Hello! Week 48 of The 365 Day People Picture Project is now finished. Only 4 more weeks to go!
I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do after the project is over. I'm hooked and not ready to give it up! I just want to improve and do it better next time.
Did you get to check in on Hana's first week of her 365 People project? Hana inspired me so much in her first week! Feeling inspired by Hana, I even changed up my "style" on a few of the photos from this week.
Day 330 - Tom
This is Tom.
I asked Tom the happiest thing happening in his life right now and Tom replied, "being a Christian and watching trains." I met Tom down near the Columbia River. He likes spending time there to watch the trains on the nearby track, and watch the planes landing and departing from the airport, which is just a little east of there. I hadn't thought of it before, but Tom made me realize that from that particular spot on the river, one could get their fill of train-watching, plane-watching, boat-watching, bird-watching, people-watching, and even sunset-watching!
"I drive a bus for the church," Tom answered, when I asked if he had recently performed an act of kindness.
I asked Tom if he had a personal mission statement or if he could define his life's purpose. Tom said that being a Christian, his life's purpose is "living for the Lord."
"I love music," Tom answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success. Tom sings baritone.
Day 331 - Devaun
This is Devaun. We met at Mt. Tabor Park. I had just finished my walk and Devaun was mid-workout/run, but he paused long enough to let me take his picture.
"Knowing who I am," Devaun said, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
I asked Devaun if he had recently performed an act of kindness and he explained that he frequently gives people money. He feels compelled to give money to the homeless people he meets on the street.
I asked Devaun if he had a personal mission statement or if he could define his life's purpose. Devaun's initial response to the question was "to find who we are and what we're here for."
This opened up a conversation with Devaun in which we talked about how we can sometimes be distracted by so many things that we lose sight of our true purpose for being, and we lose sight of spirituality. Devaun pointed out that we can get lost in our materialistic pursuits. At one point, Devaun apologized and said he didn't want to scare me off by what he was saying. I assured Devaun that I love conversations such as the one we found ourselves in, and again, I was struck that Devaun and I were complete strangers but within moments, we were sharing an honest and meaningful conversation. It was clear to me that Devaun is a thinker and he's given serious consideration to life and humanity.
Devaun and I worked to see if we could expand on his mission statement from the conversation we were having. We decided on: "to be focused on finding your life's purpose and connecting with your spiritual side."
I asked Devaun something about himself which he would consider to be a success and he replied, "helping people and and making people happy." Devaun's job as a personal trainer enables him to do both.
Day 332 - David
This is David. I've been seeing him around Mt. Tabor for a few years, but we hadn't actually said "hi" to one another until now. This project has given me the opportunity to actually talk with some of the walkers and runners I see regularly.
I asked David the happiest thing happening in his life right now and David said, "training for Portland to Coast!" This is David's 14th Portland to Coast race! Everyone on David's team is over 50 years old!
I asked David if he had recently performed an act of kindness and David explained that that he visits his terminally ill Brother, every week, who is in an assisted living facility which is about an hour away.
When I asked David if he had a personal mission statement, or could define his life's purpose. He went on to explain that he didn't really have a mission statement but David is grateful just being able to get out of bed every morning. He's experienced the deaths of a lot of friends and family, and he makes it a point to really live life as a way to honor those who are no longer here.
I asked David something about himself which he would consider to be a success and David responded, "doing the walk for 14 years!" This is a huge and impressive accomplishment! Good luck to you and your team, David!
Day 333 - Joey
This is Joey. We also met at Mt. Tabor. Can you tell that I'm getting back on track with my Mt. Tabor workouts? Joey had just arrived to the park and was on his way to shoot hoops.
I asked Joey the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he said, "my job playing music!"
When I asked Joey if he had recently performed an act of kindness, he explained that the reason he was in town had been so that he could care for his Father, who had just passed away. My heart was broken for Joey. I had no idea of the personal sadness he had been experiencing because he so bravely found an answer when I had asked about the happiest thing happening in his life. We truly never know what other people are dealing with. Joey's outing to shoot hoops was his first real venture back out into activities since his Father's passing and he was seeking a bit of a mental and emotional rest.
I asked Joey if he had a personal mission statement or a life's purpose. Joey responded, "I'm still finding mine - it's all up to the individual." Usually, I tend to gently push to see if a little encouragement can help a person to come up with a personal mission statement or help them to define their life's purpose. Considering everything Joey had just gone through - this was more than enough. He didn't need some stranger asking him about his life's purpose. At that moment, what he probably needed most, he was about to go do.
"I've learned to adapt to just about any situation I've encountered," Joey said, when I asked him something about himself which he would consider to be a success. After meeting Joey, even for just a brief moment, I could see that he is a resilient person and I'm wishing him well.
Day 334 - Naomi
This is Naomi. I spotted her, contently reading a book, while she was waiting for the bus. I knew instantly that I wanted to ask to take her picture, but I was also concerned the bus would come and take her away before we could even get started.
I approached Naomi and there was no sign of the bus as far as my forgot-my-glasses eyes could see, so I asked if I could take her picture for the project.
She agreed and I did my best to capture a nice portrait while working under the pressure of the impending bus arrival, and the added challenge of the harsh sun. After getting home to review the pictures, I was disappointed in myself. Had I made just a few minor adjustments, I could have had a portrait with which both Naomi and I would have been pleased. Rather than share one of the more portrait-like pictures, I decided to just share this one with you...a reenactment of how she was when I first spotted her. She just looks like someone you'd want to talk with!
