to know the devil is to know yourself

devils disguised as humans

Devils Disguised As Humans - Obscurities - Fine Art Photographer
His sinister smile was playful.

And that was when I knew I loved him.

He said, "Maybe we aren't so different from the devil afterall, being castout by religious zealots. Maybe they're afraid of the devil because they don't understand him. Just like they don't understand us. And maybe... just maybe... we don't have to hate or fear who we are, just because they do. Just love who you are, ya know?"

He took a long drag off of his cigarette.

"Fuck 'em," He said as he exhaled.

"You're extraordinary, every part of you."

"The darkness. The depth. The chaos. Same as the devil...

"So? maybe that's what we are: devils disguised as humans."

the invitation

"Are you ready"?" A voice quietly asked.

I felt no fear. I knew it was time. The end was finally here.

I nodded my head, and the voice soothed me, "Come with me. It's your turn to dance with the dead."

There was a deafening bang. And right then, I finally felt at peace.

To: Beautiful You

to: beautiful you - "obscurities" | pics by darah - fort collins fine art photographer
To: Beautiful You
This is it for me. I'll die young, but maybe for you it will be different...

Don't be afraid of knowledge the way they want you to be. Never underestimate critical thought or uniqueness. Don't be afraid to be wrong.

Seek truth. Fight for justice. Save the underdogs. Pursue your own happiness, and be unapologetic in it. When you find your true self, embrace it. Don't let anyone ever tear you away from your idiosyncracies.

For those idiosyncracies are what make you, you.

And you are perfectly you when you are you.

That's what makes you beautiful. Remember that.
You are beautiful, because you are you.

With undying love,

o'holy night

o'holy night - "obscurities" | pics by darah - fort collins fine art photographer
Christmas Eve, 1992
"O'Holy Night" murmured from the nativity display as the sounds of sirens in the distance closed in, inaudible and vaguely discerned by the ringing in their ears. Mom wouldn't leave my body, waited and howled, undeterred by the bath of blood I had left behind, while dad drunkenly stood by a wall, swaying back and forth and watching.

My sisters, my brother stood outside barefoot. The twins shivered in their Christmas footie pajamas together. The oldest of my three sisters stood with the twins near, staring straight ahead without blinking once, unsure whether to breakdown, scream, cry or just stand silent. Two other sisters stood hugging each other like a statue, frozen. The small twins, asked unanswerable questions, and when they didn't get an answer they complained of the ice and snow melting beneath their feet.

Red and blue flashing lights approached, blinding the five of them. The lights of our neighbors began to light up, as they slowly started peeking out their doors and stepping outside. A band of cops, ambulances and a firetruck came to an abrupt halt; my frantic aunt following behind them in her wood-paneled station wagon, a cigarette dangling from her quivering, speechless lips. Without a word, she hurried the two small children into her car. She drove them to her dingy apartment - chain-smoking the whole way, silently. Every so often, she would look in the rearview mirror, eyes water faucets, at the children leaning into each other and sleeping in the backseat.

When they arrived at her 400 square foot apartment, she opened a bottle of liquor, its lid falling to the floor. She drank from the bottle as if she'd just run a marathon, as if the whiskey was water. The children stood and watched, rubbing their tired eyes. She tried to tell them, but my name and her thoughts were lost in the slurs of her incoherent drunkenness and hiccupping. The two small children lay together like a pair of wolf pups on a dirty, whiskey stained, cigarette-burned couch.

My brother and my aunt forgot about me entirely. My aunt, because of the whiskey. The boy, because of the looming question any six year old would be asking:

"Will we still open our presents tomorrow morning?"

Soon, only one lay awake in the musky apartment: my sister.

She hasn't slept right since.

