leaves behind moments of loss yet at the same time when it's good, it serves as foundation for something really special like the love I share with someone that gets more and more incredible because it's so real and so right... Anyway, last October 3rd marked the 12th year anniversary of my father's passing. It's mindblowing how much time has passed and how the so-called life journey has unfolded since then. And as I get older and relive memories in my mind, they become much more powerful as if I were stepping back in time. It's a weird feeling now to the point where I have to physically shake myself to snap out of the memory. Maybe that's how it is when you get older. And as another anniversary passes, I'm thinking I no longer have to say rest in peace to my father but rather, continue in peace and I hope all is wonderful where you are...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

40 Years...

It's mindblowing that it's now been 40 years since Jimi Hendrix passed away. September 18, 1970. It would be many years later that I would learn about him and discover his art and I can pretty much recall the many times that I did discover something new, starting with the times I would just see his image on an album cover and wonder who he was. Then there was many years when I denied his music because I bought into the whole stereotype of being black, which meant you really shouldn't be into so-called "rock" music but that's silly... I was uninformed and not simply following whatever tickled my soul in a musical, artistic way. Then I embraced Hendrix music and loved his style, creatively, artistically.. His passion for what he did and/or wished to do. His struggles were obvious. so much pressure thanks to the world around him/us and who really knows what or how the drugs played a part in it. I've seen articles saying he did everything in sight and other articles saying his reported drug use was overly exaggerated. Either way, what's most important is his contribution to the world of music and how what he left behind has kept his spirit alive for decades after he's gone. People still talk about him. People wear his image on t-shirts and other garments, tattoos, etc etc... Artists influenced by his style, his music, his musicianship, etc... His voice is heard somewhere in this world every day and night.. Axis Bold As Love, Hey Joe, Wind Cries Mary, Little Wing, Machine Gun, Power Of Soul, Angel, Manic Depression, Castles Made Of Sand.. the list goes on and on... Songs that will keep him forever around...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blasts From The Past..

These images bring good times to mind. That's the blessing about capturing moments, which later serve as reminders of where you've been, traveled, and ultimately wish to return to. There's one image that represents a time that I will never be able to return to. The image in which I'm standing on a fence on land which once upon a time belonged to my family. Sometimes I wish I still owned it and other times I realize that everything happens for a reason and; it happens when it's supposed to. That image represents the first time after my father passed away that I visited the farm and was met with the challenge of taking care of not only it but also my grandmother who was still alive then. I had a lot of help because my mom was also still alive. She kept me strong during what was a really tough time. One of those crossroads of life. I remember setting the timer on my little camera(pre-digital days) and running to jump on the fence to strike a pose. I stood tall and proud and I wondered, what was next in life...

The image of the colorful vehicle represents one of the first things I saw when love and I went to the Philippines. It was an exciting and curious moment. I was like "whoa, this is cool." In my mind, I felt like I was in photography heaven because in every direction I found the coolest things to capture with my camera. And as we drove further along I'd see the most interesting people along the way. It was the beginning of a journey and a moment in time that spoiled me beyond belief... I have no doubt the second time around will be even better. The challenge is making that happen and hopefully soon...

The image of the man represents when I went to Atlanta to visit a home that I owned there at the time. It was also one of those moments in my life that I wasn't most proud of because I was escaping a bad time in my life after allowing poor decision making to stir me in the wrong direction; pursuing unrealistic dreams with the worst kind of people pulling me down. Getting away to Atlanta by way of stopovers in Texas and Louisiana was a reminder of what I loved so much; photography. As I sat in a downtown park in Atlanta, I saw this man on the verge of walking right past me. I didn't have time to raise my camera all the way up, aim, focus and shoot so instead I lifted my camera slightly and snapped the shot really quickly. I prayed that I captured him in the shot and had no clue until I viewed the image later that evening. My discovery is what you see. I was excited. That excitement took me away from any and all problems or stress that I had in my life at the time. That was magic.

