Sometimes, I almost envy those people who able to live small, just getting along by life, remaining in the town they were born in; growing up, going to school, getting married, bearing children and spending their time out at the tip of a pin pushed into the world map. Isn't that easy? Not having to spend weeks that rush into months, yearning for something bigger, missing someone. I know that it is perhaps not just as it seems and that everyone has their own struggles, but once in a while, I catch a glimpse of that sort of life and wonder if it is as simple as it appears to be.
After almost four years spent away from the place where I was born (home isn't an easy word for me to use, being as complicated to define as it is), I have come to realise that no matter how, we will always come to miss the place so familiar we once thought we knew everything about; the place we'd sometimes been so eager to leave in search for the ones where the buildings were more charming and the people more romantic the way we had always read and heard about. I've been imagining my feet in the warm sands, waves licking my toes the way my dog back home sometimes does when I spill something on them, being with you, being with you, always being with you and seeing it all together.
Instead of saying on the verge of tears, I tweet edge of the waterfall for the times I miss you so badly, as well as for the times I feel so afraid of being average all my life. I don't know if anyone else has ever felt this way, or whether everyone feels this way. It was only rereading an old letter from my penpal where she had, in conjunction with one of our personal festivals, listed out all the favourite things of hers that she had received from me, that made me realise that perhaps, perhaps love is enough. To have touched another's life in an uplifting way, and not just one but more than that, may be one of the best things we can do in this life.
I'd been making a point to shoot more this year, considering how few photoshoots I had been on last year, so when my friend Syahin asked me if I could take photos of him a while ago, I kept his name in mind.
It has been a whirlwind of a year. A small one, actually, but it was (is?) my final year at university and we had important projects to complete. Time was slowly freed up the past few weeks and I really wanted to do something creative, so I contacted Syahin and we planned for a shoot.
It doesn't seem too bizarre to me until I tell it to others the things I would do for photos, and this was about the same. Syahin has a car and offered to drive me to wherever I wanted to go for the photos. I was dying to see a beach and the sea, so when I came across this place called Helen's Bay that was a coastal area yet not too far off from where we lived, I suggested that we go there -as well as try to catch the sunrise which happened to be at 5am.
You know he/she is a pretty cool person when they say yes to your crazy ideas.
So we both woke up before 5 and he drove with the guidance of a gps, only for us to end up in the middle of a street in a residential area. Not having any other choice, we wandered about until we found a path that appeared to lead down to the beach.
We did not arrive at the beach immediately, but instead found ourselves at a fork in the path amidst the small woodland-looking area, and taking one down brought us to a very rocky coast. There must've been other people who had visited that area before, despite it being still and empty when we were there which was most likely due to the time of day. I discovered a trodden path between the grass and boulders and made my way carefully down it.
I am pretty sure I had always only shot girls before this, therefore, this would be my first real shoot with a guy. It was a pretty fun shoot, nevertheless, with me asking him to climb on rocks and lie among flowers that were way too pretty to resist.
The sun that I had hoped for never really surfaced as it turned out to be a cloudy day, but I made do with what I had.
Towards the end, we found the beach but it was at the bottom of a very steep slope. We contemplated going down, and ended up doing so because we were already there anyway. I made my way down the steep slope just fine, but then slipped on some moss when I climbed onto a low rock to be able to shoot from a higher angle. The fall drew a line in my tights and scraped just the teeniest bit of my knee, but I was more worried about the slight thud I heard from my camera and did not even noticed that I was scratched until Syahin pointed it out. But what's a tiny scratch compared to an adventure anyway?
I've been writing unguided writings where I'm pretty sure all the rules are wrong, all except for grammar, but even that may be questionable; rebelling against my love-hate relationship with academics and all its imposing writing.
This library has lost all the charm it once had for me, yet I'm still here. I don't really want to be here. There's the field and the trees outside this glass box where I sit with all these various creatures (if you split us into professions, that is).
Anyway, I wrote some sort of poem –
I've been sober on life for too long
I'm losing my mind
We sat in the middle of the field a few days ago
Lay there, me on your chest
There was always things flooding my mind, my chest
After spending so much time around people my age, I always find it really refreshing to meet people with a bigger age gap. Around two weeks ago, I went for a shoot with my friend Bernadette and her sister, Sarah. Our walks and talks fell naturally into a rhythm as we talked of books and movies and university (and of whether one could study piracy at university -the ahoy, mate! sort of piracy, that is).
The sisters weren't models, and it took a while, but soon enough, they eased themselves up in front of the camera by interacting with each other and doing the things they did best -one of which was climbing trees! They were a breath of life I needed in those weeks that I was working on my dissertation and I love the way these photos turned out.
I thought I would've written down what happened that day, but I might have forgotten and so now all that's left is fuzzy memories of what we said. But before we left, Sarah asked me if we were friends to which I said of course. Her face lit up, pleased to have a new friend which I thought was adorable. I was glad to have a new friend too, but I would have never expressed it so enthusiastically.
Also, I have been working on a portfolio website for a few months now and am finally releasing it for everyone to see! Have a look here if you'd like to :)