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Caterpillar.
Dont be so specific.
Cocoon.
Too idealistic.
A wooden frame. A centered death. A perfect placement.

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This is from the journal’s owner, Mary, to all her friends who will write over the next 30 years.

1821-1850

1st
Gladly I’d twine a wreath for thee
From friendships fair unfading tree
And bid it bloom unceasingly

To slain thy hours of loneliness


2nd
but where shall this rare plant be found.
does it eve grow, on the earthly ground
or only grace some heavenly mound


amid those lovers of happiness

3rd
It sometimes blooms neath suns bright skies
But when misfortune blasts arise
Quickly the sunshine friendship dies
and leaves but dull formality

4
Some bird of origin divine
I’ll seek to form this wreath of thine
plucked from the withering bond of time
to bloom for thee eternally

5th
nor i alone this wreath will twine
but all thy friends who trace a line

in this nespitle (?) of thine
shall form this wreath for thee

6th
this album then a wreath for thee
and every name a flower shall be
a pure bright gem of constancy
sacred to love and memory

Mary E. Harlow

Writings from a recently discovered journal

1821-1858

Friendship

Touch gently with thy taper fingers

The strings of some loved lute

The Cherished sounds will with you linger

E’en when the strings are mute

And thus I’d have thy thoughts recur,

When far away from thee,

To Him who leaves a tribute here

For Friendships Memory.


Over the azure sky above,

Clouds sweep by caravans,

But still the star we watch and love

On memory remains.

And Even through their dusty forms,

O’ershadowing earth and sea,

As fiercely driven by careless storms.

That star is bright to me.


When Starry night doth wane away,

Beneath the sun gay gleam,

do we forgit the moons pale ray,

lost in a gaudier beam,

O with the stars I’d have thee keep,

my friendships memory

and when i gaze on heaven’s blue deep,

I’ll fondly think of thee.


Miss  Mary A. Millis

Oswego, Oct 29, 1838

From Her Friend,

Morris D. James

This was the best day ever…Praise God.

It started with me in the Word! 1 John 3:16, Jesus laid down his life for others and we must do the same for our brothers. After I read the word and prayed about it in my life I received an email informing me that I sold two prints of my work to an awesome guy which payed for my trip to London! I was already scheduled to hang with my friend Andrew Siems after he was in California spreading the Gospel amongst the trees.

So then Bill Hogen needed me to drop him and his daughters, one of them being my best friends wife, off at the football game. So they drove down as I had breakfast with Siems at Brooklyn Street Deli. IT was the jam. The credit card machine was down so Hogan and Jump went down to us and paid 21 bucks for our breakfast. I drove them to the game and it was awesome to see them for a few minutes. I went back to my house to meet up with Andrew Siems again and we drove around Detroit exploring unseen streets and parts of town. It was awesome to talk about Siems’ time setting up high adventure ropes around the huge Californian trees. His stories were great! At 115 I received a text from Steve Gagne reminding me yet again to show up at the church to take christmas photos of him and his wife and new baby girl. I had totally forgotten. Siems was gracious enough to come with me and we arrived at the church at 129. The photo shoot was awesome! His family is so handsome! So then I left to take Siems back to his car so he could go home to see his wife. I then went to see a friend of my John Gardner who had a 20 hour layover in detroit. A bunch of my friends in Christ were hosting her so she would be taken care of. I met them at Eva’s Tamales and talked to 8 of my friends for 10 minutes with 6 of my old Free Press friends hailed me from the other corner of the room and I went over very surprised and happy to see them. We all caught up and talked about life and photography. I left them 20 minutes later and caught back up with my other friends.

