September 25, 2010


I thought I was stumbling.

I had no idea I was really whirling and


It’s a little embarrassing, the truth is.


Lots of times:)

I finally saw myself as I truly was, moving so sure-footed through these dark woods. I thought I was flailing across this moving water. But I saw myself as I really was, with that goofy smile pasted across my face, skipping over this crocodile-infested river. I thought those crocs were snapping at me. I had no idea they were really hollering encouragements as I danced from head to head.

I looked for you around every ancient tree trunk for so long I gave up.

Who knew the magic words were Leave Me Alone.

Only when I abandoned all hope and expectation did I discover.

For I was lost in these woods

And now I am found.

Tough days lie ahead. There’s no doubt. It is the nature of this world. We’re all walking a plank in this place. Just wait until we are all living on this earth with full knowledge of all of our lifetimes.

This is not written in any of the great books, only in the greatest book of all, the one inside each of us.


What is your hope for this thing called life?

Heaven on earth, my friends.

As you know, what we have here is no heaven on earth. The crimes against the poor are too many to mention, the crimes against our animals too horrifying to describe, the crimes against this planet too institutionalized to bother documenting.

Once upon a time, your roots curled around mine in the winter. You licked my face in the tall grass every afternoon. You gave me bread in the alley.

The Great Awakening is just beginning to color our sky.

I smell rain.

Our time is what it is here.

Then we shall see ourselves as we truly are

and return home

to us.

September 20, 2010

Big Pops

I spent most of Saturday covering Pop Warner football games. Here's the photo essay, if anyone's interested. It's funny how ideas sometimes come to us later. The photo essay I did was a day of football, from 7-year-old flag footballers to 13-year-olds, some of whom were bigger and stronger than I am. But I couldn't help noticing the head injuries a few kids sustained during the games.

Concussions are a big issue in pro football, with medical staffs now prohibiting players from re-entering games. There's also talk about protecting high school football players. I'm attempting to spend some time with the medical staff at the Pop Warner games in the next few weeks to learn more about head injuries to 9- and 10-year-olds.

Kids see the ESPN highlight reels of vicious helmet-to-helmet blows and go out head hunting in their own games as a result. Maybe my hunch is wrong and there's no concussion issue at all at that level. There's also no guarantee I'll get to hang out with any medical personnel and nail down a story of some kind, but I'll keep ya posted on my progress.   

September 13, 2010

Wind Sails

Once upon a time there was a boy. And something happened to this boy so that he understood clearly he could no longer trust other human beings.

He told God sincerely one evening when the sky was pink and majestic that he didn’t want to be a part of this world anymore.

The Old Woman took mercy on this boy. She gave him a special gift. The Old Woman presented him with a set of magic wind sails.

The sails were larger than any sails in this world. Imagine the largest set of 12 sails for a ship you’ve ever seen. Now triple the size of those sails, and we’re getting close to what began to steer the boy’s spiritual ship through this world.

The sails were going to be the boy’s flypaper, his spider’s web, but he wasn’t going to catch bugs on his sails. He was going to catch energy, other people’s energy, and even the movement of energy among the people.

The sails were constructed by a legion of angels. The top sail was the most special. The master angel craftsman himself threaded together the top sail, and the green and gold goddess of telepathy calibrated it perfectly to hypersensitivity.

If someone was angry or annoyed at the boy, he would find a splotch of red energy on that top-most sail. In fact, the very first day the Old Woman presented the boy with his new sails, he shimmied up forty stories at the speed of thought and found a nice-sized blood stain on that top sail. That top sail didn’t miss anything. It was built to catch the tiniest speck of dark, dangerous energy.

The boy relied on that top sail to catch those dreaded red and black splotches quickly— very quickly. Those red and black splotches meant Watch Out! The boy’s life relied on that top sail more times than fingers he had on one hand. And it never failed him.

None of his sails did.

Were any of the boy’s sails ever wrong? No. But energy gets jumbled sometimes, and his interpretation was sometimes off. Sometimes people were unaware of the energy they put out and didn't like to be told what they were emitting, as they were not ready to own their actions yet. The boy learned these things.

The boy also learned other things, like what a yellow splotch on his sail meant.

Before anyone told the boy they were pleased with him, he might hear and later see a big splotch of yellow and green hit his sails. If someone was open and transparent with him, then he’d find the colors on his bottom sail, easily accessible. If the person lived with defenses up, as most do, including the boy, then he’d find the energy higher along his mast.

