“To Chris St. James:
As often as it takes, We are here for you.
Despite the miles and the space, We are near to you.
A burden shared, reveals the merit of a Friend;
And there are many of us, ready to begin. 
Get Well Soon!”

Things are definitely different now. Looks like I’ll have a little more time on my hands to keep up my blogs, at least for a while. I lost my job today. It was a damn good one too. But I was released today into a city with an already surging 13.1% unemployment rate. Damn. Oddly enough, I gotta tell ya, in some ways I am relieved, though I know this feeling will be short-lived really quick. I was spending many a weekends working. Long days and nights in an office. I had never wanted a job in the first place that was going to be so time-consuming of my days and take away from my photography. Granted, I had no idea it was going to be this consumptive of my time. I knew I’d voluntarily put in the hours in the beginning just to learn the system. I hate being ignorant of anything. But in July things when into overdrive and weekends became routine. Well, now I’ve been spat out. I said my good-byes to my crew and bid them well. I think I was far too gracious about it. I asked for no reasons or tried to argue/defend my case. I said thank you for the opportunity with a dry mouth. It sucks that it had to come 12 days after I just moved into a new apartment though.

As it were, this occurred an hour or so before the close of the day. My first thought and the first thing I did when I got home was to finish a get well greeting card for Chris St. James, my friend and mentor in France who runs, Univers d’Artistes.com. (Well, I guess you all know who he is by now. My tag cloud should be testament to that fact.) He should be getting out of the hospital today and Unbearable Lightness has put forth a request to us to send a uniquely styled get well card for him, spawned from the imagination of Michael Siu, of New Orleans. As soon as I got home, I finished it up and emailed it to U.L. Here is mine. I think I’ll relax this weekend, do a shoot with Melissa in the morning, finish editing some family portraits for Faerie, and complete some edits for a wedding. I’m not thinking about a thing concerning employment for at least another week. Besides, I am so tired of working for somebody else. Honestly, I don’t know why I am even discussing this now. I had plans on not even mentioning this to anybody til at least Monday. But maybe that won’t make a difference. Who’s reads this blog anyway…

Now on a totally different matter all together, let me deviate just a little. I got a personal message this evening from a friend who ended an email with the following sentiment:

“Thank you for being in my life.”

Now I’ve had some personal expressions of love before. I’ve had people express good will and benevolence. Some have blessed me with eloquent prose. But when I read the above sentence, I had to pause and just examine the contents of the words of which this sentence is composed. I think part of the profoundness has to do with the fact that its different, new, and oddly enough, an odd concept. These words were received despite the lack of any sort of intimate relationship. Rather its the culmination of mutual respect and simple appreciation for one’s peers. Despite everything that has transpired today, and the job is only a part of it, this sentiment alone helped my day. It reminded me of a poem I wrote a while back, entitled, “The Power of Mankind“, (enjoy the abstracts):

Doesn’t it just make you feel good,

When a kind word is passed your way
Makes you feel appreciated
Exalts your self-worth
Puts a glow on your face for the rest of the day.
They are the building stones for character
Leaving the recipient much improved
         An elixir for the spirit
         A salve for the heart
Liniment for the body, once before abused.
There are words that build up,
                                  reinforce and compliment.
There are words that tear down,
                                  weaken and kill.
Thus, is the power mankind oft wields
                                  without the benefit of thought.
Tragically so, our words can condemn.
But, doesn’t it just make you feel good
When you pass a kind word someone’s way
You have the power to make them feel appreciated
Exalting their self-worth
And it puts a glow on you face for the rest of the day.
Don’t Abuse Your Power…
by Terrell Neasley
December 1997