Posts Tagged ‘Change’

My Truth

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013


Any Organization or person which stands in an effort to accomplish something of merit or value, must predicate it’s existence on belief.

Some call this belief system: “Our Truth”.

Recently I watched as one of the companies I am a part of, had it’s leadership disappear and not only jeopardize the organization, but potentially engage in some actions which could cost a lot of lives and careers. The person is doing what I call  “Flailing”  which is sort of like beating the air with your arms as you head for the bottom of a fall which you embarked upon when you stepped off a cliff.

The process of deciding how to respond to another’s flailing and  hurtful, dangerous actions, had me examining what exactly my own Truth is. So I wrote it down, as much to be clear to myself, as I would want it to be known to my colleagues and friends . I have always held that we owe this to people, to be transparent in this way.


        My Truth

I know the following statement well. It is a vital part of my Truth.

Everything which we see begins in the unseen arena of energy and the arc of Time. All that exists has it’s foundation in a realm that the Religious call the Spiritual.

So when we look on something, we are seeing the physical manifestation and result of something which occurred (was authored) in the arc of time, in a different dimension from the one in which our physical selves reside within.

We came from somewhere, we are here, we head somewhere. So we have the ability to exercise what we are, spirit soul and body, as architects on this planet. We are that capable.

But our intrinsic nature, is to be corrupted by fear.

It really comes down to a clear understanding of Energy Theory.

We should be about Love, actually. Then we would be getting how all of this works. Sort of simple, really.

God is Love. If we belong to that, well then, we should be a source of that light here.

This is why I am a Photographer. I chose that with intent. It is my Truth.

Here is a fantastic piece about Courage, titled “The Science of Conquering Your Fears”

A nugget of Truth from Abraham Lincoln. “To sin by silence when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”

Truth from Sun Tzu, written  in “The Art of War”  “Know yourself and your enemy and you will win every battle.”

Aloha Oe.




The Morning After (Veterans Day)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Phoenix Patriot Foundation

Phoenix Patriot Foundation

I did not do my customary blog entry on Veterans Day yesterday. To be honest, it was more out of embarrassment, than anything else.

As everyone went about engaging the socially acceptable platitude of “Thanking a Veteran”,  I could not help but be very uncomfortable by what I have been watching happen to our Veterans in recent years. The day as a holiday yesterday, made me even more miserable about being an American.

It is no secret, nor is it news in any way, that War is waged on the backs of our youth. That the Political Will, embedded in a Nation’s employing of Imperialism, is carried out under order by our Military.

But what has happened to us when as a Nation, we have leaders who think nothing of kicking Veterans in the mouth when their active service is complete, as a matter of policy?

As I watched the President issue his rhetoric-driven Veterans Day message yesterday, I could not even be angry about the amorality of it, as I have come to expect that sort of thing from the man, as it is part of the job description for Politicians to tell us what we want to hear. He exemplifies the most pointed aspects of bad leadership to me. An expensive mistake in many ways.

But those people who went to War deserve more than words. In fact, they need much more.

I am seriously embarrassed by what I am seeing Vets go through today.

Here is a telling piece from the New York Times on losing a son to a broken system.

Yesterday I was sent a very inspiring story written by Kevin Cody, which is about a Surfer named Peff Eick, and a music video the veteran of Vietnam had made, and the man’s continuing service to his fellows. Read the article and watch the video here.

Bill Moyers writes on it all, here.

Tom Waits nails it all down, in Hell Broke Luce, and shares it here.

Hell Broke Luce was informed by this story.

I hope this series of links serves to better inform us all regarding the larger scale of our Veterans, who I see not as victims, really, but as highly trained assets that were a part of a disciplined fighting force. A great leader does not flush high value assets. You care for them.

You also never leave your people behind, let alone kick them when they are down. This is a Military standard, not a generally accepted public one. We maybe ought to consider changing that.

