First, I am back after a long break. Most of February, March and early April I stayed in Texas with my 97 year old mom in her final two months of life. I am so grateful I could be there for her!
After the funeral, I began a schedule of frequent travel, for book promotion, family business, and retreats for self-nurturing. My short stays at home have seemed like catch-up-with-myself breaks!
Now I am sort of, almost, maybe, back to a normal routine for a little while. I had lunch with a girlfriend last week, and I have actually been cooking dinner for my husband and myself most nights!
Nurturing Myself through Creativity
Just now, nurturing my creativity through photography brings me great joy. I'm inspired to capture "Faces of Living Love."
As part of a Street Photography class taught by master photographer Doug Robertson through the City Arts program, I recently found Jesse near downtown Wichita. At first, he did not want to be photographed. He said, "I don't like what I am."
But his kindly face intrigued me. Here is a bit of his story. A Vietnam era Army veteran, he later worked for several aircraft manufacturers and then at his favorite job as a custodian at a school for children with disabilities.
Jesse described chatting with a young blind girl in the hallway. A few days later, they passed in the hall again. She said, "Mr. Jesse, aren't you going to stop and talk to me?"
Amazed, he asked how she knew it was him.
"I recognized your step," she said.
Hand on his heart, Jesse shared his amazement, wonder and appreciation of our human adaptability.
A boy with multiple sclerosis once told a joke to Jesse. This student had a hard time getting the words out, but when Jesse realized the joke, he cracked up laughing. The boy's face lit up. And Jesse's face lit up telling me the story.
Jesse lost his apartment three months ago and hopes to get help to have a room off the street again. Meanwhile, his kind and quiet manner has won many friends among the homeless of Wichita. About ten men quietly lined up against the wall beside us to listen as Jesse and I chatted. They thanked me profusely when I shook hands and said farewell.
Jesse's Philosophy of Love and Goodness
Jesse's sunny disposition and optimism shone through our discussion. He believes the world will soon be a better place with caring and respect for all humans. He does not consider himself religious or affiliated with a particular church, but sees himself as deeply spiritual. Without a doubt, he thinks love and goodness will soon win out in our world!
Faces of Living Love Photos
I took my first photo of Jesse from a distance before we met. Then we talked but I did not snap any more pictures until, after sharing our thoughts for quite a while, Jesse agreed to let me make a portrait. He said, "You are the exception."
Jesse's is the first of what I hope will be many Faces of Living Love on this blog. Connecting and capturing the light and love in people's eyes brings me great joy. It nurtures my soul.
Remember to Nurture Yourself
Stay tuned for more as I explore with random humans and discover more Faces of Living Love. And do find ways to nurture yourself, perhaps with creativity, or with healthy eating, exercise, prayer or meditation, positive thinking, self-forgiveness and more. If you have not already, please check out my book, Nurture Yourself First: Gentle Steps in Personal and Planetary Transformation. Then, grab a copy of 111 Gentle Ways to Nurture Yourself, under the Free Gift tab on this site.