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๐•Ž๐•– ๐•Ÿ๐•–๐•–๐•• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐”พ๐• ๐• ๐••, ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐”น๐•’๐•• ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•– ๐•Œ๐•˜๐•๐•ช


Pat lost in his thoughts as he suffered from dementia (@hmcguirephoto, 2019)

When I was 18, I was reluctantly warming up the benches of the Law School auditorium for 4 years. I was there by default not by vocation, but there I was thinking that was where I belonged,ย unblissfullyย (I am making it a word) ignoring my artistic calling.ย 


During my 2nd year, one of my classmates and friend quit Law to pursue Photography in a prestigious school in Poland. He had had then the guts to live my dream. He went on to become a successful and talented cinematographer. I remember one of the first images he showed me in his little attic makeshift lab. It was a picture of his older sister. It had a slight motion blur, a grainy black and white. It wasnโ€™t a perfect image by letโ€™s call it โ€˜social media/AIโ€™ standards. The woman had just given birth minutes prior, she was exhausted, disheveled. I foundย  the image glorious.


Why?


The ๐™ซ๐™ž๐™—๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š. It was choc-fulla-nuts packed with energy and emotions. It was alive and my heart absorbed it instantly.


I admire a wide range of work and photographers' crafts and styles but what moves me, what transports me, what shakes my core is ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ก. Nothing compares to a rich slice of human cake, slathered with emotion glaze and heavy cream whipped feelings on top.ย 


What image qualifies as such delish dish, you ask? You decide. Or rather your heart does. I wonโ€™t foist on you that chocolate crepes are better than a Philly cheesesteak sandwich (although I am French, thereโ€™s bias and you know where I stand on this).ย 


My point is, I canโ€™t tell you what moves you.ย Let it be what it is.ย For reals.ย 


What I can say, however, is that empathy and awareness, interest in others or the surrounding world, observation and patience are our vital gear. Yes, the parent embracing a child, the wedding, the smile, the love are inherently touching and lovely. Theย Goodย is good. Itโ€™s simple. But wait, thereโ€™s more (by way of anecdotal digression).ย 


Having lived half my 46 years of life in Europe and half in the US, and bits and pieces everywhere in between, I came to realize that people culturally and essentially connect in different ways. It took me this long to figure out in which way that is. In the US, for instance, people connect through the good and happy, the competition, thrive, strength, power and admiration. In Europe, we connect through the struggle, the arts, the debate and let's not forget the sarcasm. We build friendships through hardship, voice and sensitivity.


And so, the Bad and the Ugly come in. The balance of gravitas. There is deep beauty in vulnerability, where the true self canโ€™t hide. We want to remember how we fought, where we rose from, how strong we had to be and how we suffered keeping face or not.ย 


The Bad and the Ugly are not only an intrinsic part of life, they are stepping stones for growth and connections. The chunky thighs are power, the scars have resilience, the tears have heart, the wrinkles have experience, all have the stories and they are beautiful. ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ก ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ข๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™—๐™š๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ฎ.


I feel most human when I hold a hand, when Iโ€™m a shoulder to rely on, when I immortalize such a moment for someone. Thereโ€™s no need to shy away from the Bad and the Ugly, they are part of the Good and they have nobility in their own right.ย 


'๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.

๐˜ˆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด'.*


A vibrant life comprises it all.


*100 Bad Days -ย by AJR


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