Pale Fire

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One day my sweet friend Claire drove me & Ashlin out of town. The winter wind drew goosebumps on Ash’s skin while we photographed so we wrapped her in a blanket between shots. We watched the sky change colours and saw the light change along with it. I realised how glad I am to be a photographer, to get the chance to embrace so many sunsets and idyllic places. To soak in the world’s beauty.

Stylist: Claire Hart

 Model: Ashlin

Edited with Digital Film + India + Dust

 

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  3. Tone

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  4. Caitlin

    I normally don’t comment on blogs but I felt I needed to say that you are talented and beautiful. I just discovered your blog and I am so inspired by your positivity and bravery. The pictures of you and your daughter capture the deeply loving, intimate and physical experience of motherhood in a way I have never seen before. It makes me happy.

  5. Helena

    I just found my way here recently.. and just wanted to tell you that I love these photographs! Simply stunning!

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Life Passing II

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Six months ago.

A hundred feelings, a hundred faces, a hundred places. I am living lifetimes inside single years. I am strong, powerful and brave. I am confused, alone and afraid. I am lost but I am finding myself. I have come so far but I still have so far to go.

I nurse my broken heart and broken dreams lightly, often forgetting they are there at all. I escape my past by embracing my present. When the dark quiet of night washes over the world nothing can distract me from my pain. But then the day comes and sets everything alight, reminding me of all there is to be grateful for. Everything is going to be okay, better than okay.

Sometimes in the middle of the night I will reach out for him and my hands will find no one. Sometimes I feel alone when I am surrounded by people because none of them truly understand me. Sometimes I am worried and I long for someone to hold me again and tell me they will take care of everything, that I don’t need to worry about a thing. But it is just me now and I have to be strong. There are times when my shoulders buckle under the weight but they don’t break. I’ve got this.

I look at him, remember studying his features with endless fascination, and I realise I see him through different eyes now. In some ways I can’t recognise him any longer. His arms no longer hold the safety they once did, his eyes no longer hold the affection. We are both different people now.

It’s strange how someone can be your world one day and almost a stranger another day. Some nights I would do anything to be back in our mountain home where I knew everything was going to work out, that our love was invincible and everlasting. In those moments it was, and the ending didn’t diminish its magic. But that chapter is long finished now, leaving space for new chapters to be written.

From my hometown we drive to Crystal Creek. On the way we pass a little produce stand and pick up some ripe fruit. We swim in the pool beside the waterfall, hot sun on our skin and cool water swallowing our bodies. We open pomelos with a pocket knife and the insides shine like little pink jewels.

We set up the tent in the trees by the water. From inside we watch and hear the waterfall and it makes its way into my dreams. When the sun rises I swim naked in the creek, pushing against the current. A thousand cold hands run across my body. I dry myself on a rock in the sun, and climb back into the tent to read a book and breastfeed Alba.

I should spend more time outside. When I am out there things are simple and clear. It is easy to be present. I will forget those nights I stayed up late watching Game of Thrones, but I will never forget the morning I was naked beneath a waterfall.

We drive to the beach one night. I bring a curry I cooked, a flask of hot chocolate and a picnic rug. Life has a cinematic quality. The kind that new experiences bring. I remember being here as a child, and now here I am with my own child. Somehow I am a Mama now, not a child any longer. Life passes.

Alba swims with my sister, who is no longer the quiet little girl I once photographed in the backyard, she is a teenager now covering up her freckles with make-up. My brother is here too. He is sad tonight, going for walks by himself and writing pages and pages in his journal and I think maybe I understand him better than anyone.

I swing on a swingset and when I get to the very highest point I close my eyes and imagine I keep going, flying out into the stars. I hear Alba laughing with my siblings by the water. In this moment I feel a slow sweet joy fill my soul.

I don’t remember if we flew or drove home. I look at these photographs and the notes in my journal to remember, but outside of these souvenirs this time is a haze now. I barely photograph these days, not like I used to.