Thank a Vet? Bullshit. Words are cheap. Do something for them. There is a high value in that. And it is not because it feels good or gets you some sense of belonging, but because it is the right thing to do. Maybe if we all hold ourselves to that standard, at some point we will begin to elect people to office who will as well.

Civic Duty

Civic Duty



Benevolent Planning

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

San Francisco Bay

   The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry- John Steinbeck

I shot the image above, from the deck of the Robert G Brownlee, which is the 90 foot Research vessel for the Marine Science Institute. The view was what we saw, as our crew wrapped water tests with some of the new technology developed under the authority and expertise of some remarkable people, who work as Scientists at NASA and are associates with one of the groups I am a member of: Blue Ocean Sciences.

It had been a fairly wonderful day. I will write more on it in the blog for the Ocean Lovers Collective, an organization which was birthed when a bunch of smart people got together in a few events and looked at a select few,  significant questions. One of those which really struck me, was posed by Astronaut and Scientist, Dr Ed Lu, at the Sea-Space Summit which was held at the Mountainview location of Google earlier this year, under the guidance of Guillermo Sondheim of Opus Novum.

I liked Ed from the first moment I listened to him. Here is the question he posed, which changed everything for me.

“How would one fund an effort to save the Commons?”

Basically, this is what the Commons are: assets commonly held by all mankind. Air, Sea, Land.

As a man of Native descent and Christian upbringing, I understand Mankind to be a steward of the Commons. Being of a different order than the rest of the beasts (Though many can be beasts) of the world, mankind has the ability to act with foresight,  strength and benevolence over a protracted period of time, and affect the Commons. Man owns nothing. We just get to play in the sphere that Buckminster Fuller termed, “Spaceship Earth”.

As I stood on the rock steady deck of our ship, along with some of the visionaries of our time, who had come at the call to examine a crises and potential vehicle to a solution, I once again asked myself what I was doing being here in SF with these great and compassionate men and women?

A lot of people seem to think I am pretty smart. In some ways, maybe I am. It is why I  find myself invited into some rather heavy conversations, which have a bearing on the survival of the planet. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the planet is not really in much danger. It is mankind which is. BIG difference. (And it is fixable. Most everything is, really. Even death, is a fix of sorts)

I happen to be convinced that we can do better than that. And to run around screaming “the sky is falling” in order to get people’s attention is not only irresponsible, but it invokes a fear based response, which is the antithesis of a Faith and Creative response, which is based on Love.

You see, fear is based on Hate. Hate, also known as darkness, is simply the absence of sufficient light. Hope is rooted in Love. Love illuminates all who hold her. Here is the irony. Love requires you to give. She is only held as a flow. Grab hold too tightly, and like a tourniquet, the flow of life ceases.

All of these people were on the boat, because they are fans of those quantifiers, not to do anything less, than to create,  to assist and facilitate.

Why was I there? What am I doing?

Pretty simple. I have no secrets really. I am just a guy who insists on doing the job set before me. But this is how I approach the diverse and radical things which I find myself in the midst of.

Here is what I believe. Man is where he is, due to not asking the right questions. There are reasons we do this.

Earlier today, Rob Caughlan, the great Environmental thinker had said this. “Pollution is just a resource out of place”. He had said it as he spoke with one of our fellows, regarding the ongoing Nuclear disaster in Japan, which BOS is deeply invested in resolving. It struck me. It should grab everyone.

I believe I am where I am, not because I ask the right questions, but because I go to my source and commune with it.

I actually learned the process while  in a Bible College many years ago. A preacher named Norville Hayes had said it in one of my courses. “Everyone always makes big plans and then goes to God and asks for Him to bless them. I have a better idea. Why not go to God first, and ask Him what the plan is? Then when you get done with the conversation, you have a plan that is already blessed?”

That is what I endeavor to do.

So I am really not so smart. I just go to the right entity, partner with it,  spend some time and ask for the plan.

