Over the first part of this year, as part of my then job, I did a few overnight stays in Horsham and visited it's surrounding areas. I took my camera and here are a few shots from my trips. I really love the vastness of the Wimmera. I am in awe by the low horizon, which seems to go on forever with it's flat fields of grain. It also seemed a very lonely place, maybe because often there was nothing for as far as your eye could see?
'The Wimmera #105'
'Silos in the Wimmera #111'
'Twilight in the Wimmera #159'
'Dusk in the Wimmera #201'
"Sundown at Mount Arapiles #51"
'Dimboola's pink salt lake at the close of day #206'
'Dimboola's pink salt lake at the close of day #190'
'Somewhere along the Wimmera Highway at dusk #147'
All photographs, copyright matthew schiavello 2014
I am attracted to maturity. More specifically, emotional maturity. In my folly I have connected this with maturity of years, which is not always the case. I cannot count the number of men I have met or dated who where older than me in age, yet behaved like a person who was much, much younger. This has led to many an interesting experience. Because these men have been older, it has meant that some of them came from a time where they have felt it was not possible to be openly gay. Some took a path of heterosexual marriage, some have been single for as long as they could recall, some have embraced a recently new found life of very gay abandon, others had never dated or known the touch of a lover....and then there was me.
Me, who should have known better. Me who is as confused as the next man. Me who is as immature as those I judge. Me who over-thinks EVERYTHING. What is my search for maturity really about? What am I lacking or needing in my life that I hope this mature other may fulfill? Am I really looking for a strong mature male role model or father figure to succeed where my father and step father didn't? Surely that is too obvious and clichéd to be true. Me, the boy who never stood on the shoulder of the giant, or lay in the giant's warm loving arms. Me who never felt safe that my father was there to protect me. Me, who was abandoned emotionally and left to fend for myself... Is this the answer then? After all these years, am I simply wanting a surrogate father, a mature man to love and accept the boy in me?
Maybe I am distracted by my past failings with the fathers in my early life, maybe it has nothing to do with that. Maybe I am over-thinking things and maybe, just maybe this is simply about wanting emotional maturity in a partner. Even saying that, my experiences show that I have been looking in the wrong places for it, as well as in the wrong people. In my actively seeking, searching and expecting, I have found only disappointment. How could it be otherwise? None can raise themselves up to the bar my expectations have set, how can they? Why should they? Besides, everyone I meet thinks that they are mature, yes, everyone... even me.
'You're twenty years younger than me', he said with a big grin and an ego the size of something way too big for it's own good. I realised then that this wasn't his humility expressing gratitude that he was loved for who he was, regardless of age, no, this was him stating I was a trophy of sorts for his ego to proudly show off. The younger lover. It dawned on me that I had become an unwitting victim to my own misguided desire. Even though I had realised a long time ago that maturity of age does not equal emotional maturity, here I still was, left feeling cheap, used and that I only had myself to blame...and then there was me. Yes, me, here, now and wondering what the next step is and over-thinking it as usual.
Maybe it is time to throw away all of my preconceived idea's about age and maturity. After all, doesn't the cliché go something like: Age is just a number and it is what's inside that counts. My next step could be to meet people, get to know them and then see what happens. It might finally be time to just take things as they come and 'roll with' life, without my preconceived idea's, expectations or my over thinking. For how can you be disappointed when you don't have expectations?