I’m telling you, it’s unquestionably ugly and I love it

It is cold outside and warm inside. Nature, we have won.

Of course, we’re all gonna die, so nature gets the last laugh. I dunno, I’m in a weird head space. I slept in, ate a banana, had coffee and biked to a yoga class. I biked back and ate a sandwich, and now my brain is floating away. What I think I’m saying is that I haven’t eaten enough for my mind to get on track, but without my mind on track, I’m not sure what I’d want to eat. It’s a conundrum to be sure. I’m at day three of a four day break. Yesterday I spent a lot of time hanging out with friends. I met a friend for brunch. She’s been having a hard time lately, so I wanted to give her space to vent. We tucked into some eggs and bacon, and chatted. We spent time wandering Kensington Market in search of nothing important. Mostly, we got to spend time hanging out. We moved between a bunch of vintage stores. I’ve loosely had my eye on Paddington style duffel coats lately, in an attempt to get closer to my hero.

Instead I came out with this long leather coat. Knee length, in this off-yellow. If yellow got sick, it’d maybe turn this shade. Like a putrid beige. I don’t know what I’ll match it with, but I’m ready for the challenge. It’s a piece that speaks, and says mostly nonsense. So naturally it’s ideal for me. The remarkable thing about this coat, and remarkably odd thing that led me to get off the pot and purchase it, is that the pockets are ideal. It’s some serious Goldilocks shit. They’re at just the right height, with perfect depth. My arms can relax fully instead of being slightly bent at the elbows. I can let my weight drop into the pockets, and the feeling is sublime. If that isn’t worth spending $40 on an ill-coloured 70s leather jacket, I’m not sure why you’d buy one.

After we parted ways, I went to hang out with another friend. She too has been going through a lot. It was another good opportunity to listen, and let someone vent. I dunno, when I was going through heavy depression a ton of people created space for me to rant my little heart out. I think it’s important that while things are solid for me, I make sure I take the time hearing people out. Providing support and listening. Being there when it matters, and doing what I can to make them feel understood. I consider it a quiet act of rebellion in a world that teaches people to minimise their own hurt. If we all made a bit more space for others, I think it would do a remarkable amount to increase our capacity to care.

Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean we can’t keep each other warm.

Oh by the way, this is a sponsored post for Kind Bars. Soz

Your regularly scheduled reminder that progress takes time.

We all have the capacity to change and grow. You’re allowed to learn new things that shift your opinion, and this is a great thing. Just because something doesn’t gel with your current world view, that doesn’t mean it’s immediately wrong. I know we don’t all have the energy to create space for regressive voices to learn at all times. Still, if the goal is to hope for a better future, the more we can work towards fostering understanding rather than “scoring points”, the closer that future gets. Signed, someone who still has a lot to learn.

I truly feel like I’m learning new stuff all the time. This year in particular has had a ton of growth. Last night I went to a lavish party with a particular group of friends. We tend to get together for fun excuses to get dressed up. Earlier this year, we visited a couple who’d moved to Montreal and had a post New Years event. This was at a huge low point for me. I’d deeply sunken into my depression, and come to the realisation that I wasn’t thrilled about being alive anymore. No melodrama, I didn’t want to die, but I also didn’t have a desire to go on living. My mental health had staggered for so long, and was bottoming out. I felt fortunate to be around friends, but it was hard to feel happy. Look, having fun is more enjoyable than not having fun, but there’s a noted difference when the things that used to bring you enjoyment begin to feel neutral. It’s a close knit group, and I made no secret of how much I was struggling. They were warm and compassionate about that, we all shared what was getting us down and it was cathartic. It also wasn’t some magic switch that made everything better. I still struggled.

Last night at this party, it was notable just how much things had changed. For the first time in years, I’m at a stage where I feel truly happy and grateful for everything around me. The medication has really turned around my mental health. I’m at a new job that I love. It’s challenging and requires constant creativity. I’m exhausted when I leave work, but it’s a tangible, pleasant exhaustion. Like the satisfaction you get after a good day of manual labour. I have a wonderful partner, and because of the work/life balance my job brings me, we get to spend a lot more time together during the days. We can wake up together, even. It’s such a mundane thrill. I have so many supportive friends, and I’m feeling better about the other intimate connections I’m making. I feel confident and engaged all the time. It’s an unbelievably positive place to be, and nine months ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible.

