Be the Spark

Scanning the floor of the Tacoma Dome after the lights went down Friday night, I looked for opportunities to improve my seating situation with my unnamed Englishman and new partner in crime.  A decade ago, I’d be sneaking forward for a better view of Ozzy on stage.  In my early 30’s however, it was Desmond Tutu who had inspired seat pirating with a complete stranger. A stone’s throw away from the Governor at the end of our escapade, I felt perfectly poised and ready for whatever Archbishop Desmond Tutu had to say. 
I love getting older.
“Be the Spark” was an event put on by the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.  In addition to Desmond Tutu, world-renowned human rights activist, it included various performers and speakers such as Craig Kielburger, who at the age of 12 (yes, 12!!) founded the organization Free the Children.   His organization has helped to build over 650 schools worldwide. 
Desmond Tutu walked on stage to a standing ovation, and he delivered a short, yet deeply personal message.  “Do your little of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the word.”   Those daily news articles of child labor, famine, and war aren’t distressing pieces of information to gloss over and discard.  They’re “God’s checklist”.  They’re opportunities for us to be the “spark” that ignites change.
Englishman lost to the masses, I walked through the Dome after Tutu left the stage, ushered out to the voice of Crystal Aiken, deep in thought. 
Let’s spark some change…
Did I get pictures, some of you are wondering?  Well, apparently my D90 is considered “professional” camera gear and was banned from inside the Dome.  So, the answer to that is a big, fat NO.   However, I did spend some time in Seattle yesterday afternoon, so I made the most of it.  As you will see, my fascination of street artists and performers continues.  
Point of View


Native American wood carver




Painted in SilverSilver at Pike Place Market


Silver at Pike Place Market
I can't hula-hoop anyway...forget adding a guitar and harmonica!


I can't do this either...this girl had an amazing voice!


Interesting back alley busker


My favorite pic from yesterday


I'll save you from that pigeon! This way!


A splash of color


16 comments on “Be the Spark”
  1. Seattle Silverman says:

    Hi Jolene,
    It’s Robby the Silver Guy from Seattle. I’m putting together a portfolio and would like to use your pics.
    If that’s ok let me know at:

    1. Feel free to use them! I also sent you an email about the originals if you want them.

  2. I think a lot of South Africans are wondering what will happen once Mandela and Tutu are no longer with us. Hopefully there will be others who take over their roles as voices of reason and wisdom and humanity.

    Amazing photos – you’re really making the most of your new camera!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I feel fortunate to have heard him speak during my lifetime. I’m sure there will be a huge void once Mandela and Tutu are gone.

  3. Sounds like you had a great weekend!! Personally, I like the couple on the skate boards. 🙂

    1. Hmmm. I predicted you would like that one actually, David. lol. 🙂

  4. Emily Gooch says:

    Very nice capture of life on the streets. It’s interesting to see the different things people will do to make a living. Love the shot of the guy playing guitar and doing the hula-hoop at the same time.

    1. Thanks, Emily! You wouldn’t believe how many search terms I’ve seen on my blog for that hula hoop guitar guy this past week!

  5. Jan says:

    Lovely photographs, Jolene!! I love the one of the girl with the accordion. Great composition with flowing movement – very well done!!

    1. Thank you, Jan! She was such an interesting person – I don’t see a lot of accordian players, much less women accordian players.

  6. nigel says:

    Some great candid shots but, my favourite is the very last one… very pretty.

    1. I like the bright colors of the last one too. Thanks, Nigel!

  7. Mike says:

    Great shots from what looks like a fun trip. You really seem to be developing a talent for street photography. Wish I had been able to meet up while you were in Seattle.

    1. Thanks Mike….I wish we could have met up too. Hope you are adjusting to life in Montana!

  8. jfn2nd says:

    Well, you certainly don’t want to get me on a soapbox, so I’ll just say I very much agree!

    Beautiful shots. I admire how well you capture the shots of all the different people. It’s an area I need to work on — I am really awful at people shots!

    PS. I’m stealing the Bishop Tutu quote….

    1. Steal away! Thanks, John!

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