19 de març 2020

MESSY _ MESS...NO

There has been a long, silent break since the adventure began. Until I reached this point of shudding away the lethargy and rearranged the procrastinated items of a to-do list of all those things the Covid situation has pushed up to the priority list. 

RANDOM PROCRASTINATED ITEM ON THE LIST #1

  • Post before and after pictures of the months you've been working on your house (you ace!)

I find them. Some on one phone (FP2), some on the new one (FP3). 
But I don't put them all together in one file. I forgot again to ask Rob for his footage, so then I can complete the process. It's too late today. And, after all, I can't come out of the blue, drop him a text and ask for them. We all have other prioritites. I tried to record him a message referring to a once-lived conversatio and some thoughts I wanted to share with him, and then I listened to it and I realise I get lost in story telling mode and forget to ask him for the videos he made. Some of us also have more time. I don't have to claim it with stories, maybe they are not interesting, maybe I am interrupting. Damn, now I am thinking for others and being irrational at the same time. Let's move to the next item, then

RANDOM PROCRASTINATED ITEM OF THE LIST #2

  • Review the insurance 

Then I need to review documents. And I remember I have to write per request, for an exciting job opportunity. I should be writing. And I freeze 81/2 Fellini style because I have to adjust to the format and because they'd love to see pictures in the article. Images, my kriptonite.
 I tell myself if I talk to my insecurity, it won't help, I have all the time in the world, I am a passionate writer, I am not new to it. I give myself strength and then I wish it was like as easy as going on a stage, grab the mike and sing. 

And in the mess of papers and writings I find the ongoing book I once started, it is called "progressive pink", or "progressive grey" or both or "greetings from Memory Lane" or "Down Down Under", but today I am going to call it after "Family Man's" dog, Brian. Because Brian the book has been sitting in my computer folders for a while waiting for a reorganising of chapters, a thread and a purpose. Brian stayed in the 'Books' folder, because all I needed to get it out of my chest has already been written. 

SUDDEN RANDOM ADDENDUM TO LIST OF TO-DO ITEMS CRAWLING UP THE PRIORITY LIST


  • You won't find a thing if you have so many bags full of papers. Recycle

A bunch of folded papers inside an esky/chilly/cooler bag. Like a script. It's  Brian in hard copy but I don't know, yet. I start reading it with interest: "quite an interesting piece" I hear my mind saying to myself.
 And then I read on and the style is awfully familiar, descriptions like: that smell of Mango, the recurring theme of Pelargon, the somehow grainy softness while sliding my hand... and voilà, I know who wrote it and I know who inspired it. 

I go back to the place, to that moment in time, unable to remember any image of that scene but vividly remembering the rigid touch of the fabric with a neon printout in some acrylic paint, it smelled a bit like rubber. The smell of the human wearing it, bare faced, soft chest, rough legs, the taste of the mango juice, a breath of Toohey's and one nervous cigarrete. My lovely Sydney in the background, smelling like seasalt and frangipani, greeting me with its OZ(oh)ne sun. Steep road and a high building overlooking Darling Harbour. The moon that rises from the water. My Locus Amoenus.

And I move in time and understand. I understand the writer's block, the fear at once, because the situation re-enacts itself and you expect the outcome to follow the usual pattern. It is ok if you don't succeed, but it is hard to reassure yourself when it happens. 

 And then I wish agian everything was as easy as going on a stage, grab the mike and sing. 
And then I realise I still haven't written the lyrics to the song. 

To be heard, to be read.
To be seen.

19 de gener 2020

Approaching


With somehow French melancholy we departed chez Vasil and started packing after some strong melitta coffee, a German flashback. I could take some of the leftovers in my mug because Rob doesn't drink any and Yann was anyway still sleepy and had plans to go back to bed. 

Good vibes, we had had two days of absolute switching off in a charming, quiet place and in beautiful company.



To me it felt like a cultural transition to Southern European lifestyle, minus the rural ambiance. I am talking about the eating habits where meals are a big deal and quality prevails and a warmer personality in general. After all, we all kiss in France and in Catalonia when we see for the very first time. Temperament starts showing, but something happened after crossing the Pyrenees, where people become generally loud, gesticulate a lot and touch a bit more often. Being hipersensitive to smell and sound I dislike the loud Southern European decibels, however, although I don't participate as much as a regular one, I do very appreciate the proxemics. 
Next Mitfahrer- co-voiturante: Sofie, picked up in Lyon, as much as I wanted to avoid the city, grrr. A North Catalan raised in Perpignan. You could tell: we talked for hours about food and cortados (machiatto coffee).

