When Joe (one of my awesome volunteer assistants) and I arrived at Larry and his husband John‘s stunningly beautiful home, we were warmly welcomed and given a brief tour, to help decide where to do the jumping photos. Everything about the home was thoughtfully considered and inviting, just like its lovely owners.
We did a few jumps around and in the house, then got to chat and get to know them a little before heading off to our next jumping photo session. It always warms my heart knowing people who are dedicated to creating a better world for others, especially less fortunate and underrepresented, and that is how I felt when we parted – these are good people with kind hearts.
Get to know a little about Larry:
Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
A: We’ve lived a blessed life. In our lifetime we’ve lived through the AIDS crisis, LBGTQ discrimination, the financial ups and downs of our friends and family and yet we’re here! We live in the shadow of a mountain range that is magical and are blessed with good health and perspective that comes over time. What great reasons to Jump for Joy.
Q: What was your experience doing the jumping photos?
A: Having the opportunity to choose our home as the venue for our “jump” meant a great deal to us. Our home, which reflects our love of moorish culture and the desert is a source of strength and serenity. The home is named “Arzoo”, which in Urdu translates to “hearts desire”. Since we tend to be a bit shy we were nervous about the shoot. By the time the shoot was complete we felt happy and joyous. We also felt connected to each other and Eyoalha.
Q: How do you describe the feeling of joy?
A: Joy feels like peace and contentment. We measure it as a cumulative state of being rather than a moment-to-moment experience. Where we experience joy in many ways our greatest joy comes from our deep sense of gratitude.
Q: What is your greatest passion in life?
A: My greatest passion in life is deeply connecting with others. I reach that connection through working on common causes (non-profits) and travel. In both cases I meet new people, with different perspectives, great wisdom and common interests. At the end of the day most of us are social animals who wants to be heard, understood and loved.
Q: How do you feel about being part of a collaborative community project that promotes joy?
A: I loved the experience. Art is another way of creating and sharing a common experience.
Q: If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
A: If I could do anything in the world I would find ways to more positively impact disenfranchised and unheard individuals and communities. I work toward that goal daily through service on many non-profit boards. My only regret is that I don’t have the financial means to do more.
Q: What are you working on?
A: I’m taking a pottery class. I’m trying to discover my inner artist and find a way to communicate my feelings through art.
Q: Mini bio or something special you want to share.
A: John and I are transplants from the San Francisco Bay Area. We built our home ten years ago and love engaging with our community. We’re involved in everything from City Government to the LBGTQ Center, Eisenhower Medical Center and the Palm Springs Cultural Center. We want to leave our community better off for our having been here.
Thank you Larry, for sharing your kind heart and jumping for joy!
Thank you to the Palm Springs Cultural Center inviting me to be your first Artist in residence and bringing the Jump for Joy Photo Project to the Coachella Valley.
If you live in the Coachella Valley and would like more info on the project, or would like to take part, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org