You probably remember the Hindu story about the wise blind men who each touch different parts of an elephant.  They describe what they “see” or experience accurately – but each wise man’s account seems to contradict the others’.  (I retold the story in my Identity Crisis poem.)  In a sense, we are all that elephant, and we are all to certain degrees both wise and blind.  Largely, we see what we want to see, or have been taught or trained to see by our upbringing, culture, personal experiences, relationships, etc.  Sometimes we’re just lazy or afraid and therefore subconsciously decide to see whatever happens to be easiest or most comfortable or reassuring for us to see.  There is so much in this world to both like and dislike, to love and hate.  Some folks prefer the streets of Paris to the beaches of Florida, and some don’t.  Some prefer the hills of West Virginia, and others wouldn’t be caught dead there.  Some prefer Israel or China or Australia or Germany or Mexico or New York or California or Canada or India or Iran or Georgia or Georgia….  And while appearances do matter a great deal in some ways, in other ways they are meaningless – they are both revealing and deceiving, beautiful and ugly.  What one culture or era or person sees as attractive, another doesn’t.  What these self portraits, all taken in the past few days, have to do with anything in these morning ramblings I’ll leave to your imagination.

I’ve since combed my hair and shaved my beard.  But I’ll spare you more photographs.