A Glimpse Into The Future

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Rain, snow, and the Summer sun – all in a weeks work for Ohio.

Almost teasing us with what we (may) have to look forward to, this state is a master at giving us a glimpse of a warm reprieve, then taking it away.

It seems now that every day is a new story, a new chapter, and a new world entirely that we will talk about for generations to come. While this photo was taken in a brief moment of hope, it soon turned back to bitter cold and white snow – reminding us where we truly live.

Soon this will be behind us, and we’ll probably have something else to worry about. But for now, we wait, and drink a lot of coffee.

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The First Night Of A Strange Summer

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What a night tonight.

Is it Summer?  Will it ever be summer?  WHO KNOWS. The good thing about it though is that while it won’t feel like summer for a little while, it will at least look like it.

I decided to cheer myself up a little bit and prepare the house for all of the cool nights, warm bonfires, and cold drinks. Only issue is that we had to do it alone. Nevertheless, after putting up our favorite lights, I noticed that there was still something normal for me to take a photo of, even in these wild times.

It was a bit of normalcy I very much welcomed. It was on a whim, and just an event of perfect timing. Hopefully we will all have this moment soon, and we can all play some corn-hole together – less than 6 feet together.

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Waiting On Spring

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As We Wait

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Time goes on, I guess.

It’s unreal to really think about the situation we’re in, and when — seemingly if — it’ll end.

The biggest issue is not that we’re on this lockdown, but that we don’t know when it will finally be over. People aren’t good with uncertainty, I chiefly among them. It adds to stress, mystery, and honestly pure misery.

A lot of us have lost our jobs, some for good. We don’t know if everything is going to be okay, we don’t know if our family and friends are going to be okay.  All that we really know is that we’re going through this together, and that eventually there will be a greener side of the fence.

Hopefully.  Let’s just hold onto that.

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The Media: What Are We Afraid Of?

We all have that one friend, you know them. They’re perky, full of energy, and most of all – they tell it like it is. No matter the situation they find themselves in, no matter where they are and no matter who they’re talking to, they have no filter. Sometimes that can be a good thing, especially when we really need to hear the truth. Though there are sometimes where it can be tough.  In short, the truth hurts. No matter what, however, we treasure them, and love having them as a friend. This friend doesn’t judge us for what we said when we had a little too much to drink, doesn’t think differently of us when we get a little angry. They’ll tell us exactly what we need to hear, when we need to hear it. They’re a security blanket.

For the world, that friend is the Media.

Today, we live in a world where the media can be thought of as vile, cruel, unnecessary and unfortunately – fake. But why? Why do we treat the media this way? Something that is so necessary for not only the dissemination of important, and sometimes life-saving, information, but also something that helps keep our lives and officials in check. Is it because we are afraid of what the truth is? Maybe deep down, we’re terrified at what the reality of life is, and what the news can be. Maybe since we don’t know what to do with the truth, we turn to anger, anger from where it came — like shooting the messenger. Or maybe it’s something different altogether. Regardless, anger and mistrust towards the media is a dangerous, and saddening thing, and it needs to end.

Everywhere you look you can find instances of people calling the media fake, or vindictive, however this couldn’t be further from the truth.  The media’s job is to report the facts, and that’s what they do. Sadly however, some people think they can fight the facts, diminish them as lies, and blame the media for the divisions among us. This can be more dangerous than even some of the stories being reported.  When we begin to vilify the media and the press, we give the impression that the very thing that is trying to protect us is evil. Just like that friend that would always speak their mind, the media sometimes tells us things we don’t want to hear — they tell us that we were wrong, and that can be difficult for some to accept.

This year has been a year of turmoil, tension, and just a general feeling of the unknown. But no matter what, no matter what was going on, the media was still running, and still getting crucial information to us accurately, and timely. This year we saw one of the worst pandemics this country has ever seen rock the economy and our daily lives.  But whatever was happening in the world, good or bad, we had friends on the front-lines, the front-lines of information. We craved it, we needed it, and it comforted us. 

The media isn’t just talking heads at 8pm, it’s not just writers for the world’s largest news outlets — it’s local people too, it’s our neighbors, and it’s our friends.  It’s the people on local news, broadcasting on the radio and writing for our local papers. They are the ones having our back in this time of great need for information. It’s our friends who are going to local hospitals, police departments, and other government agencies so we can have an informed day, and they never complain.  The pay is low, and the hours are rough — but being in the media is so much more than that. It’s about helping people, and making sure our community is informed.

What some people don’t realize though is that the media is composed of people, living people who are simply dedicated to reporting the facts. They are people who want to do nothing else than to make a difference, and report on the world around us.  It’s a tough, and sometimes dangerous job that not everyone could do. Long hours, low pay, and now the unfortunate stigma that comes from saying you work in the media. But why? What will we ever get from this? Journalists aren’t there to spread misinformation or lies. They’re there to open our eyes to what is going on, and change our lives for the better. But for some reason, when the story makes us uncomfortable, we turn to anger. We feel it as a personal attack — we’re afraid of how the world can actually be.  

