If Cancer Had A Face

Is this the face that haunts us?
He that invades our lives with pain, heartbreak and fear?
He that seeks to destroy our future? A future once so bright and secure.
Is this the face that takes it away;
Takes everything, leaving only Love to stand naked and alone?
You cannot create, so you have to destroy.
You deceive, driving others to chaos.
And still your face pales next to the face of Love.
You destroy the body, but you can’t degrade Love.
We’ve seen evidence of Greater Promises, and it has changed us.
Truth, Faith and Grace will take us through to a better Day,
When Love shall be renewed and together we can acknowledge:
The price was cheap enough.

"Ghoul" [Click on the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/3.3 at 1/2000 sec., 85 mm

“Ghoul” [Click on the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/3.3 at 1/2000 sec., 85 mm


We learned this last Thursday that James’ cancer, which was in full remission, has returned. Despite James’ horrible pain and discomfort, we have plans to travel to DC soon to be married by Rev. Cedric Harmon. I am flying up tomorrow to apply for our license, then there’s the obligatory 3-5 day wait for turnaround and processing. Sadly, Florida will not acknowledge our Civil Rights and there is no place closer we can go to get this done. We are thus forced to endure the expense and hardship of travel. After 21 years of committing our lives to God and each other, we deserve this happiness amidst this hell. James wants to ensure that no matter what happens, we can receive the benefits we are entitled to by right and by Liberty. We humbly and gratefully request your prayers for healing and strength to get us through these difficult days. Thank you and God bless. — Earl

Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #9

Upon meeting Patrick at his Kissimmee Valley Farmers Market booth, I instantly admired him. Patrick is the mind, hands and heart behind “PJ’s Bracelets & Key Chains”. He donates the money he raises, selling bracelets and key chains he fashions by hand from colored cord and aluminum soda can tabs, for cancer research. He buys the soda can tabs by the pound from Ronald McDonald House – and pays double what they ask.

Patrick is no stranger to cancer; it has touched and continues to touch his family. Because we share that experience, I applaud the fact that Patrick has determined to do something to help others. It was clear from speaking with him that his creations are a labor of love and of healing. While his donations help fund research to heal others, I know his work is helping to heal him, too. If you’re in downtown Kissimmee on a Tuesday evening, be sure to stop by his booth at the Farmers Market and support what he’s doing.

God bless you, Patrick. It was an honor to meet you.

"Patrick" [Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

“Patrick” [Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm


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The Darkroom: A Luddite’s Tale

I got my first digital camera from my father in 2007: a Nikon D100. I have to admit I was slow to pick it up and try it. It was a difficult transition for me, since my love for photography began in the darkroom and not behind a camera. Photography was supposed to include a dimension of wonderful chemically smells and the joy of lost weekends in the darkroom. And there is that magical span of minutes when a print sits in developer: you watch it materialize on the paper you carefully and purposefully painted with light from the enlarger. I wasn’t ready to let go and leave those things behind. You see, I grew up enjoying there always being a dedicated darkroom in any home we ever lived in. My father is a man of few hobbies, but he always made sure the one he still loves most was accommodated.

My own love for the darkroom has never waned, though its accessibility has. When James was diagnosed with cancer last year, we swiftly vacated our Utah home and moved to Florida to seek more hopeful treatment options and cut the distance between us and our families. I can still hear the hollow sound of the basement darkroom door closing as I pulled it shut for the last time on that Wednesday morning in September. The equipment I have continued to use since childhood – including the still-perfect stainless steel 35 mm film tank I learned to wind film on about 43 years ago – sits packed away in boxes. I wonder when – perhaps if – the darkroom will ever see the light again.

Necessity has a way of increasing our appreciation for just about anything. The process doesn’t smell the same or make my fingers slippery with developer, but I can admit I love digital photography, too.

Nikon D100, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/250, 80 mm

[Click image to expand/shrink its size.]  ©2007, Nikon D100, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/250, 80 mm

Tomorrow’s post will be No. 5 in the “Faces of Kissimmee” series. See you then.


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