Category Archives: Writing

Freedom

These wings are spreading across my shoulder blades and they’re full of strength. They’ll save when (if) I fall, so I have no need to give in to this fear nagging at my feet. I have wings!

Are you willing to look like a fool for your dreams? The very thought of it makes me… Itchy, unprepared, but also… Bursting out of my skin with potential.

Ambitious people inspire me. Inspiring, intelligent, loving people.

Loving. How many times I have fallen for life of late; a sunrise, a smile from a stranger, a puppy, a child, a headstand accomplished. I can do, go, love: anything, anywhere, the whole universe with my whole being.

Freedom hangs in the air today, it’s on my shoulders but it’s an upward force. It’s those wings, begging me to fly.

Reflecting on Essaouira

Looking back on my time in Essaouira I feel so nostalgic. I bathe it in a light of perfection, air brushing flaws. Truthfully I didn’t like it to begin, I thought I would leave after a week. Thank goodness I didn’t because the love and lessons presented to me there are unparalleled…

I stumbled upon what I wrote when I arrived to Essaouira, how I felt being in the town and compared it to what I wrote after a few weeks and also just yesterday, everything I feel for the place now in hindsight.

Some things take time.

 

A few days have passed in Essaouira:

There is some part of me that feels lost here. Focussing inwards would surely help, easier said than done. I want to learn but am uncertain as to how. I need to move my body more, inspire growth through this movement- inspire joy! Go ahead: Wash your clothes, make real food. Meet a local, form a real bond. Open yourself up and give yourself over when you can. Be real, be alive but be you. Focus. Do yoga, go surfing, walk lots, listen too.

Be still and reflect then dance and forget.

The time is now. Now or never! Respect that you haven’t chosen this- it is the universe who has created this path of events to place you here with all those who surround you. If you feel the need to leave, that too is the universe guiding you. Either way, make sure you take time to listen first. Really allow yourself the opportunity to hear the voice of the universe. Hear its plans- however unseeable.

I am yet to see the point of this stop. That, for now, is enough to tell me I am not finished here. I am not ready to accept that the lesson here is that I don’t fit in everywhere, that my social skills are still so messy, that I am still so uninspiring (To myself and others). Wait and see. What an exciting prospect that something awaits you now. That you are on the verge of discovering something that will make you look back and go “wow, it all makes sense…”

Stay excited.

 

Nearing the end of my stay:

The hostel had emptied and it was nearing 10pm, but I couldn’t let the day finish with this boredom looming over me. I head outside.

The streets of this city were always hiding friends, whether i knew them already or not didn’t make too much difference.

I ran into Imad, and he was with a bunch of other guys i knew. We crowded around buskers (who I also knew by now) where an elderly Moroccan guy danced. One of the breakdancing buskers who’d been in Essaouira for a while now ended up joining in along with a female tourist. A hilarious show proceeded into the night. These new friends welcomed me, joking around, making me laugh.

Imad walked me home where I found my other friends, “let’s go! Ali is playing!”

Ali is a drummer at a nearby beach bar so together we piled in the taxi. We danced a few hours and wandered home around 2am, along the beach the wind blowing a gale the guys piled us girls up with their layers claiming to be warm.

Felafel sandwiches and mint tea before bed.

My last morning I went for one last walk around this city. This home. God I love this place. I ran into Imad and we walked along the beach together for a couple hours. “Religion, marriage, love, travel…”

Ibrahim invited me for one last coffee.

Anna prepared one last feast of many types of bread.

Hugs and tears, the bus pulled away and my heart hasn’t quite left those white walls and blue doors, those kittens hiding in winding alleys, the wind has captured my heart in its chilling tentacles. I’ll be back.

Wow, I am grateful. I can’t believe the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met. Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou…

I have learnt not to waste time. Call people you want to see. Do things always, don’t waste spare time. Do head stands, learn, learn, learn. Make new friends, invite them over to eat. It will be okay. Give in. LOVE.

 

one month later:

I miss Morocco.

I am resisting England with all of my might, which I know is the totally wrong way to go about it.

