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
2000 miles away, there’s your faint gaze. I rub my eyes, I swear you were only an arm’s length away a minute ago. That distant kind of love. That woozy kind of love. Empty and safe – a haven without a roof.
I make my way around the room. I look back. I beg to meet your eyes. I always did hope you’d notice, even the things you didn’t want to see. But your eyes, always milky and calm, oblivious to it all.
Your cold breath mutters a string of broken words that continue to shatter, over and over again, until a few disconnected pieces make it to my ear. Your bloodless skin, pale and cold. I never felt so small. Neither threatening nor threatened, like a white wall, you’re barely here.
You say I love you, I smile, and the sky seems to close on us both.
Vintage clothing & accessories,
styling & photos by Justin Markin
your empty eyes are unknowingly chasing me. they’re screaming quietly as they hold a hand out that’s just short of grabbing the frail ends of my sweater sleeve. my role in this battle is unproductive – my intention lies somewhere between trying to escape your eyes and leaving just enough of me behind so you don’t forget about me. or maybe it’s my guilt that leads me, rolling off my damp skin and dripping onto the floor below my shaky feet.
i can’t help you but this unproductive chase makes me feel as if maybe your eyes will come back. like that shine they had when you’d push my swing and smile into the sky that used to smile back at you.
SWEATER by Widow
Photos by Beth Kotz