Sunday, 21 August 2011
On Friday night I went to see the play "Journey's End" in the Duke of York Theatre. As my friend and I waited for the production to begin, I got this shot of the stage. The curtain was printed with the iconic World War 1 "Your country needs you" poster.
The play was sensational and every single actor was stunning at their role. The set was dimly lit and intimate, allowing the audience to observe this Dugout from just the right distance. Just like with any war film/novel/poem/memorial etc this play got me a little choked up and damp in the eyes.
Then I thought about this phrase again: "Your country needs you"...no, it doesn't. The world does. As I prepare for my three and a half month trip across the globe, all I can think about is the Native Americans that I am to be helping out as a volunteer. They need a spare pair of hands and I really need them. I'll be leaving behind a post-riot London and the rise of rail tickets and all the other depressing things I've seen sailing through the media lately and quite frankly, this trip couldn't come any sooner.
But before I go, I am making sure to spend as much time with nicer parts of my city as I can and all the people that I love who are in it. Besides checking out The Museum of Broken Relationships and going to see "Journey's End" on Friday night, I enjoyed my Saturday at a baby shower (hosted by rocker mums) during the day and then teamed up with the South African lot in the evening for a few rums and a Jager Bomb. After a shot, scuzzy old Intrepid Fox doesn't look so scuzzy.
And so, with my plane tickets and a couple of hostels booked, the egg-timer has been turned and it's a mad dash from here on out to get the lists ticked off.
Before the last grain drops I'll be going to a pub quiz, a hen night, a wedding, a birthday dinner, my work leaving do and then finally I'll be getting all my favourite faces together one last time to toast me 'bon voyage'. I get the feeling that getting a little choked up and damp in the eyes will be quite a common occurence in the next few weeks.
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Feeling like the raven hours of the night
The air twists around her
It spirals towards a familiar
But confuses them both
What she receives is distorted
A thousand snakes over sound
Vibrate and shake her for a feeling
Pulsate until she reacts
She wants to exist in several worlds
But none can contain her anymore
So she stays, writhing
With the snakes, the sound and the twisted air
Feeling like the raven hours of the night
Until she knows what she is
To him, to her and to you
(image from we ♥ it)
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
I needed to take a pause to think whenever the author metaphored this relationship with love nuances and how we should move into these moments as opposed to running away from them or missing them completely.
Awareness. It's fundamental.
And then in one of these pauses I looked out at the blurry greens of Middlesex suburbia and I thought about how much of this awareness I had tapped into recently and what these different degrees and moments meant to me. When the train stopped and I was snapped back into my immediate surroundings, a man with the most beautiful long hair sat down next to me. Sure, I was a little amused by his surfer shorts and gave a quick thought to how it wasn't warm enough to wear them. But I was captivated by his Anthony Keidis (circa "Under the Bridge") hair. I fell in love for fifteen minutes.
Then I realised that I have been living through this movie of mine by clinging to mere moments of falling in love. Whether for fifteen minutes, two hours or six weeks; I have moved into these moments to catch my breath, feel it rise and fall in synch with my heart.
I've not written here for over a month. April - just gone. She wasn't here because she was with me; I was too busy falling in love with all the moments she gave me.
From Colliers Wood to Stockwell, it was the man with the Rubix Cube. He looked like a character from a John Hughes movie and I loved him for the twenty-five minute ride as he sat there seducing the cube with his dedicated hands. He'd chosen this instead of an Ipad or Ipod or an I-something. He won my heart for this alone.
I fell in love for 10 seconds with the air in the middle of Baker Street station because it held the scent of familiar skin.
I fell in love with a vintage typewriter for 3 minutes because it took me back to my seventeen year old stories - the ping at the end got re-acquainted with my heart.
I fell in love with a tattoo for six weeks because of the way it felt when I traced it with my fingers and how it accented the ribcage.
And yet, I still surprise myself when I think of how much love I have to give to these moments - can I give it to my writing? Fully commit for life and not just for twenty-five minutes or six weeks?
I've finally moved myself into May now. I'm accepting her company and letting my curiosity drive me like the reader who follows so closely alongside the protagonist. What moments does she have for me? Because she has big shoes to fill. April:
When I bathed in the sun on my living room floor and painted on a canvas using my five-year old hands. When I felt the history of a 2000 year old tree and was in the audience of the perfect gig. When I heard four sincere words that were just perfect in the moment that I heard them.
A hug that lasted for a time I couldn't record because I was lost in it's warmth and the many words that it spoke.
I couldn't keep them or the hug.
Just like all those other moments I had to let it go. But after these waves of love that occured in these brief encounters all I can say to them is this:
"Thank you. I shall remember you always. And I sure as hell am going to miss you."
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Events are all compressed like the items in a suitcase - squeeze one more thing in!
