“The desert could not be claimed or owned–it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names... Its caravans, those strange rambling feasts and cultures, left nothing behind, not an ember. All of us, even those with European homes and children in the distance, wished to remove the clothing of our countries. It was a place of faith. We disappeared into landscape.” - Michael Ondaatje
5 years ago and some change I was extremely unhappy and lonely, and stuck in the middle of a master's program that I hated. (I eventually finished that program, because I'm stubborn...)
But 2012 hit me like a supernova when I realized that I didn't have to follow any standard path. I decided that I would work for myself (thank you Kevin Danielsen for that chat which changed my future), seek out people who were full of life, and ultimately throw off the spindly cobwebs that were the whole of my yesterdays.
Most people have an idea about how mermaids should be. They've been informed by Disney on this fact. Mermaids ought to be sweet and love sparkly things. Mermaids are kind and will give up their voices and change one of the most important aspects about themselves to woo the sailor they love.
I think not.
In truth, merfolk are a bit more complicated, and a lot more vicious.
Several months ago one of my dearest friends in the world was going through a miserable time. I won't go into details, because it's not my story to tell.
But in the midst of these incredibly trying times, she came to me and said.
"Joey, can you photograph me. I want to feel powerful."
And an idea was born.
I've known Brett Kelley since 2013 when we met at RAW arts Boston showcase. The show itself was pretty much an utter fiasco, as was the organization, and the both of us joke that the best thing to come out of that nonsense was our meeting. Despite everything, it was totally worth it.
Brett is one of the best humans on this planet.
I awoke slightly after dawn to humans downstairs, probably human neighbors, possibly neanderthals, screaming ALASKA! ALASKA! as if they were Vitus Jonassen Bering and his team of Siberians.
**I would later find out that Adam had an Alaskan license plate, that this happens to him a lot, and that the overenthusiastic neighbors thought we were all from the northwest extremities. Now THAT would have been an epic drive...
I rolled over and peeked my nose out over the windowsill, and confirmed they were human. Then the cat leapt onto my back. I guess I was going to have to wake up.
It had been 6 years since I walked the uneven streets of Charleston, SC. For a summer I had called this peninsula my home, and ever since I’ve looked for reasons to return – but the timing wasn’t right until now.
January has become a time of running away for me. After the holidays (which is a season I love, don’t get me wrong) I always feel a bit wired. So, instead of trudging through January and joining a gym, I try to get out and go somewhere. Since my sisters (Bekah – Lynchburg, VA, Bethany – Marietta, GA) live in the South, and they were keen on joining me for the weekend, we decided that Charleston would be the perfect spot.
I also invited my dear friend Val along on the trip because, well, she’s family.
We all met up in Marietta Thursday night to make plans and get a good night sleep before driving to Charleston on Friday. We also needed time to make an epic playlist for both the trip there and back.