Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"An Unexpected Teacher" - Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community

I had the opportunity tonight to hear the story of Waddie Welcome. Mr. Welcome, a native of Savannah, Georgia, changed the world during his 80-odd years. Born with cerebral palsey and almost written off but for the compassion and determination of some amazing people and a great organization, Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy, Mr. Welcome managed to capture the hearts of an entire community. Though I never knew Mr. Welcome, I can say for certain that his story is a powerful one and one that I will not soon forget. His story makes us question how we treat people different from ourselves. Are we not all human beings living in the same world?

The event was put on by Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy. "Citizen advocacy is built on one-to-one, freely-given personal relationships between two people. One is a person with a disability who has been excluded from typical community life and the other is a person living a good, ordinary life here in our community. Friendship, spokesmanship, social support, and social change can all emerge from these intentional relationships." I encourage you to visit their website at www.SavannahCitizenAdvocacy.org and think about how you can help to make a difference.

On a side note: Mr. Welcome had a dear friend and champion in a woman named Addie Reeves. Known for her hospitality, graciousness and good home cooking, Ms. Reeves also had a whit about her. In her obituary, marking her death at age 100, were written some of her thoughts on life. My favorite is this: "I don't believe in style. If you want to be beautiful, Serve God."

My how much we can learn if we just pay attention to those around us and care long enough to stop and have a conversation, hear a story, or just observe this miraculous world we live in.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ossabaw Island Pig Roast 2009

video

I'm digging in the archives tonight and decided to post my video from the October 17th, 2009 Ossabaw Island Pig Roast. Enjoy the video of Ms. West (who by the way will turn 97 this month!!!) speaking to us all during lunch on the island.

The day was filled with adventure, great food, great people, and a gorgeous setting. Oh yeah, and there were donkeys too! My friend Mark and I affectionately named our favorite donkey "Fatso." Let's just say her name says it all.

If you're in Savannah on January 14th be sure to check out The Ossabaw Island Foundation's annual meeting. You can visit their website at www.OssabawIsland.org for more information on the island and how you can support the cause.

1000 Awesome Things

I stumbled across this blog the other day. 1000 Awesome Things. Now there's a name for a list. I was expecting a list of actual things like footballs and roller skates, but was delightfully surprised to discover that this was a list of not only things, but moments and ideas found on the "sunny side of the street." A dose of desperately needed optimism in this recession filled world we live in today. I spent a couple of hours on the site and only made it through about 150 Awesome things. I cannot wait to go through more. I encourage each of you to check out the blog and maybe take a stroll down memory lane or a little detour down a side street known as "sunny." Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Four Agreements

For my birthday last month a dear friend gave me a book entitled "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)." Little did I know how much this book would effect my life and act as a constant reminder of ways to help me enjoy life. In the book author Don Miguel Ruiz touches on four points (the four agreements) to help one gain personal freedom. It is amazing how practical and simple these "agreements" are. Here are the highlights of each agreement:

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

It is interesting to me that whenever I open this book to a random page and read for a while, it seems to be exactly what I was needing to hear at that time. These four agreements are so simple. After all, isn't it the little things in life....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Banksy

While cruising around the internet this morning checking out the latest news in the world, I somehow found myself on a list of the "Top 10 Guerilla Artists" according to Time Magazine. Well, one of them really caught my attention with his work. His name is Banksy (well, at least that's this street name). No one apparently knows his real name since he works as an anonymous graffiti artist. This British artist "has made his name adorning public buildings with his subversive stencils, sneaking his work into major museum collections and pulling pranks like leaving a life-size figure of a Guantánamo Bay detainee at Disneyland. Britain's Bristol Museum opened a major exhibition of his work in June. Several of his works have been pulled off the streets and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Banksy himself has managed to keep his true identity a secret — a fact that only enhances his cult appeal." (from Time.com)


Monday, July 20, 2009

Absence

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, I am beginning to believe that. After four years living the creative-on-demand life that art school brings, I found myself with absolutely no desire to even pick up a camera let alone be creative. And here I had just graduated with a photo degree. Several months of not photographing for pleasure later, I believe I have recovered (or am at least on the way). I'm starting to get that bug again, that desire to go out and shoot because I want to. To shoot whatever the heck I want to shoot because I can.

I am also rediscovering that love for all things creative. I can see the seeds of future projects being planted and ideas beginning to grow. I am excited to reconnect with the art world, to become part of it once more. This is not to say that I ever full left, but rather took a bit of a hiatus from it.

So here's to a new start, with new goals and some of the same dreams. Here's to a renewed vision!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Richard Hunt in Savannah

I had the opportunity this past week to meet renowned sculptor and artist Richard Hunt. Mr. Hunt has been a working sculptor in Chicago for decades. He was in Savannah this week for an opening at the SCAD museum. Mr. Hunt visited the sculpture department where he took place in a critique of student work. It was a very intimate setting and one that I was privileged to attend. It was great to hear such a famous artist's interpretation and perspective on work. The following night Mr. Hunt presented a lecture and retrospective of his work. If you are in Savannah in the next couple of weeks, check out his exhibit at the SCAD Museum (free admission) or visit his website.