“Each of us is like the waves and also like the water. Sometimes we’re excited, noisy, and agitated like the waves. Sometimes we’re tranquil like still water. When water is calm, it reflects the blue sky, the clouds, and the trees. Sometimes, whether we’re at home, work, or school, we become tired, agitated, or unhappy and we need to transform into calm water. We already have calmness in us; we just need to know how to make it manifest.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I was at an event today where I ran into friend Tom Eblen. We proceeded to have a very inspiring conversation. If you’re from the Lexington area you’ll recognize Tom or at least his name. He enjoyed a long career as a reporter for Lexington’s Herald-Leader. If you’re not from Lexington, then let me tell you how awesome Tom is. Yes, he’s a long-time journalist, but he is also a huge advocate for historic preservation, good education, fair politics, and the value of newspaper preservation. That pretty much makes him my hero. Better still, for the last 25 years he has taught at Mountain Workshops, a week-long intensive workshop for photojournalists and documentary photography enthusiasts. Our mutual friend Jahi Chikwendiu also taught at Mountain Workshops and that’s where I first heard about the program. Today, Tom told me a lot more about the Mountain Workshops with the enthusiasm of a man who clearly never tires of learning from others. But here’s the best thing about Tom: He’s a super nice guy. I wish I’d had my camera for a better shot of him, but this big nose (his words) closeup will have to do. That’s the best I could do for being short with a phone camera against a tall drink of water like Tom. I’m pretty sure he’ll forgive me for being short. I’m not sure he’ll forgive me for the photo. Nevertheless, I trust our friendship.