They say ignorance is bliss. And when it comes to Cuba no other statement holds more weight than this one. Everyone is so excited about Obama's proposal of free trade and travel to and from Cuba. But what are we really excited about? As a photographer a certain part of me wants to go to Cuba to capture its natural beauty pressed tightly against the destruction of a failed revolution. All those pictures we see of Cuba are so cool -- so different. Kids playing baseball on the street in the rain, old men playing dominoes on street corners, Hemingway's "La Bodeguita del Medio ," the tobacco factories, the sugar cane fields, the mountains and beautiful beaches. It is as if its people, buildings and cars are stuck in a time capsule - and perhaps a little part of me longs for this. No doubt "there is beauty in simplicity." And I believe Cuba clinches on to that beauty. Amidst it's lack of freedom, and it's evident destruction - there is a certain "charm" that only that island holds. It is captivating and it grips on to you and doesn't let go. It is so easy to get wrapped up in emotions as we ponder about walking on soil that should have been our birth place, swimming in oceans we should have called our beaches, walking on cobblestone streets we should have called our downtown. But we should be focusing on what really matters - the people of Cuba. Yes let us travel to Cuba - but while we capture photos of its beauty let's think about ways to fight for the freedom that was stripped from our grandfathers, our fathers and to some extent us. Let us fight for and help to set up a system that will return basic human rights to its people. Let's not forget Cuba's history of oppression, abuse and murder. Because if we forget it will happen again and all this hype about Cuba will be no different than a well orchestrated infomercial. Once the hype is over, and all have visited the "once prohibited island" the charm will fade and it will be forgotten but the product will remain the same - helpless. Until then I will hold on to my dream of once again visiting the island my ancestors called home and will patiently await my time to capture images of Cuba. #iwokeupnostalgictoday #tellyourstory #freedomforcuba #dontneedawalmart
... enjoy the ride. Sound cliche? Perhaps. But it gives us something to think about and act upon. Who are you taking along on your ride? Equip yourself with people who are willing to go along with you on dirt roads, rocky terrain and unknown territories.
Seasons come and seasons go. We know there are different seasons in the year. Although they vary, we pretty much know what to expect. But the "seasons" in our lives are different than the seasons of the year. In life there are seasons we get to do once and then it's over. Just as we cannot control the winds that gently remove the leaves from the oak tress nor the rain that washes away our plans to go on a bike ride, we cannot control some seasons in our lives. And some seasons will bring with them new people. Some will stay for multiple seasons and some just for a short while. It's as if God were orchestrating a beautiful play from heaven where we are merely His vessels in this performance called life. But seasons are never in vain. We will either learn something, teach someone something, and/or a little bit of both. It's during these times that God builds us up; whether through lessons of faith, courage, discipline, strength, encouragement and/or love. Undoubtedly some seasons are harder than others. Matters of the heart are never easy yet they are the most satisfying and edifying lessons a human can learn and experience. So as seasons change and people come in and out of your life, embrace, encourage and love on them just as Jesus commanded us to do. The length of their visit has no relevance on their impact. For you see you'll never fully understand the season until you understand the reason -- his name is Jesus. And we are never more like Him than when we love one another. I pray you learn how to live in each season and embrace it for what it has.