Of course, the boy’s sails worked best if they were all facing someone sitting directly across the table from him, so the boy could view body language as well. But they worked just fine receiving splotches from long distances. As he grew older and became a teenager, the boy began picking up energy from miles and miles away.

After a few years, the boy didn’t even have to look at the canvass anymore. He could tell what sort of energy was coming by the sound it made when it struck the canvass. The boy could tell where the energy came from by which way the winds were blowing in his life and how high or low on his sails the splotch landed.

The boy liked nothing more than finding a big pink splotch on my bottom-most sail. That meant someone was enamored with him, and she was coming. What fun!

As the boy grew to be a man, his sails became like extensions of his own limbs. He figured that was the gift of the sails: Learning how to operate them better and better and better, truly as an expert. He figured he’d take his place in the pantheon of souls who have operated and relied upon magic wind sails to catch energy and thus guide them through this tricky world.

Instead, something strange hit his sails one day. It sounded like something he had never heard before. He snapped his head up at the noise, then shimmied to the top sail and found nothing, which was really strange because, based on sound, the man hadn’t been wrong about the location of a splotch landing in years. He found the mystery splotch much lower, near the lowest sail, in fact.

It was a color he had never seen before. Truth be told, the man recoiled at first because new things are frightening. But he quickly became interested because new things are also fascinating. And this color was the loveliest color he had ever seen. He studied this splotch for days, even tasted it, something he hadn’t done in many years. The man had heard rumors of this sort of energy, but had never seen evidence of it, not on his sails.

Something wonderful was just over the horizon.

And so all his sails were pointed in the direction from which the new and exciting splotches were arriving. The man watched the winds like he hadn’t done in years. The crow’s nest became his home for the first time since he was a boy with a magic new gift. The man scoured the landscape for weeks. He set sail in the direction of the exciting new energy, but found nothing.

He did not understand. As an expert with his sails, he knew exactly where this amazing alien energy was coming from, but he found nothing when his ship arrived. He picked up more new energy, and again found nothing over the horizon. This went on for weeks.

Finally, the man began to understand he was not meant to find the source of this energy. We simply cannot have everything we desire in this world.

One evening, when the sky blushed a deep peach, the man felt a loneliness he hadn’t felt since he was a boy. The Old Woman paid him a visit for the second time in his life.

Do you want to sail in unknown waters? There is only one way.

Our most effective defenses are usually not cinder block castle walls. They are often much prettier and much more difficult to come out from behind, since they become a part of ourselves over the years.

The man spent a few days feeling the fabric of the canvasses, remembering when the first bit of purple arrived, the first touch of gray, and how different his life would have been without that top sail.

He was still the same boy he was, only in a man’s body, with the same fears and hopes.

On the fourth night since the Old Woman’s visit, the man sailed out into the desert, docked next to an enormous orange sand dune and abandoned ship. He thought he would kiss that top sail goodbye when the time came, but instead he only flashed the peace sign as he walked away, headed out into the great unknown.

Danger was waiting over the horizon, inevitably. And something wonderful, too. That was the Old Woman’s second gift to the boy: The chance to find out.

September 10, 2010

The Bomb Makers

There once was a family of bomb makers. They didn’t make the sort of bombs that killed people. No, this was a very special family, throughout the ages, that made very special bombs. These bombs destroyed human organizations-- the bane of all existence in this world.

Not everyone in the family was born a bomb maker. Sometimes one of the children turned out to be a bomb maker, sometimes two or three. Sometimes the family would go generations without a bomb maker. If that happened, the family might forget about its history. Then someone in the family would awaken, build a bomb, and set it off.

After the destruction, the family would remember that our destinies are written in the most ancient language deep inside us, and we can never outrun who we are.

What was it like for a bomb maker to awaken? Well, it was like discovering a secret talent. It was like writing all your life by scratching a fingernail into paper and then finally discovering a pencil. It was like breathing pollution since birth and then finding the clean ocean air after a rainfall for the very first time.

Once a bomb maker was awakened, he or she didn’t want to do anything but build the most beautiful and powerful bomb that could possibly be constructed.

