Friday, January 31, 2014


Today I am grateful for change.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

it's what we make it

Lovely, I think.

Today I am grateful for books and writers and has anyone even considered the philosophy behind Hug Me Elmo yet?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Today I am grateful for the heat in my home, for blankets and layers of clothing, for a movie marathon and venison to take out of the freezer. Hot coffee. Silly conversations with friends. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it was all just a dream.

Sometimes I feel guilty for having it this good. Then I try to assure myself I am not taking too much.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


There are those who make us better.

Today I am grateful for competition, for what it feels like to be part of a team.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Cover photo by James Patterson

What defines us hasn't happened yet, he says.

It is a great political statement spoken by a charismatic leader. A speech of inspiration made to a small community, citizens of the year, appointed and elected officials and I am impressed. Surprisingly so.


I am in love with the I am of Mississippi, which is no more or less special than anywhere else on earth. Just beautiful people everywhere I look.

Today I am grateful for the familiar.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

why so serious, silly?

Today I am grateful to now know cat signal for impending deer attack.

Thank you for trying, Silly.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

you were right

In the bold experiment she became quiet.

Today I am grateful to let go of the need to be right. It all seems so silly now.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Today I am grateful for an afternoon walk, how we discovered something new.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I am not going to try and say that this place is different from any other, that you can't travel anywhere in this world and not find what I have found here. It's just that.     um.      

These people. They are amazing.

Today I am grateful, so very so, to walk amongst such talent and generosity and creativity and laughter and I remember a friend saying, Make yourself small, and I think I didn't have to make myself anything because, you know, it's that whole walking with giants things.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

here now

Diane Gates

If ever you find yourself on stage with this lady singing this song then you will know what I'm talking about when I say it's all worth it. The push, the pull, the sleepless nights, the doubt, the everything coming together and falling apart at the same time. Without the love this wouldn't exist.

Today I am grateful for a second hand emotion.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Atticus, notes

Nicknamed Dictionary in high school and Wiki in college, Jess Waltman says the first time he knew he wanted to be an attorney was when he read To Kill A Mockingbird as a seven or eight year old boy.

Young for that book, huh?

If Mama had a book I read it.

He is home from the University of Mississippi School of Law for the weekend. After graduating with an Accountancy Degree from the number four accounting school in the United States, obtaining a position in the Hall of Fame among nine other students in his graduating class and securing a position in law school Jess is available to answer some questions on a Sunday afternoon.

He is part of a project, the first in a series of "Where Are They Now?" Four pages of notes, a few photographs and I am at the very beginning of attempting to comprehend what in this guy's life makes him so certain he is going to be a United States Attorney performing federal prosecution on white collar crime. "Unless," he says, "I find I love private practice."

This is not an example of Gladwell's David and Goliath, there is no impression this guy is overcoming anything. Throw out the notion that energy is wasted on our youth. Jess attributes his success to the best parents in the world (he knows other people think they have the best parents but he says he really does) and a great life lesson he took from his local public school. What Jess learned is that if you want something done and you are willing to work then people will rally around you and it, whatever it is, can get done.

So he does.

Simple, huh?

Of course, there's more to come.

Today I am grateful for our sons and daughters.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

unity parade

"I long for a time when all human history is taught as one history, because it really is."
Maya Angelou

Today I am grateful for the poets of this world.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Today I am grateful for my Dad.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Dawn Early Photography, Ashlea Johnson Model

We are past the point of greeting each other with the normal hi, hello, how are you doing.

I walk into her shop and say, We have a community project.

She responds, What are we doing?

And that's it. That's all it takes for Dawn Early to get on board with her time and her camera and her passion for lighting and photography and the woman is amazing with what she can do.

I have met all kinds of photographers in my life just as I have met all kinds of people. Today I am grateful to know a photographer with both incredible talent and generosity.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

survival blog

Finding luck in the game of chance that is sudoku.  Thank you, websudoku.

Every once in a while we may need to take off our thinking caps and put the cherries on the cupcakes coming down the conveyor belt.