The trip went by really quickly. Bonzai was well adapted to the van and he also stayed a while in the back, to have some leg space. I had built a higher floor for him, a plattform with his toilet, his sleeping basket and a travelling bag.  I did have to keep him locked in the travelling bag, because otherwise he'd stay between the things underneath and I was scared that if I had to hit the brakes the bike or boxes there would shift and it could have hurt him. 

He is so awesome that in the one toilet break, I let him out at his own leasure in the back of the van to snoop around and he went to the toilet at the same time as I. Can't be more of a proud crazy cat lady mummy. 

In Perpignan we dropped Sofie off and picked Eric up. 
He had been travelling solo in a camper "into the wild" and his camper broke down. As he had booked a room in a hostel in Barcelona right down my street, I drove him right to his door. In the short trip Perpignan-Barcelona, Rob and I adopted him because we found his accent, a rusty English with French words in a German background mixed with some Spanish incursions too adorable. I invited him to come live with us and help on my home project. He agreed. and that's how we added to the itinerant family an old souled teenager with whom I believe I have more in common than with some people double his age. 



That for the journey. Our days pre-renovation works were a slow progression to cold with mornings of yoga and meditation. I could sign up to that life. In fact, it's my place, so I can... and I will 
met veel plezier and groot gemak

13 de gener 2020

Franchute stereotyped

Second leg. Bruxelles-Cuisery.

Bonzai was well rested, the one who slept best in Brussels and very relaxed on the road. We dropped Bego at the airport and picked Ibrahim up, our next trip companion for the following seven hours.
Ibrahim earned brownie points by helping me attach a side mirror. We brought Ibrahim to Dijon and made our way to Cuisery. Looking forward to seeing Yann again.

Arrival at Cuisery by sunset. Received by Yann, with whom I shared house and life episodes many (so many!) years ago in Germany. I am glad I can still visit him, grateful we get to see each other sporadically.


Kiki, a friend of Yann had made us a soup we ate with baguette, cheese avec cordon bleau for the meat eaters.

When the sun came up we were greeted by a beautiful early spring day. The evening before we had decided to stay one more day to get plenty of rest.
Plan of the day: some stretchings in the studio next door, go take the donkeys and the dogs for a walk and to continue the French stereotype programme by rocking to Frank (his name should have been René) to play some petanque before the Barcelona-Madrid match.

Petanque - jeu de boules
Dogs and donkeys for a walk



Bonzai in the meantime wasn't impressed with the "campagne" environment. While the sound of the river outside served us as the perfect white noise to sleep like babies, it seemed too foreign for him. Add dogs, donkeys, big chickens, a lot of people coming in and out and the shouting during the Barça-Madrid game and there's no kitty to be seen.
We drank wine, smoked gauloises tasted the most amazing cheeses and went early to bed after a 0-0 to wake up and be on our 3rd leg on our way to Barcelona.

It was great catching up with Yann, it is beautiful in Cuisery... Bald mal wieder!

27 de desembre 2019

Cat good, alles good!

Happy 2020!
 We have already crossed the threshold of the longest day of the year and light will come into us from now on. I have entered MY new year already and all the good change is underway, slowly rebuilding good habits adding new ones and working on modifying those that don't contribute. 
Before works in the house start, I don't want to leave any part out of the journey. The road trip was the very beginning of this new stage. 


Amsterdam-Brussels expedition
On our van trip from Amsterdam to Barcelona my main concern has been the cat to the point that I started going on stress mode shortly before departure. And he positively surprised me. I am so proud of him...


First leg:
Amsterdam-Brussels. 
Short trip and overnight stay at Antonio's, who lives in his lovely "cuchitril" right behind the Grand Place. Try finding a parking spot there. But I had worried enough. Rob used his gratefulness and positive energy to manifest a spot. 
So, luckily there was street works going on at the corner of Antonio's and we could park amply there. One fewer worry. Here we went on to unpack the many cat things (toilet, food set, travel bag) and climb the many stairs with furry in the carrier.




Bonzai was relaxed and supportive all through the trip. I think I was more stressed than him. Once at Antonio's he explored the space, played and climbed on the wooden beams and spent a while giving some attention to each of us,  he wasn't even taken aback from our coughing Bego.