Finally, the image of the bed and the ocean outside the window was pure heaven. It was what my first morning in the Philippines looked like. And the feeling was pure magic, lots of love for SHE is the reason why heaven existed and still exists, and the best part that warms my heart was the sounds of roosters crowing in one direction mixed with the sights and sounds of the ocean outside. (a reminder of how I grew up during summer visits to Texas. No ocean but sounds of roosters) All I could think and feel was that I'd been blessed with the best of both worlds thanks to the love of my life. Her home in the Philippines is simply amazing and what could possibly be better than to have two people in love, surrounded by love, enjoying an incredible breakfast of longanisa, eggs, garlic rice, delicious pancakes, great coffee, and fresh mangos... It truly was heaven in more ways than I'd ever thought possible... the only thing missing was being able to call my mother and tell her what an incredible time I was having. Instead, I had to believe that somehow she was there in spirit with me or perhaps watching down on love and I from heaven above...

Most of this is written somewhere on this blog but tonight I had to revisit these moments in time. I happened to be browsing thru old images and these stood out... Life is truly an amazing journey, through all the good and bad... ups and down... crossroads and high times.... it is whatever it is....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend of Anniversaries..

Emmett Till was abducted and later killed after whistling at a white woman. 1955
Barack Obama accepted democratic nomination, 2008.
Police clashed with anti-war demonstrators in Chicago, 1968
I Have a Dream Speech, August 28, 1963
Hurricane Katrina 2005
Beatles played their last major concert in Candlestick Park.
Lets Go Crazy by Prince released in 1984
Michael Jackson birthday.. August 29, 1958

Everyday this past week I kept hearing about an anniversary of some major event. It was mind blowing just to hear each one and how far or not so far this country has gone... And each story would be amazing to sit and relive via book or movie created in its honor... There's an event this weekend that I hope gets swept under the rug but sadly the news will cover it nonstop and the silliness of it will be covered extensively on Ed Shultz and Keith Olberman's show... God Bless America and it's incredible history...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gen. Powell said it best...

It's a real shame this debate and all the subsequent protests, talks, airtime filling up news channels. All this anger continues to flood life's airwaves at the moment. I often wonder if the destiny of Obama's presidency was/is to bring to light the fact that America has simply had a bandaid over it's deep wound of racism all this time... No longer hidden, no longer disguised, no longer waiting outside the backdoor... it's here and on display.. the world is watching and probably laughing... I also thought religious conviction breeds a certain peace, understanding and empathy... This image/portrait that Gen. Colin Powell mentions in his comments should be held up high for all to see, especially those who carry so much anger based on perception rather than fact or reality...

Overall this moment doesn't seem so teachable as much as it appears to be an affirmation of the way things are...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Lack...

“A lack of communication is the key to so much misunderstanding”

I often wonder why so many choose that route when it comes to their direction each day. What’s the motivation there? I know of two individuals in my workplace who use to greet me all the time. I’ve known them both more than ten years, just to throw a figure out there yet in this year they’ve taken it upon themselves to no longer speak to me, greet me, etc. Not that I mind. (laughter follows) I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything… But, as someone who likes to sit back and take note of various personalities and ways of life; I find the whole thing fascinating because there’s no reason for it. There’s been no arguments, no unkind words, not even conversation taken out of context. It’s just a scenario of wake up one day and notice poked out lips mixed with apprehension everytime you’re in the vicinity. Imagine the difference if there was communication? "Foolishness is a hard explanation to find," I once heard. So instead, I encounter like today for example; one of the poked-out-lip squad walking in the opposite direction, coming my way. She leaving work and me coming into work. She commences to stiffen her neck, hold her head straight, eyes pointed forward, maybe even holding her breath… It was funny looking from my vantage point; the ultimate in silly, unnecessary behavior. I wanted to laugh but instead I played the game too, though I looked at her because I wanted to see how long she could hold the stiff neck position. Actually, now that I think about it, the above quote has no merit in this situation only in that this person is not really someone I see or converse with on the regular so I feel like she would have no right to display such attitude but some folks fall into that other category. The one with a strong odor of ignorance. The one spelled out in two words, sometimes hyphenated and sometimes not. First word begins with an ‘A’ and the other an ‘H’.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What a wonderful thing..

