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.

A mother cries out for her loss

It’s a shouting match, Liberty song

It all depends whose side you’re on

An 80’s flick, a telethon

The donors can’t afford

A peaceful march is a riot for

The higher ups keeping score

A father dies, a baby’s born

To a family torn apart

A mother cries out for her loss.

A brother vows vengeance.

Humanity what have we done?

Another brothers grave is dug.

It’s a quick escape, getting drunk

Do what you can, never enough

It’s a 90’s jam, a slogan sung

To another civil war

It’s a house of cards, a hand of fate

A demonstration turns to hate

It’s a feeling I just cannot shake

It takes all I’ve got to watch

Wake me up when it’s all over.

That’s no longer good enough.

It’s getting harder to be sober.

With history books full of blood.

The simple things we choose.

Hate is easy.

Love is hard.

Truth is the only thing

that will set you free.

Freedom is man made.

Man is weak.

Women are God’s strongest creation.

God is love

and love conquers all.

I would never hurt you.

I will always honor

and respect you.

My love, there is no room

for anything more.

Cupid’s always looking in

This life’s a beautiful disaster penned one summer long ago

I mean who was I kidding just a kid on the East Coast

So I took my car and drove off found myself out on the road

I was so sure I was different but so scared of letting go

Had this girl her name was pure like it was written in the stars

I first met her in the backseat of my good friends mother’s car

And I don’t quite know how it happened tangled alone in the dark

But she showed me true compassion for a badly broken heart

And if you ever saw the way her fingers danced upon my hand

Love’s an infinite reminder I just couldn’t understand

She was beautiful regardless of the way things had to end

I’m just happy to have seen her grown and happy as a friend

Somewhere before and after I had lost my innocence

Was a child when I said come on let’s go what’s happening

Like a judge biting my tongue so long held on to my defense

Till one day it all poured out like a volcano from my head

You talk too much don’t talk enough try this paper and pen

I think that it’ll help to write it down is what she said

And of course guess what it happened but this time in a kitchen

We were kindred drunk and carefree at first sight I do admit

I wasn’t looking for a lover in retrospect needed a friend

But that’s the way it happens Cupid’s always looking in

When she took me without question I knew something had to give

Had more talent in her pinky than I swear I ever did

And she tried hard to convince me I was good at fitting in

Still my anger got the best of me and then the fear to live

See it took 6 months of depression just to make one decision

I would have should have could have now son that’s no way to live

I thought if I just disappear perhaps I’d be no one’s burden

But learned life is a disaster that you somehow have to live

So I packed my bags one day and gave myself unto the wind

Hell I’ve been kicking rocks forever so I’m hella used to it

See there’s no way of ever knowing how tomorrow’s gonna end

You just get up brush your hair and then go do it again

Still love’s an infinite reminder I’ve tried so hard to understand

It always makes more sense when you’re left with empty hands

Like a psychic I am reading all the lines riddles and man

I can see it all so clearly first accept yourself and then

Maybe you get lucky one day in Central Park

Or perhaps while spilling coffee on a stranger after dark

There’s a reason for each season as one ends one’s soon to start

It only takes a moment kiddo ready on your mark

I see a lot of people

I see a lot of people

not liking themselves

Whose only hobby it seems

is not liking themselves

Figuring out new ways

of not liking themselves

I see a lot of people who are all the same

holding onto their pain like a talisman

And though it pains me to say it

I’ve still got to say it:

that kettle over there looks rather black.

— INSERT EXCUSE HERE —

So quite literally if you say

what is going to be my excuse today?

— INSERT EXCUSE HERE —

Now don’t do that.

Do everything but that.

Do every other thing

you’d rather be doing.

What do you got to lose?

The job you hate.

The credit you pay.

The fear you make.

It’ll all be there tomorrow.

So excuse yourself today

and see what happens.

stand with love.

If you stand for a cause,

stand with it.

Don’t claim it as your own.

Be present.

Be aware.

But most of all

be selfless in the eyes of hate.

And when you stand,

stand with love.

When Powerful Voices Become Saints.

Powerful voices
don’t scream
they
listen,

they
aren’t forceful
they
think,

they
don’t condemn
they
heal,

they
know it’s not their duty,
they
do not seek control,

they
are powerful
in their
absence of hate,

they
are powerful
in their
acceptance of love,

they
are not
black or white
but every color in between,

they
never seem to get the press
the screamers get –
not until they’re dead do they become saints.