Cat Paradise Attic, lots of climbing and scratching spots. They were very enjoyed by Bonzi.


Selvie takes a selfie of cat and legal pet 
Morning awakening candid picture. Coffee galore for the road

Next leg: Brussels - Cuisery

12 de desembre 2019

Welcome to chapter 5 (or end of chapter 4)

Every year before Christmas a deep downer takes over me coming from the pressure of "having to" so much. 

Once liberated of "having to give" some pre-Xmas presents have already arrived.

My sister always says: "volta, volta pel món que acabaràs al Born". A very Catalan saying that reminds me of the message in Siddharta. Go around the world to find all you need where it all started. 

I BOUGHT A HOUSE 

This is a major stepping stone since I would have never imagined me owning a house in Barcelona, my number #2 city, no less. And in my favourite area of the city. Quiet, surrounded by nature, a small community and such an interesting story and background of neighbour activism. So grateful to become part!



My work in progress, meet the sunroof :-)

And grateful of the gifts that are coming with it. Number one and most important one... (drum roll)...
Jay B, yes, the one and only, has surfaced and promised he'll rock by and give me a hand. He's been hiding for the last five years, so I am sure we have a lot of catching up to do. 
I am stoked. He is some sort of a wise man and life protector to me. Or to each other, I am sure I did save his life in a way when I saw his light when we were kids. He changed the course later in my life when I found out I had survived an accident, details: https://selveta.blogspot.com/2017/11/all-souls.html
And on this important stepping stone, I can do with his support. Exciting, no less!

The best things in life aren't things. 

Present number two: the universe has gifted me a companion for this journey, in the physical and spiritual sense of the word. Some months ago our paths crossed in a short retreat in Amsterdam (Amsterdammers, if you are in need of some connection and peace of mind,  I recommend you reach out to Erik, here is a link:
https://onehumanretreats.com/meet-the-founder/), Robbie, expressed his love for my city of birth. 
So I reached out to him and invited him to help build my little dream. He said a big "fuck yeah" and we are going to take this road trip together from the km0. Inspiring brave man, who is not going to conform to what they expect from him, finding his own truth.
Because we've already stripped down to vulnerability, we surely have a bit to learn from each other. Personally, I can't wait to learn what his enthusiasm and energy will bring. If you want to follow, he will probably offer more images to this journey than verbal me.
 Insta: @spiritual_robbie_nld

Since this means so much to me, I have decided to keep a record of this journey in my blog. 

Coming on: girlfriend landing, serious wellness session followed by the inevitable annoying packing up... 
I am so ready.

05 de desembre 2019

I'll live just turning pages

I see my last entry is NZ inspired. Interesting that NZ, or more accurately, the Southern Hemisphere inspires me to report, share, recreate. 

Six60. 

It has a lot of meaning to me, as it was my soundtrack during my days co-living on Snell's Beach aka "Heaven" in a time of needing an island of peace after the hardships of seeing your own will challenged when practising the vulnerable and noble art of living called teaching.

After my teaching week I would move to Heaven for the weekend near Warkworth to, like the song says: "only to be" with my homies, two Kiwi girls, the beach and the silence.

There we would indulge in super foods and endless walks and spotting oysters, even got to go to a concert of Avalanche City.
A special mention to some certain pyramid of energy that developed just there. The same one that created, ended and destroyed my year of Progressive Grey. Pure serendipity but first ever encounter with forces beyond myself. 

I do remember, too, sleeping in a guest room in this heavenly house by the beach on the foam mattress of my camper and waking up covered in sea dampness. 



HEAVEN, our view from the terrace, all I remember is talks about happiness. Best enjoyed with NZ white wine and Six60 sounding from the living room. Soundtrack: "Forever". Because some moments should play on loop for life. 

"Ain't it good to be alive"

So I recently attended my first concert of Six60 in Europe. I missed them when they played in Whangarei back in 2015, so I was almost in debt. I couldn't forgive myself that they played back then quite next to my place in Onerahi (another bit of heaven, but with a cat), so off I went. 

I seemed to be the only non-Kiwi among so many brews. And it went as it does in NZ. 
I must say, if you haven't lived in NZ, you have missed some life experience of humanity at its best side (most of the time and in contrast to some other places in the world).

