Looking into your future together

What changes when a young couple, about to marry, gets the chance to see one another aged 70 years?

It may sound like a dramatic movie plot, but that's exactly what happened to this engaged couple. With the help of makeup and prosthetics, they were able to see each other in their 50s, their 70s and finally in their 90s.

So, what changed? Everything and nothing at all.

I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than looking into a future together - one simply told by the lines on their face, the gray in one's hair and the same soulful eyes you have loved all your life.  What a fun and beautiful experience for an engaged couple to share!

Let Our Own Light Shine

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson

(Marianne Williamson is a spiritual activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation currently before Congress to establish a United States Department of Peace)

Music Always Motivates!

Whenever I am about to sit down for an editing session, I first put on a movie or music that will help set the tone and move me in the way I need to feel creative.  Today, I was working on an editorial and stumbled across this song that randomly hit my playlist.

It reminded me just how much I enjoyed the movie Crash and that maybe tomororw, I'll find my way home.  (Not a big fan of the video, but after watching the movie, it is a beautiful tone to end on.)

The Jubilee Project

There is little that I can say about this video except that it was beautiful and well worth the time and the tears.

These short films are created by the Jubilee Project, a non-profit organization that aims to tell uplifting and inspiring stories to help bring positive change in the world.

Love Has No Labels

I don't know if it is because someone has been giving me a reason to smile lately, or simply because I am naturally a sap, but I love this!

There is not better feeling than seeing a smile on someone's face than knowing it is there because they see you.  Looking at all these happy faces, and seeing love - in all its shapes and sizes - I know there is a God and he has a plan for us all.

A Child's Future is Worth Every Sacrifice.

Perhaps this appealed to me today because my eldest daughter recently moved out to start her new life. Or it is perhaps because I am simply a sap. 

But, how can you not watch the following video and feel that (1) Met Life Hong Kong is fantastic for doing this sort of advertising and (2) that everything you ever gave up or every tired day was worth it the second you saw your child's smile.

To Sean, Gabby and Caroline.  You have been worth every sacrifice and I pray every day that you know the joy of those struggles for the ones you love.

Reinvention is always better!

Sure, coming up with a great idea, a great song, a great style is always wonderful.  Originality always rocks.  But, sometimes, seeing it reinvented is even more so as you capture not only the magic of the original but the beauty of evolution and the life it takes on long after the original has faded.

Case in point?  Go to Youtube and search for 'Selfies on Kodachrome'.  Do it.  Do it NOW!

What you will find is the most delicious array of musical recreations that will keep you smiling and tapping your toes for hours! 

Okay... I could go on all day posting these videos.  I love them all! 

Defining Beauty

If life teaches us nothing, it is that culture defines beauty.  Similarly, as culture evolves and changes, so does what it considers beauty.

I love this video for it so eloquently illustrates this very fact.

When all is said and done, define beauty for yourself.  Be your most beautiful on your own terms and never apologize.   For that, is what is most beautiful and what I most love to photograph!

What on Earth am I Doing?

Yeah, this pretty much sums it all up correctly.

Most days, I feel as though I am flying by the seat of my pants, praying that I am doing right by my kids.  (Now no longer kids, they are 24, 20 and 18.)  I yelled at them, grounded them, told them no, told them yes and prayed that I wouldn't screw them up too badly.

Some days, I look at them and say "Wow, you kids are amazing!  I must have done okay with you."  Other days, I look at them and say "Wow, you kids are amazing - despite what I did to you!"  I guess in the end, it all shakes out and you simply delight that you made it through and your kids are okay.

This year, the last of my children graduated high school.  My oldest became engaged.  All have had some pretty big steps towards becoming adults they were meant to be.  Me?  I just wish I could go back and do it all again and make the same mistakes again. 

I am going to miss this wild adventure!

Time They Won't Ever Forget

I believe learning is not just about education, schools, reading, writing and arithmetic.  It is about how we engage ourselves in a community culture and relate to others.

I saw this video and I absolutely loved it!  Not because the song had me tapping my feet, or because I laughed at some of the dance moves.  But, because I saw students enjoying an experience with their teacher.  I have no doubt they will remember him long after they have left the halls of A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School.  Hopefully, as they do, they will remember other lessons he my have given them and the remembrance that it is okay to have fun as much as it is to learn.

PS.  The fact that Scot Pankey is also their theater arts teacher delights me as a self pronounced theater geek!

Photographs That Stir One's Soul

Photography has always enchanted me.  Long before I even understood why.

According to Eduard Steichen “The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself”. If this statement can be taken as certain, then these photographs fulfilled such a mission.

