Quichua Machis at Folklife

Today turned out to be a pretty good day and these guys helped. Their beautiful South American songs lift my spirit every time I hear them. I recorded this traveling troupe of musicians (they call themselves Quichua Machis...Spanish anyone?) while enjoying the Seattle Folklife Festival with my friends Jacqui and Sarah. It's amazing what music can do to lift the soul. Press the play button too hear this talented group rejoice in their hope filled melodies.

Technical note: For all of you that care about this kind of thing, I did not fade the musicians out, I simply walked away with my recorder and picked up the ambient sounds of the fair as I went (the old school way of fading something out).


2 guys named Pat

In recent weeks I have been assisting my neighbor Pat in remodeling his 70 year old home and loving every minute of it. Pat is this amazing guy who has been gracious enough to let me work for him and since working with him and Virgil (his brother-in-law) I have had the unique opportunity to find something that I have been in great need of, a mentor. Someone to share my thoughts with who has experienced life and can give positive and wise input back to me. Their constant encouragement has been a much-needed oasis in the desert of uncertainty that has surrounded me in the last couple of years of my life. They have helped me to realize that fear (amongst other things) has been this incredible crippling agent in my life and that I need to understand that to live is too fail, and if your not failing there is a good chance your not really living.

I have been praying and thinking (more of the latter as usual) about what the next step should be for me as my one year commitment to YWAM comes to a close in September. The last two months have been horrible for me, as I have attempted to navigate through the fear and uncertainty of what I should do in the near future and how it might turn out. In working through all of this I have realized that I suffer from a low self-image and an even lower level of confidence in myself and in how God sees me. My friend, Patrick Dodson (not the same as "neighbor Pat"), has spoken on numerous DTS's and seminars about working through your identity in Christ and the freedom that God gives you (and wants you) to use in deciding your future. Hear is a great blog entry that Patrick wrote on called But What If I Fail?

I encourage you to take the time to read through his post, his teachings have opened me up too a lot of new ideas about the way I see myself and the way God sees me. It never fails to amaze me that life can be so exciting one minute and so crippling the next. I will be taking a weeklong break in the San Juan Islands from June 1st through the 8th too pray through the future. My hope is to come home refreshed and renewed with vision for the future and peace in the present. I’ll keep you posted on how that trip goes.


Life On Lopez

Disclaimer: This post is mostly for my family, which is why you will find it back dated to some random time last year. That way you will have to be reading through my entire blog archive just to come across this post. Clever eh!? Even if you are not my family and happen to stumble upon this post please feel free to enjoy.

So hello Mom and Dad (and Nicole, Matt, Grandma, Eric, Narah and Bella). I was working around the house today and I thought of you. I decided to take a few pictures of life around here and record a little "hello".

Hope you enjoy this post. I miss all of you very much.

Love, Corey

One of the first things i did this morning was bake a loaf of bread from scratch. It took about 4 hours from start to finish but in the end i have a really healthy loaf of bread for cheaper than you can buy in the store. And its a lot of fun eating something you created!

After the bread was finished baking I went outside to split some wood and found this little guy sitting on a stump. I named him Eustace. He kind of reminds me of the tree frogs in Georgia.

This next shot's for Dad. Thank you for teaching me how to split wood. All those years learning to split and stack has come in handy since living on Lopez Island.

And finally as I was recording my hello to you I looked out the window and saw the trees standing out against a grey backdrop. So I took this picture of the tree line.

That's all for today.



I signed up for this free photo sharing site called Flickr a couple of months ago and i thought i would post the link to it for your viewing pleasure. Here is the link to a set of images i loaded on my friend Jeff called Confessions.

The working title right now is Confessions of a Broken Down Man: The Story of Jeffrey Schuermans Battle With Cancer.

I'll have to see if that sticks. Look through the images an let me know which ones you think are the strongest. Any feedback is much appreciated.


I broke my Mac.

The trusty G4 Power book laptop that has delivered picture after picture and thought after thought for the last year has effectively died on me. I took it to the all too trendy Mac store in the U-Village and dropped the metal machine off for repair. Here is the greatest thing about all of this. It will not cost me a dime to fix it. Apple care is the best investment you can make when buying anything from Apple (I-pod to G5). Personally, I think Mac has been slipping in their production value. As their stock value soars through the roof the quality of their product seems to be compromised. When I dropped off my computer there was stack of computers behind the Genius Bar waiting to be shipped off for repair.

