Tuesday, November 25, 2008

La liberté éclairant le monde (Collective Resonance)

In leadership—there’s a calling to make it happen.

For many…

Create wealth for many, take care of many.

It’s somewhat even expected. I am sure anyone who’s managed people feels it.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

So said the New Colossus posted on the Statue of Liberty—whose formal name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”

« La liberté éclairant le monde »

But what I’ve noticed…this makes it all overwhelming.

Louder voices – bigger egos have their way, herding a herd. Loud voices that sometimes make no sense, no clarity, but sway the human condition.

This makes many people (a mob) just play along, to a point where they’re good at playing, and sometimes even end up just playing people.

The torch of Lady Liberty—a symbol of enlightenment—has been repaired so many times.

* * *
Sometimes I wonder what happened to me in the last eight years.
U.S. Patent D11,023 was granted for "a statue representing Liberty enlightening the world…"

The Statue was first used as a lighthouse (first one using electricity), first to greet every new arrival in New York City (before planes existed). A guy named Pulitzer was critical to enable its financing to celebrate 100 years of a Declaration of Independence.

This torch survived a 1916 explosion. Since 9/11, Lady Liberty (a Jersey Girl) has been closed; she didn’t pass some test. A symbol of liberty, now a symbol of…

* * *

The real test, amidst these loud voices, is if you can change one person in front of you. That’s the true frontier of change.

For a long time, I have had a creed.

One person at a time.

Can you inspire one person in front of you?

If not, chances are you can't truly help anyone else until you do. What you do with one person determines how you ripple forward.

It’s here you learn the meaning of Be Heard, Not Herded.

It’s here a resonance is started…that expands outward, one person at a time.

That’s not to say, everyone will be won over. But certainly enough to get better and better.

It's not just what you think, or what's done for some platform or about people who speak the loudest. Leadership is real, in the flesh, to things in front, one brick at a time.

Too often, there’s a pursuit of some abstract need, or a solution designed for lobbying.

The small step in front of you…probably counts more.

One person at a time. To give to someone who inspires you. Or to someone you can inspire.

Recently, I was inspired to see a Starbucks story from Colorado. A drive-thru that didn’t charge for your coffee. Instead you paid for the bill of the person behind you. Pay it backwards. The person in front of you paid for your coffee.

Yes, people did cry.

* * *
This is dedicated to Justine who helped me, when it counted, who arrives today in my town. Be free, Lady Liberty.

“Faster than we thought we'd go, beneath the sound of hope. Justine never knew the rules”

Friday, November 14, 2008

I have a dream, to dream again.

"you have had the shit kicked out of you," a good samaratan came to me to say, without prompting.

He recited a poem, to help deal with "two impostors," two people who felled a company, who tried to make me fall.

I never asked for his help. He said to call him for help.

Strangely, he was the second person to cite this poem



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Summons: Inspiration begets Inspiration

I guess that would be my line of the year.

So said a woman who works with autistic children.

I flew across the country, not knowing what to expect.

This is my first campaign since March, when my brother, a leader of 10,000, died. I will give my first speech since my last campaign when I couldn’t lose—inspiring everyone who would listen. It seems like a distant memory when I last spoke for six minutes to earn a record investment.

I walked a wilderness of devastation since then…death, betrayal of business, partners who cursed a path and financial emptiness. I went to Ground Zero. At zero…grounded.

* * *

I used to take pictures of deja vu - to prove things we do today, can summon things tomorrow.

* * *
Before flying, i started a blog about summoning...writing the line "Inspiration begets inspiration." i didn't post it.

But out of the blue, before i flew, someone who inspired me for 10 years, emailed me. She wondered, where I was about to go.

All i could say was things we once did out of the pureness of who we are, things we once believed in, things we did that didn’t make sense to many, now make sense to many.

I think telepathically, we know there is a way to make the impossible possible with the right inspiration.

Inspiration begets inspiration.

The word has spread.

* * *

I am blogging openly in public about a new start up - a Wishing Well for Artists and Patrons, code named Givr. This is my first business trip.

Our first partner - the deal was signed yesterday - benefits the dying wishes of children.

One girl who has already survived one brain tumor has a wish to swim with the dolphins in Hawaii.

* * *

I think, looking at how we do things...like a dying wish...summons greatness, makes us do the right thing.

* * *

Sometimes I freak myself out - proving summoning works. I don't know if it is some energy transfer to make wishes come true.

But here's proof...i photographed it, and posted it.

* * *

On October 25, a friend of mine, an Actress had a birthday wish. We share a mutual friend, also an Actress and i once blogged about our mutual friend's journey from New York to Los Angeles over the course of a year, photographing moments that led to the moment walking on the red carpet to open a movie at the Chinese Theater.

Sometimes i think it can be discouraging to watch someone else's success and wonder what happened to yours.

This Actress - once vied for the same role in this movie, as our mutual friend. She appeared in a critically acclaimed TV series, written by a critically acclaimed author who defined Generation X. Her show was mysteriously canceled earlier this year in spite of rave reviews and mass protest against a tax-payer funded TV Channel. When i last left her, out west, her best gig was a fast-food commercial. Hey, it's work.

