Sunday, 18 March 2012

To the world



“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

-Brandi Snyder.

Ten days to go till I leave for Peru.
A woman in our community is gravely ill.
The possibility of a premature death unleashes a mass of emotions and puts everything else well and truly on the back boiler.

“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

Food for thought.

How many lives do we touch without knowing, without understanding the importance of our smallest action. How many times has it been difficult to say I love you, for fear we will be trapped by some invisible clinging force?

Who might smile if they receive an email today from you that they weren't expecting ?

On Mothers Day, a huge cosmic thank you for all the large and small acts of friendship which light our inner fires, and pave the way when we decide to leave.

May you know how much you are loved S. In intensive care, with a 50/ 50 chance of coming back or going on.


UPDATE 6.04.12.
Our dear friend S has survived her illness and is, I hear, going home from hospital on Monday.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Crossing another threshold. Пересечение другой порог.



“To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”

Soren Kierkegaard

In eighteen days I will have left my safe village home here in Spain, and crossed another threshold. Bolivia promises past life recall, meeting with Claudio and Ivan, and health challenges with altitude and sub tropical heat. Peru promises lessons in compassion, and getting to know a brand new baby. Who will be my helpers?



Пересечение другой порог.

"Для осмелится это поскользнуться на мгновение. Не сметь ​​значит потерять себя ».

Серен Кьеркегор

В восемнадцать дней я не оставили меня в сейфе родной деревне в Испании, и пересек еще один порог. Боливия обещает воспоминаниями о предыдущей жизни, встречи с Клаудио и Иван, и проблемы со здоровьем с высоты и субтропических тепла. Перу обещает уроки сострадания, и знакомство с новым ребенком. Кто будет моим помощникам?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The geography of your destiny

Adventures with Soli

If you haven’t read The Chilean Sculptor, or Crazy or Inspired on the blog, here’s a short recap of the story so far.

It's March 2005. I’m on a mission to Patagonia to find a mystical mountain and a certain turquoise lake. This image has hypnotized me for over two years. It's pinned onto my studio wall and shows a kind of Himalayan paradise. Every time I look at it, I tap into an indescribable longing. It’s a kind of deja vu.
At some point this longing became a mission, and now, if it’s the last thing I do in my life, I’m going to get there.



Here’s the story so far:


I’ve just found my way to the Casa Verde, a log cabin guest house in a eucalyptus forest, three hours south of the capitol Santiago. Adventures with Soli is my first introduction to life in south America. Soli is a fashion conscious young vet, and joint owner of the hostal.



Wherever I walk in the forest Soli’s four dogs accompany me, panting, pouncing, pretending to bite me: two are Golden Retrievers, they’re fine. The other two are menacing, salivating, frothing at the mouth Boxers.
I have a strong feeling Begonia will eat any part of me she fancies if do anything at all she doesn’t like.

“ No no,” says Soli laughing “She’s just being friendly. No need to worry."
Begonia is Soli’s favorite. She’s pouty and spoilt.



Soli and I and the four dogs go to market in her truck.
I’m getting used to the white knuckle drive through the ancient eucalyptus forest.

Going to market means a quick trip to the supermarket for Soli, and a quick nip into a cybercafe for me. Only one computer in the cybercafe.
Then it’s a trawl round the vegetable market with a shopping trolley, Soli asking for, then scavenging rotting vegetables under each stall.




At first I’m surprised by my new friend, the beautiful chain smoking city vet, scavenging on in the streets, down on her haunches. She fills her shopping trolley with handfuls of gunge.
Then I hear the world conejo, and all becomes clear.
Soli’s collecting food for her rabbit, geese, swan, rare birds, and duck sanctuary.
‘They all love fruit,’ she tells me later.


One afternoon this entrepreneurial twenty-six year old takes me to the dunes (for a small fee), where she and Alexandro ride their horses when the moon is full. It’s nowhere near full at the moment, so, we glide slide and trudge on foot over sand mountains, four ecstatic panting dogs leading the way. Soli chain smokes as she walks, little black designer handbag draped over her shoulder. She wraps her red jersey around her head. She looks like an Arabian nomad from a distance.
I stumble behind her, like a comic cartoon character in too large a body.

