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Life Jacket...


Today I was hit with some news that kind of shook me to the core and made me realize that I'm truly not a child any longer. Well, I mean I know I'm not a child but I'm often asking the question, "When did we grow up"?

Life happens in waves at times and it's within the crashing and churning that some learn to swim, learn to survive. My life has been the furthest thing from bad or even sad for that matter; there are those blips within the matrix which I've learned from and there have been a few testing times but nothing drastic. I'm lying not purposely but then again if it's a lie it's purposeful as to lead you the reading audience in a direction that will cause you to either want more or less of this story.

Since I was a kid, I've always been afraid of the dark, the unknown. I remember being a teenager, laying in bed, hearing the sound of Robert Stack's voice (Unsolved Mysteries) on the TV set, whilst getting ready for bed, and thinking some alien was going to find me and probe my body. My dad would usher us to our rooms so he could watch that nonsense and I would without fail place a blanket/pillow over my head in the middle of summer nights and pray for my safe passage to the morning.

"God if you're there, I wish you'd hear me, and God if you're there, I wish...." - Somewhere Steven Curtis Chapman would be proud of me for remember a piece of his song. I digress.

At least three months or so ago, I had the pleasure of riding my skateboard through downtown with my godson and his cousin. Yes, yes, I'm not hitting tricks but I do kick and push well, even for my age. The three of us just rode around looking for things which felt out of place, things which weren't necessarily visually pleasing to the eye but still stood out to our eyes. See, there's always a lesson within most stories isn't there.

My goal when I'm out and about shooting photography is to make sure that I'm not distracted by my phone, no texts, phone calls, or mindless scrolling through various social media platforms. The message I attempted to pass along to the fellas was, "You'll miss the beauty around you if your eyes/heads are lost in your phones" (message to myself as well, I have to hold myself accountable too).

As we skated around, I saw an alleyway that made for an awesome view, it was filled with both light and darkness. I asked the fellas if they wanted to play a game, which they answered, "Yes" to before they knew what the challenge would be. The fact we each had a camera helped because the game would require us to take a step or steps back and play with both darkness and light and in the process see if we could extract a feeling/emotion from our photographs.

I started this piece with a statement, a statement which needn't be shared fully in detail but lightly brushed over in a manner I helps the thinking aspect for us all.

What is light?

noun: the natural agent that stimulated sight and makes things visible

What is darkness?

noun: the partial or total absence of light

There comes a point in our lives, all of our lives when we stand within a corridor and we're forced to make a decision or decisions which impact our lives and possibly the lives of others around us, the battle of light and darkness. Not one person under this sun has escaped said crossroad(s).

Our society has tricked us into believing that so much of what takes place around us is real. IF you purchase this car you'll have this status, IF you live on this side of town, your children will have access to the best schools, IF purchase these shoes, you'll jump higher, IF you're on this diet, you'll lose body fat that much faster, IF you bank here, you're happiness will be increased, IF, IF, IF.

And like lemmings to the ocean we run towards... towards what exactly? Some people are doing their best to survive and doing so in ways that are dark by societies standards but in reality they see a light, a light which others do not see.

Try to remember that we're all equipped with camera of sorts, we all have the ability to see the world around us and take note of its ever changing patterns/systems/environments. What are we choosing to extract, do you see both light and darkness?

I'm the furthest thing from being monetarily rich, shoot, someone recently scammed me for $7,000 this year and within the blink of an eye my life became a little more constricted and I was/am faced with fighting both light and dark emotions. This world is a very small place and it's not as easy to hide as some might think. Alas, decisions, decisions can effect so much as stated earlier.

IF I were to tell you that I needed a helping hand in order to survive, how many of you would extend a hand, how many of you would help to see me through my heartache, my loneliness, my pain? IF I were to tell you that I'm forced to make a decision or two how many of you would judge my choice/choices for survival?

I leave you with a picture above and a mental picture as well, perhaps you can still see my light though things appear to be dark around me.

(This isn't a cry for help, I'm good Ma, I'm good)


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