There isn’t a year when I am not planning at least two international trips in advance. I’m still smarting over our fourth to Japan, my Scotland sabbatical. First world problems I know. This year has taught me about holding patterns, patience. Divine timing. And so, I have no choice but to be at peace with it.
I have always felt as if I don’t belong in this country (but then, the idea of belonging anywhere has always been foreign to me). Perhaps that is why I wander, one eye on the horizon, shrugging myself out of leases, or anything that grates against my desire for freedom. 2020 has tempered that impulse somewhat. It’s funny, for once I don’t feel tethered. This year has forced me to centre myself and find balance, at a time I think we all need it most. Also, it’s forced me to travel locally, something I’ve never held much interest in before (me: why would I do that when I could travel to Europe?).
And so, we decided to spend a week in Cairns. Sun and sand, with September on the horizon….literally what the doctor ordered. We took our time and explored the Atherton Tablelands, Green Island, Port Douglas and the Daintree. I marked Cape Tribulation on a map, proudly. The furthest north I have ever travelled.
I met a man in a purple tent, bent and frowning over a spread of cards.
‘Don’t be afraid of the two of swords’ he said. ‘You’re at an impasse.’
I asked him when I would be allowed to move on.
‘Soon’ he replied.
It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a camera. I took four to Cairns – the Canon 5D3 and AE1, my old Fuji (now Stephen’s) and my father’s old Olympus. I don’t know why. Nostalgia perhaps. A connection to my childhood. Maybe taking a part of him to a place he will never see again. I don’t even know if the photos will turn out. Like him, I am still waiting for an outcome.
Lately I’ve become disheartened with digital renderings of black and white. The more I shoot film, the more I find digital disingenuous and trite. I did my best with these – I’m starting to resent taking a raw file and editing it (even with genuine film emulations), adding grain etc. Maybe that’s something I’m shrugging out of too.
I took all of the usual white sand landscapes with turquoise waters, and threw them on Instagram with the requisite selfies. These ones however were shot from the hip, out of car windows. Lines – jetties, roads, bridges. I both love and hate them. Potential once again ruined by perfection.
Perhaps I’ll upload the film images when they’re back.