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~* Forever *~

A thought for the day.

Wise animal, that white rabbit.

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~**~

words of Gibran and a sweetness like this, captured by an artist unknown.

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“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

-Kahlil Gibran

~*♥*~

This weekend, we had a wonderful photo shoot during which I once again totally exhausted my photographer…

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The flamenco style Vintage Couture dress is by Jasmin Santanen, and will be featured in the November issue of Gloria Magazine also. Fake fur is a flea market find. Car just happened to be there, on our way to the actual site :).

Minna’s account of our little adventure says it all:

“Yesterday I was shooting fashion photos for LadyBohemia. 7 hours of laces, flowers, make up, amazing designer gowns and jewelry and shoes even got a tomboy like me posing in front of the mirror with a rose..”

11211_10151716455348402_13372171_nPhotographer extraordinaire, Minna from Minna Kulmala Photography. Nobody can capture a mood and a moment like her.

Thank you Thank you Thank you sweet soul. You made my day perfect.

Dear readers, this is just a little taste of what we’ve been up to… I will show you the full results of our labour soon. This I can already say… This will be something straight from the heart, something I’m very proud of.

Can’t wait to share it with you ♥.

~*♥*~

~* Arwen *~

Some people who had spotted me dreaming away in this snow sledge had titled this photo Arwen.

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Photo: Tiina Töyrä

I only wish I could remember what I was daydreaming about… I only know that something, inside my own self, made me so very happy in that moment.

As I can’t recollect anything wise about my own thoughts, I’ll leave you with the very poignant words of the Heroine Tori Amos:

“I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing.”

~*♥*~

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These heels are made for walkin’ …

182004_10151174912233425_381633770_nAnd with a moon so full it makes u wanna howl, some candle lanterns, sweetest of soul sisters AND a midnight serenade…
That’s just what they’ll do.

~**~

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Feeling so poignantly captured by the award-winning photographer, Tiina Töyrä.

A moment of which I’m sworn into secrecy… So all I’ll say is that it shall remain carved into my heart, forever.

~*♥*~

There are moments when you just need to slow down, even for a moment, let go of  every to-do -list in your head…  And if you’re really brave, you might even close your eyes and take it all in on a different level..

And I promise, there’s treasure everywhere.

Yesterday, I did just that, closed my eyes and let the feelings flush over me, in a special musical event here in Helsinki. And the treasure I found, when closing my eyes and letting go, led to such a flow of tears that I ended using every single kleenex of every stranger  around me.

And. It was beautiful and unforgettable.

But now, let me take you to another journey… That of a LadyBohemia business trip to the South of France.

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Once and again, I found myself utterly (and as usual, happily) lost this time in the beautiful ancient cultural city of Aix-en-Provence.
Without agenda or hurry, I stopped for a little cup of coffee… And closed my eyes, to take it all in.

And there it was. The most charming little fountain… Ancient buildings, medieval gates… A lovely art gallery… Not to mention the best croissant of my life.

AND a wonderous little boutique, full of tresors old and new, soooooo sophisticated and sensual, a real Aladdins cave for  LadyBohemia .

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And this I gotta mention… just look at the flow of this dress. It’s is a unique piece, a golden beige silk and lace dream, handmade with love by the wonderful designer Oona Elena Kassila of Moonalia Design. The skirt was originally planned to be worn at a wedding, by a guest, but sorry, I just don’t have the patience to wait for some of my friends to tie the knot..

And, I must say, we’ve already encountered the most memorable experiences together with this skirt.

I wore it yesterday, at the preview of the record to come, and I’m sure it has marks of my tears here and there… And in fact I welcome each and every one of them.

And then… As I didn’t plan it very carefully, I wore this dress when I needed to carry a two heavy suitcases to a boutique… As this lovely dress has a lace train, my two boys walked behind me, carrying my train. Not a word of complaint – they’re rather used to me.

Again, a moment never to forget. Probably to all the passers-by as well..

IMG_1154The brocante life in Aix… I just love it.
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You might come across an item that just says  WaaaaaOoooH take me home I’m yours… But in any case, you get to see pieces with hundreds of years of history, tradition, stories… If only they could talk.

I for one would listen.

*♥*

Let. It. Be.

A lesson learned at a yoga workshop yesterday.

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Getting ready and peaceful.
Photo Susanna Soikkeli.

My dear readers, I would love to share with you my experience of a full-day yoga workshop, held by a beautiful soul, the yogi Jack Boken. Although Jack had promised this would be a truly heart-opening experience, little did I know.

That morning I went to class feeling totally overwhelmed by the world, my mind in chaos, so sad. So much so that when Jack asked us one simple question “What has brought you here today?”, the tears just came and drowned me. During the rest of that day, I never managed to gather my poise but that’s just the beauty of yoga… Nobody’s poised and we’re not meant to be. People somehow find the strength to be honest and raw, compassionate and present. And during that day, with Jack’s gentle guidance, we confided in each other on a such a  true and real level, only to be welcomed by acceptance and compassion.

