note to self project

Brock

brock baby
Dukat Photos_Brock Weir-1005

Step away from the mothballs. You might not know it now, but the seeds have already been sown. You will find out soon enough that you’re just a little bit different from other people. Some might call you an “old soul,” that horrible term you will come to mildly detest over time as it implies you’re living in the past or, at worst, inching closer and closer to your ‘sell by’ date. Despite your best efforts, you’re not going to give a damn about most of the things your peers will obsess over. Unlike most kids growing up in the 90s, you’ll find virtual pets a waste of time. You will puzzle over friends going bananas over beanie babies. POGs? Please! And yet, you will find yourself giving each the old school try in a valiant effort to coast along with the crowd. In private, you acknowledge the fact you’re an old soul. You’re not living in the past or cocooning yourself in a false wave of nostalgia, but you appreciate what’s come before you, how it defines where you’re going and, moreover, you appreciate quality. Rather than coming home from school and flipping on the TV to watch something like Saved By The Bell, you’d rather take in that episode of I Love Lucy you recorded earlier in the day, timed perfectly to unspool within the VCR as you twiddled your thumbs during math class. Nevertheless, you just won’t be able to completely pull off your efforts to be trendy. Take it from me, that’s a very good thing.

You might get chastised by teachers the one time you let your freak flag fly by reading biographies of people long-since-dead during recess in the school yard – not for the act of reading itself, of course, but pointing out some of the spicier bits to anyone who happened to ask who or what you’re reading about. You might prefer to stand on the edge of what’s going on, taking in the scene and tucking your observations away in the event it might become useful. It’s a great skill to hone, of course, and will help your job prospects later on, but the longer you keep your freak flag under wraps, the worse off you’ll be. Everyone invariably feels the desire for conformity but it will always give way for an insatiable need for individuality. The earlier you unfurl the flag and fly it up your proverbial pole, the further ahead you will be. Fly it high and fly it proud. You will learn that there are a bunch of other people just waiting for someone to make the first move.

They will have the same interests, the same life experiences, and will lead you to finding the closest, longest, and most fulfilling friendships of your life. The sooner you embrace everything that makes you unique, the better off you’ll be.

PORTRAIT BY ANGELA DURANTE DUKÁT


Ben

ben child
Dukat_Photos_NTS_Ben&Julia-1000

Walk quietly through the darkness. Each step is its own journey. You will learn that most assumptions you have are false. You will struggle to decide which assumptions to base your reality upon. You will eventually realize that every premise upon which your reality is founded brings consequences. You must face this struggle without losing sight of who you are. Observe the world around you right now. Allow part of that world to impress itself on you. You must learn to assume that this is reality. You must learn to assume that right now is who you are. Make this your most basic assumption and become more than me.

PORTRAIT BY ANGELA DURANTE DUKÁT


Jennifer

IMG_20150613_095512
Dukat_Photos_NTS_Jennifer-1013.jpg

There is so much information that I could pass on to you my younger self, too much for this note to hold, but I will share a few thoughts that I

know will help.

When mom says you have been spending too much time in the sun, she is right. Moms are speaking from love and experience.

It’s alright to take auto shop in high school. You will actually use this information.

Listen to the advice others give you but don’t always take it.

Fifty is not old. It will happen before you know it. The older you get the years really do seem to fly by.

Trust in God.

Strive to make the world a better place and an easier journey for others.

~ Jennifer


Allen

Dukat Photos_ALLEN-1000
Dukat Photos_ALLEN-1001

Dear Allen,

You joined the Navy before the war in 1933, when you were 20 years old; about the time this photo was taken.  This is my advice to you: Freedom isn’t worth War.  You lost your father during WWI and although you’ll survive World War II, you’ll lose a brother, friends and part of yourself.  Like most people that join the military, you’re desperate for work. I realize now, that only an elite few benefit from war, while millions bleed and grieve for the notion of freedom. War is a horrible thing. You’ll sign up only once for the possibility to take the life of another, while putting your own in harms way. There is no way of life that’s worth killing each other for. Be patient young lad. The day will come when we will wield communication tools in the palm of our hands that can solve conflicts that will come. Everyone can then work together as one to make peace.  Love each other - from your family and friends to your neighbours across the Earth - treat every living thing with the compassion for life we should all wield in our hearts.