It's been learning, reading, lunching, healing, sketching and honouring...meditations, birthday salutations, racy situations, giggles and impersonations, natural disasters and uplifting mantras, heartfelt exchanges, plans and rearrangements, mysterious dreams, the brightest moon ever seen, flowers, reunions, new friends, old flames, dead frogs, lost ducks, lots of coffee, loads of smiles, playful times, hard-working times, such little time...
yet one quiet morning I had a moment so still to take a picture of this tree:
I placed a hand on its trunk and I thought about just how much in one month, the universe has amazed me.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
We all helped each other into our skates and off the couch; holding on like eighty year olds trying to get up from an armchair after Sunday lunch. Wobbly like a newborn calf, I braved it out onto the dancefloor. Round and around everybody went, I got jealous everytime I saw a pro disco-dancing backwards and sideways...I could only just get used to skating by the end of the night, let alone work in some moves too! Oh how I wanted to work the moves! From as long as I can remember I've been grooving my shoulders and hips to the classics of the 70s; recreating Jackson Five routines when I was still an infant. I was obsessed with 70s music and films (I still am really) and all it took was a funky beat to put a glittery disco grin on my face.
But my first experience of whizzing around on skates to Carwash was a very challenging yet exciting one and it jolted my fondness for funk again. Just yesterday afternoon I was putting together a CD I'd made as a present for my sister; a compilation of all the greatest hits of 1976, the year she was born - what a year for music that was! Play that Funky Music and Love Hangover were just a couple of the gems that had me groovin' on the playback as I decorated the sleeve with bubble writing and rainbow coloured stars.
I think all the happiness that this music envokes has elevated my spirits and reminded me of all the things that make me smile. It was only just last week that I heard a song that made me want to pick up a bass guitar again; caught myself air-bass playing, pulling the classic bass player pout and everything!
I went to see my energy healer yesterday morning and he told me that this was the most harmonious I could be at this point in my life. I've been dancing and smiling lots you see, and he reckons I'm ready to complete this cycle of healing and move on to the big plans I've got up ahead. I'm excited for what's to come and I'm going to approach it all with a little funk in my step.
Music Playlist at MixPod.com
Just had to put this song up, never fails to make me grin like the Colgate-sparkle Bee Gees themselves. The innocent cheese in this video is just wonderful and this classic tune also reminds me of the dancing scene in Airplane! my absolute favourite comedy movie...ahh what a winner.
Sunday, 30 January 2011
I was attacked by a very nasty flu that weighed me down and kept me pale and shaky for two weeks. Perhaps my punishment for a rather indulgent New Years but it gave me some very well needed time to rest my bones and gain a sense of my present. It allowed me to think about my surroundings and how I was feeling beyond my common flu symptoms. The fog in my head was thick and I was feeling that some sort of change was coming, like right before a thunderstorm. I also knew that these changes depended on my own choices...
...in between trying to heal and catching up on ridiculous amounts of work, there were thunderstorms brewing again and one day the lightening finally struck. Through the dense clouds of tiredness I took my imagination to a place I had taken it before and worked through a 'mind movie' but this time I stuck around to take note of the credits, observe the lighting, reflect on the plot, get a feel for the tone and setting and I watched it to the end. My life can be like this, I thought to myself, smiling for the first time in weeks. I worked this plan out for a while, talked it out and slowly I could see it unfolding as if events were slotting into place because of this realisation. And it still continues to do so.
I have always wanted to meet and spend time with Native Americans (a back story that requires a blog of its own), I have always wanted to do something stimulating and rewarding with my life; something that gives me the opportunity to help and care for those who need it. I have always wanted to stand amongst history and feel the energy prints of the past in beautiful countries; observing ancient worlds in my modern one. I have always wanted to have my breath taken away by megaliths and mountains and lagoons and temples and forests and all sorts of wonder. I have always wanted to connect with myself 100%. I have always wanted my spirit to be free...
...and so when that lightening bolt flashed, I saw myself travelling for a few months.
I set about looking things up and to my delight, all these things are in fact very accessible and financially possible. I found a volunteer programme to spend time in a Navajo community, to learn their culture and to help them with construction, educational support and community projects. I booked onto a TEFL course that grants me the ability to teach English in other country; Japan is first on the list. This, I believe is my golden ticket to anywhere in the world where I can have my breath taken away...my eyes have been dazzled by photos of Bali and Peru.
I've spun out from all these ideas, plans, research and most of all healing. Yet this is the most focussed I've been for quite some time. The clouds have bowed out now and the lightening has moved on to strike someone else. I see up ahead and the only thing in the world that will actually take me places, is me.
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
Boots, scuffed and muddy. Cold-air whips to the face.
I covered ground in a city that was not my own, but one I had frequented before...events unfolded swiftly throughout the night; all impossible to predict.
I let myself flow, wearing a bit of 2010 and a Stephanie I recall meeting before. She had been gone for a long while; remaining young and dwarfed in times of the past but coaxed out to greet her future self again for one night, given a chance to help her reset the clock.
Dancing within, like a priestess in a ceremony; heartbeat so tribal; writhing like a cobra to a flute. I lost the mechanics of my physical being and existed like water.
The universe seemed to sweep all fragments of me from all crevices and corners and put them together in the center; collected right where I stood.
And in the midnight hour, I didn't seem to recognise this existence but liked what it had to offer me once again. While paper lanterns carried wishes across a fresh sky, I bumped into my past there in the present, and wondered: had my future been there too?
And in the newborn days of January, my boots were still scuffed and muddy, cold-air whips still lashed at my face.
I stepped back into the city that had always been my own, washed the sticky remnants of 2010 away and stepped forward a little more polished, into 2011.