Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
The photo is no news, you’ve seen it before. But it came back to me in a context that I find as beautiful as it is symbolic.
Minna Kulmala, the photographer behind this bed of flowers, just now published it on her pages. Together with a poem by Kahlil Gibran: Song of the Flower.
I was so astonished and even shaken by her choice of poem but then reminded myself – there are no accidents in life. This poem was meant to come back to me, to remind me of something.
You see, some ten years ago, Serge and I visited a wedding of friends in Lebanon. It was all arranged in true Lebanese style; grand hospitality, extraordinary setting, even a trip to Syria for the full wedding party.
On that trip Serge and I, who share a soft spot for adventure in our souls, decided to hop off the air-conditioned, comfortable bus in the middle of nowhere on the mountains of Lebanon, to discover the real country, the real people.
So we stumbled upon this village where Gibran had lived. We visited his old home that dates further than a hundred years back. There still was power, incredible presence in that humble little house. It felt like Gibran’s heritage was present absolutely everywhere in this tiny little town, although he’d only lived there as a young man.
I read the Prophet.
We met some absolutely extraordinary people.
A young man took us to a hiking trip to the mountains, where Maronite Christian priests had built secret churches and hiding places over the hundreds of years of oppression. Carefully, after a while, our guide confided in us. He’d also had to leave Beirut during the civil war. He too was a Maronite Christian, had participated in some forbidden protest and the police and army had his name. So he had left in the middle of the night, leaving behind his university education, his family and absolutely everything, and disappeared to these mountains. In the early years he had even lived in the woods but now he dared to openly live in the town, a known emotional stronghold of Maronite Christians, dating back to Gibran’s days and beyond.
Still, he didn’t dare to go back to Beirut. He had settled to a life in exile, in his own country.
Hindina. A young woman who had been in a car crash so severe that her legs and pelvis were completely crushed. As we walked past her family’s house, this lively and open Sweetness started chatting with us, even if we only shared a few words of the same language. However, we were able to understand so much that she invited us to her home for dinner – strangers from the street.
We went. Their tiny apartment was so welcoming, so full of warmth, that we instantly felt at home and could almost look past the poverty that was all too overwhelming. They cooked the food on some kind of camping style fire and kettle, we sat on the floor and I helped Hindina’s old mother to peel the potatoes. They seemed to only eat what their tiny piece of land was able to produce and the elderly father was able to cultivate. They smiled, talked and hugged a lot.
Hindina and her mother liked to hold my hand. They spoke a lot, with laughter or tears in their eyes. I felt as if I understood although I didn’t get the words.
The little niece kept on carefully touching my hair, it seemed to be the first blonde hair she’d seen.
Hindina’s sister and niece taught me to dance local dances, very much like belly dancing. We laughed so much.
The morning we left, Hindina cried and held onto me like she didn’t want to let go. She’d given me her phone number and address and repeated Please write… Don’t forget me…
I wrote, sent photos of us dancing, but never got a response. The postal system to the mountains was so bad I’m afraid she may never have received my letters. Once I got a call through, and we repeated the 2-3 words we shared in the same language till the connection died.
But I will never forget her.
Here it is. My Lebanon.
Song of The Flower
I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.
At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.
The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.
As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.
By Wild Woman Community ♥.
I had a tip worth gold by a friend (thanks Lea!) that there was a play featuring no other but Ralph Fiennes, at the Royal Haymarket Theatre at London’s West End. Playing Shakespeare (she did specify that it was quite comprehensible for us ordinary folk..), no less! How perfect.
I must say I was rather determined not to miss the opportunity to see the English Patient / Amon Goeth from Schindler’s list live and in action… He’s one of my all-time favorite actors, one that brings shivers down my spine with every single performance, ever.
But the play had just finished.
Uh, talk about a letdown.
To console myself I decided to go and see a musical instead. The Lion King, at the legendary Lyceum theatre. Well, as everyone says, it was brilliant. Wonderful music, touching storyline, the little boy playing Simba so talented and cute that you want to cry.
There was only one drawback I can think of.
Ralph Fiennes was not in it.
So however unfairly, my heart wasn’t in it either.
Well, I just managed to teach myself a little lesson. If your heart is set on something, never settle. Anything else always feels less.
From dancers over 40 ♥.
So simple, so true, and yet so easy to forget. I owe this little reminder to myself today.
Maybe you do too?
Today it was Mucha who brought a moment of quiet calm to my otherwise hectic day. His ladies are so lovely, don’t you think?
I had the most beautiful image of spring by Mucha on the wall of my student flat… This blonde girl, draped in Grecian clothing, holding flowers with hair loosely lifted up… I sold the poster at a fleemarket and have consequently missed her presence for years.
This was a painting that truly brought the feeling of spring, that sense of a new beginning, the scent of fresh grass, the light green of the woods at springtime, to a little humble flat in Hel. Even midwinter.
And I was silly enough to sell it, to manage that tight budget a little bit better.
Note to self: Never, ever, sell anything for money.
Whatever you love is priceless.
Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
- Impossible! said Doubt
- Dangerous! cried Fear
- Vain! And useless! stated Reason
- Just try, whispered Heart.
these words, sent to me by a friend on a particularly dark and lonely moment, rang in my head as I headed to the first ever radio interview of my life. Nervous I was, full of self-doubt, trying to fight the panic that was rising from the bottom of my belly.
Soon my life would need to fill a full hour of air space! OiJoi.
But I did it! And I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to overcome your own fears, inhibitions, self-imposed limitations.
I did it. And next time, I’ll stretch my boundaries even further.