In every human being, there are capacities for creative action… This need of human beings is almost as deep-seated as their need for air to breathe and food to eat.

– Berenice Abbott

Mr. P

Hardly a day that goes by I do not encounter Beauty. I am always looking for it, usually in the most unlikely of places, hoping to be inspired by life, expecting to encounter it in some way, shape or form.

Last week on my way from a meeting back to the office, windows down and Black Eyed Peas blasting in the hella hot Houston heat, something pulled my eye towards an abandoned trashed broken lot in the heart of downtown. I’ve passed this lot about a hundred times now, and never before had I seen Mr. P.,  paintbrush and small acrylic rainbow paint set in hand.

Captured… I broke a law or two switching lanes and quickly pulling into a parking lot across the street. I had to stop. I had to get out of my car and meet this man. I am pretty discerning, and something told me he would welcome the encounter. So, I parked and headed across the street to see.

He was delightful. During our 10-minute conversation he told me about his art, Tennessee roots, the ways our lives are connected here in Houston and some things I will probably never understand. His smile, his attention to his work, the beauty he offered the space and time he offered me blessed my soul.

He was beautiful to me. I had to pull out my camera. As a fellow artist he had no problems with me photographing him and the moments that followed our conversation.


After being gifted with a few photographs, I thanked him for the time and told him I would see him around.

A few days later, our paths did cross at a different place. He remembered my name and I remembered his, and whenever I past by that lot on that familiar street my eyes look with the hope of quenching my soul’s deep longing to encounter something beautiful.

My enjoyment of life began with my eyes.

– Ruth Bernhard