Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beyond the Pale

(Snapped on 3/22/11)

This year, for the first time that I can ever remember - I was actually fond of my white, winter skin. Normally I dread the onset of wintertime's pallor, but because I liked how it looked in my pics. - for once I was grateful for a creamy complexion. 

See the thing is - there were times last summer when I thought that my lily white ass, and boobs that had barely ever seen the light of day - contrasted too severely with my otherwise tawny skin, and detracted from the intended effect of certain of my self-portraits.

(This and all pics. below snapped on 5/23/11)

And as much as I'd like to stay pale for my pics., it's that time of year again...when getting a suntan is practically unavoidable, since I spend so much of each day outside in the sun. The time of year when wearing a bikini is de rigueur (mais bien sur!) as swimming pool attire, and to tolerate the heat while working in my yard, but mostly to ward off a far worse alternative - an unsightly farmer's tan...ew.

For the sake of this summer's self-portraits however, I've decided to adopt a slightly altered plan of action - a more effective line of defense against acquiring tan lines...and that is: whenever (and wherever) possible, I shall spend my time outdoors - completely naked. So there ya' go.

Now obviously, if I'm at the pool, or on the river, or mowing the part of my yard which is right by the road - I've no choice but to cover up a leetle - which does mean there'll be no way of completely avoiding a bikini tan. But I'm hoping that by goin' native and commando, at least part of the time - I'll minimize how noticeable it is.

All right...I hate to say it, but unfortunately here's the part where the carefree tone of this entry, must take a dramatic turn towards the somber...I mean surely after my last two posts, you couldn't possibly have thought that this one would be all sunshine and roses...m'I right?  

Lemme see if I can gingerly explain why I've dumped so much mopiness on you lately, without resorting to the indelicate methods which I used to air my dirty laundry - in my old Big Ugly Blog. In fact, let's stay on the subject of my old blog for a might help to make sense of this mess.

This time last year, I was in the throes of my passion for online dating, and blogging about every gory detail - but was simultaneously discovering a fondness for dash photography...and by mid-summer I had all but phased-out my incessant commingling, to instead focus full-force on a newfound love of 10 second timer self-portraiture. Practically overnight, I had conquered my addiction to racking up innumerable sexual conquests - to have instead become utterly self-absorbed.

I've spent the last 10 months essentially alone, minus a few little slip-ups here and there - but none kept me captivated for very long. And what surprised me the most about the sudden shift from social butterfly to shut-in - was that being a solitary person actually suits me. Flying solo has afforded me the luxury of sheer freedom - to take pictures, to edit and write about them when I want, and all without the pressure of a nagging partner attempting to stake claim on my precious alone time...or a sense of duty to feel that I should forfeit it to them.

But recently I left the confines of my insular, little world...and in doing so - I realized that no matter how content I've convinced myself that I am - something has definitely been missing during this time of self-imposed isolation. I was reminded that one can only go for so long without satisfying the basic human need for physical contact - sadly in this case however, I wound up mixing it up with a person who's actually in no position to have come a-callin'…but also a person possessing many of the qualities that I look for (but rarely find) in a man...and someone for whom I would gladly sacrifice the safe haven of my solitude...

The biggest bitch about all of this, is that suddenly the precious "alone time" that I've relished for so long...only feels lonely, anymore.

I woke up early yesterday morning, with a sour stomach...again...and drove over to Sheetz to fetch a few supplies. As I walked past the newsstand, something on the front page of the local newspaper grabbed me. It was a story so horrifically tragic and close to home, that before I'd left the parking lot I could barely see to drive for all the tears.

By the time I got home, things were much more in perspective. Worrying about whether my skin is tan or not, crying over unattainable boys, wondering if anything good will ever happen - all paled in comparison to the devastating news story. I felt ashamed for getting worked up about problems so comparatively insignificant, and in my immediate and dire need to briefly block it all out - I did the thing that always helps me feel better...I went out and took pictures for hours...and it worked.

(BIG thanks to my friend who offered up his gorgeous secret spot - the setting for this mental health photo shoot)

But at the end of the day, it was back to the reality of dealing with my own messy life. Thanks to this therapeutic photo shoot, though - I had definitely mellowed-out a bunch...

Nevertheless, I'm still on the fence about whether to revert back to the security of my hermit-like ways (because despite this little hiccup - they've worked for me up until now)...or to perhaps continue on an uncertain course - that's sure to go beyond the pale…


  1. These last several shoots are some of your best work ever, IMO. I can't really comment on the personal relationship side, only seeing what you're posting here, but whatever is happening seems to be driving your work to new levels. I'm not going to ask you to suffer, but if suffering produces this sort of work, then it... just... might... be... worth... it?!?

  2. @Steve Mouzon - Well, all I know is - self-portraiture has been instrumental in helping me work through all the crud I've been dealing with lately...taking the pictures has been beyond therapeutic, and has neutralized much of my anxiety. So basically what I'm gathering from all of this, is - that while the pictures have in many ways saved my sanity - my emotional instability has perhaps been beneficial to my pics.? Hmmmm...I gotta say, that all works for me!

    P.S. your stamp of approval always means a LOT to me. Thanks so much, Steve!

  3. I am so glad that you are posting some of your older work, otherwise I might not have seen this set. It is, as always, amazing but I am especially taken with the first two.

    The setting, the light, your pose, are so evocative. I sat staring at them for many minutes last night, trying to discover what they remind me of, and all I could come up with was reportage pictures from the bad-old-days of the Vietnam war. Some local girl trying to get away from the madness of that time.

    I don't know what your thoughts were at that time but it seems obvious that your state of mind influenced your photography, which is why your work is so great. You use your feelings to tell a tale, saying more with one picture than could be told in a book of words.

    Keep 'em coming.

  4. Oops! My comment was about the second and third pictures. But you knew that, didn't you?