Believe it or not, this shoot was done when I was not well and ready to call it a life. Maybe that’s why I turned to my leading man, JJ (say hi, everyone) and peppered the pictures with lots of smiles. Though this took most of what remaining energy I had left for the day, my heart felt a lot better. Teddy bears are the best.
The styling, photography and editing of this shoot was done by me.
Have you ever caught yourself wondering why it’s so hard to be caught in that dusk of space, both a girl, and a woman, and yet, neither?
I am going to take charge of myself, I’m an adult now.
Someone, take care of me, please. I don’t quite know what to do anymore.
On such days, do you find yourself tip-toeing through the passageway of Time?
I don’t know where I’m headed.
I think I’m a little afraid.
Take heart, woman-child. Life is eagerly waiting for you,
in different shades of safe familiarity.
It’s all part of the journey, don’t you see? He says.
Take a look into My eyes, for I’m all around you. Share a smile with Me.
Find Him in between the pressed pages of old journals, and favourite music.
Find Him in warm cups of chocolate milk, and a glorious sunrise.
Hold Me by the hand. Let Me hold your hand. Walk with Me.
I haven’t gone away, I’ve just been hidden behind the smokescreen of Time.
Make friends. Make merry.
Find love. Find lovers.
You and I, we’re parts of the same whole now, says Life.
Isn’t it glorious?
Smile. Because you will walk through the dusk of space, and
you’ll make it.
I promise, He says.
Outfit details: Lace shirt dress (Gift), Bracelets (Gift), Ring (Dorothy Perkins’12), Earrings (Primark’12), JJ (GIFT!)
Grief is a funny emotion.
You think you’re ‘over’ something. It’s in-the-past. It’s back there, somewhere, in the car boot of your life, hidden among the dusty, dirty debris of thoughts and feelings and daily activities and responsibilities. Safely covered by routines and habits that you had to force yourself to create, to adopt, after The Incident.
You’re over it. Yeah. It’s in-the-past.
You have spent countless hours agonising over the whats, and the hows, and the whys, and the whens, and you’ve wrung the prequels dry with your questions. You’ve gone over every single memory there is of the both of you, of the house that you used to live in, of the smells and colours that you liked and he hated, and the words he liked and you hated. You’ve gone over the memories so many times, that the ink has begun to fade, and the pages have become dog-eared, well worn. To your dismay, even the colours have taken on a strange sepia-tone.
And then, all of a sudden, you’re sitting in your room, silently watching the grey clouds roll by, and a memory squeezes itself out through one of the cracks of your quiet. You’ve slipped up; the usual door locks of your brain had not been latched tightly enough, and it has managed to resurface. You don’t know what to do with this errant fragment of your past that is battling with your present.
“Why are you here? What have you come back for?”
The memory slowly puffs out its chest in bravado, and taunts you silently. The familiar heaviness starts to settle,
oh hello, grief. Weren’t you supposed to be in-the-past?
You take a deep breath.
No matter how many times this has happened before, you’re never really prepared to deal with a fresh onslaught.
You settle into your chair, hunching your shoulders, curling inwards, moving into a foetal position. As if that would staunch the overwhelming sadness that is slowly burgeoning through your ventricles. As if you could mould your grief into something more manageable, to shape into something more aesthetically pleasing to the soul.
That’s the thing about grief. It is a multifaceted prism; it reveals something new to you each time, from a different angle, in a different patch of light. Just like how you can’t identify the colours in white light, you can’t pinpoint the reasons behind the resurgence of grief.
All you can do is to hold on tight, and ride the waves, knowing that as you reached ashore once before, you will do so again.
Until the tidal wave finally recedes.
I have written a similar piece on Kindness before, if you want to take a little peek.
Taken by the lovely Latha in Fraser Island, Australia.
I caught Freedom by the hand, or
should I say that Freedom grabbed me?
She clasped my fingers and spun me on the dance floor, over
terrains, through store aisles and
school corridors, oh how we
(there was so much colour)
I couldn’t tell you what Freedom
looked like, she was bright, bright
bright light; the starkest
crimsons and daffodils and tangerines and
Lik e a flame, burning incandescent.
She laughed, I felt the
sound thrumming through my veins, and my heart
-beat, oh how it beat.
(I was seeing stars, and the sky, and it was a galaxy and I was Free)
I tugged her closer, no I wasn’t letting her
go, not when the taste in the back of my
mouth and the corner of my lips
was that of happiness, oh Freedom,
you’re here, and here to
And life, whirled. Kaleidoscope.
All pictures were taken and edited by me. These pictures were taken using an iPhone 4.
So tell me then. Which face have you decided to put on today?
Oh no, you don’t. Don’t look at me like you know what’s going through my head.
I recognise this face of yours. It’s that face.
That know-it-all-face. The I’m-better-than-you-face. The I’m-too-good-for-you-face.
I can see it in your eyes. You’re in one of your moods, and today,
this face suits you the best.
I don’t have time to deal with it today.
Let me know when you’ve decided to change faces,
(Perhaps to your real one?)
Oh you’re tired now, are you?
Of your endless face-ades and visage changes?
Must be tiring to live a lie, hmmm?
No, don’t turn away from me.
Stop running away from the truth.
Oh, oh, so this is how you are going to respond, then.
Put on that face of nonchalance.
As if you don’t care. Eyes averted.
(It’s another one of your roles, I know this too.)
I knew this was going to happen.
(No, I don’t have my told-you-so face on. What for?)
You got so confused with your different faces, now you’ve
gotten them mixed up.
Is this what they call an identity crisis?
Another one of your ‘issues’, I reckon.
Stop hiding behind the facades.
Stop using yourself as an excuse for yourself.
Maybe it’s time to pick one face, and
stick to it.
Perhaps the one called Truth?
What do you think?
Taken in Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom.
I tried filling it with gallons of water. Ice cold water, brimming in pristine pitchers with glinting ice cubes.Took each pitcher by its handle and poured the water, so so cold, this water, into the hole.
That didn’t work.
Then I found some pebbles. You know, those little ones found lining driveways and around flowerpots? Yeah. Picked those up and filled the hole, one round stone at a time. It hurt a little, it couldn’t bear the weight.
Sigh. That didn’t work either.
So I needed something lighter. Picked a cigarette and took a puff. One puff, then two. Once a day and then twice. It became a habit. I tried to drag in the air into my lungs with deep breaths, as if I was getting to implode. So much smoke. It made me eyes sting and my lungs became black.
But no. That didn’t work.
The problem with a hole in the heart is that it’s a specific shape.
It comes in a specific size too (S, M, L – XS if you are lucky) and it refuses to change. It’s always in the exact silhouette of that person, yes you know, that one. Hair, biceps, curve of the back, knobbly knees. Everything. And in all it’s stubborn misshapenness, nothing fills it.
Not icy cold water, not pebbles, not smoke.
So what do you do then?
You make friends with this hole. Accept that your heart is carved out in a certain way, and that it was an irreversible, exothermic change. Complete with explosions and fireworks.
You learn to live, incomplete. Or perhaps, you learn to incompletely live.
And because you might be as foolish as me, you will use fire, tar, candy floss or perhaps coffee, to find a way to fill this hole.
Good luck to you (and me).