[ always tell stories ]

A 'Carefully Orchestrated' Look At Artistry

ARTvision-5 is in full swing! Make sure to check it out... We’ve got Julia Murney’s photography, new artists Delia Cochran and Jason Maynard - and the list goes on! The below post is from one of my pieces, available now. Here is the related post:

Bullying in schools is on the rise. More and more soldiers return with PTSD from Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of inexplicable flashes of violence have soiled our social landscape - most of them random and bloody, tearing apart families and communities alike.

Here’s another shade to add to 2010’s dark side: the spate of youth suicides this year within the gay and lesbian community.

So what’s actually going on?

There are myriad reasons for this and the other, aforementioned issues - not the least of which is
understanding, or lack thereof. Put simply: we do too much shouting and not enough listening. Without bearing true witness - to our surroundings, our family, coworkers, our environment, our internal balance, to name a few - our understanding becomes deeply diminished. Extinguished, in some cases, like a flame in a harsh wind.

And it’s to our societal detriment, for sure, this penchant for applause lines to an enamored audience; or a deaf ear to different opinions. Do we hear each other, even in disagreement, or do we just passively and disconnectedly tolerate each other when mystery or unfamiliarity arises? (
Check out Frank Rich’s piece on the Smithsonian’s capitulation to just such a power.) Contrarianism is on the rise, and yet it’s not giving us the spark of change that the effort seeks.

Holding your nose while someone else opines just cuts off your breathing - and you forfeit the chance for greater learning.

The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope,” one of my pieces for ARTvision-5 this year, was created as a message to persuade those who might choose to bully, to invade privacy, to deny rights, or just simply be an asshole to stand down and rethink their actions. (It’s a reminder to me, too, to stay on the path I’m on, and to constantly improve.) People are not “haters” because they disagree with something you’re doing or saying; in the same way, someone isn’t likely to incite violence just because they own a gun.

”The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope,” by Will Pollock

“Carefully Orchestrated” was shot in Augusta, Ga., while on location at St. John United Methodist Church. While Jason’s orchestra was rehearsing for Westobou Festival, I listened to the gorgeous acoustics of the church and photographed a stained-glass window to capture the emergent glow behind the beautiful colors - and its understated illumination spoke volumes. It was at that moment that I realized how important it is to actively observe as a means to develop understanding.

This isn’t about political correctness. No, it’s about
putting the English language to its best use. “Tolerate,” my friends, is a dead, nefarious and empty word when used this way. We should discard it like the ratty, used hanky that it is.

What should be in its place? “Acceptance.”

tolerates chemotherapy - you do not tolerate someone’s lifestyle, someone’s opinions, someone’s soul. Some politicians and pundits proudly say “tolerance” is part of how they deal with differences as if it were badge of honor, and that’s a whole steaming pile of horseshit. And they know it, yet they keep using that word as if it were Gandhi-esque.

Even when well-intended, “tolerance” feels hollow and strange. We should retire it in favor of acceptance. Along the lines of: “I accept you. You are a child of the universe, and deserve to be here just like anyone else. I can disagree in quiet, direct ways without hurting you or others around you. I understand.”

Young men like
Tyler Clementi, the promising musician and student at Rutgers, could have used that sort of understanding, that type of care with actions and words, but he didn’t get it. So, this piece is dedicated to him and other gay youth who should know and have been reminded this year that life does, in fact, get better when you take the time to live and speak with dignity and understanding.

Just making the effort will speak volumes.
- WP

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Sometimes Beauty Is 'Strewn' All Over Our Lives. We Just Have To Look For It

”Strewn” heads up wp.com for August... And it struck me as unusually bleak and yet beautiful all in one.

I was at a wedding in Maryland with Jason and this was the moment there were three photographers shooting the moments following the ceremony - moments that were truly special. The feet in the picture are of the photographer of record, standing and switching the settings of her camera.

The color of the yellow rose petals against the grain of the dock was truly a sight to see. hope you enjoy.

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You Raised $3,590 For Obama... Triscuit For Vice President!

Thanks ("...but no theeeanks!") and gratitude for all attendees of "Turning the Page: Atlantans Rally for Obama." Take a look at the pictures below... I loved seeing new and familiar (not old!) faces.

Thanks to Michael Baker of Positive Impact and Edmund Thornton of Georgia Pride for helping make this event so memorable.

Here's a look at the pictures:

And for those of you who missed Triscuit's Sarah Palin hissy fit, here you go:


From The Vault: Vote For 'Southern Culture' At JPGmag.com

Vote now

Cheers To Radial Cafe For Going Green... Article To Follow

Check out this piece on WSB-TV that features Radial Cafe! If you haven't yet visited this Atlanta landmark, you should do so ASAP.

Similar article forthcoming from yours truly in Atlanta Intown newspaper. Radial is using biodegradable to-go materials (pictured here) and is exploring the idea of composting egg shells and coffee grounds.

For more, visit
Radial's MySpace page.

Here's My 'Postsecret': Byron Has Definitely Fallen Hard

I was doing my green duty riding Marta to the airport the other day and stumbled across this note... it was initially hidden from my view, but when a passenger got up I spotted it.

There was a nice gal seated to the left of the note, across from me, who thought I was nuts taking this picture -- but I wanted to capture it. All the Marta riders around me cocked their heads to figure out what I was doing.

In the spirit of "Postsecret," a collection of secrets from anonymous sources (thanks to Wayne and Ed for showing it to me), I've helped give Byron one last chance to reach the girl of his dreams.

This made riding Marta that day totally worth it.

I also gave the gal who tolerated me shooting this picture my info, so I hope she gets back. If so, give me a shout! Thanks to her for putting up with me.

So... Here is an example of honest and spontaneous affection that seems to have not found its recipient... So I'm putting this out there to keep his hopes alive.

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Update: I did hear from my gal pal on Marta! Thanks to Marina for dropping me a line. See the comments section for more.

'Teal Treasure' Heads Up WP.com for June (Tirol, Costa Rica)

This capture was shot at a retreat in Costa Rica... the door struck me because of how perfectly weathered the paint was... almost like it was intentionally distressed.

And since I'm obsessed with texture in photos - like tree bark, rusted metal, etc. - this capture really got to me.

Make sure to click through the link and vote! (Image flipped for the header banner, fyi.)


A Trip To Fort Lauderdale Produces 'Tailgate'

Make sure to check out this little guy at JPG.com... and
vote for him in the category.

Charley found him hanging out one morning during our visit, and I got down on my hands and knees to get the shot.

...and that was after Charley got wigged out by some lizard that jumped out at him in the bushes. Happy