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?
It’s a great privilege to be alive, to feel alive:
To give a smile.
To receive a smile.
To share kind words.
“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.
Around this time last year I watched a few insta friends as they took to the streets snapping photos for the @24hourproject.
Could I do that? No way. a. I would need to ask people if I could snap them (remember I am a shy introvert). And b. I’m a photo-taking hack, not a photographer.
Fast forward a year and a I’ve taken a whole lot of photos. I have built some confidence after helping Zoë with her One Girl fundraiser. That fundraiser showed me that one of the reasons I keep my life simple is so that I can jump on board when something I care about crosses my path.
So, when this year’s project came up and it turned out that I would be in Dublin on my own for the weekend and a little gentle encouragement from Rachael aka @thebowerbirdgirl (an actual real street photographer), I signed up.
It would have been easy to say no but what an adventure I would have missed out on. I’m not sure how it happened but I adopted the persona of Fran the street photographer. I actually thought I was one, maybe I really was.
Some time ago I decided to create a life that I didn’t need to holiday from.
The majority of my life has been lived in this way, moving, adventuring, trying new things.
It’s not that I can’t commit or that I don’t like to nest, I love both of those things. I’m just a mover.
When I was younger it was just me, and then just Greg and me. No one questions you when you’re young and moving. Everyone’s doing it.
I am also a minimalist. Again, I’ve always lived like this, wanting less, letting go, moving on from situations that don’t serve me well.
As we leave Ireland after 3 months of slow, quiet living to hit the road in our 6 berth camper for the next 5 months I think it’s important to acknowledge that a trip like this and living like this isn’t something that you do overnight. It’s also why this doesn’t feel like a holiday for me, it’s the next life chapter.
This post uses photos from a recent camper trip to County Kerry, no doubt Ireland has a little of my heart. It’s a lyrical country with a language that sings and a landscape that touches your soul. There’s a reason so many poets and writers come from Ireland. As Seamus Heaney said ‘it’s the thing that’s in the air and part of who we are’.
“Let yourself gravitate to the writers who attract you, pull you in, because their work is showing you something of yourself. Let yourself imitate them, until you notice those spaces where you can’t help but do something different. In those spaces, you start to make your own voice.” – The fabulous Justine Must.
That is conscious consuming right there. For me it’s a pull towards the voices of brave, honest women sharing their stories and seeking their truths. Women who want to make a difference be it food, environment, each other, lifestyle, travel, adventure all while choosing their own path and using their hearts. Living creatively.
Writing, well that’s conscious contributing, to yourself, the people in your life, those who read your words and one day if you keep at it, to what matters. All the voices count.
Today I took another step towards finding my voice and contributing to a conversation that I think matters.
I’m going to quote myself here.
“Adventure with kids is about having fun, stepping out of the routine, [developing skills] and spending time together. It’s about instilling a lifelong passion for the outdoors and the real world while creating an opportunity to experience quiet and stillness in their increasingly busy lives”