I showed up alone, knowing the band is not a big thing in Europe. I was spotted by the Kiwis, at that point, lucky me. 
I was on the phone trying to send a some documents for a quotation (for my wee tiny bit of heaven to come).
I can't be grateful enough to the Kiwi who tapped my shoulder and said: "you seem busy, aye!", I explained I was trying to send some documents before the band came out as I didn't know anyone in the room. 
So, off he went and introduced me to all his brews and cuzzes. Then he added: "now you know somebody".
Lucky me and positively surprised to be accompanied for the night by a bunch of big Pasifika men, in my view, the highest expression of male beauty. So I had a tiny piece of heaven then and there. But aside of the greatness of a Polinesian bodybuild, they were, most importantly, beautiul inside. 

For a bit I really felt in NZ. The crowd gathered at the bar, sharing drinks in a vibe of community only comparable to the real Aotearoa. Laughs, but not the loud European ones, the melodic voice of Matiu and the feel of being with the whanau. 

Such a contrast to what I am used to, some sort of harmony reigned, a kind of "sweet as" feel. 
People came with kids, partners and lots of friends. Not a glass was thrown on the floor, no eyes met without a smile.

TUMEKE



AROHA
I sang along to Kia Mau Ki To Ukaipo, because, hell, I had been practising my Te Reo the whole week on the bike, at home and in the shower and wanted to pay my respects to the Maori culture.




 And cried. Because, as usual, I miss being on the right side of the world, down under, while on the wrong side, here, up above.

A post concert snapshot of what connection through music does to you.



I went through part of the soundtrack of my life Down Down Under and left silently after intruding for a short space of time into a piece of Kiwiana. 

If you haven't experienced New Zealand Roots music, your soul is missing a beat. Little is known about NZ and less about the musical abundance that have such a personal, distinctive flair.

And on my way back, on the ferry, still wiping tears, I had to accept I might not be trying hard enough, maybe "This wasn't meant for me". Am I right where I'm supposed to be?

I'll live just turning pages
well, I know it is worth the ride
Ain't it good to be alive.


15 de juny 2019

Revelations from the Luminate tent

Winter 2017, Golden Bay. NZ. 

I had signed up to volunteer for a team of healers to find my call. As a healer myself I regret not really believing in less empirical or more spiritual forms of healing in order to make it an extra salary of something different and less physically demanding. 
 What I encountered there was the very face of my esceptic nature and a lot more vanity around than I could handle. 
If days were hard to ignore, nights were the worst. I'd sleep in a tent, and mind you, to have a bit of insulation I had bought an air mattress. I was sleeping in a second hand bag, old school made of wool, all my clothing on top, a blanket from a neighbour and the cape of the tarot reading witch who slept in a caravan. Still, the temperature would drop to under 5 degrees and I couldn't handle the cold, that was numbing my legs. I had pitched next to a bunch of Kiwis, who seemed nice enough. I had made friends with a guy in his 40s, with whom i could take walks in the woods instead of taking drugs, dancing to electro ear-raping noise or spending the night howling (must have been the drugs, people howled all night). During the day I would be, as usual, the responsible adult covering shifts for my "I'm so high this is awesome" co-volunteers, running around to make sure everyone had coffee and slowly dreading a vibe everyone loved but me. 
Moved from the Kiwis when a German pitched two days later in the middle of our tents with his car and his smelly joint smoking self. I had to go. 
I moved to the spot where the sun would hit last, to suffer the least during the night, when I would get muscle cramps and feel rusty, in pain, uneasy. I cried so many nights, while the vanity-ridden crowd howled and all I wanted was that it all ended.

Quan penses que el viatge ha valgut la pena, per aprendre,
la nit escup gel i  tremolor.

And when the noise, the smells and the sensations were unbearable, I would take my notebook and write mantras like:

What doesn't make you better doesn't serve you.
Aquest es llença, no es recicla.
Indiference will be your condemnation.

Damn! I really couldn't wait for it to end...

I was approached by many people daily, since I was there, arranging appointments for the healers, and the common question was: how are you enjoying this festival? My answer was: I can't wait for it to end. 
Nobody understood. 
In the meantime I attended a lot of workshops and made great contacts in the hopes to build an Earthship to raise a commune.  

Time went and possibilities dropped, contacts faded. 
I realise where I am now and how much distance you take from dreams, when you are struggling with reality.