Prospero año nuevo!



Spent the last morning of the year paddling out at a north coast beachy with good mates, before the sunrise, to catch a few glassy drainers in the bath warm sea. Ahh, nice! So ends the year: rashed up, sunburnt, sore shoulders, sleepy, blessed, grateful. Happy new year friends. Thanks for dropping in from time to time to Look & Sea.

Sew & Sing

ORAIN: 75 sew&sing from debolex films on Vimeo.



More radness from Euskadi via the lovely girls from Sew n Sing & the inspiring work of Debolex Films. So good to see people all around the planet pursuing their passions & making simple, humble, beautiful things.

Feliz Navidad Amigos!



Our little River, throwing out some Christmas joy to each of you & yours. You all know who you are. Merry christmas mates!

Sea Mist




"...it is a strange thing that most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical outcrying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really the understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing, related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable. This is a simple thing to say, but the profound feeling of it made a Jesus, a St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a Roger Bacon, a Charles Darwin, and an Einstein. Each of them in his own tempo and with his own voice discovered and reaffirmed with astonishment the knowledge that all things are one thing and that one thing is all things—plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again."

JOHN STEINBECK, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Mike McCarthy / Missing Person



Mike McCarthy / Missing Person from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.



This is a clip I made for my old mate Mike McCarthy, playing a new song he wrote called 'Missing Person', in his kitchen with friends Coral Latella & Sean Cashin. Mike contributed some of his music to my films 'Lines From A Poem' & 'Seaworthy', & his work was used pretty extensively in Cyrus Sutton's latest film 'Stoked & Broke'.

Thanks for watching mates.

Trickery



Tip trickeries with Jared Mell. Such a pleasure to shoot this guy, pure exuberant original surfing.

Summery Loggery



Summery Loggery: A Patagonia Short from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.



This is a short for my friends at Patagonia, featuring Johnny Gill & Sean Finnelley getting some crispy little summery peelers at their local.

I cut this piece to a song called ‘Heimat Sterne - A suite in 3 movements' by my mate Brendan Berlach.

Apologies in advance to Northern Hemisphere viewers who are caught up in the middle of winter!

El Mar, Mi Alma

My friend Blake is the editor of this film, & a contributing cinematographer. It looks lovely & I thought I might share it with you:

'El Mar, Mi Alma' preview from Blake HJ Copland on Vimeo.

The Green Grass Of Home



It's not always greener on the other side. A lot of the time, home is exactly where I want to be. I am grateful.

Gear Change



Another photo my mate Ben Conquest took of me up north a couple of months back, changing down through the gears on my twelve footer. Mmmmmm.....pointbreaks. How I wish I was doing this right now.

Friday Night: Adrift Surf Shop



A local surf shop is having a reshape & has used some of my photos as part of its new storefront. The shots have been blown up really big & they look amazing & I'm stoked.

Adrift are having a little shindig this Friday night:

Adrift Surf will be opening it's doors for
all friends, family and ocean lovers on Friday 10th December 7-9pm.
Join us for drinks, nibbles, live music, a
good ol' yarn and check out the
refurbished store!
133 The Entrance Road
The Entrance, NSW
T 02 4332 8355
adrift@adriftsurf.com.au


Hopefully I'll see some of you there. Make sure you come up & say gday.

Gratitude

Here's a sunrise from a few weeks back at the same place where we set loose Willow's ashes five years ago. It's a beautiful hidden cove buried in a nearby national park; a sacred place I have surfed & cherished since childhood.
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Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.
Alfred Painter
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Dear mates: normally I like to write to people individually, but I'm more than a little overwhelmed by your generous responses & more than a little lost for words, so allow me this once to write to you collectively. Friends & brothers, please let me express my deepest thankfulness for your generous words of solace & encouragement. We are humbled & blessed & grateful for your kindness & care from nearby & across the seas. Truly, truly, thank you.

