Friday, July 13, 2018

Catharsis...

                                   
She had come here to do an art exchange project with Tibetan refugee children who had been relocated to Nepal.

They would be drawing about their Tibetan culture and their country.

This school was their home now.

Most had been here for a year or more.

On the day of the project the children streamed in to the large auditorium.

They looked very small and fragile.

She asked the director of the school how long they had been here.

His answer stunned her.

These children had only left Tibet twelve days ago.

They had walked across the Himalaya's, carrying everything they had with them.

Leaving everyone they loved behind.

These children who were emotionally raw.

Many of them still wearing bandages that covered recent damage from frostbite.

How could she ask them to draw or even think about Tibet so soon?

Worried about the impact such a request would have on them, she posed the question to the director.

He thought for a moment and said he would consult with the teachers.

She watched as the director spoke with the teachers and then as the teachers bent and spoke to the children.

The children looked uncomfortable and then there were tears.

She had wanted to bring them joy and instead had brought sadness and pain.

The teachers huddled with the director for a while and then the director walked toward her.

Obviously they would need to change the subject of the exchange. Perhaps they could draw animals.

When the director reached her she started to apologize but then realized what he was saying.

The children hadn't been upset and crying because they didn't want to draw and write about Tibet.

They were afraid that they would not be allowed to.

They wanted to make pictures about their home and their culture.

They drew for hours.

Pouring out their love of a country they would more than likely never see again.

Families they would never see again who had given everything so their children could make the journey.

Parents who would never even know if the had made it to safety alive.

As they drew there was...

sadness

pain

love

pride

catharsis...








Sunday, July 8, 2018

ghosts...




Her gran had come from the Midwest.

About a year after immigrating to the United States, Gran's father had been given twenty five acres to homestead in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

That's where gran grew up.

Among the wheat fields and the oil wells.

Gran had passed away nearly 10 years ago now.

And all that was left of Bartlesville was a silver souvenir spoon that she used in the sugar bowl gran had given her one Christmas.




*In reality, Bartlesville still exists and is doing just fine.






Thursday, June 28, 2018

And in the afternoon, walks with cheetahs....




It was something in their eyes that had first made her want to photograph them.

Not just anywhere though.

It had to be in Namibia.

She couldn't explain why, but that is where she had to go.

Everyone told her it would be impossible.

They weren't on a savanna like in East Africa.

They were hidden in amongst the thorny bush of the veld. 

Even if she found them it would be near impossible to photograph them in the wild.

She went anyway.

And in the hours before the sun would set, everything turned an impossibly golden yellow that made it appear as if the tall savanna grasses were glowing and alive.

She found the cheetahs and came back with hundreds of photographs.



Always follow your heart, it will never lie to you.
You may miss read it, but it will never lie to you.







Sunday, June 17, 2018

Life is a lesson...


Life Lesson Number # 68;
If we are alive, we are learning.

There was a house somewhere in the mid west.

It was in bad shape and it was in a bad area.

They didn't know how bad when they bought it.

It was meant as an act of kindness but things have a way of not working out as we would have them work out.

No one wanted the house.

They contacted dozens of charities and churches; "free house", but everyone declined.

In desperation they put an ad on the Internet; "free house".
For days there was nothing then someone answered.

Not a charity, not a church but a realtor.

Not the most ideal of recipient's.

But the house was somewhere in the mid west, and they were on the West Coast so...

Over weeks information was traded in e-mails.

Months passed.

They thought no one would ever use the house again.

Finally papers were notarized and the house was on it's way to possible new ownership.

Then after all that time had passed a woman contacted them.

If the house was still available, she might like it to use as a place to cook food for the homeless.

Much better than a realty company.

But papers were about to be signed...

The lady would go by and look at the house.

After all there was still a day or two before things were finalized.

Four days passed without word and they assumed that the lady had decided the house was in too much need or in too bad an area as had many before her.

There was no more time.

And so they finalized paperwork with the realtor.

One dollar was to be exchanged.

Suddenly the lady was back.

It had been six days.

They told her the house was no longer available.

That night their in box was filled with emails from the lady.

She wanted the house! She needed the house for her family!

She was desperate.

They looked at each other in disbelief.

Why hadn't she said this before?

Of course they would have rather that someone who really needed the house have it.

But now papers were signed, titles were in the process of being transferred.

The lady was angry and upset, the people were stunned and felt terrible about the whole situation and the realtor...well, the realtor was quite happy.


Life Lesson Number #248;
No matter how hard you try to do the right thing  you will inevitably get it wrong once in a while.









Monday, June 11, 2018

The party in power...



They watched and listened and they said nothing.

One degrading incident after another.

Day after day, week after week, month after month.

Still they said nothing.

They watched as children were ripped from their mothers arms.

They watched as funds for veteran's and teacher's and the elderly were slashed and they said nothing.

They watched as our reputation as a country, as a people was decimated and destroyed in every corner of the world and they shrugged.

They stood silent as our allies were bullied and humiliated and our enemies were glorified and embraced.

They were mute as our constitution became irrelevant word by word.



What will they say to their children when they ask; "where were your voices"?







Thursday, May 31, 2018

Vows...







Then it all just went dark.

Darker than she could ever have imagined.

There had been plenty of very bad days in the past.

Twenty six years they'd been doing this...this thing.

It began even before the vows were spoken.

Year by year it just got harder to pretend.

And now it was just a black hole of pain and misery.

That place in the universe where things went to die.

She'd hung on because that's what you did didn't you?

In the end staying had ended up being much more destructive.







Saturday, May 12, 2018

A life lead...


                                  


She had been a child of the sixties and by all accounts she was still just as unconventional now.

Through out her life she had traveled the world. Country by country, continent by continent.

She had walked with wild cheetahs and been bitten by a tiger.

She'd been to deserts where once upon a time elephants and lions had both roamed.

She had helped release leopards back into the wild.

She had been tickled by prayer flags in Nepal and Tibet.

And stood at the Ganges river as families said goodbye to loved ones during cremations

She'd roamed the cemeteries of Mexico at night during the Day Of The Dead.

She'd stood before the Acropolis and The Pyramid's

And been showered by the spray of Victoria Falls and drifted down the Zambezi watching hippos suddenly surface only inches away.

She's tended to baby elephants in Thailand and viewed the Buddha's tooth in Sri Lanka.

She'd walked through the souks of Morocco.

And visited the islands of Greece,

and had her camera confiscated in Japan by armed guards.


Who knew what she'd do in the next chapter...