Archive for May, 2009

Grace

Sunday, May 31st, 2009
Nias, Isle of Gold

Nias, Isle of Gold

In any life, in the reduction of the actions and choices that take a person on their journey, after all the stuff of a person’s existence is burned or rotted away, what remains is something quite remarkable. For lack of a better word you could call that something grace.

It exists everywhere. Yet one cannot hoard it. The more selfish that one is, the less of it will remain. I crave grace, because in it, is an abundance and flow that changes and converts a world (and myself) from being entropic to regenerative. Human beings are like buckets with holes in them. We  only hold things like grace for so long, and it all seeps out of the bottom of our hearts. We need flow to keep our bucket full. Making our requirement, one of perpetual motion.

It is in our architecture, and that is what makes humans: frustrating, terrible, beautiful and wondrous. Each is always in it’s own unique level of grace. Our actions, well, they often are a reflection of the content of our hearts. We need more continually.  But gratitude, giving, it all brings grace. Suddenly we need less. And peace flows.

It is like the universe has an invisible  dimension where an eternal throbbing, pulsing flow of light and sound exist that carry all the energy that is love, nourishment and flow for the bucket. But to get a dose, man needs to first give some from his own bucket, all the while being well aware that it has holes and all that you cherish is fast running out on to the ground.

In a country,which seems on the surface to have fallen from grace, I have seen recently the most amazing proof that A) This is probably far from reality and B) I have been letting my own bucket run too dry.

I had not noticed, till our economic crash caused this great big sucking sound and I looked and saw my bucket was starting to suck air the same manner in which a drain does as the last of the water runs out. Whoa what to do?  Simple. I dipped my bucket when I poured all that I had left, onto the ground.

This blog is me doing that. The Intuit Small Business United Project where I gave more than I would consider doing for myself is another. (That story and video with about 4000 views in ten days is here and you can still watch read and participate with your comments and votes if you like, but it ends tonight)  The grand reward in these past several months came as I witnessed an outpouring and connection with the people of a new tribe via Intuit,  and a fresh flow commenced that began to once again, fill me.

We are all a lot nicer to be around when we have grace. But to see it, you somehow need to give it, without respect of cost or person. It is your ticket for entry into a river which never runs dry. It always has that affect.

In my life one of the best illustrations of grace occurred for me on the Island of Nias, which is off Sumatra in Indonesia. I was on a photo trip and it had taken days of difficult travel to reach the malaria infested place which is home to one of surfing’s wonders of the world.

Lagundri Bay funnels the energy of storms which come screaming off the Antarctic ice cap on to a reef which creates possibly one of the most amazing waves I have ever experienced.

The trip had been arduous in more ways than I will say here. Just flat out hard. I was in a steep learning curve phase in my life and career. The short of it is that I had almost drowned alone doing something I traveled there to do, capture an image. Finding myself at the end of my rope in the dark at the edge of the civilized world had been revelatory.

In the hills high above the bay is the village of Botohilitano. The area had long been populated by an indigenous population of head hunters whose culture embraced the tenets of black and red magic. A long history of people had disappeared in the area and their heads were used in the consecration of the foundations of Botohilitano village.

Visiting the place was something which I did not look forward to. I had studied bible and missionary work under a rather unique man named Lester Sumrall who had spent a lifetime working in the mission fields of the world. Sumrall spent life doing one basic thing: giving. I had learned much from and through him in courses through his college, about man and flow. None of that made me desire in any shape or form to want to actually go up to Botohilitano.  It was a long walk up a steep hill where the village was established, to keep it out of the reach of the tsunamis, which would regularly devastate this land sitting on the edge of the ring of fire. You had to really want to go there

But the day came when one of the guys on the trip, Ryan, borrowed a scooter and said, “Hey lets go.” Big camera bag on back, we putt-putted up the near vert climb as the rusty scooter strained at the load and grade. It was a dismal day for Indonesia. Think grey. As we approached the buttressed gates of the village my dread grew and lay on me like a heavy blanket. I knew what lay in and below the surface of perception. The thought of it sickened me as I knew how those people had died, based on my study of the tribes in that region.

