One. I get to take a road trip to Austin, Texas this week (if you have any Austin suggestions for grub to eat or sights to see, tell me!) with my friend Ryan to be his second shooter for a wedding. This will be the fourth wedding I’ve gotten to help Ryan with and it’s nothing I ever thought I would find myself doing, but I’ve found it to be fun and a good creative stretch. I haven’t known any of the couples personally, so it’s been enjoyable to try and discern and capture their personalities with the camera throughout a day full of incredible moments. Here’s a few of my favorite shots of Moses and Nyla, who got married last month and were really boring and not adorable at all.
Two. Perhaps my greatest challenge in interveiwing people with dementia is that for some reason they tend to forget I’m coming to interview them . It took three times to properly sit down with Charlie due to memory lapse and his vibrant social life. But this was so worth the wait! Take a look and listen. He has some wonderful stories about being a teacher and peaceful protester during the Vietnam War.
Three. Over the last two decades the EU has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The US has only partially banned 11 to date. We have not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938. Isn’t that insane?! What I find to also be insane is how many people I hear about or am friends with in their 20s and 30s dealing with cancer and infertility problems. If our skin is our largest organ and absorbs at least 64% of whatever touches it, we should be careful about what we apply. If you’re interested in learning more or purchasing products that you can feel 100% safe using, I’ve been impressed with the educational resources and products of Beautycounter.
Four. This little lion makes me laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjgccWcpQPk
Five. I heard someone today say, “Celebration and mourning in a community don’t look that different. They both result in unity.” It made me think about all that has happened this week. On Wednesday night we anxiously watched, jumped, cried tears of joy, hugged, and celebrated over the Cubs winning the World Series. On Thursday morning we anxiously watched, fell, cried tears of sorrow, and mourned over the unnecessary loss of two Des Moines police officers who were shot and killed in their squad cars. This past month I attended both a wedding and a funeral. Both celebration and mourning involved people coming together to feast, cry, laugh, tell stories, give gifts, show support, and love. This made me aware that, in a particularly difficult season of my life, I should not try and hide or rush through it. Unity comes in through communal empathy in both the good things and the bad things.
Six. I’ve been working part time with this fine gentlemen. His name is Ian and he’s an exceptional dancer, addicted to Days of Our Lives, and he loves to pull pranks on me. The other day he gave me a gift box full of Mardi Gras beads, cookies he had baked, and a CD with one song on it (Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John). He comes on shifts with me at the DMCW every week and brings a lot of joy.
Seven. I’m obsessed with this idea. Who wants to start one in Des Moines with me?