Hiraeth

Dearest ______,

Is it possible to miss a place that you’ve never been to before?

For the Welsh, this phenomenon is called Hiraeth, which is described as “the nostalgia and the grief for lost places of your past, or places that never were.”

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I had something that vaguely resembled Hiraeth last year: I was standing on the terraces of Cafe Hafa in Tangier (f.1921), looking at the vast shadows of Spain far across the Strait of Gibraltar. Save for the distant crashing of waves and the clinking of silverware on heated glass, it was a quiet day for mint teas. Too quiet in fact, that for a brief moment, I longed for any form of old-world decadence befalling the now sobered up cafe. A little Moroccan shindig, like what we’d all read about when the beatniks were there, way back in the day.

But then I quickly realised how I actually kind of hate commotion (excluding the occasional mosh pit). Burroughs would probably have hated my law-abiding ass. And so Hiraeth quickly turned into Here I Is.

Which wasn’t; isn’t so bad, after all: Here I is.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Le Rouge et Le Noir 

Dearest ______,

 Photographic providence in colours, that is all.

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Sometimes I wish I cared for actual human interactions more. I am constantly in awe of people who are at ease with making small talk with other people strangers because I’m pretty sure that if I just learn how to say “Hi, how are you?”, I’d be surprised with what I’ll know about people. Maybe they’re downright mean, but maybe they’re only waiting for someone to talk to. I’ve always dreaded the latter more, which has probably deprived me of many a lost narrative out there. Compelling tales never told, secrets shared to someone else instead.

I try. But more often than not, I just make do with made-up stories about people in my head. Heehee.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Birds

Dearest ______,

Over a year ago, I took pictures of white storks perched on their nests atop some Roman ruins. There were hardly any trees around that part of the old citadel of Rabat.

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It’s fascinating how animals adapt to their environments. If humans could be as pliant and less stubborn about how correct we think we always are, I bet we’d all evolve faster (or at least make better choices).

White storks are said to be sacred symbols of Juno, the Roman goddess of hearth and home. I guess this week is as good as any for me to start embodying them.

Or her.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

To Open Sea

Dearest ______,

It’s been (literally) years since I last wrote you. I guess when the swell of life tugs you in- even at its most regularised chaos- it’s still just that, chaotic. Beautiful, ugly, quiet, loud, fast, slow: life has been an onslaught of various waves.  Rest assured, it’s been mostly great, my friend. But amidst all that whirl, I might have forgotten how it is to sit down and just write to you.  I hope you’re still there, buoyed to whatever we have between me here and you there. Wherever that is.dsc_0151

But I’m still here.  And now, I’m writing.

Before I get into the minutiae of the past couple of years though (or not, let’s see how this goes), I guess the most pertinent thing would be that we’ve just turned a new year today.

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A lot has been going on around the world these past few years, and it might just be easiest to assume that the coming tide is something that resembles what it’s like going out unto open sea.

I know people who work and stay on boats for long stretches of time. And I hear it gets really lonely sometimes. Even then, despite already knowing the destination, it’s hard enough to get one’s mind to stay on course. Obviously the future in general- 2017– might be harder to navigate.

But we always get there, don’t we?dsc_0127

I myself have launched my own “expedition unto open seas”. Unchartered personal territories (a voyage in as much inwards as out) that might very well test the inner Captain Ahab in me.

But let’s talk about that another time. dsc_0122

For now, I hope we all find what we’re looking for out there. Or in here.

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I remain your faithful friend always,

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

time in space

Dearest ______,

Call it occupational hazard, but I’ve actually learned how to measure time using an acute sense of space.

Space, as in the physical dimensions of height, width, depth; Space, as in pillows and beds and things strewn about particular stretches of days, months, years in one’s life.

1 Space 1.0
A bunch of white orchids in an empty bottle of rum. By way of a little more than these two things, learning to make one’s head (board) constantly occupied.
May 2007-August 2007

Continue reading “time in space”

urban

Dearest ______,

There is a particular Urban myth that’s proven to be more convincing than most folklore:

it’s this belief that one can get more from life in the city.

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As with most tales, this thought tickles some people’s imaginations.

Is this why we flock into cities to lead lives fuelled by caffeine  and our relentless pursuit of personal causes?

Continue reading “urban”