My friend, the director of photography at the Detroit News, called me to remind me of the party he was throwing for the Detroit News photographers. I had totally forgotten about it and told him I would arrive at 5. We left and the girl and Micah came with me. I took them around Detroit and showed them the theater that turned into a parking garage, The Book Cadillac and the amazing Guardian Building turning layover girl into a Detroit Lover. Headed back to Amos’ house and saw my friends again. Jump then called and I left to pick them up from the Football game. Jump then took me from Hamtramck to Detroit to take get a coffee before dropping me off at the Detroit News party. It was the worst coffee I had ever had from SBUX. It was funny how bad it was. I would rather had them splash it on me than me drink it. Jump dropped me off at a huge scarry warehouse and for a second I thought the Detnews was trying to kill me in a secret location. Then my friend met me at the back door and took me up to the fourth floor and behold the coolest flat I had ever seen. Totally hand made huge floor with bookshelves and a huge fireplace, two deep fried turkies and other assorted awesomeness. Bob is my friends name. He is totally great guy and edits a lot of my personal work. I talked to a bunch of Detnewsers and met up with John, a photog that I did not really know but ran into twice in three years. We talked for awhile about my china trip and then other stuff. Eventually we sat down by the fire and talked for another hour. It was awesome! God totally used me to lead him back to being stoked about God after a two year absence. Pray for him! After we talked it was humbling to hear him say, “When you left the Free Press, I thought it was because you had faith in yourself, that you were some bigtime filmmaker. Then later I heard about your life that you live in faith. Now it is great to see that you do live that life.”It was the best part of my past month. He was soaking what I was saying about God and then saying what he knew about God and it was legit.

My heart and mind were blown that I was expecting to be gone and waited, not anxious even though I was late to my next party, but seeking the lord for what he had for me. We talked and talked and it was awesome. After that I was photographing and dropped my lens and the auto focus broke. I wasn’t worried at all! I am so willing to be used by the Lord that I know he has a bigger plan! I had no way to get to my next party, A meat and cheese drying party at Cooley’s house. But then a girl i didn’t know offered to take me. She told me her story on the way there and dropped me off. For the next four hours I ate cheese and meat and talked with my fav detroiters about detroit and photography and italy and other stuff. I told one more lady about God and how you can trust him. Best of all my friends Amos and Tom picked me up from the party and took me home. I got to rejoice with them for what God had done in my day. Then like a good gift, my friend Joel and I just said hi over the phone and he was happy to be at his parents of house. Throughout the night I showed my 1840 journal to people to show them something I appreciate.

The party ended with an architect friend coming up to me and telling me a story. Summed up; “In the class I teach students need to find someone and design what they think their dream will be. One student picked me and designed a condo. I like the art this student put on the walls in my dream condo and I asked him where did he the art idea from. ‘They are works by Stephen McGee’. You’re work is much more out there than you think. ”

I was humbled again to see how God was using me in his ministry. I think everyone should know that in the Lord our work is much more impacting than we think. So go and rely on the Lord, showing his love to others.

All this for the glory of God. All this because of Christ. I gave my life to him again last night, spending time silent, imagining myself as if I just entered his room the night he was born! Falling facedown on purpose in humility and awe, I realized that God was speaking to me. He told me, “Better is coming, Prepare, Finish (what you are working on)”.

You can have all this by putting God first and not making all of this more important.

Writings of a Poet, A. J. Thompson, 1838-1851

I will be publishing poems and writings from a book I purchased today. One a day. You will want to read these, i only wish you could see the penmanship.

The back story

I wish I could write like I thought when daydreaming. This morning having completed my first assignment for Time Magazine, I made my way to John K King Books in Detroit. I strolled through the old books section picking up one copy of the New Testament printed in 1670 to read. It was in Latin and leather bound with an asking price of 450. “I feel less intelligent being around all of these books” I told a woman who was surprised I had started a conversation. “Start Reading” she suggested.

My friend Amos and I walked into another room to find a elderly woman reading while standing. Above her a sign hung listing the various sections at the doorway of a room behind her; “-Sports (with a dash as it was listed above another section) -Occult (also with a dash on faded paper). “Were you looking for the sports that the Occult play? If so it is in that direction” she laughed.

Making my way to the counter without a book I saw a variety of classic photo albums from the early 1900s for 200-500 dollars. Nothing was in my price range. Upon leaving I saw this little book with 35 dollar price tag from the corner of my eye or I stood and stared at it for a few minutes, either way it did not meet my fancy for the 10 minutes I was by it for some time.   The case for why I picked up the red broken, tattered journal in a plastic sleeve was mainly because if it were new, I would purchase the same design, make and build to record what I felt needed recording ( I have filled out 9 journals in 6 years/28 countries and I still feel behind).

The Authors

Inside Page, “To Little Book and from each heart a tribute of affection bring  M.H.C.H.”