What a wonderful thing, love is.. I was listening to this song(Al Green) today and it immediately took me back... Not too far, though. Mentally and heart-fully, if you will, it took me back to this past weekend when I was feeling so lucky and blessed each time I looked over at a certain someone who truly in every sense of the phrase, "makes my life complete." She does. I always long to have her near. To touch her. To hear her voice. To wake up and see her smile. It's something very special happening all the time.. I always wish it had happened sooner but as always, gotta write it off as being the way it's supposed to be. God's will in good time, as it should be sort of thing... As I always say to her.. "wow!"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010- Twenty-Ten

My all time number one, numero uno artist, musician, performer, creative being of all time and forever has a new collection that I have to make mention of because it's super hot! I'm excited for Prince. I mean, I'll admit to being a little disappointed in recent past with respect to some of the recordings he's made, the productions, the songs, etc though he never disappoints live. He blows everybody out of the water when it comes to live performance and playing his instruments, etc.. but right now? His latest CD is hot!!! The songs take you back to better more interesting times when he was on the lips of everybody who claims to be in the know of "Pop Culture." Prince never went anywhere so I hate to use that cliche' of "he's back" so I'll just say that what he's rockin right now is super hot-hot-hot! I hope people show love and support and I wish him the world... :-)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Surf's Up On A Fourth Of July!

Happy 4th of July weekend! Not much to report for my fun in the sun except plenty of eating, most notably the 14 hotdogs that were delicious!! Had some fabulous BBQ ribs, some pasta with garlic shrimp made by my love and some other goodies that she threw together... Did some shopping with family and took these cool shots of surfers on the first day of this holiday weekend.. Other than that, not much going on... writing inspiration has been slow but love remains constant so that's always wonderful..

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Still touching hearts...

I'm blessed and humbled by the mere fact that a story I wrote like a million years ago is still out there not only getting read but also finding its way into people's hearts... Honestly, I think I wrote the story back in 1998 or 99? I just know it came after a couple of trying moments in my life with respect to love and before a couple more moments that would rock my world as the lessons I'd learn previously went forgotten... But, the second time became the charm and I've awaken from it with something that I knew could exist without all the drama, frustrations, silliness, anger, negativity, foolishness, etc etc. True love fits nowhere inside that puzzle.. Anyway, I'm speaking of my story called Love Is 2 Blame, which is included in the ZANE anthology, Love Is Never Painless. I was truly blessed to be apart of that collection and to even have been asked. I'm no longer blessed to be apart of the Zane collection of authors mostly due to misunderstanding and direction but I am truly forever grateful to have had the opportunity as I've always been about simply creating something that could touch hearts and inspire thought. This story about love and exposing the inner thoughts of a man going thru a breakup has seemed to have connected with many. As recently as yesterday, I received yet another email praising the story and its character's. This particular reader (Christine) related mostly to the character of Shaylisa who was basically the heartbreaker of the story. The young lady with her own agenda and lack of concern for anything that doesn't result in her getting what she wants. Love is just a tool rather than a blessing or a gift to be cherished and developed into the ultimate... Christine wrote that the character of Malcolm(the one who's heart is broken) reminded her of her boyfriend. Ahhh well.. *smile*

Anyway, it's been more than ten years and that short story is still touching hearts.. Hmm.. I dont know, maybe it should be deemed a "classic" like Love Jones.. ha ha.. *smile* Either way, I'm as I said, blessed and I'm hoping that one day my story(Until Again) which I've talked about for years and years before can achieve the same classic impression as it is the love story that tops everything in my opinion.. *smile* Thanks to anyone who has read Love Is 2 Blame...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

It's been more than ten years since my father passed, but his presence and spirit remain in my heart and in memory. I remember everything about him and even his voice. I've come to appreciate his creativity a lot more. His photography was pretty cool, his business and going after it was great, and his talent as a carpenter/builder was pretty amazing.. I guess I inherited the creative side along with the love for traveling. I wish I could do that carpentry stuff and I wish I had his drive when it comes to starting your own business and hustling to make it work. Dad was good at that. He had his ups and downs and even went through a couple moments where he trusted the wrong folks and got burned financially as a result. That too we have in common... I miss his presence and wish he could've stuck around longer.. I think as I've grown older, he and I would've probably had a lot more to talk about on many different levels but the cards of life are played in ways you cant control but if you look beyond yourself, you can probably figure out why... My father loved using that old expression from the seventies; "far out!" when impressed by something. I think if he saw my photography work, he'd probably be using that expression all the time. Happy Father's Day, Dad... see you in memory again, soon...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Juneteenth

