I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

And she thought, “I AM, I AM, I AM … sometimes when I wake up, I just want to get back to bed, curl up into the tightest fetal position, this prenatal position I instinctively learned, that protects my brain and vital organs better than simply lying spread out on the ground … “

Clearly, the fetal position is an innate answer to extreme stress or trauma situations, when the brain is no longer able to cope with the surrounding environment, and in essence “shuts down” temporarily.

Now, the interesting aspect is that according to a study conducted in the UK, up to 41% of the sleeping participants adopted this position, they also found that double the amount of women adopted this position to sleep. Can we then conclude that people live overstressed nowadays? Is this a result of the type of “modern” society we live in these days? Are women, in general, more overstressed than men?

Certainly, I don’t know the answers to the questions above, but what I know is that pain and suffering have been forever the subject of art, think about the “Suffering Old Man” by Vincent van Gogh, or the Scream by Edvard Munch, or any of the Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits such as “Broken Column”.

“I AM, I AM, I AM” is my attempt to remind people about the struggles of life, at the end of the day, suffering and happiness exist in all phenomena. Actually, according to Buddhism, “where there is happiness, there will be suffering, if we think that life is suffering just when things don’t go according to our wishes we’re rather foolish, suffering is inherently part life”.

Hopefully, I gave you some food for thought.

I do appreciate your comments and suggestions. If you are interested in silver gelatin limited edition prints of my photos, please don’t hesitate to contact me to enrique.pelaez.houston@gmail.com

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