Recently, I read some post about the difference between being “nice” and being “kind”. It stuck with me. I don’t have a clear through-line, but I want to work on becoming a kind person. Nice often seems to stem from propriety. Being contextually pleasant, and doing small gestures. It’s almost like being nice is something to garner social status. That’s not what I’m looking for. I would like to be kind, and I think it’s an actionable goal. The way I see it, being kind is embodying a belief that people are worthy of compassion, and aiming to teach them that. It’s doing things for people because you want their lives to be better, and knowing when that’s in your capacity. It’s not ceding of yourself, compromising your needs for others. It’s finding ways to make it effortless to care, and to help. In my head, being nice is posting a supportive comment on a Facebook post. Being kind is letting that person know that you have space for them if they need it. Being nice is giving platitudes. Being kind is understanding what that person needs- whether it’s venting or advice- then giving them what they need rather than what you personally want to give. Being nice is offering help. Being kind is allowing that person to say no if they need, and not to feel bad about it.

As I said, I’m still learning. If things go well, I’ll never stop.

You wouldn’t think those were strict criteria…

Y’all ready for a “let’s get this out of the way” post?

I sure am. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in just over an hour, and while I could probably just write in the inevitable half hour waiting room break, I don’t wanna. I’m doing my check in post anti-depressants to gauge how things are going. Oddly enough, my doctor has gone on mat leave and I’m meeting her year long replacement. With something personal like this, I’m starting to understand the mentality of people wanting to see their specific doctors. The decision for me to go on these meds was thoroughly discussed, and would’ve been a rollercoaster if not for the time and patience my doctor had for looking at all of our options together. Ultimately, I know they’re working and have been an outstanding decision, so I’m not worried about talking with some new dude about them. At the same time, it brings me closer to the importance of a personal doctor relationship kind of thing. Usually, I don’t care. I trust that the clinic I visit has qualified professionals. I’ve had only good experiences with the staff there. The receptionists are very hesitant to put me with anyone else unless it’s an emergency. I don’t blame them whatsoever. That’s just policy. Still, if there’s something wrong with me, I will go to most anyone who has more knowledge than I do. Just put me in, coach.

I’ve got a fancy, fancy party tomorrow night and I’m excited. I got so excited that I bought two tickets by accident. See, I can trace back the idiocy of this decision. Let’s back up. I go to this Library fundraiser every year. It’s the one event that’s very costly (over $100 per ticket), and I get all dolled up with friends. We’ve gone for the past few years. Tradition, and all that. There’s early bird pricing, which we generally tend to get. This year, because of my shift work, I wasn’t sure if I’d be free on the night or not. We have a big group chat going about it (and other neat events). I re-read the chat yesterday. Everyone chimed in back in early September about having purchased early bird tickets. Normally with these events, I post something like “got my ticket” or whatnot. I hadn’t. A few weeks ago I was like oh shit, did I get my ticket? I know I missed early bird. I looked in my emails for a sign of a ticket purchase. No confirmation emails. I looked back in my bank account. No sign of an earlier non-early bird ticket purchase. I bit the bullet and bought a billet. Then yesterday, I got an email telling me to activate my ticket. I logged in and saw two tickets. Weird. I looked back in my emails, and realised that I didn’t have a ticket purchase receipt for the second one either. So that was clearly what happened first time around. I’d bought two tickets. Dummy.

I emailed back asking if I could get a refund. Then my mind started spinning. What was my best course of action? These weren’t cheap tickets. I think the fully priced one came to over $130. I could offer it to my girlfriend, but I couldn’t really expect her to pay for it. Also she’s kinda flu-y at the moment. What if she was too sick to go? I started thinking of other friends, but more importantly I thought of the group I’m going with. It’s a tight knit group. Wonderful, witty people. It’s also a very particular vibe. If my girlfriend couldn’t make it, I’d need to find someone else. It’d have to be someone who’d a) fit with the group, b) have fancy things to wear, c) like eating/drinking a lot (on account of the open bar and unlimited delicious foods) and d) be available last minute. I made a shortlist and it had possibly five people who’d fit a-c. Turns out that I can get a refund, however, so I don’t have to worry about last minute rearrangements. I just need to make sure I have a non-creased shirt.

I better get a few ice cubed and toss my shirt in the dryer.

