I am lost
And have no home
But I have all I need -
Love and my dreams
A home is more than
Bricks and stone:
It is the memories
In your heart
I took the photos in this post over the course of the last week. All of these photos are from around Caves Beach, which is a small town about two hours north of Sydney, near Newcastle. My mother and I are currently staying here with my grandparents and I took most of these from their balcony, overlooking the ocean.
Caves Beach is a beautiful location and is wonderful for photography. I’ve been spending a couple of hours every day exploring the beaches and lakes nearby and it’s been very therapeutic after a stressful few months.
My mother and I are here because we are essentially homeless at the moment; we both had to take out AVOs against my father as he became increasingly violent after his suicide attempt, which was one of the hardest and most painful things I have ever done, and without his additional income to support us, we were unable to pay the rent on our flat in Sydney and so our landlords kicked us out. All of our belongings are currently in storage while we try to find somewhere more permanent to live and it has just been the most awful time, first coming to terms with what’s happened to my father and now losing our home too. But coming here, being surrounded by such beauty, has been very therapeutic and has given me a chance to reflect on everything that has happened and begin to heal and I feel thankful for that much at least.
I’ve taken a lot of photos and will be posting more of them over the coming days but I think my favourite so far is the sunset above. I love the colours and how peaceful it feels but also the promise a sunset brings: how, as the sun goes down, you know it will rise again on a new day. That is how I feel at the moment: that despite everything that has happened and losing our home, tomorrow is a new day and will bring better things. Hopefully it won’t be long in coming.
Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013
Posted by cjlevinson on April 28, 2013
I am like
This empty bench:
I sit and watch the world turn
This is a photo from my archives. I’ve not been feeling very well for the last few weeks and so have not been able to get much further with my writing or to take many photos recently, so I thought I’d take the chance to post this photo in the meantime as it’s one of my favourites and I don’t think many people have seen it before.
It’s of an empty bench near a small lake in Sydney’s Centennial Park and I took it almost two years ago now, just after I’d bought my first SLR and was going on a photo walk to try it out. The original photo (available here if you want to see it) was just a simple landscape shot and I edited it fairly simply to maintain the original feel of the photo and I was quite happy with how it turned out, but on a whim I decided to come back to the photo again about a year later, after I’d learnt more about editing, and looking at it I thought about how I could process and re-imagine it differently, and the kind of stark, minimalistic feel of the photo inspired me to re-edit it more like a painting and this was the result.
I really like it and think it is much more striking and it’s definitely one of my all time favourite images. What I find really interesting though is how it shows that the process of editing never stops; you might think you’re done but every now and then it’s worth going back and looking at old images with fresh eyes because you never know, something new might emerge that you just couldn’t imagine before. I find the same is often true with my stories as well; I’ll often rework ideas from past abandoned stories into new ones, for example, in ways I just never thought of before. I guess it’s all part of honing your skills, whether you’re a writer, photographer, artist, or anyone really.
If you’re wondering where the haiqua came from as well, I’ve just had a lot on my mind these last few weeks and have been feeling rather down, so I guess the haiqua is a bit of a reflection on all of that. I’ve always found that writing helps a little and while it is sad it’s not meant to be particularly depressing; the world turns and the sun sets and rises each day, and life goes on. That’s what I take from the haiqua; we just have to find our way forward as best we can and remember that when darkness does come, the sun will always rise again.
Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2011-13
Posted by cjlevinson on February 3, 2013
The perfect fuel
For a terrible summer
I took this photo just before Christmas, looking out across a small paddock while visiting my uncle’s family with my parents. They live in a small rural community north of Sydney and many of the surrounding towns and suburbs were surrounded by bushfires in the weeks after Christmas. Thankfully my uncle and his family were reasonably far away from it but it’s not hard to imagine the kind of conditions firefighters were facing, with so much dry bushland fueling the fires. Hopefully temperatures stay lower for the rest of the summer and the fires die out… it really has been hell on earth.
Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012-13
Posted by cjlevinson on January 21, 2013
A summer sunset
A moment of pure beauty
In an ugly world
I took this photo this evening from our balcony, just as the sun began to set. It was a spectacular sunset, with the entire sky seeming to catch fire for many minutes, before gradually fading away.
After receiving some upsetting news today, it was nice to end the day with a sight of such beauty and grace. It’s a reminder that, even in your darkest moments, beauty is never that far away. The world really can take your breath away sometimes.
Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013
Posted by cjlevinson on January 16, 2013
Lights shine brightly
Under the moon’s
Christmas is here again
This photo is from Frederick Street, about fifteen minutes away from where we live in Randwick. The houses in Frederick Street are well known locally for their Christmas displays; almost every house in the street gets into the festive spirit at this time of year, decorating their houses and gardens with amazing Christmas displays, and it’s something I enjoy seeing every year.
I will be posting some photos from Frederick Street tomorrow but I found this photo rather interesting as it’s a bit different. It’s of a small bush decorated with colourful lights outside one of the houses. When I took it, all the lights blended together, creating a colourful mosaic that reminded me a little of a painting. I then edited it to remove more of the detail and this was the final result. I quite like it – it’s familiar but not immediately obvious what it actually is and I like that effect.
The original photo is here as well if you want to compare them.
Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012
Posted by cjlevinson on December 23, 2012
Lights and carols
But my heart misses you
Our Christmas tree for this year. We were going to buy a new tree as our old tree broke last year and this spare one is really a bit too small for all our ornaments but as we’re going to be moving soon, we thought it was better to wait. We still managed to get everything on it in the end, more or less.
Putting the ornaments up I found several my grandmother had given us, as well as some beautiful embroidered Christmas pictures she had made for us that I’d forgotten about. I was thinking of her and everything else that’s happened this year when I wrote the haiqua.
With the photo I wanted to try to make it look a little like a Christmas card, so I edited the photo to remove a lot of the detail and make it look more like a painting. I like how it turned out and think I’ll get it printed on canvas at some stage for next Christmas.
The collage below shows a few other angles of the tree as well. I used the Diptic app to create the collage. It’s one of my favourite apps and well worth checking out if you haven’t tried it – would make a good Christmas gift for someone if you’ve run out of ideas too.
Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012
Posted by cjlevinson on December 21, 2012