Ghosts and nostalgia / Sydney

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September 2012.

1. St. Andrew's Cathedral
2. Cockatoo Island (site of the Sydney Biennale, which I also wrote about/shared photos from here)
3. One of the warehouses used to house Biennale installations
4. A detail on a Biennale installation
5. Part of a Biennale installation
6. My friend Belle in Newtown.
7. The Sydney Opera House
8. At Circular Quay, a tree I also photographed on my first trip to Australia three years previous — see the third photo in this post

An anniversary

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Sunrise from inside Nadi International Airport (Fiji). September 2012.

Just a little over a year ago I left California for three months in Australia. Though my time out of the country was mostly quiet, spent in a little beach suburb where I had few social connections or formal obligations, I think my life would be quite different right now if I hadn't had that experience.

The anniversary of my leaving has me reflecting heavily upon that time and its impact on me. Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to share some previously unposted 35mm photos I took there, and perhaps some of my reflections as well.

Notes

• This sweater smells like my dear one. I just got it in a secondhand store a few days ago and I haven't bothered to wash it yet, and it smells like her now and this is lining my entire night with happiness.

• Hungry. If I make some mac and cheese, will one or two of you please come help me eat it up?*

• I turn off the lights and raise the blinds on all of my windows and sit in bed facing them, looking out on the street lights, the night, the Berkeley hills. Sometimes I feel like this is not real, like I am still catching up with all that has happened in my life in the past year.

• My regular cafe closed early tonight, which interrupted my workflow — by which I mean, my ability to handwrite the same thirty words another seventy-five times tonight.

• I love this time of year. The light is changing and autumn is in the wind and I feel free. I live in a wonderful place, and I have family to visit when I please, and a person solid and lovely as the earth to belong to and with. And I have work that allows me to buy groceries and eat in cafes and get enough sleep and pay my own rent and spend time outside on my bike, and that is pretty great even if the actual work ("work") is pretty unimpressive and unfulfilling.

• Realization: my affection for/preoccupation with the past has more than a little to do with the fact that in retrospect, unlike in the present, I know what is going on.

*edit: I can't wait for pasta right now, or you. Slicing cheddar off the block instead.

New view

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What I see at my new place when I am lying in bed.

Days, craving some wonder

It feels like I have been filling my days only with the non-negotiables these past few months. Work, commute, eating, sleeping, seeing my girlfriend. Spare moments exist, but they are brief; I use them to space out or to scroll through my social media apps. I've been saving money and I haven't been unhappy, but I realized I've been missing time to do the "unproductive" things that I also need to feel really whole and satisfied.

This week my fingers are lighting on that wholeness again. Two things: 

I let myself stay up very late a couple nights in a row, late enough to catch a certain feeling of electricity and deep focus that I associate with winter, sleeplessness, and driving very fast. Sleeping irresponsibly is something of an indulgence when one is gainfully employed (and therefore obligated to be functional) during the daytime hours, but my creative aspect has been craving that late-night energy.

And I went on a photo stroll with an acquaintance from Flickr, who is lending me a very beautiful old camera. There was a time when walking around with my eye to my SLR was one of my favorite ways to spend a day or night — it still is, I think, but it's only now as I'm getting tentatively back into the habit that I notice I've missed it.

I am pondering what changes I can make to keep this needed balance.

Lavender solstice

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Sonoma, June 2012.

Moving week

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My niece and my mother. San Diego, June/July 2012.

Read in August 2013

1. Sonnets from the Portuguese, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

2. Housework, by Joan Larkin

*Titles link to the pertinent Goodreads page — feel free to add me as a friend.

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