The Journey

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I’m on a bus. Denmark has faded into the distance and now I’m passing through wind generator infested fields on the way to Berlin.  You know I care about climate change.  I’ve even vowed not to get on a plane again so that could very bad news for anyone expecting me back soon. I guess there’s always sea travel but I can’t decide what worries me more… pirates or seasickness.  I’ll start by doing laps of the sauna. (I know that doesn’t make sense but they’re great).
News trickles through to the remote corners of the world where I’ve been thigh deep in snow, that Australia has been experiencing a heatwave. When I was in Russia someone told me that Sydney had 48 degrees that day. He wasn’t Russian. In general, they’re not friendly with foreigners, unless one is in a sparse, white-tiled community bathhouse with a crowd of large, naked women. Trust me, it was fabulous. If only I had my sketchbook and charcoal.
Along with breathtaking architecture and cheap hostels that were once palaces,  and some photo opportunities that were golden, the lack of smiles was a constant during my three weeks in post Soviet Russia.
When I arrived in Stockholm,  laughter surprised me and the variety of different backgrounds were striking. What a relief to be amongst other humans who could laugh even when life isn’t perfect. It was still minus 5, the metro crowded and I was a foreigner. Of course I loved Russia but a huge thank you to the Swedes, Norwegians and Danish people for being you. I had a fabulous time and I’m sure I’ll go back for my friend’s wedding in August, assuming I manage the next round of paperwork in France.
I’m making my way back to France slowly.  There’s a whole mini series in my dental tourism escapades that happen before I get there. Hello Budapest.. I don’t require being picked up at the airport or help with a discounted hotel but bus and hostel will be fine to get me to your lovely dental suites. 12 February. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, Berlin with its politics, art, contact improvisation and some lovely friends are less than an hour away. I’m excited! The bus is approaching Frankfurt and it’s time I started looking out the window.
Take care, smile and give hugs. It’s a wonderful gift.
PS I didn’t pose naked in the snow but I did take the photograph.
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Stream of Consciousness

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Where does the river go?

She mused on life.

Such ripe beginnings to tempt the mouth,

The belly full with fecund growth.

The soul divided by love and hope.

The divine incarnate, the ebb and flow.

When to stay and where to go.

She wandered along the humid banks,

Immersed in silent gratitude,

The sky white-faced,

The sun wore grey.

Long leaves simply watched,

And she went away.

Sweating Survival Day

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Another year has gone by and still there is no treaty for the indigenous peoples of Australia. So we march again. From the makeshift aboriginal tent embassy, ‘illegally’ planted 44 years ago in front of the former Parliament House, to the present seat of Parliament. I’m sweating, not only because it is a searing Summer day, but because we cross the police line and front the seat of power. It’s nothing new, but this time I’m thinking about the police report required to complete my visa application. Of course this is small fry compared to accounts of aboriginal deaths in custody and the institutionalised racism that the loud speakers aim at the bullet-proof doors. All the same, authority prevails and making waves is a risk. But so is life and upholding ones ethics is worth it.

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Flying

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It’s the last night before I fly away from the budding spring and comfort of friends. I’m taking my sketch books along with my excitement. My backpack is full of anticipation, a tiny tent and my sleeping bag. I’m ready for two months wandering… offline. What joy!

Have a beautiful time wherever you find yourself.

Sign of Love

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You have to look for the signs, said the Goddess.

Is it the snow on the mountain, I asked?

The tree Gods swayed in the bone-chilling gale,

It’s always there if you look.

I passed a glance at the cloud torn sky,

But the Gods continued to shake,

I followed the path and stumbled on rocks,

Dead leaves crackled in mirth.

It’s not so far, said the old man tree,

Watch your step, said the grass!