And therefore it was important when a bomb maker was awakened. Parents gave thanks when a child was awakened to bomb making, for it was a very unsophisticated bomb that a child could make. There was destruction from a child’s bomb, for sure, loss of friends, hurt feelings. But the bomb-making phase never lasted longer than a few years. And by the time the child grew to become a teenager, the danger had passed.

When a teenager was awakened, the bomb he or she built often blew up the family itself, scattering everyone to the far corners of the world.

Bombs built by a mature adult were the most explosive.

Once a father built a bomb that destroyed an entire kingdom. He and his family lived as peasants in the fields. The father was a proud farmer and enjoyed his work. After he was awakened to his bomb making abilities, he understood clearly that he could be an even better farmer if he received more back from the king of the land.

And so the man began to talk to his fellow peasants about the state of affairs in the kingdom.

Constructing a truly beautiful bomb involved more than whispering about injustice. Constructing a very powerful bomb involved organizing and inspiring others into action. By the time the king realized a bomb was about to go off in his backyard, it was too late, for a bomb maker from this lineage worked efficiently and meticulously to insure detonation.

After the kingdom was destroyed, the peasants were absorbed into another kingdom, and so many wondered whether it was any good at all. The wise old peasant women of the fields said to have faith. The destruction of a kingdom was good if only to show that kingdoms could in fact be destroyed.

It must all be leading up to something, the old women said.

This was before the great powers moved all the peasants into super cities. I know it’s difficult to believe, but the great powers talked openly in the capitals of the world about how best to convince the people to move off the land and into super cities. The great powers told the peasants that in the cities they could choose whatever profession they fancied. And the people went along, as people do, and moved into the super cities. And the family of bomb makers was among them.

After the people had been moved into the super cities, a mother was soon awakened to her bomb making abilities. She was very charismatic woman working as an administrator for a large human organization inside a super city, and she easily gained the trust of so many of her bosses and learned all the secrets of the organization. 

Like many human organizations, this one plundered the earth for resources to enrich those at the top of the organization. This woman spent months gathering evidence of crimes against the land and people and when she set off her bomb by releasing this evidence, the organization for which she worked came tumbling down.

Of course, those at the top of the organization survived quite well while the rest found themselves displaced and without work. Many were angry at the woman for blowing up the organization, saying there was no point since other organizations simply moved in and filled the void created by the destruction. But the wise and dirty old men who lived in the streets of the super cities said to have faith. It must all be leading up to something.

And so it went. Every generation or so, a company that was big and strong vanished overnight. A government agency thought to be immovable was gone in a flash. Even a nation sometimes collapsed. The entire world system teetered more than once, though no one realized it other than the great powers.

Like Herod, the great powers wanted very much to locate the bomb makers. But by now the bomb makers no longer belonged to a single ancestral chain, for the blending of family lines is a fulfilling destiny of our times. The great powers invested heavily in security at all the doors of all the important buildings in all the super cities. Pockets were checked. Metal detectors were employed. Threats of jail time were levied.

Have faith, the old people living in the retirement homes inside the super cities whispered. It is all leading up to something.

Then one day a boy was born with the bomb-making gene. He was a strong boy and enjoyed the outdoors. That’s why he chose the profession he did: Roofing. He wanted to spend every moment he could outside becoming stronger. And so the boy became a man, and the man became a very well known roofer in one of the capitals of the world. And while the man was putting a new roof on one of the most important buildings in one of the most important capitals of the world, he was awakened.

Instead of tarring down a quality roof, the man spent months atop the building constructing the most special bomb, gorgeous in its potential. And when the man was finished, he walked over to the center of the decaying roof atop the very important building and did what he was destined to do: He caused every organization in the entire world to shudder, creak, teeter, break and fall by dropping his most beautiful bomb down the main ventilation shaft and into the core of the system.

And when the sun rose the next morning, it was truly a new dawn.

September 6, 2010

Getting There

I struggle with organization in my life, but I'm getting there. When my life is organized and I'm satisfied with things, I become a better artist and more functional personally. I'm getting there. I did a first day of school photo essay that turned out well. I shot the first high school football game of the season, which was so much fun. I also covered the Wii National Championships, which was mildly amusing. This is my favorite photograph I've taken so far for Patch. Hope ya'all have a great week. I'm looking forward to visiting your places over the next few days:)

September 1, 2010

I'm over at thinkingtoohard today, staring up at the night's sky. Join me?