Tag Archives: GLBT

Remain True…

Remain true to the soul, and life magically transforms itself around you. Andrew Harvey

While reading or rereading sections of the Life Harmony course Self-Expression I came to the section of the Business of Being where one is asked “on a personal basis, how do you present yourself? How does the world see you? How do you want the world to see you? If there is a difference between how the world see you and how you want the world to see you, what action steps are required on your part to bring the two perspectives closer, or to make them the same?”

Very important questions which left me asking myself those questions, and the answer was either silence, or I am not really sure, how the world see’s me, and is it really important if I know what the world’s view of me is?

The first question needs to be answered first “How do you present yourself?” I seek to present myself as a loving compassionate person. I seek to show up as authentic as I can, I am honest with myself, and I am honest with the world around me. I don’t role play anymore, I am what I am.

Yet if I really research, I think different facets of the world view me differently, and they do that from their own perspective of who they think I should be, not from who I show up as. Can we truly bring the perspectives together, can we be all things to all people, or do we present ourselves as who we are at the moment, for the moment is the only time that being present is required.

Have I answered those questions? For now yes, what actions steps are required, the action of being authentic. Remaining true to the soul…

Grand View

This weekend was filled with street fairs, first one was a local community Barrington NJ, less than a mile away, to which I walked to. Down the railroad along Atlantic Ave, up Gloucester Pike, to the main road of Chews landing Rd, which held the half mile fair on the gentle hill back down to Atlantic Ave. From cross-road to railroad the mile was filled with booths of crafts, local business, purveyors of food and drink. Mom’s and dad’s pushed baby carriages, waddled behind, curious, wide-eyed children. The path was well trafficked with people, talking, shouting, eating, viewing all the items of display.

 

These events are good for doing candid shots of people doing random things, a little slice of life in suburbia… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Than Sunday was Philadelphia’s Out Fest, one of the largest Out Festival in the country. Which is held in the Gayborhood, now being called Midtown Village. From Walnut St to Spruce between 12th and 13th. Of course this causes all kinds of crazy traffic upset in the city but hey a big gay block party is worth the inconvenience to the locals, who I know, either hate or just come up to have a good time.  I met up with my friend Linda and her Boyfriend Brian,

linda & Brian

to finally meet Brian was a welcomed treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course through out the day I chatted with new friends and old friends, watch people greet each other, groups standing around chatting, laughing, hugging and kissing. Many people attending the booths/tables for city gay organizations I know so I always get to say Hi and catch up. Always on the look out for moments to photograph, interesting drags, fun costumes, music performance on the main stage, and dancing on the street at Spruce and 12th.

Gay Youth

Well I have caught up with the weekend goings on, and it is only Tuesday !!!

I am Love, Jeff

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Freeing the energy

“People who have come out feel themselves full of something that they never experienced before: as sense of power. The power is caused, in part, by freeing the energy that we have previously been using to deny and disguise ourselves.” Richard A Isay

This blog is the companion piece to yesterdays blog Acknowledged and Lovingly embraced! It is a process of being visual, seen and heard. One of the affirmation in the Artist way that resonated with me I am willing to be of service through my creativity. Using my blog, using my words, and visuals through my photography I am not only able to witness events that support and encourage me, and the GLBT community, I am also able to document those events, while they are happening. Much of my younger gay life I experienced as a taker, my ego rule the day. I did not much think about or even know about the men and women who were risking their lives to step out to march, to protest, to create the GLBT community that we have today. Many who have died due to the ravishes of HIV and AIDS, gone way to early, yet the few who have survived left legacy’s through stories, photographs, art, fashion, political advancements.  These pioneers, risk takes, inspired many young people to follow their footstep, inspired many GLBT people to come out and be proud, come out and stand up for their rights, their human rights!

 

Mayor Nutter, Gloria Casarez

 

Those rights, those risk lead to what happened on Wednesday afternoon in the city of Philadelphia Pa, the Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall. The flag was raised to honor GLBT community during this month and will fly for the entire month next to the American flag in Dillworth Plaza on the north side of city hall.

I have come to realize that my talent as a photographer is not just to photograph the beauty of nature, for the muse has offered me just as exciting opportunities to photograph these moments, these witnessing of events the support the evolution of humankind, even while we are told in the news media about all the destruction in the world, creativity is ever present, even shinning its light in the darkness. Proudly we stand

I was thrilled to be among the men and women who took their lunch hours to be present the this historic event! I was among friends, many I know, more I did not, yet proud of them for being present to lift the energy while still honoring the lives of the young people who have taken their own lives because of bully, and hate, misunderstanding, confusion, and lack of consciousness.

 

Youth out and proud!

 

I was extremely proud to see Gloria Casarez, a woman I have known for years when she was in college, I have watched her step into herself as she steps out to make the GLBT Community more safe and vibrant in the city.  Gloria is the Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. Her office brought together with the Mayor to create this event. ( please see the link above) .

