Feel Good List

– Cold showers in the middle of a lethargic day

– Cold showers after a sweat at the end of a hot day 

– Lychees and Mangos and cold fruits in general 

– Cooking a meal 

– Watery porridge with coconut milk 

– Reading books that resonate 

– Diffusing the room with Rose and/or Ylang Ylang 

– Burning Palo Santo 

– Moving through Vinyasa Flows 

– Meditating 

– Working up a sweat somewhere 

– Writing about things that feel good 

– Driving long distances with the radio on 

– Taking a workshop 

– Learning from someone that inspires you 

– Listening to your body

– Making lists that feel good 

– Intuition 

– Following the impulses 

– Clearing the space 

– Buying re-usable beeswax foodwraps 

– Listening to electronic ambient music on repeat 

– Listening to mantra music when the mood strikes 

– Taking a nap when the body just wants to crash 

– Going to bed on time to be up early 

– Watching the sun dip up from the horizon 

– Yellow light on the wall at dawn 

– Yellow morning bathed rooms

– Morning air 

– Setting up new intentions for the day 

– Anything that tickles with excitement 

– Saying yes to life

– Dancing with someone and sharing a moments connection 

– Deciding that forgiveness feels better than resentment 

– Deciding that this is gonna be a new moment 

– Deciding that integrity matters the most 

– Setting into motion new habits of thought 

– Pressing play on life 

– Paying forward appreciation 

– Enjoying a buskers music 

– Remembering the moments that felt beautiful 

– Letting go of the rest 

Summer, January 2020

~*~

A part of something is only something that began within

I don’t want to be a part of anything that makes right something by making wrong another. 

I want to be a part of something that embraces growth, movement, holistic approaches to life. I want to be a part of something that takes a moment to question, a deep breath, a moment to ask… will saying this help anything? I want to be a part of something that takes that breath… holds that space… and remains deeply rooted in compassion and strength. 

I want to be a part of something that embraces the shadow as well as the light. 

I want to be a part of something that orients towards growth… that takes a breath and moves inwards towards personal growth… that expands and breathes out excitement, flow and clarity. 

~*~

You have a life that is yours to live

I like deep dives into anything and an open mind.

I like personal stories that touch the universe in us. I love humanness that I can relate to.

I admit… being in the trenches of life is what it’s about. I have lived so little of life and yet I feel like my caverns are deep, unmoored and ungrounded. 

I light up at the light pouring through the crack in the doorway. I like the idea that when one door closes, another door opens. 

I light up at the discussion of ideas… but more so… I light up when goosebumps ripple across my skin. When the only thing going for me is intuition and that intense body-mind connection. I know then… we’re on the same wavelength.

I light up when the dreamers scatter the night sky and resonance hums through me. 

I light up on the dance floor… dancing a dance from within and I light up at the little girl marching to the beat of her own drum.

I light up… at sheer honesty, radical honesty and strength. 

I’m inspired by strength and integrity, wool that is black, sessions on my yoga mat moving through vinyassa flows. 

I’m inspired by meditation and the awareness that I’ve felt, lists that don’t follow any particular rules, structure acting as support. 

I’m inspired by the concept of co-creation, nuance, sublety and detail along with the big picture. I love the process of expansion and I love the Winter cycles of renewal and root work. 

I love the idea of waking up every morning, purpose filled and ready to begin… and I love the idea of being gentle when I am not.

I love the way this gives rise to a new page, a new sentence, a new line… a new beginning, a new moment, a new lets try again right now. 

I love a new idea and I love a re-shaping of the old. 

I love the way life seems to flow with each rivulet moving me closer into the river and the center of the spiral. 

I love the thought of becoming. I love the thought that becoming happens to us when we allow ourselves space to grow. I love that allowing ourselves space to grow entails invitation. The new leaf of my orchid grows towards the sun as the old leaf at the bottom yellows. I love that the process of renewal and death can happen in tandem. I love that the new root of my orchid has sprouted on the side next to where I placed a rose quartz months ago. Pure delight to my inner child.

You have to love this soft human life of yours if you are to make anything worthwhile… even a cup of tea. You have to love the frowns as well as the successes if you want to live a life that is balanced. And you have to throw everything (or something) out the window and jump out of a plane, do something on the edge of your comfort zone… be embarrassed… if you want to develop courage… compassion… and whatever it is that will carry you through to the work of your life… that is… the work of living. You have a life to live that is yours. 

~*~

Symbiosis

When you feel a connection to the land, it permeates every part of you.

Imagine this metaphor, of threads, entertwined to form a cord laced with hints of gold, connecting us to life, in this sense, what nourishes us.

What if it has begun to sever and you are tethering by a thread?

Imagine… that the land calls to you… that the leaves whisper in the wind and the voices of the people echo the wisdom of the earth. 

