Life Passing II

Six months ago.

A hundred feelings, a hundred faces, a hundred places. I am living lifetimes inside single years. I am strong, powerful and brave. I am confused, alone and afraid. I am lost but I am finding myself. I have come so far but I still have so far to go.

I nurse my broken heart and broken dreams lightly, often forgetting they are there at all. I escape my past by embracing my present. When the dark quiet of night washes over the world nothing can distract me from my pain. But then the day comes and sets everything alight, reminding me of all there is to be grateful for. Everything is going to be okay, better than okay.

Sometimes in the middle of the night I will reach out for him and my hands will find no one. Sometimes I feel alone when I am surrounded by people because none of them truly understand me. Sometimes I am worried and I long for someone to hold me again and tell me they will take care of everything, that I don’t need to worry about a thing. But it is just me now and I have to be strong. There are times when my shoulders buckle under the weight but they don’t break. I’ve got this.

I look at him, remember studying his features with endless fascination, and I realise I see him through different eyes now. In some ways I can’t recognise him any longer. His arms no longer hold the safety they once did, his eyes no longer hold the affection. We are both different people now.

It’s strange how someone can be your world one day and almost a stranger another day. Some nights I would do anything to be back in our mountain home where I knew everything was going to work out, that our love was invincible and everlasting. In those moments it was, and the ending didn’t diminish its magic. But that chapter is long finished now, leaving space for new chapters to be written.

From my hometown we drive to Crystal Creek. On the way we pass a little produce stand and pick up some ripe fruit. We swim in the pool beside the waterfall, hot sun on our skin and cool water swallowing our bodies. We open pomelos with a pocket knife and the insides shine like little pink jewels.

We set up the tent in the trees by the water. From inside we watch and hear the waterfall and it makes its way into my dreams. When the sun rises I swim naked in the creek, pushing against the current. A thousand cold hands run across my body. I dry myself on a rock in the sun, and climb back into the tent to read a book and breastfeed Alba.

I should spend more time outside. When I am out there things are simple and clear. It is easy to be present. I will forget those nights I stayed up late watching Game of Thrones, but I will never forget the morning I was naked beneath a waterfall.

We drive to the beach one night. I bring a curry I cooked, a flask of hot chocolate and a picnic rug. Life has a cinematic quality. The kind that new experiences bring. I remember being here as a child, and now here I am with my own child. Somehow I am a Mama now, not a child any longer. Life passes.

Alba swims with my sister, who is no longer the quiet little girl I once photographed in the backyard, she is a teenager now covering up her freckles with make-up. My brother is here too. He is sad tonight, going for walks by himself and writing pages and pages in his journal and I think maybe I understand him better than anyone.

I swing on a swingset and when I get to the very highest point I close my eyes and imagine I keep going, flying out into the stars. I hear Alba laughing with my siblings by the water. In this moment I feel a slow sweet joy fill my soul.

I don’t remember if we flew or drove home. I look at these photographs and the notes in my journal to remember, but outside of these souvenirs this time is a haze now. I barely photograph these days, not like I used to.

Alba turns two. I wake up before her and marvel at her tiny face. The dark, sweeping eyelashes and the small pink lips. Her long fingers are like miniatures of my own. But despite the similarities, she is more her own person than I ever could have predicted. How could it be only two years since she took her first breath? She has already taught me so much about life.

I am thankful for birthdays as a reminder that time does keep on flowing, that my little girl is less little than she was yesterday, and that I need to stop often to appreciate her. Her Papa and I take her out for breakfast and I look at him watching her and know exactly how he is feeling. Look what we created. This bright, giggly, empathetic, creative toddler is ours.

There are moments when I look at Alba and my heart breaks because I am afraid I am failing her. Will she grow up daydreaming about her parents falling back in love like I did? If I am not enough for her, I hope for all of the incredible people in her life to overfill the gaps. I hope for her to grow from her struggles with the strength I already see  burning in her eyes. Even so, I will never feel enough, and that is what it is to be a Mother sometimes.

