Jesse, though he was born without arms, is like any other kid. He wants to fit in and make friends — especially while navigating the hallways of his turbulent middle school years. Using his feet to write out math homework or eat his lunch is his par for the course, and the stares from his classmates died down fairly quickly.
It’s easy for people (especially adults) who meet him to think him heroic or courageous to tackle every day anew. He has never known life otherwise.
While he does sometimes dream of a day when he can wear robotic prosthetics, he doesn’t fret over living life in his current frame of reference. As long as he has friends like everyone else, he doesn’t think he’s missing anything.
Please forgive the disarray of the site at the moment – I’m transitioning things over and it hasn’t been as seamless as I hoped.
…than an Elvis impersonator of Asian heritage sucking on a lollipop wearing a rhinestone-studded jumpsuit under warm, dappled light? Not in my book it doesn’t.
There’s a lot I could say about Odessa, Texas. I lived four years of my life on the dusty scrub plains of West Texas. I have beautiful things I could say about it, and like any other place, some not so beautiful things, too.
This image comes from one of my last days in town. I was wandering and photographing near the garage that I took my trusty pickup Ethel to on a regular basis (newspaper work is hard on your car). This man was sitting in his truck, reading the paper and smoking. I made a few images from farther away and eased my way in closer. He saw me, said, “Good morning,” took another drag, and that was that. A quiet moment for a quiet morning.
I dreamt of the chance to be privy to such a scene. A couple of days in person gently negotiating deeper and deeper access to the monastery. My first hours there I was allowed no further than the gate separating the altar from the choir in their chapel.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the sisters and I hit it off right from the get go – they are a welcoming bunch to be sure – but there are rules about this sort of thing. First a quick tour of the grounds, then back out. Next, as they began to know me better and understand my goal, some time spent with novitiates in their studies and prayer.
Eventually it was time to do the laundry, though, and from my previous tour I knew we would be walking down a path that would mislead you as to your time and place even on its worst day. And this time, I was blessed with a strong breeze.