Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday's Musings

A Dying Art

The days of writing letters on beautiful stationery, sending note cards to simply say, “Hi… Thinking of you” or “Thank you” are coming to an end. Well, maybe not to an end, but limited enough to say it’s becoming a dying art. It needs to be resurrected because how we communicate today has become dire. Sadly, many are committing communication suicide with emails, messages on Facebook, tweets on Twitter and texts by phone. Abbreviations have taken over our minds and hands. People are much more inclined to send greeting cards by email too.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I can appreciate and do participate in all forms of communication. However, the endearing quality of a handwritten letter is a gift within itself. The effort put forth goes beyond measure and has the potential of staying with the heart as long as you live.

I have a large collection of letters and cards. On occasion I pull out these wonderful treasures and review them with great affection. They are a testament to a life lived. They are a reminder that I have loved and received loved in return. There are many instances where I feel I am reading them for the very first time.

I know some of you are thinking by the time you sit down and handwrite a letter, reread it for errors, find an envelope, purchase a stamp and walk it to the mailbox, you could have just sent several emails. I guess when you look at it that way, it really doesn’t seem all that appealing. However, I beg you not to be so frivolous with your thoughts and irresponsible with your thinking.

Think about it like this… Handwritten letters are very personal. They are written with emotional depth and, one hopes, good karma. Without a doubt, this correspondence has the ability to influence, shape and direct (or redirect) a life. We must always take pride when we are found to be noteworthy.

Since we receive so much junk mail, bills and other nonsense, wouldn’t it be nice to find a letter or card in the mailbox from a friend or relative for no special reason? Would it not be cool to save and find it 20 or 30 years from now, open it again and remember the joy you felt when you first received it and feel a renewed joy?

Emails are environmentally friendly, and the cost of mailing anything today is ridiculous. However, allow yourself, on special occasions, to send out a handwritten letter of good intention, warmth and love.

I hope the next time, instead of emailing, texting or chatting on Facebook to a family member or old friend, you’ll find a moment to handwrite a letter. A single letter has the ability to impact the writer, receiver and countless others. Write to someone today. – paerki


Death is inevitable. The moment we are born we begin to die. It’s imperative we live life to the fullest, and the way to do this is with a genuine heart, a strong mind and a will to survive.

We spend so much time hating. Statistics show heart disease to be the number one killer, but I disagree! Hate is the disease that’s really destroying humanity, and I think it’s time we seek a “real” cure – together. The enemy is out there, but it’s not what you may think. It’s the person who plays on our fears, and manipulates our minds. Sadly, so many are vulnerable, but we can change this when we advocate for each other, showing love and empathy. Forgiveness must be a factor too because we have more in common than you think.

Death must inspire us to live, especially to live a life guided by gratitude, selflessness, quality and more importantly, hope. Here’s to better living through love. Allow it to begin today with a hand extended. – paerki


Life is what you make it. However, I believe everyone has a purpose, and finding it is the key to happiness. I believe there are many who are finding their true calling without any hesitation. Others have a more challenging time. There are those who will never know. So, no matter where you are on your journey, know this, we can all be happy in this life if we learn to coexist, which means believing in and helping our fellow man. We must search for unification, and from there build a world of peace... To not, only makes death a more imminent possibility through stress and war. – paerki


Worry about you, and I’ll worry about me. If you believe in God, all will be resolved in the end. If you don’t, I hope you've had a nice life. I don’t believe in the God of manipulation, which so many follow. However, I do believe in something greater than me. This powerful presence doesn’t hate, but loves. It doesn’t hurt, but makes better. So many of us have replaced the God of scripture, with the God of war. We spend too much time on the defense. We spend more time working independently than working together. I guess that’s why we are losing our understanding and appreciation for each other.

The war of words must end. You’re not better than me, and I’m not better than you. We are just different, so let’s celebrate our differences. Stop judging me, and I’ll stop judging you, and let’s agree to leave it in the hands of that which is greater than both of us. If one of us doesn’t believe, don’t hate. Take the road less traveled and believe for both of us. I wish you a happy life; now do the same for me. Live peace, share peace and extend peace: to me, to you, but most importantly, to all you meet. – paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


Preserve Your Happiness (Aug 13, 2013): This is for you, because you need to hear these words again. Live life happy. Find your joy. Now more than ever, it’s time for people to reconnect with their inner self. Find your happy place, rejuvenating the total you – mind, body, soul and spirit. It’s a mandate... Continue Reading

Baltimore City (Maryland)

World AIDS Day (Dec 1, 2013): Many scientific advances have been made in HIV/AIDS treatment. There are laws to protect people living with HIV/AIDS, and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, there are still individuals who do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and... Continue Reading

