Tag Archives: Laughter

The Planes Of Paper

30 Aug

“Here, daddy.” he says with a devilish grin.

“I made you something.”

As I glance down to see what his tiny palm has in store, I see his eyes light up with the type of joy only a five-year old boy possesses.

“Isn’t it the coolest, dad?”  he says with the pitch and fervor of a used car salesman.

There, clutched in-between his fingers, lies a piece of red construction paper. It’s folded with the finest precision of any origami you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Markings of crayola and assorted superhero stickers adorn each and every side as badges of pride and accomplishment.

As he hands his masterpiece to me, he whispers underneath his breath “Now, be VERY careful with this. I have been working super hard, dad.” At this point, his words were gospel. He had been working feverishly for the last hour on this project. And now it was time for him to taste the fruits of his labor.

“Now, repeat after me.” I told him.

Together, we chanted in perfect harmony.

“1…2…3…”

And with that, his gift to me took flight. His finely constructed paper plane glided through the air just as his intentions hoped it would. With each and every crash landing, he would pick up his creation, make adjustments, and pitch it up into the stratosphere of our living room again and again.

In that very moment, I learned something from my son. He wasn’t just showing me how to fly a paper plane. No, he was teaching me something more profound, more intricate than his brain could conceptualize.

You WILL crash and burn. Over and over again. And there isn’t a damned thing you can do about it. But unlike that paper plane that will eventually go into the trash can, you have a choice. You can sit there and wallow in your own pity. You can loathe in your own insecurities. Or even worse, make the decision to never set foot on a plane of any kind again.

Or you can choose a different route, a different flight so to speak. You can get up, straighten your edges, and pilot your own plane, your own path.

As the sounds of my son’s laughter fill my ears, I sit down, grab a piece of my son’s coveted construction paper, and begin to construct my own masterpiece. After all, I’ve had my fair share of the crashes. I’ve had enough of the burning. It’s time to take flight once again. And even if I do crash and burn, I’ll have the know-how, the wherewithal to build a brand new plane. And I have the tiniest aeronautical engineer and the most infectious giggle to thank for teaching me just that.

Your Words, Your Melodies

11 May

You and I go way back.

As far as I can remember, you’ve been there right smack-dab next to me.

On my first day of school, you were there to cheer me up when I was just a scared and timid little boy.

As the summertime breeze blew through that window of that old station wagon my mother drove, you were there filling the air with your words, your melodies.

It was you that soothed my soul as I sat and watched a frail 50-year-old man become one with the earth and make his peace with god.

You were the shoulder I cried on when the 17-year-old version of myself was convinced he would never love again.

It was your touch, your lyric that kept that 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl safe and happy as they waited patiently for their mother to return home from diligently working triple shift after triple shift to provide for her own.

It was you that stood by me as I watched my own two children come into this world.

It was your skill, your precision that all but single-handedly pulled me out of that hospital bed a year ago.

Never wavering, you’ve stood by my side through the toughest of times.

You have always been that light at the end of the tunnel.

You have always been the life of every party.

Always a conundrum and forever a walking, talking contradiction, you were always the most popular, yet one of the most nomadic of outcasts.

I’ve cursed you. I’ve praised you. I’ve loved you. And I’ve hated you.

I’ve abandoned you for months on end, but that never once bothered you or made you feel anything less for me.

You can bring me to tears with a single word. You and only you can put a smile on my face and change my whole outlook on life.

Our love affair has been passionate to say the least. But one thing is for certain. I will always have you and you will always have me. I couldn’t get rid of you if I tried. You wouldn’t let me. And for that, I will always be thankful.

So, take a bow. You deserve all the recognition you can get.

Thank you for always being there, Music. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far.

A Techno Kind Of Night

19 Apr

This last weekend, I had the privilege of hanging out with some of the finest DJs the Midwest has to offer. The crews over at PhulPhunk and Kansas City Techno got together and put on one hell of a free show for the internets. Come and take a look at just a few of the snapshots I took that night.

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Katie Graduates

4 Apr

Life always come full circle. I know this. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

What am I talking like Yoda all the sudden?

Simple.

This last weekend, I had the honor of photographing my high school English teacher’s daughter for her senior portraits. Yes. You read that correctly. I am now that old.

I had a blast photographing Katie and reconnecting with her mother. Her mother, has always been a huge inspiration to me. Whether she wants to be associated with the credit of teaching me the fundamentals of writing or not, she was the one who pushed me to write even when my writing was the absolute shittiest it has ever been. And to this day, I couldn’t even begin to thank her enough.

Anyway, come take a look at what Katie and I got into at Hodge Park in the good old Liberty, Missouri.

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The Callahans Get Hitched

1 Mar

This wedding? Yeah. Absolutely gorgeous. But don’t take my word for it. Come take a look for yourself!

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A Zarda Wedding

17 Feb

Wow. Just wow. That’s all I have to say about these two. When Brandon and Monica asked me to photograph their wedding day, I was absolutely thrilled. They promised a chill and relaxed wedding that would make me feel like a guest and not a hired hand. And you know what? They totally delivered. I had an absolute blast photographing these two. But don’t take my word for it. Come and take a look at what I saw through my lens that day.

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It Seemed Like A Good Idea

16 Feb

All of us awesome editors over at IndieInk recently got together and threw down the gauntlet geeky writer style. What am I talking about? Simple. A challenge. A modern day duel, if you will. We decided to play a little game and challenge each other on the weekly with anonymous writing prompts. Think of it as You Got Served, but with less rhythm and more nerdy white kids.

This week, my writing prompt is, well, challenging.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Okay, so I *wanted* it to be a good idea.”

A challenging writing challenge? Well, I’ll be damned!

****

Underneath this mess, there is pure unadulterated emotion.

But you’ll never know it.

You’ll never catch a glimpse of love, anger, happiness, guilt, elation, or even sadness.

My expressionless face is strong and fiercely robotic.

Or so I’ve been told.

You see, I wasn’t always like this. As a kid, I vividly remember expressing each and every emotion my heart could handle. It came naturally. I wanted the people that surrounded me to know exactly how I felt. If I loved you, I wanted to tell you I loved you. If I was happy, you could hear my laughter from miles and miles away. The simplicity of life allowed my emotions to take control. Logic was no longer a factor. Content with the smile on my face, I allowed myself to just be.

Until he died.

I can still see the frailty of his bones outline his figure as his paper thin skin stretched out across his ravaged body. The chemo and dialysis had taken its toll. As I watched the hospice nurse sit in a chair next to his bed, I knew this was the end.

Struggling to comprehend that each labored breath could be his very last, my ten year old mind broke. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t covey the emotions running haywire through my brain. The direct link between my heart and mind had crumbled. In that moment, I turned cold.

Two days later, he was gone.

What was this pain I felt in every limb of my own body? Why did I want to cry and vomit at the same time? Frantically, I searched for a way to eliminate all that hurt and confused me. I didn’t know how to ask the questions needed to cope. I didn’t know how I should react. Defeated, I just shut down.

It was all I could do. Just shut down every emotion I was used to. Keep everything inside so I could never be hurt again. I never wanted to feel this way. And I would be damned if I would let it happen.

Shutting down seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted desperately for it to be. Hell, I needed it to be. But how do you come back from that? I am 31 years old now. Two decades have passed and I still find myself trapped inside my own mind. Even to this day, if I even so much as find myself thinking of that moment, I completely shut down.

He was still in his bed the last time I saw him. He didn’t even know I was there.

I was just a boy.

A boy, broken by reality.

 

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