By Allan Hill
Having been raised in the horror-filled Bromley-Heath housing projects of Boston, Massachusetts, the pain and torture came from all sides, both outside the home and inside the home. The relentless throbbing of hurt bones and miserable sleep kept me company. Rushing through the experiences, it was my entrance into the United States Marine Corp that became a very welcomed change for me. After my service, I had decided to return to California to see about continuing my marriage and relationship with my new son. Unable to continue our marriage or a relationship, nor the one with my son and having decided to stay in Los Angeles, I had found a job in a small hotel. Within a year, I had bought into a partnership with the owner. Ten years later, divorced from my second wife professionally abandoned by my partner as he had left me with nothing but a list of creditors who wanted money. No partner, no friends, no business, no job with no possibilities of support, I found myself sinking deeper into depression and into the streets.
About two years later, a close friend suggested a local college after looking at some of my photographic prints, and asked the question: ‘what’s stopping you?’ Applying for classes under the VA Bill, I did not realize I personally had a learning disorder (LD) as the experience took a good eight years to complete, yet I was on my way to a new life. I had received my first degree in Photography in Los Angeles where he honed his craft on the streets of the ‘72 suburbs in search of a city’, Inspirations by the likes of Robert Frank, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, John Davidson among other contemporary artists, time itself became a teacher to me, I began to realize the connection of all things and it was this interconnectivity that spurred him on.
It was here at Los Angeles City College (LACC) that I learned far more than a collegiate education could ever offer. I had learnt humility, humbleness and honesty. Sometimes a camera can have the effect of turning itself back on the author. It was here that my soul was saved. What society had done in my childhood, LACC had taken in this seriously broken individual and began to cleanse and teach me. The affinity of the connections of all things was not lost on me, as moving to the Olympia area I was spurred on to apply for transfer to The Evergreen State College where I studied Cinematography and Media Arts and a lifetime study of Critical Thought. I approach every scene in an air of detachment while remaining open to the transition of life and respecting every individual regardless of the station in life they may find themselves. It was only after years of therapy both private and group that ‘the introverted child of ten started to trust me and I kept up the work even as I had walked out of therapy on some evenings feeling like my brain and heart were made of pin cushions or worse rock after a series of quarry explosions.
Presently, in attending the Women’s March on Washington last January, I must admit that I was initially going to DC in part for Hillary’s Inaugural Day presentation, as I believed in Hillary in that I have supported her through the past ten years and there was no way I was NOT going to miss her . . . inauguration. It would have been a life-changing event for me, still, the experience transforming into the Women’s March had changed me in major ways and that I continue to appreciate. I started to become a true activist. I have researched Hillary for a few years and began putting the two and twos together a couple of years ago and jumped right on her train in politically supporting her as a community worker. Presently, as a fully-fledged student of feminism and a community worker for the cause but for her platform that she worked so very hard for the past 30 years on. You see, I too am qualified to sign on to the ever-growing #METOO list, but not with excuses or explanations, putting it this way; which came first the Humanity or the inhumanity?
I have food in the refrigerator. I have a partner who deeply loves me, and I have clothes on my back. I have a warm place to sleep. I have money in the bank, in my wallet and some spare change on my bureau, I woke up this morning with more health than illness. Even as a Marine I escaped experiencing the dangers of battle, the agony of torture and the pangs of starvation, I can attend a temple, church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death. I can truly hold up my head with a smile on my face and be truly thankful and blessed. I live a very simple and blest life and as a Buddhist I thank the universe continually. If I could I would spend time with someone and hold their hand, hug them and touch their shoulder in hopes of the blessings being passed on.
Currently in life, I work online for a few websites such as: Global Citizen dot org, One dot org, Causes dot org, Southern Poverty Law Center dot org and move On dot org as we all await the blue waves
I wish you a Merry Resistance and a Happy Blue Year,