Its Times Like These When You Need…


I found comfort in these little white mints when I first arrived in Brisbane, Queensland Australia they were potent and filled with just enough mint to be considered a breathe mint.

In the back of my mind I continued to wonder about the decision to depart my home country? The pace of Australia was twenty-five times slower and I was having a difficult time adjusting. CULTURE SHOCK more like lifestyle-pace shock! I used to give out this analogy to people. In America you are comfortably driving along at 80mph and in Australia you are traveling at 5mph. Its like the speed of a Ferrari versus the speed of a man walking barefoot along a beach. These were the extremes of my lifestyle choice without knowing it.

No matter how I diced it up, I was stuck between the extremes. Remove myself from the slow paced culture eating Minties and sipping on sleeves of beer or return to “normalcy” back in the good ol’ United States of mystery.

April 8, 2003 entry # 12

It has been a few short months of this slow paced situation. I cannot determine if I have fallen into hell or heaven? The remainder of my life is now drenched in mystery, or is it misery? I have yet to determine.

I can only satisfy the person whom I can control.

There is no “do-overs” is what they have said. You are lost. Your potential is nearby and you need to determine whose hands you entrust? Your decisions are your own and no one else’s. You need to determine where you want this test to take you? You are here.

You are in the here and now.

Reach outward and search for friendship. Stand face to face with this world you are now calling home and find the place that you belong.

April 18, 2003 entry #16

Sitting on the edge of this ragged cliff my face dangling over its side as my hands hold the camera body, my fingers depress the shutter as people below are climbing up the face. They are challenging themselves to excel and conquer. I am looking down through this lens to capture a moment of their pain and pride as they ascend this wall. This wall of life.

I’ve invested time in my own backyard and feel that I am losing my feeble attempt at normalcy. The way to search for normalcy for myself has always been through the lens of the camera, one frame at a time *snap*.

I feel a deadman’s soul stuck inside my chest. Does a deadman have a chest? Riddle’s of life, they never solve themselves.

Why is it that a man who wants something ends up with nothing? But a man who wants nothing ends up with something? Is it a riddle, too.

April 22, 2003 entry # 20

Somehow I have shot over thirty rolls of film in just under 2-weeks. I’ve become obsessed with my craft even though I am learning to despise this slow paced culture. I’m told I have to meet with my overseeing professor, the one who doesn’t understand sport. Sport the only thing that is keeping my head above water right now.

My eyes look bagged, black circles which others call eye lids they are deceiving those who stand before me. They probably think I am on drugs or that I am an insomniac. Either way I’ve been keeping long hours in both the darkroom and the lab. I am trying to keep my head afloat.

My journey has sickened me.

At home my roommates insist they too have fled their home countries. It is a bond that we all share in this penthouse suite. Each of us loathes in our own way, here on the 5th floor surrounded by someone else’s version of paradise.

~ James Curtis