A lack of Attibution

I love the internet. I hate the internet. ‘

One of the things I love is all the images that flow past my face every day. Art. Nature. News, and images like this one that just make me feel good. What I hate is attribution. I believe in it.

People deserve attribution and where appropriate, payment for their work. I believe that in my own work and I believe it in other’s work. My photo roll in my ipad is full of pictures like this one. I have no idea where they came from, but they sing to me. This shot brings me joy. I imagine the story in it. I’d like to go to this place and dance to some of that soul music. I want to be able to tell the person who took it how much I love it. And what continuing joy they brought me with their photograph.

This one is on my camera roll too. I love it because I have worked in technology since I was a young man and I have seen more of these kinds of tangles of cables and cords than you can imagine.

There is an art to detangling and making sense of that kind of mess, and I’ve done it hundreds of times, as have some of the people I have been blessed to work with the past 30 years. Ihave no idea what she is working on, or when in history she is sitting there in the mess except for a guess at the fashion.

But the work she is doing is so universal to my life (which I have mostly loved.). It makes me smile.

I have had this one on my phone almost as long as I have had a cell phone. At 62, almost 63, I have begun to get it. More than that is the work I do. I am a part time pastor now, and a life coach, and I work part time as a spiritual counselor for hospice.

Every week I talk to older people and middle aged people, and when I get them talking about their younger years, I can see the age peel away from them. It’s a magical thing to see. Every wrinkle is still there, but somehow the spirit of that young person rises up and overcomes the wrinkles. People become younger in front of my eyes. I love this picture.


I have no idea who took it, or where, or when. Don’t you feel the story in this one? I used this picture to formulate a character in my novel. She’s a minor character, but I am using her again in the novel I have just begun, this time as a more major character.

In my novel(s), she is a transgender woman from a farm community in south side Virginia who has made her way to New Orleans. She’s smart, wise and very Diana Ross-ish. I wish I knew who took this shot.

I’d love to thank them and to give them credit in my novels.

One last one:

I downloaded this one soon after I met the woman I love, who is now my wife. Neither of us look like the people in this picture and heaven knows neither of us dresses like that on a day to day basis. But I love the intimacy of this shot.

You know they love each other. You know they are comfortable with each other. You know they are the type of couple that talks for hours on end and share not just words, but themselves. And that is the kind of relationship the woman I love and I have had since the beginning. We still do.

It’s like a miracle to me. I never cease to wonder at it. I have pictures aplenty of the woman I love. But I keep this too because of how it captures an emotional part of our relationship that I love.

But dangif I know who took it, where, or why. My camera roll is full of such images. No attribution. No idea where they came from, but all of them touch me. There are stories and emotions in each of them. They have made a difference to me. And I often want to share them.

Who ever took these pictures, thank you. If you find me posting your shots without attribution, I will gladly take them down if you wish, or give you credit if you wish. You deserve it, just for the difference your work made.

Be well. Travel wisely,


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