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

Surrender for this man is essential for future understanding.

As important as it is to be informed, it’s just as important, if not of further importance to distinguish between what information you allow in and what information you choose to put out.

Feeling pain is not an excuse to cause another pain.

Feeling slighted is not an excuse to slight another person.

The news and media are valuable resources to acquire current information but the information gained from the news and media is not an excuse to promote ignorance and intolerance—or for lack of a better metaphor: one side of the coin—without further, more definitive research.

I don’t claim to know everything and I have come to terms with the fact that I never will.

I’m no a saint.

There has and always has been social injustice and sorrow in the world and I can’t change that. All I can do is choose a righteous path towards consciousness.

Consider this.

The anteater will eat ants to survive as the hawk will hunt ground squirrels and field mice. The spider will spin a web to catch the fly. The fly will feast on feces to survive. The feces will decompose into the soil and a tree will grow.

Nature always finds a way.

Human nature is an entirely different phenomenon.

It’s a common theme between civilizations to find balance and order between extremes. Love and hate. Fear and faith. War and peace.

Each and every day this phenomenon is in question—human nature. The hawk does not see the field mouse as a hawk. The hawk sees the field mouse as prey. The field mouse does not see the insect as a field mouse. It sees it as prey.

Nature operates without question.

It is human nature to ask why. It is human nature to consider the consequences of our action. It is human nature to consider what is right, wrong, and just, then decide.

Either way, the tree will grow.

Either way, the prey will die.

I’m not asking for you or I to be a saint, I’m just asking you to consider another way, a way in which I’m sure you deal with like I, each and every single day.

What I suggest we all consider is this: walk gently, and spread love.

Love is a universal concept.

Hate is a creation of the mind as a defense mechanism.

Hate, is a creation of man.

With all the information that history, news, and media has so far presented us with, what’s stopping us from immediately choosing love as a means to an end of irrational hatred which like wild fire spreads without care or concern or reason?

Tonight I’ll lay my head down, as tomorrow I’ll rise and move forward with peace, love, and understanding.

And it will be easy because I’ve chosen to surrender.

Taken out of context, the idea of surrender is often considered as a form of defeat but not in this case.

The battle has already been won, so when we realize there was never a battle to be fought, surrender to this man is essential for future understanding.

Like Wicker Passed Round Midnight’s Mass

I dare not blame the 14 Hands

for feelings I have felt

Where midnight and I meet

the moon’s shadow can’t dispel

In daylights saving grace

I justly feel that I have felt

like wicker passed round midnight’s mass

each hand is doleful dealt

Her guiding light

What I cannot see

in the dark of night

within myself

is another’s plight,

she finds me there

her guiding light

my luminance

in the dark of night.

Leaves they fall in autumn

Everyone has problems

More elaborate than my own

Like these they fall in autumn

Their limbs are all exposed

I want to tell them something

Assure they’re not alone

Still leaves they fall in autumn

Sometimes to live you’ve got to die.

Some say the world’s worth saving

Some say we’ll never know

Like a corn cob pipe and button

Left in the melting snow

A fireplace can warm you

For a while from the cold

Still a child holds his coal eyes

And now he knows.

It’s not his fault that his friend must go

Either way he’s gonna cry

You’re beautiful so it’s logical

This season’s just a state of mind

If I could save you, you know I would

But even I know that’s a lie

See summers change and then grow cold

It’s no longer up to me to decide

An all too common feeling

I can’t explain the reason

I end up in this place

Each page another season

Aware there is no race

The end of new beginnings

Perhaps I’ll save some face

An all too common feeling

This one I can’t explain

At times it leaves me reeling

At times it leaves me faint

At times it can be healing

Most times it’s a disgrace

Perhaps what leaves me stuck in

This all too common place

Are shadows in this doorframe

The one’s I can’t erase

leaving only the snakeskin they’re worth.

Look at whoever

made you feel inferior

misplaced or intolerable

and ask yourself:

Whose burden do they carry?

Then remind yourself:

That weight is not meant for you.

Now tell whoever

made you feel inferior

misplaced or intolerable

you love them

And watch:

Their puzzled concern, still only for themselves.

Then walk away

leaving only the snakeskin they’re worth.

Manhattan’s in the Village

You know what they say, don’t yuh?

Can’t live with em, can’t live without em

But don’t get me twisted, I’m not talking about women

though the skin beneath my tongue’s still sore

my heart’s still heavy and well

there’s nothing quite like seeing her smile come morning

but anyway like I was saying to this jug of doom

in the evening gloom where I choose not one but two

and then two more to boot because, well, hell

who am I kidding? Nobody but the moon this evening

cause it’s this bitter sweet feeling

the kind you feel deep down in the rumbling, stumbling night

where it all gets so far gone, where nothing meaningful is born

where it all makes some sort of convoluted sense

and alas, once again I am but the floorboards dull creak

where I am like the riverbed flowing calmly and discrete

where life is but a dream and I am dreaming once again

of you dear friend, rustling like the leaves at my front door.

Oh dear friend, how I long to walk the beach again.

How I long to hear your sick, silly, sweet voice again

like those long ago up all Friday nights of old

all those Brooklyn winter blue’s and yellow streetlights

guiding us home, or at least to Crown Fried Chicken where

like two youthful bums we’d scavenge our pockets for change

enough to buy a couple chicken wings, coke, and pint

enough to settle the bone, cold, sidewalk snow till home

where we’d fall arm and arm up stairs

to that old wood, smoke filled, railroad apartment you’d call Grove.

And though I don’t often pray, in my own little way

I do for you now as I did then, driving back to my Long Island apartment.

I pray this little song of self, this little song of you, this small token of my appreciation

for your boundless soul and effortless style and class.

I ate too much cheese, I’d shout while holding a kitchen knife to my throat!

Where in a Polaroid our youth is kept,

where so many nights while you slept I wept,

where you’d give me your bed for a smile,

where I’d talk with Forest about everything and nothing for a while,

long enough not to feel alone in that maddening, crazy New York glow.

So I write this little poem, not enough but enough to show you

I’m still listening through the terror behind the walls.

Dear friend,

How are you?

I can’t live with you, but hell, I can’t live without you.

Manhattan’s in the Village

God knows we never had the scratch, aligned

I feel inclined to take this time and offer you my best

impression not impressed?

CALL ME SPIDER! CALL ME SPIDER!

I just had to get these salami’s off my back.

I just had to sing this short praise of you Mac.

the bridge to Angel Valley

I set my intention

crossed the bridge to Angel Valley

unknowing of what was to come

but fully away of what I was leaving behind

I stood grounded, cool and calm

released of all tension

as if a lifetime had come undone.

It’s there I let go

of all those old ways of being

shed that snake skin feeling

and came back from beyond the pine

into that crystalline light

of my own healing.

infinite visions.

This feeling hangs like ancient fog

over tree limbs lined by new day dawn

where single filed ants march on

the air is still as new born fawn.

His heart beats infinite visions.