Having a free press and media is a blessing, because it’s not this way all over the world. In some points on the globe, you can’t have free thought, you can’t have an opinion, and you can’t think for yourself.  But in this country, the free press is a pillar of our government, and for a good reason. Sadly, not everyone is perfect, and not everyone is honest, and if we let this go unchecked it can cause horrible imbalance in the government we love and trust.  Sometimes this comes at the expense of someone’s reputation, sometimes, this causes someone to lose their job, and sometimes it even sends someone to jail. But just because it may be painful doesn’t make the facts any less true. Biases aside, they make no difference, all media have one goal — the truth.

We’re not always going to be happy with what the media has to say, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be happy with everything you read or see on television, or hear on the radio.  When it becomes a problem is when we start to believe that we can’t ever be wrong, or that there is some deeper agenda in the press simply stating the facts of what is going on around us. But knowing what’s wrong leads you to how to fix the issue, and makes us better people. The media is not there to ruin lives, or induce panic, but to help.  It’s there to keep us informed, keep us in the loop, and create a world with open and free channels of knowledge. We can learn so much from the media and become a well-rounded society. Words will always give you away, much more than actions. If we’re so distrustful of the media, maybe the facts they’re reporting truly are revealing something deeper.

Now more than ever, we need information, and we need accurate information.  Thankfully for us,this is exactly what the media can provide. From warnings of an approaching hurricane to the daily traffic report, it’s information that makes our lives easier and safer. However there is another purpose for the media, a responsibility it willingly carries. This responsibility is to keep our world in order and our government in check, and this can be the most difficult part of all.  There is so much more to this life than all of the negative, you just have to look for it. And when things go right and life is going well, the media will be there to tell you.

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Standing Alone

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Social distancing.

That’s the word of the day, no?  Sure seems to be, and boy does it feel weird.

When I took this photo, I was in the midst of it…and still am.  There isn’t much to do, much to see, and really not much we can do about it.  Hopefully this will all be a bad memory soon, but it really has led to some weird thoughts.  Just the other day, I found my wife playing an old computer game from 2004. Why?  Well, why not. We have run out of puzzles, board games, and basically everything else.  It’s also the great TP crisis of 2020.

Still though, I needed to figure out a way to be creative, get my mind going.  I have been writing a lot lately, and trying to keep up with this blog. So I thought, why not take some photos of the very place I am isolated? Right then I happened to notice my one and only vase, isolated as well.

As fate would have it, the lighting was perfect, the timing was perfect, and everything just kind of lined up. It was a weird metaphor too.  The vase was all alone, cracked,  and a little dusty. To be honest, it’s not much different than myself. I’m tired, irritated, and just generally morose at times — but that’s okay.

This will pass, we’ll see the sun again, and we will be stronger for it.

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The Good Old Days

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Well… I guess we’re going to have to get used to this whole solitude thing, aren’t we?

Who knew when we kicked off 2020 that we would be spending the Spring inside, quarantined with our family…waiting. But here we are! Some people are reading, some people are writing, and some people are playing video games. As for myself?  I am looking at old photos from my vacation!

It’s funny right now to look at this photo taken in the Caribbean.  The port city is bustling, it’s a beautiful day and the tourists are getting ready to disembark and spend some relaxing hours on the beach.  Restaurants were full, beaches packed, and taxis bustling.  It was a good time, and I miss it

I know I am being really sentimental about normal life, but this feels different. Sure we’ll get back to our daily lives, the long commutes tough jobs will return, but it truly won’t ever be the same. We now know something that can stop us in our tracks, derail the entire world. It’s scary, but it’s something we’ll have to live with.  There will forever be a before, and after COVID-19.

So take this time to reflect, relax, and wait. Things will get back to normal, and that will be a great time. But also realize that we are more similar than we are different. Weirdly, this disease united the world, and made me realize that we really are in this together.

Text a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, write someone a letter, or maybe just send them a message. No matter how advanced we become, Mother Nature will always win…I guess.

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Silent Bells

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Well, now that we’re all quarantined, may as well clean the house…right?  So that’s kinda what I did.  I decided to go back to my very first photos I ever took and see what I came across.

Surprisingly, they aren’t that bad!  This one, for example, was taken while I was still in college, and still learning photography.  Oddly enough, my style never really changed, and I still see this type of photo pop up in what I do today — I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised.

If you’re wondering, this was taken at an abandoned park near Cleveland, mostly because it was the middle of winter, and it was around 2 degrees.

Find anything fun in your house while you’re cleaning?  I guess we really have nothing else to do…

Stay safe!

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A Taste Of My New Podcast!!

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It’s finally here!

For a while now, me and my good friend Matt have been working really hard on our…kinda… new podcast.

We’re in season 3 already, can you believe it?? So join us on the journey, and let us know what you think!

You can listen to a preview of season 3 here!

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More To Come…

Hello everyone!

This year, for the first time in…well…ever, I made a New Year’s Resolution.

For a while now, I have been fighting with myself on giving up on my creative endeavors.  I happened to fall into a little bit of a hole, and I didn’t seem to be able to get out of it.  Long story short, I was uninspired – and that upset me.

However, I have come to realize that I am who I am, and part of Paul is the art.  Because of this, I have made the resolution to dive head first back into everything I do creatively.

I know it’s March, and resolutions are supposed to start in January…whoops, don’t judge me.  This just means that you’ll soon see a LOT more of me and my work.  Sometimes it will be my photos, sometimes it will be blogs and writings, and sometimes it’ll even be some digital art.

I am back, and man does it feel good.  It’s who I am.

~PL

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