I don't believe in the value of the things we make (actually I never really have). Everything that is made has a built in expiration date and that date seems to shrink with the making of each new product.

I could be wrong in all of this and just be a little frustrated that I will be without my computer for the next week. Yeah, that's probably it. Anyway, I just thought I would let you know that these blog entries may be sparse in the next couple of weeks because of the lack of accessibility.

One more thing. I submitted an image to an online "“Faith and Arts"” magazine called Infuze and they put it on their website. I was a bit surprised when I saw the image on their site because they never sent me an e-mail or anything saying they were going to be using the image in their upcoming issue, but it's there none the less. So if you are visiting this site through Infuze, welcome!


One mans junk is another mans...

My neighbor Pat and I were sitting in line at the local garbage dump waiting to “dispose” of some scraps we had gathered from around his house (he’s remodeling) when we started talking about how both of us feel very saddened that we generate so much waste. Pat said he felt bad that he was creating all this waste and adding to the problem of overfull landfills, not to mention that the waste we were throwing away wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon since landfills are not generally built to regenerate waste for good use but designed more to bury it beneath the soil were it will sit for many years to come.

I told him I thought about what I was leaving behind for my kids (no, I don’t have any kids, still have to find a woman that will put up with me!). But despite all that talk, Pat and I still pulled up to the unloading bay, climbed into the back of his pickup and contributed to the over 220 million tons of waste we Americans create every year. That’s a lot of trash!

Personally I am ashamed to say that I am part of a general body of Americans that creates, on average, four pounds of waste a day. The real issue isn’t the waste we are creating today, but what we are doing with that waste and how it will most definitely affect our future and the future of our children. I don’t want to pass on a legacy of waste! I’m not advocating that we all stop buying things (although for some of you that might be a good idea), sell what we have and live in the forest taking what “mother earth” gives us. No, I’m not that idealistic on the matter of waste in the 21st century. But I do believe there are small steps that can be taken now that will greatly affect how we much waste we create and what we do with that waste. I listened to a very interesting series a few months back that the BBC put out called “A World Without Waste”. They talked about what different cities around the world were doing to take care of their waste problems. San Francisco came out in front with auspicious plans to have over 70% of the cities refuse being recycled and reused in the city within the next two years. I found the link to the BBC story on San Francisco’s waste solutions. If you have the time, give it a listen. You might find it gives hope to the growing problem of waste in the world. Here is the link: A World Without Waste.

Let me know if you found this entry helpful. I like to share passions with you from time to time and this is something I am growing passionate about.

Below you will find a picture I took at one of the local dumps here in Seattle.


Grass, Sun, and Shadow

Most of the day was spent shooting a story for my friend Scott Squire. He and his wife Amy have been shooting this ongoing documentary about life in Tent Cities, an organized group of homeless people that obtain legal permits to use land for large encampments. Tent Cities generally have strict rules about drug and alcohol abuse and have their own political structure, operating much like a homeless shelter and looking more like a Boy Scout camp with tents and tarps strewn about here and there. They even set up a huge "mess hall" tent fittingly called the Hilton.

But this entry wasn't supposed to be about Tent Cities, I actually just wanted a good excuse to share this self portrait I took yesterday. Mike Chang met me at the corner of 15th and 45th, from there I bought myself a piroshki (broccoli and cheese...yum!) and mike a coffee and then made our way to the grassy strip located in front of the William H. Gates library at the University of Washington. Mike waited patiently while I took pictures of grass, sun, and shadow. I'm kind of partial to the shadow.


Lucky Number 7 ?

No, I don't believe in luck but it just so happens that the title is catchy and it sums up this blog entry quite well. I have actually heard some funny stories on the origins of the word luck, not excluding the one that says luck is named after Lucifer (that's another name for Satan for those of you that don't know the fifty million names we give this twisted spirit) because the first part of the word has LUC in it, get it!!

Jeff went in for his seventh surgery at exactly 8:34 early Wednesday morning. The hour leading up to the surgery I took pictures, recorded Jeff's thoughts and felt at a loss for words. This was a major surgery. The cancer has spread so fast that the doctors said chemotherapy is not an option anymore. Jeff seemed to be ill at ease with the diagnosis.

