Friday, 27 April 2012


Aside from celebrating my birthday this week, I have also been exposed to some very beautiful music, exhanged truths with some amazing people and have been challenged by the Universe to hold my integrity, to stay strong and push through with my beliefs.

On Saturday night at Antida, Lo and I were blown away by an artist called Nahko Bear and his band Medicine for the People. I haven't been moved like that by a band in years. Their sound and more importantly, their message resonated with every fibre in my being; reverberating after a warm tap on my inner core. And on Wednesday we went to watch Nahko play a solo set after which we had the privilege of chatting with him. Part Native American, Puerto-Rican and Filipino, Nahko now lives in Hawaii and is one of the most interesting artists I have ever come across. His lyrics speak for what I sometimes struggle to say verbally or through my writing...but I don't think I could put it better than this:

I often need a dose of this medicine when someone has knocked me down or when I've been placed in a situation where I lose the belief in myself. Music, meditation or healing conversations brings me back home and connect me back to myself and then I feel charged with the courage and the light needed to go on. Not being able to easily access my closest kindreds, the ones who know exactly who I am, and without the ability to have a cuddle with the animal of my heart, Rocky or sit somewhere peaceful to just be, I've needed that reassurance more than ever in Bali. And without the music of Nahko and the incredible spiritual and intellectual exchange with someone who has become a very dear friend or without the love and support of Lo and the wonderful connection we share, I may have easily crumbled.

My voice is drowning a little where it needs to be heard the most; I need to figure out how to keep it afloat.

This morning I drew this card from my Native American Vision Quest Tarot set:

Self Awerness - intelligence - inspiration - self-respect - confidence - inner strength - clarity - creativity - courage

"This image depicts your strength to be who you truly are. Not who you are supposed to be, should have been or what others make you become. Your self-confidence has been awakened. With it awakens the courage to drop your masks once and for all. This is the only way to return to your own inner centre"

My self-confidence certainly gets tested and I can only shine the light of my true self to those who are open to seeing it. I do not know where this true me - this spiritual, tribal, diminish-all-fear and remove-all-negative-people-from-my-life ME will take me, but I have to see.

I have just entered my next seven-year cycle by turning 28, great change is on the horizon.

And all I can do for now is agree with this song and say to myself: "I believe in the good things coming".

Friday, 20 April 2012

To be Literally Literary

I exist in many worlds, in my head and in person. I am of one that craves to stamp words on air or on paper to make reality out of feeling; I am a writer. I am also one of nostalgia, I constantly seek it as an emotion to remind me of who I am, where I have been, what I was. I am also one of dreams, the relentless movie creating of a hopeful and colourful future; I thrive on future goals and projects to fuel my fire. I am also of one that in fact, denies convention as a life map and instead I embrace the magical, the unknown and the 'other-worldy' and consider it all far more possible than what appears before my very own eyes.

I love words. One of my favourites is 'whimsical':


  1. Playfully quaint or fanciful, esp. in an appealing and amusing way.
  2. Acting or behaving in a capricious manner.

I am incredibly fanciful and I highly enjoy being so. I have the world perception of a hippy. I have the heart of a healer but guard it with the shield of a knight. I am Earthy and love to craft with my hands...I'm not afraid to graft. All of this makes me happy, but it confuses me too; the need to be all of this and the need to make a living can often repel each other - but not always. I know plenty of like-minded souls who exist through their creativity, it buys them their home and their holidays away.

My thought processes are spatial, not linear and so you see, it becomes a bit of a problem when I need to write in lines (how else?).

I wrote this a few months ago and it stills stands as my ultimate yearn in life:

A Plea to My Dormant Self

I spit my soundless words up at the sky in the hope that clouds will catch them and rain them back down on me, awakening my skin with cold breath.

A fellow friend and writer put it up on her fridge and that's the best response I could ever have hoped to get.

But if only I could wear my words like a ball gown; it would be opulent and dazzling, one with delicate detail and layers that descend the stairs before I do. I'd wear it everyday. It would become me and I it, it would be what I have to show the world.

And so, in my desire to live this world that combines my need for words, for spirituality, for knowledge, for craft, for dreams I've been brainstorming projects and have landed two solid ideas to make my future a rewarded existence. Solid ideas but not solid in practice...but soon to be revealed. And for now, I've been granted the chance here in Bali to put my words to good use: by translating French text and rewriting in English for one person and afterschool tutoring English for the eight-year old son of a friend. That's plenty to be getting on with for now, but it's not quite enough for this fanciful, dancing-in-the-forest dreamer.

I had a hypnotherapy session recently...I wanted to know what my blocks were, what fears I had lurking in dark corners of this forest dreamland that is my mind...what's stopping me from writing fervently, incessantly and throwing it out there like a frisbee for some editor, publisher or agent to catch. I regressed to a past life and worked through the lessons of that brutal Medieval time and was encouraged by the hypnotherapist to heal the root cause. But now I'm bursting at the seams with narrative and there isn't enough time or an adequate tool to manifest it with.