Eight-year-old Christian Golczynski accepts the flag for his father, Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, during a memorial service. Marc Golczynski was shot during his second tour in Iraq just a few weeks before returning back home.

Learn more about Christian and his life since this iconic photograph here.

The photograph that has become known as "Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her 7 children in 1936 in California. 

Read about Florence and the taking of this unforgettable image here.

A 1994 Pulitzer Prize wining photograph by journalistic photographer Kevin Carter during the Sudan famine.  The photo depicts a child struggling towards a United Nations food camp a mile away, as a vulture is waiting for the child to die.  No one knows what happened to the child.   Two years later, Kevin committed suicide, saying “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, of killer executioners”.  Whether or not he did the wrong thing when photographing the struggling girl in Sudan, the truth is that Kevin Carter gave his whole life for the sake of information. He communicated reality in the most truthful way, hoping to make a change by increasing society’s awareness of the world’s injustice.

Read the story behind this controversial image here.

Mark David Chapman asked for John Lennon's autograph outside his Dakota residence.  Several hours later, he would meet him there again and kill him.

Victory Over Japan  (V-J) Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, In New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers.

Read the story behind this infamous and most copied photograph here.

In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby on his death bed, taken by a journalism student named Therese Frare, quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the reminder of the human connection.

Read the story behind David Kirby's life and passing here.


Storytelling

Humans of New York.

Probably the most fascinating photography series I have come across... ever.  It doesn't rely on fancy costumes, makeup and design to illustrate a concept or a story.  It simply relies on the depths of the subject. 

Some stories are silly, some are heartbreaking.  But all are colorful and inspire me daily that this is an amazing world full of interesting and complex people.

Follow them now at www.humansofnewyork.com or www.instagram.com/humansofny

These are just a few of the stories that captured my eye today.  Every day it changes and each brings something lovely and inspiring to the day.

"They’re always covering for each other. This morning I found them both sitting in the kitchen, and there was Reynolds Wrap strewn all over the place. One of them looked extremely guilty, and the other said she saw nothing."

"They’re always covering for each other. This morning I found them both sitting in the kitchen, and there was Reynolds Wrap strewn all over the place. One of them looked extremely guilty, and the other said she saw nothing."

“I was the youngest in the family. I went to Israel first, and the rest of the family was supposed to join me. Nobody made it. We sent letters to each other for the first few years. The last letter I got from Poland came in 1941. It was from my mother. It asked me to send food. Then the letters stopped. I knew that the Germans had occupied Poland, and I heard rumors about the things that were happening. I never learned the specifics of what happened to my family. I never wanted to.”

“I was the youngest in the family. I went to Israel first, and the rest of the family was supposed to join me. Nobody made it. We sent letters to each other for the first few years. The last letter I got from Poland came in 1941. It was from my mother. It asked me to send food. Then the letters stopped. I knew that the Germans had occupied Poland, and I heard rumors about the things that were happening. I never learned the specifics of what happened to my family. I never wanted to.”

"Let’s put it this way, I’m living in a homeless shelter, and I hate my life the least right now. My mother was very verbally abusive. I was a chubby kid, and she’d make fun of my weight whenever she got mad at me. She was always on drugs. I’d come into the kitchen sometimes and find her passed out at the sink with the water running. She gave me my first heroin when I was 17. She used to make me panhandle to support her habit."

"Let’s put it this way, I’m living in a homeless shelter, and I hate my life the least right now. My mother was very verbally abusive. I was a chubby kid, and she’d make fun of my weight whenever she got mad at me. She was always on drugs. I’d come into the kitchen sometimes and find her passed out at the sink with the water running. She gave me my first heroin when I was 17. She used to make me panhandle to support her habit."

“There have been very good parts and very bad parts, but in the end, I love life. Every night before I sleep, I ask God for three more years, so that I can make it an even one hundred. Then I recite a blessing that my mother gave me when I left her in Poland. It was the last time I saw her. The blessing is much more powerful in Hebrew, but it says: ‘Wherever you go, may people always recognize that you have a beautiful heart."

“There have been very good parts and very bad parts, but in the end, I love life. Every night before I sleep, I ask God for three more years, so that I can make it an even one hundred. Then I recite a blessing that my mother gave me when I left her in Poland. It was the last time I saw her. The blessing is much more powerful in Hebrew, but it says: ‘Wherever you go, may people always recognize that you have a beautiful heart."

"What’s the most romantic thing he’s ever done for you?"   "You don’t talk about those things!"

"What’s the most romantic thing he’s ever done for you?"
"You don’t talk about those things!"