Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find.
– W. Shakespeare
David’s right eye is busted. But no more than both my eyes are blind.
At the moment, we could have met – he got mugged on the streets of San Francisco and suffered a pretty gnarly hit to his right eye. In his condition, it was understandable that he wanted to postpone our meet, at a time when he was feeling better and his wounds were on the mend. I could tell this was sincere because he went out of his way to call me to explain what had happened. (A boy actually calling? That is simply absurd.) In the short time we’ve gotten to know one another, and it has been really wonderful. He’s taken a liking to my IG photos and surprisingly, a very keen interest in my writing. As a result, he’s gotten to know me a lot faster and intimately than anyone I’ve ever met.
At first I felt strange at the thought of a guy I could potentially date, going in and seeing everything I am- bare and all. In the past, I’d been so ashamed of who I am and what I’ve done. That has always surfaced later in the life of my relationships and become a source of conflict. I decided that if he really wanted to read my writing, I wasn’t going to stop him. Who I am on paper, is basically who I am in real life. I’m proud of my writing; it has taken me so far and is the vehicle that will take me to even bigger places. But how is it that I can be proud of my writing, but be so ashamed of who I am?
I gave him permission to read it, confident enough in my craziness that if he can’t take it – he can just keep it moving. Surprisingly, the writing has intrigued him even more. So much so that he’s pushing for a date soon, but not before warning me and being slightly self-conscious about the condition of his appearance.
The more I pondered on it – I found there to be a cruel irony in David’s situation. His profession and life behind the camera is one that lives off of appearances. It’s ironic that what’s happened to him has altered his appearance and subsequently become the deterrent for our first meet. Despite that, it’s also a blessing that his attacker happened to hit his right eye, and not his left – which is his shooting eye. All things considered this is the most fortunate thing that could’ve happen to him. He’s still able to do his job, albeit a little bruised. But in this short week of getting to know one another, I wonder if the hit to his eye has skewed his vision and perspective.. because what in the world could he possibly see in me?
He’s only really seen me and likes me through the lens of my photos and writing but is that enough? And am I no better than he is, jumping into this, blinded by what could be love? In my doubt, I think about the thing that sparked our initial conversations, a love of photography; not the technical aspects, but the passion for taking a good photo, for striving to really capture the essence of the moment and freeze it in time.
What compels us to take a photo? Is it the chance, the hope that something incredible will turn out? I feel like my life has been the continuous pursuit of so many clicks, just hoping for that one perfect shot that will stick. I’ve bent over backwards, contorting and moving every which way, just to get the right angle. But what happens when the shot chooses you? What happens when you’re simply at the right place at the right time – and your eyes are open to the opportunity for something unexpected, amazing and life-changing?
Aside: David took this candid shot of me when I accompanied him on one of his engagement shoots. Talented or what? 😉