Did I even post #1? Eh screw it. 

This is my Confession 2: Comforts.


There are things I will compromise on, but in the winter there is one thing I will not compromise on, and that is the chance to have at least one nog on the rocks.


No rum. There is only one kind of rum I liked and all I can remember is that it was kind of weak.

I’m not supposed to be consuming alcoholic things right now, anyway.

This is my brand. I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

A nog on the rocks a night. A nice thing I can have at night… With a digestive aid of course. This isn’t lactose free.

Started from the bottom… 

I’m self taught.

Yet, I have the audacity to call myself a photographer.


I started from the bottom. Mom’s old film camera and B&W film and things in the backyard. When things went digital I experimented with the things she taught me using an entry level digital camera. It was like going back to class—which is a funny story. The primer she gave me over the years was so thorough that I was summarily booted from one intro class. I already knew the material inside and out. Unfortunately, the class I needed was two hundred dollars above my pay grade.

So I turned to books, articles, and the good old street beat. From instant Polaroid, to Kodak point and shoot, to now, I’ve gone from simply trying to catch what is in front of me to actively trying to blur the line between record and art.

But it didn’t happen overnight. I had to start somewhere.

Under the skin…

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A few weeks ago I made a fairly large transition. Cutting people from your experience, even when they are miles away, hurts like stepping on glass with a tender foot, a pain that does not go away readily and refreshes itself with the slightest touch against it, even when it is unrelated to what happened.

It burns like withdrawal. Even when they were bad for you, you want to go back, even when it was your idea to get out of there. You think, “maybe there’s another shot,” and you justify maybe possibly going back for “one more hit.” In times like that, one is happier than ever to have a group who will grab you by the shirt collar with a shout of “HO, DON’T DO IT” and a litany of reasons why you should *definitely* not do it.

And for a long time, it doesn’t get easier.

It’s like getting clean. Especially when they were bad for you in the first place. You can’t see it, so you don’t know what it’s doing to you. And you wonder again…should I go back?

And you bleed. And you grieve. And you struggle. There’s an empty spot where you know what was going on before—even if it was horrible, even if it hurt you every time, but at least you *knew* — and you don’t know what to do.

Then you suddenly can see everything from the outside, looking in. And you rage. Because you *know* that this was not what you deserved. And you *know* that you should never have had to go through this much to see that this wasn’t what you deserved. Yes, in life we must make mistakes, but sometimes, when you make mistakes, the mistakes also make you, and they leave scars that mark you for a long, long time. And the only way to take those scars away is to shed the skin you wore for so long — becoming a raw version of yourself, because it’s the only way to heal now. The insides, exposed, with everyone able to see what you really are until you can defend yourself again…

It’s frightening, but sometimes it’s best not to wall all the way back up. Some do not understand this, and they play a role perpetually. And you cannot trust them. Yet I tried to, so many times, and was hurt over and over.

No more.

So what if people think I’m ‘too intense,’ or anything else. I cannot be anything but who I am. And I will not play a role for anyone to accept me.

And I do not ask anyone else to play a role, in turn. You be yourself around me…

Or don’t be around me.

Restarts

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Wishful thinking on an overcast day

I’m not awake yet.

I have a “Morning Rituals” playlist on in Spotify. It’s surprisingly easy listening but with deep enough lyrics to keep me from dozing off.

I’ve severed a few ties since my last little photo diary thing. I’ve also had to deal with the abrupt increase in a medication. I’ve been so tired and rather panicky, I’ll admit, that simple reading commitments have gotten shoved onto the back burner.

It’s like… even when it’s someone you don’t need, someone who has repeatedly hurt you, you can form a bit of an addiction… and that takes time to recover from. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t look at the date that I broke it off—and he went immediately into denial—with a hit of sickness in my stomach.

…granted, I could still punch him.

Today’s the day I start reclaiming the little things. I raided the petty cash by an amount enough to get my hair professionally done as soon as I get a chance… I’ve seen a folding table that would perfectly replace a piece of the apartment I’ve been forced to live without… and I’ve been trying to get my sleep back on track.

The last couple years were a strange, dreamlike haze, the kind that you doubt the reality of but for a very long time have no solid reason to try to break apart—at least, until the one thing that is completely wrong happens and you have no choice, watching the pieces flutter downward.

… it’s probably better that I’m awake now.

Impasse

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I am at a point in time where there are things I am thinking about, hard.

There are things I miss, things that I cannot give voice for the fear of dismissal from the one who it would actually (…?) matter to. The constant thought of it just makes me feel like I should just be done with the whole thing.

I miss feeling that deep, spiritual connection with things. People ridicule this feeling, but it has always, always been a part of my life. Even when I didn’t feel a connection to any specific tradition or denomination, I felt the need to feel connected to something.

And it is hard to shake off the feeling that something is wrong with everything when the person who I’m spending so much of my time on it… well, doesn’t.

Confession time—for a long time in my life, I wanted to be a priest.

(No comments from the peanut gallery on how that might be influencing my writing.)

I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking, “this is it,” until I found out that only men could. Turns out that you lose your religion fast when you find out you aren’t welcome where you want to be.

I’ve since found ways to get that deep connection, but… what does one do when your other thinks it’s bunk? Not necessarily the practice, but the entire concept?

I miss being able to share that part of my life. And the more I think about how I’ve had to keep it quiet from, well everyone, the more isolated it feels.

It influences everything. It contributes to how I enjoy the things that I do. To be met with a roll of the eyes—or, in the case of family, “you’re going to Hell”—to call this deflating would be putting it lightly, but I don’t have a word for what it does.

I have things to think about, and I don’t know where they’re going.

Can’t sleep? Process pics of flowers…

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«When is it a weed?» 2

Insomnia. It’s hard to shake. Since I couldn’t seem to wind my mind down, I decided to go and take the tools to a few pictures I took.

I’m not sure what the little fellow here is. This flower was growing in the grass in the curb. Its flower there is only about the size of a popcorn kernel. I thought it was pretty so I took a shot.

Hobbies.

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I’ve been experimenting with photography lately. There’s not a lot of things to do at a bus stop but there are often things to notice. In this particular day there were flowers from a bush. I’m not sure what kind these are (anyone out there know?) but as soon as I saw them I thought “OH MY GOD A SUBJECT” and broke out the Galaxy S3 (better camera) and started taking shots like mad.

…The next ten minutes were spent in Snapseed, editing the shot until it looked absolutely perfect.

I might need to rethink the “hobbyist” in front of the “shutterbug” in my Instagram profile.

I’ve actually been thinking that, beyond the cooking project I’ve got percolating (see what I did there?) I might be able to do a little something here. It’s not like I don’t have any training at all; I learned everything I know from my late mother, when she saw how excited I was about her old model Polaroid camera (it was the beige kind with the rainbow on it!) and got me the new one for Christmas. Simple stuff really:

• Watch for subjects,
• Make sure you use that square to say something,
• Pay attention to your Bigdaddy [my wonderful grandfather] because this is a lot like hunting

And finally

• sometimes, “because it’s pretty” or ” because I liked it” is a perfect reason.

I then proceeded to take pictures of everything I got for that Christmas. She showed me the “because it’s pretty” trick by arranging my new Game Boy and games and how it made for an even better “LOOK AT THIS” effect than just snapping away. She said it was more “exteticly pleasing.”

(…I was five going on six okay? I was precocious as fuck but I couldn’t wrap my mouth around the word aesthetically just yet. But I knew it meant prettier and arty.)

And yes I also wound up taking pictures of the pictures I took.