* * *

All i can say is inspiration begets inspiration.

She offered to the Wishing Well...goods for people who needed them, including for good measure, a TV (i thought one day for this karma, she will appear on this, in a movie we will like to see). That was September, 2008. It's registered in my pasted blogs. In private, i asked her what she wished for ... it was a tall order, a steep path, i thought to myself. We had talked about how the outcome is often determined by the whim of someone else. But perhaps this curse could be reversed....by summoning. I didn't post the wish online, but it's on record. She wanted a good role as an Actress.

On her birthday, she posted a wish for a role in her Facebook status. Knowing everything, I made a tryptic The Roles of Tammy G and emailed it to her. To summon, I then posted this captioned work in the photo album Channeling Light...

The Roles of Tammy G
To make this tryptic, I took a picture of Tammy i liked taken by her friend which reminded me of a candle flame one stares before making a wish. Staring to find new meaning...Warhol said that about his art. Original photos for it follow this Warhol like montage...of seeing things in a different light. (happy bday)

I made this to answer her birthday wish, to be the candle.

* * *

Before flying across the country...i wrote a blog....that started with the line..."inspiration begets inspiration." I didn't post it...thinking something was missing. (The proof)

Last night, i visited the Actress...she informed me two days after creating the tryptic summoning the roles of Tammy G...she was offered a role in a feature film called Under the Applebox. It's a challenging role of a woman from the Middle East who experiences a life of taboos.

Next to me, sat a man with dual citizenship. He worked with autistic children.

* * *
After hearing this story, i called my home, requesting someone there look for my blog and email it to me for me to post the proof.

* * *

Inspiration begets inspiration.

Things can be summoned with inspiration.

* * *

Seven people have lined up to hear me in seven days. In some stories, they say the world was created in seven days.

It’s important to keep it real, and so in my luggage I have packed stories of many Artists I know, many inspiring patrons to causes and many memories of unrecorded performances that made every soul rise. I remember how the room transformed, and transcended what we lived outside of that room to find what we believe in.

For so long we’ve been led by the “cynical, and fearful and doubtful.” That’s not how history is made.

Now is the time to bend that "arc of history."

This is not about Obama changing our country. This is about us, changing our lives. Applying the same things Obama applied to his campaign into our lives, our art, our business.

I think today we know, those who do this will be followed to greatness and will be followed by greatness.

* * *
I don't know if this is scientifically some energy transfer.

Inspiration begets inspiration.

* * *
This is an energy once used, that we still have. Just ask, where did the passion go, when things grind.

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.”

I’ve used the summon speech many a time in different variations. I also want to add, this doesnt work if people are harmed, or put in harm's way. That will only bring about a cursed path.

At first many didn’t know what I meant, when I said, “If you don’t summon it, it won’t come.”

By summoning patriots to your cause, you will be attuned to the path of destiny. A mission that can’t be stopped.

If you look at someone great, something awe inspiring…ask yourself how this was achieved. I am sure it is easy to see, no rules from someone else were followed…just a spirit, a truth, an effort to get there.

See nothing but this…it’s a theory of relativity.

“Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned” us long ago.

Sometimes I dream of being with someone who knows this greatness. I have a dream.

I have a dream that person will be on my path. And I on theirs to be ahead by a century.

Together we can walk the walk. Not much talk is needed.

Old habits die hard. There’s always the going back to the old ways, but let me show you this photo, to remind you of what that was like following rules that don’t work, following mediocrity-inducing behaviour.

This might look like substance, but it is really an ice cube melting.

When it melts, there is only one truth in that empty room, that's you standing, figuring out what to do with yourself. So beware of ice cubes, if you choose to be with something that one day may melt.

* * *

Inspiration begets inspiration...the acid test to see if it's an ice cube or not.

Monday, October 27, 2008

X Marks the Spot

X marks the fifth name i've used to publish writing. I've published more than 1000 newspaper articles with my by-line. Twice with my real name. One with first and last name, one with my full name. I've published twice under pseudonym, while undercover as a journalist in dangerous situations. Online, i've never used a pseudonym, for writing. I try to keep it as real as possible. This is my first pseudonym online for blogging.

This year I published photos quoting Martin Luther King Jr and other civil rights leaders and was censored for the first time. It was a tribute to my late brother who died at 29. The photo series created fear in a man who took matters into his own hands to block a voice of free speech. It was not censored on MySpace or Facebook. It made me realize the fear of one man can bring anyone down.

The photo series was called the Black Tile Series.

My brother left behind a JPEG, totally black before he died. The last photo he uploaded. It reminded me of censorship and of the collective identity of 1000 people. I celebrated faces of Black history and quotations with this series, putting captioned photos on Black Tiles to give them identity. My screen name was Yellow X in honour of my brother, a civil rights leader of 10000 people.

X is symbolic of identity. Defining a brand identity as people. An identity we can choose. Not determined by someone else.

X marks the spot.