Funny how I was also recommended this novel by the same friend who put my words on her fridge:

I adored it. It made me feel everything I want to feel when I read a piece of literature. It made me see everything I want to see when I am given the opportunity to create a picture. It is also a story that parallels modern day with Medieval times. I devoured it in two days and it has made its way into my top ten favourites of all time. This story speaks so much of me that I am devasted that I didn't write it myself...but it prompts the question: which story is mine?

What I am also gutted about, is that I won't be in London for this:

A night-time event at The Southbank Centre that consists of candlelit readings on the terrace (including Mark Haddon reading his new yet to be published novel), comedy, spoken word, free cocktails and a mass giveaway of 10 titles. I am getting tearful at the laptop just thinking about this amazing event that I can't be at. Seeing as though I'm so fanciful, I'll just hope that I'll astral project myself there for it. Or, someone attend it for me, tell me how great it was and bag me a free book?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Bucket List

It's been a stressful few weeks out here in Bali and as you may have noticed from the delayed update of this blog, our internet has been off. Much to our frustration, sorting things out like this in Indonesia isn't as simple as making a quick phonecall to your provider. Nothing is. To me, it feels like the equivalent of searching for The Holy Grail. And so, I stress that this maddening situation that we've been in has not just been about the bloody internet of course. A whole multitude of things (and much more serious, may I add) have gone, shall we say, tits up.

To conlude, our plans have now changed and we are forced to switch the tracks. We are coming home to Europe in June. There are plenty of positives in this decision, believe me. And the most exciting thing about it is that we have so much more to be getting on with. So many other places we want to see, so many things we want to do.

So, during a dinner with a friend, we got onto the subject of a bucket list - a list of things you want to do before you die. After having discussed what we all had done so far, I felt quite proud of my achievments at the age of 27...leaving Bali is just a minor change of plan in the grand scheme of things. Not staying here for a year as previously intended isn't a failure at all but a realisation that this isn't the way it's meant to be. Listening to calls when you get them are more important. That's what it was to me when I decided to go travelling last year, it was a calling. And in following its path, I crossed off a bunch of things from my bucket list in one hit.

Our friend chalked up what she'd love to do before she dies and posted it on response to that, I'm going to tell all of you mine on this blog. It is then archived for me to look back on in time to come when I'm feeling a little stuck or blue. Sometimes we just need to tell ourselves that we've been bouncing along a rainbow of experiences all our lives and when we hit that grey cloud, we need to look back on the bountiful path we've been following. And on the otherside of that cloud, sunlight will eventually break.

So here are the highlights of what I've done so far:

*See the Himalayas
*Bond with an Elephant (I spent a lovely morning making and feeding rice parcels to the beautiful elephant Jampar Kali in Nepal)
*Visit Jim Morrison's grave in Paris
*Spend time on a Native American Reservation
*Do a sweatlodge ceremony
*See the Grand Canyon
*Go dolphin watching
*Sit on the dock of the bay (A tribute to Otis Redding in San Francisco)
*Stroll down "The Walk of Fame"
*See the "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio, Brazil
*Be on TV (The 6 o'clock news with my mum, in the audience of MTV's TRL, in the background of a news report in Nepal and featuring in a main story on a French reality show about loved ones reuniting at airports - with Loic in Lyon)
*Stroke a lion cub
*Learn guitar
*Learn a craft (there are several I still want to learn, but one of them I actually did was learn how to make candles)
*See the Mona Lisa, Venus di Milo and all that jazz at the Louvre
*Visit Stonehenge
*Go to a Buddhist temple (been to a couple now)
*Have a Past Life Regression

The Himalayas, photo of Jim Morrison's grave by Cyrilplace on Etsy, The Christ in Rio and The Louvre Museum running out of things I've done...a little shorter than I wanted it to be, but not bad a list. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few!

And now for my up to date Bucket List:

*See Machu Picchu
*Hug a panda
*Ride an elephant (nearly did but had to cut the trip to Nepal short)
*Master a Jimi Hendrix song on electric guitar (I know, I know)
*Bathe in the hotsprings in Iceland
*Visit Graceland
*Go to Japan
*Publish a book (this has always been number one, actually)
*Visit Delphi, the ancient oracle temple in Greece
*Learn more crafts, like: bookmaking, printmaking, sculpture, making stained glass windows, mozaics, dressmaking, soapmaking, woodcarving etc
*Own a Victorian house (this comes very closely behind publishing a book - a lifelong dream)
*Spend a week in a cosy log cabin
*Road trip across Europe

Japan, Mozaic making, hotsprings in Iceland and Machu Picchu

And I'm sure there are many more, but we'll leave it there...achievable? I'd like to think so.

After reading a few articles on Bucket Lists, there are some rather pessimistic people out there who seem to think that these lists are supposed to include things that are out of one's grasp...unrealistic dreams that would never happen. There was one particularly negative article that gave a 'most likely' type of list that is, according to this writer, the blueprint of most of our lives. The list featured things like: 'get a mortgage then fall behind on payments', 'do a degree and then spend life working in an irrelevant field'...I mean really, if this is the case, it's only because you choose it to be. And what sort of hope is there for people who settle for humdrum and never think they can achieve anything exciting? Go and do it, even if it's the smallest of things like 'write a song' or 'ride a horse' - do it!

I'm intrigued by other people's dreams, desires and goals, so what's your bucket list? And better yet, what are your proudest achievements?