Sunday, January 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! – paerki

Good question, and one I am asked often enough and don’t mind answering here.  It would appear I do have a personal photographer with me all times.  God knows I have enough photographs of myself and post no less than a handful each week.

Truth be told, no personal photographer, but I do have an extraordinary group of friends, who are like me, with a camera in hand ready to snap a photo at a moment’s notice (the camera/phone – a wonderful invention).  We like to record life as it happens.

Many people are uncomfortable being photographed.  Needless to say, I’m not one of them.  I encourage photography for so many reasons.  We live in a day and age where we can be our own historians.  Each of us has the ability to tell our own unique story through words, which can be quite difficult for some – so the next best thing, a photograph.

I am happy to report the number of photos I take of myself  (my selfies) are less than one would imagine.  The latter almost sounds like a justification because of the stigma surrounding them.

Self-photographs are the best. Again, you are the one in control.  You get to tell your own story.  There is so much you can teach yourself when you take a selfie, but one must stop to study the photographs as a collection.

I’m sorry to use the Kardashians as an example, but most of what they post are sexy and provocative, often leaving little to the imagination.  I don’t see well-rounded individuals, but narcissistic waifs.  I see a shallow disposition and a greedy mentality.

The perfect selfies are those that celebrate your style, wisdom, favorite hobbies and interests, your love of life and self, etc.  I hope I’ve achieved that much.  Sure, like the next person, I want to look my best.  I want people to know I care about my body, eat well and exercise, and that my confidence is high, but not to the point where I’m considered obnoxious and arrogant.  (I don’t necessarily have a problem with these particular characteristics and it pays to have a tad of each in your system, but there is a fine line, which can easily be crossed – so beware).

I’m an admitted self-promoter, but I don’t have the traits of a bragger or a self-centered narcissist (I actually don’t find those traits all that bad either). First and foremost, what I write and the photographs I share with the world, are for my eyes and heart first.  Everyone else comes second.

I see my Facebook and Twitter time, blog and photographs simply for what they are, a collection of diary and journal entries of a life lived and still in progress, and of what I strive to become, a stronger and wiser individual.

When I’m old and gray and sitting in my assisted living retirement community (considering the way the economy is going, it might just be me with an old laptop in a cardboard box under a bridge), I can look back at those wonderful photographs my friends were kind enough to snap of me, and at my selfies too, and recall what it was like to be young, vibrant, curious and thinking I knew it all.  And as much as I value my online friends – because all of you are dear to my heart and there is no way I could ever express just how much you mean to me – what I will cherish most of all are those face-to-face moments, conversations that lasted for hours that might have included a cocktail or two and ended with a loving smile and a warm hug because that’s what makes life worth living, and don’t be fooled into thinking anything different.

When I trace the steps of time, looking back on carefully constructed events that help to create my future and nurture me along, I refamiliarize myself with the bigger picture, looking at what really matters in my life. My first priority – me! My second – you! My third – us! Many need to learn that we are not good to others unless we are good to ourselves first. Take time to carefully map out a plan that includes yourself. I’m here to tell you – put yourself on the list, for this is the best way to make everyone happy and how you’ll achieve grace, and by all means, take some selfies along the way… because babe, you look good! - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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

What Makes A Good Year: It’s that time of year when I take long walks alone to contemplate the past year. I guess you could say it’s my time to atone. What a year it has been! As I write this I’m wondering what makes a good year? I’ve never asked myself that question before... Continue Reading

Sherwood Gardens

Mural - Mural On The Wall: 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: 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: 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: 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.

Stony Run Trail

Thank You: It’s hard to believe another Thanksgiving is just around the corner. In the background while standing waiting for a bus (as well as on the bus), and at the grocery store, I hear peoples’ musings about how they will spend their holiday. While many are frantically digesting... Continue Reading


You Are Beautiful!: I wish you could look into the mirror and see beyond your face, way past the surface to see more. More than what the world sees, more than what your friends see, more than I or even you can see. Forget what everything around you tells you to be. Be who... Continue Reading

Alpaca / Lama Farm

St. Michael's Catholic Church: 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: 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: 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: 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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