Monday, January 18, 2010

There are days..

Ya, I've almost throttled my share of people.

I have to purposely schedule days of nothing at all so that I can give my body recovery time. I've no internal clock left, no regular sleep/eat schedule.

I've had more then one photographer try to pull that "I do more work & invest more time/money then you do" crap. They usually realize how much of an asshole they are when I then sit down, and show them exactly what it is I have to do every day for me to make all this work.

There are days though.. when it gets overwhelming. Days when I'm commuting for 10-12 hours, when my spine feels like it's tearing away from my body, when I'm exhausted and starving, but can't really sleep because I can't fit comfortably enough in a full plane & can't bring myself to eat much because then I feel sick to my stomach when flying. Days when I've been shooting once, twice, three times a day for the last week, and then dealing with someone calling and throwing a fit because they don't understand why I can't fit them in my schedule this trip.

But then you have those days where it's worth it.. where you know this is who you are and what you should be doing. When you meet photographers who you click so well with that the shoot rolls like water in the sea. When a 4, 6, 8 hour gig leaves you feeling wonderful and amazing and beautiful, when you're energized and excited about the work you just did. When you get to meet those other people who make you laugh so hard your ribs ache, smile so much your face hurts.. those people who can completely relax you simply with their presence, who make you feel happy and safe and comfortable. When you get to visit new places that catch you off guard.. a glimpse of a sunset over a hill, the water breaking on a dock.. the odd musical quality of traffic in a major city, or the soft whispers of rain in a forest.

I love it. With utterly every fiber of my being, with every twinge of my soul. It's who I am, what I am.. it's what makes me tick, makes me breath. It's my passion, my heart, my blood. It's the music in my mind, the twinkle in my eye, and the dance in my step.

I hate it also. With a fiery burning passion sometimes. But that burning, that aching, that horrible frustration and exhaustion.. it what makes the loving, beautiful days so much more so.

And I'm so glad for it.


Shiva Love's ( addition:

In order to do this, I've made it not into 'work,' but into a lifestyle. I've sacrificed my ability to have a 'normal' existence, since the things I've experienced modeling, and the lifestyle it's created for me, has put me far outside the mainstream. I have surrender my ability to fit with most groups of people, even if they're in my age group and socioeconomic class. I have sacrificed my ability to ever be a public school teacher, a public servant, a politician. I have given up my right to a certain type of ownership of my own body - since many people now own many pieces of me. I fully accept that, at any point in my life, I could be the subject of negative criticism and public ridicule. Every day, I am stereotyped in different ways. I could be asked to leave my neighborhood, place of worship, or resign from my job.

In exchange for those sacrifices, I have gained a sense of personal accomplishment, independence, a notion of what makes life worth living. I have tangible proof of the beauty one life can create. I have rejected those old taboos and fears about my sexuality. I have encouraged, though my work, other women to do the same. I have learned to understand and care for my body as a resource and a point of pride. I have learned to care for my mind as a creative tool. I respect what I have, as an individual, to give to the world. I have looked at the world, and seen how I could recreate it in a unique way.

No one can convince me that I don't invest a lot...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Skip the Interstates

It's embarrassing that I need to be reminded of this, but I do. Unless it is my goal to get from Point A to Point B in the least amount of time (in which case interstates are the clear winner), they are best avoided. Stay on the interstate and you find occasional scenic views, but mostly the same fast food joints and gas stations regardless of where you are. An overabundance of these interstate staples does not a good road trip make.

Venture away from I-XX, and you begin finding the good stuff. The little charismatic towns, the jaw-dropping scenery, and the narrow, windy roads that are just damn fun to drive. I was reminded of this again today by my host in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was leaving his place for Albuquerque. I'd been planning on taking the easy, obvious route of I-25. He suggested I take NM-14.

The drive was gorgeous, and routed me through Madrid, a town that my host had characterized as "a mining town that was bought by hippies." So far as I can tell, it's a pretty apt description. I paused at a local restaurant for a delightfully tasty and satisfying salad, then proceeded on my way. One could point out that taking the state road put me a few miles and a few minutes out of my way, but that begs the question of exactly what my way was.

To be sure, there are times when I really do just want to get to my destination as quickly as possible. I do not want to be all warm and fuzzy and exploratory. I just want to get there. But other times, the destination is secondary, if it's even known at all. It's the time between Point A and Point B.. Point C... Point D... that matters. Over the next few months, I'll be making my meandering way through the southwest and up the west coast. I know approximately where I'll be when, but still have a fair bit of flexibility. I've also made a point of blocking out several days at a time for losing myself in the desert.

The only way for me to do that is to get off the interstates, and so that is what I'll do. So here's to the meandering one-lane highways and state roads. I can only guess at what I'll find.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Whatever Tomorrow Brings, I'll Be There!

The more I travel and the more people I meet, the more I understand a quote as simple as my title. There are so many people from so many places who if they called and said I need you now, I'd be there. We're not super close, we don't talk every day, but they're like family now. I think it's something that has come from traveling all the time. I meet these people and I have 7 days or less living with them and getting to know them. I'm so open that I just tell them now. My life seems like some sort of open book.

Sure, there are few things that only a few people know, but I spend the most time with them. Those are the people who could be in outerspace and I'd figure out how to help them. This community is stranger. It's one of the strangest I've seen. SoCal is a scene, but this group is so different. We trust so easily, but befriend only a select few. Those grow to know us better than anyone else. They're the ones you call lonely at 12:30 am and say can you come over, I just want someone to be around. And they come, they get it.

Something about the loneliness of this business and the closeness enthralls me. I love that I have these people. I wouldn't trade it for anything. However, in a way I already pay the price of a strange loneliness

You can also view this on my regular blog