But I can’t help it when no one meets my gaze walking down the street, where the streets are emptied of friends and music and fish guts and kittens…

The coffee is good but the company is nonexistent. How I would love to go back and accept every invitation for coffee I ever received in Essaouira. Oh and the roof tops. And the cheap food that was, most importantly, shared. The sugar laden tea that surely my teeth are cursing me for. The peace of mind that allowed me to truly practice yoga. The dancing in the street.

The friends. The love.

I will move on, let it go. It’s over now, I realise this. My friends are now dispersed across the country. Still, I can’t help hearing this cry from within that I left too early. Did I live out the experience to its full? Did I learn all I could?

Then again even in leaving early I have learnt. I have abandoned so many relationships on the cusp of real, lasting connection. If I had of pushed them that inch, that mile further… What could they have become? Try that next time.

It helps to be recognised as a tourist (sometimes)- it’s a conversation starter. You’re interesting. They’re interesting. You are united in you differences. You are both experts in things the other probably knows very little about.

It just felt so FREE! And now I feel locked in chains, the streets here push in in a totally new way. Before it was anonymity I was after. Now they’re telling me to keep my head down, to accept anonymity. And now that I’ve known such recognition I can’t BARE this solitude.

I want crazy back. Salsa, Spanish, camping for the hell of it, neck massages as I walk the streets by moon light, strangers approaching so openly.

All in good time… Insha’allah.


And it does… It all makes sense.

let the cycle begin again: change, resistance, acceptance, adoration, change.

Unbelievable musicians, kind, funny, dancing friends
Unbelievable musicians, kind, funny, dancing friends

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Surf girls
Surf girls

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Post surf
Post surf

Extracts from time spent in Essaouira, Morocco…

Extracts from time spent in Essaouira; bursts of colour; the moments that added up to falling in love, falling out of it and finally, finding a middle ground.


She is spinning, spinning and with every twirl, as she comes to face me, I hear an explosion of laughter. The stars are high above, reflecting in her eyes- or is that just the joy shining out?

We are dancing before street performers. The reggae beat flows in and out like the waves grazing the shore just a few meters away.

She takes my hands now, this tiny Moroccan girl. Her hair is covered but her face is bright, she indicates it is my turn to twirl into the twilight. The beat quickens, we pick up the pace- clapping and skipping in time. A crowd gathers around the music now but they’re just vibrations to us, no physical limitations, their energy swells well beyond their flesh.

I am here. I am now. There is no past or future in this moment…

 


A tiny ball of ginger fur peaks out from a giant turquoise door. A kitten no bigger than my hand.

 


“Thalia!” A male voice floats behind me.

I’ve become so used to calls of ‘beautiful,’ ‘gazelle’ and ‘nice eyes’ that hearing my actual name called out surprises me, so I turn to face the voice.

He is amongst the wagons and bicycles and pedestrians all weaving their way through the chaos of blue shutters and cobble streets: my fruit man, and in his hand a bag of grapes.

He presents me the grapes, ‘For you. Want to try a fig?’ He asks in French. So I say I’ll buy some and he asks how many. I test out the dareeja (the language here) he tries to teach me every day, failing I resort back to French, but the smile on his face tells me he approves of my efforts none the less.

A few days later I buy a peach and he presents me with a book on learning Arabic. Thanks Omar.

 


“Good morning Miss! For you!” A long haired boy I pass everyday holds out a huge, ornate shell- A gift I don’t allow myself to accept, I don’t want to get into anything here.

The next morning the same.

Four mornings in a row before he accepts a simple “hello.”

 


Our bags are heavy, full of Moroccan crepes, jam, wine, fruit, water and candles. The walk down the beach feels long but none of us complain once our sights are set on our destination: Ruins in the sand dunes, back away from the shore, at the edge of the forest. Crumbling stone rising up out of the sand which has long covered its base.

“Let me just check if there are people living here and… You know, make sure it’s not a crack den.” my friend tells me as he pokes his head in holes and around corners. “All clear.”

It was a spontaneous plan: “It would be cool to sleep in those ruins.” “Let’s do it tonight.” And that was all that had to be said for us to find ourselves, two Aussie girls and a Peruvian guy, two sleeping bags between us, setting up camp in what felt like the absolute middle of nowhere.

