[ For Casey x ]

The beautiful and damning thing about this life is how your heart can be pulled in every direction all at once and in a moment, it ends and you’re left less of an ache you thought would never pass but disappeared in an instant without a trace. As human beans we become the most real when we are feeling feelings that seem too immense for our heads and our hearts. It is the grey days absent from emotion that leave me more of a ghost than the noir nights that keep me awake deep into a new day. Tristesse reveals the silver outline of the rain as it pours down the glass of the lens of my eyes and that ever-real sensation of drowning in the depths of the ocean makes that inhale of bon-air that much more spectacular because that’s when you know you’re a success, you made it, you won.

For all the hours, weeks and years I’ve spent trapped inside the world within my imagination. For all the occasions I’ve convinced myself that I’m unique in my loneliness and inadequacies and self-doubt, I hope I can repay the world for ever single second spent living in false belief that I am insignificant. How fine is the line between ego and empowerment? All of this fleeting enlightenment would be wasted if I didn’t write a reminder to reflect on one day when we need it most: that everything you wish for is already within you, that the sheer existence of your desires was created from the cells that make you tangible, that if you let yourself regret any one of your actions or reactions then perhaps you wouldn’t be everything you are right now. Then perhaps we never would have met, and I, for one, treasure the honour of every encounter I have had in my life [ and I love you to the moon and back ].

Calendar days may not cure your heartache, but there is comfort in remembering that in the delicate balance of this life, sadness will compliment the joy and solitude will be levelled out by the time you spend with the world. Love is a miracle and maybe I am an incurable romantic but you deserve magic. You deserve to feel something so real you can see it. I couldn’t live with myself if I let myself settle for anything less than a miracle. For every disappointment, for every time panic grips your body by the heart, for every time you wake not knowing where or who or what you are – it will be outweighed by something so wonderful beyond your imagination. Hang in there, it’s worth it, I pinky swear.

A x



Here we are again, caught once more in the in-between. For weeks it feels like I’ve been half-asleep yet simultaneously wide-awake and despite everything: solitude, sleepiness and all that stems from that silly combination, I’m feeling more everything, everything than ever. And that’s a wonderful thing. The mind can manifest all sorts of unimaginable things, both fantastical and frightening. In mere minutes I can regress into the darkest corners of my mind and find myself in a state of pure bliss and inspiration just seconds later. For a little while I wondered if it was just for me, whether this emotive rollercoaster is my own crushing reality. Maybe I’ll forever need constant reassurance and encouraging words, maybe I’ll forever doubt whether or not I am the one human bean in the world who is undeserving of love and a happy ending, maybe I’ll forever trip over, pick myself up and dust myself off forever and ever and ever. 

Endurance is everything. With the echo of her voice I persist and persevere, although it still feels like a part of me is missing. Not a huge part, but if it were at all possible to be more than a whole, then the extra little puzzle piece just isn’t there anymore. Like a sun without a sunray or a rose without a leaf - I don’t know, maybe it’s not about adding and expanding and more/more/more/always more, but learning to be less and have less and fine-tune everything that makes me me without altering who I am completely. If I want to have and make and experience magical moments until the day I die, if I want to live in a romantic world where it is okay to feel so deeply one can barely breathe, if I want to have dessert for dinner and wear dirty sneakers every day and not brush my hair e v e r, then so be it. 

Forever in a state of longing and in chorus, trying to remember and forget everything - I think after Paris every city might be a little underwhelming. After last night’s dream filled with lovers, love and that feeling of loving and being loved, even if it was just a dream. 

Here we are again, c’est l’été///it’s the summertime, and this has always been the most ‘triggering’ nostalgic time of year for me. Perhaps it’s the smoky mornings or the suffocatingly warm nights, perhaps it’s the (treizième) anniversary of falling down the rabbit hole and that embryonic heartache over love and life and the absence of light. And that is my sole endeavour in life: to find the light and share it with the world who are trapped in darkness and/or who need it the most. I hope we find each other, because there is infinite light for you. 

Afifa x    


# 75 || チューリップ

The everyday love, every day. The days where intertwined hands and deprivation and fast shiny cars and inside jokes and bad dreams - if I could only forever remember one petit bonheur for every sorrow, because melancholia shouldn't erase every beautiful day that you have ever lived. I need to remember how lucky I am, we are, to have memories. I remember that [ twenty9.septembre.2thousand&7teen ] double rainbow that seemed to enchant the entire street; drunk in love and dancing the very next day with my beautiful friends; 7-years-old and waking up in white sheets with the sun streaming through the north-facing window through the greenery; knowing what it feels like to love and lust and lose; hugs; films at the cinema; listening to your favourite songs for the twenty-6th time. It's so easy to reject the love of anything and everything, when you don't feel the love within you to accept and believe that you are worthy of being loved. This is for y o u, and those days. This is so you can find the every day love, everyday.

deux. quatre.octobre.deuxmilledixsept
It seems pretty surreal that today I am almost three decades worth of recollections, sensations, beliefs and escapades. We will always remember what we felt the most deeply, and what we trulymadlydeeply cared about. It's so weird and wonderful to think that the people who you encounter every day for a fleeting moment, or maybe longer, that they are somebody else's world. They are a son, a daughter, a lover, a mother, a father, a friend --- and they are a soul. They are a special and interesting individual and you might never remember their face when they could be the hero/[ine] of someone's dreams.