A funny thing happened as we climbed off the scooter and slowly walked up the steps and into the megalithic village site. I remember it clearly as the dawn bursting into the frame of one of my images. As we stood in the central courtyard, that heavy blanket lifted and I could literally feel joy in that quiet ancient place. I was stunned.

We met and played a bit with some of the children and unobtrusively sort of browsed the old place for a couple hours. In leaving the village the entire process sort of reversed. Both Ryan and I remarked on it as we headed back down to Lagundri Bay. You could feel the place leaving you.

The next day I ran across Mark Flint, an Aussie guy who I became  friends with. He had pioneered the recent developments in Lagundri and had been in on the original tribe of surfers who had found the place. I asked Mark about the village. My simple, “Hey what gives with that village on the hill?” brought an amused smile and remark that I will always remember.

He said, “Oh Botohilitano? Why, they are all Christians. Some years back a group of missionaries went up there and were slaughtered. Later, another group of missionaries went up and the entire village  converted, based on how the first group had died. It’s a wonderful place isn’t it?” Nothing had been the same since and the head hunting and human sacrifice had ceased.

What I learned though, in my own process, is that it was not in the dying that everything changed for that little corner of the earth, but it was in that first groups choice of how to live. Do you really believe in what you say? What will you do? Would you die for it? Will you live by it? It is not that difficult a thing to do, to die. It is an act that each one of us must embrace at some point. That is part of physicality.

But the choice in living through grace, that is something amazing. Empty your bucket. Make a choice. Stick with it. Watch what happens. Your world is about to change, and it will be a good thing.

One of my new friends through the Group Tribes, is Ed Brenegar. He has a great blog on gratitude called Say Thanks Every Day here.

Everything you see was created through sound. In my Hawaiian culture, music is one of the threads the tribe always espoused and embraced. I have always thought that this put the ancient Hawaiians in the flow that caused the huge outward migration that colonized the Pacific and beyond, long before Western Man. One person who embraces flow, grace and gratitude in elegant fashion is musician Ben Harper. This video piece illustrates it well. Thanks to Frank Quirarte for pointing it out.

Another piece of music, that takes one on a sweet walk to grace is by my friend, Ventura based writer and performer Zuri Star and is right here. “Walk with me” is an invitation we all need to send.

And U2′s timeless rendition of Grace is here.

Seth Godin has a great little lesson for the Tribe here. Read between the lines and you will understand exactly why I included it.

Below you will see two images. In the gallery you can click on them and see their back story. They are yours.  Each is significant  to me. Below each image is a yousendit link which will eventually expire. You can download the print file and have my permission as the creator of that image to use it for personal use. They are my expression of gratitude for all of you who read this blog, contribute to my own well being and existence, and have borne with me in this Intuit event which many of you have been so generous in contributing video views, votes and comments on. 4000 views? I am blown away by your grace.

This amazing comment/quote was sent to me recently by Bill Babin, who also contributed the fantastic Ford Video which is in Connectedness.

You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.

Alan Watts (1915 – 1973)

Thank you all. The bucket is full.  Imagine that.

Millennium

Millennium

Download the print link here.

Nias. Roads End

Nias. Roads End

Download the print link here.

Grace

Grace

Legacy

Legacy

Dawn Flow

Dawn Flow

Peaking, in Seconds and Feet

Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Shawn Alladio

Shawn Alladio

Just got a call. A visceral scream was the first thing I heard. Someone unloading into their phone and I was the recipient. Confusion, alarm, concern, all the keywords one goes through when you know something bad has happened to the person on the phone with you, flashed my psyche as dread fell upon me.

I  then realized that Shawn Alladio was the gutteral scream. She was in her car, naked for the most part, burned, bruised, in shock. We established a rapport and I began to talk her down.

It is 12:15 AM. I am now wired and beyond alert. Shawn had rung off as she reached her home in OC. I knew that she had just done a long day at sea with the military in an appreciation day that her company, K38 Rescue had just put on.

