Hello! We're finished with week 19 of The 365 More People Pictures Project!
I've reached a decision that my new objective is to continue the project until I complete a 1000-day streak of taking a picture of a person every day. Some days, I've felt like I could just continue doing this until I'm a little old lady, and some days I've felt like I needed to be done. Now.
1000 days. I can do that.
Day 19 - Harold
This is Harold. We met in downtown Vancouver. Harold and his brother were in town to volunteer for the Vancouver Winter Brewfest. Having just finished their volunteer duties, Harold and his brother were on a quick scavenger hunt of downtown, in search of coasters from a few breweries. Harold's brother collects them. Harold agreed to let me take his picture while his brother circled the block in search of breweries and coasters!
"Being out with my brother," Harold answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
Harold's profession has been an act of kindness. Harold works as an ICU nurse and he's retiring soon. If I remember correctly, he is now probably officially retired in the week since we met.
When I asked Harold if he had a personal mission statement or life's purpose, he joked that it was to annoy his brother. He revised his life's purpose to be, "to annoy as many people as possible." (what a character!)
At that point, his brother re-appeared from his walk around the block and Harold said, "he really is my brother, you know." I think he read the look on my face that I was trying to determine if they were actually brothers, or if he was calling him "brother" as in, a close friend. They're actually both! Harold explained that their mother is Korean and their father is Irish. He joked that instead of the brothers receiving an equal blend of traits from each parent, Harolds's Brother takes after their mom, and Harold takes after their dad. Their physical appearance my differ, but the brothers are so funny and quite the comedic duo and they are definitely two peas in a hilarious pod.
I asked Harold something about himself which he would consider to be a success and he answered, "surviving 4 combat tours in the Army."
Thank you, Harold and brother!
Day 127 - David
This is David. He was on break from his job as a cook when we met.
"Football season," David answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
I asked David if he's recently performed an act of kindness. David explained that he does small things every day. His current roommate hasn't been able to pay rent in a while but David is letting him stay while he gets back on his feet again. David also told me something that brought tears to my eyes. There's a homeless man who hangs out by David's work and David often invites him over so that the man can have a place to shower, get warm, and have a meal. David is a very generous person.
"To be a good person to everyone around me," David answered, when I asked if he had a personal mission statement or life's purpose. David is living his mission. Thinking about David's kindness as I write this, again, I'm overcome with emotion just thinking about what a good person he is.
"My skills as a cook," David answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success. David has been a cook for 17 years!
Thank you, David.
Day 128 - Nicholas
This is Nicholas. We met at a crosswalk as we were about to cross the street.
I asked Nicholas the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he answered, "my relationship with my sister." Nicholas is helping his sister through a situation right now and it's strengthening their relationship.
I asked Nicholas if he's either performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. He said he's been both on the giving and receiving end. Nicholas explained that he has a really good group of friends who have always been there to listen and care, and he's always there for them in return.
"I want to make art," Nicholas answered, when I asked if he had a personal mission statement or life's purpose.
"My sense of humor," Nicholas replied, when I asked him something about himself he would consider to be a success.
Thank you, Nicholas!
Day 129 - Matt
This is Matt. We met in the parking lot of Starbucks. As I was going to my car, Matt approached to ask me if I had jumper cables. I told him I was pretty certain that I had them in my trunk and was happy to see that I did indeed have jumper cables and could be of assistance. Matt offered to pay me for my time and I told him I didn't need any money, but I asked if I could take his picture for my project when we were finished. Matt agreed. We got his SUV started in no time!
"My son was just born 1 month ago," Matt answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
When I asked Matt if he's recently performed an act of kindness, a specific example wasn't coming to mind but he tries to be kind all the time. He's also particularly helpful to his co-workers.
I asked Matt if he has a personal mission statement or life's purpose and now that his son is born, his life's purpose is, "to be a good dad and provide for my family, and to make sure my son is proud of me."
Something about himself which Matt considers to be a success is that he's a skilled craftsman, and his ability as a carpenter.
Thank you, Matt and best wishes to you and your family!
Day 130 - Bobby
This is Bobby at Portland Shoe Repair. We met his friend, Marc, back on day 312 of the first project when I had just peeped my head into the Shoe Repair shop to ask if I could take someone's picture for the project.
Thursday, Marc and I just happened to run into each other on the sidewalk so we stopped to visit for a moment. Not having found a subject for the day, I asked Marc which one of his friends or relatives would be in the project. Marc laughed and walked me into the shoe repair shop and pretty much just informed Bobby that he was going to be the person of the day. Bobby agreed.
It was so cool watching Bobby work. He continued to work on a pair of shoes as we talked and I loved seeing all of the old machinery, combined with Bobby's careful skill, as he attached a new heel to a beautiful pair of booties.
"The girl I met," Bobby answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. It was so cute - Marc confirmed from the background that she was a keeper.