Alba turns two. I wake up before her and marvel at her tiny face. The dark, sweeping eyelashes and the small pink lips. Her long fingers are like miniatures of my own. But despite the similarities, she is more her own person than I ever could have predicted. How could it be only two years since she took her first breath? She has already taught me so much about life.

I am thankful for birthdays as a reminder that time does keep on flowing, that my little girl is less little than she was yesterday, and that I need to stop often to appreciate her. Her Papa and I take her out for breakfast and I look at him watching her and know exactly how he is feeling. Look what we created. This bright, giggly, empathetic, creative toddler is ours.

There are moments when I look at Alba and my heart breaks because I am afraid I am failing her. Will she grow up daydreaming about her parents falling back in love like I did? If I am not enough for her, I hope for all of the incredible people in her life to overfill the gaps. I hope for her to grow from her struggles with the strength I already see  burning in her eyes. Even so, I will never feel enough, and that is what it is to be a Mother sometimes.

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Images with me were captured by Matt.

  1. Sophie Abbott

    What an incredible woman you are… You create beauty because you are beautiful inside and out, Alba is one lucky baby to have you as a mama. I have just discovered you through Instagram an hour ago already I am in tears!! Sending your broken heart love and light

  2. Martine

    I cried when I read this. Everything you have written here describes my worst fear in perfect clarity. I’m only seventeen, and living seems so difficult at times. Im in the midst of falling down, as you so perfectly wrote about in the post about the death of childhood. Every day as I’m tumbling down, I hope with all my heart that I’ll land on my feet, and that I will have my greatest love on his feet, by my side. The hardest thing about being seventeen and so afraid, is the fear that things won’t work. Sometimes I feel completely hopeless. Things aren’t getting better, the days and nights are filled with sadness and confusion. My only hope is that things will work out when I’m older, when I have grown, and my thought are easier to bare. With a hope like that, the fear that things won’t ever get better only grows. I know for sure that I would never survive what you have been through. I’d end the falling if I had to do it without the kisses and hugs from my love. You are so strong, so good, and I only hope that I one day I’ll be like you. Thank you so much for writing what you write.

  3. anonymous

    it breaks my heart to read that you two broke up, but i guess it’s better this way. i’m sure alba will be fine, i’m sure alba is fine.

  4. Dionne

    It seems to be the universe is once again shifting and the ending of love is a familiar theme in my life as well. I am certain there are great things to follow.

  5. Lisa

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I wasn’t ready for all you shared, as it has all evoked some painful memories. I hope you sta strong and are coping well. Sometimes we don’t know how resilient we are till we face the most horrible betrayals.

    Lisa x

  6. barbara

    it must be a little bit creepy to you when someone like me comes here and add a comment about your life. but, obviously, you’ve already noticed that most of time we are talking about our own lives when start to type inside this box.

    i’ve been trying to recover my heart for an year. it has been painful and sometimes so heavy that i thought i couldn’t stand it. i lived a beautiful love story with my ex-boyfriend for five years and it ended in a such surreal way that it took me all this time to understand and carry on. he was, for 5 years, my bestfriend, and i know i also played this role on his life. it still hurts. maybe it will always hurt. but now i can picture a future without him. i can even picture my present wthout him. i passed for distinct levels of letting go. i hated him, i secret loved him, i wanted him back. but then i had to talk to myself that i don’t know who he is nowadays. we are so different now, in a year i’ve became a person and he another.

    (i’m sure that our stories are not the same. but there is a song in portuguese that says something like “do you remember when we believed that everything would last forever / without knowing that forever is always over”. someday we will probably be inside new and finites “forevers”)

  7. Cristina

    Yes, it’s hard to be a Mother sometimes. Knowing that you are only human and that, one way or the other, you will fail your child. You will not be able to fullfil all of his needs however hard you try. But, I like to think that, if love is there and honesty and free communication, your child will feel loved anyway and forgive your limits. And that, maybe, your limits and errors, if you can make amend and be true about them, may even show your child that he can be human too and ease of the burden of having to be perfect from his shoulders. My children are still young so I don’t know yet, but I dream of this and try everyday to make this dream come true. I’m sure you are on the same road too, Nirrimi.

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