After what felt like an eternity of flatness, one of the first joys to trickle back and fill my soul was the thrill of the treasure hunt. The addictive rush of finding something fascinating that whispered long forgotten secrets. Escapism, daydreaming, a way to disconnect and reset my headspace all rolled into one. My brain has been on a continuous loop obsessively replaying everything, trying to search for answers to questions to which no answers exist. So if wandering the aisles of Savers at 8pm at night was breaking the circuit temporarily in an attempt to restore my sanity, so be it. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. And there are certainly worse vices than a little treasure hunting yes? Little by little the joy has started finding it’s way through again. It is real, and authentic.
On one trip to my favourite ephemera haunt I spent a few hours rifling through the boxes of postcards. Escaping into other people’s lives and diving into forgotten worlds. Then, the strangest thing happened. Now this is going to sound very weird, and I hesitated writing this for fear of sounding completely bonkers, but it’s also a little bit cool in a spooky sort of way. Out of the hundreds of portraits in the boxes I was drawn to this one image of a young girl, taken 107 years ago at Yeoman’s Studios Bourke Street. Something piqued my curiosity and I knew I had to take her home.
Ok so here is the really weird bit…
My brain identified with this girl so completely that I actually thought it was a photo of me. Without any question or doubt my brain yelled ‘That’s me!’. Which makes NO SENSE as she doesn’t look like me at all. Not at all! And I can see that. But my brain still says ‘There you are!’. Every time I see the image I am overwhelmed with a sense of calm and familiarity and my brain says ‘Hey that’s you! That was a good day!’. I can mix it in with hundreds of other portraits and my brain immediately identifies it and says ‘Look Susannah! There you are!’. It’s not saying ‘Hey you know who that girl is’, it’s screaming ‘THAT’S YOU!’ with unwavering certainty.
Now that’s really a little bit odd don’t you think? Ok maybe a whole heck of a lot odd, who am I kidding.
I know it’s been a crazy couple of years, but really???? Is my brain doing some messed up facial recognition and getting the wires crossed? Or is it simply me in a past life (Oohhh come on, it had to be said didn’t it?!).
What made her heart sing? Was she happy? What was her name? Was she loved?
I wish I knew who she was… other than me of course!
I look at her and get a strong feeling that everything is going to be ok.
I am going to be ok.
See. So weird. I warned you! But maybe weird is good.
And just look at her top? I love everything about it. How beautiful is the embroidery and detail?
It was surprisingly comfortable to wear too (ha ha kidddding!)