“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” ~ Tinybuddha
Over the last two days I’ve had several conversations concerning evangelical and mainline denominations of the Christian faith. So it was with those talks in mind that I found it oddly coincidental when, tonight, I came across this photo from the 2014 Sorghum Festival parade. It was near the end of the shoot and it is just about as random as can be. There are no other photos associated with him. There’s no pictures of the float in front of him or behind. There’s a picture of a friend, then the friend’s son watching the ROTC march by, and in between is just a guy carrying a cross down the middle of the street as if he was invisible to everybody but me and one little kid. “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth,” is a pretty fitting quote I’d say. And you don’t have to carry a cross, literal or otherwise, to prove it. Just go do your thing.
“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical, person that you are.” ~ Mandy Hale
I’ve been working on my backlog of photos this last week. Today, I found this gem from the 2014 Sorghum Festival (yea, I’m that far behind). That year, cousin Missy and her catering partner Tammy had a potato tent set up by the flea market at Index. She was plum whooped by the time we got there Saturday afternoon after mom and dad were in the parade. I think she’s probably rested up by now. Good memories for sure. I’m always grateful to be on hand with a camera for such times.
“Don’t let the stuff of life obscure the radiant light that shines from within you.” ~ Terry A. Gordon
Rebecca Campbell is one of the most gifted artists I know. She makes exquisite dolls and assorted figures in a really unique, soft, inviting style. Over the years, you’ve seen me stalk her husband, David, with my camera, but he was ill during the Sorghum Festival. That meant poor Becs caught the lens. She said, “I thought it was some hunched over old woman sneaking up on me.” “It was!” I replied. Thanks for playing, Rebecca. You’re always a joy to run into.
“Nothing is left for you at this moment but to laugh.” ~ Unknown
This is Ryan Collinsworth. He is 10 years old. He is soft spoken, quiet, and very sweet. He’s also incredibly adorable with his signature blond cowlick like his Uncle Mark.
Mark was like my little brother. Ryan’s dad, Rusty, was the older brother. I was sandwiched right between the Collinsworth boys, and I loved every minute with them. I’ve got stories about those boys to fill a book. I look forward to spending the Sorghum Festival Parade with Rusty. It gives us a chance to catch up, and reminisce a little. Rusty helps me remember a lot of things I’ve let slip through the memory cracks. Being with him is a little like finding a book of photos I forgot I had. When Ryan was younger Rusty introduced me as “the little girl on the pony with daddy.” There’s a picture of me and Rusty atop a pony’s back. It became one of those quintessential Kodak moments, what with Rusty smiling like there was no tomorrow. I don’t think Mark was born yet when that picture was taken. If he was, he was just an infant because I was barely two years old at the time. Rusty was a very rambunctious seven.
I’d been relying on Mark to fill in the gaps of some of our adventurous play dates in the creek or on Jones Creek. There were many adventures, let me tell you. He was Robin to my Batman, Tonto to my Lone Ranger. We were inseparable as children. We were even baptized together. Ryan’s mom was eight or nine months pregnant with him when Mark died suddenly at age 38. Now, I have only my recollections to rely on. Thank God I’ve still got Rusty. Ryan looks a lot like his him, but he looks a lot like Mark, too. He’s not mischievous like Mark, but he has a very similar soul. He’s so familiar to me that it’s hard not to hug him and never let go. I catch myself staring at him constantly. My heart fills with a little more love every time I’m with him. I’m sorry that he never got to meet his uncle Mark – that boy was a pistol, and a soul mate. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for Ryan. I hope he gets used to me staring at him. I don’t see that ending any time soon. At least I smile when I stare, probably like Rusty atop that pony.
“However many holy words you read, however many you speak,
what good will they do you if you do not act upon them?” ~ Buddha
I’d like you to meet my oldest friend in the world. Alisa Ellen Marshall Burnett and I became best friends in the first grade, or we may have known one another before that because I really don’t remember meeting her. She has just always been there. After high school our lives drifted apart, but every once in a while we run into one another. Her mother was in town for a medical procedure. While she was recuperating, Alisa and I snuck out for a bite of dinner. Two hours later, we were still yapping our heads off. My growing up would have been empty without Alisa. We were so opposite, and yet, oddly, not (as evidenced below). She remembers the very best and the very worst of me from all those years ago, and yet she remains my friend all these years later. Money can’t buy that kind of friendship. I wish everyone had an Alisa to grow up with. She made all the difference in my life. We will be friends until we die. I don’t know what more one could ask for.
“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.”
~ Baba Ram Dass
Today was my first visit to the newly re-opened Freezer Fresh. I went twice, just because I could. The owner’s son and my lifelong friend, Tim Franklin, was lending a hand. I watched him ask the girls for instruction on this and that until, finally, I took a shot of him at the milkshake stand. I don’t think he knew whether to laugh or cry. Really, he was too busy to do either. But the photo… it’s so beautifully layered with color and symbolism that I don’t think I could have planned it better: me, and Tim, and the really cute guy sporting the traditional Sorghum Festival ware with a smile as wide as the sky, atop stacks of styrofoam cups and napkins and passing trucks. Yes, it was as fine a day as I’ve ever had, and that banana milkshake never tasted so good.