Tag Archives: adventure

Maybe that night we make love till morning…

Sometimes we feel small and insignificant. Much like a tiny girl, walking up a massive mountain. We aren’t quite sure of where we are, or where we will end up. We have an idea of where we want to go – to the top – but the path is winding and we can’t always see the top – there is fog, trees and sometimes fires blocking the sight.

There are nights, when we are curled up by the fire watching a starry sky, and we feel calm and serene, and the path we are walking feels like the loveliest thing ever. Our muscles are tired after a day’s worth of climbing, in fact we are feeling tired through and through, but a good tired – we lived. We lived to the full and we are still buzzing, still filled with life and life force. We are almost giddy with excitement of all the wonders we have seen and are yet to see. Our eyes are still glazed with the beauty of butterflies catching the morning breeze underneath their wings, or the glorious sight of rainbows and waterfalls. Maybe a sudden thunderstorm filled us with power, with lust and then a gentle drizzle calmed our spirits shortly after, only to be followed by sunshine that made us laugh.

We may be sharing our camp fire with some exhilarating stranger we have met whose faces tell tales of faraway countries and adventures more fearful, more wild than we could ever imagine…or maybe adventures so sweet and lustful we can only dream of….and maybe, maybe one day achieve. Or maybe we are sharing the fire with gorgeous loved ones who are accompanying us on our journey and feel as familiar as our favorite spice.

Maybe the night is filled with laughter and excited whispers and tender words. Maybe children are playing and grown-ups smiling. And maybe, long after the kids have gone to bed, everyone is sharing tales that make our heart sing. Maybe we have found a boy whose eyes are sparkling in the moonlight and seemingly reflecting not just the moon, but our own soul, making us feel understood. Maybe for that moment it all makes sense – the search, the climb, the path that we are now on. Maybe that night we make love till  the morning.

At other times we are utterly lost – it’s raining, our knees are aching, we can’t see the top of the mountain – we are walking upwards, but we have no idea if we will ever reach the top, or at least find enough treasure to buy a fire that is always burning, a bottle that is always full, a bed that is always protected and love that is always tender. We are fearful, tired and soaked to our bones. We seek the light in our soul, the inner warmth, the love we know is hidden there, but the fear is overwhelming and the panic seemingly real as the night closes in on us and we shiver.

We  think about friends we have lost, lovers that crossed our path. We think about the chances we never took and those we should never have taken. We think about our own death and wonder where we will be then? Will we have reached the top? Or will we still be fearful and lonely?

We try to fight it, to be strong, but we only get angrier and angrier with ourselves when we do – because we are meant to be strong, right? We are meant to conquer the rain and walk with joy in our heart. We are meant to have learnt enough to find our way by the stars. We aren’t supposed to be lost, or lonely, or tired, or hungry. We are supposed to know better, be better.

Then, we give up. We remember what being truly tiny meant – what it was like being a child. When the world felt large and scary and we jumped up into our parents, or siblings laps and cried, or were just held tight. We were stil told that we were beautiful, that we were loved. No one gave up on us because we slipped and fell. They just hugged us better. We remember that it was OK then. OK to be lost and frightened and sooner, or later we found our way – whether by ourselves, or with the help of others. We felt tiny back then too. We felt scared back then too. But we weren’t angry with ourselves. We just were. We just allowed ourselves to be and somehow, somewhere, we always found the love we needed to find, the light to lit up the deepest night.

Then we take a moment to rest. We sink down, our back towards a cold fir-tree. The cold, suddenly intense against our back, awakens us. We look around. We see a tiny hare, followed by another tiny hare, looking out at us from underneath the bushes. We slowly reach out our hand. We are in desolate parts where man rarely walks and the hares have not yet learnt to fear us. We slowly look at them, as they are looking at us. In their eyes we see our own fear and trepidation reflected. We see curiosity and hope. We see warmth and love.

One of the hares slowly, slowly moves over, seeing whether to trust us. And then, with a final jump it is by our hand, sniffing it. Its nose feels warm against our cold skin. It keeps sniffing around, then suddenly jumps up, into our lap, and looks at us with big eyes. The other hare now follows, carefully, but bravely, seeing the success of its fellow friend. And then, you have them both in your lap, sharing their warmth, their lives with you.

Everywhere the rain is drizzling, turning the wood into a hazy, almost surreal place. The raindrops glisten in the final hour of dusk and the sun is making one last effort to shine through, turning everything golden. You feel a little warmth from it against your skin and the hares’ body heat radiating through your clothes, into your stiff, frozen bones. For a moment you are sharing your life with two other creatures, like yourself, trying to stay warm, find food, love and happiness. You are helping each other, understanding one another. Suddenly life has conquered and you once again feel calm – inside a new dawn has awoken.

You feel fresh. Every part of you has been shaken – you have been lost and you are still lost, but inside you have found the light. You know that as night comes rolling in you will eat some food that strengthen your body and find peace in your dreams. You will then awaken with the sun and move towards new horizons. Maybe with some furry friends by your side.

It is impossible to know if we will ever reach the top of any mountain. Life is an adventure and as such, we know that there will be struggle, there will be loss, but what will always save us is our own life force, our own love of that which surrounds us, that which we do and those whom we love, including ourselves.

We will continue to get lost and we will continue to get found. Storms will shake us and events move us. We will lose what we have found and move on to find love in unexpected places.

The best we can do is find our own heart, our own peace. We can never know what storm is coming next, or how far we will get the next day. We can only continue to move with a purpose in our heart, which gives meaning to our journey. We can continue to build love in our heart, which will strengthen us and keep us calm in the eye of the storm. We can surround ourselves by love, by doing what we love and taking time to build friendships with those we love, or those we think we will come to love. We can give of what we have, as well as our gifts, our talents, and share our lives with others.

