Posts tagged ‘photography’

IT’S EASIER TO BELIEVE IN THIS SWEET MADNESS, OH THIS GLORIOUS SADNESS.

We are hurtling towards the end of the year and soon 2017 will be done.

To be honest, I’m not sure I will miss it. Next week, here in Australia, we find out the result of our criminally wasteful, hate mongering, progress delaying postal survey to see if some of us can have the same right as the rest of us. And still nothing will change, because this postal survey doesn’t actually change anything – except the degree to which people now feel free to spew hate about a certain group of us. Oh, and the millions of dollars less we now have to spend on silly stuff like education, health, the homeless, the environment. All those trivial things which can’t really matter much if we have money to burn on what is essentially ugly confetti at the end of the day.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe they are seeing how many more mass shootings they can cram in before the end of the year because gun control is a less attractive alternative (What. The. Actual. Fuck. ?????!!!!)

SIGH. If only we could use our powers for good.

Guys, I’m exhausted. The last few months have been intense. Good things and bad things, both, but intense and I’m weary.

Son Number Two graduated high school recently. This is a good thing. I am incredibly proud of him. I know how far he has had to travel and the obstacles he has had to navigate. I didn’t finish high school. I was pregnant with Daughter Number One by age seventeen. I went back to tertiary studies after having children but I didn’t finish high school. Son Number Two is the first of my children to finish high school. His graduation was a big deal to me, for his sake and for mine.

I don’t think I anticipated just quite how much of a huge deal it was to me until we actually attended the ceremony. Son Number Two had to be there early for a rehearsal so he’d gone ahead with his friends. I was attending with one of my friends. As soon as we entered the ceremony room tears started streaming down my face. Luckily the lights were low and I held on to my friend tightly as I struggled to compose myself. I managed to contain any sobs but the tears quietly snaked down my face for a long time. Before proceedings had even begun; before the graduating class was even in the room. Eventually, my tears slowed, then stopped. ‘Ok’ I thought, ‘I’m ok, I’ve got this under control.’ And I did. Right up until one of the speakers asked us to think back to when our students had started school.

I do remember when Son Number Two started school. He started school eight months after his big sister was murdered. My little boy’s world had been blown apart and at that stage we were still lurching between the inquest and other court proceedings. There was no security. There wasn’t even much familiarity. Everything and everyone Son Number Two had ever known had either been brutally ripped from his life or changed almost beyond recognition, including me. He was so small and so defeated. I remember standing beside his desk – was it an orientation or the first day? I can’t be sure. What I remember is the sheet on the desk and his downcast eyes as he said ‘It’s too hard. I can’t do it.’

It was too hard, because everything was too hard. Over the years I’m not sure things got easier. Times changed. Schools changed. Six times over the course of his educational career. It’s only really been in the last several years that Son Number Two has had any confidence in his abilities or discovered there were actually things he enjoyed about learning. He was lucky to have some help along the way, someone who cared enough to see his real potential. Someone who, one way and another, inspired my Son to start living up to that potential. Like me, he has very good friends. Son Number Two took the road less travelled but he got there in the end. I am so proud of the young man he is and so excited by who he is becoming.

I was completely overwhelmed throughout the graduation ceremony. My head was pounding. We were seated near the door so after Son Number Two had sauntered from the room like a rock star my friend and I went into the hall to wait for him. We found him as he and his friends went to get a photo together at the end of the corridor. The entrance to the building was at the other end of the corridor and, as we waited, the corridor started filling with people spilling out of the ceremony room. I could feel my throat closing over and my chest getting tight so my friend and I elected to head outside for some air.

Son Number Two finally emerged. We took some photos and exchanged hugs and wished him on his way. I was staying at my friend’s place so my Son and his friends could celebrate at ours. As soon as I got into my friend’s car the sobs I had been containing broke free. Noisy and ugly. We made the short journey back to his place where his daughter had dinner waiting for us. I went to get changed into less formal wear and then walked out to the back patio to sit with my friend. As I walked through his back door the nausea I had been trying to suppress all evening overtook me and I walked straight past my friend and threw up in his back garden.

There were so many conflicting emotions. My focus had been my Son but the empty space where Daughter Number One should have been felt emptier that night. As proud and happy for him as I am it is bittersweet for me that he is the first of my children to graduate high school. And I fruitlessly wonder how much more of his potential he would have realised, or how much sooner, if things had been different. I let the anger wash over me and let it go. It is what it is. And really, as far as he has come, it is still only the beginning for my Son Number Two.

I haven’t really been able to hit my stride again yet. There are lots of emotions at this time of year and this year has been a long one. Not the longest, to be sure, but still. Lots of first times. Lots of last times.