I just wanna stop, and thank your baby

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada.

As someone who technically immigrated (I was already a citizen, does that count?), Thanksgiving doesn’t have a lot of cultural resonance for me. I’m largely unaware of the historical context of the holiday. I’ve heard that it mostly revolves around Colonial settlers taking land from the natives, which in turn has been whitewashed for a more positive narrative. Seems not worth celebrating, but okay. Aside from the concept of eating- a concept I’m intimately (don’t ask how intimately) familiar with- parts of it still feel foreign to me. Turkey: Turkey isn’t a common meat of choice back in NZ. I’d say that lamb probably occupies its space in the cultural holiday consciousness. A big leg of lamb with gravy and mint sauce. Choice as, bro. Cranberry sauce doesn’t really appear much back home. Neither does pumpkin anything outside soup. I’m not used to sweet pumpkin. Pumpkin pie is still a so-so dessert in my eyes and heart. Pumpkin beer is weird. Pumpkin Spice Lattes have never appealed much to me. Not because I have any fundamental issue with sweet caffeinated drinks. I love quirky sweet things. I’ve just rarely enjoyed anything I’ve gotten from Starbucks.

As an aside [should’ve been an alternate name for this writing project -Ed], I had the first PSL that I’ve ever enjoyed, yesterday. It was from an independent cafe in Simcoe County. I saw their sign for PSLs, and I asked them if it was the usual syrup. “Oh no, we make all our syrups in house. We use pureed pumpkin and a bunch of spices for this one.” I was sold. If I was gonna have a good one, this seemed like my best shot. Turns out it was yum. Very sweet, so I have no earthly idea if the underlying coffee was any good. Still, new experience!

So aside from eating, I’m a Thanksgiving newbie. The past few years, we’ve had an off and on again tradition of Orphan’s Thanksgiving. It’s an excellent excuse (as if we need one) for the aforementioned eating. It’s a better excuse (as if we need one) to have friends around, and a questionable excuse (do I need to repeat myself again?) to drink a lot. We’ve usually had this running game going at our Thanksgivings, that at any point someone can make a toast, and everyone has to join them. The toaster will say “I’m happy for ________”, everyone cheers, raises their glasses and has a drink. It gets silly and abstract, and that’s part of it. This year I’m working. I opted to take a shift so a co-worker could spend the evening with his family and young children. I’m pretty much missing out on big Thanksgiving events. Boo hoo.

That said, I’m not without thanks. This year has been huge for me. Massively transformative, and I think it’s worth holding gratitude for that. This year marked the lowest I’ve yet sunk into depression. My brain was abuzz with thoughts that, while not entirely incorrect, spiralled out of proportion and took over my conscious mind. Ordinary operation function became difficult to maintain, and my mental health dipped into dangerous territory. Seeking help and taking anti-depressants turned things around in such a huge way. I regained a lot of what made me, me. The meds enabled me to take control, instead of losing myself. They helped me get more in touch with what I wanted, and finding ways to head towards those things. I hold enormous amounts of gratitude for my friends and girlfriend who destigmatised their use, and allowed me to not feel shame in accepting help. I’m so thankful to have a doctor who actually listened to my concerns, trusted me, counselled me, while ultimately putting the choice in my hands. I’m thankful for my boss at the time. While the job itself caused me no end of existential stress, she really came through with compassion and lenience, allowing me to take the space and time I needed when I needed it. If I needed to work from home, leave early for a consult, if I felt mentally foggy and couldn’t finish the day, she trusted me to know what I could do, and to speak up when I wasn’t able to work. I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for finally finding something professionally that lights me up. I really do love my job, and even when I’m not doing my favourite kind of programming, I’m still tremendously happy for the floor to be so high. I’m so grateful to be providing a service that actively helps people, that furthers accessibility, especially for children with low vision. I’m thankful for my bosses, who trust me as a professional and provide me with the resources I need. I’m thankful for my co-workers, who are all lovely guys, only too happy to share tips or knowledge. Although it’s wholly new territory for me, I haven’t faced one iota of condescension since beginning this role, and it makes me feel so much better about the job I’m doing.

I’m so thankful, as ever, for the community I’ve found here. I’m surrounded by warm, creative and explorative people. It’s rare that I’m ever truly bored, lonely, or unstimulated, and most of that comes with the support my friends give so freely. It constantly makes me want to give back as much as I can.