Ankle deep in the burning sand, my new turquoise green supermarket shoes are unfit for this hike.
My calf muscles feel like they’re about to snap. Finally we arrive at the Pacific Ocean.



On the empty beach in the middle distance, two fishermen pull in weathered nets from the gray blue sea. Their two brown horses stand together patiently, rubbing shoulders, then noses, their heads bent low. Between them and us are sprawling clusters of flotsam and jetsam, weathered tree trunks washed down from northern islands , a surreal landscape of decaying forms, defying description, teasing the brain.



The scene is a kind of antique watercolor painting in shades of sepia, ultramarine, and Paynes gray. It’s like a sketch by an intrepid European artists explorer - mabe two centuries ago. It's like a glimpse of life way before the world had cameras, or knew about oil spills.

This timeless image sets my painters heart on fire and my writers imagination racing.

Alone on this vast beach with Soli and the dogs, I feel transported back through centuries. It’s a timeless priceless moment and I’m so excited I hardly know what to do with myself.
I’m reminded of my goal. Can my heart take a larger dose of this je ne sais quoi?




At the end of my four days at Casa Verde, Soli drives me to Concepcion to catch the legendary two carriage train back to Talca.



I’ve quickly grown to love this sprawling, shambolic little community, my first experience of real South American village life, right beside the Pacific Ocean.

Dusty, poor, bustling, smelly and colorful, its beach and extraordinary rock formations make a big impression.

Once a fashionable holiday resort for the rich, now some ten years after the building of a chemical plant, the air is polluted. Yes, I notice it. The smell is terrible. The wealthy have long since gone. All Conception can do now to try to survive is attract tourists is visit the gigantic rocks , and take the legendary little local train to Talca. This will be my next adventure.



Five years later, the town of Concepcion and the railway are completely demolished by a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake on 27 February, 2010 and a subsequent tsunami. It’s estimated that 350 local people have lost their lives.



The sculptor is alive. No chance his studio still exists. I haven’t been able to get information about Soli, Alejandro or Verna.



“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
- John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Friday, 2 March 2012

Without fear and illness



“Falling ill is not something that happens to us, it is a choice we make as a result of things happening to us”

Jonathan Miller.

Not everyone will agree with this.

“Without fear and illness, I could never have accomplished all I have.”

Edvard Munch

“Here is a mental treatment guaranteed to cure every ill that flesh is heir to: sit for half an hour every night and mentally forgive everyone against whom you have any ill will or antipathy”

Charles Fillmore




Just under four weeks now till I go back to Peru and Bolivia, and I've fallen under the spell of a virus.
A nasty virus.

I think I know why I've chosen this.
This is initially a very hard concept to accept. I almost always can see why others have got ill,what the illness allows them not to have to do, but it's hard to see and accept it in myself!

This virus, this 'spell' is allowing me the opportunity to see all my little ( and big ) fears about going to Bolivia, a very unstable country where traveling from A to B is not easy, and often dangerous. Antidotes to these fears are coming from unexpected sources, many from the Internet, many from waking dreams. I have a real mission to go there , linked to my screenplay, and thanks to this illness, I'm slowly getting the bigger picture.
I will get well!

And tonight I'll sit for half and hour ( realistically fifteen minutes) and forgive my neighbor for passing on her virus to me, through a kiss on the cheek. I will also forgive myself for being terrified of getting altitude sickness( again) in La Paz, and being eaten to death by misquotes in sub tropical Santa Cruz .



Para mis amigos bolivianos.
Este blog es difícil a traducir. Es sobre el concepto que debemos aceptar la responsabilidad para la creación o atracción de qualquier enfermedad. Creo que se enferman con el fin de aprender lo que necesitamos aprender. Y ese es siempre cosas de amor.

El lunes me puse muy enferma. Es simplemente un virus.
Tengo algunos temores acerca de mi próximo viaje a Perú y Bolivia. Tengo miedo de contraer la enfermedad de altura de nuevo en La Paz. Me doy cuenta de que tengo miedo de no ser capaz de adaptarse a un clima subtropical. Tengo miedo a los mosquitos
Así que ¿por qué voy a estos países?

Porque escucho mi voz interior que siempre me lleva en direcciones mágicos.

"Sin temor y de la enfermedad, yo nunca podría haber logrado todo lo que tengo."

Edvard Munch