We carry around our stories. They drive us, they define us. Our stories are who we are. Beneath this skin, this frail facade, we are a collection of experiences and ideas.
Sometimes they are heavy and we strain beneath them. But that only makes our legs and shoulders stronger. Over time our stories make us impervious to the weather of our lives. If we choose that. If we insist on growing. If we have faith in ourselves. Because our stories can also buckle us. They can break us. How we tell the story matters, not just to others but to ourselves.
The glass is always half full. Things can always be worse. If you are alive and breathing you are in the game, you can help people. And if you can help people then your life has meaning. Our meaning does not derive from what we can do for ourselves.
I must always ask myself ‘what story am I telling?’ and ‘who am I helping today?’ That is my anti-depressant. That is my raison d’etre. My story is only complete if it includes yours. And it does. Not...
There are so many facets of us that no one image can capture our nuance. And that’s what we’ve lost lately, that nuance. Everything is so facile, so black and white. But people aren’t like that. We are each a rich and complex fabric woven of experiences and dreams.
When I first envisioned this concept that I call ODE, I imagined that each person was a mosaic, a stained-glass window. I would take many photographs and choose a representative few, combined with written content I gleaned from interviews with them and their family and friends. The end result would be a tapestry of images and words that created a fair portrait of who they are.
That’s what I did with Marshall Guttenberg. Although I have done dozens of single-image ODEs since then, his 9-panel ODE is the closest I have come to what I envisioned. This is panel number 9, in which we pulled a quote from The Alchemist, one of his favorite books.
I’d like to do more like this. The idea was to post them all over social media and the we...