We Are the Solution

Posted: July 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

This video was created using film clips from my time on the streets with Pastor Dave Ferrari of Central City Assembly. He is doing a fund raiser to open a shelter for men and women and spent three nights and four days living in the Houseless community in Tucson Arizona.

My new mantra these days is “We Are the Solution.” I adapted this mantra cause it feels impossible to get anyone, or any government agency, or any private corporation, or any frigging anyone to do something about everything that needs to be fixed.

No sense in laying it all out cause we all know there are more than enough issues to lament about and we are all keenly aware of what actions have not been taken to make any corrections or even in some cases acknowledge the problems. None, zilch, zero. Just to be clear, however, there has been significant progress and great successes in some areas. For example, the Supreme Court ruled a nationwide right to same-sex marriage. Obamacare was also saved by the Supreme Court.

Also to be clear, I don’t believe we are sinking into a dark hole nor are we doomed. I’m simply pointing out the obvious, our concerns about a variety of issues are not being addressed by those who are in control and can indeed help us live better quality lives. So it is up to us to find our own solutions.

What does this look like? Well, let’s look at homelessness. This issue is one that is rooted in poverty, unemployment, substance abuse and the criminal justice system just to name a few. So how do we fix it ourselves? Where do we start?

We start by acknowledging we can in fact do something that is not dependent on government agencies, corporations, non-profits or any other entity that just takes to much time to deal with or just doesn’t care or will not listen. Once we realize we are the solution then the forward movement begins. So back to what can we do.

The first thing anyone can do is think about what they can do that is sustainable and they can do themselves. For example. If you want to feed some homeless folk make a meal and give it to someone. It may be one meal but you did something and the person who received it felt the kindness. While you are out on the streets ask the person you just fed what they need. If possible provide them with some things from the list. Or just talk to them and listen.

This great act of kindness goes a long way. It shows the person you helped that you care and you will feel better as well. Continue to think outside of the box. Come up with ways to show the homeless you care. Use your imagination. Contact local civic and political leaders and ask them what they are doing about the issue. Pray for them, start a clothing or food drive. Post some simple sayings on FB page, i.e, homeless are people too, or everyone deserves respect and dignity.

The list goes on and it’s up to all of us to find solutions. Even simple easy ones will and can make a difference. And none of us can say definitively what the solutions are but we will never know until we start diving in and doing the work and realizing, “We are the Solution.”

Capturing that nano second facial expression is fun and exciting. The results are amazing and unexpected. It’s also a complete surprise since it happens so fast the photographer is not aware of the expression until he/she sees it.

This is especially true when photographing stage or theatrical events. I recently photographed for the “Best Of”  Stories That Soar, a Tucson based nonprofit that goes into schools and acts out stories submitted by children. Stories That Soar is a Literacy Connects funded organization that has a cast of professional actors that play various roles the children create in their stories submitted to the Magic Box. The “Best Of” show features, obviously, the best of the performances from a school year which in this case is 201sts faces (9 of 12)5.

The images seen here show how expressive, creative and professional these actors are and how their faces create drama and portray the emotion of the moment bringing the story to life and stage. Although their expressions last for less than a second they register in the psyche of each person watching. We are transformed and brought into the reality and make believe world thanks to these contorted, twisted, scary, funny and imaginable facial expressions.

After I do the edit and am able to view these faces I feel altered and often wonder if the actors know who they were in the moment or are aware of that make believe being they are portraying has shown up so obviously on their face. I often want to ask them for an introduction to these alter egos or other face people. As you can see from the images here there are some strange, wonderful, lovely and creative beings living inside these fine actors.

sts faces (12 of 12) sts faces (11 of 12) sts faces (10 of 12) sts faces (8 of 12) sts faces (7 of 12) sts faces (6 of 12) sts faces (5 of 12) sts faces (3 of 12) sts faces (4 of 12) sts faces (2 of 12) sts faces (1 of 12)

Coyote in the Neighborhood

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

This coyote roamed my neighborhood Jan. 10 mid afternoon walking from yard to yard . I kept it moving by scooting closer to get photos.  Finally it lost me by slipping between a shed and a house. It escaped before I could wheel my car onto the next street.

In Tucson it is not unusual to see coyotes in urban neighborhoods. There are washes throughout Tucson which the creatures use to go from place to place. This coyote may have been feeling sick. They usually don’t come out in full daylight unless they are not feeling well, although this coyote looks fit and well fed.

I would suspect it feeds on cats in the neighborhood. There are plenty of feral cats to chose from as well as pet cats. We lost our cat to a coyote a few years ago. Fortunately our cat, Flagg, escaped but died  just 30 minutes later of fright. The next day we could see the evidence of an epic struggle in the driveway including clumps of fur from Flagg. He escaped by diving under the car and hoping over the six foot fence. We heard Flagg by the back door. His was breathing heavily and panting out of control.

We miss Flagg but hold no ill feelings for the coyote. It is the cycle of life. Another cat entered our lives. It was from the family of feral cats who live up the street. I figure we probably saved our cats’ live by adopting it into our lives. Well, it was mutual, Kinta also adopted us.