australia's east coast

These pictures have a funny sort of feeling. There was just so much feeling happening during this two week roadtrip from Melbourne to Brisbane as I moved from one city to another. It's been over a year since I took these and the experiences have fermented in my mind. Decomposed in a sweet sort of way where even the achy bits are easy to appreciate. It's funny how time changes things.

Through Gypsy Point, Bega Valley, Tanja, Tilda Tilda, Bateman's Bay, and Manyana... all the way to a sunny weekend in Sydney where my lover was. Then north north north. Until the Sunshine Coast. And then to Brisbane where things were supposed to start.

I was trying so hard to control everything. I was fighting tooth and nail. Maybe not much has changed.

Listen: this trip was hard.

Listen: the road was incredibly beautiful and there was so much for my eyes to see but even when you live on the road, you still bring your life with you.

Listen: I spent most of this trip wanting to be somewhere else.

But it's important to remember the whole picture. The good parts too. The pieces that were gorgeous and special. I remember how we climbed giant, fat-limbed trees and you dangled your legs over empty air. I remember how you had to change your shirt before we went to dinner because your nipples were showing and we didn't think it would be appropriate. I remember the bottle of wine and how you chased a stork with arms outstretched as you announced he was going to be our new pet. I remember sitting at Speaker's Corner as old people yelled at each other and you smiled like it was the best thing in the world (an old woman said that our generation was just lazy and if everyone just want to university and got an education, our lives would be easy). I remember how hard it was to get a beer in Sydney on a holiday. I remember my dad telling you everything. I remember exploring a new city with you and that we were trying to make it work.

I think one of the most bewildering things I've come to realize as I've gotten older is how complex everything really is. The world is so far from black and white. I don't believe in purely bad or purely good people any longer. Nothing is ever as simple as "oh he's just an asshole" or "oh she's just crazy." That's not how people really are. Nothing is ever one person's fault. Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean that you can't try to understand their reasons why or, in the very least, acknowledge that in their minds, there is a reason why and it feels real and valid and powerful.

And then, of course, there are the whole slew of things that you will never be able to understand or have the opportunity to gain clarity with—things that you must learn to accept anyway.

Life is complicated and nuanced.

It's easy for our lives to appear flat online—one dimensional and monotone. But every day, every single one of us is having a wildly diverse human experience. An experience that can never be contained in a collection of pretty pictures. Real life was happening here. When you see these photographs, you are not seeing the same photographs that I am seeing. My experience is in these pictures. They have a different weight. A fingerprint of feeling.

And I think that's pretty incredible.

Photographs from April 2017.

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