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Focus On Myself

soy yo

I've been going through photos that I never got around to editing, and this one came up from 2 months ago. I was covering the Rape Victim Advocates gala fundraiser at Salvage One, and my fotohermana Claudia and I took a little break in the room of mirrors to take photos of ourselves and of each other. I had a lot on my mind that night; so much was going on in my life and in my heart. I was processing changes in a significant relationship, contemplating my present and future selves, still recuperating from the trauma of covering NATO and its related protests/actions, and completely unaware of the journey that would unfold in the next two months.

I look at this photo now with the advantage of hindsight, and I can't help but admire and respect who I see in this mirror. Even then, with so much uncertainty and confusion, so much hurt still lingering, I had begun to wrap my arms and fists around a seemingly conflicting mix of fearlessness coated in transparent vulnerability. In so doing, I pried my fingers loose from fears I never thought I would be free from--the fear of heartbreak, the fear of being known by others, the fear of loneliness--and there instead I found an inner joy--quiet yet fierce--that had been there all along.  

This is not to say that I am totally unafraid. This shedding of fear will be a lifelong process, I'm sure. The lesson that is significant to me, however, is that I am fierce enough, that I am joyful enough, that I am loving enough, that I am hopeful enough, that I am powerful enough to keep making the road and bridges while walking* and to keep choosing love in all its forms, again and again, and in so doing practice freedom and liberation.**

And of course, none of this would be possible without my community and chosen family who have surrounded me with so much love and support which I borrow and draw from when I find my own reserves insufficient. For that, I am grateful beyond words...

*"Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.

Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking." ~ from "Proverbios y cantares XXIX" by Antonio Machado

"Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar. {Voyager, there are no bridges, we make our bridges as we walk.}" ~ Gloria Anzaldua

**"The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom. " ~ bell hooks (Outlaw Culture)

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Reader Comments (1)

"El camino se hace al andar"!i=225470496&k=j8QPM

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStav

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