It has been interesting (to say the least) to watch Jeff stay seemingly calm and collected as each new (and worse) prognosis is given. There is part of me that wants to believe that Jeff is at peace with everything that is happening, a strong man of God with a rock solid faith no matter what the future may hold. But there is also that other part that tells me he is scared, shaken and not as "together" as he appears. Or, perhaps your prayers for peace, grace and hope have reached Jeff in a way that my logic cannot comprehend.

Please continue to pray for Jeff. I don't know the outcome of the surgery as of yet but I will keep you posted. Here are some pictures taken just a few minutes before he went into surgery.


Nervous breakdown!!

What if my pictures aren’t good enough? What if the judges catch on to the simple fact that I have never been to a photojournalism school and therefore do a sub par job at telling stories? What if I’m not really as passionate about storytelling as I think I am? If that’s the case do I have what it takes to become more passionate?

What it really comes down to is this, am I willing to take the risk of not being accepted and still feel validated in what I do?

These are all the questions and fears that have run through my head today as I think about applying to the top photojournalism workshop in the nation called Barnstorm. Basically you have thousands of applicants that send in their portfolios to a panel of 30 judges who then look over the images and select the top 100 applicants to come for an intense and exhausting weekend of hardcore photojournalism training. This weekend has been called “boot camp” and for good reasons. You sleep maybe 18 hours in the 4 days you are there, trying to spend every waking moment talking with and learning from the top professionals in the photojournalism field.

So with much fear and trembling I am working through the application process and hope to be registered in a few days. If you think about it, say a BIG prayer for me. I need peace in moving forward with this. Going through this process brings out a lot of insecurities in me. I’ll keep you posted on how things go.


Sam and I walked into the warm evening air...

I had seen the kind of light I wanted for some good evening shots over the last few days and I figured this night was perfect. So as the sun dipped below the last range of mountains before the Pacific Ocean we set out from the house with tripod and camera in hand. We walked around for about an hour or so with Sam asking me questions about what I was doing and suggesting this shot or that.

The light from the Lebanese restaurant "Cedars" looked beautiful and I took about 12 frames before I found one I liked.

Here is what I saw.


I've become so relevant I'm irrelavant!

The new Relevant magazine arrived at the townhouse today (no I don’t have a subscription to this extremely trendy and somewhat irrelevant magazine), an obvious product of Julies magazine subscription kick. The cover had a picture of Derek Webb on it looking very much like the poster boy for relevancy and authenticity that he has become. The title plastered over the bottom half of the cover read "Friend or Foe" as if to catch the reader’s attention and place a fear into their mind that there might actually be an enemy out there that they haven’t heard of.

Upon completion of reading the article I felt the familiar polarization of an unbalanced society rattling around in my head.

How often have you heard someone say, “I don’t see anything wrong with having a glass of wine with a meal you know, its good for the stomach (or so Paul says)…just as long as you not going out and getting bombed or anything.” Once again the polarization and imbalance in a society leads to statements that are continuously followed by disclaimers. In case you missed it, the disclaimer in that last sentence is the fact that folks feel obligated to remind everyone that they are not advocating going out and getting drunk (something you obviously would infer from someone telling you its ok to have a glass of wine with your meal) by talking about wine.

So the three main points I am touching on in this entry are polarization, imbalance and disclaimers. I do not plan to expound much on any one thought in particular simply because it would take way to much time and you probably wouldn’t care to read all of what I have to say on those subjects.

Why are we as a people so imbalanced in everything? A woman was drug to the street by her accusers and thrown at the feet of Jesus, her accusers looking on in eager anticipation for the condemning words of “Guilty!” to be spoken over her. Interestingly enough Jesus doesn’t speak much of her sin, He only tells her to go and sin no more. I often wonder about what she did after that encounter. Did she go and sin no more (I seriously doubt it)? Did He say more to her than is recorded in this passage? Does it really matter?

I do know that Christ took each situation He encountered and dealt with it in a very personal and careful way. If anyone knows of our fragileness it is most definitely God.

It is my desire to walk in even a small percentage of the grace Jesus walked in when dealing with people. I know full well how I like to think I have all the answers and that I am right in all of those answers. The reality is, as C.S. Lewis puts it, I have seen only “shadows and broken images”.

Is Derek Webb the enemy of the Church? Probably not. The more probable culprit is the “intellect” that tells us we have God figured out and understand His ways.

I would rather sit in awe of this great God (He created galaxies!!) than sit in contempt of Him.

Yes, sometimes I will use this blog as a soapbox. I will step down from it for now. Let me know any thoughts you might have about these subjects.