You sink into it. You let go of all the knives that have been embedded in your heart, clenched in perpetual tension. Everything dissolves… Everyones light is reverberating back to you, into you and through you. You are a light amidst all the other lights reveberating to the frequency you are tuning into.

You inhale and sink into your heart, you inhale and drop out of your mind, you inhale and you see the world from this place. Suddenly you notice it’s different. You’re seeing it differently. You inhale and you exhale and the land greets you, around every corner and in the eyes of people. You feel the land and you recognise this feeling of belonging for the first time. 

It feels new and it feels like coming home. 

Some time later it dawns on you, how soul replenishing that journey was, how the land reached right into you and threaded you home, how… a place is made by its people… and its people by their love for the land. Warmth buzzes in your heart and goosebumbs ripple across your skin. It is a truth that resonates from the core.

~*~

Sand

When you said yes

i. 

I love the moments of silence that are here, 

the trebles and the wobbles, 

the tipped toes and the high brows, 

with the skin stretched over bones, 

over years 

like a cathedral – 

one brick at a time. 

ii. 

over there in the temple of flowers,

the leaves whip by in the wind

and soar into the tipped outline of feathered wings – 

they do this every day,

somewhat cheekily as they tickle by your ears

and ask, are you my tree?

iii. 

today your otherness is meeting the dawn,

all the other ness’s too –

your highness, your lowness, your softness, your hardness –

today they’re all awash with skin, fingers, eyes and lips. 

iv. 

the world looks fiery with the light of every human being 

in every way of being

why did you said yes,

to the possibilities and the drama?

v. 

You laugh and say, exactly. 

~*~

Sand

On this ride

This is the smell of mud and sharp air,

the intensity and clarity of knowing you’re alive,

feet thumping madness of being wholly in your skin,

this skin, whatever colour you are,

this shape, whatever form you are,

where are the times we wore crazy grins

up for a wild ride,

we are the troopers in the storms

the sound of a hell fucking yes,

the sound of the sky crackling with thunder

and the earth shuddering with the roars

tearing from our throats,

we have the wild singing in our blood,

the notes dancing onto a page 

cannot contain the love that expresses itself 

in the feeling of being soaked in rain,

that feeling of being near something you cannot name,

that feeling of falling into an abyss,

that feeling of soaring

and that feeling of being on this ride.

~*~

Sand

Kaleidoscopic human being

I do believe… you and I are deserving of kindness… I am in a process of learning what it is that I really desire… your presence, is an allowance of that desire, to exist. Be bold, be brave, hold it firmly within you and shine it like a torch. You never know… what stories, a person is carrying… whether that boy… you see… riding his bike, with his earphones in, has been bullied at school? 

Judgment: another kind thought – sometimes judgement comes from someones attachment to their sense of identity and what they believe about that.  

If they cannot allow the quality they see in you, in themselves, then judgment is a self-defence mechanism. If it bothers them, to what extent is that quality yearning for expression, in some form or other, in them?

You never know… whether the woman who sits down next to you… has attempted suicide. You never know, until you take a chance to welcome someone to share their story. You just never know, what’s going on in their life. You never know, who will resonate with your story… but you can be sure, someone will… and someone will find it empowering to hear. And believe me, the telling of stories can be deeply healing.

I don’t know if that boy was bullied, but I am sure, he has a story to tell.

Here’s what I appreciate about him… that his presence invited me to ask more questions. That I hope, whatever music he was listening to… soothes him. 

Why do we sit down here and gaze at the ocean? There’s the vaguest film of salt in the air, carried by the cool breeze… and the heat of Summer, is swirling through the air. It reminds me of those strawberry cream candies with the swirl of red/pink and white. It’s about a year since I was last here. Beaches draw up images of boisterous crowds out here for the sun and the sea. 

Isn’t that why I am here? 

You watch briefly, someone else gazing at the sea and this vague sense of discomfort steals over you. Their solitude feels sacred. It’s the realisation that they are fully here and present with their thoughts. It’s the sense that they’re not, at this moment, distracted by the world behind us, rushing sounds of vehicles, in a seeming hurry to be somewhere. It’s the sense that solitude here… is quietly shared. Is that why I am here? 

There is a pigeon looking at me, wondering if I will offer food, or perhaps, if I will leave crumbs of food behind. I don’t know. Is it a clever assumption or an assumption based on routine? Or both, that the clever is in the routine? That, for this pigeon, this routine works. This routine soothes its sense of survival. I don’t think it cares to know that the breeze is ruffling feathers on its back. But the thought makes me chuckle. 

Earlier this year, seeking solitude so I could write, distill and sift my thoughts onto the page, I found myself surrounded by mountains and a stream, a little way off… and a packet of hazelnuts. I demolished them and then I noticed… this ant, making away with the skin of a hazelnut! 

