Stands Blog

Heartbeat by Stardust & Melancholy

05 July 2017

It’s really, really easy lately to see deep divides everywhere – along social grounds, religious grounds, gender grounds, cultural grounds. What makes us unique is being harshly defined instead of celebrated; being used as a wedge to drive the divides deeper.

But I refuse to believe that we have lost that spark. That thing that makes us all move through life the same way, that makes us want to help people and try to be better people. That makes us cry over cat videos on the internet. That makes us laugh with our friends until our stomachs hurt.

There’s this silent soundtrack that plays throughout our lives. It’s the rhythm of our heartbeat, and we use it to punctuate and describe the different moments in our life. We say our heart races when we fall in love. It stops when we’re afraid. It aches when we get hurt. It swells when we feel proud. It hammers, it skips a beat, it bursts, it breaks. It’s a universal set of feelings; we’ve all heard that soundtrack no matter who we are. Think of it as a large scale Spotify playlist we all have access to.

This community that I have been lucky to be a part of is full of heart and it’s on display every. single. day, despite those differences society keeps enforcing. We love something so intensely that it becomes part of that silent soundtrack; we talk about it, write about it, argue about it, revel in it, get disappointed by it. We try to make sense of it, get inspired by it. We expand on it by creating art around it. We try to do good in its name.

For me, I regained photography through this community. Photography is a shared, universal language in the same way that emotion is. Emotion doesn’t know or recognize age barriers, gender barriers, religious barriers, language barriers. It just is. It crosses divides. It’s something we all know, and we don’t necessarily understand why we know it. But if we can look at a photo and recognize the emotion in it we will respond to it, regardless of the context of the photograph itself. It can tell a story that can cross borders in ways that words can’t. It can speak to that silent soundtrack we’re all listening to.

I have a secret to tell you.

I don’t feel very Wayward AF.

I get scared, and anxious. I worry about things that have happened, haven’t happened, might happen. I wish I was a better person. I often feel like I move through life unnoticed and unremembered. But for some reason, in this community, people have responded to the way that I view the world through my camera.

Behind my camera I am that Wayward Daughter. It’s like a suit of armour, but it’s nothing without the person inside even if she doesn’t always fully see that yet. It’s my heart racing and swelling and bursting and skipping that people are responding to. There’s a power in that. A power that transcends the deepest divides.

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