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  • Several years ago, right around this same time of year, I started a blog on which I posted about politics, world affairs, popular culture, and some of my own photography. My blog served quite a few purposes: it was an enjoyable way for me to think and comment about the issues and occurrences of the time; it encouraged me to stay up-to-date on those things so that I could engage with my readers (whose numbers unlikely ever rose above a dozen); it motivated me to get out more with my camera to create and document new images, one of my favorite hobbies. The motivation I got from having that blog was desperately needed at the time, as I was going through a lot of difficult changes and wasn't having an easy time coping or adjusting. Each time I posted a new bit of commentary or a new photograph, I knew I had pushed myself over and through some pretty formidable obstacles to get there. Post by post, I began to rediscover my voice, and that carried over into my life offline as well.

    Sometime during my first couple weeks of posting, I put up a scenic landscape photograph I had taken and added the words "dream a little dream" to it. As I mentioned, I was feeling quite lost and alone at the time, and, with that post, I sent out a prayer, to whom I didn't know. I prayed that someone, somewhere, would spend a moment thinking about me in a positive light, and that their thoughts would somehow come back to me, translated into a moment or two free from the pain and confusion that had become daily constants in my life. I titled that post/prayer "Across the Universe." The Beatles' song had always been a favorite of mine, and I have carried the photo with me in various forms (prints, desktop background images, etc.) since I put it on my site in 2005. I suppose this story would be much more exciting (and much less true) if I said that a few days after my posting a John Lennon impersonator saved my life and we lived happily ever after. No such miracle or bizarre occurrence happened in connection to my blog-prayer. But every time I hear the song or a reference to it, which does happen quite a bit, I take a moment to reflect on the positive changes, and in particular the supportive and loving people who have come into my life, since I first broadcast my wish. "Across the Universe" may not have brought forth miracles, but what it has done for me, is provide small, quiet moments of remembrance, gratitude, and continued expression of my deepest needs (in whatever form and to whomever may be listening). My having the picture closeby brings me a certain calm, trusting that, in some way that I may not even realize I need, it will carry back a bit of warmth and comfort from across the universe.
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