I’m often surprised at my enjoyment of being photographed. I’m intrigued by the duality of vulnerability and separation: the viewer, the subject, the photographer, all shielded by a physical contraption which helps bare secrets but simultaneously keeps them just hidden enough to abbreviate the story behind the gaze, the background, the reasoning for the picture.
Yesterday, after devouring lettuce wraps stuffed with fajita veggies & black beans, I let my lovely friend Sabrina pretty me up for a few shots to begin her cosmetology portfolio. I am not used to having so much product on my face at once, but I remembered when observing her finished interpretation how fun it is to watch my features transform with shadow and color. I don’t see makeup as a means of hiding behind a curtain or tricking the public into believing I’m without “unsavory” characteristics, but as expression, enhancement, interpretation, artistry. Another means of eliciting creativity, another canvas filled, brushed, gently altered, softened, sweetened, sharpened. I think I needed a quick refresher on the power of putting in effort, considering that I wear little more than face lotion on a daily basis.
Lately, life is a doozy. 2015 is repeating in this quickly-closing year, in ways both subtle and not so. On the more benign side, songs I added to my master Spotify playlist are returning to my repertoire, from “Pressure” by Rains to “Lean On” by Major Lazer, both tunes I reverted to in September of last year when I needed anger and a cryptic brand of comfort. And of course, shortly after I finished initially scratching my head at their appeal, crossing into my life was The Thing. I’m not going to detail too much, but what I thought wore itself out clawed through the brambles and into clear view once more, I was, and am now, thrown off. The wheel revolved, time spat out the old oddity in an at least slightly newfangled way. In its recurrence I’ve contemplated how change sometimes doesn’t occur as quickly as I thought, and that some choices simply ebb and flow, in and out of prominence. I know my riddles are probably boring. I’m not even sure I make sense. But some weaknesses have a certain degree of permanence which I, and I’m sure others, don’t anticipate. And really? That’s okay. As Sabrina told me, I’m just human, and things happen that I don’t expect.
Truly, I did not for a moment expect any of it. In a twisted, bizarre fashion, it almost made sense for the piece to fit itself back into the mold of my 2016 self. I never felt satisfied with the perceived ending, and always believed something was left unsaid, and still is unspoken, whispering to itself the why in its background sleep but not loud enough for me to hear. I can’t force talk and I can’t even find the words that’ll jar it awake. So I go. So it goes. So everything goes, whether I consciously will it or not, until I consciously do, or don’t any longer.
Another big shoutout to my gal for the makeup, and to her and all of my closest friends who may (or may not) read this post, who pick me out of my dusty graveyards and remind me that I am capable of grace and worthy of love despite my sometimes-ungainly decisions.