3. Emily - A Birdlike Mask

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Am I awake?

Am I dreaming?

These thoughts pass through my mind like a turntable.

I am no longer able to distinguish what is real and what is not.

I am not sure when my sleep begins or ends anymore. There is definitely something wrong.

The other day, I was walking alone in the woods behind my apartment again.

I saw a man.

Not unusual along the trails and with my recent mental state. There was something about his presence that stopped me dead in my tracks.

I went to grab my phone to snap a photograph; a second goes by.

I look up.

He isn't there anymore.

The worst part of seeing this, and I know it sounds crazy, but

I could have sworn that he had a birdlike mask on.

My memory is distorted, differently depicted every single time that I relive the moment.

Sometimes his body moves like a shadow. Other times he is still,

a statue.

I can't get it out of my head.

I have secluded myself from my family and friends.

It has been weeks.

My phone is filled with messages that I fear to respond to.

There are knocks at my door that I cannot bare to answer.

Even literature and films that I used to immerse myself in during states of isolation connect back to the Man in the Long Coat.

Or this man in the woods with the mask.

It's almost as if my beloved culture has been rewritten in favor of this nightmare that I am living...

or not living.

The only relief I have is my camera.

I got it back from the shop;

it still does not work right.

It is worse than before.

The repair company could not find a single issue with it.


I am still using it,

drawn to it;

even broken,

It speaks worlds beyond what I can type here.

I managed to take a few shots in the woods that day. They are not my usual style.

I am compelled by something within.

2. Emily - Haunting my Work

I'm having some trouble, recently...

distinguishing reality from my dreams.

Ever since I saw the Man in the Long Coat in my slumber, I haven't been able to stop thinking about him.

He occupies every single sleeping moment.

All of my dreams. And even now, as I'm pretty certain that I am awake...

his memory is a vivid presence in my mind.

I'm drawn more towards my passion than ever before.

It's almost like an obsession.

If I don't create…

am I awake or not?

Also, I'm not sure how exactly to describe this feeling, but it seems as if...

the Man in the Long Coat is a dark friend who is pushing me towards greatness with my art.

He is haunting my work,

a friendly reminder of life's contrasts.

Dark and light.

Morning and night.

I've taken some more photographs.

My camera is in the shop with that light metering issue so I've resorted to using my cell phone.

1. Emily - The Man in the Long Coat

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I have not been compelled to pick up my camera for quite some time now. Over an entire year without one image captured on my SD card.

Photography can be a difficult medium.

Inspiration needs to be in direct proximity in order for anything to come to fruition, let alone satisfy my own standards.

I felt magnetized to my camera after a bizarre dream I had:

It started out in the woods behind the horse farm.



I am struggling with my lenses and framing a forgiving composition.

I feel eyes on me.

Silence, the crunch of the sticks beneath my feet and the smell of burnt leaves...

God, it was very deceiving...

I turned and saw a seemingly disjointed [redacted]. I was drawn to open it and fearful of its possible disappearance.

It took a push but the [redacted] creaked open, almost independently, and there was a long...

and I mean long and dark [redacted].

The feeling of someone watching me grew and I rushed, frantic down the [redacted].

Then I saw him.

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The Man in the Long Coat.

I could see the outline of him, but no details. He was shining a [redacted] onto a long [redacted].


My footstep brought a sudden thud that echoed throughout the small [redacted] and immediately the Man in the Long Coat turns to look me in the face.

It was so fast but I saw just....

sadness...

terror...

the shape of his black and grey, sunken eyes -

the [redacted] engulfed his body and he was gone. And I woke up.

I think.

I went out for a shoot after the dream with a friend who had been bugging me for months to visit some abandoned buildings.

I took this image.

no matter how many times I changed the settings...

opened up the aperture...

cranked up the ISO....

switched lenses...

the darkness embodied the picture.

These two things are probably unrelated.

Maybe my camera is broken.