None of what I come up with is me being really smart. In fact, the more of ME I remove, it seems like the better and more effective the actions generated after the conversation with God. Imagine that? We tend to be the enemy of the results which we desire.

Oh yea, some call this process praying. I call it communicating.

Communication is funny. When you are speaking, you are not receiving. So I go spend some time in reflection and submission, and reverently and personally, ask for God’s Wisdom.

He is more Faithful than me. He always delivers. I always TRY. Big difference there. I wish we all could deliver more frequently. Our Families, Friends, Community, Nation and World could use some of that from us.

So there it is, I have outted myself. Just some guy with cameras and a keyboard who is incredibly grateful and humbled by what is entrusted to him daily to work on and who really truly deeply enjoys the presence of God and experiences it everywhere he looks. Nature is a funny thing to me. She reflects God. She is NOT God. She is the mirror image of Him and illustrates a vast Wisdom and yes, Benevolence.

The following Blue Note was a shot I did before Dr Andrea Neal and I hit the road for the event in SF. I knew what I was making when I shot it. I also understood the message. I had spent some time listening to my source, and he always rewards those who diligently seek him. That is my life’s mission. To find the heart of God and carry it to a world that maybe is not in the same position as I, to see what I get to.

Why Communicators matter.

Blue Note

This is a shot which I did at the end of a series of interviews with some of the great minds of our time. It is Jean-Michel Cousteau, whose voice and heart, I deeply respect. You can find his work here at Ocean Futures.


This image  is of Wallace J Nichols. Creator of the Blue Marble movement, Blu-Mind, and a renowned Marine Biologist.

Blue Marble

J “gets” the long arc of change better than most. I like that.

This image was shot in Ventura California. A double rainbow. In my native culture this denotes the birth of something significant.  None of us chase rainbows. We live in them. It is where the conversations begin.

And finally, Johnny Cash says it well, in his version of the Trent Reznor song, Hurt.

We all are passing through. Better to ask the right questions. And then to mean it, when you act. Then you truly will have mattered.

It is what counts.

Digging for Gems

Friday, July 6th, 2012


Plastic Gem

Plastic Gem

In my work, much of what I do is frequently not readily apparent.

After a recent summit meeting which I got to attend, that was held at Google, I was approached as we all got ready to leave, by a woman who represents a powerful, vital force for the Oceans. I had found myself smiling a lot, when hearing her speak. (Same Tribe apparently) A lot of resonance existed in our observations, regarding solutions to some of the Global issues which the Summit participants examined.

“C” came up to me, and with a  smile, asked: “So David, what exactly is it that you do?” I explained a little bit about my background and how I operate. She laughed. (I am involved in a lot. So is she, and was headed off to Rio for another summit)

Essentially, what my work and life are all, about is mining (digging) for gems.

gem |jem|
a precious or semiprecious stone, esp. when cut and polished or engraved.
• a person or thing considered to be outstandingly good or special in some respect : this architectural gem of a palace.
• used in names of some brilliantly colored hummingbirds, e.g., mountain gem.
verb ( gemmed, gemming) [ trans. ] [usu. as adj. ] ( gemmed) rare
decorate with or as with gems.
gemlike |-ˌlīk| adjective
ORIGIN Old English gim, from Latin gemma ‘bud, jewel’ ; influenced in Middle English by Old French gemme.

Frequently, when one comes across a precious thing, it does not have a lot of luster. It may as a result, been difficult to find, as it looked like all the rest of the environment. Gems are funny that way. They stay rare because:

A) they tend to be camouflaged and B) There really are not that many in existence when compared to the sum total of the elements in creation.

My job is to find those, maybe polish them up a bit, then give them away. Sometimes, in the case of a gem that may be an empiricle Truth, that will piss off some folks, while simultaneously making others dance in delight, who on the inside were murmuring: “I knew it. I guessed that it was hiding there, and you found it”. Those people are generally pretty happy, when I hand it to them, as my gift.