Candles are lit and the sky promptly turns black, the stars are shy tonight, hiding behind clouds like coy eyes behind thick lashes. Laughter reaches up into the infinity beyond us as we eat and tell stories. The air is thick, drenching our clothes despite the lack of rain. Wind sets in, sweeping over the dunes: long, cold tentacles, caressing my neck. Mosquitoes swarm in abundance, leaving love bites over every inch of our exposed skin- hungry lovers. Wine flows, jam is spread. Soon, eye lids are weighted and we look to set up our sleeping bags.

Setting up we are first startled by an inconveniently placed ant nest, and second by a man sleeping soundly right behind us. We exchange glances without a word and climb out of that section of the ruins.

Taking a right we find a part of exposed ruin, covered in sand but raised off the ground: it will do. None of us slept, the cold and the itchiness and the sand everywhere made sure of that. In the morning, though, we woke to camels roaming and ate juicy peaches and knew it was worth the fatigue.

The worth of that gritty feeling of getting sand blasted all night however, was questionable.

 


I open my eyes wearily- late nights not mixing well with my early morning shift- and breathe in a new smell. This smell is not the usual fish from the port or of freshly baked bread… It’s smokey, wafts of charcoal dance their way through my window, I can feel the ash laying down to rest on my skin.

Stepping out side I realise what it is: sheep heads.

They are burning till they’re black as night in fires dotted throughout the medina (old city in Arabic). Freshly cut heads lay nearby, waiting in line. Blood trickles down alleys.

It’s a Muslim celebration, Eid al-Adha, the ‘sacrifice feast.’ My understanding after talking to locals is that sheep are sacrificed commemorating Abrahams’ (ibrahims’) devotion to Allah through his willingness to sacrifice his own son (which he didn’t end up doing, an angel gave him a sheep and told him to sacrifice it instead, he had already shown his faith in Allah.)

Every single bit of flesh is consumed and everyone is well aware, and respectful, of its origins. The sheep must be healthy- no bruises, no dirt. I personally choose not to eat meat, but I can at least respect this way of eating it, much more than, say, purchasing a patty at the supermarket that looks so far from the original animal you don’t have to think about where it comes from. The meat of the sheep hangs in the family home for days after the celebration until finished. The meat is shared amongst the community, the rich and the poor both enjoy a feast.

The shops are closed today, the bakery is shut. So arriving to work the cleaning lady, Naima (who has the day off) has brought over her home made bread and prepared tea… Sharing is important- my experience in Morocco has shown me that.

 


The sun is streaming into the Main Street of Essaouira, the wind blocked off by buildings, beads of sweat start forming on my forehead. I am in jeans and a long sleeved top. My hair is uncovered, but I feel comfortable like this amongst the mass of tourists in mini shorts and the few (but apparently increasing amount of) Moroccan women with their hair showing.

And then I am spat on.

A huge wad of spit lands on the side of my stomach, launched by an old man I didn’t react in time to see the face of. My face turns hot, I turn as soon as I can into a back alley. I remember reading about Morocco, ‘the men own the streets, the women own the homes…

 


“You’re Muslim?”

“Yep.”

She’s older than me, brunette, Italian.

“It’s good for the women. The men have to do so much more than the women. They respect the women can’t always go to the mosque. It’s okay for the women, but the men- much more is expected of them. The men are seen as higher as they have higher responsibilities than women, it’s not out of disrespect to women.”

She moved to Morocco and became Muslim three years ago.

I, looking at things with very little knowledge or understanding, found this strange. I wasn’t sure of the treatment of women in Islam and so I did some reading.

Without the time (okay, being honest, without the patience) to read the whole Qur’an, I filtered through to what I was looking for: Women. Women’s status, rights, dress.

I originally wanted to write my own thoughts about it all but decided I’m still too uneducated on the topic. These two articles though, gave me some really interesting information and clarified a lot.

Top 10 Anti-Women Qur’an Quotes, Explained

http://www.islamswomen.com/articles/do_muslim_women_have_rights.php

 


“Shark!”

This shark is disguised with curly brown locks dangling into melty eyes, dark skin fitted in a wetsuit and a smile that’s releasing a laugh out across the water. He splashes me.

The water is ruffled like an unmade bed, the horizon is unclear as haze glides across it.

“Paddle!” He calls and so I put all the energy within me into catching this wave with him. We ride side by side, he a bit (a lot) further than I.

