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And of course it takes this to get me writing again.

 

How do I tell him I don’t know how to start again?

How do I start again?

How do I tell him I’m scared of being lost in depths unmanageable again?

How do I tell him I just want to be?

 

A week later and I find myself taking photos of the sunrise flickering through the curtain of his van. Parked by the ocean, view of the treetops. Adventuring comes easily and we fill our days with fresh food and sandy feet. This comfort and ease of communication scares me. I scramble to invent reasons to not go here, to not be happy in this simplicity but the drama doesn’t stick and I remind myself that that is not me. He has cooked dinner for me three nights in a row now and I must learn that this care is something I deserve. He wraps me in giant hugs, strong shoulders, squeezes my breath out, and I must remember that this comfort is something I deserve. My walls are still up. They’ve been holding strong for well over a year now and I can feel the safety and the resistance they create. He sees it, I think, but one must be wary in pushing against giant walls, for what if they fall, for what if they don’t?

 

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Smells are what always hit me first. The cup-a-noodle seasoning of salt and starch and chemicals wraps around from the seat behind me. The odd, quite gross smell of humans trapped in the same circulating air reaches me and I turn my headphones up louder. One sense tries to rise above and overcome another. The habit of writing on planes has not left me. This year I have constructed and destructed prose in my head constantly but nothing has held well enough to make it to the indulgence of time spent writing. Dead time. Air time. Constructive time. Life time.

This is a year channelling the fluidity of water. Last year was a year of letting myself wash with the tides, being cleansed, healing hurts as they floated to the surface. This year I become the healer, I create the course for my own river to run, ebb and flow at my own pace.

Water. It always comes back to water.

 

Cassie Sullivan black and white Portrait

Feat. Dee Shepherd

I come back to my desk after a few cheeky ciders. Hobart is swelling in its seasonal best and walking around to find friends offering the states best produce is hard to pass up. After slogging my way through the last few days of migraine induced lethargy, it finally feels like the festive season.

I ponder 2016. It shot off to a very rocky start. The most tumultuous of break ups I’ve experienced yet plagued the beginning months. The death of the family dog came soon after. I still cry about him now. I remember thinking early on “fuck you 2016”. I know for loads of people it didn’t improve very much and I’m aware at the fragility of the world we currently know.

BUT in spite of the beginnings I find myself happy in the end of my year. I’m so content in my move back to Hobart. I find inspiration daily in it’s beauty. I share a working studio with the most gentle and strong humans and I’m motivated daily by their dedication to their craft, as well as their humanness. Humaneness.

I’m navigating my way through caring more for myself than I ever have. It’s not easy, I’m learning a new skill. I rest when I need to. I take off on solo adventures when I want to. I’m learning that if I feed me, it’s easier to water those around me too. My post wedding photography ritual is spending dazed days buying plants and surrounding myself, through shades of green and mismatched pots with the stability I crave.

From my studio window the breeze makes it’s way in, it carries the words of a busker, spruiking being paid for his performance and the mottled words of Crowded House. “And we might still survive, and rise up through the maze. If you could change your life, and never be the same.” I can think of no crazy changes I will make for 2017. I am on a positive trajectory and it feels fluid and brave and full.

Cassie Sullivan

  • January 2, 2017 - 5:41 pm

    Jacs - P.S. And yes, 2016 was a party pooper for me too.ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2017 - 5:40 pm

    Jacs - Cassie, dear cassie this was beautiful to read. Your way with words is as special as your way with the camera. Please keep sharing your writing with us.

    Love Jacs
    xoReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    Vaughany - Oh yes. She is in full swing/flow.
    Love you Cass. xReplyCancel

It’s been a long number of months since I’ve posted here. Today though, I feel the melancholy washing through me as I listen to the sweet painful lyrics of Kyle Lionheart. Rinsing my tired thoughts through the same old tumbler. Cleaning the floor ready to start over.

I have struggled greatly some days. Tears and heaviness and the aching of a scarred and bruised heart trying to heal with little guidance. There’s no splint or cast delicate enough to wrap it up.

I have soared the dreamy highs other days, light with relief and lack of stress and so full of poignant strong direction. Laughing nonsensically at simple beauty and sunshine on my face, finding freedom in the joy that I have missed these past few years.

The emotions have come with writing, much writing. Angry and spitting. Overwhelmed and spinning. Confused and shattering. Joyful and singing. Words that I have in equal parts wanted to drown in and wanted to throw from the clifftops. See I wanted you to understand me. I wanted to be seen. I wanted truth to shine and false ideas to explode. But the words didn’t sit well in me, or beside me, they weren’t properly representing all of me.

I am coming to realise that I do not want to add electricity to the storm of this already challenging life. I do not want the bombs dropped. I do not want to be seen for the hurt. The vulnerable yes, but the anger, no. I have found it impossible to balance and draw a line between honesty and more pain and so, much of my writing goes unpublished for a later date.

I have not been short of life of late, of journey and belonging and inspiration found in the hearts of friends. Friends who have gently been asking “So…have you been writing?”. I am back to sharing, to processing, to loving, to feeling. I am standing back at the doorstep of vulnerability, shaking with fear and longing anticipation.

 

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  • November 23, 2016 - 4:35 pm

    Fiona Vail - Absolutely divine Cass. I am so excited you are writing again. I love your heart xReplyCancel

    • November 25, 2016 - 2:36 pm

      admin - Thank you my lovely Fee xoxoxReplyCancel

The crisp mornings filled with sunshine trick my brain into thinking it will be warm. This time in Canberra is a transition for me. Physically, the cold air on my cheeks and the intermittent drizzle on the window make me feel at home. It’s a preparation for the dark days and bitter winds that Tasmania is bound to bring. I was surprised at first that I found such welcome arms in the cold but more and more it makes sense, we seek out the familiar us humans. I spend my time making soup and listening to records, building fires and lazing around with the dog. It’s exactly where I’m meant to be right now.

Mentally this is a resting ground. With the dear hearted, intention driven Andrea by my side I churn through emotions and philosophies to set my path a little clearer for the months ahead. Andrea has forever supported me in finding strength of self, in a way that makes me feel like we are learning this life together. I am grateful for her interest in me, and her belief that I am a good person when I fail to find it in myself. I swim in the quiet, strong way that she goes about expressing herself and revel in the way she describes life.

I think a lot about the transitioning phase I find myself in. It feels awkward at times, the anxiety of the unknown turning ugly. Everyone tells me I am strong and brave but I feel like I’m blindly fumbling my way through a life turn that I didn’t expect. I’m trying to give myself some grace in the ebb and flow of emotions. Today I realised that it’s ok to still love Jonas and it’s equally ok to not want to be in that relationship anymore. I have battled so long, swords drawn with confusion for months on end, that a state of confusion now seems to be the status quo. I think the more I realise that I’m allowed to just be in this space the easier it gets. It’s ok that this transition time will be full of conflicting emotions, of course it will, but I can be me through them all. I can’t force the end resolve, it will come when it’s ready and I will weather and rise and fall through all of it. I guess there’s strength in that.

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