Sunday, June 01, 2014

Happy Pride Month

It’s gay pride month, and as much as I welcome this special time to honor our legacy, while celebrating our community as a whole, we must never forget – gay pride is every day.  The best way to show your pride is by being true to you, maintaining life on your own terms.  I can guarantee if you are living with dignity, honor and respect (remembering that respect is earned, not given), you’ll make better choices, which will give your life more meaning.

A little conformity is not such a bad thing either.  To conform is to act according to accepted standards, whether it is how to talk to others, how we dress or how to react in certain circumstances.  I consider conformity good if it forces people to be respectful or mindful, because manners are important, unless you prefer to act like a Neanderthal your entire life.  I also think it’s advisable because do we always have to make others feel awkward and uncomfortable?

But by no means must anyone ever conform to peer pressure, for that’s when you’ll lose your identity, for sure.  It’s a fine line.  There are times when it behooves all to walk suitably, especially when it comes to work vs. play, but I digress.

In the face of adversity, we must hold our heads higher proclaiming our dignity. Allow the naysayers to chant and shout their words of disapproval and disdain, because that’s the fuel we need to stay strong, steadfast and true.

I’ve always been one that preferred seeing the faces of hate to know what I’m up against. So thank you, to all the ugly repugnant evil-minded haters of the world, because with your displeasure and vile behavior I become stronger, more resilient. Your “ugly” truly makes me look and feel even more beautiful. – paerki


***** 

There was a time when I didn’t quite understand why we celebrate gay pride.  I’ve come a long way in my journey.  However, it must be said, I’m tired of it being so sexualized.  Is that what we are really all about?

For me, it’s a turn off, thus my seldom attending the Baltimore festivities. There are ways to show off your physique, and it doesn’t include wearing a dog collar, underwear, Speedos, chaps & thong, jockstraps, etc, in public, and enough with the cute boy ads too. Show men and women of all shapes, sizes and colors, and ages. I’m not a prude, but come on! Class, style, taste and intelligence… Why not express that at gay pride? We have come so far as gay marriage proves, but many still need to work on their self-respect.

Having respect for other people is difficult if you have no respect for yourself. The idea of self-respect is very closely related to self-confidence and self-control, but respect is more about what you do whereas confidence is about how you feel. All go hand-in-hand. All bodies are beautiful. Market yourself better by making wiser choices.  Dare to choose quality to quantity. – paerki

***** 

My gay pride is not about sex, drugs and getting drunk.  It’s about honoring those who fought long and hard, and that continue to fight for our rights.  Gay pride began as a march to protest the treatment of the LGBT community.  Now we celebrate our advancements and accomplishments, at least that’s what I think we do.  There’s a lot of good that comes from our community, but there is always room for improvement. – paerki


*****

At some point we are all minorities, some more than others. Yes, people will put you down because you are different, but that is no excuse not to rise above it all and shine. No one is going to do it for you, so do it for yourself. Don’t wait for someone to help you, help yourself. However, you must always go forward in life with respect, dignity, and grace, and with the realization that all must live together. What impacts you, negative or positive, will affect others in the long run, thus the need to make life great for everyone and not a select few. You might not see or feel it now, but it does affect us in ways that will compromise future generations if we don’t hold true to the center. When you drift away you choose seclusion, isolation, and that does more harm than good.

There should be no separation of gay pride (white vs. black, etc.). There must be one pride of all gay people. If you feel excluded, find ways to be included by using your voice in a constructive way, always remembering words must not hurt. Hands of violence have no place in the center, or anywhere, for that matter, where people are trying to make a positive change.

Festivals of diversity are to be enjoyed by everyone, and not just by those they celebrate and hope to unite.  I dream that people, especially minorities, would encourage outsiders to come and see what they are all about. Show me your rich culture and heritage, your struggles and how you’ve overcome adversity.  I want to see your fortitude and celebrate your accomplishments collectively.   I want to learn about you, and hopefully you would want to learn about me.

I have an interest in ALL people. As my dear friend Ruth says, “We are all in this together.”  To those who read this, it’s time to talk about what is good instead of what is bad. There is a mandate in the world for everyone to move to the center. I am forever hopeful. I still believe much of the rhetoric I hear fuels the haters of the world, especially those deficient in education and with economic struggles, and it disengages those trying to make a difference. America, it’s time to coexist! It’s now or never.

Happy gay pride, to all!  Be safe.  Be responsible.  Be proud.  Cheers! – 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.

Homeland

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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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