--I think we can all appreciate the complete and utter excitement experienced waking up in the morning to see that Santa Clause stopped by. While Christmas is far more than just gifts, there is no doubt a joy when one opens a gift that they clearly love. Nonetheless, to quote the Grinch: "It [Christmas] came with out ribbons, boxes or bags...."
Curiosity Killed the Cat
--The curiosity of a child is known to all, yet forgotten by most. What causes us to lose our total sense of adventure in the everyday?
--When given freedom, one often feels an incredulous sense of exhilaration. The irresistible urge to run as far as possible from the confines of your cage; but you can't run forever, and when you stop, where do you end up? Miles and miles away from anything that could bring you even remote happiness? In an even more unbearable prison than before? At the edge of the world with nowhere to go? What do you do then? Do you jump? Do you fly? Do you soar up into the sky? Or does reality come crashing down on you? Does your fabricated reality shatter into pieces on the ground? Freedom is an undeniable human right that is so often abused. At some point, we won't be able to run anymore.
Love on the Edge
--Ever heard the phrase 'live on the edge'? We all know what it means; to live recklessly, make every second count, never anything. But what about love? So often humans are too cautious when it come to love. Someone is too shy to introduce themselves to somebody across the room, and for all they know they could have just given up the best relationship of their life. Life is short. Live on the edge by loving on the edge. True love is the willingness to give up everything just to be with that one person who makes your heart stop, the person who makes you happier just by being near, the person who makes your soul ache when they hurt. Stride along the edge of life together. Never let anything get in the way of your love. The edge may be rocky, but the view is fantastic.
--Every person, every memory, every experience, every encounter leaves a silhouette on the soul. An irreversible impression with unique minutiae left to identify. Now what is interesting about these silhouettes is that two people may gaze upon the same outline and not find a single continuity. Perspective is everything-- or so they say. However, I propose that these disagreements stem again from silhouettes, from the natural tendency to identify one thing to another. Every event, every love, every hate, every story leaves a silhouette that defines characteristics of future contours and portraits.
--As many have said 'life is not black and white, but gray.' I would like to expound upon that concept. Life is not only gray, but quite blurry as well. However, it is not originally that way. When a child is born, things are black and white with incredible clarity. As that child grows the blacks slowly become whiter and the whites slowly become blacker. The 20/20 vision that use to exist becomes blurred and faded. Lines intermix and at some point it all becomes just one clouded mass. Anything in life can be compared; look hard enough and you can find similarities in opposites. That is what creates the gray, the blur. Sometimes that can mean positive unity, other times it could lead to overpowering hatred. Again, I find myself exorcising this statement; even the gray of life is not good or bad. But, for the times when that gray blur is not so pleasant, I have a tip for you: put on a filter, any color you'd like, and find some glasses that are the right prescription.
My Friend the Stranger
-- As I am meandering down the sidewalk swimming through a mind full of questions and doubts surrounding the meaning(s) of life, I see out of the corner of my eye a fisherman jumping up and down and waving his arms at me. I proceed to take out an earbud and inquire as to what he desires. It is then that his voice reaches my ears exclaiming "Take my picture! Take my picture!" I smile politely and do as he requests. We exchanged a few polite words, then I wander away with a smile playing on my lips. No longer pondering through a melancholy mindset, I look up at the sky and think about just how incredulous it is that a stranger can sometimes take the position of a friend in the sense that friends are supposed to make one smile. It truly is a fascinating world that humans have constructed.
-- I have a roof over my head. I have food on the table. I have a lot of things that many people of the world do not. I understand that. But that does not make everything perfect. Perfection is an illusion that no one and nothing can achieve. The roof protects me from the elements, but it also traps in horrors that can then batter me from the sides. I have a life that removes the immediate danger from lack of human needs, but it then exposes me to another realm of issues. My wounds may not be as exigent as those of others', yet they still bleed all the same. Idealism is not realism. That 'american dream' that so many people see obsessed with? It does not exist. You fix one thing just so another thing can go wrong. That is the way the world works. So yes, I have a roof over my head, but that does not mean that life is always as splendid as some would think.
-- There is nothing quite as satisfying as finding a little nook you can have, at least for the time, all to yourself. The quiet pleasure that comes with enjoyable solitude is one that is unmatched in the frolicking of a crowd. A nook where you can reside and read, contemplate, work, or just be without disturbance is heaven on earth. The bliss that emerges from being alone and unbothered, even if only for a moment, surpasses any joy that may emanate from the hustle and bustle of a crowded room. The ability to think is one that is greatly influenced by your surroundings, so how could it be at all possible to think clearly without being in your own little nook of the universe?
-- In a world that is constantly trying to suppress both our individuality and personalities, sometimes the only thing that you can do is let out a innocuous scream of self expression. By letting things boil up inside of you, out of fear of voice, you are indirectly showing accordance with the people and society that ridicule who you are. Rather than be submissive, let out your rage, anguish, grief, bliss, and anxiety in a roaring scream that grants you the release of sensitivity that you so desperately need.
-- Stage fright can sometimes appear in the most peculiar of ways.
-- Peter Pan once said all you need to fly is a little faith, trust, and Pixie Dust. But if you ask me, I think there is a little more to it. Where do you find Pixie Dust without a little bit of imagination? If you enter the world of fantasy you will see in front of you the endless abyss that your mind has yet to fill. Maybe you wish to see some pirates? Or possibly a wizard or two? Maybe you just want to fly. The prospects are purely perpetual. I believe that any problem can be solved with a bit of creativity. Wander far enough away from the box that you no longer have to consider it as an option. You may be surprised with what your mind will conjure.
