I don’t know if any of you are still reading this, although I hope you are. A few have stopped and taken one second to say hello, and I am glad. If you can still hear me, read me, feel me — Drop me a line below in the comments section please. I know you are wondering what the heck I mean by this gift, this life, this challenge, but even more than that– Many of you have been curious, as to where I have been and what I have been up to. Without going into too much detail about the particulars, here is a post dedicated to what I have been experiencing the past few months. I did a very special shoot with my Italian photographer friend, Renzo early in the morning in Venice, and I hope you truly enjoy these photos and written words too.
Sometimes, you just need to close social media and the internet, grab a piece of paper, cut open a vein and let it all bleed out. Recently, I have allowed myself to indulge in this fantastical impure moment, this state of being –at least for a little while. I am enjoying this time of quite solitude and reflection, from within my body and soul. Sometimes, you need to let the words bleed onto the paper and sometimes you need to share the words.
Once upon a time I believed in the power of words and they were my lifeline until I realized they meant something entirely different for others; I found that what was truth for me became a lie through the ears of another.
I have learned that when I say something I do so with the intention of upholding my words and promises while others speak blindly into a void. I have learned that I don’t belong in a world so fueled by logic and deprived of love. I have learned that my strength can be seen as a threat to those who have not yet ascended mountains of pain. I have learned that my voice is small and meaningless when listened to through layers of preconception and illusion. I have learned that my texts were nothing more than bandages for wounds that will never fully heal and will always wake me in the night haunting, seeking…
I have learned that I am my only true salve and that all of the noise and confusion around me is only there to distract and curtail my mission. I have learned that to be a strong immigrant takes courage, and to have courage takes strength, and to be able to maneuver between both is quite a harsh reality. I have learned that living my life and being okay with my faults is not easy, and that there are no perfect ways of being — that we are all damaged.
I have learned that no matter how much love I put out there, no matter how hard I try to convince others of my worth, in the end, it is up to me to decide. I have learned that no one will ever understand the price an immigrant pays in years and that years are really lifetimes, that he will lose them quickly. But I have also learned that even when I am in my moments of darkness with rivers of tears drowning me, I will endure because that is who I am. I learned that there will never be any replacement for me — that I am the only one who has been given this gift, this life, this challenge. I have learned that some look for people to share their lives with and others look for people whose lives to destroy. I have learned a lot and know the learning will continue.
I hope someday I will be stronger and wiser, kinder and softer, harder to destroy. As hope always arises amidst the ashes of unrealized dreams. There are men and there is me. I am also flawed, forgettable, regrettable, maybe even unlovable but I am real.