The Wake-Up Bomb.

Is it me, alone, or has anyone else out there ever experienced the Rip Van Winkle moment? Dread,  fear, loss, uncertainty. Right now, I am already too late. Tomorrow won't be quick enough. You mean to tell me that no one else remembers things as I do? I swear to you, Dave Grohl - that Foo Fighters guy - can play the drums. What do you mean who? Not down with the Foo? 

The good news here is that the next moment is still what it has always been, and that's...blank. Now what?

Just like Art Cole - driver by day; rocker by night - I'll awaken to find that I am recharged rather than remiss of life. I am indeed the luckiest man alive, all over again. Maybe I'll give myself a head start just trusting what my grandfather says: "everything is already always alright." Especially at times like now - a little more road worn and dusty after a winter's nap -  but still operable! The difference now is that I get to choose harnessing what powers of mine to invent, instead of waiting for the old tricks to get me over. Does it mean a tough road ahead? I don't know for sure, but I'm giving myself license to test drive...

Breakin' Away.

      So much time has passed; so many whispers, conversations...debates. Summer has gone on vacation to Mozambique. My family and I have migrated west. One chapter has come to completion and a new one begins. I'll call upon the Psammead tomorrow, but even magical, sand-fairy wishes, stop being granted at some point. 

My wish to photograph the '250 amazing, generous mofos' rolls gently to stop with Ms. Hannah Leigh Esworthy. She and I crossed paths on borrowed time; naturally I noticed, but had decided that we weren't going to get past the 'hi' stage. Surprise! Hannah has a wandering spirit and is a sort of 'peepsologist;' interested in who you are and what you're doing. Of course she would show up at my very own door, literally within hours of my departure from Nashville. Perhaps magic at play, but I hadn't packed the camera away; there's always room to talk, see, and write, right? 

 Who is she? An aware young woman, willing to do the work of finding herself, just before letting that finding go. She's not gonna fall into any traps. A plucky mind who will test the limits. And I just gotta say, she's designed like a Greek statue. Yes, Hannah's wishes are still being granted...

( Hannah Leigh completes my 'mofo' series at N0. 49 )

Mighty Love.

Are you big enough to love?

Love everything that is.
Everything that is not.
Are you willing to love that sound someone else is still making?
Love promises made and something else shows up?
Love the guy on the other team; in the other jersey?
Could you love the journey, no matter how long it's taking, or how quickly it has passed.
What if that journey took someone you love in a different direction; are you big enough to love that?

Naturally, the smallest Marine in U.S. history would be big enough. Trusting enough to enlist even when the Marine Corps didn't have boots her size. No worries; they were willing to make them to measure. Oooh-rah!! 
Now Robin takes her fearless energies and channels them toward the growth and empowerment of others. 
She's big enough to love all of it; even if the boots have to be custom made.

My People.

I want to know - who designs guys like this? Who had the gumption to stir up the American guy pot, thickly loaded to the brim with chest puffing, chaw chewin', and 'one-ups-manship'? Who had the nerve to then turn a cold shoulder, saying: you were ok, but I'm going to make the new design now; and the new design will not only have all that you thought was cool - it's gonna have a take-care-of-you-and-lead-by-example genetic code. The new model will have a dynamite sense of humor and style; it won't even get riled up when the power goes out; he'll just light a candle and snuggle up to you; but not until after he's done making some exquisite foodie fanfare and sets the night ablaze to the ultimate playlist. The new design is a twenty-first century dandy. Put your hands together, guys and gals, for Ryan Decker.

He was on the short list from the first few moments; he carries himself like it matters, and that certainly matters to me. I'm not the only one who noticed, either. I've seen more than one lady give him a particular kind of stare when talking to him. Ever the smart guy, he held those powers of persuasion in check, saving them for his perfect other, Cat. I expect there will be a whole separate story written about those two before all is said and done.

For now, respect to my homie; my mofo, good time charlie and bff. I love you man.

( Ryan is N0. 48 in the '250...mofos' series )

Heaven's Design.

"One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."
( Master Oogway - Kung Fu Panda )


The name chose her. So powerfully the name chose her that it makes me re-think the whole naming convention. There's this communion of saints and litany of sins that get passed from generation to generation just 'cause it's 'the right thing to do.' How come? None of those banners have to be, so why do we so often bear them like a cross? If it doesn't fit, or if you don't like it - fine - change the scene. Choose a different chapter or book. Hmmph...write the damn book.

Following more closely to an ideal that we are who we say we are, my friend Heaven McArthur is a creation; the banner that flies overhead isn't a given, but chosen name, and it's her adjective too. She's cozy; haven taken something from the four-legged friends she loves so dearly and captures for her photography, I would give almost anything for her eye and the way she designs an image.There's a tangible creaminess to the quality of light and the moments she selects. She is what I'm going to call an indelible imprinter; a shutter chef.

