LET-GO

Embracing The Unknown

I found myself contemplating the value of embracing the unknown pertaining to people, situations and things. This desire to know more than what is being shared or communicated with me is slowly, but surely becoming an evaporating preoccupation. Information that isn’t willingly or initially offered is probably either, none of my business, worth waiting for – minus the probing, or certified mental trash, namely stress. Embracing the unknown in all of these cases is simply choosing peace of mind over otherwise and recognizing such moments as opportunities for introspection.

Digging for explanations, confirmations,  or reasons for why someone may have said what they said, did what they did, or have made a certain decision is senseless when someone isn’t ready or willing to disclose whatever it is that we seek to know.  How we respond to this is indeed something within our control. It is very possible to be our own intervention, and to stop ourselves from diving, head first into our own self-conjured pool of assumptions or worry, due to perpetual, unsuccessful efforts in trying to get someone to “meet us halfway” to work things out.

My struggle is with the high degree of hope I usually have for cooperation and a willingness in the other person to be just as open to communicate with me, for the sake of working through or getting past a challenging time BEFORE it becomes evident that true communication is but a hopeful figment of my imagination. I’m naturally inclined to ask as many questions as I need and to  listen in order to reach a place of resolve and peace, and never with deliberate intent to offend, annoy or burden. Sometimes, I don’t realize that I’m contributing to someone’s stress with my need to know or understand something, and so I’m a work in progress in this regard.  I need not pressure anyone for anything they are simply unwilling to give – PERIOD.

Embracing the unknown is not giving up or caring less, it is immediately sensing  the mind wreckage waiting to swallow us whole, upon worrying and wondering too much and recognizing this in time to make a sharp turn in the opposite direction, towards something more open, willing and welcome – ourselves, including others perhaps. To embrace the unknown is to emerge from the darkness of burdensome worry and to enter the light of good energy, thoughts, actions and productivity.

[Image: glamquotes.com]

Lonely girl and a beautiful view Jernej Gartner

Defeated?

Collapsed, I am skin and bones, stoic, at the end of my bed and wits. I am outer body experience, opened arms, looking down at my palms, watching each finger close and squeeze into fist, speeding the bleeding of my slit open wrists. Am I defeated? Blood runs, and YOU slowly drip from my veins and I need every unwilling drop of you, out of me, right away. In retrospect, it was like you weren’t even supposed to be here, or I there, in the first place, but you got in, and HOW doesn’t matter because you’re here, like tree, deeply rooted within me. My heart learned your name, and I promised you that I wouldn’t leave. Was I naïve or plain stupid, or  just preparing for the strength that I’d later need, for our intimate turned, distant, platonic friendship or nothing? My heart was like sun and soil, but never enough water for you to absorb and believe, neither was it enough for you to  stick, stay and grow with me, like bark strong, with both feet planted firmly.

This ball of weeping flesh in my chest, drops down to its knees to unlearn your name and touch. My heart murmurs and chokes on its own blood, gasping, and attacking, and beating itself up, each time my mind drifts and skinny dips into warm thoughts of you, immediately escorted out of me through two, open, almond shaped, teary wounds – my eyes. My face is leaking and dripping, and tears are sticking and stinging my skin. Eyes so red, but continuously misread by you over and over again because you wouldn’t even look at them. They sit still in tear puddles of your tiding and receding truths , along with my own, urging me to purge whatever I need to, so that I could rethink, detach and get up from this fall that took me so long,  which makes  no sense  to stay within, without you. How does one undo, in love?

Tears curl up under my lips, and I can taste the salt, so I spit, and I cough, and I gag and begin to vomit, throwing you up from my heart, mind and soul; its true that my body was very slow to accept you, and you were patient, I appreciated it. I drag the back of my hand across my mouth, causing my supple skin – my lips to crack, redden and release these carefully created, kiss stained memories, meticulously placed, whenever you opened yourself up to me and when stranger wasn’t my name – but now it is, in a way.  Wrists still bleeding, I’m gravely weakened, but I won’t be defeated. On the floor, I crawl, pulling my weight  in search of needle and thread, I’m out of breath, and I realize that I can’t cut and bleed you out of me without ending me, and I want to live, and so I will…

Needle and thread found, it was in my mind all along and so,  I commence sewing my skin, tears falling, eyes burning,  my breath – intermittent, my blood drips nourishing seeds of love that I’m graciously sowing beneath my surface. Its true that love starts from within and when we acknowledge this we become closer and closer to our own healing. I am healing…

[Image by: khanheart4u.blogspot.com]

ebonybrownfotojunkibraids8

Sending My Love

I’m filled with love, appreciation, and gratitude towards you this Valentine’s Day. I hope you’re in the best of spirits and mood, as well as company, even if you ARE your own company. Being alone is necessary sometimes, and for some, today is just another day anyway. In any case, in the spirit of what today represents, I want to thank you so much for your support for visiting, liking, commenting, sharing or following my blog. It means A LOT to me and I don’t take it lightly that you would take a moment out of your life to  read or acknowledge something that I’ve posted.

