To be human is to be a paradox. Celebration tinged with tragedy. Hardship inspiring resilience. Happiness inviting discipline. The state of “human-ness” is a condition of being and becoming. Whatever we are now, we are never fully actualized. Even in youth, we age. We are forever in flux, ever realizing abeyant potential. At any given point, we are any and all of these things simultaneously. The photo series, “Paradox: The Human Condition,” gathers these layers of paradox into two-dimensional stills — snapshots of the “human condition” sampled from different lives. Together, they form a harmonized arc illustrating beginnings and ends, and beginning again.
Written during a trip to London with my husband, this piece documents a pivotal and transformation period of time where I began to rediscover a sense of self by letting go of self. A candid journey inward, questioning what it means to be human, to be a father, to be a gay man, but most importantly to be authentic.
If desire is the backbone of human nature and desire often leads to loss, how can we break the psychological cycle of failure while simultaneously finding meaning in a meaningless world? The following collection of haikus remind us of our innate human drive and the traps we fall into, repeating them mindlessly over time.
There are many external hindrances to success throughout an individual’s lifetime, but, often, internal roadblocks can keep us from being who we aspire to be. How does fear of failure or survivor’s guilt factor into our self-confidence, self-esteem, or desire to achieve? How do fear and shame keep us immobile? Is it easier to accept mediocrity rather than take a chance and risk disaster? This story interprets a well-known Greek myth for a modern audience, reminding us there is a time and place for fearless acts if we are to reach our true potential.
The question of whether or not we can truly understand others (let alone ourselves) is one that might not be grappled with on a daily basis, but is often in the back of our minds, influencing the decisions we make. Where do we find truth and how do we come to terms with the scars formed from searching for answers?
Where do we derive meaning for our existence and how do we find happiness? Can souls be nourished like bodies? If the world is a window, what do we see when we look in as we pass it by?
To be considered “evil,” do we have to actively contribute to corruption in the world or is our passivity enough to make us complicit? When do we become Infidels? Who do we caution against the neglect of responsibility? How can songs be used to warn the listener?
Are we benefiting from mental health diagnoses, medications, and treatments? Or, is the current mental health industry causing more harm than healing? How do we accurately deal with psychological distress?
Is depression something we have or something we are?
Are there pre-existing conditions to our lives? Do we come into a world that’s already holding us back? How do we escape the restrictions set for our individual personhoods?