How hard and tirelessly it worked… to carry that skin across the earth. What I had carelessly dropped… was its treasure. This ant… had a work ethic and I admired it. I know, it doesn’t entertain these trains of thought. It doesn’t sit at a bench and ponder its work ethic, its nature. I don’t want to say it doesn’t think… that would be insulting to the intelligence inherent about ants and their colonies.

But I sit here and think… and someone would definitely ask… if they knew the nature of my thoughts… do you think about useful things? 

As I might’ve grudgingly realised, in their parameters of that question, the answer would be no. Yet because this thought has arisen… anyway… I’m inclined to believe that I valued their thoughts… and their parameters of seeing and thinking about the world… over my own. I valued them, their thoughts, their opinions and what they had to offer… but did they value mine? 

Did they decide… yes, I value you, but only if you are this, this and this. 

Were they cognisant of this? 

Of saying… I value you… but only if you are not you. 

The two parts of that sentence… form the two parts of an equation… and they cancel each other out. There is no value here. 

But I am here… suddenly wondering about the ghosts of the past. The part of me, thinking these thoughts arising from past conditions… and the part of me… naturally and instinctively seeing and feeling and offering the impulses that arise out of being in this moment. Are they one? Am I attempting to rectify cognitive dissonance? 

The more kindly, I think about judgment and what it offers… the more I’m able to embody what it is that I do want and desire, from myself and from others. People aren’t easily categorised by adjectives… people are a kaleidoscopic array of everything that is possible. 

That is a thought that excites me. 

Believe the best of others and the best will reveal itself. Believe the best of yourself and the best of you will show itself. There’s flexibility to those statements that I enjoy immensely… because they would be equally valid if I substituted best for worst. And since… no person is one or the other… life is a hodgepodge with everything. 

The clarity of that tickles me.

It seems ironic… and because, it lends itself to the next question: Out of this hodgepodge of everything that is life, what experiences do you want to pick and choose to live? 

~*~

Sand

Chaos

Life is messy and imperfect. We will always find what we are looking for if we sift through the sand. We will always find the treasures in the broken shells and the bruised edges. 

In improvisation, I found this edge:

The chaos captures my imagination. The chaos captures my heart and I painstakingly follow it for more, for something I’m not even sure I know I’m pursuing, in the lines and the details and the intricacies, I marvel at the big picture that comes out of the chaos… and on close inspection, realise I’ve been mistaken all along, the chaos weaved webs and lines and curves and threads to follow home. Chaos cried from the way I choked it. It yearned for blue skies and freedom. Chaos cried, for the wings of grace.

How could I kill you? My rawness. My scrapes, cuts, bruises, mistakes? The imperfections of life… is where we will feel the most.  

Piano improvisation – Chaos: Winter is Thunderous

Moments where we look up and see the moon glowing, hanging in the night, a dark blue sea swept starless. Moments where we look up in awe… there… floating back into the trees on an invisible thread, is a spider on its way home.

Beauty exists in the unfolding and the dying… in the cycles of the seasons and our bodies, in the shattering pain of being heartbroken. In the light falling through the leaves, in persisting… in learning… the act of surrender is sometimes an art. Letting go can be bittersweet and poignant.

30th of May, 2018

~*~

Sand

Seeing the dance

Maybe my religion is beauty. If I define religion as the beliefs and views we accept on faith, that may or may not be true for others but is true for us. For me, for you, for others – whatever is true for them. 

Some artists reveal beauty through everything and everyone. Every moment of grace. An invitation into seeing the beauty of a flock of birds gathering in flight, soaring across the park. I didn’t see it until an artist painted all the shapes and ways that a bird could be seen in flight – and from that point forward, it marked my ordinary mundane moments, of walking through Belmore park and seeing the huge flock of pigeons with the occasional scattering of ibis’ and seagulls, take flight, no doubt, something or someone had intrigued them on the other side of the park – food, undoubtedly involved.

Most of the time art doesn’t land with me that way. There is always going to be art that resonates with you and art that doesn’t. The artist’s job, isn’t necessarily to reveal what is beautiful. If they draw forth an emotional response from me, or an intellectual one, I would say they succeeded. Though… it takes two, to see and be seen and I am not always going to be every artists ideal audience. There are emotional responses I enjoy having evoked… and emotional response I’d be happy to not seek out… and sometimes, responses that require maturity… where the art, not only didn’t land, but drew forth an immature reaction. But here’s where it gets interesting, several years later, present time, I am remembering that piece and my reaction… and I’ve realised, I missed the point, entirely. The purpose of that piece was an invitation to question the nature and the purpose of art itself, and the impulses that draw us into the context of galleries. 

