This week I’ve been reading my early posts about Ireland and looking at the Instagram photos I posted back then that captured how Ireland felt for me as I begin to write about that time in my book.
It reads like a love affair.
An unexpected full blown love affair.
I was swept off my feet by the Emerald Isle. Continue Reading
There are a lot of things I know about myself and still a lot that I’m figuring out as I go.
I am a bit of a journey(wo)man. I love the journey.
The day I hiked to the summit of Mulhacén, the peak of that hike wasn’t reaching the top.
It was the wonder of gazing across open valleys as the sun rose, the hikers I met on the trail, the mountain goat who showed me that way across the river, the satisfaction of doing it on my own and the pushing through when it got tough.
The summit – that was just the candy. I only spent 10 minutes up there between the cramping and the freezing cold wind. I wanted to get back to the the 9hr and 50mins I would spent on the trail that day.
The journey isn’t always lovely, nope – sometimes it’s hard, uncomfortable and it can hurt.
But when the good stuff happens – the moments you notice, the love you feel, the strength you dig into that’s yours that you built, the truths that reveal themselves, the stuff you make, the people who make everything meaningful – that’s the sweet stuff.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~ Dorothy Parker
As I write a book about my travels and the journey towards that decision I’m writing this weekly journal alongside it.
I suppose it would be normal then that the themes will overlap here as I look to my daily life for examples of the ideas I’m thinking about and exploring in writing.
My life makes sense to me when I see it through a bunch of connected stories.
‘I’m bored’ whined Lucas yesterday. ‘That is so brilliant’ I tell him. ‘That means you need to go and make something or think about what you’d like learn about or play with. Ask yourself Louie what you want to make?’ I challenge him.
The Travelodge left us yesterday. In the same way she arrived, she slipped out with Greg in the driver’s seat and Tommy as the co-pilot. While I did make my way downstairs to take this snap I wondered if I should have made more fuss, said goodbye with a bit of fanfare. But then, I’m not really the kind for goodbyes and fanfare. I’d rather slip out the side door too and I’m quite seasoned with letting go. We’ve living in ‘chapter Holland’ now and we’ll have a lifetime of wonderful memories and stories to share, that’s enough.
“As instinctively as the swallows, I have always known the time to go to a place and the time to leave”. Juliette de Bairacli Levy
I’m a bit obsessed with swallows at the moment. Throughout my whole life I’ve had a reoccurring dream of flying. In my dream I can fly. Mostly I fly freely but I can control the flight if I need to slow down, speed up, go higher and I can bring myself down safely. It seems a little swallow like doesn’t it. They fly high, following the seasons as they travel great distances. Yet, they always know when to come home.
It feels like we are home. One day the camper was home and the next day we step into this home. Ready and of course a little excited. I do understand to a lot of people that moving across the world must seem like a giant step. To me it feels like the next step that followed on from the previous step and the one before that. I’m not sure how to do justice to explaining that. Maybe like Jimmy as he learns to write his name. One day he’ll write his name and he’ll feel elated and then he’ll simply get on with learning to write another letter beyond the J.i.m.m.y needed for his name. I move in a forward motion and for me because of my character or is it DNA (I’m not sure, my cousins say it is) I often build new nests. That’s not usually the tricky bit for me.
Fade: the process of becoming less bright, to disappear.
Audacity: boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions.
Creativity: the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
I wrote last week that I’ve committed to the 12 week Artists way program by Julia Cameron. It came about as I was looking for a bookclub to join in Amsterdam. I’ve never been a part of a book club. For many years I didn’t even read books, it wasn’t a priority. It wasn’t something I grew up with in my home either, neither was homework for that matter. Don’t worry I don’t need therapy for that. I played outside most days (all day) and I lived near a national park so my head was full of stories and my imagination was wild.
I still need to daydream, my imagination is still wild but now I need to read too. Mostly I read for curiosity, a little for escape but I prioritise reading. I call myself a minimalist which in my mind is about principles not necessarily stuff. Although many of us live without a lot of stuff because we have other priorities, daydreaming and reading are among my priorities. Now that I think about it my mum always have a stack of Mills and Boon next to her bed. Maybe she read to escape, she’s a daydreamer too.
One sunny afternoon in April 2004 Greg, baby Tommy (6 months) and I wandered through the enchanting city of Venice, or, as the Italians call it Venetzia. We fell head over heels in love with this romantic city. We rambled through the cobblestone streets without direction. Many memories were made during this trip and the Venetian mask I bought there has survived 6 or so house moves, my minimising and it now sits all whimsey on my typical Dutch window sill. The type that has plants and edges so closely to the street that you feel part of the daily life that walks and cycles past throughout the day. The mask has been broken and glued back together. It cracked in half again this trip, the feathers look a little worse for wear but it still lives here. I treasure this mask with it’s own story. It reminds me of how Venice felt to me that trip, mystery to uncover. On our most recent adventure I walked over the bridge into Venice with a question a friend had recently asked me on my mind. If I had a perfect memory would I risk it by going back and trying to recreate that moment again?
The gentle unfolding of what I would do in The Netherlands began here. In this moment, at the Sagrada Familia. I didn’t realise it then but a significant shift was moving within me.
‘In the shadows’ I called the shot. I’d looked for the typical tourist shot. The one that would capture this grand, whimsical masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, architect and artist.
I enjoy running, I always have. I’m not a fast runner nor will I ever be. I don’t run for speed or times (I did years ago). Now, it’s purely about the meditation, time out, fitness and endorphins.
This trip I am endeavouring to run often. It can be scary heading down a path you don’t know. Really scary. Some days there are overgrown paths, graffitied abandoned buildings, some days the paths are silent bush paths, others the beach is alongside me and my fellow joggers pass by with a “bonjour” or a “hola”.
Many thoughts come when I run and on some days, I’ll get the big brain farts. A new term I picked up from the lovely Cybele Masterman of Blah Blah Magazine. It’s the brain farts I’m going to write about while I travel.
“The mind is a beautiful thing because of the paradox.
It uses itself to understand itself.” ~ Adam Elenbass
Space, is a wonderful thing. Once you find it, it’s not something you want to let go of.
For me when there is space there is quiet, clarity, and in turn, peace. Delicious peace.
It’s not always sunny, but storms are easier to weather when there is calm.
The greatest lesson in finding simplicity I can share is to learn to simply say no…because when you do that enough you can then begin to say yes to what matters, to what makes your heart sing.