In her weary drive home she had rolled up on a flame wall on the 5 Fwy. She said that she had driven through it and that it looked like Armageddon. Pulling up to a burning car she got out and saw movement in the flames. Grabbing a prybar she broke the window and grabbed at the squirming flame ball that was a man. She said his hands had looked like candles as they burned.

There were bystanders and she screamed for help, but as sometimes happens no one moved and as she managed to gain control of the flaming man she began to pull him out and his foot caught in the debris. Screaming at the bystanders, they finally broke from shock and jumped the two.  As they dragged the guy away, the car exploded.

“I smell David, I smell like fire and burning flesh, I think I fractured my arm, I am almost home”

Shawn thought that the car had punctured it’s tank in a collision with the guard rail, setting off the tempest. I am taking a sip of vodka right now. It burns and rasps my throat. I am worried about my friend.  Emotionally peaking myself, because I love her and can do nothing. But knowing Shawn,  I understand that she will be all right. Eventually. Someone lives tonight, albeit in agony, because Shawn was where she was supposed to be. It is her lot, this sort of thing. Lucky guy.

Shawn always lectures us that rescue (and life) is all about seconds and feet. You have seconds in which to assess and feet in which to react. Tonight once again she illustrated her point. Seconds and feet.

The images below are from the K38 Liquid Militia get together at Dos  Pueblos Ranch on the Gaviota coast over Memorial Day weekend.

On first glance you would think it is a bunch of speed freaks and water gearheads going whack. You would be wrong. It was simply Shawn building esprit de corp, skill and teamwork with her tribe. You and I should be so lucky, that if we ever need a hero, any of them showed up. The thing with Shawn is, she always comes. Always faithful. The list of things that she has accomplished is so vast, and she is really so guarded about it, that I smile when I think about how in trouble I probably am,  for writing this blog this morning.

What is a hero? Someone prepared to give all, with skills available that increase the odds of their success and you seeing your loved ones once again. I love the way the dictionary describes the term below. Funny really and incorrect in this case.
hero |ˈhi(ə)rō|
noun ( pl. -roes)
a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities : a war hero.

This first image below dropped into my in box in the wee hours. Shawn had shot it before the EMT’s took over. That is a couple who are covering the victim with a blanket.  She walked back to her truck and drove away. I guess she maybe wasn’t sleeping either. Amazing.
This video was sent to me through Twitter. It describes Shawn’s life stance perfectly. I am blown away. It is all of us.

Recovery: On scene image C Shawn Alladio

Recovery: On scene image C Shawn Alladio




I rarely do addendums. Here is Shawn’s letter to our team this morning. It says more, back to front than I could, right down to the signature at the page end. And after, some friends and fellow trainees, all of them more accomplished than you would ever imagine. Shawn enhanced their already impressive skill set in her courses.

Thanks All,
I finally got to sleep early this am, and I’m resting.  I couldn’t get this man’s image out of my moments, I really don’t have any injuries to speak of.  I think I was flushing a long exhausting day, lots of emotional connectors from 2 days of hard work, little rest, then this man’s situation, just topped me.  I don’t have any pain at all, but last night was intense, I think most of it may have been emotional or ‘psyche’ driven.  That’s an honest statement.  I’m a bit banged up but cool.  Will rest today and thanks for your thoughts.  I did call Mark, Pirate, and Mike, and David, was trying to text to Ryan but I couldn’t make my fingers work. LOL I gave up on the texting and calls, I couldn’t get connections.  It’s behind me now, but this man, it is forever. I am going to get dressed and go to Starbucks of course and get a double shot of something, then go over to the hospital to see if he is ok. I hope he has not lost his sight, that seems to be in my thoughts a lot.  I will never forget, and we all should appreciate today with profound interest and joy. That is the message in this man’s situation, no crying…get out and about and change the world today, for surely you know not what comes next.
Love to all my friends,
shawn“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in time of moral crisis”

-Dante Alighieri
(Italian Florentine Poet)

http://www.K38WaterSafety.com

The Life You Save May Be Your Own


The boys. Military Ap day. K38

The boys. Military Ap day. K38

A beautiful thing. Military Ap day. K38

A beautiful thing. Military Ap day. K38

Shawn, Brad Colbert and the boys. Yesterday !

