Because It Matters.

I know, I know, I have not posted in AGES!  But it is summer vacation and soon I will have a “What I Did on My Summer vacation” post, but right now there is something a bit more important.

As everyone knows, Detroit is bankrupt.  Financially is the proclamation for now, but bankruptcy of a different kind has taken place long before that.  The people of Detroit have suffered from a decline in self-esteem, worth, value and significance brought on by corruption, racism, poverty and neglect.  Now I am not here to step further on top of what many shout out as the hell hole of America.  Quite the opposite.  I will be the first to shout out about all the beautiful places in Detroit.  The smaller, magical spots that people overlook and the grander more obvious places.  One of those places is my favorite place in Detroit.  A place I take others, or get lost in all by myself.  A place that fills my eyes with delight and in a turn brings tears to my eyes.  Good tears.  The DIA.  Never been there?  My header is looking out onto Woodward from the front steps, just look around “Le Penseurs” buttocks.

You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate all the beauty and mastery dating from primitive times until now.  There is something there for everyone, every age, every mood, every heart.  because of that, it is in integral place in the heart of Detroit.  Its architecture alone is a gem in a neglected mine that is being dusted off and re cultivated.  A bright spot in the gray matter.

It hurts my heart in a way that no metaphor can mimic to think that any of these valuable pieces of history could be sold to pay for someone elses mismanagement.  The DIA did not mismanage, the city did.  I’d like to say that I get it, but I don’t.  I get that if I was a retired or current city employee I would be pensive, to say the least.  But I will never “get” that the idea of taking what is great, from a city that was once GREAT to raise it to mediocre is the only option.

I am hardly an eloquent speaker of what art means, but I can tell you it must mean something since the cavemen were creating it way before our more refined versions ever arrived.  it was there before words and numbers. It was there to tell stories, to celebrate and to document history.  The DIA is an enclave of history, stories and celebrations.  it is one of the most important places to help this city to raise to GREAT again, and when things in this city are valued by the city, then people start to value the city and when that happens everyone starts valuing the city, and when I mean the city, I mean everyone in it.

Never been?  Here is what you are missing….

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Seriously, Calder, Kandinsky, Rivera, Rothko, Warhol, Van Gogh, Matisse and Detroit’s own Charles McGee…what are you waiting for?  Go, give your heart a lift, give the city a lift and for goodness sake, if art is the greatest asset to the city, make it a great asset to you.

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Progress.

 

 

 

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I’d like to thank Mother nature for her kindness and gift of light this past week.  I do hope that she is just as forthcoming this week as last.  While I am still working on the whole self timer thing and finding my “window”, I believe I have made some progress.  I can still totally pick out all the things I am unhappy about, I am more satisfied then I have been.

Hands are for Helping….

I got a little side tracked this week, as my husband has been out of the country for 10 days, and my car broke down twice and I am broke and I spent some time rocking and drooling with all the noise these little humans that live with me make.  Was that a run on sentence?  Anyway, I am caught up, and decided that I have quite a few weeks to perfect my self portraits and I thought I would focus on one body part. ( What this really means is I need a haircut something fierce and I am having trouble figuring out how to do these things!)  So hands it is.  A single shot of my hands, not even greatly focused.  I have so much work to do.  Sigh.

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On a completely different side note, I have some of my fabulous product endorsements coming soon!  I know, sooo exciting!

Crazy, radical, not so much….

When I ended the year, 2012, I was on a little kick, so to speak, about being “more awesome”!  It started a bit before elections and I thought everyone, myself including, should try to be a bit more awesome.    As 2012 was winding down and I was thinking of my “4 year plan”, I kept coming back to something someone, somewhere, at sometime mentioned.  They had mentioned that Jesus was never like most of us, he was radical.  Radical.  He hung out with the homeless, the drug addicts, the whores, the untouchables……He just did things most of us don’t.  I realized I needed to be a bit more radical.  Me?  I know.  Its shocking to think someone who is trying to be more awesome now needs to be radical, too.  Its like taking your soul to compete in the X-games.