Broken Places



The second day of summer, again, & the hardest day of the year for me. Today is the fifth birthday of our lost daughter Willow Blue Lotus Ariel Oldfield. The photo above was taken by my good friend Ryan Heywood. It's of my wife Eliza & I, with our son Noa, walking out at my favourite place in all the world, to give Willow's ashes to the sea a week after she died. It's a difficult photo for me to look at, because in retrospect I can see us just at the beginning of a very dark & terrible grief journey from which we did not emerge unscathed. Strange perhaps, but true, already - even in those early benumbed days - I was thinking about making a surfboard & film for my daughter, which of course became Noelani & Seaworthy.

Sometimes for me blogging seems almost dishonest. It's a carefully edited selection of good moments, rather than a document of real life, with all its despair & desire & disappointments & dreams. A few weeks back, someone actually wrote to me saying that they wished that they had my life, which was a generous thing for them to say, & clearly well intentioned, but it made me reflect on how misleading blogs can actually be. In the future, I might try to take this little piece of cyberspace to a more open, transparent place.

For years, when I was younger, I regularly wrote in a little journal I called my 'Think Book', & it was a beautifully cathartical process of unfolding myself. I poured my soul into that book really: poems, dreams, photographs, songs, inspiration. In a way it was like a blog, but realer, less self-conscious, more raw. So I thought I'd share an extract from it, today on our daughter's birthday, penned on a very bleak New Year's Eve just a month after Willow died.

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Four weeks ago yesterday, my darling beloved daughter Willow Blue Lotus Ariel Oldfield was born – December 2, 2005 at 12.51 in the afternoon. With fierce courage, tender love & a very bold & broken heart, my incredible beautiful wife gave our baby the natural birth that she deserved. After a day & night of grief & labour, I at last received Willow’s warm but lifeless body as she slipped silently from between Eliza’s legs into my waiting, trembling hands. I buried my face in our Willow’s tiny, still, exquisite body & I covered her with tears & kisses & tender words & anguished groans. In that terrible & beautiful moment I felt my spirit being torn asunder & I recognised that some essential part of me had in that very instant been broken irreversibly & utterly & completely. It is a brokenness that I will never hope can be restored in this life.

Now Eliza & I are a storm tossed ship riding grief’s wild seas. Sometimes great waves swamp & overwhelm us. Sometimes, fleetingly, we find that our fragile craft arights herself & runs with the wind. Other times we are blown flat unexpectedly, the whole world is spume & spindthrift & disorder & the swell pours over the gunwales; & our ship groans with the weight of enduring such dark & violent seas & I fear we might finally lose her in our awful struggle. Then again at times we are becalmed but it is the listless & lethargic calm of a doldrum, featureless & directionless & empty, & we lose our way. Then, after an age, we feel the wind stir & we set our battered sails to meet the next storm front that we see gathering on the horizon, all dark & grey & foreboding, with sharp teeth & vicious intent.

And we would despair but for one thing: our masthead in silhouette against the threatening cloud-wrack is the shape of a cross. On such a cross at Galgotha two thousand years ago our God lost his own beloved child, saw him as still & lifeless as our own Willow. We are thereby promised that death – dark thief death – has a power that only holds sway in this world’s realm.

One shall come a day then when our ship finally & forever finds her home & port, & even as we disembark upon the Kingdom’s golden perfect shores, even as I lift my beloved bride & set her feet upon the sand of our last & complete homecoming, we see a proud tall beautiful woman running towards us, her parents, with sun-kissed olive skin & long dark hair framing her flashing smile, impossibly gorgeous & carefree & youthful & alive…& oh, how we do run to meet her!

But, for now, we must sail on brokenhearted. Forlorn for a time, yes; aggrieved & broken & incomplete, too. Yet never, ever, ever without hope. Because all of us, if we do receive & bend to our brokenhearted God, will live forever & always.

New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2005


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“The world breaks everyone," wrote Hemingway, "and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

I don't feel particularly strong today. My broken places still feel broken.