home again

my hometown, the town of the heavy sun. it had been a long time since i saw my family.

there is my mother, the eccentric artist. often wearing midriff shirts and falling in love with strangers on public transport. her stories of her youth, as free and inspired as any, give me purpose and a sense of self. she has inspired me to love fully, travel everywhere and to never shave my legs. my young, half-sister is boyish, with long sun-blonde hair and a strong naivety. refusing to let go of her true self. she hides her gentle heart behind many layers of tough skin so that only a few know how selfless she is. my brother was diagnosed with aspergers and never finished primary school. he has never said hello to love, let alone gotten to know love, so his obsessive nature (that i share to an extent) feeds into gaming. lands and battles he talks about with wild passion, him the leader of a gaming cult. his skin has seen little sun and his chest sinks down past his ribs. but he is content.

then there are my many cousins, all so grown up now. when i saw them, all tall and talking of boys they’d loved who had broken their hearts, i almost cried. i realised the worst thing about travelling is not being there to see your family grow. they were strangers i’d once babysat every weekend and lived with for months. i was who they came to when they were hurt or sad. in a way, that is hard to explain without sounding weird, it was like they were my children and then suddenly they weren’t. i didn’t want them to grow when i was away, it broke my heart.

my house hadn’t changed. it was a chaotic mess that felt so much like home. under the house was my mother’s glass studio where she would make jewellery, and beside that were cages stacked up to the ceiling where crazed white rats with bright red eyes lived. me and my sister would collect grasshoppers and big insects to feed to them. watching what we imagined as the bloodlust staining their eyes. there was a fascination in watching them tear the grasshoppers apart limb by limb. watching the insects on the brink of death.

my room was at the back of the house, which is now my sisters room. it is pink, which i always hated and i’m sure my sister hates now. a lot of my old things were still lying around. it was a strange feeling. remembering that the girl who used to live and breathe in this room was me. my experiences since leaving home have set me a world apart from her. she was wild with feeling, crazed with passion. sometimes i get sparks of her and it makes me feel alive again.

but if i’d known back then, all i would do and how much life would frighten me, i would have never left my bed. i followed my dreams blindly, and i do not regret it.

i’m not sure if it was summer when i visited but it always felt like it. the sun was heavy on our skin. the girls all played with the hose in the backyard and we left the house when the sun was setting and the air was beginning to cool. those days you didn’t want to do anything but laze around, reading books and sucking iceblocks.

it was christmas eve and i was in the pool with my 8 year old cousin kaisy on my back, her arms safely around my neck. it was late and we watched the scattered stars in the sky, excitement in the air all around us. in an almost hopeless way she asked if i believed in santa claus. when i told her i did, her eyes lit up and she said whispered quietly ‘i do too’. she told me of nights where she’d heard sleigh bells and a deep laugh that had echoed into her dreams. then she was silent. lights on the roof lit up parts of the sky and we both saw the most magical thing. we saw the lightest sprinklings of snow falling slowly down in the air. bright white, like only snow could be. hush, i said to the other cousins and my sister in the pool, look. and all was silent. later one of the cousins insisted it was rain that was caught in the light in a strange way. but me and kaisy are certain it was snow from santa’s sleigh.

i got only a few hours sleep that night, waking at sunrise with the children. it’s funny how when you become an adult christmas is no longer about presents but about the children. the way their eyes light up and they don’t stop smiling, not even when they’ve fallen asleep exhausted that night. you want to do all you can to make them happy.

matt flew in and i picked him up from the airport, having not seen him in months. full of stories of foreign cities and cultures, wearing new scars (with volcanic ash buried under) and thousands of new photographs. he brought with him more presents then i’ve ever received. my favourites being a yashica t4 with film and a pashmina from india. i felt like the luckiest girl in the whole world.

i felt overwhelmingly like i belonged. this is my family, my past. i shared this quiet, homely life with matt and he revelled in it, sunk right down like i did. like we knew noplace else.

the next time i went here, weeks later, i was flown to be a witness for a court case. a part of me died those days. being forced to think about things i’d buried deep enough to be forgotten. watching it become so real. sometimes i wish i could confide everything in this blog, or even one person, but it’s just me alone with it all. i realise now i’ve never let anyone completely in. maybe i’ll always be lonely in that sense.