Shawn, Brad Colbert and the boys. Yesterday !

Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, and Shawn. ORT, Morro Bay

Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, and Shawn. ORT, Morro Bay

Us in ORT at Morro Bay

Us in ORT at Morro Bay

usaf_pararescue

Post night ops, Military Class

Post night ops, Military Class

When you are the boss

When you are the boss

Drawing the Line

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Tyler Warren, Walking the Line

Tyler Warren, Walking the Line

Learning to say  “no” was one of Life’s hardest lessons for me. It came at great expense to those I love most in the world. No is not simply the absence of yes. It is the proverbial line in the sand of our life’s path. For a photographer and artist it is quite possibly the single most important thing that one can ever learn, because it is the no’s that will give you the space for the yeses that determine your subjects and future.

I have had several “aha moments” in a career association with my agency, Corbis Images. One of them was relatively early on when company VP Steve Davis spoke about choices. Steve stood in front of 200 of us, a collection of the best photographers in the world, and in five minutes explained how to create a career. I paraphrase below.

“We will help you to shoot virtually anything and anyone in the world. But choose wisely, because your choice determines everything about how your life will go”. Heavy statement. What this truly meant is that we had the weight, influence, and support of one of the most powerful imaging entities in the world holding the door open to a myriad amount of sets. The world of Music, Entertainment, Sports, you name it, this Bill Gates owned company had just said that they would commit to fulfill our desires as artists. We had been handed an e ticket really.

In the same meeting a creativity specialist spoke on the primary goals of an artist. Another “aha moment” occurred. She simply said: “Learn to image your emotions.” I will leave that statement alone. It needs no amplification or pollution by me.  It needs to be deciphered by you.

I chose my life to image, and the people and subjects that I love. I did this by uttering a complex word. I said “no” to everything else.

Today I say no selectively a lot. But this allows me to respond with yes,  frequently. It is why I am busy.

I get requests for me to give away my life every day, This is illustrated below in a funny tet a tet sent to me by Sean Davey. Saying no is more important than yes for a life and career. It all starts with no really. Remember being two? What was it you learned to say?  “NO!” Funny how we need to relearn that later in life.

From Sean:
Found this very funny add linked in a thread on Fred Miranda - http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/aus/558260167.html

Seeking hardworking service providers…
Date: 2008-01-31, 9:28AM CST

I’m a fabulously wealthy photographer / artist making money hand over fist. Here’s what I need:

A mechanic to overhaul my custom ’57 Chevy.
A maid to clean my house on a regular basis
A doctor to perform some minor surgery on me.
A band to perform theme music for me where ever I go.
A carpenter and electrician to build an extra wing on my sweet house in East Austin.
A nanny to watch my spoiled kids.

Of course there will be no pay involved. In return for your services you will get FULL CREDIT on my website, AND you can add all of this work to your PORTFOLIO! If you ask me, this is an absolutely awesome deal!

I hope to have you work for me soon!

Seth Godin had this to say about NO.

Writer Harlan Ellison’s take is here

Click on any of the images below in the gallery for a back story. They exist because I said no.

Garrett MacNamara , Cortes Bank

Garrett MacNamara , Cortes Bank

Afternoon Wave

Backlight

Backlight

Keiki Explosion

Keiki Explosion

 Crucifixion, Adam Gray-Hayward

Crucifixion, Adam Gray-Hayward

Makaha Blue Afternoon

Makaha Blue Afternoon

Nias Morning

Nias Morning

Sean's Dawn

Sean's Dawn

Ventura Morning, Anyday

Ventura Morning, Anyday

California St Evening

California St Evening

Our Own Memorial

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Memorium

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 in 2009). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.  (From Wikipedia)

For communicators, our words, deeds and imagery can be an eternal light.

