Almost Through My Looking Glass Year

What if you really believed? In God? In other people? In yourself? How loudly would you sing, “Don’t Stop Believing?” Could you still believe if you experienced the unbelievable… or the “curiouser and curiouser?”

When experiencing continually unbelievable events, where would you find shelter from the storm? Would you turn to music? Art? God? I have my answer. You may want an easier journey.

The National Walk for Epilepsy VIP Reception was held at The Meed Center for American Theater on Friday, April 19, 2012. The National Walk for Epilepsy is on Saturday, April 20, 2013 on the Washington Monument Grounds. (bryan farley)

This year I have been tested. You could say that I asked for it. On my photography site, I have a bold mission statement.

“As a person with an invisible disability, I am motivated to uncover hidden stories. Healing and recovery interest me more than tragedy. By showing images of diverse groups finding common ground, I can teach others to avoid tragedy or lessen its impact.”

I might change my mission to something a little happier.

 (bryan farley)

This is probably my favorite photo from 2013 (and my most boring). I broke down, fell apart, sobbing on the St. Paul’s Cathedral steps… and started believing again.

This year has been crazy. I was going to publish yesterday on 12/21, because the date symbolized my “Through The Looking Glass” year where nothing appeared logical. When I was lost, I found a church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, that resembled my old Santa Barbara home. My best photograph reveals too much, so only a few people have seen the image. (It’s a concert photograph.) My favorite photograph of 2013 is probably my most boring. Someone probably tried to harm me (or harm someone else), but instead helped me. As soon as I gave up looking for the ideal job, I found the job I love. I am happy, wanted and needed. I am grateful to be alive.

 (bryan farley)

When I attended the National Walk for Epilepsy, I stayed in room 1221. The visit was part Wizard of Oz, part Through the Looking Glass. The weekend was full of love… and one moment in particular was unforgettable.

The Santa Cruz Derby Girls defeated the Sin City Rollergirls from Las Vegas 153-124 on Saturday March 16, 2013. It was the first bout for the Boardwalk Bombshells at Kaiser Permanente Arena, their new downtown facility. (bryan farley)

I love being a father. (I also love photographing roller derby.) This year, I took my children to the Santa Cruz Derby season opener.  (My kids also attended a B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls Bout; I usually photograph the BAD Girls.) How could I not consider myself lucky? I am a father who can continually expose my children to amazing role models.

 (bryan farley)

I also love photographing the Best Day Ever at Vans Warped, even if I am a dinosaur. (Translation: I take decent pictures and learn about new bands and my high school students would think I was cool if I were not so old.) Belief was a common theme at this year’s tour. STYG, Stick To Your Guns, even sings ” We Still Believe.” My blog post about becoming extinct is one of my favorite.

I wrote a few other decent posts this year too. During my the worst part of my journey, I wrote about about the Butterfly Effect and how my father’s suicide continues to impact me. When I wrote it, I was hurting, but now I am inspired. I had stopped believing in almost everything. Almost.

Even during my worst moments, I felt as if something was pushing me in the right direction. I kept feeling that I was On Track. It sounds strange, but I believed that I was meant to “be crazy in a good way.” I kept finding train themes. Sometimes I found Crazy Train messages. I followed the signs hoping to learn how to love and forget how to hate. Eventually, I found Railroad Avenue and my new job. I love it.

Recently I have noticed more signs about belief. Today I saw the Theodore Roosevelt quote, “Believe you can and you are half way there.”


Yes, but only half way. What is the other half? Perhaps it is love. Crazy Love

7 Responses to “Almost Through My Looking Glass Year”

  1. Karen Clark says:

    What an array of diverse subject matter in your pictures. And with your writing, it clearly shows that last year was quite a journey. You really captured many worlds for the viewer to experience.

  2. Katrina says:

    love wins. xoxo

    • bryan farley says:

      I am learning. Some day we will see each other and I will tell you more. The last year has been amazing!

  3. Bryan Farley says:

    Thank you Karen… this morning I remembered that I forgot a couple important stories, especially my favorite “love story from 2013.” If you see this Valerie Maurin, I did not forget you and Haig, I just forgot to include my Thanksgiving visit. I will never watching you and Haig on Thanksgiving. The Greatest!

  4. Love the veiled transparency.

  5. Bryan Farley says:

    Amy Wood Fienen, On Christmas, I was looking through my old blog and found similar themes. When I wrote the post four years ago, my family was visiting Mexico. Yesterday, I dropped my wife and kids off at the airport so that they could return to Mexico.

  6. What a beautiful post and loving tribute to the women in your life.