As the Connecting Memphis project comes to a close, I want to thank you for reading the interviews and encouraging and affirming those whose stories have appeared in this space. When someone gives us a glimpse into his or her life and we identify with it, something wonderful happens. Author Anne Lamott puts it this way: “When you tell the truth and somebody says ‘me too’, then you know you’re home.” We are not alone in our struggles; we all have hard things to deal with. We all love, we all grieve, we all hope, we’re all afraid sometimes. And we all need the thoughtfulness, kindness, and compassion so very evident in your comments and responses to the stories. Thank you for that.
A special thanks to Caritas Village for letting me monopolize a window booth as my “office.” Thank you to the Memphis Public Library --- particularly Wayne Dowdy and Wang-Ying Glasgow --- for making it possible for me to conduct interviews there. Thank you to St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral; their weekly community breakfasts have enabled me to meet many of the homeless men and women whose stories appear here. Thank you to the many festival organizers, non-profits, local businesses, community centers, houses of worship, retirement homes, civic organizations, and individuals in various neighborhoods who have welcomed me so warmly and openly. Thank you to the many artists of all kinds who touch our hearts and imaginations with their courage and creativity every single day. A special thanks to CBU Gallery Director and local artist Rollin Kocsis for encouraging me from the beginning and walking with me as the project moved toward completion. And of course, heartfelt gratitude to my husband Phil for his unfailing support and love.
SAVE THE DATE: Many, many thanks to Christian Brothers University for sponsoring and hosting the upcoming CONNECTING MEMPHIS Exhibit. The opening reception for the show will be May 18, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery on the campus of Christian Brothers University and will feature a number of photos and stories from the project. Yes, the opening is more than a year away, but I would be so honored to have you join me that evening. Please mark it on your calendar! The exhibit will be on view through August 1, 2018, and the pieces will then become part of the university’s permanent collection. Thank you, CBU and Rollin Kocsis for affirming the value of our community’s stories. If you would like to receive a reminder about the show, click HERE or go directly to https://goo.gl/Nt9Yd1.
Going forward, I plan to continue to volunteer with a couple of non-profits and to work on some personal writing and photography projects. I'm not sure in which direction those will take me, but I'm excited to explore the possibilities.
There is so much more I could say, but I will close with this quote from the Bible, found in Micah 6:8. This simple but profound truth reminds me daily of what is really important in life: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Thank you, Memphis. You are a treasure.
Cindy Putnam McMillion