LIFE’S STRANGE CONNECTIONS OVER TIME
Here is just one example of how life can unfold in totally unexpected ways, over time. One may take one tiny step and later find that tiny step to be a key part of a long journey as described here.
My third child was very cute and a cute subject for photography, so I bought a movie camera to record his early childhood. Our whole family had never enjoyed such a luxury as childhood movies, so this was a very exciting activity for me. Movie making brought out some latent creative talents as I found new ways to film the children in play. There was “The Fort”, the “Log Swing”, the “Bouncing Marshmallows”, and the Flexy Flyer”. Neighborhood children were often involved in the films. My favorite short story was called “Along the Balboa Trail”. It was about my four-year-old son’s wanderings along a forested pathway and having loads of fun for the camera.
The Bolex, 8mm movie camera with a quality French zoom lens was purchased in early 1960’s and was soon used for non-family filming of public happenings of that decade. By chance I heard about FUB classes (Free University of Berkeley) to get some pointers on filming techniques. I was instructed to “Just do it”. I thus learned by doing and with little more instruction than that. I became a self-taught film maker.
I took my camera to the Haight Ashbury as the San Francisco’s “The Summer of Love” was ending. This experience was awesome. It was a life-changing epiphany for me. Hippies, dancing in the street, colorful costumes, racially mixed couples, and a great abundance of freedom was captured in film on a single weekend. The film was shown to friends and groups and classes with great enthusiasm. I made several film documents in three years before going on to other pursuits. Among the films was a minute and quarter of Cynthia displayed her paintings in Berkeley at the Forum Restaurant on Telegraph Avenue.
The young Cynthia was beautiful, charming, and easy to chat with, while I was a shy and awkward married man with zero social skills. Cynthia was the first one who broke me out of this shell with her friendly self confidence. She became a roll model for me. I was starting to learn about communicating with strangers as an art form. She gave me encouragement and inspiration and started me on my long journey of 50 years, plus. Now, proudly, I can communicate with anyone on most any subject thanks partly to the inspiration from Cynthia.
I once visited Cynthia in her S.F. apartment to hear her Doors album. It was the unusual 11-minute musical item called “The End”. It was an unforgettable experience for me. We were having fun and she was very friendly and natural to be with. I later wondered why I didn’t try to kiss her, but I had always been a faithful married man of 15 years, and it would have seemed improper. Cynthia soon made plans to travel to Europe for 6 months and needed some cash. I liked her as a talented artist and wanted to buy one of her acrylic paintings to help her out. One Hundred dollars was a hefty sum to spend on a painting, but I was certain that the talented Cynthia would soon become a famous artist so the investment could be justified on that basis. This painting, made for her father with great love and care, could one day be worth a fortune. It was much too futuristic for the older gent who really wanted just a photograph of the ocean for his display. .. Lucky me, as this acrylic painting has been on my wall and in my heart for decades now.
Cynthia got married in Europe and returned to California 6 years later, but I had no way of contacting her then until about 43 years later. By then, all the 8 mm film taken in the 1960’s had been converted to digital format and once again became of great interest. A friend wanted to contact some of the people filmed 4 decades before and Cynthia was certainly one person of interest. Cynthia had returned to her family home in Albany and we had an interesting reunion. She had no clear memory of me, but she was blown over when seeing the large 48 inch X 30 inch painting hanging on my dining room wall. It was the missing link to a series of “Seascapes” she had painted. She was equally delighted when she viewed the one minute plus film of her selling her paintings at the Berkeley Forum. This charming 19-year-old girl had no other photos of her childhood as her parents were not into photography. She was able to use the film and the painting in her promotional material. She was now becoming established as an important artist.
Now, about 8 years after our “reunion”, and 52 years after first meeting, we have become fast friends, helping one another in our life projects and objectives. Cynthia is not only a talented artist, but at age 75 she continues to sharpen her skill sets into the digital world where I often need help. She has inspired me to take on many digital projects and then generously has helped me to implement them. My life would be less rich without her friendship, and she says the same about me. This scientist and the creative artist came to meet by chance 51 years ago to form strong bonds of trust that could hardly have been predicted. This friendship serves as an example how life can unfold in such wonderful and surprising ways. .. NO PLANNING REQUIRED. ..
HONESTY, INTEGRITY, and RELIABILITY are helpful attributes.
.. The Good Life will be your Reward .. In Time ..