Growing up in New Mexico makes a girl tough, adventurous – and completely feminine.
I recently saw myself in two sisters: Vivien McCullough, 4, (above, left) and Audrey McCullough, 2. They were on an afternoon adventure to the Navajo Nation with their grandfather, mom and dad. Family friends were sheering sheep, but that mesa-top tale is for another day. The girls had dressed themselves, explained their mother, Anais Chakerian.
The two wore dress shoes because sandals were the alternative. Yes, thinking back to my cactus discovery at the same age, buckled shoes with sturdy soles were a good choice. I, at age 28, chose to wear jeans and hiking shoes for the trek. After soaking in the girls' sense of discovery – the sandstone crevices that trap rain, the baby sheep that were born the night before, the water that hid in an underground cave – I thought, "Silly me. I should have worn a dress."
(Published as "Viewfinder: Ascent of a woman," a photo column in the Albuquerque Tribune, June 4, 2007.)
Helped Christina Kennedy put together a piece for Kickstarter, a fundraising site for creative projects. She and her two kids, Elliot and Nico, will collect drawings of monsters. In the vein of Godzilla, these "Eco Monsters" run the gamut from good to bad, and they speak to the future of our planet. (Please watch the video for inspiration.)
Christina and her kiddos will select the top drawings for a book and an exhibit.
Funds raised through Kickstarter will go toward these costs. Christina would like any surplus funds to benefit the victims in Japan, where she grew up.
Christina and I started producing the promotional video for this project *before* the quake, tsunami and resulting nuclear disasters struck Japan. As these events occurred, she wasn't sure what to do. However, upon the urging of those closest to her, she decided to move forward.
This project is timely and allows people of all ages to express their fears -- and their hopes -- regarding our world.
How can you participate?
Draw your own Eco Monster and send it to:
P.O. Box 40190
ABQ, NM 87196
You can also financially support the project by donating a few bucks on Kickstarter.com.
Thanks, Folks! Let's see those monsters...
On Feb. 23, 2008, The Albuquerque Tribune printed its last edition. The afternoon daily was my home and my training ground for 1 1/2 years. While that may not seem long, it was enough time to be challenged and to grow as both a storyteller and a human being.
This post is dedicated to the fine men and women -- the Tribunistas -- who came before me, worked beside me and continue to inspire me.