 

my cousin kaisy under falling hosewater.

my cousin, sister and step-cousin’s soapy legs.

elise on her birthday.

kaisy wearing fake teeth.

my sister, my cousin and my mother sleeping on my mother’s mattress.

early christmas morning.

my mother and her niece.

my cousins. jayson playing guitar and jami reading.

kaisy and pixie’s legs in the rainflooded gutter.

playing in the rain under streetlamps.

my goosebumped sister.

65 love notes for “home again”

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  3. Chesney June 7, 2011

    your family seems lovely. i love all these.
    i hardly can say how much your writing helps me. it's just so much beautiful.

  4. Magda

    I found your blog just a minute ago, I'm already stuck. Such great photos!!!

  5. swanntastic

    Your words evoke an amazing kind of imagery in my mind.
    I also love your photographs –especially the first one. The sense of movement and joy (or perhaps terror) is amazing. Great blog!

  6. Janča

    You are so young and so talented! Your photos have an amazing atmosphere…The best one is Elise on her birthday…she seems so sad I would hug her…it's perfectly absurd! I love it!

  7. Feeona

    These photographs make me nolstagic for some reason. Love your work (-:

  8. Peter

    You'll let someone in completely one day and when you do … it will amazing and you'll be astounded that you ever doubted it would happen. You are some soul!

  9. [email protected]

    you capture the best moments

  10. A.

    I read your blog all in one breath, thinking you're an amazing writer and an amazing photographer.
    Our lifes are poles apart, probably, but I "feel" what you are telling.
    thank you.

  11. Joana

    i look up to you! i love your words about your family, and the pictures! they always show LIKE LIFE IS! i adore all of your pictures they are amazing, beautiful, inspireing!
    (i hope you understand my german-english) ;)
    <3 <3 <3
    joana-papillon.blogspot.com

  12. C.

    in complete honesty, I stood still for some time, trying to figure out why the photos that you posted and the words that you wrote could possibly impress me so much. finally, I got it. you are true. you are raw. you are so subtle and yet strong at the same time. you unveil life from that heavy smoke that sometimes covers our eyes deeply. and I thank you for that. a real inspiration.

  13. leblogdeting

    you describe some moments like "the moment", and I love it so much..

  14. Alberto Llogar

    Incredible. You really can send a lot of feelings through your pics.

    Congratulations

  15. . s h e r r y *

    Your photos have such a uniqueness to them…

  16. andrea despot

    this hits such a chord with me:

    "it was a strange feeling. remembering that the girl who used to live and breathe in this room was me."

  17. Blackswan

    beautiful words. more than amazing photographs! always a treat to visit your blog

    x Lauren

  18. Sylvie April 25, 2011

    every one of us is lonely for a certain part of our memories or experience. it may be hard but even if we'd like to reveal those things, we don't feel too well if we succeed.

  19. Gracie

    wow, love those rain photos – the last one is just so… atmospheric!

  20. Ada

    Amazing, I just couldn't stop reading.
    You capture the stories with both your words and your photos so beautifully. Thank you for sharing these stories with us, with me.

  21. Second Wind photography

    This posts are really amazing! I don’t know how to thank you for sharing all these amazing stuff with us! Thank you Nirrimi, thank you! Your life is so full of emotions, and you are so special! Your family sounds so nice and so full of love. I understand why you wake up so magical :)
    take care
    Cia

  22. Mária

    Lovely post, Nirrimi.
    I believe in what you said about everything is always okay and if it isn't it will be and it pretty express what I planned to tell you in this comment.
    I think you are brave because you listen to your heart, even if it's saying something hard to you.
    There are some things, they are only in you and for you, but sometimes you come to realise you need to tell somebody if you want to heal and overcome. I'll pray for you.

  23. Nicola

    your words and stories are amazing! and our photographs seem to be so free from sorrows, they are so wonderful!

  24. Arašídová

    your life seems so beautiful when looking at the photos

  25. flowercake

    i really adore the things you right. it's so inspiring

  26. tanya

    wonderful story with wonderful puictures! thank you for a wonderful post!

  27. Dreamer

    i love your work nirrimi.
    Always an inspiration to see and read tales of your life.