And later when the asanas got sweaty & physical, our bodies were as open as our minds.

Breakthroughs just happened.

For my part, I actually managed not one but five asanas I’d never dared to do before.

Like I pointed out in class, it was a very small step for mankind but a significant one for me – and especially so on a day that had begun with uncontrollable tears and feeling so blocked inside that I’d thought it would be better to give everybody else a break, and go calm down alone at home.

At the end of his classes, Jack asks each student to decide to give up something in their lives, and to commit to something.

Very concrete, very practical, very useful.

This can be something evoked during that specific practice, or anything that feels important. Key is commitment. Not just thinking how I’d like to be a better person but deciding exactly how I could achieve that.

Personally,  I realised very, very, painfully clearly that I need to give up the fears that control and limit my life on so many levels. Or, to put it in yoga terminology, acknowledge the existence of my fears, and then let them go ;). This was why during this very practice, it had been so important for me to battle and conquer my fears of handstands, headstands and other stands I’d never done before and the names of which I don’t even know. To trust Jack not to let me fall flat on my face and get hurt.

No, to just trust myself, no matter how much I was afraid, no matter how I was sure I COULD NEVER EVER DO IT.

Sooooooo liberating.

And if you can kick ass with your fears on the yoga mat, maybe in real life, you can too.

Only, in Jack’s class we’re not allowed any maybes.

There’s no trying.

That’s why I’m still, a weeks on…

Letting. It. All. Just. Be.

With such peace.

~*♥*~

My new bohemian tresor… Lovely water spirits have created the loveliest corset of them all, for me, and I am so grateful for this beauty ♥.

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~*♥*~

Today the universe played a little trick on me… When this old photo 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.

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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.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
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.
Kahlil Gibran
 

~*♥*~

~* Memory *~

Sorry, I know I haven’t even finished my previous blog post… But this one I so much want to share with you, please forgive me.

Something most extraordinary happened to us today.

When bringing my children home from school, my son gave his seat to an old man who then sat next to us. We started chatting, about things we wanted experience in life. Dreams.

He wanted to ride a helicopter. And kick around on a scooter, like my sons.

My dream is to dance the Argentinian tango. In Buenos Aires, preferably. And some day, I want to visit Tibet.

But the amazing thing was – I saw it in the eyes of both my sons, they felt it too – that this man was so incredibly much like my father, my children’s beloved Pappa, who passed away two years ago. It was truly like having a conversation with him. Beautiful, but not in a sad way.

When we waved goodbye to the old man, my oldest son said it first. “Maman, did you just make a new friend or is he actually an old friend, if he just like Pappa?”

My little one commented; “I was starting to forget what Pappa was like but now I remember again.”

“Never forget! You can’t forget Pappa!” ordered my eldest.

We walked home in silence. A rare silence, filled with gratitude.

Memory

~*♥*~

~* Lioness *~

Lioness

this photo speaks love to me

There’s a story attached to this picture, including a man having problems with my sons speaking French in a tram, leading to me being called a whore in front of my child, ending with a real Lioness moment.

Coming up…  Gotta give the young gentleman in the photo his dinner & bath first. He also enjoys foot massages, and a good story for the evening. This might in fact take some time… But I know you understand ♥.

~*♥*~

Today I could use a little dose of sunnyness, but current situation considered, a trip down the memory line was needed…

IMG_1258A sweet, sweet happy day of browsing through wonders, basking in the warmth of that Provencal sun…

IMG_1236 That’s why the face..

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IMG_1265The lady behind me – in the photo below -has never failed me… For the past ten years, every time I visit her boutique or stand somewhere, a piece of antique jewellery, an Art Deco bag, some sweet nothings, come home with me. Hmmmmm I’ll photograph what I found this time for you, later…

IMG_1277Annnnnnd even my back looks happy :). Well, carrying that lovely Chanel bought that day, I am not surprised.

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~**~

~* My guy *~

See who’s marching to the beat of his own drum!

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My 6-year-old, on his second week at school. Had put on his shoes like so when I came to fetch him home yesterday.

I thought it was a creative idea but was a bit worried if some of the other kids might say something nasty about his personal choice of a wardrobe.

Oh I don’t care, he said. They’re more fun that way.

Throughout all my years at school, I was always worried about what people thought of me. Timid, quiet, shy, reserved, always worried –  pretty much about absolutely everything. Did all I could and more to fit in. And still, never did.

It’s taken me decades to unlearn all that. And still, l’m only learning.

Then here is my little guy.

There are no words to describe how much he has taught me during his six years in my life. And no words to describe just how proud of him I am.

Today he left for school with the same choice of shoes.

I cried a little.

Well, like a little fountain.

~*♥*~

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