This visual symbol of an afternoon crowd of LGBT people,  supporting and encouraging others to come out, be proud, Be yourself, is a statement of courage and Love for their brothers and sisters. A statement we are here, we not only talk, but we act we not only act, we listen, we not only listen, we create, a better place, a safer place to live, grow, to Love!

Growth Question: How are you using your creativity to Be the Change you wish to see in the world?

I am Love, Jeff

PSSS!!! I am in the video on the link above as well as in the Photograph at the end of the piece.  Here is a photograph of me taken by my friend Russ with his cell phone, when I first got to the Flag Ceremony:

 

Oy Vey !

 

 

A sense of it all

“Like an ability or a muscle, hearing your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it.” Robbie Gass

different views

Is there something more I am supposed to feel after and or during an event like the Artist Reception which was held on Friday July 16, 2010, for my self and the work of two other photographers Elke Muller, and Kathy McLean. From what I could tell it was a well attended, and critical success!

I had my Mom with me and my best friend Linda who is one of my strongest supportive people of my art work and the path that I am on. Linda is always getting the sense of the crowd, her energy and curiosity allows for information to flow her way. So I can always get a sense of what was going on from her perspective. Chris Bartlett a Radical Faerie friend and new Executive Director to the William Way Center was on hand, it was great to introduce him to my Mom and Linda. As well as have his support and encouragement. It was his first full day in his new position and official capacity to over see the Artist Reception.

full crowd

I received some great feed back as watch and stood behind people as they viewed my work, some people I was introduced to by Chris Bartlett, as was grateful to have the opportunity to get people thoughts and ideas of my work. All reports were good, complimentary, and useful. Some of my thoughts where it would have been nice if more of my friends had come, yet knowing the GLBT Film Festival was in full swing, that getting people to comment to another event was a bit much. So there was a sense of disappointment as well a sense of pride, sense of accomplishment and a bit of recognition. To have the vice president of the Philadelphia Photography Society show up because I ask him to earlier in the week, when I saw Morris at an art exhibit in the Plastic Club which is where the “society” meets, yet share space with other art forms. Morris, mentioned that he and Mia had come by to view the work that Sunday when I informed them of the exhibit. So their presence at the reception was more rewarding to have their support.

As I stood there observing, I notice a guy discussing a photograph of mine with his friend and then saw Candice Thompson get involved in the conversation, commenting on my work, there was a sale in progress! Dancing the Happy dance! “Face of Marriage II” sold.  A photo I really hesitated about submitting, yet earlier in the evening had some really good comments about the piece. In the sense of what are those two guys doing? The gap between them leads you to the front of the shot where a minister stands, a bit out of focus. Causing wondering, asking questions?

Taking a break

I later introduced myself to the gentleman who brought the photograph and thanked him! He was glad I had, his reason where personal, and that the photograph had caught his attention because of the minister.

So the past few days I have been catching my breath, taking in the process of what receptions do, what they are about, how to be more present or more observational during these events. I suppose most of the feedback comes from the gallery and the people from the center. A sale is a good sign that the collection is good, Elke Muller had a sale as well,  two photographs sold on the first night is a good sign of success. Or a successful reception. So keeping the artist brain and Logic Brain in balance is the process of healthy recovery, healthy creativity.

Well I was at the Farmers Market on Saturday I also went into the Perkins Art Center that sets and the end of the street, and has been on my mind to look into what they where all about. So Linda and I wander in, she in the lead, already asking questions. I got names and emails for people who accept the art works for the center gallery, as well as come to find out that the center in Morristown NJ also has a juried art show exhibit in the fall. Which I am going to look into. Linda also informed me that the coffee shop in Westmont offers wall space to local artist. So the grass is not growing under my feet. Getting the photographs exhibited, displayed and exposed to the world is the process and the next venture on my path of affirmations and recognition.

Without Love

without love
there can be no joy or happiness
no beauty
no harmony in the world
even if hundreds of raindrops fall from the cloud
no secret pearls can be found in the sea
without the rhythms of love

~Mevlana Rumi

Owl appearance

It has been days since I blogged, wrote my pages… I don’t know where the days went or do I? The last I recall I was going to Woodstown NJ to pick up photographs from the exhibit there, we lost our exhibit space at Beans Coffee due to back payment of taxes, etc. So the Salem County Art League is scouting out new venues as well as having conversations about all of that. The drive is about a half hour south of home, not a bad ride, scouted out some places I could photograph, this area is farm land but fast beginning to see the expanding sprawl of suburbia… sad really.

I got back from that journey, I had three photographs in that exhibit, I thought only two, switch out them out to use new photographs for the exhibit, after having lunch, I have come to realize I need to eat smaller meals, yet more often, to take the edge off, to keep my sugar in it proper balance and not lost energy and half the day recovering from a crash.

