No matter what your Instagram feed might suggest, life isn’t a collage of perfectly captured sunsets, flawless yoga practices and sofa cuddles with “this one” (#loveyou #bestfriend #forever). And so, if the last 12 months haven’t exactly met your expectations, that’s okay. Beau Taplin gets it. In fact, he might be one of the rare souls on Instagram who really does.
“You don’t know distance until you’ve shared your bed with someone who’s falling out of love with you,” the 29-year-old from Melbourne writes on a post. Crushingly beautiful poems like this have attracted over 500,000 followers to his account, @beautaplin, including more well-known fans, such as Britney Spears, Ruby Rose and Khloe Kardashian.
The former songwriter began posting his poems back in 2012. “At the time Instagram was still a fairly new platform and was primarily being used for photography, but people will always be hungry for literature and I could see a space for it on the platform,” he tells Collective Hub. “Once I began to see it working, I had enough experience through my time with the band [For Our Hero, now defunct] to know that growing anything is really just about consistency and passion.
“If you feel what you’re creating, others will too.”
Beau has just released a book of his poems, Worlds Of You, which he calls a collection of his “most treasured pieces”. “The title itself was inspired by the challenge in naming a book that encompasses so much. While brainstorming, I was reminded of a quote from one of my favourite poets Walt Whitman – ‘Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes’,” Beau recites.
“The truth is, all of us are deeply complicated, often contradictory, beings and I believe the only way to reach our most authentic selves is through exploring all the worlds we carry within us.”
Beau may seem like an old soul who has it all worked out, but he’s quite honest in saying he’s still discovering life like the rest of us. “Honestly, earlier this year I was beginning to feel quite burnt out. I had been working so hard and had accomplished more than I ever set out to, but I just wasn’t happy. I set out to discover why that was and through a whole lot of self-exploration and both challenging and unforgettable experiences, I found my answers. Now I feel like I’m finally ready to turn my focus back to what matters to me, leaving a meaningful mark. And Worlds Of You feels like the perfect leaping off point to do just that,” Beau says.
When it comes to his creative process, Beau prefers to write in the morning or evening. Then, “It usually goes one of two ways: either a completed piece of writing comes to me in a moment or I’ll spend hours, sometimes days, tweaking and honing a piece to a place where I am happy with it. Whichever it is, I’ll always begin with a core idea, something simple and unembellished, and build from there.”
You might be wondering, with all the poems he’s written over the years, is there one that really captures his life as it is right now? His answer is yes. It’s this one…
“Your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest, thick canopies of maple leaves and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.”
“I could be asked this question at any point in my life and my answer would probably be the same,” Beau says. “My life has always very much been a cycle of death and rebirth, and the moment I recognised that power could and should be drawn from my circumstances, no matter what stage of the cycle I was in, my life changed forever.”
And it’s the essence of that poem which is worth remembering as we head into 2018 – especially if 2017 was your hardest year yet – “You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.”
For those who want to create more meaning in their lives, Beau adds: “Practise presence – start living by how you feel instead of allowing your fears and second-guessing to imprison you, and view the world with the same childlike wonder you did when everything was new. I think when you allow yourself to be still and really appreciate your life as it is, rather than what it’s not or what you think you need it to be, you stop chasing outcomes and begin living for the pure joy of living. And through that comes meaning.”