Crystal Street

is creating Essays, Photography & Stories

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We're in this together. I am grateful for your support and I will send that gratitude forward every time I publish an essay for you. ;)


*Please note that I've shifted most of my writings over to my newsletter on Substack, where I'm publishing both free and paid content. Please join me at this link.

We’re at a crossroads. Our society finds itself starting into a dangerous abyss. A world where facts are viewed with disdain and completely ignored. Racism and greed are the prominent influencing factors in our government and many in our society are simply too poor to live. And that's beyond unacceptable-- it's criminal. We must do better. We must pay closer attention. We must engage more.

We must elevate.

Everything. Our conversations. Our communities. Our daily lives. Our society. Our consciousness.

We need to elevate it all. Now. Yesterday. We live in a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance because the world we live in-- and the way most of live within this world-- is not sustainable.

We live in perpetual discomfort and disease because we are so far removed from the source. The source of our spirituality. The source of our joy. Hell, even the source of our food! We’re so far removed from all of this that we are living in a perpetual state of anxiety and stress.

We’re fighting to stay balanced and grounded in a world that is far from mindful. We’re struggling to maintain love and compassion in a world seething with hatred, ignorance and nationalism. We’re fighting to simply live a simple life with the ones we love— free from fear, worry and scarcity.

The struggle is real. I get it. But so is the beauty in this world. We may have to look harder to find it, but it does exist.

I’m here to focus my lens on both— the light and the dark. The sun and the shadows. Through my filters, we’ll explore all the glorious and terrifying aspects of this human experience together.

But I have to believe we can change this cognitive dissonance that we live with everyday. I have to believe that we can step into a higher version of ourselves and elevate others as we grow.

I have to believe we can have the difficult conversations and implement the hard solutions-- things like:
  • universal basic income
  • health care for all
  • protecting our Earth
  • restoring the dignity of work
  • gun control and protecting our children
  • destroying the oligarchy, the patriarchy, fascism and racism
  • restoring truth
  • restoring equality
  • protecting democracy
  • defending free speech
  • celebrating minorities, women and the marginalized
  • fixing (replacing) patriarchal capitalism
  • exploring alternative economic systems
  • and so much more.
We can restore balance and a simpler way of living. I believe we can support each person so they can have the space to breathe and to do good in this world, instead of struggling paycheck to paycheck.

I have to believe we can do this work. And I want to step into the solution. One conversation at a time.

I believe strongly that information is the key to empowerment. The more you know— the less you fear. My role here is to help you explore the things we fear and elevate the things we celebrate.

I’m blessed (and sometimes cursed) with an overly curious mind. I believe that knowledge is the balm to fear and I’ve cultivated my internal information filter for the past 2 decades for this very reason. I studied journalism and political science at one of the top universities in the country. My mentors are award-winning journalist and scholars who’ve devoted their lives to documenting the voiceless, creating and studying media agenda setting theories and supporting community journalism.

I’ve worked as a documentarian in countries with hostile governments who kill dissidents and journalists on a regular basis. I’ve worked on community newspapers photographing the daily life of small towns. I’ve spent years wandering the country, and the world, engaging with all walks of life to better understand our amazingly diverse planet and my role on it.

I’ve spent 10+ years using Twitter as a means to consume, filter and understand the world-- from journalists on the ground covering issues up to the publications that run their stories.

I’ve helped hackers track down human traffickers and their victims using technology and I used work at a technological firm developing blockchain applications to power our future.

I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of our society for many years-- out of a sense of civic duty and to assuage that perpetual curiosity. Understanding current events in such a way helps me sleep at night. It’s odd, I get that, but knowing helps me reduce fear.

But all of this knowledge is useless if it’s not shared. I normally share this information in conversation with people over coffee (or bourbon when needed) but now, I’m blasting this bitch wide open and educating as many people as possible.

My goal?
To elevate the conversation.

My tools?
Essays, photo stories and audio stories shedding light on the issues most pressing to the stability of our society as a whole and our communities.

Our outcome?
Well, that’s a bit of a mystery. My goal is to arm as many people as possible with information to help them navigate the world we are facing. And to help them elevate the conversation-- in their homes, communities and society as a whole.

My Patreon
The work will be published here on Patreon, some will be open to everyone, other content will be accessible for patrons only. The only social media channels used for this work are Twitter (basic curation & occasional bitching).

If you’re still with me, join me. This resonates on some level (or you would have ditched this post 500 words ago), so I ask you to join me. On any level-- it all matters and your contribution to helping elevate the conversation could enable you-- or another patron-- to embrace our world with a different perspective.

And that’s how it starts. Each one of us embraces information, shifts a perspective, shares it with the world and starts the conversation.

That’s how we change the world. We empower ourselves with knowledge. We enlighten everyone who will listen. We elevate our conversation. And eventually, we have a majority, empowered with knowledge, and unable to let the ignorant masses destroy the fabrics of the world we cherish.

Elevate the conversation now. Join me.

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