when robots and humans have a playdate
“we’re fascinated with robots because they are reflections of ourselves.”
attending the annual ann arbor art fair
i had great luck and the honor of meeting
photographer/human rights advocate, jim spillane.
i happened by his stall
drawn in by the beauty and subjects of his photographs
especially taken with his pictures of children
after much thought
finally decided on one
a young tibetan child
tiny hands held together in hello.
i asked jim his story
how he had come to take these stunning pictures all over the world.
once a criminal defense attorney in the gerald ford white house
representing vietnam war draft resisters seeking amnesty
he got sick, had a horrible experience
changed his life
trained with an ansel adams associate
began traveling the world
taking photographs of people
his subject is the human condition and the connections and responsibilities we have for each other.
using his pictures as a way to create interest, open discussion, communicate, call attention to a cause
he has worked taking photographs of workers at a nepalese brick factory for many years
created a photo book of the workers
to speak out and to tell their stories with his photographs
still seeking to help those in need and to be an effective advocate for them.
he is a natural artist, storyteller, teacher, advocate, and man.
“in recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
-thurgood marshall, former justice of supreme court of the united states
link to his website: jimspillane.com
link to his book, ‘the face of bricks’: https://www.blurb.com/b/9897011-the-face-of-bricks
cast of the original star trek series
“star trek was an attempt to say that humanity
will reach maturity and wisdom
on the day that it begins not to just tolerate,
but take a special delight
in differences in ideas and differences in life forms.”
-gene roddenberry -star trek creator
image credit: nbc tv
walking up to the register
i saw the cashier
a bit of an awkward, gawky type
with kind eyes and a worried face
who didn’t appear to have a lot of self-confidence
having just finished with a customer
he was ready to deal with my order.
his head was down
i said hello
he looked at me and said
“that last customer told me to smile.
he has no idea how hard it is for me
how hard it is to be here right now
no idea what im dealing with
what i’m going through
how it’s a miracle i’m even here
it would be really hard for anyone
i have to be here until midnight
this is just the beginning of my shift.”
as he quietly told me this
tears began to slowly roll down his face
he grabbed a box of tissues to wipe them away
all the while continuing to check me out.
we bagged my things together
as he went on –
“they told me to hold in my emotions
but i think its okay to show them
what’s wrong with that, i think it’s a good thing?”
when he finished with my order
his manager came over
with a compassionate and not angry face
without a word
took over his register
i thanked him for helping me
agreed that it’s certainly okay to feel and express things
told him that i hope things will get better
he walked off in silence and punched out
i hope that he takes a long break
goes home for the day
whatever he needs
has someone waiting for him who will support him
i don’t think he wanted an answer from me
just wanted me to listen
to acknowledge his humanity
his struggles, his emotions
tell him that it was okay for him to feel and express them
i hope he is back when i stop in for my weekly grocery shop.
i hope that things are better.
“tears come from the heart and not from the brain.”
-leonardo da vinci