Today I am grateful for simple instruction.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


Today I am grateful for the best of us and the kid who came to show us.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

smokey's friends

VIB: Very Important Box

I know people need jobs, and I am so on this thing of working hard to make more money so I can spend it in a souvenir shop in Florida buying a baby crocodile head so I can put it in a box under another box in a closet so I can wake up at 2:30am and think I need to find something and I can open the door to a closet and find a box under another box and Hm.

That makes all the sense in the world.

And for the first time ever the baby crocodile head has meaning so I put the lid back on the box and return it to it's special place in the closet.

Today I am grateful to be reminded of my absurdity.

Monday, January 13, 2014


staring too long at a photograph

Oh internet, Louis CK and Alec Baldwin in the same night?
You're too good to me.

Today I am grateful for laughter, for those moments when we stop taking ourselves so seriously.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

turn the stone

the porch.

Today I am grateful for here and now, for how everything that ever happened, everyone we met along the way, people who still stand by us, others who left, the time we had to contemplate, self reflection, exploration, all of it which led us to this place.

I think this is the good, and I'm certain I'm here to enjoy it.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

the definite article the

the band.
the team.
the show.
the passion.
the first time.
the fool.
the expectation.
the one.
the pressure.
the last time.
the way he left.
the resolve she felt.

the question.
the answer.
the writing.
the book.
the hope.
the fumbling.
the despair.
the, "I can't".
the, "You must".
the way he left.
the resolve she felt.

the time to heal.
the repair.

the mention.
the fear.

the acknowledgment.

the understanding.

the connected.

Today I am grateful for the him who will always be a part of the me.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Mississippi Museum of Art

Today I am grateful to be reminded of those who simply followed a pull within them which, I guess, said, No matter what, never give up. This is important.

And the results were not some mass murder.

Instead we connected.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

plarn delivery

C.C. is trying to make it to Seattle where his daughter, who just returned from Afghanistan, resides.  This place offered him some warmth and encouragement on a cold night.

Today is Nancy's birthday. What she found in this place were people who celebrated that fact.

American democracy, for some, is not about government policies and legislation. Intervention is voluntary cooperation by people in their communities, doing work with their money, their hands and their time.

To touch that, to even come close, is


Today I am grateful for those people.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


and balance
and quiet
and stillness
and then music at midnight

and here's the thing,
we fell in love with our captors.
we've become so grateful we can't imagine wanting for anything more.

Today I am grateful for an opportunity to give, to be a part of something outside these walls.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Today I am grateful for the understanding that more than anything this process of taking photos and documenting gratitude is about survival. I know that sounds ridiculous, but, I think, if you do something long enough then it seems to become necessary.

Damn cigarettes.

Monday, January 6, 2014

power of place

I didn't realize how much I missed the place until someone requested a downtown Como landscape yesterday. This was taken in the days before any major camera investment, before any lens changes. It was 2012 and my first request from a magazine publisher. Shouldn't I return just to see if I could do better now?

And eat at the steakhouse. And stay at the courtyard. And be one of the first customers at the Moon Hollow Farm and Country House. And listen to some blues. And see some old friends. And, and, and….

Obviously I would only be going in the pursuit of the perfect photo.

Today I am grateful to know Como.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

when friends create

Today I am grateful for the ability to remember.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I call him Sebastian. He's perpetually pissed because he can't get through the glass into the living room. These, of course, may be moot points since he's most likely frozen to death this morning.

I took a photo of a bird yesterday, and today it is cold.

This blog is riveting.

Today I am grateful for a working heater and the opportunity to return to my job Monday morning.

Friday, January 3, 2014



Today I am grateful for distractions.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I have eight coffee cups. No matter that I have a cup reserved for a particular drink. More than likely you do as well. You'll forgive me that one. Possibly you'll allow that in the past year I have used up to four coffee cups at the same time. Up to three people and I have consumed a particular drink simultaneously in my home. Thus, recent history would suggest the maximum number of vessels required for consuming a beverage for which I am not only quite fond but have proven my body has become so accustomed to it's contents that without it I experience a severe headache. So there's that.

Don't tell anyone.
I have actually run out of clean coffee cups in a wait to fill up the dishwasher.
At that point I used a short glass.
Obviously I need more coffee cups.

Now I'll just wait for a small country to send me a thank you note for giving it's children much needed employment.

Today I am grateful for how it feels to simplify my life.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Today I am grateful we have enough and there is no rush.