I had all of the collection together by Thursday evening, Friday morning which was a relief to have made the choices and all the selections convey a sense of who I am as an artist. Ranging from beautiful Nature, to the wonderful nature of human kind, and the GLBT community, and the dark rumbled halls of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Lightness and darkness, shadow and light play their themes here, evolution, community, beauty the surrounds us yet sometimes unseen and maybe taken for granted?

Friday was more of a down day, collecting myself, my thoughts, my energy… While driving on Thursday morning I heard an announcement that, singer/song writer Shawn Colvin was to be performing at Copper River park, an outdoor free concert that the Camden County Freeholders supports in different parks around the county. I have been a fan of Shawn Colvin since her first CD, have seen her perform at last four times . So I took the opportunity to head out to the park to listen and take photographs. I was glad I did, it was a great performance, have some great shots, stage/performance photography is something I really enjoy doing, there is a different challenge to it then other forms of photography. Capturing the performer in their element, their emotion, the desire and bliss can be viewed in their performance as well as on their faces. It is an awesome experience to be in that creativity, the energy of letting the creativity flow and be shared.

The guy who opened for Shawn, Ryan something or other, I have to find out his name, a young man, looking very California beach, singer song writer, and performed a couple of songs, then shared a bit of his story to go long with the songs. What he said rung true for me and I think for many artist, he said he was at is office job always thinking about his music, missing work because he was out performing and finally realized writing/performing was his love, was where he was supposed to be.

Saturday morning I had the rude awakening that I had to wire some of the photographs, meaning I had to put eye hooks on them and find wire, which I did not think I had. I did, and there was one last piece I wanted to use, a black and white shot of night life in the city, very gritty and urban, at first the forces where not with me on this and then they shifted, and things began to flow, got that all together. By mid morning it had begun to rain, yet I had to travel to Philly to drop the collection off, I could not hold onto it any longer, it was finished. If I kept it I would begin to second guess this shot or that. So it was time… In the rain, the highway to the bridge was a wet grey journey, not a lot of traffic but enough to make things a bit slow and dangerous where it was difficult to see. I got to the center well enough found a place in front of the building parked on the street, I would only be a short time, and I was. I left the two photographs that had been on exhibit for the new collections as well.

Saturday Rain

What a relief that was to get the work to the gallery, to leave it in their capable hands, now all I had to do is show up on Friday. I got home and realized the contract was sitting on the table which I meant to take with me! Yikes… Well I was going over on Sunday, I would take it then… I  did take then, I had to remind myself to do that first as soon as I got off the train to head to the Center. My friend Doug/Marshall was tending the space and he was all excited… saying “look, look you got the whole big wall!” I was like what the photos are up already! To my grand surprise there they where all my photographs stretched across the main wall. Wow! I was not crazy about the positions of some of them and then realized one of them was missing, “Faces of Marriage” which was my center piece shot for the GLBT collection, and come to find out that it is on the post card the center had printed for the announcement and run of the show!  I was wondering what was up with that? I have a feeling that Candice has another plans of the piece, because the other photographs shot that is on the post cards was not on her wall either.

announcement card

I so sought to write everyday, yet it would not come, for some reason or other, being too tried, saturday my connection was down on my computer and I had to wait for Jim to get home and then it was dinner and the night just got away. yesterday was an afternoon in the city and other things need to be done for venturing forth. So finally getting here to write, express, and reveal the extent of the past few days, even through I know I have not captured the feeling behind all that has gone before, I think everything will come in the perspective of time, and the meditation of the moments as they unfold in silence.

Wall of exhibition

Growth Question: Do you find a question here that ask you something about the way you get things done, is there conscious feelings or emotion around them?

I am Love, Jeff

Perceptive of time

“We are always doing something,  talking, reading, listening to the radio, planning what next. The mind is kept naggingly busy on some easy, unimportant external thing all day.” Brenda Ueland

Stunning

Do I have a blog in me today? What is going for me? The focus is to get the Photography matted and framed. I have to go down to Woodstown to pick up two photographs that where at Beans Coffee shop. Save me the money of buying new frames, and the drive could be used as a photo opportunity even in this oppressive heat. I will go as early as I can so I am not out there in the midst of the worst part of the day.

8 Photographs are matted and framed two more to go and I may add a couple of more. I am pleased with my choices. I decided to go with one 11×14 to set a theme for three themes with two 8×10’s each. Themes being Nature, (flowers), GLBT grouping, and Eastern State Penitentiary grouping. There is one extra which is nature, shot from Easton Mt, “Misty Path” which has been hanging in my room for some time now. It is the “old” photograph I have used thus far. I will go through the my printed files and see what else I may use. But first was getting the 9 new shots printed and framed.

Speaking out!