Mostly though, I’m thankful to have so much gratitude in my life. I want to hold onto that for as long as I can.

Complimentality

I had a great time at JFL42. One of my favourite things was the amount of time I spent hanging at Comedy Bar on late nights. I ran into a bunch of comics that I’d seen perform. I made an effort to let them know, with specificity, just how much I’d enjoyed their sets. I figure that feels nice to hear. Then I thought to myself, why don’t I extend these kind of compliments to people I actually know?

So I made a Facebook thread to do just that. I asked friends to comment if they’d like a compliment. Here are the compliments I gave, with names and identifying details removed. This should give some idea of the fantastic people I’m surrounded by:

  • You’ve introduced me to so many things I adore, and you’re my first port of call for anything pop-cultural. I love gossiping with you, seeing comedy with you, and I’m a massive fan of everything you write. Also every JFL42 is that much sweeter, because it makes me thankful I met you.
  • I’ve never known you to be anything but utterly true to yourself, and I think it’s something more people should strive to emulate. I felt this really strongly being at your home, and seeing how you’d filled it so utterly with your creativity.
  • Your friendship has defined my life. I would not have developed my sense of humour or taste for the absurd without you. We’ve had countless adventures that helped me experience things I would not have, and you totally brought me out of my shell. You always stood up for me, and encouraged me to be as creative as I could, which makes sense because you bleed creativity. I love you utterly, and I always will.
  • You are a fucking force of nature. No matter how much life conspires to push you down, you refuse to take shit from anyone. It’s unreal how quickly your brain works, and the connections it draws. I have never met anyone even half as good as you at making puns, and I totally include myself in that. No matter how many times I tell that I admire your writing, I worry that you’ll never understand just how much I do. It’s very evident that you’re a force of good in everyone’s life that you touch, and I’m sure we’re all immensely grateful to have met you. I know I consider it a personal triumph to have been able to spend more time with you recently, and I’m always thankful when I get to.
  • You’re one of my absolute favourite people. You’re so funny and talented, and it kills me that you don’t realise just how much. I’ve almost never not seen you walk into a room and win everyone over, and the rare occasions where this doesn’t happen seem to stem from your aptitude in reading emotions and trying not to take up space. You’re incredibly insightful, and I’m always glad to hear your perspective, because it greatly widens my own. I’m constantly amazed by your ability to get shit done on a dime. When you want to do something, you just do it. No hesitation, and I wish i had your drive in making things happen. Not only that, but I know just how much work you put into taking care of others, and it’s just one of the many reasons people love being around you so much. I’m excited to get cracking on our upcoming projects, and can’t wait to see what we put together.
  • I barely know you IRL, but I’m very glad that hasn’t stopped you from chiming in on FB. You’re always stopping by with something insightful to say, or a really interesting link. Don’t think I don’t notice, because I clearly do. Thank you. I’m always happy when I get a notification from you.
  • Obviously I adore your hugs, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I feel like you subscribe to this notion that you’re spacey and quiet. I seem to find that when you talk it’s usually well considered, and really adds to the conversation. I wish more people (myself included) would learn to listen. I’ve been utterly impressed at how deeply you’ve been diving into photography, and it’s staggering to see just how much you’ve grown. Every time you have a new shoot, I can’t believe how good it looks. Between composition and balance, things just pop when they’re seen through your lens. You’ve been doing really creative shoots and constantly come up with out there, unintuitive ideas. I’m so impressed at your ability to learn and grow within your craft, and I’m always stoked to see of your work. Also, selfishly, all of the best shots of me over the past few years have come from you. Every time I change my profile picture, it seems to be one of yours.
