Dreaming of More Than Picture Magic

Before I began writing on this WordPress blog, I wrote on a something called Typepad. I called the blog MoreThanKids (my first post). Before I wrote on a blog, I used the same thing all the old people used. I wrote on large stone objects. (I mostly wrote about despair.)

 (bryan farley)

As I start the new year, there are a few important milestones that I want to acknowledge. Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of Krista Rae Pike’s death. When I wrote the post in 2010, I remember that I wanted to do more for a good family that had suffered. When I read it now, I realize how much I still care for her family and all the Mothers of Angels and their families. “From a mountain of despair….”

January 11, 2011 was the day I met Tony Coelho. Here are my notes before our meeting on 1/11/11. (I am so superstitious.) Some posts are longer, and I would write more Epilepsy Posts, but the first one was short. There was a time when I hated having epilepsy. Now, I am wildly fortunate.

It is Epiphany for Episcopalians again. (This whole segment reminds me of a post by author Nora Gallagher, “The memoirist and poet Mary Karr, who has traded whiskey for Jesus, once described the difficulty of talking nonironically about faith to a secular audience. It is, she said, ‘like doing card tricks on the radio.’) So, on my old blog, I wrote about my old church, so that secularists could understand. This was necessary, because Episcopalians are secularists about half the time.

When I read some of my posts, I am surprised that I can write. When I see some of my old photos, I am surprised that I can make a picture. I am a little concerned that people will expect this from me often.


About six years ago, I took my first decent picture in twenty years. I was in Nashville, Tennessee for a journalism education convention. I went downtown with a photography instructor. I do not remember if the photo was based on Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Gordon Parks’ 1942 version, or I finally just started putting everything together.

This blog post’s title comes from Henry Luce, the founder of Life Magazine. He believed in Picture Magic. Life magazine also popularized the photo essay that showed a beginning, middle and end. Stories need structure, but life is a little more complicated. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr was born on this day, but somehow his dream still lives in stone and dreams. Teenage girls die, but their memory lives. My photo stories began again with the photo above. (This was the same convention where I met Dave LaBelle.) After the Nashville convention, I attended twelve more consecutive conventions for a total of fourteen.

But there will not be a fifteenth. That’s Life… just not the end. It’s a new beginning.


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