Today is one of those days when I wish I was in Texas, on the farm, grilling some hotdogs and chasing it down with a long tall glass of red soda water.. *smile* Or in most cases, we would dust off an old looking bottle of Dr. Pepper. Times like these were incredible back in the day though as always, we don't appreciate it enough until it becomes a memory.

For those that don't know about Juneteenth and the major celebration that goes on, especially in Texas.. This day commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 — two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. For whatever reason, Texas got the news late.. Some say they killed the messenger along the way but its amazing, the history of this country and how much lies beneath us as foundation for where we are now. But as we forget, move on and move forward, its sad that much of the blood sweat and tears of our foundation goes forgotten. There's a lot of kids out there that have no clue and many grown ups who don't want to hear anything about what once was so long ago.. Required viewing for everyone should be Alex Haley's Roots, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored, and the Jane Pittman Story. I'm old enough to remember back in the day when Roots was on every night and all families from coast to coast were glued to the television. News shows would do stories on all the gatherings that people had as they sat and watched each episode of Roots. That was a really special time.. Anyway, Happy Juneteenth Celebration! Major props to Leimert Park in Los Angeles for throwing a big Juneteenth celebration and God Bless my grandparents on my mother's side. I visited their grave today. It's always important to pay homage and never forget no matter how great the loss...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

June 8, 2010

Amazing.. that time thing again... it moves so fast and today marks that one year anniversary of the passing of my mom, Gloria Ann Rivers. I can't believe how fast it went but I always thought about how I would feel when this moment would come. I miss my mom and never stop thinking about her... That's a day to day blessing and a pleasure.. I never imagined she would be gone this soon.. I was hoping she would at least live to be in her eighties. I even thought she would outlast me. There were at least two to three times where that almost came to be but someone else I suppose had the plans already drawn out; moving things in the direction to where we'd learn our greatest lessons in life... I wish my mom would've expressed many of her thoughts as she came to the end but she held on and just worried mostly.. Me? I've learned and learned some more... picking up life lessons along the way that make me mad while at the same time wake me up. I can see clearly.... most times... And then I look to the blessings, especially love who blows me away with her thoughtfulness and caring. She puts forth the energy and thoughtfulness for telling me to make sure I acknowledge my mom's passing and visit her grave, etc.. She shows love and respect for mom's memory... That's an incredible thing. It leaves me in such appreciation for what I have now and the struggle it took to get here. The life lessons... So, here we are, a year gone by leaving behind memories that I'll never forget. Even those images that burn in your mind that you wish you could remove like looking closely at my mom's face, listening for her breath and realizing that she was gone. Then a few hours later seeing her body carried out of the house in a white body bag and knowing that just a month or two prior she was still able to drive and was more concerned about me having my favorite frozen yogurt which she found on sale at Ralph's grocery store... Time.... its fast and we take it for granted always... My visit to the cemetery was peaceful and this morning was a perfect backdrop to a time spent reflecting.. The weather was cloudy and grey. The temperature cool.. Not many around though from the looks of my mom's resting place, there's been a lot of people passing on recently and many visitors leaving behind beautiful flowers in their memory. I cleaned the area where my mom is and placed a few flowers. I reflected for a moment and then went to the church where her service was held. Unfortunately, the doors were locked. I sat outside and just enjoyed the breeze... I felt... okay.. Then I felt proud that I at least began this day doing something my mom always did and was proud of. I voted in the same polling place she always did... It felt like a milestone... time...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A Catch Up Moment

I haven't "blogged" in a minute. Time seems to be flying and in the process, I've been lazy; moving at a snails pace though my mind races like crazy as it always does... Thinking, imagining, wishing, dreaming, praying, appreciating, loving.. I'm feeling proud about my book on the Philippines. I think it's a beautiful reflection not only of the people, the country but most importantly for me..... Love... I can't say enough about the time I/we spent there and look forward to the next time...

