Imaginary becoming Real – The Journey Back

journey backIt was almost a year ago while minding my business and at the end of what seemed to be a  normal day, I was stricken with a stroke.  Doctors said it was a “small” stroke but it has made a major difference in my life.

I was blessed to not have most of the issues that stroke victims have  – no headaches, no speech problems, no vision problems, and no notable facial drooping.  I did have weakness on my right side and the inability to use my right arm and leg.  When I woke up that day I did not imagine how it would end or that I would spend almost the next 8 weeks in hospitals and rehab facilities.

Wheel chair bound and having to ask to be taken to the bathroom was my start.   Hard headed I listened to what doctors were saying but I never imagined being less than what I was before the stroke.  When I was wheel chair bound I imagined being able to walk with a cane.  Each day I pleaded with the therapist to leave one in my room so I could practice. Eventually one day she “forgot” and left one there.  Once I became comfortable (in my mind) with the cane and before the therapist thought I was ready I started taking steps without the cane.  Scolded for walking around the rehab center without the cane I became more frustrated but more determined and somewhat sneaky.  I felt that it was my body and if I fell it was my business.   Fortunately, I never fell at the rehab.  I could notimagine being cane bound.

Now I am almost 11 months post stroke.  I go where I want to go on my own 2 feet. No cane or wheel chair!  My walk is not pretty yet.  It is getting easier and easier to walk up and down hills and to climb on and off metro buses and the subway.  I am also a professional photographer taking pictures again – probably better than I did before.  People see me on the streets and probably feel sorry for me and think I have it so bad but they have no idea what I looked like a few months ago nor can they imagine how great I will be walking next month which will be 1 year post stroke.  I can imagine it!

Do you have an ailment or situation and know that you are going to do better?  You just can’t imagine anything less!

Lonnie Dawkins is a portrait and event photographer based in Washington, DC

logo picture

Lonnie Dawkins Photography

Imaginary

What the world needs now is more drums. The Meridian Hill Park Drum Circle in Washington, DC.

I visited Malcolm X Park also known as Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC for the first time in years on Sunday August 30, 2015..  I was looking for a place to take picture.   Now I know what the world needs.  It needs more drums.

Washington, DC is suffering from crime wave with the murder rate way out of hand but there is something wonderful going on within its limits.

On weather friendly Sunday afternoons as I discovered there is a Drum Circle representing people from all over the world that has been gathering for about 50 years in the park.  It is open to anyone who has something to strike on and willing to get on the beat.

There were fat drummers, skinny drummers,  old drummers, young drummers, men and women, rich and poor representing the colors of the rainbow.  The music made you move.  It was also playing background to yoga, picnics, sports and other activities taking place in the park.

People were dancing with not a care in the world.  For about 4 hours it was nothing but peace and love.

Maybe the world would be a better place if there were more drums.

1-Drumline -line of drummers in Malcolm X Park DC 2a-drums being struck by man in park 2-hands and drums 3a-Children drummers in Malcolm X Park DC
3-Drummers in the park 4-Drummer in Malcolm X park 5a-Older woman dancer African style in purple dress Continue reading

Senior Portraits – It’s All About the Graduate

Senior Portraits – Gleeful image of a college graduate during her photo shoot.

Smiling young female college graduate - African American
During the session we take the standard cap and gown images and then we take creative shots that express the graduate’s personality. Pictures are taken in studio and in various locations of the graduate’s choice.

It’s all about the graduate as we celebrate his/her accomplishment.

Maya Angelou – Two things I will remember

By Lonnie Dawkins

Author and poet Maya Angelou is photographed at home on April 4, 2008, in New York. She died May 28 at the age of 86.  (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)

Author and poet Maya Angelou is photographed at home on April 4, 2008, in New York. She died May 28 at the age of 86. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)

Today  we remember Maya Angelou who spoke so many words of wisdom.  She affected us all in many ways.  I was there in 2008 when she received the Lincoln Medal at Ford’s Theatre and I read many of her books and writings.  Had she just been a writer, dancer, actor, professor, film director, or author, she still would still would have been phenomenal. This woman was wise and important to me.

She was for peace and wanted people to get alone.  There is one conversation that she had with Oprah Winfrey years ago that stays in my mind. She was on Oprah’s tv show and the points she made I put to use and try to share with others. They were about getting along and not letting others affect you negatively.

During the interview she talked about a lot of things but these are two tidbits I will always remember.  I may not be remembering them correctly but they have helped me negotiate my way.

1) “I’m not in it.”  

When people are talking about you and trying to verbally do you harm,  just say “I’m not in it”. That’s what those people are doing.  Don’t get caught up in their foolishness.  Keep on doing what you are supposed to be doing and let them talk or do whatever they are doing.  You can’t stop people from talking about you so don’t let them upset you.

2) “No, I can’t take a joke”.

Watch when people want to make fun of you,  call you out of your name, say unpleasant things to you, etc.  When you  call them on it and they say that they were just kidding and ask “Can’t you take a joke?”,  you should reply “No, I can’t take a joke, stop it!”   She said they are trying to kill you.  I know she didn’t mean that they were actually trying to kill you but that they are trying to slowly pull you down.

Two simple parcels of wisdom that I learned from Dr. Maya Angelou that I will always remember.

Thank you Dr. Angelou.  Rest in peace.

I know we all have special memories and words of wisdom from Dr. Angelou.  What are yours?

http://www.lonniedawkins.com

Engagement Photography leads to Great Wedding Photography

Pat-a-cake

Engaged couple playing pat-a-cake

Engagement pictures for a fun couple.  I was trying to think of a pose for them on the floor so I suggested this children’s game but had no idea they were experts at it.  They played  for about 20 minutes it seemed. Truly a fun couple who enjoy  each other’s company.

Question?  What is the name of this hand game?  Is it Patty Cakes, Pat-A-Cake, or something else?

Face Book

Website

.

Mismatched Shoes – At least they’re the same color

Two mismatched shoes both black

Halfway through a photo session in a client’s home I decided to remove my shoes to make sure not to cause damage to the floors.    That’s when I realized I was wearing mismatched shoes.  Same color but two different shoes.  Fortunately they weren’t a tie-up and a slip on.  Some people may have noticed, some may not have.

I still had a full day ahead and knew I would not have a chance to go home and change.  Also, I was not going to go buy new shoes just for the day.  I went on to do the other things I needed to do with the mismatched shoes on and said it wasn’t really that big a deal.

Nevertheless,  I did make sure I went home and changed shoes before going to pick up my grandson from the daycare learning center.  I certainly would not want the good folks there to think I was a bad influence on the lad as he learns to tie shoes and dress himself..

I must admit I did this one other time in my life about 10 years ago when I went to church with two different shoes on and the good Christians enjoyed it way too much. I thought that would be the last time I would ever do this.

Tell me I am not the only one with this little issue.   Check your shoes before you leave home!

Saturday Afternoon Slide

What’s more fun than the playground on the first day of fall.  Two boys enjoying the tube slide.    They noticed that I had climbed inside to take a picture.  Not sure if they thought I looked silly or if they were just smiling.

boys sliding down slide tube at playground

boys going down the tube slide at the playground

Lonnie Dawkins Photography