We can love and with love always comes a treasure.

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When you strip someone bare…

There are those days when your whole life shifts around. Suddenly your mind takes you down a path you’ve never walked before – it’s like a gate is opened and you can see this glorious view, this way in life that you didn’t knew existed before. It’s literally like having stared into a wall your whole life and then suddenly someone reveals to you that it’s a door and when you open it up, outside there are beautiful flowers. I think it’s important to remember this. In our darkest moments it might just be that we’re not seeing the sun and if we just start looking, maybe our walls will transform to doors and our windows to staircases to heaven.

It’s not just about circumstances changing, it’s literally one day you wake up to the fact that the world isn’t flat – some perception you’ve always had of yourself, or your life just isn’t true and rather than knowing it you see it, or feel it. It’s not a theory, it’s a reality. You catch yourself thinking differently. Acting differently. And realizing that life could be lived in an entirely different way – whether you meet a person that introduces a new way of thinking, or you see people living in ways you could never have imagined.

The same goes for people – sometimes we should expect the unexpected. Or maybe not expect at all.

It’s days like those when you know that life is filled with so much more than you ever thought possible and that gives hope, but I guess it can also be startling, because no matter how old you are, or how much you’ve been through, to think that you know life, is always an illusion. At least, that’s what I think right now…

It’s like they say: you never know what you’re gonna find underneath the clothes!…

Where to next???… Formaggi sounds good to me… (Eataly, NYC…I could get lost in food all day long there!)

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Sliding doors…

Isn’t it funny, if you look back on your life and think about all the small co-incidences that have taken you to where you are now? Like how you googled one thing, found something else and it totally changed your life? Or how you decided to attend that one party instead of another and you met your new boss or lover?

I could talk about a zillion such co-incidences (because let’s face it – our lives are made of them – every lover you ever met, every friend, every job offer, every adventure…they were all just co-incidences), but for today, I will stick with one: Isabel Allende. (If you want to know more about the co-incidences in my life these posts will do it: Paris… and Magical meetings and serendipity…)

I fell in love with Isabel Allende at the tender age of seventeen – I was having an awful time living in Vancouver and this little lady made me smile as she stood in the middle of a church describing how she knew she had overcome a depression after dreaming sex dreams about Antonio Banderas swimming in rice pudding. Now, I don’t know about you, but I think food and sex are perfect companions. So much so, that I am setting up a company that deals with the two put together…no it’s probably not what you think, it’s better than that (what were you thinking?…). I can’t tell you the entire concept, as that would spoil the surprise, but I will let you know when we open.

Of course there are a few other influences than Allende for my business – a dash of Branson, a sprinkle of Moulin Rouge, a slice of my best friend and a teaspoon of my business partner and a few cups of a certain chef or two…but I’ll leave the details for my autobiography. For now, I’ll leave you in Allende’s hands:

This is the part where I have to get personal and talk about romance.

My books force me to travel frequently. My karma is to stumble from one place to another, like a wandering pilgrim. In l987, while still living in Venezuela, I went on a lecturing tour that took me from Iceland to Puerto Rico, and many other climates in between, until I ended up in Northern California. Little did I suspect that there my fate would change again. I met the man that was written in my destiny, as my mother would say. He was an American lawyer called William Gordon, who was introduced to me as the last heterosexual bachelor in San Francisco. He had read my second novel and liked it. When he saw me he was thoroughly disappointed, however: he likes tall blondes.

After my speech we were invited to a dinner party in an Italian restaurant. There was a full moon and Frank Sinatra was singing “Strangers in the Night”, the kind of stuff that would ruin a novel. Willie was sitting in front of me, observing me with a puzzled expression. The combination of Frank Sinatra and spaghetti tutto mare had a predictable effect on me: I fell in lust. I had been living in chastity for a very long time… two or three weeks as I recall, so I took the initiative. I asked him to tell me his life. This trick always works, ladies! Ask any man to talk about himself and pretend to listen while you relax and enjoy your meal, and he will end up convinced that you are a smart and sexy gal. In this case, however, I did not have to pretend. Soon I realized I had stumbled upon one of those rare gems that storytellers are always looking for: that man’s life was a novel! So I did what any normal Latin American female writer would have done: marry the man to get the story. Well, I didn’t marry him right away, it took some fine manipulation.

First he invited me to his house. I was expecting a romantic evening in a divorcee’s penthouse overlooking the Golden Gate bridge, soft jazz, champagne and smoked salmon. I got nothing of the sort. There was so much dog crap in the garage, that he had to pull back so that I could step out of the car. His youngest son, a ten year old brat, greeted us with rubber bullets. The golden retriever as hyperactive as the kid, placed his muddy paws on my shoulders and slurped on my face. There were other pets: a couple of maniac rats in a filthy cage chewing on each other’s tails, and dead fish floating in the slimy waters of an aquarium. I didn’t flinch. Lust does that to some people, it gives them an heroic attitude. I liked the man and I wanted to hear the rest of his story. He served a burnt chicken, we drank cheap California wine, and I will skip the rest. The next day, when he took me to the airport, I asked him politely if we had any sort of commitment. He turned chalk-pale and his hands trembled so vigorously that he had to pull over. I didn’t know that you never EVER mention the word commitment in front of an American male.
– What are you talking about, we just met! he mumbled, terrified.
– I am 45 and I have no time to waste, I said. I need to know if this thing is serious or not.
– What thing?- he asked befuddled.

That day I took the plane, but a week later I was back without an invitation. I moved into his house and six months later he had to marry me because I pinned him against the wall.

Isabel Allende

Well…

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