BUT how does someone like me become a bit more radical without freaking everyone in her family and neighborhood out?  Baby steps.  So a challenge was placed at our church.  Last year a good number of people ran the Chicago Marathon and raised money for World Vision.  This year, the challenge is to run the Detroit Marathon and raise money for Hope Water Project, to bring fresh water to the people of Kenya.  I said, “That is pretty radical” and quickly jotted my name down.  I had close to 10 months to prepare for this.  I can do it!  I know I can!  I just need to get my hip problem resolved.  (I have had some issues with it for the last 6-8 months).  After my MRI and arthogram came back with multiple labral tears and impingement, my PT said, “absolutely not.”  And with great humility, I reveal that I was sooooo relieved!  Just because I can does not mean I want to, and now that I can’t, it is such a relief.  For some this is a catalyst to get them moving, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually and that is great.  We all have our race to run, mine is just not on the streets of Detroit.  But I can guarantee I will be down there taking photos and stopping at the DIA.

I know radical is out there, somewhere for me, and I know that God has a specific plan that is probably pretty rad, I just need to be patient and wait for it.  I think if we are willing, He will make us able.  In the meantime, I will continue to be more awesome, try to get my soul in radical x-game shape and keep moving forward.

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Confessions…

Don’t get too excited, its nothing deeply revealing, but I kind of feel like I am cheating.  When I decided to start my self portraits work, I expected that each week I would take one and be done.  Well, truth is, I started one week and took a whole bunch and have taken very few since then.  All of the ones I have posted have been from the first day I took them.  But honestly, each one I have selected has been just right for my posts.  Take this weeks post, it completely represents how I feel at the end of this month.  Not really wanting to look.  January started with a death, continued with other deaths, not directly related to me, but deaths nonetheless.  Two divorces of friends and the foreclosure of our house.  I pray February gets better, but I still have two more days of January left.  let me know when its safe to come out.

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Inauguration Day.

I like the fact that Inauguration day is on MLK day. It seems poignant that a black man should be sworn in, for the second time, as President of the United States on a day that we celebrate a man that did so much for that moment to be possible.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was thinking of what could I do in 4 years.  It really needs to be stated, what do I want to do in 4 years?   Its hard to answer this question.  Its probably the hardest question I have had to ask myself in a long time.  And I am not sure if I can answer it.  We like to compartmentalize things into black and white, but as we are all aware of, its really the grey area that is the hub of life.  Where the black and white meet and churn like the sea and become a swirling mass of ideas, expectations, possibilities and hopes that we call reality.  So please give me a bit more time on this one, maybe 4 years.  I wish it were as easy as a 4 year presidential agenda, but for me its just not.  I am still working on my platform for running my race.  I hope I can get it done before the race is over!

 

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Getting Back to Me.

As the new year progresses, I have thought more of what it is in my life that I want to change, or more so, what I want to realize.  I believe that the passions that we develop when we are younger are there for a divine purpose.  Everything within us is there because God wanted it to be, and He will use it for His good.  It has been hard for me to even consider that idea in the past, as I thought that my passions, my desires were really self-serving and that it was “un-Godly”.  I mean what purpose for the greater good of mankind can art or photography or French or becoming a Broadway star be?  When I started to recognize that the things that are innately in me are what I need to feed me, feed my soul, I recognized that Gods intention is not to restrain me, but to set me free.

Art can help someone in their dying days.  I have two pieces of art in a  Hospice Facility.  A friend, whose aunt recently passed at the facility, recognized my work.  I took over 40 free portraits this past Christmas to those who could not afford them.  I am still waiting on my big break on Broadway, so stayed tuned for that venture.  As for French, well, I can only hope to be able to use it in some way.

I remember when I was little of wanting to be several things, as all children do, we run through the gamete of ideas.  When I was 7, I wanted to become a nun.  That one only lasted 24 hours.  I was obsessed with Jacques Cousteau when I was 10.  I wanted to become a  marine biologist, then I realized I didn’t really like the ocean much.   I wanted to become an artist, and to be honest I never thought I would, but I am.  I also dreamed of being a photographer for National Geographic, but without going into any dangerous places.  So, in the past months I have realized that I still want to be a photographer in the National Geographic style.  And maybe, God willing, I may get that opportunity in the shape of a documenting a mission trip, and if its to Haiti, then I can use my French!

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