Even though I sometimes believe that I have matured as a human, there are events that can occur which bring me to the brink of anger and disgust. This was so last Friday when events that occurred left me feeling frustrated and angry.
But as I drove home that day I came to realize that all that has transpired over the past two weeks is really what is important, not the trivial events and lack of thinking that happens at work. I am certain that on the day I take my very last breath here, I will not say, ‘Gosh, I wish I said something at work or was part of that meeting.’ No, what I’ve done to make my living will not occupy my final thoughts. Instead I will recall those events and people who truly mean something to me. People and events that have had a lifelong impact on my soul.
This past week I have been emotionally occupied with thoughts of my uncle who is battling cancer for the third time in his life. I was horrified to learn that my sister’s home was threatened in the recent Southern California fires. I understand that both death and tragedy are a part of this life. But even given my view of these inevitable life events, they strain my emotions.
But on the other side of that dark door was pure light. Last week I had the chance to spend time with some other people who I have begun friendships whose genesis was born through photography. And a man who I have met only once in person spent an entire week with Tracy and me. On only a handful of occasions in my life have I recognized people who I immediately know are the kind of spirits that I must have known in another time. Who in their right minds invites someone to share their home for a week having only met them once in the flesh? How many people have a person move 3000 miles across the country to live with them for the rest of their lives before meeting them face to face? Well, if you’re saying crazy people, you can count me in that crowd and proudly so.
Vernon is exactly as my intuition told me he is. A man of depth and feeling that beguiles his outward appearance. I can really appreciate that fact simply because the man most individuals perceive me to be is someone totally foreign to who I am. And in a way, that pleases me. To spend time with someone on a 24/7 basis is the best way to truly know how they feel about things and how they think. On one hand it is the kind of situation that can break apart relationships or bond them in a way like no other. Tracy and I both got to spend time with VT and our bond became stronger because of it. In my view, a lifelong bond.
Tomorrow Tracy and I will join the many people I have come to know who give of themselves to help teens as we photograph a stage performance of Little Shop of Horrors. It will be Tracy’s very first stage performance assignment and although the ‘photography’ side of this project will be fun, the real intent is to supply the kids and families with photographs of moments they will always remember. And in just four short days, Tracy, Niko and I will hang my exhibit Moments of Humanity at ArtShare 25.
How are these seemingly separate events and the events I described before joined? Actually in the most remarkable way. Had it not been for a simple image I would never have met Vernon or Tracy, Leigh, Francis and George, Jarrett and King, CJ and Loretta, Thelma, Steve and Ely, Rod, Trent, Kyla, Barry, Judy, Heather (no, not THAT horrid one Rox!), Charlie, Addy, Edwina, Kevin, Shoeshine Joe, Phil Fee, Frederika, Eugene, Robert the Maiden Lane Opera Singer – the list is almost overwhelming. In a time in most people’s lives when their worlds are shrinking, mine is expanding in the most wondrous way.
So as I ‘go back’ to my 9-5 tomorrow, I will not forget what is truly important in my life – my own moments of humanity.