Whatever you decide, do it without the need for validation—we are one.

Whatever you decide, do it without the need for validation.

To seek validity is but a farce. It’s like aiming to make a splash in a rain puddle.

A child learns early on whether they care to admit it or not, that their choice is theirs and theirs alone. Nobody really cares more than it takes them to realize, eventually with age, that nobody really cares.

Sure, a mother cares deeply, but only as far as it interrupts her well being.

A father can break his back many times, but only as many times as it serves his cause.

Progression doesn’t come from an audience. Progression comes from within.

Progression comes from love, awareness, and nurture.

And although social media tells a different story from reality, we seek it, crave it, we often need it, but do we really?

Perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn from posting our day to day lives, morality, and hardships is that we are all equally as alone as we are the same—myself included.

Not too long ago, there was a time, it seemed, the world was much larger than we could ever imagine.

Driving cross country felt then like an achievement whereas now—after doing it more than a dozen times—it feels more like a routine I’d rather not admit.

Mostly it’s this that scares me.

Desensitization. It’s this that makes me wonder.

What’s the point?

The point is to treat yourself with the same dignity you would a stranger—a child.

The point is to look beyond life’s blessings, with eyes wide shut, and understand that all will be regardless of whatever validation you seek.

We can learn this by simply looking at a flower bloom. We can understand this by accepting that although, it may seem, the flower dies, another will take its place, as equally and wholly as beautiful as its former.

So whatever you decide, decide knowing, you aren’t as separate as you feel—we are all one.

Long Island Cottage, 2012

I allow the teachings of the past to help guide my future.

After a good, long day of self reliance, sleep, and in depth personal analysis, I am left with this thought.

What you do from here on out is your own cross to bear.

Though like a broken record I’ve continued to circle in place.

But why?

Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, though I agree I’m no Einstein, I’m not insane, I’m just a bit of a slow learner.

See, the hardest pattern to break isn’t necessarily the pattern but the mission so to speak.

We’re all on our own personal mission, aren’t we?

And whether or not we choose to accept it, it exists.

It’s taken many years through trial and error, deliberation, and self reliance to understand.

Carole King said, “you’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart…”

Carole also had two children by the time of her divorce and continued to create with love and compassion.

So what’s my personal mission? And what’s yours?

Will we rise tomorrow with faith and gratitude in our hearts or repeat the same patterns that no longer serve us?

Olmec said, “the choices are yours and yours alone.”

But of course we all need a few humorous anecdotes to help us get through.

And I will, as will you.

Tomorrow, reach a little further than you did today. Try something new and show the world the love in your heart. The choices are yours.

And I’ve built my cross, one which I’m willing to bear.

It’s a heavy son of a gun, but I assure you I’ll be walking, hand over foot—that which does not kill us, makes us stronger— like Nietzsche once said.

The turtle and the dove

“You’re pretty,” said the turtle

to the dove. “Thanks,” said the dove

to the turtle, “but I’m nothing

compared to the peacock.”

“Well, I’ve known many a peacock and

I think you’re much more beautiful.”

“Still I’d rather be a peacock,” said the dove

to the turtle. And I’d rather be a dove,

thought the turtle

as he watched the dove take wing.

Portrait of my own Unique Beauty

If what you see in the mirror is ugly, then consider this: chances are you’re comparing your own unique beauty to what, for your entire life, you’ve been programmed to believe is beautiful.

And what is beauty anyways?

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford said, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

And isn’t that true? Yes or no, in more instances than not beauty is subjective. In fact, I’d go even further to say that beauty manifests itself in infinite ways other than what the eye can see.

As a photographer with a fond admiration for women and men alike I can honestly say that I have taken countless photographs and manipulated them to appeal to the mass collective of what is to be considered quote on quote “beautiful.”

Hypocrite. No, I think not. I never claimed they were beautiful but simply did my job in a way that my superior agreed was aesthetically pleasing.

A wrinkle here, a crows foot there, deleted.

Nobody has ever died from a portrayal of beauty, right?

Wrong. Though I’m not an extremist so there are many factors to consider, all of which yes, I agree, may seem like a bit of a cop out or excuse not to hold oneself accountable for taking what is and transforming it into something less natural.

But this isn’t about my career choice or eye in which I behold.

This is about you and that “ugly” reflection in the mirror.

You are not ugly, you simply aren’t. You are you, and you are beautiful.

Those who claim to seek perfection, well, they’re only trying to fill a void. And it’s a bottomless pit because like beauty, perfection is ultimately subjective.

While I sit here and delve deeper into thought, I watch a mother and daughter walk by my window. The mother is flapping her arms as graceful as she can. The child looks to her mother and understands she is trying her best.

In the end all that we can do is try our best to love ourselves enough to fully accept the unique beauty of another.

Any other judgement is of which we have been programmed to believe.

It’s taken a very long while to believe in myself and I willingly admit that each day is a slow progression to further acceptance of my own unique beauty.

If someone tells you you’re not beautiful, that’s their loss.

And I hope the next mirror that you face looks back in your direction as the child looks with grace and marvels at the perfection of her mother’s love.

Portrait of my own Unique Beauty, September 8, 2020

(This was me, 2:25pm, August 31, 2020—happy, and holy, and released)

It’s become abundantly clear through time and misfortune, not to be confused with the physical form such as money or objects, but rather with the exploration of self, the embodiment of peace, and the idea that expression can or should be limited or contained due of a value system built out of fear and intolerance.

Most of our lives we are given what can be thought of as a safety net of ideals—paths to follow, standards to meet—to make life “easier” or conducive to the perception of others.

Rather than present ourselves the way we deem fit, the general standard is to be as the chameleon—to do whatever it takes to fit in—who blends into its surroundings for survival.

Well, for myself, I’ve learned to accept and reject that pattern as it does not allow for growth.

I’ve grown everywhere from upside down to sideways and still have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard you try, there will always be a group, a banner, many men and signs who will make it their duty to mock one’s freedom of self.

I accept myself.

Further more, I applaud myself.

I look in the mirror and examine an ever changing life force composed of trial and error, love and appreciation, a life force who has exhausted himself to live his truth, that is…well…hell if I know!

I’m still figuring that out, one moment, one step, and one portrait at a time.

Thankfully enough, I’ve been blessed by an equal partner, a beautiful guiding spirit of light and love to help nurture my venture to freedom of self—Ariel Rachel—who does not judge but embraces my eccentricities as I honor and trust full heartedly in hers.

I highly recommend letting go of inhibition, being open and honest with yourself, others, and showcasing who you are, each and every day.

Be well my friends. I look forward to seeing you for everything that you are, today, tomorrow, and in future discoveries.

(This was me, 2:25pm, August 31, 2020—happy, and holy, and released)

2:25pm, August 31, 2020—happy, and holy, and released