Sidewalk Ghosts / Articles: Buckeye Pie

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Writing? In my wildest dreams is something that I though I would never be doing with the frequency I now find in my life.

Photography has been good to me. My passion. My primary form of expression. My sole medium and provider for so many wonderful years. No, this is not the beginning of a morose leaving it behind note. My marriage to my chosen craft is deeper than ever before, and I am committing to a future of image making and story telling with zeal greater than ever. But I must admit, in doing so, I have succumbed to the realization that the written word has just become an intricate part on my messaging vocabulary. The characters of “A” through “Z” have been kind to me, and despite my constant struggle with spelling and punctuation (and your kind overlooking of my faulted grammer… Opps! Grammar), I wish to thank you for your faith in following me, as well as for your efforts in growing operation-365. We really are in this thing together.

Hundreds of people have we met during the past three years. 365 has broadened our horizons as we have taken pause to look upon the literal words and faces of so many a stranger. A consensus is forming. We are ramping up our efforts, and every day we get new subscribers, contributors and sharers. My gratitude to you is genuine. Without you our mission and social network would not be flourishing as it is.

I look in the mirror and realize that I have become an ambassador of sorts. Again, something that is so far beyond my wildest dream, and something that, in all humility, is only just beginning to feel comfortable on my skin.

The past few days have called me to accountability. 48 hours of personal growth that has ignited from someplace other that of any self-assessment. I am awakened as a human, and even though my eyes are exhausted and travel blurry (after the most remarkable visit with an uncountable list of new friends, sleep is not an option. My emotions are far too charged for that. I’m sitting in a cramped plane now, typing away at my keyboard. Second can of Sierra Mist soda helping a little, and yes, accompanied be the usual bag of dry Almonds, my body is held awake.

“What has pumped you up?” You ask.

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Here is a riddle. Where do you freeze you butt off in the winter, have a humidity clear complexion in the summer and expand upon the dreams of your heart?

One more hint. Buckeye Pie?

You got it… Ohio State University: The academic epicenter of the heartland and home of many a gifted mind and talent.

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I sit here, elbows jammed into my gut happily writing this note as I travel back to Los Angeles– the experience behind me nothing short of life expanding. The conversations had, the intellectual stimulation and the warmth of student body and faculty are embedded memories. People, whose words and kindness will continue to enrich my every effort as I push forward in a quest to facilitate a fresh, engaged and united community. I have been blessed to be part of a culture and for that I will be ever grateful.

So here I sit… cramped… writing… nibbling on my $6 airplane almonds. Reviewing all that I have absorbed. In my head flows an essay of all that I shared and all that which has been shared with me. 48 hours I have been immersed in 365 dialogues. My thoughts are focused away from my own reflection, and in the magical mirror is replaced an image that is more like an out-of-body tribute. Hats off and the warmest of acknowledgements to the many fine new friends I have in the heartland of America. All Special. All Unique… All Magnificent.

Hope to again walk with you on the “Oval” my good friends.

Richard

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