I came to find out that if I sent the photographs via internet to the store and cropped them and check color before sending them off I would have saved half. Since I don’t have charge card, I could not send them that way. I did all the work but when I was at the store and he quoted me the price I asked about the amount that I was quoted online, and he said because he did the work it is more. Really? Shame Ritz camera is so far away now, they closed so many stores but it may be worth while to make the trip or get myself some gift cards from the bank to save a few dollars.  Learn something new everyday.

I realized through this process of gathering all the pieces for the show, I have not had much opportunity to take photographs, even through I have looked at tons, choosing, rejecting, choosing something, else, discovering new work within my on-line files, that stuns me, causes me to look twice, three times at it. I am amazed when I more away from the photographs for a while and then come back to view them from a distance of time and a new perspective that I find work that I first enjoyed does not always live up to my thoughts if it, and that I find new gems among the light and shadows. Ah ha ! Or oh Wow! I found a shot of Eastern State Penitentiary just that way, I was like where did this come from? What is with this effect around the edges? It was as if I had used a lens baby lens to blur the sides and give a look of tunnel vision when I don’t own such a lens, and was unaware of the effect before.

into the rubble

After  a few hours of matting and framing, the dinning room is sort of  a mess of photographs, frames, glass cleaner, paper towels, and other assorted equipment to accomplish my goals of getting this collection together for the exhibit. An exhibit I feel is a new direction for my art, for me creatively and socially and hopefully financially. I am truly blessed with this exhibit at the William Way Center. The exposure is greater than any exhibit I have had before, I did have work in a Barnes and Noble in Saratoga Springs NY for two months, which was really my first major public exhibit, Yet this feels different intuitively different, a sense of coming out, a sense of artistic freedom I have not allowed myself to have before. Hmm?

Thank you! I Love You!

Growth Question: Do you notice that a creative piece or relationship has a different perspective when viewed at a later time? If so, what is the effect?

I am Love, Jeff

Self-Defining

… one spirit child can lead a hundred of the physical children out of the woods. Therefore, give freely of our ideas, our poetry, out art-in other words, our spirit children. In this way we reach out to all kinds of people, we speak in many different dimensions. We bring the world to the village.” Harry Hay

pale yellow/green

The quote above resonated with me as I read it yesterday and I did not have the time to give to writing blog/pages yet it called to me this morning once again even though I was drawn to another quote which may show here as well.

Harry Hay was and his partner John Burnside are the founding fathers of the Radical Faeries as well as Harry Hay’s continued work on redefining gender and the rights of GLBT people. Is influence is all over the modern-day gay moment, even though many are unaware of his contributions to our freedom and expression of spirituality and sexuality in a more conscious way.

I bring this forth as I begin to re-define who I am, in what defines me as a person. In Self-Definition section of the Life Harmony course Laurie Buchanan ask us to examine or make a list of the Shades of color and contrast of canvas that is our life. Which gives it depth and captures our attention, drawing us in to experience who we are from a deeper level of self, in other words from outside in, yet giving the inside the opportunity to shine the light that illuminates out being. The questions are Who are your favorite teachers and authors? Who are  your heros? What are your favorite things?

A few years ago while in workshop, I think, Body Electric a ten-day intensive erotic awareness workshop, we where ask to claim our ancestors, in two minutes, I said immediately my gay ancestors, the men and women who came before me so that I could now stand there among other gay man claiming my sexuality in wholeness and healthiness. I had a the time some knowledge of the GLBT community who came before me, but not as rich as it became later or is still unfolding. One of the reasons I went to Easton Mt Retreat center was to claim my space among those people. To learn, to hear their wisdom, to gain knowledge  about who I was as a gay man from a different perspective then bars, bath houses, back-rooms, and unconscious sexual behavior. To reach out beyond the surface to polish the gems, to open the gifts in awareness to define me as a whole being. Those who where unheard of heros, ordinary men an women who made life for the GLBT community that much more open an honest.

Rusty Swan

My favorite teachers are Fr Joe Orsini, Father Jack, Sister Barbara, later in community collage there where a hand full of men and women who ran the Behavioral Health and Human Services department who influenced my learning greatly.

Authors: Neale Donald Walsch, Wayne Dryer, Mark Thompson, Caroline Myss, Dan Millman, Anne Rice, Michael Connelly, Eckhart Toole, Andrew Harvey. And so many more…

These author and teacher and heros all define different groups I identify with as well. Spiritual community, wellness, wholeness communities, GLBT community.

Of course the photography community as well as the arts which is a newer more powerful identification than it had been before. Inspiration is all around me in all forms of life, interest expand and wane as the shifting moods. Being creative has opened new doors, new vistas of ever evolving consciousness.

Got to stop now none of this is making and sense the flow seems to have pooled somewhere.

Thank you! I Love you!

Growth Question: What colors and contrast you canvas of Life?

I am Love, Jeff