Images with me were captured by Matt.

56 love notes

  1. I really loved this post, it was so honest and open hearted.
    I have always admired how in touch with your feelings you seem, you have this fearlessness which shows through your writing and your photography and i think it is that rawness and realness which has mean that you have been one of my favourite bloggers since i was 16.
    I guess I have followed this blog since then, and it has always struck a chord with me as I am also Australian and we are the same age.
    I especially liked the part where you talked about how you and your ex are different people now. “I look at him, remember studying his features with endless fascination, and I realise I see him through different eyes now. In some ways I can’t recognise him any longer. His arms no longer hold the safety they once did, his eyes no longer hold the affection.” This part particularly resonates with me, I think you have truly captured the somewhat inexplicable bittersweet longing we can so easily feel towards someone we were once together with, and for that I must thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I have recently gone through heartbreak and this post quite literally made me realise that as sad as breaking up with someone may be, time does pass and things will be ok. So truly thank you for this post x

  2. You are fantastic Nirrimi. So much love in one person…

    When will we read your book? You should your words are full with beauty!

  3. What an incredible woman you are… You create beauty because you are beautiful inside and out, Alba is one lucky baby to have you as a mama. I have just discovered you through Instagram an hour ago already I am in tears!! Sending your broken heart love and light

  4. I cried when I read this. Everything you have written here describes my worst fear in perfect clarity. I’m only seventeen, and living seems so difficult at times. Im in the midst of falling down, as you so perfectly wrote about in the post about the death of childhood. Every day as I’m tumbling down, I hope with all my heart that I’ll land on my feet, and that I will have my greatest love on his feet, by my side. The hardest thing about being seventeen and so afraid, is the fear that things won’t work. Sometimes I feel completely hopeless. Things aren’t getting better, the days and nights are filled with sadness and confusion. My only hope is that things will work out when I’m older, when I have grown, and my thought are easier to bare. With a hope like that, the fear that things won’t ever get better only grows. I know for sure that I would never survive what you have been through. I’d end the falling if I had to do it without the kisses and hugs from my love. You are so strong, so good, and I only hope that I one day I’ll be like you. Thank you so much for writing what you write.

  5. it breaks my heart to read that you two broke up, but i guess it’s better this way. i’m sure alba will be fine, i’m sure alba is fine.

  6. It seems to be the universe is once again shifting and the ending of love is a familiar theme in my life as well. I am certain there are great things to follow.

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog and I wasn’t ready for all you shared, as it has all evoked some painful memories. I hope you sta strong and are coping well. Sometimes we don’t know how resilient we are till we face the most horrible betrayals.

    Lisa x

  8. it must be a little bit creepy to you when someone like me comes here and add a comment about your life. but, obviously, you’ve already noticed that most of time we are talking about our own lives when start to type inside this box.

    i’ve been trying to recover my heart for an year. it has been painful and sometimes so heavy that i thought i couldn’t stand it. i lived a beautiful love story with my ex-boyfriend for five years and it ended in a such surreal way that it took me all this time to understand and carry on. he was, for 5 years, my bestfriend, and i know i also played this role on his life. it still hurts. maybe it will always hurt. but now i can picture a future without him. i can even picture my present wthout him. i passed for distinct levels of letting go. i hated him, i secret loved him, i wanted him back. but then i had to talk to myself that i don’t know who he is nowadays. we are so different now, in a year i’ve became a person and he another.

