Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Abandoned Dreams

Abandoned Dreams
Keller, TX
There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… 
I dream of things that never, were and ask why not?
Robert F. Kennedy

We' ve actually had a bit of premature winter this month in north Texas: some snow, ice, and rain. Morning temperatures have dipped into the low 20's and days remained chilly, hard to stay comfortably warm even indoors. 

During one of my morning walks accompanied by our one hundred pound black lab, Grady, I stumbled across this abandoned doll. It quickly caught my attention and made me think in terms of its symbolism. Did the child who owned this know it was missing? Did the parent eventually return to search for this doll? Do we do the same, or do we give up pursuing our babies and dreams?

It would be easy at this stage of my life to succumb to the cynicism which encompasses my world. However, I choose not to let go of my idealism and remain steadfast to changing the world and making my life mean something for me. Can't say I am ready to abandon yet any of my dreams. For me its a constant struggle between following the conventions of my world or the convictions of my heart.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Practice Faith & Charity

Suerte y Sin Suerte: La Limosna
San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mx

“Live simply so others may simply live.” 

― Mother Teresa

Yesterday was an extraordinary day, it was the culmination of very stressful and arduous week. My week included trying to close on my father's house (in Florida) while trying to catch a standby flight to El Paso and then crossover into Juarez all on the heels of an ice storm (not something I would recommend). At last moment, my first standby cancelled and my chances of catching the second were diminished; the clock was working also against me. 

Then it happened, the phone call I dreaded, "Mr. Hernandez we don't have the original Power of Attorney document to close on the deal".  There was not one more drop that could be added to my cup it was full. Everything that I could have possibly done was already done. All I could think of was that the document had the attorney's address and they could call him. Fortunately, the realtor decided to call my niece who was also her friend to check to see if my sister had the original document. The only hitch was that my sister was also on a flight home. Fortunately, my sister arrived home in time to turn around and drive two hours from Jacksonville to Orlando and deliver the document in time.

The day had already turned into a year and still I was on the ground at DFW. Finally made the second standby flight to El Paso and caught a cab and crossed over to Juarez where I caught my flight to Chihuahua. Rested up that evening with two banderas (a drink of three separate jiggers of lime, sangrita, and white tequila, representing the colors of the Mexican flag.) I felt very patriotic by the evening's end.

On Friday, when I finally rested up in the afternoon back home at Starbucks. I met a man very much down on his luck and nearly crippled with arthritis. He gave me the typical homeless pitch about needing money for gas…and that he was stuck in Keller. Had come down from Tulsa and was on his way just outside of Weatherford. For whatever reason, I didn't care if it was true or not. 

"Where is your truck? I asked. He pointed at a beat up Nissan pickup. "How many gallons does it take? "I quizzed. "It takes 15 gallons." He replied.

For a moment I thought how foolish it  would be to give money. That it would be best to take him to the gas station myself and fill up the tank. Then I thought, it really didn't matter this could be me. Yes it could go for drugs or booze, but either way this man was human and down on his luck. I thought about the past three years of my own joblessness reached into my pocket and gave him $40 bucks. "Go get gas, go get gas." 

The man thanked and promised to pay it forward. He barely could walk to this truck and fell and needed someone else's help before he got into his truck and drove off. Don't know if he really needed gas money and perhaps will never know. All I know is that I am grateful to all of you for being there for me these past three years. 'Tis the season of faith and charity. Practice both please. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Treasures: Midlife Discovery

Around Town
Keller, TX

Some of the best treasures may lie directly in front of you. We don't always see them but that doesn't mean that beneath the surface of where you stand they don't exist. The key to finding treasure is maintaining a curious mind and believing in the possibility that it exists. Curiosity and belief are qualities that many discard along the journey travails.

As a photographer, I focus on fractions of a second with the undying optimism that each contains some kind of treasure that requires my time to discover. We don't know what we will find until we try. The hope of finding something keeps us curious and eager to search.

There so many obstacles which we let get in the way of discovery. Often times we call them obligations. Sometimes its also a matter of how we think. Our thinking holds us back and we don't see the possibilities or fail to discover them. Yet each day that goes by without discovery becomes wasted; another day that we will never get back.

What some people coin midlife crisis, I prefer to re-label as midlife discovery. We are ticking time bombs each with a preset clock. Dare we risk putting of discovery for an uncertain day in the future that may never come? How wise is having an ample 401K at age 80 when you  have such little time left or health to enjoy it?