Living lightly

The Jump

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.

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The River Knows

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The village is a walk through ferns, following a goat track. I heard the goat herder’s wild animal cries at sunrise and the passing sounds of bells, bleats and hoofs sure-footed on stone. But I have no desire to go to the village. Instead I go to the waterfall to wash the city from my body and remember the sweet caress of the sun.

Vaporous perfection

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Clouds, so impermanent, advise her that reality is a mere dream. The illusion of solidity in their shape and comforting forms is exactly that, illusion, disappearing as temperature changes, wind blows or night extinguishes day. Why would a cloud be other than this? I marvel at such simplicity. I will endeavour to leave clouds to their journey, not fall in love with them in any other way than to share their pleasure of being vaporous perfection.

Budapest Blues

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It’s Sunday and I’m in the most beautiful city in the world.

Cigarette butts crushed into broken tiles.

At my feet is another death, in the street,

Broken buildings and hollow dreams.

I’m in her arms like a stillborn child.

Feeling nothing, it seems,

But old.

Weather Report

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It is Minus 11 in Berlin.

Heart rate slow.

Breath freezing.

It’s Minus 12 in Berlin.

Heart is warming.

Breath responding.

I think of the Life, Death, Rebirth cycle.

Again and again and again.

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Thank you Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

 

 

 

Keeping it real

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It’s true, cities are not places for wild goats. It’s difficult to reflect amongst the chaos of a human built landscape, unless it’s on our generation of narcissists. This is not personal. Who hasn’t taken a gratuitous selfie once in a while? I’m right in there, fudging the edges with art in my heart. You know me, I adore a good self-portrait, usually without clothes.

Now that I have a backpack instead of a room and a bank account that dives gracefully toward the abyss, I’ve crossed borders and fallen in love with a number of foreign places. All on the cheap. Hitch-hiking. Sleeping in my tent. Washing under greek waterfalls or in post-soviet sauna houses. Wherever I find myself, there are people with smartphones. We Insta and Facebook, Gab, Google+, MySpace, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Viber, VK, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp, Wikia, Snapchat and YouTube. Sometimes we even email friends who are detoxing from social media overload. Then we write blogs.

Yesterday I went to The Winter Place of Peter the Great. Yes, I’m in St Petersburg where people rarely smile, unless they are really happy. That can be infuriating but somehow, in a world of manufactured happiness and political turmoil, perhaps it is a good thing.

The Squeeze

 

I’m about to squeeze this hulk between solid stone buildings that have withstood two world wars and four hundred years of seasonal change, love and laughter in the Aveyron. I’m not the first. This is the through road between wheat fields on high and the ancient moulins along the river that ground the grain to fine flour for the communal bread ovens. Tractors, horses, wagons, and more recently cars and the occasional truck have traversed this route. Today I’m driving the old Mercedes.

I’ve been in Europe for six months now. Hitching my way around France and Greece, meeting the strange, the interesting and the humorous along my way. Striding with backpack or pedalling the tiny trails that connect villages. I don’t drive cars. I’m on the wrong side of the road, the wrong side of the car, and I’m trying to brake with my right foot on the pedal. Sure I have been granted a temporary French permit to drive, but do I really want to exchange a life of adventurous travel for the easy option? I will decide after I have safely parked the car on the wild and wintery hill-top back at my friend’s house.