Monday, March 16, 2020

Look Around You

Virgin River
Hurricane, UT

There's a lot of stress in the world today. We feel as if both 9/11 and the SARS virus of '03 have struck at the same time. It hasn't; we've been made to slow down, look around us, and take note that world is still spinning and traveling around the sun.

It's time for lengthy morning walks and hikes. Time to get in touch with nature and our families. Time to both disconnect and reconnect with those who need us most, seniors. Take control of your life and manage those things which you truly have control over.

As you know, I started my blog back in 2010 after I lost my job. At that time it was my end of the world and within a year's time I also lost my mother. Life did not end for me and since then I've rediscovered myself several times. Do not give up, keep moving, look beyond yourself, and find solace in nature and how things resolve over time. Stay healthy and wash your hands, be in control.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Find Your Peace

A Zion National Park View
Springdale, UT

My mother scarred my siblings and me when we were children. At breakfast or in fact any meal she would say "eat all of your food so you don't get tuberculosis". That was the root cause of our general anxiety disorder, tuberculosis.

Years later as I was doing ancestry research, I discovered that yes indeed there was a tuberculosis (TB) asylum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 1933 there were 337 deaths reported in Puerto Rico stemming from tuberculosis. Puerto Rico had one of the highest fatality rate in the world. By 1944 the mortality rate from TB dropped by nearly 80% as a result of public health efforts.

While I no longer worry about TB, I do take heed to public health warnings. I do so because it also allays my fears with facts about something I know nothing about. While I pray, I also pay attention to known science for my safety and well being.

It's spring time now for us in TX. Usually it signals a time of rebirth for me and renewed optimism; I simply am not a winter person. Spring affords me days to discover my surroundings and to observe nature. Nature enables me to reconnect with whats beautiful and allows me to see beyond what's inside my head. It's as if I can see the possibilities of life and what has been placed in it for me to enjoy.

So to reduce my childhood anxieties, I've relied on nature and later on in life photography to channel my anxiety into something positive. Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to sanitize myself and meet several of my clients in Las Vegas area. After my work was done, I headed to Zion National Park and acquainted myself with the peace of nature, reconnect, and find my inner solace. Find an activity to quite your anxiety these next few weeks and don't forget to eat all of your food just in case my mother was right.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Captured Moment

Platte Cove

There's a part of me that wants time stand still like a photograph captured as an elongated fraction of a second or two. I want to savor every aspect of it and have an opportunity to digest all of it and not simply have it slip through me.

Imagine getting to enjoy happy times with your family and friends in perpetuity. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pull those images from your mind and into your heart as you beckon them? That's what I am mentally trying to do now as the the measured strokes of time tick away always moving making the present slip away.

No sooner than I enunciate the present it too has vanished. I struggle to to fill it full of meaning: family, friends, and the fine art of the pursuit of happiness.

As a photographer, a professional sojourner and voyeur, I cherish all time and simply wish to capture and keep it still long enough to enjoy it and recall it as I see fit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Harry Sandler
Still Life
No one lives in a vacuum to that extent our sources of inspiration come not only from what we see but also by the people whom we meet and get to know. Harry Sandler was that person for me.
Harry died last night after a short battle with pancreatic cancer and long life jammed pack with music memories, family, friends, and photography.
Everyone he met he touched in one form or another. To that extent when we met in 2009, I became a groupie, a disciple willing to learn something new, how to let go of some of my fears and just do.<
So I am grateful that he was able to share his life with me and his endless stories and phrases from lyrics and people that became a part of his persona.
To those of you in the music business, you will remember him as the guy who made it happen seamlessly. The guy who unwittingly wound up driving a bus and ended up at Woodstock. We heard the jaw dropping list of musicians he knew or worked with "Bruce", Stevie Nicks, John Mellencamp, The Eagles, Bon Jovi. His grand finally was Katy Perry's Prism tour. I have to admit that Harry left us all in awe. Oh the logistics... What a life! His life.
Harry leaves his friends the legacy of his friendship, its secret healing power, and its power to inspire self renewal. We honor his memory by embracing life fully, living it, and by loving our friends and family without restraints. We should have the courage to reinvent ourselves and when we get to that "fork in the road" just take it you might wind up at Woodstock. Harry did. Not bad for no formal education.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Wild Horses in Keller
Bear Creek Park
Keller, TX

Have always wondered what the fascination was with the west and wild horses. I think its our obsession and desire to be unfettered, to be able to roam at will, to graze anywhere we stand, to run freely, letting your hair down, throwing caution to the wind.

The nine months I spent in Tucson gave me the opportunity to explore the vast expanses of the Sonoran Desert and the panoramic views of endless space obstructed only by sensuous mountains at the end of almost infinite horizons. It was a personal oasis and a spiritual beverage. I was intoxicated by exploration and physical exhaustion. It easily made up for the amenities, I know longer had.

During my lone hikes, I enjoyed the music of solitude and the score nature provided me. I found myself enjoying a totally different beat. My success was measured not by accumulation but by the miles I traversed up canyons and mountains and high desert grasslands.

Behold the wild mustang, what an enviable creature in deed. If only I could latch on to him if only in my dreams at night freeing me from the cares of the mundane and the noise which accompanies it.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What's Your Cookie?

Iglesia Rancho de Taos

New Mexico

When we moved from "The" Bronx to Winsted, CT, I was five years old. I spoke very little English but I new a few words to get buy; enough to make friends with neighbors, all it took was bag of Oreo cookies. "Do you want an Oreo cookie?", I would inquire. It didn't take me long to make friends.

My mom told me that my solicitation didn't just stop with the Oreo cookie offer either. In fact, she told me that she would place me in the grocery cart while at the store and I would start to sing: "I like people and people like me". The song was not original it was part of a Lifebuoy soap jingle I had heard. (Apparently, I loved that as much as my Oreo cookies too.) Both worked and I made friends.

It's been years since then, but I've managed to continue my cookie charity and singing my song to myself but not out loud   If you  are in any kind of sales you have to both have and be a cookie. You should genuinely like people. Be real, be you. It's important that you be willing to first give of yourself, before you ask someone for anything. Differentiate yourself from others by offering a cookie. Be interested in their wellbeing first.

So what's the cookie? Why it's you of course! Offer yourself. Be of value. Why should that person wish to speak with you again? What do you have of value to  offer them that they should want to speak with you today?

My blogs and photography have been my cookies for years. Sometimes both photography used and words spoken have been related but separately each was its own cookie for you.

As you knock on a door or get ready to call someone think about the cookie. By the way, my name is Al Hernandez and I am a financial advisor. I like people and people like me because I make the complicated seem simple. I happen to have an Oreo cookie would you like one?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Catching UP

Woman Trapped in Cactus Body
Sabino Canyon
Tucson, AZ

Life has gotten in the way. Have had to earn my keep and have had little time for me and the outlets that provide balance for me. Those outlets include self expression both with the written word and my visual perceptions of the world seasoned by my version of the truth. (Let's face it, we all have a version of the truth filtered and distorted by our own reality perception. No one is innocent.)

Took liberties with an image I captured several years ago in Arizona. My claim then was that I had spent too much time in the solitude of desert and with lack of companionship. Today I look back at the same image and see a politically incorrect woman trapped in a cactus body. It's hard for me to see it any other way.

Lighten up and laugh. It's an election year and there's plenty to laugh about. We should all be disgusted  enough to throw all of these pandering politicians out. I stand by my woman trapped in a cactus body. That's reality. I can almost hear: "What's a nice cactus like you doing in a place like this?"