Pieces of: Lake Tekapo…

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Lake Tekapo was always just a stopover place when I was planning the South Island, a moment to gather myself between the lively scene of Queenstown and the end of the route in Christchurch. In fact, it ended up being, like many of the smaller stops on the way, one of the most memorable. I suppose it has to do with limiting your expectations. As a daydreamer and a romanticist I tend to put too much hype in the way of future plans. Lake Tekapo didn’t strike me as spectacular so all it could really do was surpass that and surpass it indeed it did.

I make friends with another solo female traveller on the bus between Queenstown and Tekapo. An intimidating look sets on her face and I’m apprehensive to start up conversation on the drive. She speaks first though and she’s bloody hilarious, a girl from Finland roaming around a couple countries before she devotes herself to the army back home. We clamber up Mount John, a small forty five minute hike, and chat like we’ve known each other for years. We even scout out vegan food in the village together and are reluctant in our farewells in Christchurch, just the next day.

The scene of it all is something magical all on its own and you’d think that by this stage I’d be over the remarkable natural treasures of the South but nope, each stop has something that sets it apart from the others. Here it’s the sprays of Russell Lupine’s, a wildflower that has quick become my favourite and one I’ve only spotted here in New Zealand, blooming around the still glassy surface of the Lake. Up on Mount John’s peak we take in the full view of Tekapo, tones of purple, pink and turquoise, accented in that lush evergreen that trademarks these lands for me. There’s an observatory up top which we both skipped out on. As with most activities here, it’s pretty pricey and we fancy a free, mellow, star show by the lake later anyways.

On the drive in, our tour guide gets us all stoked for clear skies filled with constellations. For most of the night we aren’t at all fortunate and everything is instead blotted out by thick clouds. Luckily after a restless couple hours trying to sleep on a squeaky bunk, I get up and go for a walk in the early morning hours, I’ve never been so grateful for a sleepless night. Of course I didn’t have my camera with me and it’s not like it would have captured the site all to well anyways. But the sky was filled with stars. I grew up in a city and other than a couple camping trips where the light pollution was left behind, I’ve not had such an opportunity to really see them. It frustrates me some, that such a simple sight, should be so rare but simultaneously renders me speechless that such a small moment could leave such an imprint on me.

Light and love, N x

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Mount Moments 05…

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22.03.18

Three days off. One day too long. A brazen walk into a tattoo shop. It’s raining, I’m bored, and I’m careless, reckless, desperate for any sort of feeling. So now I welcome a new addition to my arm, a quote that reminds me of dismal days I conquered, that stretch of time when I was both most and least myself. It’s a kind of courage for the days that spiral down that same road, a memento of a project I committed to, resonated with and completed but mostly a little thank you to a musician who taught me a lot about the transitions of being human and making it in this world.

‘It’s Life and Life Only.’ – Bob Dylan.

31.03.18

The moon looks her most threatening tonight, ruthless confidence, beaming magnanimity. But I still find her allure in all of her phases. Great goddess of femininity, the truest most courageous representative of me and all of my sisters.

06.04.18

Independant. Stubborn. Restless. Impossible. What a collection of negative descriptives.

All of those terms have been used to describe me more than once. And I have to admit, regrettably, that they’re true. I used to take pride in my independence but…I’m lonely. And I guess I always have been a little bit, growing up too introverted and unseen. Somewhere I lost the ability to feel the bad in it and just embraced loneliness as my norm. Being alone never really solidified a relationship with myself but rather started this blooming of self disgust. After years of sharing my space, both at work and home it hit hard to be so isolated these past four months. But I think I might of made a break through with her, the me that defied self love for so long. That’s something, right? But in that I’ve found a new hunger for companionship that never really reared it’s head before.

 

Light and Love, N x

 

Mount Moments 04…

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04.03.18

The breeze whispers memories around her in nostalgic tongues. Her body synchronises itself with the feeling of them even though who she is now is a foreigner to their meanings. The ends of summers, rolling through tall grass, staining a too pretty sundress. Daisy chains twisted into a crown, queen of fragile innocence. That same calming air closing in around her as the summer sun fades, a premature tickle of Autumn coating the twilight.