“Next one! Come on!” He’s laughing at me, towing me out the back by pulling on my leg rope. I dangle behind, my arms wobbly and my mind free. Wind gushes uncontrollable amounts of salt water in my mouth as I refuse to close it, my smile is too awake.

My nose ring (which I got pierced the day before) falls out in the wash of a wave. “Don’t worry you look beautiful with and without it” he reassures me.

And by the end of the day my official title (according to him) is  his girlfriend.

 


I am so close to falling asleep on the beach and this man crouches next to me…

“Hello.”
“Hi.”
“You look like a mermaid.”

 


A kitten curls up in a big Moroccan bowl, white with grey splotches, his right eye a bit mangled.

 


Another cup of coffee is poured. It’s nearing 1am, aromas and spices are building and mingling and finding their way up my nostrils, my hunger levels soaring.

Patience, Tagine takes time. So we chat, listen to music, the night passes quickly once the salsa dancing begins.

“It’s ready!”

And there’s about ten of us, all clambering up the stairs onto the roof terrace, a polyphony of voices; Spanish, German, English, Italian and Dareeja. We light candles, reveal the tagine from under its lid, steam drifts well above our heads into the open sky.

Bread is torn up and passed around before we, finally, dig in. Literally digging in. Bread is ripped and used to scoop up vegetables and the juices they created in lying so close to all those spices. All hands are flying to the centre of the table.

No one moves very far after we finish. One hand reaches to grab a guitar, another a drum, a tambourine. A concert of our very own tonight.

 


We had talked and played music while night passed, morphing into morning. It was time to go home, I lived a few blocks away.

One alley after another, winding into walls of blue and white. Two blocks away now.

“Gazelle.”
“Bonsoir, beautiful.”
“Hey can I ask you a question?”
“Can I have a kiss miss?”

The alley is already narrow and their calls are making it feel smaller still. The walls push in on me as I walk between the men lining the path.

I don’t meet their eyes. I don’t change my pace. Nearly home now.

“F*ck you, b*tch!”

It begins. The hurling of insults thrown to the back of my head… Block it out.

“Turn around b*tch!”

Keep walking. Get inside.

 


On a search for soup I was walking the streets with a few friends. It was nearing 10pm, Essaouira always picked up the pace at this time. It was a night city.

We were walking through crowds and from somewhere within the stream of people a hand grabbed on to my ass. I whipped my head around all to late to recognise who it was.

“Say something to him! You need to stand up for yourself and for women!” My friend told me.

And it’s true, yet I laughed it off.

“I don’t know who it was, come on don’t worry about it.”

So many times here men have hurled disrespectful slurs my way, asked for kisses and for sex as though I’m already their property. Made me feel uncomfortable as I walk around, covered from neck to feet.

And yet my defence is to ignore them. To keep my eyes confidently ahead, head tall and strides fast…

How is that helping anyone?

An Italian girl I know told me a story of when someone grabbed her like that, she ran after him and told him off. Everyone watching thought he must have stolen something the way she went after him.

I don’t like scenes or conflict. But do I dislike scenes so much that I’m willing to allow for this type of disrespect to women. It’s not just me this is affecting. Think about it Thalz.

 


I am talking to ibrahim, a surf instructor with long hair, a big smile and an Australian girlfriend. He is wild but kind and she is funny and sweet. We exchange a few words before I am picked up, turned upside down- hanging from his arms by my knees. He tickles me and I’m squirming trying to get free. Upright he puts me in a headlock, I try to bite his arm, he messes with my hair.

“Ibrahim!” His girlfriend reprimands,

“She needed to wake up.” He explains.

 


After a long surf we sit, drying off in the carpark. Eating olives, sipping tea as the sun sets. Two people playing one drum, their legs straddling it’s it rests on their feet. They are in sync but have unique rhythms, working off each other. I’m yet to meet a Moroccan without an incredible talent for tapping on things to create a perfect beat.

 


Just as I was beginning to fall into routine, as I was working, doing yoga, surfing, meeting with friends, watching the buskers… I ran into an old friend (isn’t it wonderful how travel turns a girl you met three times, two weeks ago into an ‘old friend.’) who gave me a very new experience.

“Claudia!” My voice rose into the dark alley. I was on my way to my bed, it was past midnight. Never mind, quick change of plans as her friend makes jewellery id probably like, he’s nice, do I want to meet him?