  • I got really stoked when I found out you’d be part of that podcast recording. You’ve got an incredibly friendly temperament, and have been abundantly warm to me every single time we’ve hung out. I’ve only known you for a short time, but I’m really impressed at how you carry yourself. I haven’t had a ton of spare time lately, but I’m looking forward to hanging out with you and your lovely pup again soon.
  • You’re an abundantly bright and friendly person who makes a clear effort to make others comfortable. A lot of the time I’ve known you, you’ve been under a state of personal upheaval, but I’ve never once seen you take it out on others. I can only imagine what that takes, to offer that generosity seemingly without trying. We’ve had some wonderful time spent together, and I’m so glad I got to experience my first beef dip at Harry’s Charbroiled with you. That was a fantastic evening, and it’ll always be first to mind when I think of you. Also, you’re a great dance partner!
  • When I met you, you were co-hosting a fantastic storytelling evening. You were a published author, and ran an entire conference. I was amazed to see not only how capable you were, but how little interest you had in half-arsing things. I got to know you more, and discovered both how sweet and genuine you were. You’ve always been so open with me. It’s a quality I long for all of my important people to have. I see the intention you put towards everything you do, and I love it. I always try to make it to any party you put on, because people know they’re entering a space where effort is celebrated. You create a space, fill it with atmosphere, then gift that to others.
  • You’re a rainbow incarnate. You bring joy like it’s your god-given mission. You’re the first to open your arms and let people in. Your hugs are so good, that the sensations linger long after you’ve let go.
  • I don’t know if we’re capable of producing an awkward silence. I’m always thrilled to spend time with you, because it’s effortlessly stimulating and hilarious. You’re one of my absolute favourite conversational partners. I’d be intimidated by the constant scale of your ambition, if I didn’t know how beyond capable you were. I admire how enthusiastically you throw yourself into adventure, and your willingness to play along. I think my life gets incrementally better the more I see you.
  • I couldn’t believe how quickly we slid from one conversation into regular chats. You met me when I was going through a pretty shitty transition, and I was in a weird state. Somehow that didn’t deter you, and I found myself with a new friend in the building. I love how much you seek out knowledge to pursue your passions. It’s a joy to see, and I’m a little envious about it myself.
  • It’s rare to meet someone who operates on so many levels simultaneously. You’re a bratty prankster, and I love every minute of it. If nobody else is on your team, I usually am. I’m never worried about filling time when we hang out, because we don’t even need to try. Conversations just flow. They’re punchy and interesting, vulnerable and hilarious. You really know how to tell a story top to bottom, and each one is captivating. You’ve got this talent for noticing peculiar details that few do, and they add rich colour to your words. I love hearing the way you talk about music, themes and ideas. Just how deeply you read the lyrics, and lines between them. You get touched by art, and bring that back to others. You, more than anyone else, fostered me towards radical intimacy with my male friends. It was something I’d always kept at arms length. I always feel safe sharing difficult feelings with you, because I know you’ll treat them with care. In fact, the only thing that makes me happier than being able to say nice things about you, is knowing how much you’ll fucking hate it. I love you man.
  • I think you may be the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever known. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and utterly refuse to compromise who you are. There’s a reason people always love being around you, and it’s because you lift them up with you. It’s impossible for anyone to feel dour when you’re on a mission to cheer them up.
  • I feel like many people with your knowledge and experience would resort to arrogance, and it’s a marvel that you don’t. You have stories aplenty, and it’s obvious that you’re an endlessly curious person. Also FB algorithms are weird, and I often see your posts on Marvel threads. You’re consistently giving measured and thoughtful responses to angry male nerds who shoot from the hip, and I make sure to read your comments whenever they come across my feed.

