Gerald Henry at Via Cafe
Photographed by Garry Wade
Parliament Street, Nassau, Bahamas
We Give Thanks This Day
We asked you once for happy endings, happy endings and dreams come true
We give thanks this day for this life of love as we flow in the river with you
About Gerald Henry | A Story of Faces and Places


At the beginning of this year I resolved to express myself as an artist, to expose my heart to life completely through my writings, my poetry and my art. To open my heart completely, to leave it vulnerable. To be transparent and authentic, a straight arrow flying true. To connect my heart with life, with no divisions between my heart and the heart of any other person on this planet. To let the sun shine brightly on those things left exposed so that I may know them and heal them and become one with them.

I am conscious
Oh, so conscious of my soul
The gentle breeze soothes it
While the storms of life shape it
The sun shining brightest
On those things left exposed

Portraits of a Life —The Journey of Gerald Henry

A Story of Faces and Places
Of places that I’ve seen
A story of places and faces
Of faces that I’ve been

A story of many twists and turns
With more beginnings than there are ends
A story of many ups and downs
Of straight roads and of bends

The journey can't be about;

What you do—reasons change
When you do it—seasons change
Who you do it with—faces change
Where you do it—places change

It must therefore be about Being.

Being who and what you truly are—LOVE.

The only thing that exists is love. Everything else is an illusion.

We tend to think of ourselves in terms of just one or two faces, typically defined by place. The truth is, we are many faces and we present these faces from the day we are born. During our lives there are many pressures to conform, to be one face. And, there are those who will paint a single face on us and expect us to wear it for a lifetime. Such a face becomes a mask masquerading before us, as ourselves.

I saw this most clearly as a prisoner. To the guards and to society we had but one face, prisoner. Defined by place, prison. But it was here that I experienced the truth that everyone has multiple faces. Every prisoner was also son, brother, father, husband, friend, partner, lover—loved and cherished by those who saw beyond the single face, behind the mask, of prisoner.

Then, at the end of a life, before being forgotten in the mists of time, we will sum up a an entire life in a single sentence—She was beautiful. There doesn’t seem to be too much room in us to hold much more than that. So, we paint a portrait.

—A Portrait of a Life

And, it is this portrait that we hold onto—like a mental computer desktop icon. Something we can click on in our minds, start the app, and access the entire story of a loved one’s life.

Aristotle said, The aim of art is to present not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance; for this, not the external manner and detail, constitutes true reality. And, Edward Burne-Jones said, The only expression allowable in great portraiture is the expression of character and moral quality, not anything temporary, fleeting, or accidental.

This website and its companion book present a series of self-portraits through which I have been fortunate to access a deeper part of Self and I am thankful for this opportunity to be able to share them with you.

I fully recognize they are but brushstrokes on the canvas of life;

Compared to geologic, even biologic time
The three score years and ten of men
Are but ticks on the clock of existence
And splashes in the river of time

—Gerald Henry

I Have Always Been Inspired by the
Life and Art of Vincent van Gogh

I loved the way he used the artistic
tradition of self-portraiture as a means of
introspection and self-analysis.

The painting below is my favorite of all of
his self-portraits. It is from the Musée d'Or-
say and was painted shortly after he left
the St. Remy asylum in July 1889. It is one
of the thirty-five candid self-portraits filled
with humility and self-honesty that he
painted in the last five years of his life.

To me, it shows that he was still fighting
his demons and I particularly love it be-
cause of its open-faced honesty and lack
of pretense.

It may well be the most intense self
portraits in the history of art.

Vincent van Gogh - Self Portrait:
Saint-Rémy (oil on canvas, 1889)

I dream my painting and then
I paint my dream.

Do you know what frees one from captiv-
ity? It is every deep, serious affection.
Being friends, being brothers, love. That is
what opens the cage by some supreme
power, by some magic force. Without this,
one remains in prison. Where sympathy
is renewed, life is restored.

I feel that there is nothing more
truly artistic than to love people.

It is difficult to know yourself,
It isn’t easy to paint oneself either.

Vincent van Gogh

An Invitation | Reconnecting the Heart

My father once gave me this thought to ponder; When I was young, I said many things and now I have many scars to show for my quick words. These words struck me deeply. I am very aware that in the course of my journey, at times, I may have caused offense. I can say with the benefit of hindsight and introspection, causing such offense was never my intent.
Now, as stated above, my quest is;
To connect my heart with life, with no divisions between
my heart and the heart of any other person on this planet.

If you feel that there is an open, unresolved “heart” issue with me, stemming from any time or any place in my life, please contact me via the email link or phone numbers on the Contact Gerald Henry page of this website. I would dearly welcome the opportunity to address the issue and promise to do everything within my power to bring resolution to the issue so that any “open loops” regarding the issue can be closed.

Thank YouGerald Henry