Yes, I’d love to.

An hour of rummaging through a whole group of artisans creations, I have met all new, beautiful people. Artists, drifters. One guy is from Mexico. He is skinny, his hair up in a bun and he’s covered in stunning tattoos- on his foot is the most incredible tattoo I’ve ever seen, all flowing curves and perfect shading and I find out later that it’s a cactus. He turns to me holding out a singing bowl, the first words we exchange:

“want to try?”

“Of course.”

I find myself lying on the floor in the middle of the common room, I have a singing bowl on my chest, one on my stomach and one being moved about my head. My eyes are closed, ‘relax’ he tells me. As the singing starts I am taken out of that room. Self consciousness floats out of me, stresses long gone. He shows me later what water does in a singing bowl: it dances.

Laying down to sleep I know that experience was exactly what I needed. I’d been in a ditch all week, who knew it would only take a few singing bowls and a kind Mexican to pull me out of it.

 


I’m on my way to work. The streets are calm at 9am, just a few shops open, very few people meandering about.

‘Morning miss.’ It’s the boy who offered me the shell three weeks ago.
“Morning.” I chirp back. It’s a glorious morning.

Minutes later I turn to find he is riding his bike next to me. “Miss! It’s for you.” And he thrusts the shell into my hands. Okay, I’ll give in. The shell is so beautiful, shaped nearly like a rose.
“What is you name?”
“Thalia, and you?”
“Minet. My name is Minet.” And you wouldn’t believe the smile on his face as he stopped riding, watching me as I walked on by myself.

 


The sky is a mess of orange, pinks on an ever darkening backdrop of blue. People are milling, children running about

We are at the port, one of the towns main attractions.

“Let’s sit.”

“Can we sit there?”

“yea, these are everyone’s boats. Come on.”

So we sit in a tiny boat with only the stars above us, I continue to practice my dareeja. We walk amongst the mess of fish guts and in between the stalls selling all types of seafood. It smells.

“The seagulls clean this up every day.”

And it’s genuinely relaxing, time spent together where I’m not constantly questioni what he wants from me. He leaves only asking if we can meet tomorrow, to which I reply “insha’allah”

 


A mumma kitten lays down, four minature kittens curl up by her stomach, plonking down on top of one another.

 


The drive from sidi kawki to Essaouira as the sun sets is magical. The goats are climbing Argan trees as the sun sets over the ocean, well beyond the fields between the road and the beach. The shore line is visible, lit up by the low hanging sun. It’s the silver lining, peace is found within that ocean amongst the chaos that sometimes weaves itself into the narrative of a life made in Essaouira.

 


I have a weird feeling. Sometimes I walk down these alleys with absolute adoration. I am completely at the hands of this town, it could swallow me up and I couldn’t be happier to live in its very core. Other times, I am uneasy or frustrated beyond belief. Many of my Moroccan friends here ask my why I’m always walking around with a  scowl on my face. The city walls seem to push in on me, there is no chance of anonymity in this town.

The times I’m able to over look the towns flaws are glorious. Good things happen and I can’t stop a smile spreading.

To which men call “nice smile beautiful!” And I immediately find the will to suppress it.

A middle space; A space of indifference. Where I can walk around, say hello to new friends and keep walking. Where I can dance to buskers without a care. Where I can accept gifts of language books and shells without guilt. Where I can do yoga alone and eat breakfast in a group. Where I can let relationships form and watch them crumble so dramatically, and not be scathed.

That is the space to reside in,  to keep from falling out of love with Essaouira. “Just friends.”

 

 

Full moon antics

The moon was full, the stars very much awake.

The night was alive.

And so was she, she felt this surge of passion from all of her senses as the soles of her feet plunged into the sand. The grains encased her feet, the air was still warmed from the summer day, which had by only a few hours given way to night. Each step was a dance, the spot light was on her here, the moon following so intimately.

Her dress on the beach, nothing stood between her and the moon, it’s light lit up every inch of her flesh. It held in its beauty her every curve, every concave, embracing every part of her. Silver steps paved a way into the ocean, fit for a queens feet.