    Much love and looking forward to more posts! <3

  28. Kiki

    The things you have experienced are so different from an ordinary person like me. Sometimes I really wanna know the feeling of being nirrimi. And I like your photos so much. They strengthen the emotion of this post.

    You are so inspiring.

  29. Alexandria

    Reading your blog makes me wish I was a child again. I miss those days when you didn't care about the harshness of the world. You are such an inspiration! These pics are lovely and you have such a beautiful family.

    I wish you all the best and keep being who you are.

    :)

  30. Kait Forest

    I miss childhood, and easy breezy rain water that never ment trouble ( i thougth of this when i saw your pictures of your family members playing). I'm sorry to hear you had to relive the past. I hope one day you do open up, 'cause this world is just waiting to see what is hidden inside.

  31. Barbara

    I absolutely love the way you "speak" about the little things in life, making them big.
    And how you always manage to make love as the center of the universe. Recognizing it for what it is.

    You're incredibly brave for revealing so much of your soul to those of us reading.

    Smile.
    Although that's a lot more difficult than it sounds.

  32. claire alice young

    i know what it feels like to look back on the child you used to be, all tucked up in your mothers arms and the nonsense of being a teenager. eyes wild with passion and heart loving freely. i can't imagine what it would be like to sit in my old bedroom, it was just last year that i lived under my mothers roof, safe and sound and naive. and now i'm but eighteen wandering this world alone, with a lover by my side and living in a small boxy flat with a few of my possessions. i can feel so much from this post, there are days when i long to go back, when i wish i was still that girl who was stubborn and fought so hard for what she believed in and who was inspired by living, and i really hope to one day find her.

    nirrimi, my cercumstances are quite alike to your own but also very different and sometimes early in the morning when i find your blog post, i sit here all dark and rugged up under the covers, and i feel a little less alone. thank you

  33. violet

    Dearest Nirrimi,

    Firstly, I would like to say Thank you for blogging again! Reading your words are just one of the things that make me feel the most alive. I can feel through them, even when I am unable in certain times in real life -which is such a paradox, if you could even understand.

    I would also like to wish you all the best in all the things that happen and the things that you have to go through. Yeah, I totally understand (would you believe me when I say that I can understand in some probably unfathomable way?)…like how going away and returning and so many people have changed even when the place haven't.

    I also wish that I could be… I don't know. There for you, so that you wouldn't feel so lonely. But I also know that in some circumstances, no one can be. And that we are alone. But always have faith in the love of the universe, which I know that you can and will.

    Best wishes and love always,

  34. Victoria

    amazing photos! it's so cool that you can make the most common subjects so interesting!

  35. victoria

    Writing these must be wonderful. You're able to collect moments and immortalize them. I'm glad you had fun.

    You ended it on a sort of solemn note, though. This is a quote from one of my favorite poets. Maybe you'll like it, too.

    “Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

    Be well.

  36. Jeannine Vernon

    YOUr BLOG IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO INSPIRING AND SIMPLE AND BEAUTIFUL IN THE PUREST WAY POSSIBLE…….i will always dream to be like you nirrimi….everyday i hope to be a free spirit and to be living life in the simple ways and enjoying it and being extremely happy all the times

    love jeannine

  37. Tess Mayer

    You write such simple things and make them so dreamy. I adore the last three photos of the girls in the rain

  38. Antonio Ysursa

    I know exactly what you mean about returning home and realizing that you've missed the kids in your life grow up. I guess that is why we are photographers.
    Beautiful, honest work, as it always is. :)

  39. Sayuri

    You make me dream every little day.
    Too many times, I'm just bored with my life ; but when I see your pictures, your wonderful face, your life, it makes me think that someday I'll be as free as you, as brave as you, and I hope.

    Thanks to you, I hope everyday.
    And, with the little I know in English, I can't express all my gratitude. I'm so sorry about that.

    Have a good, great, and long life. And make us dream again. Forever.

  40. Hanna

    You're amazing! Word can't even describe how talented you are!

  41. Laura

    You're amazing, with your words and photography. I hope you are fine. <3

  42. CAROLINE.

    Your images are divine but I love your words more, they remind me that love is always enough. Thanks Nirrimi.

  43. Zuzi

    honestly, I'm so happy you're blogging again!


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