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I took this photo and the one below at Stockton Beach on the east coast of Australia, mere months before my Daughter’s murder and around a year before Son Number Two started school. In the top right of the photo of Daughter Number one dancing in the waves is a corner of the shipwrecked MV Sygna. You can see it clearly behind four year old Son Number Two here.

Last year, a few days after the anniversary of Daughter Number Ones death, most of what was left visible of the MV Sygna slipped into the sea during storms. Apparently there’s only a tiny bit there to see now. Soon enough you won’t be able to see it at all.

There are only so many days left of 2017. Try to fill yours with love. This too shall pass. All of it. Make memories, take photos, go gently with yourself and others. Travel safe x

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CARRY ME ON THE WAVES.

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The other night I was talking to a friend who had relocated for love. It hadn’t worked out the way that they had hoped because sometimes things don’t. I fervently believe that it is better to know than to wonder. As a general rule I don’t do things by halves. If something is worth doing it it worth doing fully and I throw myself into things, heart and soul. Even if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped there are always opportunities for learning and growth. You can never go back anyway, only forwards, so what use are regrets? Carry the good things with you and move on.

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For a while now Son Number Two has been telling me about a place he visited with My Young Friend and his Lovely Fiancée, extolling the virtues and the photographic potential of the vibrant turquoise water. The catch was that it would be a 4WD trip to get there. Monday was Australia Day here which meant the young people had the day off work. They asked me to come along for the ride and, this time, I agreed. It was, indeed, an amazingly beautiful place. The whole day was quite triggering for me for very many dull reasons but I allowed myself to breathe through it and soak up the beauty. When we first arrived I noted that the place had the same name as another stunningly beautiful place where I have spent many happy times with Daughter Number One. It is where my favourite photo of her was taken. To be honest, if I’d known this place had the same name I’m not sure I would have agreed to go. Since I was there already I just had to deal. And I did. Staying present in the moment. Go me! Carry the good things with you and move on.maya_angelou_love

Each day is the first day of the rest of your life! If you don’t like where you are then move on. You can only work with what you’ve got but if that’s not enough to work with then go and find yourself more. I’d be the last one to tell you it’s easy but one thing I know for sure? It’s possible! Live, laugh, love. Life is short.

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Safe onward travel lovelies x

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THE LAST PLANE OUT OF SYDNEY’S ALMOST GONE.

Yesterday was a good day. Time spent with a dear friend who I haven’t seen for ages and her beautiful Danes.  Khe Sanh on the radio as we drove home. A glorious sunset.

I’ve seen lots of sunsets lately.

I’m ready for the sunrise!

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” ~Stephen King

Safe onward travel x

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SHAKE IT OFF!

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So here we are my friends, the start of another year. Positively packed full of promise and possibilities! For me, it feels like so much has happened already. We’ve already had the first full moon of 2015 and the day before yesterday I rode a bicycle for the first time in literally years. Despite the exceedingly warm weather I have been doing lots of walking; talking the talk, walking the walk! After hellishly hot days I relish the cool change breeze that whips the washing on the line and comes through my window in the evenings, dancing down my skin. Spending time with My Young Friend and his lovely fiancée and seeing the world through their eyes is refreshing and adds a certain youthfulness that I enjoy.

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As we continue on the adventure of life there are a few things I know for sure:

*There is beauty all around us if we allow ourselves to see it.

*I am privileged to have the very best of people as my friends.

*There is a whole big wide world out there.

*Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself.

*I am the author of my own story.

*Life is short.

*When all else is gone, love is what remains.

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The other day I was out for lunch and there were television screens playing music videos. The first three songs that played after we were seated at our table were “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ ” by Nancy Sinatra, “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. True story! And that about sums it up really. Another year, life goes on!

So LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE! Goodbye 2014! 

Safe onward travel everyone x

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COPPERHEAD ROAD.

Today, the day of Malcolm’s birthday, the day after writing the last post, we made the same journey. As we drove my young friend flicked through the radio stations looking for music. To my joy, and not complete surprise, the song Copperhead Road came on and I recognised it immediately. It was one of Malcolm’s favourite songs and it was played at his funeral.

So, on his birthday he sent me a gift! How cool is that?

Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY

Raindrops and peace lilies marry well with my mournful mood. There is still beauty and the love of friends and those things give me comfort. But I ache.

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Hit The Road Jack

Focus on the present. One step at a time. Breathe in. Breathe out. Mourn the loss of a dear friend’s father. Listen to my young friend describe the special ‘date night’ her guy had organized. Appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. Let my knights surround me with their love. Breathe in. Breathe out. Focus on the present.

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