It’s been really cool to have a deeper think about the ways in which I appreciate those around me. It’s a pretty cool exercise, and I’d recommend y’all try it sometime.

Well it ain’t sham-dalar

I’m swimming in spare time, but I did also drink a ton of coffee, so I’m very distractible (for a change). I want to get this done, so it’s a regular ol’ stream of consciousness deal.

Yesterday was great, today’s been great. I guess it’s hard to have a shitty time when you have regular four day weekends, but I haven’t gotten bored yet. Turns out there are other people with non-standard schedules. A bunch of them are my friends, too. It’s neat. I met a writer friend for brunch. We hadn’t caught up in ages, and tend to do a lot of JFL42 stuff together. She’s always a blast to hang with, and it was worthwhile comparing JFL42 must sees, etc. More importantly (because let’s be real), the food was awesome. As soon as I mentioned brunch she was like LEON WE’RE GOING TO DONNA’S FOR ROAST BEEF SANDWICHES. I didn’t argue. It worked out. The sandwich was incredible. The meat was succulent, and a lovely jalapeño spice pervaded each bite. There were crispy onions and soft, thinly sliced wedges of parsnip. It looked like cheese, but the texture was awesome. We had a pea salad on the side, which also featured solid quotients of both crunch and spice.

Then it turned out I was around the corner from another friend who I was gonna have a late lunch with. I biked a literal two minutes, and hung out at hers. We put on sunscreen, then headed out to walk the streets. Our goal was to hang in a park, and we did errands while we walked. She’s trying to learn Latin, so she picked up a copy of Winnie Ille Pu she’d booked from the library. I stopped by CAFE (a local pot shop) who’s been forced into weird sidewalk sales stuff by archaic provincial laws. I put an order in for a gram of indica (it’s been great for powering down and getting rest after late night work shifts) that I’d be able to pick up half an hour later, then we kept walking. I got some cash out, my friend bought a spinach pastry, she got a “Fat Mac” slice from Apiecalypse Now, and we lazed in Christie Pitts park. It was fucking great.

I have the rest of the day off, with zero commitments. I’m realistically gonna get pulled back into the world of Shandalar, a 1997 Magic the Gathering game that to this day is still the best MtG video game ever created. One of my favourite streamers Gaby Spartz plays it periodically, and it whets my appetite. The system is so old and clunky, and it features rules that’ve been long since updated in the card game. I’ve played the game so much that it’s a total nostalgia blast. It’s a fun RPG where you wandering the land trying to take down evil wizards and their cronies by battling them in a card game. There are elusive mythical cards you can find out of nowhere, and old ante rules means you can lose your top cards suddenly. It’s exciting, and a weirdly compelling game to view on Twitch.

Oh shit, she’s playing right now. I think I know what I’m doing this evening. See ya.

Cryogenically frozen in time

Story time, friends.

Earlier this year I started taking anti-depressants. Great decision. Should’ve done it years back. Changes have been fantastic across the board. I’ve regained my ability to establish boundaries, be assertive, be supportive, and make space for others. I even use the Oxford comma now. Instead of being tossed to the gutter for days by one stray thought, I can look at that thought, say “yep, that’s a thought”, and keep walking. I don’t speak lightly when I say that this decision in many ways gave me my life back.

One catch. Since I started on the meds, there’s been one side effect. I can’t cry. No dice. I’ve been safe behind a synthetic wall. I didn’t want to lose touch with those too human feelings, but it’s been a worthy trade-off. What I’ve gained is so much greater than what I’ve given up. No question.

This past weekend, I cottaged with friends. COTTAGED. The place had a dock atop a large, still, lake. In the early hours, I crept out to see how sunrise was doing. Early Hours, I said. A burgeoning golden crown in the sky. Curious, I walked down to the dock. As the path wound through the trees, I caught glimpses of the lake. It looked purple. I took off the literal rose-coloured glasses I wore, and saw a bold baby blue. I was intrigued. As the trees parted, they gave way to an unreal sight. Fog rolled off the shore, where it coalesced at the lake’s centre. I donned the glasses, and saw hues of candy colours blend with the sky. It was truly phenomenal.

I hurried to the lounge, where people chatted quietly. I caught everyone’s attention and said, “Listen folks, please trust me. Grab warm clothes and come down to the dock now. Something magical is happening.”

I stood at the dock’s edge and waited. One by one they walked down. One by one, they were rendered speechless. Jaws dropped all around. “Right?” I whispered. My photographer friend arrived, turned, and ran off for his camera. We marvelled at this utterly unearthly scene. I walked onto the dock for a closer look. I took it all in again. Awareness came to me. I spoke, “I’ve never thought to check before, but this must be what the other side of sunrise looks like.” I felt something stirring. My eyes twitched and my throat tightened. It was all too beautiful, and I didn’t know how to process my awe. I wept. The floodgates opened, and I felt tears coming hot and fast. I gasped for air and doubled over.

My girlfriend noticed, and realisation spread across her face. She wrapped me in a hug. She called to our friends, “Leon’s crying.” Concern warped their expressions. She continued “He hasn’t been able to cry for six months.” Realisation spread further. I felt myself enveloped in my friends’ arms. I kept bawling. A few lingered for solo hugs, and I came back to my breath. I felt open, awake. It’s a memory I’m sure I’ll keep close for years.

So it turns out Mr. Photographer didn’t realise what was happening, and snapped his shot. It’s raw, and such a perfect moment. It takes me right back, to feel that weight and release again. I’m sure memories all fade eventually, but this one carries a whole story.