Hope for the opportunity to sit for her. It is completely inspiring to watch this figure skater flip, lutz, Solchow, and toe loop to get the shot. The lucky subject always gets to play with her and the process occurs organically, the way only a California girl could muster. She nails it every time and there are no accidents; it's all a part of Heaven's design.

Saved By Zero.

"Maybe someday
I'll be more together
Stretched by fewer

Thoughts that leave me
Chasing after
My dreams disown me
Loaded with danger.
Saved by zero"
- The Fixx -

I am an ardent admirer of those who are able to go from life season to next life season without losing steam. I'm talking about the hearty ones. The person most of us want to be, deep down inside, when we're resolved to eat well and some late night chocolate malt shop is open 24 hours, just 3 doors down. Certainly a cage rattler for me, but some can stare savory, salty, creamy right in the face and say...>meh<. One such hearty one is mofo N0. 47, Derrick Jones. 

I don't know a great deal about Derrick but I see him. Evidence of his heart, humor, and chutzpah are screwed courageously to the sticking place. He is a testament to 80s ska and rude boy culture (sans the rude); his hand-forged skate ramp and vintage Vespa collection are proof positive that his black and white checkered vans are somewhere in the closet.. He works and plays in equal measure; he adores his children, loves his muse, Tricia, and makes space for them to be who they are. Makes space for things to things are.

Derrick has been tripped. He's fallen off his board. He's had some 'excitement' on his scooter; but the past is history - we've got this life season to play for! So gustily, he plays on! Maybe, someday, he'll be more together than he is now or  maybe he'll reach the pinnacle of his personal success. Maybe there is no place to get to. Maybe he's already been

(Derrick Jones is N0. 47 of the '250...mofos')

Road Trippin'.

Judgement is a bitch, but transformation doesn't care. Transformation, you see, is a bad motor-finger in its own right.

Here's what I mean: just a few short years ago, my response would have been, 'hell no' when my wife offered a cross-country trip, foregoing hotels, motels, or Holiday Inns to be cradled curiously in the arms of a cyber-community of 'strangers.' I'm talkin' about couch surfing, y'all ( Forget high thread-count sheets, shower gels and bottled water; sink the swimming pool. There's no need for room service when you can holler across the hall to your host.

And so my judgement meter was...tripped. I can't believe I'm in this situation; I would never do this on my own. I certainly wouldn't do
I was off to the races of the mind when my inner champion made a suggestion to 'be in the moment;' be open to what else might be available that I could not see. I took the bait. That's the voice that does the speaking. And...

And here are the advantages: one of our hosts was willing to make, unsolicited, an entire alcohol run since we couldn't reach for a mini-bar. My daughter was happy enough with an unlimited supply of cupcakes, kittens and pony rides in Nebraska. Extraordinary Ethiopian food in St. Louis. Connection to the amazing map-of-the-human...Shalom. What hotel offers that, I ask? Disaster averted. Let love rule...

The good news about transformation, about staying open to possibility, is that ideas flow in, just as easily as they flow out. A special thank you to our road hosts: Raman, Tajal, Anjali, Jackie (pictured) and Elisabeth. What a trip!

Sure Shot.

The late model sedan skims the highway as a polished stone on water; body-to-body, the driver scanning for an opening. The seams come undone as much by faith as from will. Glance in your rear view if time allows - 'the teeth of the hydra are upon you.' 

He won't wait; like a greyhound, banging against the gate, ready to run. Frederick Stevenson has a plan to simply do the work, distinguish himself in the ring and worry about the rest later. Pushing himself exactly as he does his car, on a steep pitch, forcing the velocity, demanding the outcome. 

When he is older and seasoned and decorated several times over - when he's rounded into a smoothie - I can see him as a shoe-in to take that year's Dancing WIth The Stars crown. But that is not now and it is not on the radar. For now, let youth be served. For now...DUCK!

(Frederick is N0. 46 in the '250...mofos' series)

Change Clothes.

Patricia Gerbic can show up any time, any place and never be the same person twice. Call it Gumby adaptability. In fact I would strongly encourage the reader NOT to know her upon crossing paths. Rather, if someone asks, you might say you experience her, in lieu of knowing. The muse is going way beyond the whimsical, and getting down in the creative digging ditch, simultaneously. Lucille Ball with a Kahlo kick. I can imagine her delighting a fashion editor or two: 'what color's her hair? I thought she was..., what'll she think of next? What's her name today?

A revelation during our shoot, Trish persuaded me to visit the home she shares with mofo N0. 47 (coming soon); a gorgeous, pastoral Tennessee hideaway with... a hidden skate park in the yard? Whoa. And every turn told tales of the actress,  the painter, the DJ, the teacher,  the bass player, the big sister, the wispy sprite, circus clown, cetera, et cetera. I have experienced Patricia Gerbic, and I can't wait to meet her all over again. Change clothes, and go...

(Patricia is N0. 45 in a series)