I am a single parent of two children, one happens to be a special needs child with Down syndrome. I am a story-teller and a photographer. What I learn in life comes from stories. The world in front of me – the flower, the child, the falling down barn – speaks, no yells, to be captured. The story wants to be told; the story is how we connect. The moment the shutter snaps, the words seem to be already said.
My camera goes everywhere with me. It is an extension of my heart, my eyes, and senses. The frame of a photograph and the essence of words make a powerful punch. It takes notes for me and connects me to the story that needs to be told.
Two columns will bring the challenges and joys of single parenting a special needs child to light. First, The New Nice takes on “nice” head-on. Haven’t we all been “nice” long enough? Hasn’t being nice gotten our toes stepped on; our children’s needs compromised; and unwanted people taking over our rights? The New Nice is a person who deeply understands that standing up for oneself is being nice – the best nice of all – to ourselves and our families. The New Nice also knows that respect for others and human dignity for all is a kindness that takes over and will spread to end a lot of bad ideas, ill-treatment, and down right mean behavior.
The second is a series on what I would say to the woman I was way-back when. Wouldn’t we all like to be the Sunday quarterback for just a moment? If I Knew Then….is a way to go back and dig out a few lessons I’ve learned. If you are a young parent, or have a child with special needs, you may relate to a thing or two I’ve learned.
I’m a featured writer on Blogher.com. I also am an editor for the Organic page on allthingshealing.com. Just recently, I was awarded The Pollination Grant for my film, The Coffee Dance, which was recognized as a social project to promote compassion around the world. I also write for The Many Shades of Green, an environmental movement with blogs and a fabulous podcast. Our dog even has his own website, 13timz. He just doesn’t believe in luck. He’s a self-made dog.
Photographs are my therapy – the way I see the world. The subject frames a story. I see the soul of a rabbit, a bird, or a homeless person – each with a rightful place to stand. For a moment, I am given a look into their world. Captured for a second, the image lives to speak so much more than I could ever say. My camera goes everywhere with me. It is an extension of my heart, my eyes, and senses. The frame of a photograph and the essence of words make a powerful punch.
I might understand what you are going through. Or, maybe I can spark laugh, open up and idea, or touch a spark in your soul so one more moment, one more day, you can go on to unwrap the glorious gifts you’ve been given
It’s the no judgment zone. We’ve all got to follow our own path. If we intersect and connect through a story, a photograph, a click and a glance, we can quite possibly help each other out. Together, we can do a little bit more than the day before.