I find it only fitting that I take the time on this #SpiritDay to publicly thank a couple individuals who got this kid through his worst of years (junior high).
To Mr. Bob Adams,
Right off the bat you saw my spark for creating and pushed me both out of my comfort zone and in the arts with projects and daily tasks that I wouldn’t normally have tackled (or even attempted). You understood me often times more than I did myself, and I always trusted your guidance for I felt you truly had my best interests whether or not you went about it in the way I expected: you were rougher around the edges. I needed that.
A perfect example of “you” would have to be that first sewing mural I completed. You were impressed. I was proud. It was a great feat that was quickly tarnished when a certain someone left a note on my piece that ever-so-eloquently stated “faggy.” Short, sweet and at least a teensy bit more clever than just writing “fag.” Still, I took it and ripped it up. Visibly upset I’m sure. You said nothing for what felt like the longest minute or so. No hug. No reaction. That wasn’t your style. Instead, you gathered the tiny pieces of paper and walked them over to a sewing machine. You opened the cabinet doors to the scrap piles, smiled that occasional “fuck this noise” grin and waited for me to get off my self-pitying arse.
“Make something he never could.”
And I did.
To Ms. Pam Dahnke,
I’ll admit that I feared you my first semester. You were so abrasive. So dry. So odd. You always called me “Bohs” in that harsh, deep manner (that I later would look forward to hearing). At first I thought you hated me because you’d always call on me and talk with me. I remember a specific moment when you called on me and I quipped back with some rude response reminding you how many other students were in the class. You gave me a lunch detention (which was your clever way of talking with me more since you were in charge of lunch detentions). It was after that lunch when I started to realize what you were truly doing: watching out for me.
When things got fairly rough that year in the locker room, you took me aside and told me what I was going to do. You didn’t ask what I wanted to do about the bullying or have a conference with the principal to see what “action” to take next. No, you just had a solution. Done. Solved. I couldn’t have been more surprised and relieved. You took a great deal off my shoulders by simply allowing me to change clothes in your locker room.
To put it simply, things just always got better when you were in the picture, Ms. Dahnke and I can’t thank you enough for being my mentor, disciplinarian and friend those three impressionable years.
It’s because of people like these two that kids like me were able to come out the other side of that deplorable act called bullying. Not everyone has a Mr. Adams or Ms. Dahnke and for those individuals, I open my arms and send all my love your way. Seek out the positive individuals in your life. There’s always someone there whether you realize it or not.
Felt good to be back in the burbs this weekend. I think the changing of seasons inspired a few extra leaves! Click on the image and zoom in to see everything that is going on in Appleton (not the name of my town, just thought it sounded nice).
Ladies and gents of Tumblrland, if you aren’t already following my pal sadbazaar, you are doing your depriving your dash of some serious quality.
In college, I wrote a paper on Keith Haring’s spiritual, yet non-religious, work, and really felt, for the first time, that I found a person who had the same beliefs and viewpoint towards life. Haring was a lovely, giving person who loved children and felt they, and their love, represented the purest thing on earth. After he lost his battle with AIDS, this quote was found in his journal:
"Touching people’s lives in a positive way is as close as I can get to an idea of religion."
I would definitely have Keith Haring at my dinner party, to discuss all sorts of wonderful philosophical and spiritual things. And to thank him for being such an inspiration!
These fragile, observational clips uncover Vivian Maier’s largely unseen experimentation with film. The New York-born photographer spent 40 years working as a nanny in Chicago, simultaneously fostering a secret passion for image-making that led her to document the urban life of America, enjoying her productive peak in the 50s and 60s. “Vivian saw details that pass us by in everyday life,” says director, curator and the primary caretaker of Maier’s oeuvre, John Maloof. When the photographer died in 2009 aged 83, the tens of thousands of images that she amassed during her lifetime were only just beginning to be discovered. After winning a bid for 30,000 of Maier’s negatives in a Chicago auction house in 2007, it took six months for Maloof to realize the importance of what he had purchased. “Little by little, I realized that the work was great,” he says. “Maier should wedge right in with the best photographers of her time.” Next week, Finding Vivian Maier premieres at Toronto Film Festival. Directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel, the documentary sheds light on the discovery of Maier’s hidden archive and slowly unravels her touching story.
This story (and footage) is truly stunning and should be an inspiration to every other observing artist out there. Thank you Vivian.