I asked Namoi the happiest thing happening in her life right now and she responded, "I'm making a graphic novel that I'm exited to work on."
Naomi's most recent act of kindness is that she made medicine, an herbal tincture, for a friend who needed it.
I asked Naomi if she had a personal mission statement or if she could define her life's purpose. It's unfortunate we were under time pressures, because Naomi is full of wisdom and she's able to articulate her thoughts effortlessly. Naomi shared the following, "to encourage compassion in all of its forms." "To encourage people to educate themselves about the world they live in." "I want to be more compassionate and well-informed." "To use all means at my disposal to make the world a more kind and more interesting place."
I only met Naomi briefly, but two powerful means at her disposal would be her art, and her ability for eloquent verbal communication.
"The fact that I've lived this long according to my own ideals; survival," Naomi said, is something about herself which she would consider to be a success. We knew the bus was about to arrive but she quickly explained that she didn't let life, or the world, get her down, change, or kill her. It is my hope that rather than letting life change or kill the spirit of people like Naomi, people like Naomi will change the world.
Day 335 - Nick
This is Nick. I was about to hit the road for a drive back home to Southern Oregon and knowing it could possibly be close to midnight before I arrived home, I realized it was urgent I find a subject for the day. Luckily, I spotted Nick when I was at the gas station! I gathered he had just finished work for the day and was headed to the river.
I asked Nick the happiest thing happening in his life right now, and he responded, "building homes." You can see in the picture, Nick's company is Build PDX. When I asked Nick something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he also answered that it was his business.
Nick's recent act of kindness elevated him to near hero-status for a couple of kids! He observed that two kids were attempting to buy floaty toys (river/lake toys) but they didn't have enough money for both floaties. Nick stepped up, covered their purchase and bought the floaties for the kids.
I asked Nick if he had a personal mission statement or could define his life's purpose. Nick replied, "to live a happy life...a comfortable life."
Day 336 - my Aunt Nancy
I've met so many people over the years who have an "Aunt Nancy," and this is mine. I don't know what it is about all of our "Aunt Nancys," but they're always interesting women!
I asked Aunt Nancy the happiest thing happening in her life right now and she replied, "flowers in bloom." Nancy had just told me a story about how she had been admiring the flowers in her garden so intently, and she was so focused on trying to take a picture of her flowers, that she somehow tripped and took a little stumble and fell right over. Then it struck her that people on the road could see her on the ground. Feeling embarrassed, she hoped that passersby would just think she was doing some weeding. I know I get my appreciation for nature from my family and where we live. They call Southern Oregon, "Gods Country," for a reason. Finally realizing that joy is found in life's simple pleasures such as blooming flowers, green forests, calming rivers and lakes, and colorful sunrises and sunsets - was key to truly finding happiness for me.
I asked Aunt Nancy if she had performed a recent act of kindness and she jokingly said, "people say I'm mean." We laughed and she said that she's kind to her animals. My aunt has had animals for as long as I can remember. More than just pets, she's had a mini-ranch. Playing with my cousins and their animals are some of my very best childhood memories.
I asked my Aunt Nancy if she had a personal mission statement or if she could define her life's purpose. She replied that right now, "to stay alive and healthy....keep on keepin' on." Nancy has fought quite the battle against cancer. She's winning and it's in remission. "Being alive," Nancy said, is something about herself she considers to be a success. She's a 7-year, and counting, survivor.
I can remember going to my Aunt Nancy's for every holiday feast. Our holiday spread rivaled any of the best Vegas buffets, and when I'm missing my family around the holidays, I confess...I'm also missing my family's cooking!
On my last trip down here, I had been talking with my Aunt and told her I was scared about a situation. She told me, "don't be scared. It's not in your blood to be scared." Aunt Nancy's words struck me so deeply and I've replayed them in my head several times. In a way, I've found courage in her words. Of course everyone experiences fear at some time. Everyone is scared at some time. What she was telling me is not to let the fear get the best of me, or paralyze me. She was telling me to stop giving the fears any of my energy. I'm sure Nancy was scared throughout the battle with cancer, but being scared wasn't going to help the situation. She dealt with it. She was telling me we have the ability to still take action even when we're faced with fear.
I love my Aunt Nancy. Before I was even old enough to have heard the saying "tough ol' bird," I knew my Aunt Nancy was one. But I also knew that her love for her family was equally as strong and fierce.
Thank you, Aunt Nancy, for letting me take your picture and for being in this project. Wishing you continued strength and wellness.
Here's a review of the wisdom, life's purpose, and personal mission statements from the subjects this week:
- Live life as a way to honor those who are no longer here.
- Living for the Lord.
- To find who we are and what we're here for.
- To be focused on finding your life's purpose and connecting with your spiritual side.
- To encourage people to educate themselves about the world they live in.
- I want to be more compassionate and well-informed.
- To use all means at my disposal to make the world a more kind and more interesting place.
- To live a happy life...a comfortable life.
- To stay alive and healthy....keep on keeping' on.
Thank you to each of you who have been subjects in this project. I'm grateful for each and every one of you and wish you happiness!
And thank you for folioing along and for being my partner in this. Can you believe it? It's almost over!
See you next week!