Jump ahead to today... my first day in a couple weeks of not being lazy... Nope.. I got my butt up this morning. Took the car into the shop.. Ouch! Huge bill coming... but I expected that sort of financial damage just not that much!! I think I punished myself today as I usually do when I know a visit to the dealer is gonna lighten my wallet. I walked home.. It's probably a five mile or more walk. A good long walk is great for the soul, great time for thinking and watching the world.. I had my music playing on the iPhone and before I knew it, I was home... I took a quick breather and then decided it was time to do some yard work. I was in the backyard kicking up dust and dirt. I was reminded how this time last year I had the garden in the back looking incredible because I wanted something visually beautiful for my mom to see though she couldn't because she was struggling to stay alive.. Her last days and I could feel it but I still did what I could and kept the garden watered. She did get to see it a few times before she was completely bedridden... What a rough time that was. And then time flew by and here we are again... All I can wonder is what's next and all I can actually do, is make the best of even the worst when its necessary... Thank God for strength and the will to keep on keepin' on as they say....

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Wow, this will be my first Mother's Day without my mother actually here in the flesh. I can definitely feel her spirit. I've had dreams of her recently in the last month or two. She's smiling in each one. I've seen her (in my dreams) sitting with my grandmother and both appear happy and at peace. It's a welcome vision from the last time I saw her-here... I will never ever forget last year, especially during this time as the changes in her mind and body began to happen quickly. The inevitable became more and more visible and I had to recognize that she wouldn't be here. It was a time when I had to reach for a kind of strength that I didn't know I had. The good thing about this blog is that I can look back to May of last year and see what was on my mind. It was a lot of reminiscing going on. A lot of wishing I could turn back the clock. I still wish that and many times as I discover new joys in my life, I wish even harder that my mom was still here. The other day I was thinking about two things introduced to me by the love of my life. Two things that I would love for my mother to enjoy. One is this dish called Rellenong Bangus, which is "stuffed milk fish." The taste is sooooo delicious and just the texture of the food reminds me of something my mother would enjoy eating like crazy. Then there's the trip that I took, of course to the Philippines and spending time at Love's beautiful place on the beach. My mother was crazy about Love(Lorna) and she probably would've smiled with so much pride to see such a beautiful place. She would've said "wow!" and "oh my goodness!" many times and when I was there, I did have one dream of my mother. It was quick like a flash... She was smiling... Maybe in spirit she's enjoying all of this too... And seeing me blessed with this kind of real, special and truly supportive love probably has her feeling completely at peace... probably another reason why in those dreams I see her smiling... I also remember this time of the year as a time I would struggle, trying to figure out what the perfect gift would be. I had to work extra hard because the following weekend is always her birthday. Sometimes she'd try to let me off the hook so to speak by announcing that once again she'd be going to Las Vegas with my aunt Tamer for her birthday weekend. That being said I would buy her one of those gigantic extra large greeting cards for effect and place inside of it some money to use for gambling in Vegas. That seemed to always please her but then again, she's a mother and mother's are special... *smile* Happy Mother's Day..

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Most Unique Gift Of All

"We don't have forever to get it right but for those of us blessed with time, we can at least learn how.."

Life affords us so much that many dont take into account. In my mind, my opinion, it seems better to stack the chips of experience rather than marvel at the size of the bank account. Money is nice too, don't get me wrong. I could use a healthy sum and put it to use in the name of heaven about 12 hours flight away from here.. But anyway, today as I was doing some much needed chores inside and around the house, my mind drifted... I was thinking about "time" and faith, not in the religious way though it all comes out in a spiritual way to some degree. It's like time/life affords us the gift of learning and its not free. It cost everything you can ever imagine and everything you can't even foresee. It's like when they give you the cliche that things happen for a reason; it does. Timing is everything; it is.. but what we do with all that is the determining factor in all of the above... In my mind today I kept saying "have faith, it'll all workout." And even if it doesn't, that too is as it should be because if your heart is in the right place and you are true and deserving, there's probably a better and more fruitful path to that rainbow you wish to see... Have faith, believe, stay true and do the unthinkable in this day and age by occasionally being nice. That part don't cost you nothing, as Ashford & Simpson once sang. *smile*

