And as I am caught up into total surrender to The Master Artist, I become thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself
The maintenance and upkeep for just one person living in America is not easy. Between taxes, rent, student loans, cell-phone and car payments, medical insurance, self-image and style, clothing and appearance, peer-pressure and social or career status just to name a few major things, it’s difficult to keep up and sometimes even harder to keep track. In “The Land of The Free” we live completely under the burden of ourselves, a sort of slavery that is the furthest thing from freedom. We have no choice but to be forced into a system and a society that is utterly self-consumed and has to be in order to survive in it.
Oswald Chambers wrote that if a person gives in to selfishness, they will find it to be the most enslaving tyranny on earth. There’s nothing more incredible than having your perspective flipped on its head. When I first returned from Africa back in 2006, I realized with a new set of eyes that I had unknowingly lived in bondage. It was heartbreaking because I was suddenly made aware of the truth while others went about their lives completely unconscious of the slavery, having never known. Continue reading “The Burden of Self” »
“I saw all those people at the bus stops in London waiting to go to work. I’d rather take my chance in Africa again than have to go to work every day by bus” – Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, ‘The Last King of Scotland’ by Giles Foden
Our plane almost went down over the Sahara as we flew from Ghana to London. Just after the flight attendants had went through the cabin serving tea and coffee the aircraft experienced massive turbulence somewhere over Mali. Jolting up and down and from side to side we gripped our arm rests and held our breath. People all around us were gasping and spilling tea, throwing up into bags. Out of the hundreds of flights I had been on this was by far the most extreme turbulence. Outside looked like a sandstorm, the clouds rustic tinted from the massive desert below. Mark looked at me and said, “Is this the end?” Continue reading “The Inevitable Sadness” »
On my last night in Ghana, I reunited with my lover for the first time somewhere other than the east coast of the U.S. This time, to my right she stretched out until reaching the shores of Brazil. Directly in front of me, her vastness lapped against the western coast of Africa before freezing against the tundra of Antarctica. Her 70° F water swirled around my feet and sucked back into her dark abyss. The breeze and aroma was exactly where I left it on the other side and to the north. Ever since I was a boy she captivated me and drew me near to her. It was her moods and her mystery but most of all, her presence that always left me so small and humble; a feeling unlike any other: a salty elixir that cannot be surpassed. Since the dawn of creation her waves have been in motion, never ceasing, her liquid-being older than time, a reflection of the Master Artist. I felt so blessed to live beside her, to work and inhabit a coastal town so dependent and in love with her. Of all the places and cities I could have ended up, my love of journalism and photography led me to my lover, where I truly belonged. Rather than inhabiting a place and career that would have diminished my time and creativity, I was blessed with the opportunity to be with her, in a place and a career that provided me with the time, space and creativity to do things that included venturing all the way to her other side to see her from a new perspective. The same feeling of love traveled with me to the beaches of Ghana’s capital Accra, except this time I was experiencing another part of my great love, quite literally. I thought of how it took months to journey across her in the past and still to this day, hours by airplane. The Atlantic, The Gulf of Guinea, crashed against the beach underneath subsaharan West Africa where I watched the same waves that break against me back on my beach at the end of 13th street in Ocean City, New Jersey. A world away, the only thing standing before me and my very street was her infinite expanse.
[photo by Carly Kilroy]