Context… being the operative word here. That particular piece of art, a rusted something leaning against a wall, was post-modernistic. For me that evokes, “That’s a chair, but is it really a chair?” and If a tree fell in a forest and no one heard it, did the tree still fall? 

Those aren’t really questions expecting answers, and whoever that artist was/is, I am humbled and they have my deepest respect. 

Now I see, the nature of that piece of post-modernistic art, was to question. Often, uncomfortably. Because what is up for review, is the previously held belief about something. In this case, the previously held belief I had, about art. But it doesn’t make it smaller… the only reason I would fight to keep that old belief about art, is because it threatens the status quo, it threatens what art means to me by asking me to question it… how I relate to art… and what I measure art as, by, with. For instance – talent, skill, finesse, detail, abstraction, process, communication. And not necessarily, all in the same piece/work. But if those measurements are no longer operative… how do I know who I am in terms of my understanding and approach to seeing art? Suddenly, I no longer know, what art is, only that the very medium, has been used, to question itself.

That’s a very… uncomfortable thing… to do. To witness an artist and their art, invite you to do. There is an impulse to guard against the chaos that I sense, will ensue. And that’s exactly what I did, insisted it wasn’t art, and went on my merry way.

But now I also have to question… what is that insistence keeping apart, at a distance? And what does it really serve? I confess, art is my subject here because I don’t have my hands in the clay – in the mediums that are art. There is an objectivity that feels safe to me… and a subjectivity that isn’t intimately tied into my sense of identity. If it were, these questions would be much more difficult.

Letting go of a previous belief… is like that. Letting go of my previous belief about art… didn’t make my understanding of art shrink. Letting go of a previous belief… doesn’t make the subject of that belief… smaller. It makes it wider. It makes more room. It makes more space. It invites, more acceptance. 

No one ever passes from the beginning to the ending… by skipping the middle… the process… for me that included anger, justification, riling for, riling against. I can take that to mean that something is shifting, there is a desire for that shift, and there exists an equally powerful impulse… for it not to shift. 

And… seeing that dance, is presently… the beauty of it. 

Sand

Apricity

You are such a solid enigma. Filled with frightful colours, bold and daring and tender and hurt. It’s in your lips and your touch. You touch me with softness, like I am something precious, like I am a darling. Tender and worth loving. 

Listening to Apricity makes me feel like crying now. I knew how it was and where we would leave each other. I stayed present for you, I felt your lips on mine, I felt the intensity of your lips on mine, your body, your weight. The feeling of you, how solid you were. That was amazing. I would have stayed if I hadn’t been learning how to love and respect myself. That’s what it was, but actually it really was a lot of things. I’ve made sense of them. We’re on a path heading towards different patches of blue sky. But I have known your depth, your warmth, your kindness, and in your darkness I see, you’re human. 

I see, I’m human, that we’re all just in this life thing together, even when we’re lonely and coming apart on the floor, in a bottle, in the high, or the pain, or the scars, in the destructive things we do to run, to hide, to feel, to scream in silence, how much are we struggling beneath the weight of our world?

I can feel that, I can feel where mine ends and yours begin, where yours end and mine starts. I’ve met you in all the people I’ve met before you, and I’ll meet you again in the people I haven’t met yet. 

Isn’t that a story? 

When I started writing Apricity, I wrote these words down to anchor what the piece was about; 

The present is past is here is gone. You build stories and worlds out of your identities. Make them beautiful. Make them truthful. Believe in yourself, but give your past a place of acknowledgement. It made you who you are.

I think things always get worse before they get better. Sometimes we do things to show other people that we’re decent human beings. I think all that reveals, is exactly how human we are. Apricity is the warmth of the sun on our skin in Winter. 

You inspired this piece… because in the time we spent together, I felt so much warmth. When I looked for a word to describe the feeling, this was it. You sprinkled sunlight onto my winter soul, you met me in my vulnerability, and said, but I see you, and you are beautiful. In all those moments, you left me a little softer. I’m in a world of my own making. Deeply blue. Softly healed… and not ready to be broken again. I’m going to leave the rawness behind in this piece, for the reason that life… like love, is also messy. And when you’re alone… feeling all the depth of your pain, I hope you take a moment to feel the apricity in this world too.

Apricity

July, 2017

From Merriam-Webster online:

Definition

: the warmth of the sun in winter

About the Word

This word provides us with evidence that even if you come up with a really great word, and tell all of your friends that they should start using it, there is a very small chance that it will catch on. Apricity appears to have entered our language in 1623, when Henry Cockeram recorded (or possibly invented) it for his dictionary The English Dictionary; or, An Interpreter of Hard English Words. Despite the fact that it is a delightful word for a delightful thing it never quite caught on, and will not be found in any modern dictionary aside from the Oxford English Dictionary.

~*~

Sand