Evergreen Museum & Library

Thank You For So Much Beauty (Mar 15, 2010): Do you realize how much beauty you bring to the world? Do you know how awesome you are? Really?! Do you?! I am in awe of your work. I love your use of rich and vibrant colors, some even electric. The faces are what really capture my attention; they are delicate... Continue Reading

Baltimore Book Festival

A Culture Of Hate (Jan 9, 2011): Weekends fly by so quickly, or so it appears. However, this particular weekend seemed unusually long, and I think it had something to do with the gruesome events that took place on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. I am shocked by the horror that unfolded, a young man throwing his entire... Continue Reading

Station North Arts District

A 'Seagull' Of Memories (Mar 7, 2010): When I see gulls (known to many as seagulls), I think of the shoreline. I have wonderful childhood memories of playing in the sand in Ocean City; building sand castles, and coming back later in the day to watch the waves crash into my creativity, only to go back the next day to... Continue Reading

H.P. Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens

God Worthy (Jan 15, 2013): This is your religion. Believe what I say. Ask no questions. So many were raised this way. Our heads were filled with a mishmash of information, controlling minds and for what? I would have appreciated learning more about all faiths, instead of being told – this is bad, and this bad, etc., but... Continue Reading
I love photographs! They have this amazing ability to tell stories of fun places, special moments, memorable events, and exciting places. They give us reason to pause and remember friends, family, coworkers and so many others. One photograph can conjure up a flood of memories taking us on a journey. They help us remember the past, enjoy the present and ponder the future.

On a cold and rainy day I love sitting in my living room with a roaring fire, a glass of wine, classical music playing in the background and my many photographs scattered about me. I love sifting through what I call my special collection, which refers to my favorites. They remind me of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. They remind me of challenges and overcoming.

My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

Edith Ann

Mind Body Green (Feb 6, 2014): To the haters, I feel so sad for you – mournful for your lack of empathy and understanding. No one is shoving anything down your throat. This is reality. What's wrong with this photo? This is life! For every photo shown of gay people kissing, there are millions and millions... Continue Reading

Peabody Institute

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Sherwood Gardens

Mural - Mural On The Wall (Mar 14, 2011): All are beautiful in my eyes, as they are striking masterpieces that enhance many communities, especially those challenged by poverty and abandonment. They fill in the gaps for neighborhoods lacking funding and manpower, providing just a bit of hope when... Continue Reading

Browns Orchards

The Human Condition (Jul 17, 2012): Words that are sufficiently crafted can leave a lasting impact on the world. It is good to keep in mind those words that will better help tell our story, ones that will represent us well for years to come. We must be clear in our purpose, concise in our action... Continue Reading

Patterson Park

Selfie (Jan 19, 2014): I was asked the following question by one of my Facebook friends… "I have to ask you this Paul, do you have a personal photographer who is with you constantly?" This question is worthy of a blog post, so here it goes. Enjoy! Good question, and one I am asked often enough and don't mind answering... Continue Reading

Charles Village Festival

Yielding To Signs (Mar 28, 2011): Sunday was the perfect day to be outdoors. The sky was a bright baby blue and absolutely stunning to look at, especially when it became the backdrop for seagulls and blackbirds, effortlessly soaring and plummeting in between wind gusts. It was magical, a hypnotic visual sensation... Continue Reading
There are many people in the world affected by disease. I never thought I would be one of the many. However, at any given time life can change. Mine did! There were many twists and turns, but I made it through and you can too. I am a Celiac on the move living life one meal at a time. Learn more about my life as a Celiac. Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. In short, I have an allergy to gluten, and the treatment is a lifelong scrupulous avoidance of it.

No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

Stony Run Trail

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Alpaca / Lama Farm

St. Michael's Catholic Church (Oct 17, 2011): The weekend has now faded into the past. However, this was one of its highlights. Art is to be found everywhere. When I look at these photos I think about all those involved with the creation of this magnificent structure – from the community (immigrate families)... Continue Reading

BMA (Sculpture Garden)

Bittersweet (Sept 7, 2013): I’ve been estranged from my parents for close to 20 years, but yesterday I learned my father passed away. I sincerely hope he found joy in his advanced years – more importantly, peace. For those who mourn his passing, focus on the memories and the joy he brought to... Continue Reading

Jones Falls Trail

City Of The Silent (Mar 18, 2010): Underground in permanent stasis they speak no more. Many have departed this life, leaving behind a legacy for all to enjoy, cherish, honor and, with a little luck and ingenuity, replicate. For me, this quiet region of slumber still has a pulse, and you can feel it when you walk these... Continue Reading

Country Drive

A Happy Life Begins At Home (Apr 19, 2010): My home is very important to me. My life between these four walls of privacy I value like no other. It’s immeasurable, and absolutely priceless. It’s an oasis with a cocoon-like feeling, shielding me from the outside manipulative forces of violence and pollution. It allows... Continue Reading
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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