First her toes, ankles, thighs and waist, breasts, then ears, nose, eyes. Under the water the sand rustles, all is calm- the sound a lullaby. Sight is shut off, her eyes closed shut, and smell ceases too, but touch… She fears surfacing for she wishes not to lose its touch. The water welcomes her form, creates a home for her without hesitation. As soon as she dives it opens its arms.

She must of course surface and she dose so regretfully, wishing to remain in the peace of underwater. But what is lost in the calm of being underwater is not lost at all, tonight the world above, too, invites her. It’s singing a lullaby of a different tune- waves breaking, distant chatter- but a lullaby none the less. Under she dives and up, she breaks the surface. The divide between these two worlds is blurred in this light. She is the communicator between them. She is the only one of them which can experience both and so she shares with them stories of one another. They’re wonderful stories, fairytales full of magic.

But not the sort of magic that is make believe, this is the sort of magic that occurs in the silver water of a full moon: Real life… As it could be.

Stay awake, the present is now

Now, just as you start thinking the sky is about to fall into a lapse of grey, as its changing costumes from day to night, it proves you wrong. The curtain need not be closed, the sky knows how to do this magical quick changes. It’s been doing them for years and does so before your eyes.

This costume should be ridiculous with its sudden change from blues to zany orange and pinks, but it’s not. The sky is like one of those cool girls in high school, the type that wear stupid clothes and not only do they look good, they’re now the new trend- that’s the sky.

Butter spread thick on hot toast. The butter stands out then melts and soon stars jump out of the glistening, fatty gloss. Don’t take your eyes off it. It’s happening now, this morphing from one to another is here and now and it’s happening to you. So stay awake, eyes wide.

Vibing off European Summer

They were glowing gold.

The source of such was lapping at their feet, slithering up their legs, working to the tips of the now golden hair, the way a strangler vine encases it’s host.
The gold wanted them, desired them with such strength and ferocity it impregnated the very pores of their skin with its light.

Mid August she made her way across the grass for a night shared amongst strangers (or were they friends?). The air was thick: with humidity, with smoke from the fire, with revelations.

Conversation flew around the night until the dew settled on the fire and melted it down into ash.

She embraced its absence…

She lifted her eyelids, but it was too dark to see. There was nothing out there except for the specks of light poking holes in the sky… Her skin lightly grazed by sand carried in the wind, her thoughts drifted into the calm, the sound of waves pounding the shoreline was swallowed whole by her ears. She soaked in the nothingness and the possibility of everything before her.

No outlines.
No definitions.

The material of her dress was thin and the elements around her each made their way to wrap her up in a tornado of ability. Each a gift to present.

What was over there? What held that patch of space to her left?

She could stretch her arms above her head, were the stars only just out of reach? If she leapt, would she land?

The best relationships are said to offer infinite love and room to grow… This night on the beach presented her with an entire universe of room to stretch, to leap. She did so, all in a dance of contentment and validation as the night kissed her skin.

To do list

I need to read over this again…

I shall focus on producing new and inspiring thoughts, constantly clearing out those dusty ones that keep stubbornly moving their way to the front of the line
I will not allow my self to yearn for that which I cannot attain
I will tame my demon that is jealousy
The present is where I shall reside
I will seek beauty in all forms and find beauty in all forms (including my own)
I will bring out adventures, mindfulness and creativity in the mundane
I will impress myself at every opportunity
I shall try my hardest to uncover the best part of everyone I meet
I will remember that everyone i meet has a best part worth discovering
I will always try to show my best parts, and recognise my flaws as key elements of my best parts in their ability to transform a stranger into a friend
I will lean into growth as best I can, I will hold in my break downs unless they feel necessary for calm to arise
I will also treat my resistance to change with kindness and curiosity
I will read and learn
I will learn on my own and I will grasp at opportunities to learn through others- I will not turn to google for every answer
I will practise being patient- with travelling, with growth, self understanding, universal understandings
I will offer peace whenever possible

+ new to do’s

I will be vulnerable. I will recognise this moments of struggle as a demonstration of my humanity, and appreciate them for making me feel alive.

I will strive for pure happiness. Not from food or experience or even in others. I will work towards stripping this mess in my head which always calls me to be anxious or disappointed or discontent.

i will take every interaction as an opportunity to learn.

Existing to living

How far into the wild must we go to be free?