On my recent trip to the Philippines, it reminded me of so much as I've mentioned in previous posts. And despite me being born and raised in the big juicy city of Los Angeles, California, I am so grateful and thankful to my parents and my grandparents for exposing me to the other side of life known as "simplicity" during a time when things were just that; simple. It changed over time and I swam along with that; going thru my this and that, here and there experiences that brought me to this day; still living and blessed with the ability to look back with hopefully that lightbulb of wisdom that illuminates future steps and mis-steps before they happen. Man, in the Philippines, despite the obvious hardships and poverty etc etc that's truly a shame when you look around, I still witnessed happiness, smiles, laughter and endearment from those that were in that sort of predicament. The will of people is very strong and we can all sustain in the face of so much. It makes you wonder how and why in our own lives we would get upset over something as simple as our favorite whatever being out of stock at a store or those who are blessed with so much getting upset over the slightest inconvenience happening one day out of the blue... We trip so hard when there's no reason to even travel that direction. Life through its ups and downs, speed bumps, joys, disappointments, assholes getting in the way, victories, losses, and on and on and on and on is truly amazing... What a world we live in and yet we see so many adding their ingredients to a very large stew, causing so much bitterness, difficulties and strife... But that simple life that I spoke of? That was like sugar... Like a small bag of equal being added to half a cup of hot coffee... *smile* when it hits your taste buds, it feels just right.. God Bless it all and umm... it's always so nice to think... *smile* Kaibigan. I love the sound of that word for some reason...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Look At The Philippines..

Here's another video look at my recent trip to the Philippines.. Looking forward to my return there one day in the hopefully not too distant future... This ranks up there as one of my best vacations ever!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thank you 2 The Moments..

As I continue to embrace the memories that's been hitting me from time to time this week following my special journey to the Philippines, I can't resist talking about those moments that made me smile really big. Of course, I was always smiling inside thanks to love spoiling the heck out of me as she always does no matter where we be but there was also some really cool moments that I will remember and continue to take with me... Those moments when in a faraway land, mean something extra special to you. Hanging in the Philippines, there were those chance moments when I'd come across another black person. In Boracay I noticed this fella walking along the beautiful seashore, nodding his head with excitement like a yesssss moment when a sense of pride overwhelms you. Then I realized he was doing that because of me. Love said "there's a brother!" I laughed and then I greeted the brother from a distance with a smile. It was like a strong handshake that squeezed tighter out of real true sincerity and it felt good. He continued on his way but the prideful moment lasts forever. In Tagaytay there were a group of singers moving from table to table at a restaurant called Leslie's. They could sing any song you requested and they did it very well. One of the singers was a tall fella that looked to be a cool mixture of black and filipino. When he approached our table and made eye contact with me, he put his palms together and bowed with pride. I nodded in agreement that it was a blessing to make the connection and he was a helluva singer... In Manila at Green Hills Mall, an elderly black woman greeted me the moment she saw me. "Hello, how are you?" she said in a very distinguished voice. I returned the greeting and she continued on her way... Those were good moments and sometimes that's all you need to put strength in your heart for those times when the flow of life ain't so good. Downtimes are inevitable but so are the upswing moments if you keep striving, think positive and be faithful to your pursuit in knowing that you are deserving... That's one of the main reasons I was blessed with love... the right time and as she says, "God's will.."

Video Celebration of my Philippines Visit...

Thank You Philippines from Anthony Rivers on Vimeo.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Children of the Philippines

I have to say that during my recent trip to the Philippines, I got a big kick out of photographing the children. It just happened by chance. I didn't plan to take so many pictures of children but you cant help it, or at least I couldn't. Every shot I took I wondered what the future held for them. Many of them were either begging for money or selling fruit and other items to make money. I pray this phase of their lives is a short one and they prosper in every way they dream and imagine or better yet, find a way to become inspired to do and become more than what's been shown to them... I have to thank them for all the great smiles and hellos given to me... Salamat..