    (i’m sure that our stories are not the same. but there is a song in portuguese that says something like “do you remember when we believed that everything would last forever / without knowing that forever is always over”. someday we will probably be inside new and finites “forevers”)

  9. Yes, it’s hard to be a Mother sometimes. Knowing that you are only human and that, one way or the other, you will fail your child. You will not be able to fullfil all of his needs however hard you try. But, I like to think that, if love is there and honesty and free communication, your child will feel loved anyway and forgive your limits. And that, maybe, your limits and errors, if you can make amend and be true about them, may even show your child that he can be human too and ease of the burden of having to be perfect from his shoulders. My children are still young so I don’t know yet, but I dream of this and try everyday to make this dream come true. I’m sure you are on the same road too, Nirrimi.

  10. Hi Nirrimi, as always a beatiful post, keep us posted 🙂
    I love my sister as if she was my daughter, she’s from a different mom and when she was born my dad got seperated from her mom. This has never influenced her in anyway, she ‘s the smartest, cutest and humble person I know and shes turning 11. he brights the room with her smile and is always lovable and thankful. So I think all that matters is that she feels loved by her parents and that she sees you two are getting along just fine 🙂
    Lots of love
    Ana.

  11. I love Crystal Creek. Every time I return home I think about going there but there really just isn’t anyone to go with, no one who will want to drive “all that way”. One day I will get to swim in those cool waters & hey, I may just run into you & your little girl too. 🙂

  12. You write such beautiful things, it’s so inspiring…
    (You should definitely think about writing a book!)
    And your pictures… stunning.
    xx

  13. Hi Nirrimi,

    I wanted to tell you that you are a very good mother. I may not know you, but the love you have for Alba shines through in places you may not even realizes as you express yourself. If it is evident there, it seeps into every part of your daughter.

    We adopted two of our children from Russia. The other children clung to us, begging us to take them home, delighted with even one touch, one look, one kind word. For Alba to have two parents who love her immensely, she is luckier than she, or maybe you, even know. She has everything she needs, more. Be free form those thoughts, and instead focus on the beauty you create, the lives you touch and the art in which you are so gifted.

    You are loved, more than you know. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    Love,
    Amy

  14. Whew…this one really, really hit me. I have been dealing with many of the same things for the past several months (even the memories of the mountain home where things were sacred). Sending you a hug and positive thoughts for more good days outside than hard days inside xx

  15. You are a true inspiration and capture of Life, I stop and wait to read your posts until I feel ready for them, cause I Always feel.. enlightened in some way, I learn something new or see something I haven’t thought about. You are so Young but yet you seem to be so wise and strong for many people together. Wow, I can only say that. You are indeed going to feel better with time, you know that ofc, and Life will give you so much, probably as much as your are giving to Life yourself. You deserve it all.

  16. Your post is straight from my heart put into words. You are a strong and beautiful women and you can do this.

  17. Of course you are strong and courageous, vulnerability is just part of it.
    Wonderful example of beauty in your pictures and words.

    Thanks for sharing. Good wishes

  18. I wonder a lot if your star sign is cancer, the way you feel the world around you makes me think that. I love your writing and photos…I hope things will become easier.

  19. Thank you again for sharing this with us. I’m filled with joy to read that you’re in a lighter place and your little family though a little fractured is doing well. A very happy birthday to Miss Alba, she’s a beautiful child. You and I are very close in age and I found your blog when I was in my final year of high school. It made me long for the future and still want to cling to the safety of the present time. I’ve always known family is something I wanted for myself, your stories push upon my excitement to start one of my own. But I’m not in love and I’m not brave enough to have one so early, I think I love myself before anyone else at this point in time so I wouldn’t put anyone in that position. Nevertheless I adore your stories, I say stories because that’s what they sound like in my mind, and they excite me for what lies ahead.

    Much love Cat xox.

  20. You have a special gift: to turn magical the little and simple moments. And that´s the important thing in life: to enjoy them as much as we can. We never finish to know people, but we can receive and give love to them, and that´s what always lasts forever.
    You are sorrounded with light, N, please be happy with lovely Alba.

