award-winning documentarian: radio + music + photography
photo credit: Ahri Golden
I was walking with my daughter as she danced home on the sidewalk, singing, from preschool. With the sun bursting alongside a slight breeze, we sang together (she knows the lyrics to my songs because I practice them all the time as I wake up my kids, pick them up from school, cook dinner, put them to bed). One of our neighbors, who is not a parent, passed by and heard us singing together. He smiled. Sofia said, "Hi David!". He stopped and asked, "How do you raise children while knowing what is going on across the country and around the world? How do you stay positive?"
I'd say that my job in this life is not necessarily to be "positive" but to hold the devastation of the people in Boston, Texas, China, of the horrors humanity endures every day and at the same time hold the beauty, awe and poetry of precious moments when everything seems so remarkably simple, and in fact, is. One does not negate the other. They are not mutually exclusive, but co-exist within the experience of being human. The macrocosm of the world is happening within us. There are many parts and personalities inside each of us. Some get triggered at different times with different people for different reasons and I think it is just being in relationship with it all as true and a part of existence unfolding.
My purpose is to remain, as often as possible, present and connected to my children so they can grow, feel safe, loved, nourished, and nurtured. With this, my vision is for them to cultivate the skill of connection to who they truly are, and know, in their bones, that they are loved and, thus, can give love and create more beauty in this world, whatever that may be. I suppose this intention is positive, but not in a polyanna way. In a real way. In acknowledging that this fundamental phenomenon, the ability to love another and to see beauty even when there is tragic devastation, violence and pain surrounding, is a paradox and the human conundrum which offers us a choice.
Can we face, learn to live with, and soften into the suffering and turmoil both in the world and within? With that, can we know when it is time to get activated and muster the deepest well of our strength and creativity? From here, from this tension, I believe, is the core of creative source. Can we acknowledge the brokenness AND the pure beauty of life, the miracle that is this breath right now? Is it possible to choose the radical practice of giving and receiving love to others and ourselves so we can open to the capacity of what humans can become?