17 April 2009

The short story of an aspiring photographer that never wanted to be a writer

A ten year old me receives a camera for Christmas.

The best gift.

The start of something great.

I flash everything. Uncles; grandparents; my sisters, my brothers.

My mother says to my ten year old self she wants to pay for writing lessons.I ask Riding? Horses?! All excitement and joy. She says no, she says writing, words.Less excitement; oh. I don’t want to be a writer. I want to take pictures. I want to capture everything.

Thirteen and my mother read a story I had written. She tells me to take writing classes. Get lessons. She says I could be a great writer someday. I tell her, Momma no. I don’t want to write. I want to be a photographer. I know the name of the profession for capturing everything now.

At fifteen, I begin to find the will, the want, to write. Justin died. And I write. I write how much it hurts, how much it aches. It’s tragic. And it’s beautiful and the only thing I really own. I tell the paper how much I miss him. I tell it what it feels like to have a dead brother when you’re only fifteen; when he was only seventeen. He will always only be seventeen. I write for a year straight about him; maybe more. My mother finds it and worries. But still. You should be a writer. I don’t want to write for people. I want to capture their faces. I want to photograph their life. I don’t want to be a writer.

At seventeen I find another reason. I fall for the boy that smiled at me. A blue gym short and gray t-shirted seventeen year old girl, falling for the boy that smiled at me. I write. I write about the things I want him to know and everything I wish I knew about him. Two years of I want you I need you I miss you where are you? Two years of I love you, but I won’t tell you. I love you, and I told you. Six more months of how could you, and why couldn’t you just? I wrote it all: the anger and the love and the image of forgiveness that is just a lie I learned to tell really well. I wrote him poems and letters and let the whole world see what he did to me. And then, I stopped.
I still want to be a photographer. I want to capture images.

I kept writing, though. I wrote whatever came to mind. I wrote about this boy I like. I wrote about the summer sky and green eyes. I wrote about rain and new roads to travel. I wrote about the galaxy I want to discover. I want to be a photographer.

I keep writing. I write the words you are reading. I write the short story of an aspiring photographer that never wanted to be a writer. And all I do is write. I can’t stop. I want to paint pictures with words. I want to write. My dog is watching me. He wants outside, but I am too consumed. I don’t want to be a photographer. I want to write it all. I want to paint the pictures the cameras can’t see. I want to let people feel what I have felt and what I am trying to hide.

I’m giving myself to this new dream. It’s been waiting to unfold, to materialize my whole life. And I’m finally embracing it, loving it.

I want to write for no other reason than I don’t know how to stop.

12 March 2009

An untitled essay I wrote for Comp I

There are three faces in the worn down snapshot; three small faces. Their eyes know nothing of the world awaiting them and their smiles illuminate with innocence. Their faces I recognize, but do not know. The sight of my brother's care-free grin and the expression of my sister's naive face next to my own are like a memory I made up. Justin was my brother. Justin is dead. And the innocence of my sister has changed to worry and compassion over the years. Even my own face is foreign. I am a child I do not remember. Justin's death affected me more than other's know, and the bond it created between my sister, Taylor, and I feels more tangible knowing we were all here once. We were all together; before life happened, before death happened; we were innocent once.

The three of us were not far apart in age; just a short year or two between births. By age, Justin was the oldest, then myself and Taylor came last. We were a unit: a trio plus Mom for several years. Often times, we would "tag-team" and gang up on one another, but we could get along peacefully as well. Justin always felt as if he needed to protect me and shelter Taylor. I felt the same about Taylor. She is in the center of the photograph, between Justin and me. And it seems fitting. Even then, even now, Taylor is the center and I don't want the world to touch her. Justin's personality was big, bright, strong and undeniable. He laughed hopefully and cared deeply. He loved of us even when he claimed to hate us, and we knew it. Taylor's big heart and sweet smile have saved her in many situations, but it is her jovial perception of life that has kept her going. She is a rock, and everybody knows it.

Justin died. He was in an accident at age seventeen, and died. His passing left an eminent mark on all who had only seen his smile, and even more so on those who knew his spirit. I was a fifteen year old girl, thrust into the realities of life and death. The "me" in the photograph, that child, died with Justin. No child should know the pain of death or the ache of loss in the after-math. Pain and loss are not sentiments I commonly dwell on, but Justin's death-his photographs and memories trigger such emotions; I miss him. The moments frozen in time with his smile are my favorite.

I am the third in the picture. It's just a simple photo booth memory, but I carry it with me everywhere. There were few taken of us all together the older we grew, and I cherish it. I use to complain about my relationship with Justin. We fought like wolves and he acted as a child would for most of his life. He was oblivious to consequences and often times did as he pleased. I felt the responsibility of being an example to him was a burden; he should be an example to me. But now, looking back, he needed me to be that for him. I needed to be that for him. I took many things from my brother's life and death; the most significant being not to take life too seriously. He changed my life, I just wish he hadn't had to die for me to realize it.

The faces in the photo are pieces of who I was and who I have become. They are visages I know and people I can't remember. They are lightness and hope; forgiveness and forgotten. Their innocence is illusive. But their hearts are the same: full of love, but of a different sort. Yes, we were here, we were together, we were innocent once. Before life, before death, we were together.

15 February 2009

She is becoming

She said she's only great in her head
and I see her dancing to herself,
planning a life she deserves more out of.
In her pretty gray eyes..
I can see the clouds she hides
and she smiles like the girl no one knows,
she smiles like a girl everyone sees.
She says she's just dreaming,
She says she could be anywhere
She says I'm beautiful.
She can't find what I see,
everything good in an imperfect light
a friend to the heart
a puzzeling fit
She's been called everythings
he's been called nothing
she is becoming.
She is becoming..

10 February 2009


I still cry
But I lie
You are long, so far gone
And I'm dancing in the fog
I feel inspired,
but it's all the same
You run in circles of all you have desired
And I turn faces in the rain
I wish you the best of all the stars
and pretend you never left a crack
while you placed my heart in broken jars;
searching deep through the whole in my back
for any trace of what had been
and never seemed to be.
Mistified, objectified by the dead end,
wonderous thoughts of if I will ever be free.
You could see in the dark
and feel in the light:
A mystery in the spark
of what you said that night.
And I can't say I'll come back,
but I'm not gone.

09 February 2009


I am obsessive
I am obsessive
I am obsessive
Perfection is relative.
I am lost
I am hopeful
I am together
Alone is relative.
I can't
I won't
I would
The truth never lies.
I am a hypocrit
I am a face
I am a name
Morality is relative.
I am here
I am not there
I am gone
Presence is relative.
I am what you are not; transparent.
I am relative.

08 February 2009

Half steps

There's green eyes under a blue sky
Telling a story in disguise
A boy in his late years
About a girl and her biggest fears
She moves in circles and half steps
Tracing every loss and misstep
Her dark eyes in the dark of night
and his bright smile covered in light
Whispering words of who she's becoming
and the pain she is perfectly numbing
Free hair on dewy grass
insecurities splitting like glass
Secret stories escaped her lips in lullabies
of how time stands, of how time flies
Innocent faces on the stars
breaking through restraining bars
Left turn right
He said you made this night
Up, lay down
Her mouth framed, let's skip this town.
Smile, tell me now
Laughter, just right now
We're tangled, just tangled
there's nothing to be mangled
They're walking in circles and half steps
forgetting every misstep.