Not There. Here.

Enthusiasm places me at river’s edge. Believing I can swim to a destination of my own choosing drives me to jump in without pause—camera in hand. But the strong currents pull at me instead, steering me where they will. And, like that wild and deep river in Africa, hundreds of feral things lurk within; some with teeth. Fighting against the currents of my own Congo (a metaphor for life) I begin to wonder, "Will I drown here?"

Meanwhile, as the torrent grows stronger, I grow tired and struggle to keep the current from pulling me under. Spinning inside whirlpools, I see the truth of it: I’m an accidental tourist experiencing life and meaning haphazardly.

So, I stop aiming for my destination; stop swimming there. In response, the current eases up and the shore widens. Then, I hear birds calling, leaves rattling on branches, and my own breathing.

At once, I’m home and feeling the warm sun as it dances over clouds to shimmy in through double panes. The scent of the morning's toast drifts throughout the house, making me want for butter and honey. But I sit still, letting the moment and my place in it linger—an overstay by some accounts. Yet here, in what my photograph captures is what I seek. Here, is where I am and where I create meaning.

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