is a chore.
I wonder, sometimes, if I can be a nurse for next twenty years, until I can retire. I have a hard time envisioning it. A hard time seeing myself there.
For twenty more years past the twenty-five that I’ve already given.
Seeing the harshness of humanity, the sickness, the sorrow, the depravity … the death.
It is difficult for me when all I dream of is traveling and taking photographs.
I want, first and foremost, to see my own country, and then Ireland and then all of Europe; Germany in the springtime.
I have dreams.
I have aspirations.
I am too soft-hearted to be a nurse … to see the suffering, to feel the suffering, to hold the suffering unto myself.
I bring it home with me. I dream of it. I cry for those who cry.
I sometimes think I don’t have the strength or the courage to do what I do and yet, I cannot turn my back on those who cry on my shoulder.
I feel overwhelmed, at times. I feel inadequate at others. I am only me, but still, I am called to be more than I feel I can be.
I pray with them.
I don’t know what else to do.
My life experiences, many of them troubled and harsh, give me an insight into the suffering that these people who lean on me need.
I hope I am enough.
I fear that I cannot measure up.
I want to encourage them and know, that somehow, through my own discouragement, I can help them.
I continue to pray that I can be a part of the answers they seek.
I see the fear, sorrow and uncertainty in their eyes. I know their pain, I have been through the fire and I can relate.
But I’m not sure I can continue to face that every single day.
Not sure I have the strength to carry the burdens of those I seek to encourage.
No certain that I even want to.
And yet, I cannot abandon them for their tears touch me so deeply. I succumb to their sorrows and find myself weeping in the wee hours of the morning for that which I cannot alter.
I have told myself many times that, in my heart I am photographer and while that is true, also, in my heart, I am a nurse.
And I know now, that no matter where I go, or what I photograph, the love for humanity will always take precedence.
I will always, whether a recognized photographer or not, be a nurse.
It is the burden I bear.
And I bear it with confidence that I, in some small way, can bridge the chasm.
I want, whether through photography or nursing, to make a difference …
If I can’t, then I, on all sides, have failed.
I don’t want to be a failure.
A young praying mantis sits in the sun of early summer