  21. Your words and pictures Nirrimi, are so darn precious and perfect and raw. What you write and project is so real and open and for me that is the most amazing quality in a person. Never stop being you, never stop being honest. Because of your honesty I’m in love (not the creapy way btw) with a person on the other side of the planet which I’ve never even met.

    Camilla (the girl that wants you to come to Norway one day)
    http://camillahayjenssen.blogspot.no/

  22. Your words, your reality, your yesterdays, your present and eternity make up the pieces of a beautiful Life we do have a share of. It’s truly sublime how your sincerity feels.. how your images speak to us, enriching our days with courageous wisdom, and a sense of freedom — from being Souls of salts and spices. I am crying with you, I am growing with you.. May your Present give you enough sunshine and enough rain to make your garden a great home for you and Alba..and for more. Endless Thank You!

  23. i appreciate the rawness you expose because it is real. i appreciate it so much. such a breath of fresh air, something we all need more of these days. being a mama of four myself, it is truly a wonder how quickly time goes…..i would love to capture each of their ting beings in a bottle at times, just to be sure i lose no memory. ever. xoxo ashley

  24. Nirrimi,
    This post is so raw, honest, and really touching. Life does move so fast, and I too notice it now I have two children of my own.
    These photos are divine, thank you for sharing with us all once again xxx

  25. Lovely post, you always have such a way with words. Truly inspiring, I’m going to sit down and try and write something myself 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  26. my heart just burst. stay strong, nirrimi. you are not only a wonderful writer and photographer, you are a wonderful mother too.

  27. Know that you will grow in your struggles. And that there is no such thing as failing when your heart beats so loudly, as the world can see trough your photografs.

    and very off-topic. What is that magical tent you have? It seems to be what i’ve been looking for since forever.

  28. You are a wonderful writer and a wonderful person Nirrimi. Don’t worry you’re failing Alba, you’re the best possible mother for her.

  29. Hopefully time will heal your wounds and heartaches.. My mum is a single mum to me and my sisters, and she’s the strongest woman I ever know in this world. I’ve learnt how to love so much from my mother, and am a mother to two young boys now.

    You’re a good mother, Nirrimi. Don’t ever doubt to yourself that you’re not. 🙂 Stay strong and I wish you and alba lots of joy and happiness.

    http://smittenbyangels.blogspot.com

  30. i read your words and i cry… again. it is a magic thing that people can deeply connect through words without knowing each other. i sympathize with you… and i wish you all the best.
    by the way – your pictures fascinate me!

  31. This is, by far, i feel, your most honest work. The feeling of soft and gentle momentum is beautiful, how it ponders yet enlightens, gently. Thank you for being open, for sharing your love and your burdens. I hope, as strangers, you can feel our love back.

  32. My heart just burst with love for your words. Then broke in tiny pieces experiencing your heart ache. A person with such a strong sense of being will never fail.

  33. Hi Nirrimi. I’ve fallen in love with your story since I first came across your blog a couple years back, and I literally cried while reading this. This breaks my heart. I hope you’re feeling strong through it all, and I am in no doubt that you will overcome every obstacle that single parenting brings along your way. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

    Much love

  34. This made my heart burst. I have been alone with my baby for the past year. He will be 2 in Nov. The weight of parenting alone is heavy. You can do it…and you feel find support from your friends and family. But you are right in feeling that it will not be the same without Alba’s papa. Remember that Alba’s soul chose you and Mexico for parents. On a soul level she knew what she was signing up for. Have faith in this and just keep being the beautiful present mama that you are. Good luck! xoxo

  35. @Julia Thank you, thank you! I wasn’t sure about it when I posted it and I almost didn’t, I guess because it feels so far away, I’m in such a different place right now. But this helps me feel a little surer.

    I use the filter Digital Film on all of my life post images. <3

  36. This is my favourite post of yours. It’s so touching and raw. It reminds me that we’re all the same and every heartache feels the same.
    Did you use any Colorshop filters to edit these? If so please tell me. I will buy them.

    love always

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