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Inside

If Joel had a motto, it would be this: Life is what happens when you leave the house.

Of his many radical ideas, this is at least one I see his point to. The adventure of the unknown, the inspiration that comes from breaking down comfort zones and routines, the thrill of new things. There is a great wide world out there, full of all sorts of amazing things, available to whomever is willing to grab them.

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But – to quote John Green in The Fault In Our Stars – “The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives.”

Yes, I thought. It’s not life we discover when we leave our homes. That’s called a holiday. It’s escape. Adventure. And those things are all fine and good. But Real Life – the blood and guts of life – that is something we find only when we commit to the daily, messy, beautiful slog of our days, and it happens in our kitchens at 6 pm when everybody is losing their shit and we are trying so very hard to keep it together.  It happens in our lounge rooms when we are finally brave enough to turn towards each other and have the conversation we have needed to have for two years. It happens on our floors, when little feet find their way to you, entwining within yours as pages are turned and stories are read. It happens in our bedrooms when little hands reach up to stroke your face, when sweet little lips press into yours. It happens in our hallways, our backyards, our bathtubs, in every scrap of space in our home – the tears and work and sweat and love and sheer hard fight and unspeakable joy that occurs when we attempt to live fully and well.

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Life is hard. Parenting is hard. Partnership is HARD. Marriage is the best decision to make initially and the hardest decision to keep making every single day. And our homes contain it all – both the moments we weep over and the moments our hearts explode because of. This is the great adventure. Not Mt Everest. Not sailing the seas. Not great big road trips or international travel or unknown horizons.

Life is here.

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It’s inside.

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It’s in the person I am at 3 am when I’m so desperate for sleep and I am forced to grasp the last bits of strength I have. It’s in the choices I make every single day to try again, to listen differently, to accept graciously. It’s exhausting. To live honestly, wholeheartedly, every day is exhausting. Making sense of what drives our behaviour, making peace with what drives our partner’s behaviour, managing the challenges which exist when we come from two different families and yet try to forge our own.

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But this is the great adventure. And the ride, for those brave souls who delve themselves in it fully, who are open to feeling all the feelings, who strive to discover not so much what is PRETTY but what is TRUE, well, they get the glory, as much as they get the hard.

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And me? I’ll take it all. I will take the draining, heart wrenching week I’ve had if it means I know my partner that little bit more, if it means we are closer to truth than we were previously. I will take the sleepless nights and the exhaustion it if it means I get to be the mother to these beautiful children — if it means that I am the lucky woman granted the responsibility and privilege of raising them. I will take the fights and the tears and the misunderstandings and the apologies if it means I get to pull these three people to me and forge a meaningful life with them.

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Because I don’t want the flashy lights of a big city. My lights are here. In the tiny toes pressing against mine. In the love we whisper into our babies ears as we put them to bed each night. In the way we make each other laugh. The lights I want are right here inside my messy, beautiful home.

And I will take it all.

The lights and the darkness.

Because it is impossible to have one without the other.

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Your eyes they tie me down so hard
I’ll never learn to put up a guard
So keep my love, my candle bright
Learn me hard, oh learn me right

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am

Though I may speak some tongue of old
Or even spit out some holy word
I have no strength from which to speak
When you sit me down, and see I’m weak

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
They’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

And we will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away

So as we walked through fields of green
Was the fairest sun I’d ever seen
And I was broke, I was on my knees
And you said yes as I said please

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am
I leave no time
For a cynic’s mind

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
Fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

We will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away

Do not let my fickle flesh go to waste
As it keeps my heart and soul in its place
And I will love with urgency but not with haste

– Mumford and Sons, Not With Haste.

***

Friday Photo Dump (theredtent on Instagram if you want to follow the feed).

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6 Responses to “Inside”

    • The Red Tent

      It is harder to capture home life. Iphones help, to whip out and snap away at any given moment. But we need an awareness of the little things, I think. We need to have an appreciation of how full our moments are at home, even when they seem ordinary.

      Reply
    • The Red Tent

      Thank you. It was an old thrift shop find we sanded back and slapped some yellow paint on. Gotta loved pre-loved furniture!

      Reply

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