I would give anything to be sitting in bed in my flat in South Kensington. Instead, I am trapped in an Alternate Universe. I am here in my bed under the same quilt, but the room is too big and the dog curled up next to me is too fluffy. The window at the end of my bed looks out on a suburban street rather than rainy mews. I drink my coffee from the same mug, I cry the same tears, the same books are piled next to my bed, but this isn’t the right universe. This isn’t the place where I belong.
Here there are people to love and be loved by. A few here. A few there. Him. Her. Them. Bright points of light in a dark sky that have been glowing for years and years. Here in this alternate universe there are lovely people & beautiful places & great adventures & joyful songs, but my soul is cold. Here feels like floating in a cold space without quite enough air to fill my lungs.
In the Promised Land I am Casey MacKenzie in full color. After a lifetime without quite enough oxygen I stepped off the plane on the fifth of May and breathed deep. I was embraced into the warm hug of community. My soul warmed and was nurtured in ancient churches, pubs, council flats and late night vigils in the church parking lot. There are so many to love & be loved by & the bright points of light start to shine as lifelong bonds begin to form in the warm glow of of a rich community.
In this Promised Land there is heartbreak and tears. Homesickness, fatigue, pain and loss, but a walk by the river in the glow of Albert or Ben does wonders for a hurting heart. There will always be tears, but in London the tears punctuate profound joy, dreams achieved, and Sunday evenings in the balcony.
When I cross a bridge, any bridge, over the Thames my heart fills with a kind of joy I did not know existed. I feel so full of light & love & joy & endless possibility that I fear I will burst into a star or a sunbeam.
But that is gone now. Now, I look around this room which is too big and this dog which is too small and realize my coffee has gone cold and it feels like sad poetry.
How can I describe the last week?
I had a plan, and it didn’t work. I was kicked out of the land I love, the land I’ve always dreamed of, the land where I feel the most myself, a land full of people I love, the land I have chosen to call home.
The Brits whom I love, who I’ve not yet known even two years, kicked into action. They helped me move, they cooked for me, cleaned for me, held me when I cried. I’ve rarely felt so loved.
Do I feel like a failure? A reject? A victim of cosmic chance? I want to say yes, but that would be a lie. Down in the deepest depths I know there is a Plan. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be for this (hopefully very short) season. I have no doubt that I will return to London, I will work and love and laugh and drink and live and then retire to my little cottage (lighthouse) on the sea.
Landing in California is like crawling in bed after drinking 3 Red Bulls. Yeah, I love my bed- it’s warm and cozy and comfortable and I usually hate leaving it… but i have so much to do- so much energy, so many plans, a life to live! I am being forced to rest, to think, to sleep. I should be thankful for this time. I am working really hard (counter productive maybe) to be thankful for this time out with the people I’ve been missing.
I’m laying low for now. I don’t want to answer questions, my heart is broken and I ache for London… but this season will be good. I will look back on it the way I look back on my Great American Road Trip- I was so deeply hurt & shattered, but God met me. I grew, I rested, and I found peace & adventure.
So much to write about, so little time. I’m sorry, where did the last three months go?
Things I plan to write about in the near future:
Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa
Photographing Ambler & Ben’s wedding
Cynthia getting married
The Britney Spears concert
My camping trip to Sequoia
Ugh, I am so behind. Sorry, Internet.
I don’t generally post my photography on this blog, but I am just so dang excited about this image I can’t resist!
I did a shoot this afternoon with one of my coworkers (model) and my next door neighbor (hair/makeup). I’ve only gone through about 50 of the 588 images I shot and I am already so so happy with them! It feels good to stretch the creative muscles and not alays be shooting for ‘pretty’ or for family photo albums.
Expect to see more from this shoot in the very near future. Expect to see more Casey MacKenzie Photography/Hair & Makeup by Brianna Scheff colabs in the next few weeks, too!
Yesterday was the best day ever: a haiku in two parts.
Tank Top, Sunshine, Love
Burritos in the backyard
I got a free bike
Team 90’s bike ride
Everyone is wearing flannel
Singing in the streets
Booyah, I’m a poet. That’s so 90’s. (And no, I don’t know why I am suddenly obsessed with the 90’s either.)
We would like to thank you for your generous donation of to J/P HRO, Haitian Relief Organization, on January 22, 2011. We appreciate your confidence in us and your generosity. Your donations allow us to keep doing out work on the ground in Haiti changing lives.
The situation in Haiti is constantly changing and being a newer and smaller organization has allowed us to be agile and change to accommodate the needs of their population. What does not change is our commitment to the work. As you may know, our primary work resides within the boundaries of the Pétionville refugee camp, where we oversee the shelter, provisions, medical care and security for over 50,000 displaced Haitians while working to return them, safely, to their neighborhoods. In addition, we are helping to provide tents, water filters and filtration systems and medical supplies to additional populations throughout Haiti.
The team at J/P HRO is made up of a large rotation of volunteers, a small staff, and an ever-increasing number of Haitian nationals. It is important to us that your donation provides the Haitian people with the most sustainable benefits possible, and with that in mind, we hope to also provide them with jobs and training throughout the relief and recovery effort.
Your support, along with the support of thousands of others, will enable us to continue to deliver immediate results to the people of Haiti. Daily, we see the positive impact from your donations on the lives of the Haitians displaced by the quake. You have our personal pledge and commitment to continue our work for the long-term benefit of Haiti. To learn more about how your donations are used on the ground, click here.
On behalf of the people of Haiti and everyone at J/P HRO, thank you again.
Director of Development
Friday, January 14 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Parchments Cafe And Bookstore
348 North Canyons Parkway in Livermore, CA
Come see Northern District, Daniel Gillette and Joshua Colburn play at Parchments!
We will be taking donations at the door to benefit JP Haitian Relief Organization- the non-profit organization that runs the Petionville tent city in Port au Prince, Haiti.
If you can’t attend, you can still contribute! Go to http://jphro.org/ and click the big red ‘Donate’ button to give online.
Tell your friends!!