She is not a common woman.
She's left behind a home and a country which she did not recognize as her own; she's left behind the safety of her home in a time when you can smell the war in the air, when you can feel the tension rising in rivulets in the sands of the desert. She left it all behind, all alone, and never looked back. When you ask her, the reason she serves you with is made of only one word: curiosity.
She's driven by curiosity, by that force stronger than life, that need to know more and more and more, until there's nothing more to discover, or maybe until you find a whole new world with new mysteries to delve in, new causes to investigate, new reasons to wonder. She's not satisfied with knowledge — she revels on the curiosity itself, the need to know, the strength it gives her bones.
The certainty of the answers is not what she's looking for; she's in it for the ride, for the silent and lonely nights in the middle of the desert. She's in it for the long, deep conversations under the desert sky, with the men she's grown to consider her brothers, both in this war and in her heart. She's in it for the crews, the teams of explorers in this beginning of century, a time when she's not expected to be there, not supposed to be the sole woman in a men's world. She's in it for the comfort she finds in looking up at the starts and knowing that they move, that they, like herself, run around in circles trying to find their place. She's in it for the clandestine encounters with H., for the broadness of his shoulders and the strength of his hands clutching her hips. She's in it for the moment when they part and their hands are the last to let go, their fingers extending until the tips don't touch anymore.
She is truly content with the life she's chosen. For her, the thrill is in the action, the need for adventure, not the destination. She's a free spirit, never attached, never bound by the petty notions of men and priests, never tied down by the rules of society. She makes her own world out of the maps she folds carefully and hides in the pages of the few books she's always carried along, mixing lands and continents and oceans and rivers; she plays with the compass, skillfully, as if the needle was best friend. She defies the laws of men and God, and yet she's faithful.
Her name is Frances, but the men around her call her Frankie. She is not a common woman.
[I just read this and realized that I somehow named the woman 'Frankie' in this shot, when in my head she's always been Sylvia. So there. The darn name is wrong, I'm not changing it in the main text, but here's the disclaimer.]
The aesthetics of this were inspired by the fabulous Brooke Shaden. The texture is from pareeeerica's collection.
Aaaaaand I just came across tthis shot from my darling Sarah, which is a similar concept, only she did it before me and way better. Great minds think alike. Go see it!