I am in the Washington, D.C. area preparing for the National Walk for Epilepsy. Last Sunday, I photographed the 2013 Sharon’s Ride.Run.Walk for the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County, and though I processed the photos, I have not fully processed the experience. During the San Diego walk, I felt the emotional cost of being a photographer with my neurological condition. I see things, often from different perspectives. I am often wrong I perceived something before my time. I create. I believe, hope and dream of flying… and I often crash. My condition has also trained me to rinse and repeat. Often. I have bruises and broken wings.
Every bird needs a little love, whether we have epilepsy and/or broken wings. Vultures, Ravens and Blackbirds need love. Sheryl Crow needs love. Some of us might have the unreasonable demand that the world stop spinning so fast, but I can still pray for love.
If I could travel quickly somewhere, I would fly home to Oakland, California. Anne Lamott is speaking at my favorite local bookstore A Great Good Place tonight. She writes about birds and prayer (depending on your background, you might argue either point). One book is called Imperfect Birds. Her book about prayer is called “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers.” As a person with epilepsy, I am never far from those three prayers.
During my flight here yesterday, I had an imaginary conversation with Anne. I have THIS GREAT BOOK IDEA and I wanted to share it with someone besides the imperfect strangers I had met. Although the more I think about my book sharing idea, I am starting to believe that God intended to send me as far away from Anne as possible. We are both saved from an embarrassing conversation and I can remember that God answers prayers. Sometimes, I just need to look for the answer. (Anaya means “God Answered.) God answered with a sick sense of humor, “there will be plenty of time for me to embarrass myself later.”
Does every dog have just one day? This Mutt wants a lot of good days, and today is not one of them. I want to run at my daughter’s track practice while listening to the Pandora Paul McCartney and Wings station before going to the bookstore. I want to imagine a world where dogs fly and love travels through wires. I want Wikipedia to answer my questions about God. I want to be spend more time being grateful about the car accident I survived one year ago today that shook my confidence and redirected my path. I want to be more thankful, but I am stuck at prayer number one. Help.
When I first saw this photo, I saw the wall of color; I missed the little explorer. I should know better. Real exploration requires spending real emotional energy. While I might want a happy explorer, it is unreasonable to ask someone to be brave AND happy. Sometimes exploration can be fun. More often, when exploring jungles for real or metaphorical animals we find something scary.
At the walk, many teams were named after animals. Were the lions symbols of our bravery or reminders of our fragility? Did the monkey remind us of our strength, selfishness or … the winged monkeys from the Wizard of Oz? (Those flying monkeys still scare me.) Some of us might want all of our witches to be good we do not need all of our experiences to be happy. It is alright to fear the bigger creature.
Life can be difficult. I do not need some old greek myth or new 311 song to convince you that everyone has a difficult path. Life can also be amazing. During the walk, the DJ may have played Amber, by 311.
Brainstorm. Take me away from the norm. I got to tell you something. This phenomenon. I had to put it in a song… and it goes like
Whoa, amber is the color of your energy
whoa, shades of gold displayed naturally
you ought to know what brings me here
you glide through my head blind to fear
Many of us run blind day after day waiting for someone to tell us, “I do believe in you.” At our events, people believe, even when it rains in San Diego or when it will starts raining this weekend in Washington, D.C. I searched for answers from the pages of “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran.” This morning, I was amazed that God talked to me through the US Today. Baby I’m Amazed was a lead story. In my book, I am on the same page that discusses Paul McCartney and the song Baby I ‘m Amazed. The Greek God of synchronicity believes in me! It’s a start. (I am now going to reference my sentence when I thanked God for keeping me away from Anne Lamott tonight.)
There is another reason that I have the ability to believe and see. In a short period, my world has changed. When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy, these events did not exist. People and organizations created events from nothing. Where will Sharon’s Ride be in 14 more years when it turns 28?
Miracles are never ceasing, and even when it rains you can hear the sound of sunshine. Families and communities will be strengthened or rebuilt. The world will create new role models, just as the world gave me Rosie The Riveter. Rosie reminds me to continue fighting with Valor during times of war and times of love.
Peace, Love and Purple