Divide and conquer

  • Aperture: f/4.8
  • Focal Length: 20mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter: 1/40 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Havana, Alabama

Some people find themselves in church. My slivers of holy light tend to fall in considerably rougher terrain — usually when I’m face down in the dirt. I’m comfortable working in a world where the odds are stacked against me. When life is at its most bleak, I see things with the most clarity. Where bombs are fallling, I find a window of calm. Somewhere between crying and cursing, I trance out, find my focus, and then I know what I have to do.

To the untrained eye, I come off as careless, rebellious, an adrenaline junkie, living for that moment when all is lost just so I can prove it isn’t — one more time. To a certain extent, that’s a fair assessment.

But the truth is, I can only see the sky when I’m on my knees. It’s not victory I seek — it’s the half a second of happiness that comes right before things get really good. By the time the byline hits the page, the money hits the bank, the trophy hits my hand, I’m crashing hard, lost in a world where there is no need for a problem-solving, tear-drying, bomb-defusing superhero girl.

It’s stressful sometimes, balancing this unholy fire inside. The rush leaves me dizzy and drained; the fear leaves me cotton-mouthed and queasy. But oh how bright the flash of pleasure — it almost makes the struggle worth it.

Music: Natural One by Folk Implosion (lyrics)

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