Monday, July 19, 2010

Lost For Words. Blinded By Hope. Determined At Will.

Photo by Dan Denardo
Location: Port Au Prince, Haiti

It has been two weeks now since my return, and no matter how much I try, every day becomes harder and harder to assimilate back to normal life. I've been relatively quiet lately, hiding from a world of unforgiven truths--twisting and turning in an ever changing light. One thing I've learned from my recent trip to Haiti is that reality hurts--the truth hurts--and it cuts deep into every fiber of my soul.

But like a stubborn fool, I am neither torn nor ruptured--but more so, I am determined--inspired to bring to light what I've seen, bent on transcribing emotions into written prose. So with hope and a prayer, I write.

Sometimes, when dreams become too real, I awake to find myself deep in thought, lost and alone in a sea of darkness as I try to find words to best describe how I feel. Emotions run rampant, and sometimes, it's hard to decipher what is real and what isn't--am I dreaming or is it a fragment of my imagination? How do I describe what I have seen?

I am lost for words, blinded by hope, determined at will.

Sometimes, I just don't know anymore...

Blogger Note:

In the next few days and weeks I will be revealing a website that tells the "true story of HOPE in Haiti." A photo essay and an extensive reportage of my recent trip with fellow photographer and close friend, Dan.

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late, but between work and catching up on normal life and writing for this feature, sometimes, it really does become extremely hard to decipher what is real and what isn't. Is it really July already? I also have to stop writing 2009.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Without A Camera

Photo by: Dan Denardo
Location: Port Au Prince, Haiti

Lately, I’ve been in and out of darkness, traversing through land, sea, and air—catapulting myself across oceans in every direction—back and forth. I’m tired, drained of emotions, exhausted beyond comprehension.

During the last two months, I’ve traveled to over sixteen countries, four continents, and six different time zones. I’ve seen night for day and day for night. I’ve been to the ends of the earth and back—from the toughest terrains to the wrenching heartache of rubble and despair. From the Himalaya’s of northern India to the depths of desperation in earthquake torn Haiti. The world just seems so much smaller than it used to be.

Sometimes, amidst my travels, I’d find time and space for myself—alone and desolate, just me and my thoughts—I’d sit there wondering where else I’d rather be. Dust and dirt littered my hair, the stench of body odor of days past permeated through my pores, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better or worse, it always does—one way or another. But at the end of each day when I’d lay my head to rest, I’d look up into the abyss and stare into complete darkness—close my eyes—and gently smile to myself as I reflected upon what I had done. And at that very moment, I knew that this was my place and time, my calling—and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Most recently, I’ve just returned from an assignment in Haiti with my good friend and fellow award-winning photographer Dan Denardo. It was harder than most assignments—because this time, I went in without a camera and dared myself to simply write about my experience and turned the challenge of shooting photo’s over to Dan. Words cannot describe how hard it was for me to give up my tools, but I knew that there was no photog out there better than Dan. His work is world class.

Robbed naked of my cameras, I walked the beat of a journalist—writing and etching my thoughts on paper as the sound of Dan’s shutter echoed just inches away from my ears. From one tent city to another, one mound of rubble to the next, we ventured into some of the most sordid environments known to man. But in the midst of darkness and despair prevailed an underlying truth that most media outlets do not talk about—and that truth, is HOPE. There is more to Haiti than broken homes and shattered dreams, carnage and desperation—there’s more, a lot more.

Through Dan’s stunning photography and my words, I hope to bring to you stories that will touch you, reach deep into the depths of your heart and instill within you a profound understanding of our world—in all her glory—and suffering—and at the end of it all, you and I, and all those we reach--shall be changed.

Stay tuned…