Sometimes I miss New York so much it hurts. It aches.
I promise, I am constantly working on being present. I moved to Toronto with the hopes of rooting myself in a new city, new friends, a fresh step toward my career (or maybe to identify my career path in the first place. What does that even mean to me anymore)? So far, it’s been a success. I haven’t booked a plane ticket out of here yet and to me, that means it’s working. Even still, the longing for places I’ve been during this time of year creeps into my brain now and again. Autumn always makes me miss Ireland, Halifax, New York. The scents, overcast sky and chilly air transport me immediately to somewhere that isn’t here. I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet. Do I even need to fix it at all? It’s all a giant work in progress.
I came across these shots recently. I haven’t pulled out my film camera in months but it was something I became mildly obsessed with last year in NY. I was lucky enough to have a good friend and her husband living in Staten Island during my time there and he very generously scanned my negatives and sent me the files to look over. These are entirely unedited, raw shots of a day walking around New York through my eyes.
The last few weeks have been pushing my limits in more ways than one. Although that may sound like a negative to some, I hardly see it that way. Every day brings me something new. Whether we explore an abandoned building, travel to a new island or take a trip to the fruit market, I’m learning. I’ve experienced so many moments of internal challenge during my time here. Which to me symbolizes an adventure done right. What is travel without challenge and the testing of boundaries? I’m currently finding myself feeling more confident in some areas and less confident in others. Being a part of this workshop hasn’t made me feel like a bad writer. It’s taught me how naive I am about the business, how slow I am at producing work, how much I need to give my ego a good shove while writing pieces and just let go. The list goes on. More importantly though, it’s been filling my brain with all the knowledge and understanding I need to improve in those areas. It’s been incredibly eye opening, but my lack of confidence definitely doesn’t extend to the belief in my ability to change the way I approach the world of writing. That is something I know I’ll take back with me and among several other things, has made this experience entirely worth it.
This photograph, among three others in this series, was taken on the island of Gili Trawangan at a local market.
Along with this, I’ve been forced to reflect on the time I need to spend alone. It’s true that nine times out of ten, I want to be around this incredibly kind and talented group of people. But we’re together more often than not and it’s been important for me to listen to my body when I know it’s time to be in my own space. It can be a struggle. The fear of missing out is a very real thing. I think I’ve come up with a pretty good balance but listening to my body when it’s time to slow down for a hot minute has been a challenge all in itself. It always is on journeys like this. Sometimes it’s okay to be still. I’m remembering that.
I met this man during a Balinese Hindu offering making workshop I attended in Ubud, Bali. He teaches woodcarving there, a craft he has mastered since childhood. I could tell just by looking at his hands.
People continue to fascinate me. The colours of every place I visit are breathtaking. I’m not sure I have the time to articulate everything I want to say in the right words. Today has consisted of my fingers typing furiously and almost nothing else. After hours and hours of article writing and tweaking, I was desperate to share something a little more personal.
How fascinated she was with my camera. Our interaction before this photo was full of laughs and smiles. Somehow, I caught her during a quiet moment.