-- An innocent child captured in this moment of stun when a camera is pointed her way. There is a slight fear in her eye that contradicts the wonder that also resides there. One cannot help but wonder what it is this child may face in her coming days. Will this look still belong to her in ten years? What about fifteen? Or will the action of falling or flying remove this expression from her reserve? In the end, you nor I could possibly conceive all of the trials, opportunities, and experiences this girl may face. What lies in her future will be a mystery until it is her present. The childish glee she now possesses will not and can not retain throughout all of her life. The reality is that no one can shelter her enough from this cold and hardened world that we have created. She will grow, and she will want to give up at times. That's a part of life. I truly just hope that she does not pass on her innocence too abruptly.
-- People look at their reflections (both figuratively and literally), and often they do not like what they see. What humans do not understand is we are more than just a reflection. We are complex being that layer image upon image of ourselves. No matter how old you get, there will always be a childish side to you. No matter what you may go through, there will always be a sense of humor. No matter where you go, you always have your roots. The only way a reflection may represent someone fully is if that reflection is layered with all the other reflections of who they are. Now, that vision of yourself may become blurred at times, but that doesn't mean that it changes. No one and nothing can change the true vision of yourself.
-- This self portrait is a direct result of boredom. I set my camera to take multiple photos and simply moved around. This resulted in a few I liked out of the dozens of images I took. This one in particular caught my interest. Perhaps it is because almost all of the face is obscured except the part that allows the most emotion to slip through. It is almost like a guessing game for those who see it to hypothesize what was on my mind.
-- Sometimes it is the simplest and smallest of things that one may hold dearest to their hearts. My grandmother gave me this bracelet for my sixteenth birthday. When I saw this pole I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate it in a photo with the bracelet.
-- There is an obvious yet indescribable connection between a mother and child. Though that connection is usually lost over time, at the beginning of youth it is powerfully prominent. This photo captures a small moment between mother and child that most would not find special. I, however, disagree. There is something about this little boy and how we was gazing up at his mother that says so much despite his wordless mouth. Think what you may, but I find this very gripping.
-- One thing I have come to appreciate greatly on this trip is the multiple uses of a bandana. From sleeping mask to headband, still life subject to camera cleaner, and wind vane to rag. If a simple cloth can do some many different things, then imagine what a complicated being of science such as yourself can do.
-- When you're on a three week trip in Iceland there is a lot of time spent in the car going from place and place. I, and others on my trip, have found that the car is a great time for reflection. With headphones in and a beautiful view, one can spend the entire ride simply thinking.
-- You're never too old to have a little bit of magic in your life. Wether you see a fairy flitting through the trees, an elf playing with children at a large rock, a dragon being slain for the safety of the world, or even just a little glow from one loving another, everyone needs a little magic. With magic comes the childish glee that so many have lost. It is my honest belief that those who still see as a child are those who go through life carrying the purest kind of happiness.
-- There is beauty in the broken, color in the bruised, and stories in the bent. Just because something or someone is run down does not mean that there is not something more there. Take the time to hear the story behind the scars and you may be surprised at what you will find.
-- Does there really need to be a sign there as a reminder not to fall of the cliff? Even if it is necessaray, a sign that small would not be effective.
-- Graffiti and street art are often looked down upon and thought of as vandalism. While often it is created illegally, people should take the time to actually consider it as normal art. The graffiti on these trashcans seems to be placed in a form of denial to consider their own work as trash. By putting it on the trashcans the street art then cannot be thrown away. Also, when the trashcans are moved, the tags and words will be seen by more people. It is a very strategic move by the artist.
-- Lanterns come in many shapes and sizes. They can be bright and strong, easy to recognize. Or they can be dull and unsure; yet, always there once found. I have found that while stumbling through the confusion of reality and fantasy, a person can become your lantern. Through my experiences I have also established that you may not always realize who it really is that is giving you the light. It is possible to spend eternity stumbling through the darkness, but that doesn't make it easy. Somewhere along the way, pick up a lantern that is steady and true.
-- "If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied,
Illuminate the NOs
On their vacancy signs.
If there's no one beside you
When your should embarks,
Then I will follow you into the dark."
-I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
This is one of my favorite songs. It is one thing to lead someone out of the dark, but it is a completely different concept to follow them into the dark. The idea of Heaven and Hell rejecting everyone and that these two people will be traveling into the complete unknown is an image that most do not consider. It is and idea that I find both inspiring and endear.
-- Eyes are the window to the soul. Looking into someone's eyes can give you a glimpse at their true nature, emotions, and being. It is only through those eyes that they see the world, and it is only through yours that you may see them. Eyes reflect back the things that hold someone's gaze and therefore holds their interest. There is no other part of a human that can scream more than the organ of sight.
-- The refusal to break when something has been ripped and torn. When I fell early in the day, I could not have asked for my jeans to rip in a better way. The rebellion to let go when all else seems impossible is the simple intrigue of this photo.
-- "Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world."
The quote and this photo seemed to be stitched together from the moment I had both. There is no better happiness in the world and feeling and giving love.
-- Solitude is filled with both joy and horror. No matter who you are or where you come from, you need solitude. In solitude you learn the things you need to know about yourself. Only you can hear the thoughts, know the feelings, and think the things that no one else could imagine. But without solitude, how would one acquire this knowledge? No one can teach it to you; it's something to be found within. Solitude is a terrifying and a peaceful place; a place that we all must tread through.
-- I took this photo of two little girls walking down a busy city street with a respectable unguarded air radiating off of them. These girls walk down the street holding hands out of friendship and completely unaware of the controversy, the politics, the starvation, the danger, and the mistakes of this world we live in. They have what all who have known to grow have learned to forget. Innocence is a characteristic that is often looked down upon in the adult world; yet, it often brings more joy than knowing ever could. That is the beauty of innocence; the beauty of these girls.
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