Those Four Walls

There’s a song I once heard.  I happened upon it while listening to a random playlist.  The song was called Four Walls, sung by an artist called Broods.

I know I have shared in previous blogs how much I desire to help the world recognize its own beauty.  Through the lens of my camera, I find moments to capture, locking them in time so that others can witness the beauty too.  It has given me unspeakable joy to show someone else how they can, even should, be seen.  It’s hard to explain.  It is almost as though I feel blanketed with love when I put the camera up to my eyes.  I feel an energy that I don’t normally feel anywhere else…except for maybe here when I write about it.

There may be only a few other environments where I imagine the same energy is felt.  The energy that gives someone the ability to see into the heart of someone else, and with only a look, they are able to express love.  Perhaps this doesn’t make much sense.  Maybe the best way for me to relate what I’m trying to say is to ask you to think about the moment when you close your eyes and kiss the one you love.  Slowly, when you open your eyes again, and you find theirs staring back at you, and the world has gone silent, there are no words that can communicate, more than that look, the love you are sharing with each other in that moment.  That’s the energy I’m speaking of.

There’s only one aspect of photography that is incomplete.  My camera allows me to describe how I see the world.  It does not allow me to describe how I long to be seen.

Disclaimer…there are no photos in this post.

The lyrics of the song, Four Walls, start off with the artist sharing a moment of intense vulnerability, and she finally works up the courage to share them with the one she loves.  It’s clear from the rest of the lyrics that she is at the forefront of falling in love, and she’s terrified.  The rest of the song goes on to describe how she finds a sanctuary within those four walls while she is there with the one she loves.  Within those four walls, she can finally breathe.  Within those four walls, she finds a home.

In my foolishness, I’ve played that song twice for someone else.  I thought, as the artist, that I had found a place where I too was safe.  With arms wrapped around me, I breathed deeply, and my anxious thoughts steadied and faded.  I’ve realized now, over time, that this song carries weight only for me.  It’s not meant to be played for anyone else.  It serves only as a reminder to me of what I long for, and how I one day hope to be seen.

I cannot possibly be alone with this desire.  The desire to be completely myself, to be the girl – not the woman.  To be the only who is fiercely devoted to loving others, but also perpetually anxious and insecure.  Men will fall in love with the bold, confident, feisty side of me.  I see it in their eyes.  That energy.  And then, when I finally show my insecurities, I recognize that energy fades from their eyes.  I’ve even seen it flash away in an instant.

So, I find myself grasping at the confident parts of me.  Fighting against time to keep those aspects of me intact.   If that’s what people love, that becomes all I want to show them.

The song goes on.  It goes on to say how much she wants to try and make her beloved love her back.  But she doesn’t want to try too hard.  It then goes on to say how much she wants to make her beloved want her back.  But she doesn’t want to try too hard.  I think what she’s trying to say when she says she doesn’t want to try too hard, is that she does not want to lose herself trying to ensure her beloved doesn’t leave her.  How easy it is for that to happen.  Small compromises – ever so steadily justifying their anger, their jealousy, their dissatisfaction, whatever it may be, while all the while forgetting why you loved them in the first place.

Some people say they are afraid to be alone.  I think that’s too quick of a copout.  I do not think it is the fear of being alone.  I think people are afraid of admitting that the one they love the most deeply, the most completely, only likes a version of who they are in return.  So, instead of returning to their true self, potentially facing their beloved’s rejection, they carefully suppress what remains and even hope it eventually disappears for good.  And soon, those four walls become a dungeon rather than a haven.

One day, who knows when, I hope to look into the eyes of someone who has seen every flaw I have, and the energy is still there.

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