Coffee and Courage

Jim Erickson 081516a copy

Coffee and Courage.
I went to a Gallery Opening the other day that contained work by my friend Jim Erickson in Murphy, NC. The show added some of Jim’s work recently and decided on an advanced soft opening for people to get to know Jim and his work. I am very glad they did, because it gave me the opportunity to see the beauty of the work wasn’t just what was on the walls inside the frame, but instead was sitting beside it.
I first met Jim several years ago through Social Media and eventually at a show in Atlanta. Since that time Jim and I talked through the internet on many occasions, always talking about getting together for coffee. Jim was diagnosed with cancer about 3 1/2 years ago if memory serves me correctly. Jim beat it and continued on with fulfilling his life’s goals. Jim had a relapse a while after that and things looked pretty good and as if Jim would “beat it” again. A couple months ago Jim sent me a message that the cancer was growing and he was going to have to look at some alternatives to treat it. All the while, we talked about when we were going to have that cup of coffee. Life kept getting in the way for us to enjoy that cup of coffee. Jim took a trip out west to see about alternatives but nothing was going to change the inevitable for Jim and he knew it.
Jim had been spending the past years with his family, teaching his wife photographic skills to do some work for Realtors in their area. Working with his son about photography, who by the way showed me a very impressive image of the night skies. I heard the ultimate compliment for Jim and his teaching while I was there. A Realtor they work with said people would get to the house after seeing the images and say, “is this the same house”? Jim and Tracy’s work is that good. The thing that I noticed most though was Jim taught everyone, including myself, the courage and grace to accept the next journey. Jim has been planning his own Memorial Service and how to make things more simple for his family during this tough time. Jim is at peace and knows he is doing what the Lord has tasked him to do. Jim has definitely taught me that the strongest part of any image is what is behind the viewfinder and how he sees what is in front of the lens.
So Monday when I heard about the show opening I sent Jim a message…”how do you like your coffee”? He replied “Black” and then “are you going to be here”? Jim, I wouldn’t have missed it for the World. We got to sit and talk about gear, composition, and just photography. It was the talk we had hoped to have for 4 years. Jim, you are an inspiration to so many. I look forward to our next cup we can share, hopefully locally, if not, in a better place. Thank you my friend for all you do and have done for so many.
The show with Jim’s work is at the Celebrate Life Gallery in downtown Murphy, NC.

3 Responses to “Coffee and Courage”

  1. Definitely inspirational. I am glad you were able to get the chance to grab a cup of Joe with him. I was hoping Murphy was close to me as I would have gone to check out the show but unfortunately it is almost an 8 hour drive from where we live in NC :(. Sometimes NC feels like a much bigger state than it is.

    • lilybug1960 Says:

      Thanks. North Carolina is much larger than most people realize. I remember once thinking I would drive to the Outer Banks from our house. I looked at the map and it was easily a 10 hour drive. If you are ever in that area, take the time to check out the gallery, and let me know as well, we can go shoot!

      • The map is deceptive. We live right on the coast and when you look at the map Charlotte doesn’t look to far. Get in the car and it is a 4 plus hour drive. To get to Asheville took us close to 6. It was well worth it though. I will definitely check the out the gallery if I make it out there and appreciate the invite to go shoot!

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