March 10, 2012 was the very first day I stepped outside my town-home with my camera to take photos that I actually felt free. Free from guilt and sorrow. Free from pain and despair. Free from the aches and pains I felt deep inside my bones. Free from the headaches, worry, and the feeling of loss. Free from the ‘self’.
Three years before my partner committed suicide and for the following three years I was a prisoner in my own world. I would go to work and come home. That was my life. I tried to get out, but would always end back on the sofa. For 1,095+ days, the only thing I knew was my sofa. I was lost and alone. The only one who knew was ‘me’. I put on a pretty good show.
I do not know what it was, but one day I just knew that if I did not get out and mingle with others, experience life, I was going to die within. I knew something had to change. I woke up on March 10th and found the strength to leave my home and drive to the ‘9-mile’ train station in Aurora, CO. I found the courage to hop on the train and took it all the way to the historic black community of ‘5-Points’ of Denver. Back in its’ hey-day it was known as the ‘Harlem of Denver’. All the great Jazz and Blues artists came through and treated the city to real soul.
There is a purpose in all things and all things evolve. Unfortunately ‘5-Points’, over time, became a haven for crime and drugs. Now it is seeing a resurgence in cultural events and the people are taking pride once again in their community. ‘5-Points’ is my favorite part of Denver and it became my sanctuary.
As I was wandering around ‘5-Points’ on March 10, 2012, I came upon an abandoned warehouse that engulfed my being. I was there for more than two hours. Sitting, wondering, thinking, crying, in pain, releasing, over-whelmed, and finally being thankful. I started asking ‘why’ and then decided to just let it go and enjoy what was before me. For what ever reason, this place gave me the ‘FREEDOM’ from me that I had so desperately had been seeking. My ego was so wrapped up in being a victim that I knew and saw nothing in front of me until this day.
The warehouse I spent most of my day is the home to many. It is their refuge, their solace, their peace, their comfort, their home… I recognized, did not disturb, left a note, left some money, and most of all, appreciated what I had.
My road to ‘FREEDOM’, from me, started this day and continues to be a journey. Some days are harder than others, but most are easy now and the hard days are fewer and fewer. I am taking this time to give thanks. It only takes one step and I am thankful I took that ‘one step’.