06.03.18

Some things never change. Like the grip of word formations on my little escapist heart. Crying at a made up moment between fictional people in a public space and feeling, not silly, but warmed by it. Warmed by the easy sorcery of it. The pages of books have always been my haven, a fortress catering for my wildness. Even in those bleak weeks when I was forced to stay stagnant, restless and kept. The words built a door to escape.

07.03.18

Perhaps this is my madness…

Standing on the brink of ambiguity at the surrender of that mystic caress. Playful trails through my matted hair, seductive down my weary arms, all touches teasing like a charming lover. Is this self destruction? To feel trust instead of violation, to fall willingly into its wayward constitution. But I see my likeness in those wild wiles, a home in the madness.

20.03.18

I recognise the gruffness in the twang of Northern dialect in the elderly man. “Where are you from?”

“Ah, Auckland these days but originally Morpeth, North East of England.” It doesn’t matter how long I’m away from home or how much isolation I felt growing up there, I smile warmly at the man and respond eagerly.

“I thought I recognised that accent! I’m from Newcastle.” He joins in with my grin and yells over to his wife.

“This ones a Geordie Lizzie, think we should trust her?” Lizzie laughs and Richard introduces himself properly. We chat for a little while and I find myself straining to hear the two converse as I potter around the cafe. The warming lull of the roughness, the yearning in my chest.

I find that I miss “home” more and more these days but still I have no real intention to return. It’s more a dislike toward a former self for training so hard in mellowing the accent and turning away from my youth and my heritage like it’s something to be ashamed of. My background isn’t all shiny privilege and a high class upbringing. It’s working class determination and the compassion of knowing the struggles of others. It’s knowing the unconditional love of two devoted parents who gave me everything when they had nothing, who showed me everyday that I was worth more than what society said I was, that I could do anything despite my circumstance.

Richard and Lizzie leave me their phone number in case I ever find myself in Auckland or a tricky situation where I might need a safe place to lay my head. As they leave my eyes water a little and I’m left with that tangible buzz of belonging. That echo of northern camaraderie.

Light and love, N x

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Lacuna…

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This is me stuck…again. Giving up on a thing because it isn’t at all how I wish to be perceived. I crave skill, experience and insight that I don’t allow myself to prosper in. My anxiety holds me back, I’m embarrassed to ask for opportunities and ashamed of what little I have to offer anyways. I’m not enough, I’ve tried to force myself into things but I fall every time. I want to be raw, organic, completely at one with me and how I connect with you. People read my blog and it thrills me, honestly it does, especially on the posts were I know I’ve laid myself bare. I don’t yearn for success or notoriety but for connection and acceptance. That’s what my journey has always been.  Online, creatively and here, in my reality. It’s why I runaway, why I try to escape myself by escaping a place because I feel deep in my gut this empty space that persists I’m chasing something despite the constant wall that stunts me with every turn.

And the thing I amp up in my head and put my all into achieving is never quite what I’ve built it up to be once I actually get it. It’s always a dream for a day before becoming an exhausted routine all too quick. Like when I’m in a beach town I’ve idealised living in for months, a couple weeks in and I miss the pace of the city. Then when I’m in the city I crave the alienation and mellow timing of beachside living. But moving all of the time doesn’t give me the chance to establish the roots I think I probably need. Because as much as I yearn for a constant group of friends I just can’t accept one place as my permanent home. Imagining being anywhere for longer than a few months pushes me into this awful pit of despair and it sucks. As much as I’ve embraced my free spirit and my ‘grab life by the tits’ attitude, I want to want the settled life. I want to want a companion and a home and a career that gives me purpose. Because the thought of it all is so warmly imagined in my head but the practice of it makes me feel trapped. It just seems so easy to want what society pushes you to want, maybe there is some sense to it after all.

I’m actually sort of sorry if you read this to be honest, it probably doesn’t make much sense which is frustrating because I’ve been working on honestly displaying this anxiety for years. I’m over it, I’m over myself and it’s a rut I can’t keep motivating myself to get out of. I’m so hopelessly tired of being me and trying to fix it by meddling with my external circumstances. I’m almost twenty four and no matter how much I know I’ve progressed I just want to be at peace, to find my footing and stop worrying over all of these things I quite obviously can’t help.

Light and love (oh the hypocrisy of that), N x

Moods, Rhythms, Prose…

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Again all of these images are collected over on my Pinterest and Tumblr and what not. I’ve also featured one of my favourite instagram accounts @gabimulder which you should for sure check out. As well as beautiful summer scenes, she shoots some wistful feminine portraits too. 

