If only they knew

I’m perched on the rail in the balcony overlooking the auditorium floor looking for the perfect shot when our eyes meet. His are furrowed and full of anger. He sees the camera and in my mind I see his disgust, because he feels violated. I don’t know this to be a fact, but the mannerisms – scowling, heading shaking. If he were a character in my novel he would be shouting expletives. My look is one of intrigue, interest, wonder and love.

You see I love each of these people and I pray for their safety. I am also well aware that I and many others are blessed, yet we are probably a few paychecks shy of similar circumstances.

As I capture pictureS it is not to exploit but to chronicle and put a face to a crisis this nation tends to ignore. I pass vacant structures regularly and dream of owning and rehabbing them so that no one has to call the streets of Cleveland their home.

I applaud the organizers of the Homeless Stand Down for bringing all of these providers to the community often forgotten. From food to medical care it is offered today.

Many I encounter wear the badge of anger yet many wear the light of the Lord because despite their circumstances they smile with Thanksgiving.

I pray today and everyday for an end to homelessness and I thank God for the opportunity to share a smile and an afternoon with my fellow citizens.


Understanding your limits

A beautiful fall sunset on Lake Erie.

As the sun sets on this day I have come to some very important conclusions and one is that a conventional #NaBloPoMo this will not be. You see I realized that one of the problems I have experienced as a blogger is wondering what my platform would be, and what exactly will draw people to this site regularly.

Offering up a recap of my day is not the answer. My friends and family might, and that’s a big Might be interested in my day but has anything truly newsworthy taken place that complete strangers will be drawn into – I don’t think so. You see I have no cute stories about the adventures of my children or pets. It’s just me and the hubby and boy those are definitely not stories I want to share with the world.

This is day five and I missed a day already because I didn’t capture some great shot, and I really couldn’t think of anything to share yesterday. Today I’m sharing a photo that brings me joy and letting you know that it will be my intent to show up in the space at least once a week as I attempt to redefine the purpose of this journey in the blogosphere.

Until we meet again I encourage you to #ChooseJoy in all you do!

What happens when you choose joy

Today I was beyond exhausted and prayed I would make it through the day. Thankfully I did, but I didn’t have the time to find a new shot that represented joy, so I’m sharing the shot that led me on the #IChooseJoy journey.

This beauty right here brought so much joy to my heart and soul. It was a though God heard my cry and said “All is well, enjoy the beauty I created for you.” The “you” was not collective at that moment it was personal and just for me.

I hope you find joy in this image and choose joy in your life. I would love to hear what brings you joy, please share in the comments.

Welcome to NaBloPoMo

It’s November 1st and I’m in a creative slump. A place I’ve been hanging out in lately. Not a fun place, but one filled with the ghosts of “what if, when I and I should have.”

In an effort to change my address, I briefly posted on IG some images I snapped with the hashtag “I Choose Joy.” Joy is a space I want to know intimately. A place that makes me smile in the midst of the tears. Where exactly is that place, it’s wherever and however I find a reason to smile.

The photo above is an example. After two hellish days, I came home built a fire and began to contemplate my journey to Joy.

A fire on a chilly night is definitely one of the crossroads of Joy, but in order to keep intersecting with her I had to develop a plan.

No need to recreate a plan when it’s November 1st, I could begin #NaNoWriMo again, but I don’t think any of the novels floating in my grey matter are ready so I decline. Then I had an “Aha” moment and remembered #NaBloPoMo! This was the answer.

I could rejuvenate my suffering blog by writing a post a day for thirty days. To challenge myself further I will also pick up my camera and shoot for 30 days utilizing a 50mm 1.8 lens only.

With this challenge and a few cheerleaders I think I’ll be able to reside on Joy Lane for the next 30 days.

I encourage you to join me and help keep me on the right path!

Thanks for joining me and I would love to hear from you!

Biking is therapeutic!

A selfie of Slow Roll Cleveland and my bike buddy and sister Sharyn (in the striped shirt).

A  few years ago I started biking for the first time since high school – a good twenty plus years ago. At the time I just knew it would be fun! I had no idea it would be good therapy. Until today it was fun, and a great way to get in shape.

Tonight after a grueling day I participated in the weekly Slow Roll Cleveland. The rides are an opportunity to promote safe biking and to increase awareness in the concept of a shared road – auto and bike traffic.

Today’s Roll was in my general neighborhood and served as a true stress reliever complete with beautiful views of Lake Erie.

A selfie as I ride along Lake Erie at Euclid Beach Park.

So if you’re looking to relieve some stress join Slow Roll Cleveland. For details check out their Facebook page. If you’re not in Cleveland, don’t fret there’s probably a chapter in your city.

Land of Champions 

We’re just hours away from what will be a historic game 7. Our beloved Cleveland Indians are perched on the cusp of a victory 58 years in the making.

The whole city as stated above is abuzz and we are rallying together behind OUR team.

As I reflect on this journey I hear the words of LeBron James, “In Cleveland/northeast Ohio nothing is given – it is earned!” That may not be quite verbatim, but the meaning is there.

If you have followed sports over the last few years, you might understand why he made that statement. Everyone counts Cleveland out, that is if you don’t live here.

Clevelanders received some flack as the Cavs fought for a championship because we proclaimed and believe there isn’t a fan like a Cleveland fan. We know that there is something in our DNA causing us to proclaim we bleed Orange and Brown, Wine & Gold and of course Red and Blue. With little exception, Clevelanders stand behind their teams win, lose or draw! 

If you don’t believe me check out the Browns stadium in any given Sunday when the Dawgs are at home! Better yet, check out the Muny Parking Lot – diehard fans camp out from sunrise to party and cheer on their winless team!

Many of us have that same allegiance to the Indians and the Cavaliers even though the attendance stats don’t always prove that theory.

It’s been a great year for The Land, so let’s go Tribe – continue the party!