"follow your dreams"

Dreamer - Obscurities [Fort Collins]+[Photographer]+[Fine Art]
You are a dreamer
Follow your dreams tonight
Even your nightmares

Most nights, she would wake up terrified by her dreams, but tonight she lay awake in bed staring at her ceiling in the blackness of the night. If the nightmares were inevitable, why sleep? With tired eyes, she was sure she watched a shadowy human figure move from one spot to another. She blinked, attempting to adjust her eyes, but when she opened them, nothing was there.

"Are you there?" She asked.

He gently brushed her cheek, and she thought she could hear him whisper to her, "I'm right here."

The feeling of his presence vanished. She, for the first time ever, felt fearless. A gentle phantom, he was there for her, and he would return.


Obscurities - You are Otherworldly - Fort Collins Photographer - Fine Art -
The next night while she dreamed, he whispered in her ear, "You are otherworldly."

Instantly, she awoke and softly chirped his name no louder than a mouse," Are you back?"

When he didn't answer, she closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep, his aura shrouding the room.

to know the devil is to know yourself

The Invitation - Obscurities - [Fort Collins]+[Fine Art]+[Photographer]
Night after night he would return, never truly showing himself. As she matured into a young woman, she realized her darkness was the same as his was. Often, she received invitations, the same as he had..

"An invitation to dance with the dead is not for the faint of heart. For before you are offered a dance, you must agree to a relationship with the devil himself.

"And to know the devil is to know yourself."

"Once you truly know him, the fear goes away."

chasing demons

They ran away side by side in the chase, playfully.

"Stop running away from your demons," He said. He reached out his hand to her. "Chase them instead."


Come With Me - Fort Collins, CO - [Obscurities]+[Fine Art Photographer]
"Why are you crying?" His voice was ominously delightful. She could not see him, and he could no longer make her happy.

"I am alone," She sniffled.

"I'll always return to you, and you can come to me anytime. You have a beautiful, dark aura. Yet you try to stay in the light. But when you're in the light you can't see me, nor I you. Come into the shadows with me. Feel what it is like to belong."

What was once a willing escape had become but a reluctant venture.

She submitted.

enter: darkness

The Shadowkeeper - [Fort Collins, CO]+[Fine Art Photographer]
The more she resisted him, the harder he would try to return to her.

"Who are you?" For the first time since he first appeared, she thought to ask.

"I am the one who offers you a hand and can lead you through the dark forests you fear. I construct beautiful, relentless storms, and I help you destroy your violators. During these storms, when you feel hopeless, I am the one throws you a lifeboat, and gently pushes you to shore when you feel like you can't make it any farther.

"I am darkness, and I am part of you. For I am now your darkness."

Although she couldn't see him, she knew he was smiling. She knew he had a dark, evil grin upon his face as he beckoned once more, "Join me."

the arms of misery

[Fort Collins Fine Art Photographer]+[Obscurities] - River Monster -
The emptiness she felt could no longer be cured. The joy her friend once brought her had now drowned her in the depths of misery, until finally, she and misery had finally become one.


[Fort Collins Photographer]+[Obscurities] - Fort Collins Fine Art Photographer
When all the phantom had left to do was hurt her, she learned to walk the shadows alone. She walked somewhere between light and dark, joy and misery.

She stepped into the light.

"Care to dance?"

Without a moment's notice, the light threw itself to her.

And they danced an eternity together.

darkly me

Darkly Me - [Fort Collins]+[Fine Art]+[Photographer]
It is here that I want to be: darkly me.

I entered the darkness without fear, without apprehensions. I return to light, because I have willed it so. The darkness, my darkness, is dangerous temptation; a reckless indulgence.

The depths of this iniquity begs me back; it cuddles with my reality, this life.

Through the trials I have found strength through its odiousness.

special thanks:

milla beckman
dave diamond
zak hepler
susan keller
monica mccauley
teresa nogiere & brad mcrae
damian pottinger
gene powell
cheyanne & thomas schugg
kendra sidebottom
danika straw
AJ voliton

to those whom remain in our hearts forever:
stephanie andrea frye
brad mcrae
cole waddell
tyler sidebottom
philip hernandez

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