I live with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), aka the poorly chosen name chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), chronic Epstein-Barr virus (C-EBV), fibromyalgia (FM), and several other chronic illnesses which have drastically changed the way I experience and perceive the world around me. I am typically house-bound except for when I'm able to take a walk in my neighborhood with my two dogs or save up enough energy for a short photo shoot.
Usually, this splurge of shooting time around my neighborhood comes with a price I must payback by spending an increased amount of time unconscious, asleep, even throughout each day as I struggle to recover from my extra burst of energy spent for the sake of art and communication. This is not a complaint of that fact however, only an explanation. How else can anyone know what other's experiences are unless we share with each other? I do my best to continue to find worlds within my little world or if I am incredibly lucky I will be gifted with a visit by a charitable model from another land.
When I am behind the camera the pain, fatigue, and many other symptoms of my chronic illnesses disappear for the duration of the time I am hypnotized by whatever subject has captivated my attention. I will barely even notice if I've ended up in a crooked, contorted position, half-submerged in water or standing in muck. The only care I take is in making sure not to disturb another's property, a creature's habitat or well-being, and in making sure my subject is as comfortable as possible. My own comfort is another matter however, but that is irrelevant as my mind has taken me to another plane of consciousness, similar to euphoria, elation, and contentment as I soar in another world, far away from the limitations which my illnesses and disability confine me to on a regular basis.
I shoot all genre but find myself gravitating towards animals and landscapes. In my previous life, I was an architect. That was what I dreamed of being since I was fourteen years old and I hitched my wagon to that star and drove full steam towards it. I could not have been happier having achieved my dream and living my life as an architect. I thoroughly enjoyed the rush of designing and managing multi-million dollar buildings and complexes through construction and seeing my creations brought to life. Standing on top of skyscrapers with the wind whipping against me, as if to imply it were more powerful than I in its ability to physically move my body about my perch. Coordinating Owners, Consultants, Contractors, Code Officials and co-workers to get the building designed and built in an expeditious, cost-conscious, functional and aesthetically pleasing manner. I thrived on the stress and power. I thoroughly believed that the harder I pushed, the higher I could fly. There weren't any limits to the amount of work I could produce, and I dazzled my clients and employers by outdoing myself every time. I was on top of the world and unstoppable by anybody or anything, except myself.
My body tried to warn me to slow down and rest, but I wouldn't listen. I wanted to believe I was superhuman, that I could truly do anything I put my mind to. It has taken a long time to learn my limits. As long as I have my dogs and my camera, I am able to achieve homeostasis.