Is Measured Kindness Still Kindness?

I’ve been walking three to four miles along the river.  Some days I just want to run, flap my arms and fly above the rushing Sacramento.  There is freedom in hovering over the deep green waters flanked by yellow poppies and purple wildflowers.

I waited too long and hit an all-time high in weight.  At one time I wondered if that was some type of achievement by itself, but in reality it only makes you big and tired.

It has been twenty-four months since being able to look at a paycheck and the freedom to go to the pharmacy without reviewing our bank account before making the plunge.  It’s funny how I like to use months and not years for the length of time; like no one will know.  Much too long for a vacation, the longest I’ve ever taken was two weeks.   I think of it as retirement and not being unemployed.  It’s really a form of economic purgatory.

At the half-way point I can only see the rustle of plastic around the garbage can and half of a body, feet planted flat on the ground.   Head to waste digging deep for plastic and aluminum treasures. Same dirty, sun bleached black shirt and pants with tattered shoes and no socks that I saw the day before.

The walks allow me to hit the replay button.  I review the past 276 resumes sent looking for new opportunities. I define the level my competence during four phone interviews and one face-to-face.  Gee they seem to have gone well?

First to emerge from the garbage can is a dirty hand grasping tightly to a plastic water bottle. Dirt caked thick silver hair, my color, and a strong face.  It was the sun’s Etch A Sketch, no softness to the eyes as he looked through me.

“Hi, how are you doing?” I greeted with a warm smile.  How fucking lame I thought to myself.  How and the hell you think he feels digging in public garbage for survival?

There was no reply as he mounted the bike and arranged the black and white plastic bags on the handlebars.  His look was empty and lifeless as he pedaled down the asphalt path.

I wanted to offer half what I had in my wallet.  “Here you can have the five and I’ll keep the four.” Even that was a lie I had thirty hidden in the pocket.  The words wouldn’t come out!

Does karma repay you kindly for a lie with good intentions?

If you have to worry about the amount of kindness, is it still kindness?

I was scared; the line runs too thin between what’s hidden in your wallet and no pocket to put a wallet in.

I just wanted to run again, I just wanted to fly!


The tragedy in Japan unfolds in news and documentary images by:

Christoph Bangert/Redux, Carlos Barria/Reuters, Peter Blakely/Redux, David Butow/Redux, Adam Dean/Panos, James Whitlow Delano/Redux, Digital Globe, Shiho Fukiama, GeoEye, David Guttenfelder/Associated Press, Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters, Kyodo News, Dominic Nahr/Magnum, Jake Price, Damir Sagolj/Reuters, Hiroto Sekiguchi/Associated Press, Mainichi Shimbun Daily, Q. Sakamaki/Redux, Ko Sasaki, Toshiyki Tsunenari/Associated Press, & Donald Weber/VII


open Friday-Sunday noon-6pm

This exhibit marks Fovea’s four-year anniversary.

Chieko Chiba looks for remains of her house in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, March 16, 2011. "Everything is gone." she said. Photo by Shiho Fukada

Mamma No More HEAT!

MAMMA I CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE HEAT!! At a time when both NFL players and owners are trying to squeeze more dollars out of their fans and media outlets one of the best values in sports today is semi-pro football.

I covered one of the finest football games I’ve seen in a 33 year career as a photographer prep, college or pro last night.

Two semi-pro football teams, the Redding Heat and the Solano Chiefs took the field last night to battle like no other I’ve seen before. The HEAT was down 34-33 with thirty-five seconds on the clock the slammed a 40 yard touchdown to take the win and remain undefeated for the season.

The characters were rich on both sides of the line and ran three strings deep.  Half of these guys you would not want to meet in a dark ally.  By the same token, there is not one of them you would not want watching your back in that ally.

They are a crusty bunch too be sure and at this point in the season there might be more walking injured on the sidelines than limp to the field for the kickoff.

I can’t even say these “young men” have heart. Hell, you would have to toss the ball boy on the field to use the word young, and field in the same description.

The United States Football Association had the Heat ranked 12th before their last two wins and a forfeit.  It will be interesting to see where they land after last night’s game.

They will be looking atYuba City next Saturday, May 14th on their home field with the gates opening at 6p.m. 

At a time when folks don’t know if their next pay check is going to land or if their health insurance is going to last through the next month; it’s a bit of a heart-lifter seeing folks putting it on the line doing what they love to do.  Enough to make your mommy proud!

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