Bobby's act of kindness would take place the following day, as he was going to go cook for the homeless at his church.
"To treat others how you want to be treated," Bobby answered, when I asked his personal mission statement or life's purpose. Bobby had given this question serious consideration and he explained that he was also in the process of writing a mission statement for the shop as well.
When I asked Bobby something about himself which he would consider to be a success, I was surprised that he couldn't/wouldn't answer. I figured he would answer about his success in running the shoe repair shop. I was watching him with my own two eyes as he made the process of attaching a new heel look like more like art than a repair. Bobby thought about the question and then had to ask Marc for his input. Marc quickly supplied an answer. "He has a big group of friends who loves him." Marc then continued on, telling Bobby that his circle of friends loves him, and they know he loves them in return. It was all pretty touching to see a couple of guys talk like this. They're good people here.
Thank you, Bobby and Marc!
Day 131 - Kate
This is Kate. We met outside of Sam's as she was just about to hop on her bike to leave.
I asked Kate the happiest thing happening in her life right now and she answered that she finally has a job where she can go to and leave and she actually feels less stressed than when she arrived. Her job makes her feel "sunnier and happier!"
I asked Kate if she's either performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. On the receiving end - Kate's housemate found a caring way in which to suggest to Kate that on her days off, she really needed to find a way to actually take a day off. Her housemate said it in such a way that Kate took her suggestion to heart and implemented the change. For some reason, the roommate said it in such a way that it clicked for Kate. The housemate was caring but not judgmental.
On the giving side, Kate is a volunteer for "Food not Bombs," which serves food a few times a week to anyone who is in need of a meal. You can learn more about Food Not Bomb's on the national website, or here on Portland's Facebook Page. What a great group of caring people who are making a difference!
As I'm writing this, I've realized I didn't really get a shortened or condensed mission statement or life's purpose from Kate. Kate and I just talked and I loved hearing everything she had to share about herself and her life, and the work she's doing to help feed others. If I were to write a condensed mission statement on Kate's behalf, it would be something like, "to share food to nourish the body, and to share kindness to nourish the spirit." This is my quick, impromptu mission statement on Kate's behalf, after only having met her for just a few minutes. When I asked Kate if she had a personal mission statement or her life's purpose, Kate responded:
I'm a parent.
I'm a daughter.
I am a volunteer for Food not Bombs, to make sure people have enough to eat.
I bring food with love, food is love, food is justice, food is sharing, food is sacred.
Meeting Kate for just a few minutes, truly nourished my spirits. She sees food and the sharing and distribution of it, as love and kindness. I think anyone who ever meets Kate leaves her with a full belly and/or a full heart.
I asked Kate something about herself which she considers to be a success and she answered, "I've come a really long way in 10 years of feeling comfortable in my own skin." Kate now knows when she's operating outside herself and she's able to get herself back in check. Kate feels that as a Mother, it's something she needs to do in order to be present as a Mom.
Thank you, Kate!
Day 132 - Alexandra
This is Alexandra.
We met, for the second time, at a Christmas party hosted by our mutual friend, Shauna. A few hours into her party, Shauna asked if I had found a subject for the day. I was in a room full of interesting people and had so many great subjects to choose from! Shauna suggested Alexandra, and Alexandra agreed.
Alexandra is just a beautiful person, inside and out. I remembered meeting her at last year's party because she's the type of person who leaves a lasting impression...truly, just a very sweet person.
This picture was actually an in-between picture. Alexandra was right in-between "poses" and I wasn't quite ready, but when I saw how beautiful Alexandra looked, I quickly snapped the picture and hoped I had caught her in time. Sometimes, it's the in-between which is the most special, but we can get so focused on what's next, in life and photography, that we miss the in-betweens.
"I'm in love with a wonderful man," Alexandra answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now. I loved hearing Alexandra's answer because I remembered meeting her guy at last year's party. You could just tell they had something special, even though they were just a few weeks into dating.
I asked Alexandra if she's either performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. On the receiving end, Alexandra explained that she received a beautiful email from an old friend who reached out just to tell her that she missed her, and catch her up on her life.
I asked Alexandra if she had a personal mission statement or a life's purpose and she answered with a quote by the Dalai Lama - "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
"I am becoming increasingly patient," Alexandra answered, when I asked her something about herself which she would consider to be a success. Alexandra is also a successful writer and you can learn more about her, and yourself, on her blog.
Thank you, Alexandra!
Here's the summary of mission statements and life's purpose of the subjects from this week. (and one shortened contribution from me.)
- To annoy as many people as possible.
- To be a good person to everyone around me.
- I want to make art.
- To be a good dad and provide for my family, and to make sure my son is proud of me.
- To treat others how you want to be treated,
- To share food to nourish the body, and to share kindness to nourish the spirit.
- Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Thank you for following along another week, and thank you to each and every subject in this project! We appreciate you!
Wishing you lots of love over the holidays!