In 2016, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation teamed up with Humans of Minneapolis street documentarian Stephanie Glaros to produce a series of 15 portraits of visitors to Minneapolis neighborhood parks.
Here, we’re re-posting Stephanie’s series of portraits of parks visitors from her Humans of Minneapolis blog. Look for all portraits in the series on this blog – 2016 and, coming soon, 2017 – by clicking on the Humans of Minneapolis category.
Jarron, at Holmes Park
“I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota. I study technical communication. I come here probably four or five times a week, I live two blocks away. I come here running in the morning. Some days I do some writing or reading. Sometimes I take pictures. Sometimes I don’t do anything, I just walk around. It’s a nice place to be outside.
I have fifty-one volumes of journals that I’ve written in, just by hand. I tried typing and I liked that, too. You can get a lot more down faster. But I find something really relaxing about having my pen touch the page.
I was in second grade and we had these notebooks. And we would write in them maybe once a week, then we’d turn them in and the teacher would read them and write notes back to us. The year after that, my mom was like, ‘I know you really enjoyed doing this last year, so I thought I would do it with you.’ So I was in third grade and I would write back and forth to my mom. I would leave it on her bed and then she would leave it on my bed.
I remember writing about going to a park with my friends. I wrote about how I went outside and played in the sandbox. Just whatever I was doing. I loved it. She would write about things she was doing and how she was proud of me for what I was doing. She would be like, ‘Thanks for helping your younger brother set the table.’ She gave me a lot of confidence. By fifth grade I didn’t write to her anymore, I just wrote to myself. I still have a really good relationship with my mother.
It’s like meditation. I feel a sort of catharsis. There’s just a beauty in writing. It helps me make sense of things and clarify who I want to be and what I want to do. It helps me act deliberately and not just go along with the flow of things.”
Listen to Jarron’s story:
Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.