Life Passing II



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.
















Images with me were captured by Matt.

  1. Mariko

    I really loved this post, it was so honest and open hearted.
    I have always admired how in touch with your feelings you seem, you have this fearlessness which shows through your writing and your photography and i think it is that rawness and realness which has mean that you have been one of my favourite bloggers since i was 16.
    I guess I have followed this blog since then, and it has always struck a chord with me as I am also Australian and we are the same age.
    I especially liked the part where you talked about how you and your ex are different people now. “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.” This part particularly resonates with me, I think you have truly captured the somewhat inexplicable bittersweet longing we can so easily feel towards someone we were once together with, and for that I must thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I have recently gone through heartbreak and this post quite literally made me realise that as sad as breaking up with someone may be, time does pass and things will be ok. So truly thank you for this post x

  2. Julie

    forget to write, that *you should publish a book or something

  3. Julie

    You are fantastic Nirrimi. So much love in one person…

    When will we read your book? You should your words are full with beauty!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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The Warmest Day of Winter










Some stills I captured while directing a little film today with Ella, & collaborating with a new friend Jarrad.

  1. Marlene

    these pictures are asolutly amazing! you have such a great talent to capture moments, that really touch somebody’s heart.

  2. sandra

    That child is the absolute double of the singer Fiona Apple, its quite scary she’s that alike


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  7. Shaina Joy DeCiryan

    Beautiful new work, Nirrimi. I saw Jarrad’s post about working with you as well and was so excited to know that you two are friends and shooting together! I love the dancing photos.. such a beautiful quality of light. Share what is good and beautiful, and your life will follow. :)

  8. mexico rosel

    Fun fact! The plant in the first photo is a Brassica, of the mustard family – this is your cabbage, kale, broccoli, turnip, cauliflower… I’m not sure exactly which species of Brassica this one is, but it grows wild all around Perth, Western Australia. I think the farmers originally used it as pasture for their animals, and it has spread from there. Food is free and food is everywhere!

  9. Sophia Ton

    I really really like your Blog! You have interesting Stuff on it. Maybe you want to follow each other via GFC? If yes please tell me that you followed me and i follow you back, beauty :).

    Greetings and Kisses from Germany

    And oh my god.. you hair is amazing 😮 the pictures are beautiful.

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