When you view life through a camera, your world changes. It twists and turns in a way that can never be mapped, never defined nor labeled. The camera becomes you, and you become it--a marriage of mind and glass, a symphony of light and magic.
As a photographer, I see the world in frames, in shadows and reflections. Sometimes, the images I capture within the moment I'm in gets engraved in my peripheral mind, plays back in slow motion replays and haunt me in my sleep. I get this when I cover wars, tragedy and despair.
I started packing today for an assignment that brings me to the precipice of war--a destination that sees life not for its beauty, but for its ability (or inability) to withstand the wrath of bullets, mortars and bombs. It's a world I'd hate to live in. A world you and I can only imagine.
But as I prepared my camera, checked its glass and wiped it clean, I saw in it a reflection of myself--a mirrored image of my life staring back at me. And as I sat there, I looked into my own eyes, saw fear in it, and heard my heart beating ever so loudly.
I'm scared--but it's a different kind of fear.
I fear not for the bullets that go astray or the mortars that ricochet off mountain walls of this forbidden land, but more so, for the people I will see, the faces I capture and the cries I'll hear. I fear for the children I will meet, the way they run to me, the way they hug me and befriend me. I fear for them because I know that they have no other choice but to be there, to live life amidst terror and tyranny. I fear for them--because I know that once I return home, its their beautiful faces that I'll remember, it's their laughter and smiles that I will cherish. I fear for them, because sometimes, when I lay myself to sleep, I constantly wonder if they're still alive.
Sometimes, when you live life through a camera, you see things in a twisted and demented way. I hope what I'm writing tonight makes sense to you. I'm not sure if even I can understand myself...
Four days to departure.