Everyday should be a day that we somehow celebrate each other, even if its in the smallest way (so long as its welcome). Small gestures count for a lot where there is love.

As you may or may not know, depending upon how long you’ve been following my blog, my mom taught me how to braid, a small gesture, but one that turned out to  be a bigger gift than imagined. A gift that would keep giving and eventually feed me, literally. It allows me to pay bills when I need to from time to time. Below are some braids that I did in my hair, in which I’m looking forward to doing in someone else’s.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your V-Day!

Photography of Ebony Brown by Michael Towns.

Rope Breaking on Man Holding Stone Heart on Hillside

Dear Love

Dear Abandoned Love,

Forgotten Love

Tough Love

Sweet Love

Heavy Love

Stubborn Love

Tossed Love

On Pause Love

What Feels Like Lost Love

Or A Lot Of Work Love

Tabled Until The Next Time, If there Is A Next Time Love

Remember  It, Feel It , Share It, Then Act Like It Never Happened Love

Like Sting, Stab,  Burn And F*ck Your Head Up, But Stay Focused Love

Erratic, Ambiguous, Misleading, Off/On Switch, Which One Are You Today? Love

Excited, Electric, Heart Pounding One Minute, Then Retreat For Months, Return, And Treat Me Like… Stranger Love

Like Hide, Push Away, Then Deny That You Do This, And Disguise ALL Reasons In “I’m Busy”, And You Are, But There’s More To It Love

Like One Foot IN, And One Foot OUT;  A Figment Of My Imagination That This Is Happening Love

Like Leave You Alone Until Alone Is Not Enough, And Then We Commence That Back And Forth Unstable Love

Like Say Nothing,  Let It Die Off, Reincarnate, Be Discarded And Born Again Or Not Ever Again Love

Like This Too Shall Pass, Tears In Eyes, But I Wipe Them Fast In Order To Work And Not Burden You Love

Like Write It,  Sing It, Act It, Sweat It Out! Whatever Happened To Talking It Out Face To Face Love

Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Email And Text Are Awesome Ways To Connect, But You Can’t Truly Determine Tone, Truth, Or Intent, Especially When Upset, And Rather Than Speak In Person, You’ve Chosen To Assume Things And Stand By Them, How Could You Love?

And No, I Wasn’t Perfect, But Did I Deserve This? Regardless Of What You Think, I Do Take Responsibility For My Part In It, Starting With That Day On The Bus – I Didn’t Forget – I Never Meant To Hurt You, But I Did Love

And I Can Only Hope That One Day You Somehow Recognize That Not Everyone Becomes OR Remains Resentful, Mad, or Contemptuous At A Past Occurrence That May Have Been Originally Upsetting For Them As You Somehow Convinced Yourself  Of And Concluded About Me Love

No. Everything Is NOT Your Fault. Take That In. Please Do Not Assume That I Think That It Is. Please Do Not Assume That You KNOW Exactly What I Think or Feel, Even As You Read This, Because Its Past Tense,  And I’ve Grown Since Love

Though I Have No Control Over What You Do, I Do Remain Hopeful That It Makes You Happy Love

And so I Reset, Restart, I Begin Again, And I Apologize For Any Hurt That I’ve Caused You. Our Shared Experience Was A Blessing Regardless Of The Hardships, And I Remain Thankful For The Lesson, So Thank You Love

Despite It All, My Broken Heart Will Mend And I Won’t Be Jaded Or Afraid Of Loving Or Letting Another Human In And Feel My Love

Hopefully, We’ll Both Love Better Than We Did The Last Time, Each And Every Time We Are So Fortunate To Encounter True Love

-Ebony Brown

photobyEbonyBrownCortlandtManorNY

The Dark Room Experience

I remember when working in the darkroom was all the rave and shooting digital was some sort of abomination or perversion to the art of photography. To go back even further, there was a time when photography itself was treated like some sort of moral decline or the art world’s black-sheep. This was a time when photography was simply not accepted as an art form of merit, in part, due to the consensus that an image had already existed, and was “not created” like how they’re done in a discipline such as painting. Fast forward hundreds of years, we’ve gone from developing in darkrooms, to producing, post-editing and printing in our living-rooms, and almost everyone shoots digital. I feel fortunate to have worked manually, in the darkroom, and while its challenging at times, its quite relaxing and activating, sort of like yoga but not really. Both, your skills and creativity are at work, and at the highest levels.

