requiem for an enigma

This is a story about a girl who’s been called an enigma her whole life. And who very much realizes she is one, even to herself.

The truth is that I don’t fit well into any one box. I have already lived multiple lifetimes and most would consider these out of the usual order. Few would guess the things I have lived through, both good and bad. I am always honest, sometimes to a fault, but don’t feel the need to share everything. I don’t consider myself defined by anything external, and therefore I float easily between worlds and have a very diverse group of friends. I feel I belong everywhere and nowhere.

I was a child who grew up in her own head because I felt dissonance between the world I was born to and who I was. I was not affirmed, so I learned to affirm myself. I outwardly conformed to many things in order to feel safe but inwardly I stoked a hotbed of rebellion. I questioned everything, believed in everything and nothing. I was a risk taker and somewhat reckless. I still am. I ran outside in thunderstorms and tornados to experience their power and dared God to strike me down. I was in two major car accidents but I still drive much too fast. I learn from experience, and yet even after being burned I will take the same risks over and over. I am probably one of the most resilient people you will meet. Some might say headstrong.

I love power when it is used for good, but I hate the spotlight; I prefer subtle influence. I am a romantic and a perfectionist and tend to be a little idealistic. I am a passionate and sensual person, and highly attuned to my own body. When I love, I love with complete abandon, but my trust is not easy to win. I open up slowly, layer by layer, but try to force me open and I flee. I only ever give what I want to give, and I expect no more from anyone else. By the same token, I consider my greatest gift my intuition, and I likely know a lot more about you than you think I do.

I’m fierce and exacting about what I want from myself and my work. I’m obsessed with quality because I care deeply that people have a good experience. I will lose sleep if I feel someone I care about is not happy. I look up to no one and down on no one. I love human beings and I want to understand them. I crave depth. I ask questions of everyone because I need to make sense of the stories I see around me. Everyday life plays out to me like a movie, and every person and thing an interesting and complex character I want to know beneath their layers. I try to discover the soul in everything I see, no matter whether it’s a rock or a person. Photography has been a way for me to do this.

I am a deeply spiritual person. I believe in God and in Jesus, and I felt closest to him in a Catholic cathedral where my senses completely flooded. But I as well believe in reincarnation and many of my beliefs relate to different pieces of different religions. I dread people asking me certain questions, like: what is your faith? What is your political persuasion? What’s your favorite this or that? Because these questions I can’t answer. I have no favorites. I have many things I love and appreciate equally. I put things together and create my own version, but I enjoy entertaining other viewpoints.

I love to dress up. I have owned fabulous dresses that I never had occasion to wear. I would happily live in ball gowns every day. And yet I feel equally myself in sweats and a baseball cap. I am comfortable in many different hats. I know how to hunt and clean a deer and I also know how to mingle at a fancy party. I’m a good sharpshooter and archer. I have perfect color vision. I compose music and play piano by ear. I love decorating, but I change up my style every 2 years.

I am descended from both a notorious pirate and an English queen. I also come from peasants who kept warm in the winter by sitting in cow dung. I am fascinated by all cultures and I want to absorb them, eat them, wear them on my body. I don’t want to just travel and see places. I want to become everywhere I go. I am sometimes frustrated that the color of my skin, or the language I speak prevent me from completely fitting in. I feel a constant need to experience the full spectrum of human existence. This makes me always very restless.

My greatest fear is one I already know will come true, and that is reaching the end of my life and not having lived all of the lifetimes I believe I was meant to live. I don’t know if I will ever score that film, or write that book, or be an infamous spy, or dig up buried treasure. But I have such an ache inside of me to be so many things, to do so much more than I think I will ever have the capacity to do.

on children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
— Khalil Gibran

in its time

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to uproot.
A time to hurt and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to stop searching.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

I have seen the burden God has placed on the human race. Yet he has made everything beautiful in its time.
— Ecclesiastes 3