I Just Want to Touch One Life

A few hours ago I got a call from a friend of a friend.  My friend works with USAToday.  His friend works with AP.  At my friends suggestion, his friend contacted me about a trip to Libya.  I told him to give me two hours and I’d call him back with my “go/no go” decision.

I’ve decided.  I’m not going.

My decision doesn’t have anything to do with a lady or with fear.  Both of them would be good motivators to choose to stay in the US.  Maybe fear of a lady would be a good reason to go, but I’m still staying in the U.S. of A.


No male member of my biological family has lived past the age of 45.  A combination of heart attacks and drinking too much Johnny Walker did them in.  I gave up drinking along time ago, but I still have the tendency towards heart problems.  Remember the quadruple bypass of two years ago?

I’m living on borrowed time.  I just finished the first decade of borrowed time in December when I turned 55.  Now I’m a couple months into the start of the next decade of borrowed time.

I want to do something useful with this loan on the calendar.  I want to be able to turn my lens on people, places and things here in America and hopefully, somehow, make someone’s life just a little bit better.  Maybe my Canon can expose abuse…or corruption…or environmental poisoning.  Maybe I can capture a baby’s grin that will teach the world to smile.  Maybe I can capture a lady’s beauty as she carries a protest sign in some rally somewhere.

Who knows.

Maybe my life and my photography won’t matter a hill-of-beans in the overall scheme of things.  But I do know this, I’m going to stay in the US and find out.

Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist living in Asheville, North Carolina. He has traveled the world documenting the tears, joys, laughter and lives of people everywhere. He currently focuses his camera on the same topics in America. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as USAToday, CNN, Upsurge, Dream Row and others. A portion of his income from each photo shoot is donated to organizations that help the homeless in the communities in which he works. You can see more of his photography by clicking here.

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