Eric Bailey Photography

Waking

My wife, Amanda, and I got married on September 27th 2014. On October 31st 2014, Amanda began a long trip to New Zealand that ended on May 6th 2015. I know it might appear strange that we got married then Amanda took off for a few months. She has been planning the trip for years, so we figured it would be best for her to experience living in New Zealand at the start of our marriage rather than in the middle of it. Long story short, I celebrated Halloween 2014 by driving Amanda to Logan International.

The last part of Amanda’s trip was set for Australia. We have a close friend, Brooke, who lives in New South Wales, who would put Amanda up for the last month of the trip. In January 2015, I was surprised with a check from Amanda and Brooke to help pay for a flight over to Australia. We set the flight so that I would land within an hour or two of Amanda in Sydney International. I would spend a little over two weeks there and travel with Amanda and Brooke. I am still stunned by their generosity to help me out and launch what would be an unbelievable trip.

Things took a turn one week before I was supposed to leave for Sydney. I ended up in the hospital with a concussion and a minor skull fracture after someone at a concert decided to push me down from behind. Figures. One week before I am supposed to see my wife for the first time in five months and I end up in Mass General. I spent a few days there and anxiously awaited the conversation about my trip with the doctor. The doctor did allow me to move forward with the trip as planned, but I needed to seriously take it easy for the time before my flight.

While in recovery, I would sleep a lot at first. My sister took really good care of me, making sure I took my medication every four hours. She also brought me food and put on movies while I was laid out on the couch at my parents’ house. Every day I got a little better though. The way I explain the recovery process is that it is like walking out of a tunnel. With each passing day your time being awake gets longer and you can be a little more active. I eventually got back into the swing of things and was able to get to Logan for my flight to Sydney.

After the trip of a life time, I went back to my apartment alone. Amanda stayed in Australia for the remaining weeks of her trip. In the wake of my return, I thought a lot about the four previous weeks in my life. I made it through the worst winter in recorded history in Massachusetts living alone, hit my head, went to Australia, saw my wife, traveled, then flew back alone to my apartment. The whole month sort of felt like a dream.

The idea of dreaming stuck with me as I looked over my photographs from the trip. After thinking about this for a while, I decided to try to communicate the feeling of dreaming and waking in another county. I arranged a short series of images that I titled, Waking. When I was recovering I would frequently fall asleep, even if I was supposed to be eating a meal. My vision would just end then I would wake up in a daze. It always took me a minute to reorient myself. I wanted to start my work in Australia on a surreal note to try to illustrate my feelings about the trip and seeing my wife again. I wanted to illustrate the dazed feeling of waking, seeing your surroundings, and arriving in a new place.

After I finish editing the photographs from Australia, I think I might even try to write a screenplay about what happened to me and sell it to Hollywood. They can make the story into a terrible romantic comedy. It will be great. For the record, I would like Ryan Gosling to play me.

Waking no. 1

Waking no. 1

Waking no. 2

Waking no. 2

Waking no. 3

Waking no. 3

Waking no. 4

Waking no. 4

Waking no. 5

Waking no. 5

Waking no. 6

Waking no. 6

Waking no. 7

Waking no. 7

Waking no. 8

Waking no. 8

Waking no. 9

Waking no. 9

Waking no. 10

Waking no. 10