letters from here, somewhere
19 03 23
It was around twelve o’clock. I waited with patience and anxiety for Y, as he had promised to aid in my moving into my new home. Half of my belongings were already stored at his dwelling, the other half already in my car. All we needed to do was make a few trips before the sun descends.
He glimpsed at me, now nearly one in the afternoon, and questioned my outfit of choice—an all-black affair including a long vintage coat over a minidress and fishnets tights. I told him it was simply how I felt at the moment: melodramatic and bittersweet. I was dressed for a funeral, to bid farewell to this epoch of my life and welcome the next period of creative genesis.
We began hauling boxes from my car, through a creaky wooden gate, and into my room. I stood in the middle of the stark room as he carried the last box into the room. After observing my few belongings disheveled in the room, Y remarked that I had very little. I disagreed—I thought I had too much. Scattered in the room were few boxes of art supplies, photography equipment, miscellaneous dry foods, a suitcase full of red clothing and black cloaks, and canvases both painted and primed. This space was not to be a bedroom. I had intended it to be my studio—a haven for my newfound marriage with art.
I placed my father’s Polaroid camera into Y’s hands with care and asked him to help me take some self-portraiture of me in my new space. He obliged and we spent the next thirty minutes shooting, he handling my nervousness with patience as I fidgeted around in my room, unsure of where to stand. I wasn’t used to having someone else in the same space as I shoot self-portraits, but letting him into that process felt natural as we were artistic collaborators. I have entrusted my camera with him, my vision into his eyes.
We opened the side door that opens out to the patio to let a river of light into the room. I laid out my legs under the coffee table and picked at my fishnets tights, while Y captured me. As I arranged and rearranged the two pieces of furniture I had—a wooden easel my father had gifted me at the age of twelve, and a vintage mirror coffee table, I began to accept the sinking feeling in my chest that is the reality of the situation. This was a momentous change in my life, the first time I truly chose to rid the past, the first time I allowed myself to fall free and blindly into passion.
We set the developing black and white polaroids into a box and check with enthusiasm every five minutes, observing the squid-ink black gently fading into hues of jade green, before nesting into charred ombres of sepia and black. I realised that this pack of film we just shot with, was the last pack of film I bought before leaving the country for a year. How beautiful was it, that it is the first set of film I used to shoot the first series of self-portraits since coming back home.
My first night sleeping here arrived a few days late. By nightfall, I was curled up in my tiny daybed with no sheets and two blankets. By morning, I woke up to a flutter of ivory curtains canvassing the windows. As I stared at the glimmer of morning light, I felt incredibly grateful to be living out my dream. Choosing to be an artist was never a decision I had to make, it was something that had its own mind and took over me, while I surrendered unconditionally.