Embrace that messy head and scribble your art on life. Tongue tied you may be but I will give you the ink to honour that explosive gift for written truths. Cursive and print, legible and cluttered. Give me the letters, the words, that common language that wraps itself around my daily deeds and string them together anew with mastery and imagination. Give me all you have in your heart, write me your desires, your secrets, your emotions. Let me in, write me a window, write me a passage through those whirlwind thoughts. I’m here for you, for all that you can design and create for me. I’m hungry for your foreign lines and lofty scripts. Give me verse and prose, novels, just a simple phrase. Give me the puzzle, that is you, prettily packaged on pages of type. Give me the grit and the horror of the world that surrounds us, on the back of a supermarket receipt. A poem on a napkin, the corner tarnished, used to wipe up your brew. Give me the racing action dancing in your eyes through the coffee shop window. Give me myself remastered by your divulging fingers. That elevation of observation you master so well. Give me spills of soul and the jagged, dragged out pain of your denial. Give me rhyme or bland simplicity but just give and give and give, despite that self doubt. I’ll smooth out the crinkles in that bunched up wad of a masterpiece and frame it for the world to see. What you have? It matters. So stop where you have to and write with the tools you grab, be flighty and blunt and dismissive of all that gets in your way.

My little mini mix here is a compilation of some of my favourite lyrics. It’s a bit mish mashy and I just grabbed at the ones that popped into my head first so I definitely left out some of my favourites but nevertheless I hope you enjoy!

Light and Love, N x

Mount Moments 02

 

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14/01/2018

A uniform – a sentence, an expectation, a decharacterisation. A faltering smile and another “How are you today?” but you don’t care much for an answer, another coffee machine with altered basics. But the sun is very real and the sea is very real and the pint Claire hands you is very real, as are the laughs, for a little while. Oh, it’s always very real until it isn’t. The very real becomes distorted from your view out of the bell jar and it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into belonging it always fails eventually.

26/01/2018

Padding bare foot on warm pavements, onto warmer sands and into mild waters. Salty tumbles, tan lines, lingering grains in unwanted places. The sea has always been the greatest of presences in the grand scheme of things, a drifter needs a means of momentum to drift after all. It’s not getting easier to remedy the gnawing but some moments feel better. Better comes with getting used to accepting the disease as it rages in a new environment and sometimes that ‘getting used to’ has to be enough.

29/01/2018

A bank holiday.

Tay street cafe, my local, is bustling with shaggy haired sea God’s and bikini clad swimsuit models. I never feel envious or insecure anymore and I suppose that acceptance comes naturally when you realise you are, effectively, invisible. A wallflower indulging in her greatest potential. Out on the waves, surfers wait for their turn to ride. The swell is good, or so I gather from the lads next to me and the whole scene is reminiscent of Bondi or Byron Bay. As has become natural to me over the past three years, I seek out a spot nearest the most bustling stretch of tide. And I could be happy there for hours, watching the easy grace, fluid twists, the sure footing and the wipeouts. I get itchy feet just witnessing it all but as always my musings of getting out there and learning myself are snuffed out by the uneasy churn it illicits in my chest.

 

These are a couple little scraps from my journal, some of the less self indulgent (believe it or not). After Mount Moments 01, which was a random little idea I decided to make this series a little testament to anxiety and what it’s like to travel alone, suffering from it.

Light and Love, N x

Mount Moments 01

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My heart is shuttered from all of the new which surrounds me, it still lingers on the nurturing grounds of home. Here I am invisible again and I can’t stir my sinking self into action. Their faces are all sneers despite the reality, their whispers all conspiring against me despite tell tale words of other priorities. My palms sweat as I make my way to the kitchen but I pretend to be fascinated by the noticeboard just before it and hastily retreat to the dorm room. Even there when conversation is made I’m not present, my heart is racing, those barbed fences locked in place around who I actually am. The parts that do escape are echoes of the charm and wit I know are rioting deep down impatient to be freed. It’s nonsensical to be so afraid of new people, of this new place. But I’m homesick for the people I love so wholly, scattered around the world. My home is no place and that’s all that Mount Maunganui is in this moment. A place, a spectacular place with so much potential. But I’m lonely and afraid and a place just isn’t enough.

N x