In line with the recent thread, writer, and global thinker,  Drew Kampion, sent this along today. (Sitting down and shutting up here)

Paul Hawken

Commencement Address to the Class of 2009

University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.
But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation – but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement.
Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.
This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food – but all that is changing.
There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.
You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen.
Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.
There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true.  Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,” is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.
Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown – Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood – and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, and non-governmental organizations, of companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.
The living world is not “out there” somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. Think about this: we are the only species on this planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time than to renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.
The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe – exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”
So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television.
This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, challenging, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.
~~~~~
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author. His books include Blessed Unrest.
The edit below encompasses the paradox of our existence. As a nation we bear a huge responsibility globally.
However, in the end, it is individual choice and action that will determine everything in terms of our own contributions. Click on the images once or twice for larger views.

Memorium

Connectedness

Thursday, May 21st, 2009
Connected

Connected

Connectedness |kəˈnɛktədnəs| noun
ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [be united physically] ; rare before the 18th cent.): from Latin connectere, from con- ‘together’ + nectere ‘bind.’

Drew Kampion, co editor of The Surfers Path, to which I am a long time contributor, had dropped a simple note via the inet clothesline: “Hey I cannot believe you have not met Mark Gray, you two have so much in common. Mark meet Dave, Dave, Mark. He is coming down to Sacred Craft.”

Scott Bass, my friend and colleague from Surfer Magazine has formulated a unique cultural event based around the Surfboard as a cultural anchor in society. I was invited to attend. The event is the antithesis of the industry standard: Action Sports Retailer trade show. For when you walk in the door of one of his shows, you experience surfing itself, not some marketing generated facade of what surfing became after it was prostituted to social death. He calls it Sacred Craft. Brilliant concept.

My son Josh, a neophyte music producer, had told me that he and his younger brother Jon, would be performing at the Good Bar on Main St downtown. He calls his current project, Loves Secret Domain.

Jeanette Ortiz (one of my regular models) is soon leaving to study in Spain. Her Mom has a company called Reigns of Hope which I am going to be shooting this week and needed to do locations work for. Time for a family portrait.

A pal had caught up with me earlier this week and asked, “Hey are you coming to the bike race Saturday?” Bike Race?

I grew up as a surfer in Goleta. Graduating over the years from ruining the floor of my parents garage as I built surfboards for family and friends from the age of 12, to my final exodus out of board building at 40 having built close to 40,000 of the things. I competed and surfed the world as a Santa Barbara based professional surfer and board builder.  Roots run deep there. My friends and surf family have literally built the sport and industry.

My other life and world, and where I was allowed and yes, encouraged to be an aggressive type A personality, was in racing, both cars and bikes. I had morphed from competitive swimmer to cyclist at the age of 17 and went into the Olympics Development program. I  actually had two fruitful cycling careers where, largely due to my team, the Santa Barbara Bike Club, I won a fair amount. Though I would no more consider racing a bike today than I would paddling out at third reef anywhere in Hawaii, I have a strong affinity for the people and cachet of both worlds.

Mark Gray arrived and due to a depth of life experience and commonality of interests and manner of approach, we had time tripped the weekend away. He recounted exploits in Japan and beyond and I had  side barred all over the darned map. Our time together caused a flow back and forth that literally felt as if we had been softly thumbing through the pages of the book of our lives. Two live wires  united, for a time.

Connectedness. We could all use a dose. In a time when markets fail,  as things may grow increasingly uncertain, being connected is vitality.

A VERY well produced video that espouses and utilizes connectedness is here. It is from FORD. Yes, that’s right!

An excellent blog by Seth Godin on marketing intolerance and connection is here.

Between The Lines, Scott Bass’ and Ty Ponders amazing film on surfers, war and generational connectedness is here.

There are many things which may keep someone from connecting. Life’s trials and tempo, hardship, insecurity, feelings of inadequacy.  But the primary element and ultimately a conductant, is to love em all, both those that do, and those that cannot: connect.

Any image in this blog is a tale unto itself. But as a collage it is a stream of consciousness that today flashes like cards being shuffled at the hand of an experienced dealer.

The gallery below is a sampling from the 16 gigs of camera RAW I collected in about 32 hours. Click on any of the images for a full view as well, at what may be a fascinating back story.

Bon Voyage Jeanette. Enjoy Bracelona!

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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