Sidewalk Ghosts / Was It My Turn To Be Profiled?

For a moment I thought, seeing I was on the same beach as the day before that I was somehow being associated with the “naked analyst”.

 

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It was my turn to be profiled, as sun dropping out of the sky like a rock falling, found me beach combing for an interview. A twinge of concern was slowly wrapping around me as I thought it would be a shame to miss a Hawaiian sunset portrait. With that wish, and having just returned from the workshop was teaching, I was still dressed in nice clothes. Feet were killing me from the dress shoes, but a pause to change would have meant missing the descending light. So in the attire of my business day, I walked along a beach side path, finding it a mystery as to why everyone I approached said without hesitation, “no thanks.”A response evoked merely at the sight of me, even before I had a chance to offer any words at all.

For a moment I thought, seeing I was on the same beach as the day before that I was somehow being associated with the “naked analyst”. Perhaps there were enough people so offended by him, that because I sat with him for over an hour, I was getting the rejection treatment. A sad reflection, but one that did pass through my head, and as I considered the notion as a possibility, my blood boiled as I thought, “heck to them! He was an interesting guy with a personal mission; and it was my photo-journalistic responsibility to photograph him.”

But none-the-less everyone I approached wanted nothing to do with me. I redirected my course toward the sanctuary of my hotel room–a safe place to lick my wounds of rejection. Strolling past the twenty-five dollar hamburger and beyond the twenty-two dollar egg roll as I accepted my plight: The beach patrons hated me was my resolve as I guarded myself with a self-chant, “I’m a grown man, I can live with that.”

I was close to my room, my esteem regained, as it hit me via a quick look at myself in one of the hotels decorative mirrors. It took about a second to figure it out as a bolt of visionary lightning flashed in my mind. The green beach shirt I was so proudly wearing was almost identical to the ones worn by many of the resorts employees. “Crud!” I was being seen as a hospitality photographer. What a turn in serendipity it was. No wonder the world was running from me. It saw me coming, camera in arm, looking like a thirty to fifty dollar room charge. My cover was blown and I was being profiled myself.

The fix was simple. I reversed my hat, made myself look a bit more sloppy, and returned to the scene of my first rejection to give it another try. Funny how the slightest change in appearance could project a completely different intent.

I made eye contact with a very cute family of three siblings taking snap shots of each other. I offered to take a photo of all of them with their camera as we struck up a conversation in what was less that broken English. We found common ground as they remembered seeing “naked analyst” the day before. Feeling relieved we could connect in at least that experience, I invited them to be interviewed. Two of the three agreed.

In Hawaii for the first time celebrating their father’s sixtieth birthday, say “hello” to Ju Young and her brother Fong Duk, my Korean friends of October 4, 2011, the twenty-fifth day of over five hundred more to come.

I’m telling you (and you most likely see it in their portrait), these two were having the time of their life. With very little English in their vocabulary, we struggled to communicate. But their energy and wit was in full bloom as they spoke of Hawaiian fun days. The meet-up left a resonate connection, an understanding of a human link that transcended dialect as I was left smitten by their colorful spirits.

Ju Young, Fong Duk. It was a blast photographing you. I will always appreciate you for not running from me. Mahalo!

Talk tomorrow my good friends,

Richard

Readers, if you are returning, so nice to be with you again. If you are new, looking forward to getting to know you.

To all: please comment, like, and forward. Every engagement goes a long way toward connecting us; as together, we grow a movement that betters the way we view and treat one another.

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