The image below was shot with my manual Pentax ZX-M camera with a 50mm lens and I developed it in a color darkroom – a bit different from working in a black and white darkroom. The main difference is that we have to be knowledgeable of color theory and something called, “the subtractive process” which is necessary in order to select the proper combination of three color filters/gels, in their correct degree or intensity of color.  For example, degrees of yellow range from the lightest tint of yellow to the darkest or deepest tint of yellow and the same goes for cyan and magenta. So, we must be able to calculate and select a specific degree of cyan (filter), of magenta (filter), and of yellow (filter), so that when they are combined and stacked on top of each other like cards, and put into an enlarger machine that allows light to pass through them for a certain amount of time, they will produce the natural colors in a given photograph. Regarding the light, we  must determine the aperture (measured in f-stops) which is basically, the amount of light and length of time (in seconds) that we will allow that same light to pass through the color gels and through the film to expose (or project onto) the paper for the proper exposure. Oh and, the paper must be meticulously selected  to work , or react properly with the type of film and filters used. Dealing with aperture (F-stop) is common practice in black and white photo processing too. And to make all of this easier (NOT!), most of this process must be completed in the dark, with minimal trial and error, or else a lot of time or money goes straight down the toilet bowl.

At the end of this process, its possible to have tested and flushed away a half pack of paper costing upwards $50-$100 for a pack.You could go through this process and create many dominantly green or pink or blue prints, before finally getting the right color combination that produces the correct, natural and intended color of the photograph, such as the browns, the blacks and blues in my photo below.  For this reason, I could understand how some old-school photographers who still shoot and develop manually become nauseated at the notion of tweaking and enhancing photographs in Photoshop, as they’ve spent years perfecting these practices in-camera or in the darkroom. But in defense of digital shooters,  it can take hours to edit photos in Photoshop as it takes hours to develop images in a darkroom. The image below wasn’t edited or tweaked in Photoshop, I just couldn’t, not after all the time it took to produce the seemingly banal colors that you see below, which may seem like no big deal or something easy, but join me or any photographer in the darkroom, and I’m certain that you’ll learn otherwise. If you’re a photographer who has NEVER worked in a darkroom and you’re looking for a valuable experience and challenge, consider taking a class in manual black & white  or color photography. You’ll probably love it and see your digital workflow in a different light and appreciate the art of photography even more.

Sometimes its not all about the final image, its about the process of creating, of getting there.

Photography by Ebony Brown

Breathe. Release. Renew.

Ralph W. Emerson held my hand here a few times, not literally, but through his literature. Book in hand, I’d come here to relax and read. His words would run their fingers across my lips and through my hair, calming my mind, and everything in me. On this bench, my eyes would sit in rivers of gratitude and my heart would mend itself, beating hymns of thankful, and I am.  And so, here is where I breathe, and where I release,  and where I begin again – once again. Exhale.

“This is where bitterness is transformed into betterness. This is where rejection is changed into a trajectory forward. This is where another ‘no’ is one step closer to the ‘yes’ that we are in search of. This is where forgiveness overcomes harm and love covers a multitude…” -Ralph W. Emerson.

giantsparadebyebonybrown

Giants Fever In New York City

It was beautiful to be amongst New Yorkers and folks filled to the brim with Super Bowl joy! The experience was bitter-sweet. Located opposite of City Hall Plaza, through the bare, winter trees, the new, unfinished World Trade Towers, could be bee seen. I couldn’t help but to be reminded of 911 soot that once lay thick on these streets, where confetti and team pride materials now lie happily under everyone’s feet for the moment. There were 2,977 reasons to mourn and we did, for each and every life taken, and now we had one big reason to celebrate, the Super Bowl, and so we did that too, in the same place, on the very same grounds of 911.

It is my hope that there are always more positive events than negative ones that serve as a catalyst and a reason for people to unite and come together.

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New World Trade Towers in progress of construction, I can’t help but to think of 911, located right across from thousands of raving New York Giants fans.

T

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