Why do I give it away? Well, because then I can get more. The supply of that truth is infinite. My consciousness is one of abundance. Why is the other group pissed off? Because if they take my gift, the Truth requires that they change. Not everyone wants change, and they will fight for that right to stay, exactly where they are.

Seth Godin writes something very beautiful today, regarding being invited to join the club of the involved, in a blog entitled “The Declining Problem of (Groucho) Marxism“.

My imaging work, engages a similar modus. I find something which I know will sparkle when I bring it in, from some watery, far flung, or secreted destination. I know where to look. I am really good at it,  and experience both enjoy and delight in the process.

What makes the image gems rare? They tend to transform the recipient in much the same manner that they did to me, when I went looking for them. But really, the process is a little different for me. I dreamed, planned, implemented, discovered, returned and developed my gem. So to me, it is a pearl of very great beauty and value. I did not create it. What happened, is that I earned the discovery.

Now the irony in this, is apparent in the process by which we give our gifts. I have become very selective about who and what I will donate mine to. I have developed a means of measuring who I support. So who gets the gems? Other givers. The reason for that should be obvious, but I will state it anyway.

It is because they are the ones who will appreciate the precious, and use it to benefit people, and our Earth.

I learned long ago to honor what I have been gifted. I do not take it for granted.

Life should be like that.

In gemstones, one can find beauty of form and light, but the value is fluid.

You will only experience true worth, in flow.

We all head down a river, to a sea of our own choosing

I want mine beautiful, and full of what and who I love.

So I opted to dig for gems.

If we are having a conversation, well then, I see you as one of those.

Here is a fantastic example of a group endeavoring to affect change, and this song on their site, is a gem. Born Again American. The site Concept was developed by Norman Lear.

My work tends to go everywhere. Magazines, books, Galleries, Museums, films, commercials, product packaging, apparel. I like that it does. There is a lot of ugliness in the world today. Beauty is a form of truth which can be transformational.

I was surprised this week to find one of my images on the home page for Bing. They had gotten it from my Commercial agent, Corbis images.

The e mails asking me about the picture, which was a wave water shot, made me smile. I answered them all. Much of my work is finally available for sale in a growing Art based retail library at Solitary Exposure, a new art based agency, run by Larry Beard.

Below is a gallery of images sent in an edit to an editor of mine today. Recent works. He gets things like this from me 4 times a year.  Toggle through them as a slide show if you like, by clicking on the first one.


Walking Backwards

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Dark as Night

Dark as Night

When growth really isn’t.

This was inspired by a conversation with my oldest son Joshua, as he and I were looking at what defines our paths forward.

“I think a life for music is a well-spent one.”
-Luciano Pavoratti

Light Dance

Light Dance

What I have learned, is that the  things which I embrace and implement into my life, act as filters. They color my perceptions and growth, or lack thereof.



Did you know that sometimes growth is not such a great thing?

I have found that often the most remarkable creative moments are happened upon by walking in place, or even backwards so that your perception is in step with a reality that growth would have taken you away from.

This is why, within the context of an artist’s life you will see periods of work, that history will later describe as being great, definitive of that person’s ability to do whatever it is, he or she does.

Warhol would not have become Warhol, or Monet become synonymous with such a definition of a style, were it not for this.

Seth Godin had this to say about taste and fashion today.

Sapphire Surreality

Sapphire Surreality

This week I had multiple big projects to assess. Work with civic action groups endeavoring to fix some things in my town, designing a shoot and campaign for a prestigious ocean lifestyle marque, looking at how growth should go for a very promising Corporation, and designing an Art show on the “Gaviota Coast”, which is under assault by developers due to it’s pristine nature.

Gaviota Local

Gaviota Local

I saw something being repeated to me in each project. Sometimes the way forward, is really found in walking backwards a bit.

You are never really sure how the variables will be forward. But looking back, you will know. Because it happened.

Want a good future?

Watch where you step. It will determine the view.



© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.