I can remember every person I have ever loved and why. But why only some of those people I still love and some I love no longer -- that I do not know. It would be such a fucking dream to study love forever. Is it terrible to admit that only sometimes love is infinite, and sometimes it's as transient as a fucking good dream? But in the moment, it will always feel like it's forever, in that moment, I know it might seem like nothing will ever change your heart's crazystupidbeautiful mind. Embrace that moment -- because you don't want to be the one who holds your own heart in an iron cage. Sometimes you have to share the[ir] love that you wanted to have all for yourself. Sometimes it's all over before anything r e a l-ly began [ even if you'd already written the ending in your imagination, I know I do x ]. But you can take the real in that really and remind yourself of the 7.4 billion people in this world for you to love and don't forget that feeling, however momentary, of loving like your life depended on it and don't even question think about la fin.

3. 9.10.17
These days that stagnant stillwater feeling is commonplace, but maybe it's because now-upon-a-time you found your strongest sense of self before everybody else woke up. That senseofself shouldn't be defined by others, but who and what and where you are and why. Comparing is a curse, and I learned that fast slow and hard. And being conscious of that curse doesn't make steering your awareness away from other people, and what they do [ and do not have ], any easier. Shame comes from within, because the lesser people are those that make you feel like you're less. Feelings are fucking fickle and they DO NOT DEFINE YOU. Defy human nature and your initial reactions, beliefs and opinions and you'll become the strongest and best version of yourself. It's not about trying harder when you're weathered and feel like you have so little nothing left to give. It's about celebrating the courage inside you to be alive. It's not over until it's over, dreams that haven't come true [ yet ] do not equate failure or misfortune. I don't know, if you think falling in love or aesthetic adventures or owning a house or being whatever depicts your definition of success is only going to be magical by a certain date, then maybe it was never a real dream to begin with.

octobre, t'aime -- Love, A x


# 74 || SOLIVAGANT (a) wandering alone.

Dear September,

you have always been my favourite time of the year, whether it's printemps or l'automne. But even without any expectations pinned on you; expectations of hope and magic and promise, the sky seems to be indefinitely overcast. Just when I thought I'd learned everything I could about heartache, it seems I learn a little bit more. Just when I thought I'd learned everything about myself, I learn a little bit more. Resilience seems to be ever-changing. I always imagined that I could talk myself out of being sad, I blamed myself for being soft and self-pitying and for taking everything all too seriously all too often. But the more I learn about life and love and everything the falls out and in between, I remember that emotions are incalculable and don't always stay within the borders of definition. Maybe because lately everything familiar suddenly seems so foreign and I feel so disconnected from the every day, every day.

Sometimes I worry that I spend more time longing than loving, aching for the infinite possibility of what could be and overlooking the charm of the everyday, every day. I'm getting better at remembering to notice the offered smiles that don't falter when they're not reciprocated, the pure and thoughtless kindness even when there's nothing to gain, the curious and caring arm on your shoulder for no reason at all - #RUOK?

One incredibly magical feeling that I have never truly been aware of until now, is the feeling of being loved. I've always been fearful of love, perhaps because I crave it more than anything and sometimes wanting needing things is scary because what happens if it doesn't happen? What happens when my eyelashes are a dam about to burst and I'm falling down, down, down the rabbit hole? [ "To be so lonely you told yourself you liked to be this way & almost believed it was true." - Natalie Wee, from '(Suicide Letters In) Parts, 2010', Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines ]

I'll let you know. Dear September, you're not over yet.

Afifa x


# 73 || The Blue Of Distance

It doesn't make sense to start at the end, like I am about to - but when the strongest emotion within me right now is from the aftermath of everything, it doesn't seem right to begin anywhere but the end. We never speak of the in-between and images capture only a splitsecond of what may have been a forged reality. Perhaps to some extent that is what I did, I placed a golden filter over the lens and made my dream seem like a dream to you. But it is the in-between that I love the most and I love it because sometimes I resent it.

The in-between is the 6 hour drive from the Georgian coast back to Atlanta. It's the night spent in my uncle's single bed whilst he slept on the couch because I didn't make it on my intended flight back home to Melbourne. It's the car accident I saw on the corner somewhere whilst walking from the drugstore in the rain clutching a soaked through paper bag of Asian takeout. The in-between is the goosebumps forming along my legs because the air in the plane is always so cold. I loved the lack of time to reflect on my reality, because when you're on the road you only have to think about the most imminent step and not those that you will take sometime in the future.

That is, the steps I am taking now. Lately I feel frozen in sadness and I have too many ideas why that might be. Maybe my toes are itching to take me somewhere else, maybe it's the grey sky I've been waking up to every day for the last two and a half weeks, maybe it's the headache that has been beating soft and warm in the back of my head for too many days or maybe I'm just craving that gypsy solitude again. Maybe I miss my friends, so much. I love you all. 

"Let us love this distance, which is thoroughly woven with friendships, since those who don't love each other are not separated."-- Simone Weil.

[[[ This one is for Emily x ]]]