Because though I’m clad with armour Im under attack from with in; causing gashes, causing a stream of bloody organs. An opening, an outburst of passion.

Blood lubricates that rusty steel. You can move now, you can breathe now. Those organs, tassels on a tango skirt, fly up and around in a twirl. Spinning, spinning- and soon you recognise the movement as your own. You become the dancer. And soon enough it becomes worth losing vital organs in order to witness such a performance, to create such beauty.

Roam

Soggy shoes but beautiful views in Plitvice Lakes national park.
Soggy shoes but beautiful views in Plitvice Lakes national park.

The time to roam is now. To be a wanderer in the winter snow, white in all directions, no clue as to where but to walk anyway.

Because:’what if?’

That’s what will provide hope amongst the consistent murmurs of ‘what’s the point?’ And those murmurs are so consistent. Pinning me down, chasing me around the globe. Now is the time to turn and face them, stare them down until they quiver and run away. This is not the time to be afraid or despondent or lethargic. This is the time to be completely wild. Wild with usage of time, with coverage of land, with greeting, befriending and fare welling people from all the lands. It’s all yours, it always will be but perhaps not quite so easily obtained.

Looking back upon this time memories of such wildness will inspire a current lifestyle. For it is not solely in travel that we can be free (obviously) but in the mindset we carry upon our shoulders. Let us not be driven by norms, by fear.

Let us be driven by ‘what if?’ Instead.

Magical paths through forests and waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes national park, Croatia.
Magical paths through forests and waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes national park, Croatia.

By the chance of magic just around the bend, and so we will hunt it down. Not awaiting companions but trusting our ability to find joy in isolation, and equally being open to change of pace and being ready to say yes at all times. Hunt down that magic as if you’ll starve without its fruits, then cherish the life it provides. Hunt, marvel, thank, hunt…

In spite of…

Writing seen on a rock during my morning walk along the coast of Puna, Croatia.
Writing seen on a rock during my morning walk along the coast of Puna, Croatia.

She’s amidst swell that’s all white wash, nothing clean, no clear waves or outlines. A flood of dusty grey, the ocean floor barely peaking through.

The sun’s the same, a fleck here and there between the clouds.

Just another day. Another wave passes and she dives deep. It brushes her hair back, bumps her sides, swells around her, encasing and filling in any conclaves then onwards it drifts. And there she is left bare, full of empty holes, stripped and exposed.

The clouds watch on, they feel the same. “We’ve been there.” It seems as though everyone has.

All the pebbles and stones and rocks feel the grace of the washy water as it too, passes them. It kisses their surfaces, brushes their cheeks. It twirls it’s hair around its fingers before sliding away. So that’s why all these pebbles are tinged red, how those pebbles do blush.

Dive deep, deeper still!

Do those stones suffice in filling up those empty holes? Have you tried? You have only but to try.

She stuffed them in leaving no gaps. She pulled her own hair, long enough now, to wrap around her waist. She felt it’s extension, it’s protection. Like this she waltz the shoreline, a ball gown of sand spraying up and around, jewels of shells plentiful. The ball of the year… Did it count if she went alone?

Oh but the clouds were still there, the sun could not attend but how about that wave? Look, There on the horizon, it returns! A new wave, it will run over her skin differently now, running over those pebbles, rushing through and delving within that band of hair.

She is waltzing around anyhow, It laps at her feet, a new take on glass slippers. And they break at the moment the wave swept away- Midnight under a different name.

Not to worry, the spins take those away. Just another day, there is no reason that this one in particular must be enjoyed. How heavy her arms felt outstretched, and yet they held nothing. Was the curse of those uninspiring ideas flowing through her blood? She felt them solidify from within.

Clear water and skies in Croatia.
Clear water and skies in Croatia.

She could learn from these waves, their flow and freedom to flow forever, nothing to attend except the tides. A life she had tried to live once yet in hindsight she wasn’t sure of its effect. It had promised peace, tantalised her with infinity and oasis’ from cluttered minds and senseless thoughts. Instead she had a jolting affair with reality and its brutality, the beauty of a life well lived in spite of.

She hung up the gown but held onto the jewels, Little messengers they whispered in her ear: not because you must, because you can! Don’t go for the sun is out, but because the clouds long for your company.