February 09, 2010

Taking the First Step


"Faith is taking the first step, even when you can't see the whole staircase"
Martin Luther King Jr.
I love the art of Edgar Mueller , a German artist who paints 3D works of art in public settings. His purposeful illusions of trickery remind me of the mind games that go on in our heads as we begin to pursue a dream or a goal. Our reasoning screams at us to turn back!

 But I've noticed something about people who pursue goals and dreams. They check mate their apprehensions and misgivings. 

There's a  characteristic that sucessful dreamers-turned doers have in common . They take a deep breath and say, "Here I go..." often not seeing the next step. There's always an ingredient of faith - believing that there's ground underneath them as they move forward. 

The famous cliff scene in Indiana Jones is a perfect image of this as he takes his first "step of faith"across a ravine, only to find a pathway laid before him. It's often just that first step that's the most daring.  In proceeding with the first few of the12 interviews of the Durham Dreams project, I've heard this theme repeated: faith and courage.

 This month I am beginning Bill Kalkoff's Dream Portrait and it should be ready for display during the March open studio. Bill, the president of Downtown Durham Inc., has been a linchpin figure in the rebuilding of Durham over the last 15 years after suburban flight left it a virtual ghost town. 

As I interviewed Bill, I was especially struck by this trait of faith and courage as he told how, in spite of all the naysayers, a group of businessmen and government officials, forged through walls of obstacles and challenges.

 The Presenting Sponsor of Durham Dreams,Wendy White CEO of Future Wave Consulting, is another example of faith and courage. Unafraid to tackle challenging situations, Wendy thrives in partnering with people through times of transition, moving clients through chaos to creation and vision. 

She has shared her passion, insight, creativity and wealth of experience with her clients for more than 20 years. Combining business and human performance practices with her ability to inspire and motivate, Wendy is able to transform and strengthen business cultures, structures and relationships. 

Futurewave's Dream Portrait will be on exhibit Fri. Feb. 19th during open studio, at the official launch of Durham Dreams!

I am deeply moved by stories of everyday individuals who dare to take steps into the unknown in pursuit of their dream. This year- long endeavor, painting Durham Dream Portraits of courageous men and women, is a privilege and honor. 


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