December 30, 2014
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)
|Setting: Cahill Performing Arts Center, Clifton Avenue in Baltimore.|
Tyrus swung his big curly hair, Danielle put her high-heeled foot on his knee, Terrell (a Morgan student) offered creative directions and Majwa fixed hair and make-up. Music was bouncing in the room and I was behind the lens.
I met Tyrus a couple years ago at Cahill where he excitedly told me about his plans for modeling, commercials, movies and more. It was good to meet a teenager who thought about the future, a kid who actually had goals. When I taught middle school in Pasadena (MD), I often received blank looks when I asked students what they thought they might be doing when they were 25 years old. They could not see beyond their noses. Tyrus, on the other hand, had goals and if I could help just a little, I would. I became his photographer. He provided model releases for me and I gave him DVDs with photos from the shoots we did.
He is now in college and still holds fast to his dreams. Tonight, with the help of his team and my husband David, we did another photo shoot. My gift to him was my time but I also received something from this energetic group of young people. I hear so much from some people who say that they stay away from Baltimore, that they dismiss the city and its denizens as hopeless. I have always believed in my home city and the potential of its people, even in light of all the crime headlines. (After all, I am a product of Baltimore.) My optimism is reinforced in young people like Tyrus and his team. I’m glad I can be an unjaded septuagenarian.
Today’s gift is optimism.
You can read my other posts on this project here: