She’s lost her way, moaned the mattress wearily.
Where are her arms? asked the solid floor.
The window was closed to all possibilities.
But the floor sprung sweetly under the weight of her frame.
The light smiled softly, the air rushed madly,
And she laughed at the room,
In complete abandonment.
Today I climb a mountain on this remote Greek Island. Beyond the source of the waterfalls, lizards cling to the cliff faces. I test each hand hold before I give my weight to the mountain. The hard volcanic rock has been broken into sharp and unstable shards by the winter elements. Only the lichen-covered rocks are stable. I pick my path. The sky is racing past. A rush of adrenalin hits me. I consider the possibility that I could die here. Why not? It’s a beautiful place where I am completely at peace.
I see a species of ants that I know well from the Australian bush. We have history. Once I saw them carry away bones from a snake carcass. I’ve stood barefoot on their mounds for a dare. They don’t sting but their meat-eating preference makes this a good test of endurance. Sure, it’s crazy, but I had time and it was the days before I carried a laptop and had 305 Facebook friends. Today I feel only completeness. This is not an Italian drama. Perhaps it’s a Greek tragedy? Except there is no family gathering at my feet. I’m grateful. They need a wash.
It is Minus 11 in Berlin.
Heart rate slow.
It’s Minus 12 in Berlin.
Heart is warming.
I think of the Life, Death, Rebirth cycle.
Again and again and again.
Thank you Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
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.
It is a delicious moment,
The sun burning deeply,
Her skin starts to fry.
She gathers her senses,
Surrounded by life.
When death beckons shyly,
She submits to his knife.
It’s only a metaphor,
We grow and we die,
And laugh at the Present,
The Goddess on High.
There is nothing to say, she laughs. The door swung on it’s hinges, uncertain whether to open or close. The window, wide-eyed, allowed the light to enter, but only with a certain discretion. Cicadas screamed. Over-ripe figs fell to the ground. The walls bared their souls. And the day passed away.
This heat is driving me wild. I roam the island like a feral goat. Bones cracking like sticks under a cloven foot. But it is the antlers that capture me in this moment of abandon. They are only twigs but I am surely a deer.