June 19, 2012

the road is home


do babies mourn leaving the womb? is this why sometimes we can’t soothe their cries? as we bathe deep in warm water i curl you up over my empty stomach and i cry that it will never be your home again. that i can never again feel your kicks from the inside or give birth to you. i am cursed to constantly mourn over life passing, cursed to try in vain to capture it all (on film, in words, in images) before it slips away clumsily between my fingers like dirt. here i show you my filthy hands, i have marks of these memories, but i will never live them again.

little baby bird with featherless wings, i want you always at my breast, where i know you feel safest. my white blood, my life-light flowing into you. i can’t let go of my breath until i hear you let go of yours. i know your death would be the death of me.

when you lived inside me (first in my dreams, then in my belly) i always thought you’d be us. a little us. but you are not us, you are a person unlike any that has come before you. your eyes are already bright with all the wisdom you will collect, all the lives you will touch, all the happiness you will share. you are strong-willed, unwaivering, a girl of her own thought. we see this in you already, like it is written.

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us, kissing on the bus the first week we met (you told me this was your favourite picture of us)

on this day 22 years ago you were born into the world.
there is no simple or easy way to explain just how much i love you. i’ve tried so many times and all i end up doing is crying. the truth is i love you the most any one person can love another. sometimes it feels like more.

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I just found out about the amazing words and imagery of Nirrimi Firebrace (via S&C), a photographer who documents her work, love and life on her photoblog The Road is Home. her words are poetic and heartbreaking, rendered all the more magnificent by her photos that go on with it. her stories leave one wanting more. the above photos and words in italics are all hers, from her blog. you must read her about me page, from which i've included an excerpt, below. 

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i was thirteen when my obsession for documenting beauty began. in the beginning it was my wild, six-year-old sister in our backyard, the ever-hot summer sun freckling her skin. then it was strangers in the streets, my unassuming youth allowing me to photograph the most honest of moments.

very soon i was filled with angsty teenage passion. drunkenly stumbling suburban streets with a camera in hand and friends mostly chosen for how well they photographed. the camera was a part of myself and i slept with it beside my pillow every night for years.

i obsessively documented life so much that when i reminisce now it is more a collection of images, films and diary entries than true memories.

at fourteen i fell deeply into an agonisingly passionate love with a boy photographer. he was on the other side of the country but we spoke most nights until sunrise. i would skip school to photograph in those days, so inspired and fueled by his own beautiful images and my need to impress him. i never told matt i loved him, but it laced my words so heavily you could taste it if you read them aloud. i thought if only i could have a single kiss i would die happily.

my first paid job was photographing strippers for sleazy ads at age fifteen. here i became unfazed by nudity and began to save for a flight to my feed my infatuation (which later was spent on repairing my camera after it’d been dropped by a drunk boy at a party). i lost all interest in school, ironically failing my photography class but passing everything else. i told my mother how unproductive and uninspired i felt, and she agreed i shouldn’t waste my life any longer. so i dropped out.

very soon after my sixteenth birthday, stirred on by lovesickness, i took my mother’s credit card from her purse in the middle of the night and booked a flight to melbourne (where matt was now living). i flew out the next day and my new life began.

2 comments:

  1. how inspiring--thanks for sharing sadie.

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  2. wow. this writing took my breath away. that first bit about how once our children are out of our womb it is a continual process of them slipping away and us letting go...ouch and also exactly how i feel pretty much all the time. thank you for sharing!

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