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image by
JH Engstrom

“Loneliness is a strange bird. If it is called upon… at first it comes like a quiet stranger and slowly befriends you. It then starts to seep into the skin… to live inside of you as sort of an ally… to strengthen you in your pain, as a place to escape, to go to it, to survive by it, to turn “inside”… to find shelter, to find refuge. It acts as a shield, erects for you a barrier… but then, it starts to take over… it fills you up, and emptiness sets in. What was once “you” is now something “else”… a chasm, a quiet chamber where numbness echoes and your mind screams out for someone to care. The one that you were going to be has quietly left you, the one that you were going to become has slowly gone away and instead, you are left in the shadows, a shell… a walking veneer. The emptiness that makes up the internal “you” soon finds your exterior. It comes from the hidden inside to the bare outside, the eye’s give off the clues like a poker tell… the secret inside of you is able to be seen… your isolation and hardness tell your tale… and so your face becomes your betrayer. You now walk with your secret as a mask for all to see, covering up what once was you… and telling the world that you are no longer there or letting the world see that it is a partial you” (source: JH Engstrom “Shelter 1997”)

source: Photographs Do Not Bend