I am learning to let go of my addiction to certainty and lean into the unknown. To find peace in stillness, even though I feel the back and forth swings most when everything else is still. To embrace the familiar and tap into what I know so well: thrive within the context of survival.
I want to witness the ice melt around those whose identities are intertwined with over-consumption. To see that within myself. To find my grounding in the eye of vulnerability. To escape the tragedy through changing, adapting, and continuing forward.
I have been intimately sifting through my internal landscape, tracing the mappings of my inner workings. I am, however intentionally, a voyeur of my own mental movement. I am looking for an answer before fully formulating the question. In this game of catch and release, I am well aware that rampaging through an otherwise unbothered corner of my psyche is inherently masochistic; why fix something if it’s not broken, chase what doesn’t need to be seen? I over-engineer what my soul needs.
The moon hovers at the edge of the horizon, and some kind of a revolution is happening inside of me. I reach for the new spark, first, cautiously, then with conviction. Like a bunched up note un-wrinkling open in a puddle of water, I am coming to the surface. The more I learn about myself the more I get overwhelmed by the vastness that is me. The narrator inside me is practicing to juggle all of me: I am both the warrior and the peacemaker of my inner battles.
On my living room sofa, I watch the sunset out of one window, then the moon light out of the other. I remind myself to simply feel instead of imprison myself within the need to understand.
April 14, 2018. Playa Bejuco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
It’s approximately 6:20am and my eyes have just peeled themselves open. A rare natural awakening – no alarm, no agenda. Everything in this place bounces with sunlight, even unfamiliar, winding dirt roads stitched together by green trees, laced with pink and yellow flowers. In the morning light, wild horses glide through the jungle under wide, lush leaves that shimmer in the breeze – unbothered, unaware of the human eye following their movement. Each day, their wild dance is a show for no audience. But today, hundreds of miles from the infrastructure of home, I happen to bear witness. Chaos is a privilege few get to experience.
Time is only a construct in this place; morning is howling monkeys, afternoon is packs of dogs playing – and surviving – together, early evening is a pink shoreline accompanied by a hazy, orange sunset. Night time is the laughter of friends, homemade casado and a dj set on a dark deck.
I seem to always reach this headspace in faraway places – while shuffling through a crowded bazaar in Tehran or walking hand-in-hand with a friendly stranger in Black Rock Desert – that in the absence of limitation, we expand our chests and allow space to “let the chaos rule the rest”.
Words by Shooka Raf Edit by Falyn Freyman Photos by Kate Fenoglio Clothing by Brightly Twisted, NastyGal + some vintage Song reference from Psyche by Massive Attack