It appears this book was passed among friends, among lovers but lovers only in the emotional sense, among a Mary A. Millis and a Morris Z. James. There are roughly 100 pages all weather and age has seen. Contributing authors so far as I have read include CMP, B Phillips, and Bath and Kitts. It seems all lived in a tiny New York, or Oregonian, town of Oswego. The Main poet who has mostly written to the beauty of named Mary is A. J. Thompson.

Following a few poems about friends yields a dedication page, “This book is open for good advice, not (underscored) for flattery“.

I am yet to decide whether to write the poems in order or as I chose, The dated poems are not in chronological order.

From the Middle of the Book,

Beauty is never so lovely and attractive as when it is hidden beneath the veil of retiring modesty. The most beautiful flowes of the garden, that most attracts and harms the senses, never appears so lovely as when it is behold, sweetly preping from the midst of its curtain of green leaves, which serve to partially proect it, from the sun and elements, and render its charms doubly interesting and beautiful.

A. J. Thompson, July 13, 1841

With bank accounts more than empty caused by lavish hotel rooms and equal meals to suite any price range of suite, coffee twice a day and a San Francisco bay, travel expenses ate just as well for my three week shoot to China and now in this fall chill, -zero is forecasting the unpaid bill from not yet paid recent jobs will soon eat too. Recently home, I sit on the floor near my cat’s food box, empty, ripping up bread for her to eat, along with me. Neither of us have any money to buy the other anything of editable value so we feast like beggars on the streets of Paris, on a four course meal of the handout sourdough bread from Le’Gagnavalon. The granite rose, charcoal and tan stones that make up my kitchen’s floor help the Français de l’humeur.

I realized today that it could be likely that by chance I will never have a separation between social life and what others have called my passion. And that makes life a bit easier to navigate and I think that is so because instead of dividing which parts of existence go where and more importantly to some, when, everything seems to go together as it fits together. As it fits together, planned by the Hymn.

It is 530 am and simultaneously 5 videos in full 1440×1080 hd push a little blew bar of status as they upload fresh from the export chambers that rest in the depths of a late night fcp edit session. The videos will be seen by Congress week. Mr. Z.P, Genious Esquire was beside me, making my evening as a perfect assistant would, from 8 pm to 520 am helping any way he could. The original Pink Panther film played as the night went on.
5 Videos exported in two resolutions, color toned with audio fixed, all of that done today.
6am. Time for sleep, for just a little while.

Angelic chimes ping at seemingly random only narrate the joy of the completed movie files uploading to the internet.

A week of hard work can teach you that even a cat can get full on crumbs of simplicity and bread.

Why complain? If it is your Lord you pray to, then the Lord it is that guides you and as a guide knows the terrain ahead so your Lord will deliver you. To where? To him.

Why complain? Better yet, why not be grateful? You are sick, you could be sicker, you have no money, you could be poorer. These are simple arguments for the complex thoughts that bring our complaints to the level playing field of the world. God has no favorites so chose humility and chose it in joy.  Is saying, “Well, you’re right, I could be sicker” more of an un-complaint or more of a situation you default to in your attempt analyze your world with wisdom that was gained in the same second.

Lord I pray that you will guide me to the frontline or to peace and in either, with any teaching you chose, may my lips never let pass the ungrateful attitude my thoughts yield.

In my sickness I will praise the Lord. In my travels I will praise the Lord. If I don’t know what that means, I pray for the Lord to reveal to me what he wants to. The reasons we are to be slow to anger and slow to speak are that those pauses are where God interjects like a gentleman. Most ladies I know don’t think gentlemen exist anymore with the way most men talk.  Ladies, I will tell you that gentlemen still exist.  God, or whatever you want to call the higher power who had a son named Jesus, will give you the wisdom.

Be intentional this week. Tell those you are ministering to your heart. But don’t tell it to them like you are talking to the “unsaved” but tell it to them like you are talking to Gods’ creation. Are you the one to hold the sin between you and your “unsaved” friends? In joy be intentional, maybe then the authority you have been owning will step down to make room for God to work. That sentence is a bit misguided, “making room for God to work” is like a child clearing  place amongst their toys for the adult to sit, to watch them play with their toys.

Oh, thank you Vivaldi. Soundtrack my ψαλμοί without the harp. Back to editing.

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This video doesn’t exist

a movie of my second after effects try. Sloppy edit, can’t get rid of the x, but in all, a big step in eventual production.

frame below..light en up steve. it’s just a light test on you.