Two weeks ago I flew from Sydney to Madrid and spent a total of 32 hours in transit. It was sticky and sluggish; time didn’t play by the rules. It warped. It got sucked into the propellers and caught in the wings of the Airbus 8380 as it cut through the skies at nine hundred kilometres an hour. Spat out in a million pieces and rearranged in my woozy body.
The day before my flight, I found myself in a bookstore, my eyes grazing over all the colourful covers and bold titles, looking for something special to take with me. I knew I would need company. I saw the cover of Anthony Doerr’s novel ‘All the Light We Cannot See’, read an extract from the middle, and didn’t hesitate to run to the check-out counter. I’m so glad I decided to treat myself that day. What if I had never found this book?
The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with colour and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?
At this very moment, as I type, I can see cars moving in an endless convoy down the main road. It’s a noisy flow of metal and smoke; a constant drone, ebbing and flowing with the tide of people. Across the road I see an apartment complex, one of those that seem as if they’re made of little TV sets piled on top of one another. I can see right inside – more screens, people on their couches, somebody playing the piano, a little girl trying to ride her bike on the balcony.
It reminds me of the bleak vision I have of the future.
There is a maddening abundance of poetry in the world. To me, finding a poem that resonates with me feels like a pilgrimage. Once I’ve found one that I love, usually by accident, I never forget it. Reading someone’s favourite poems is a very definite way of understanding them deeply – so, I’m going to bare my soul for you on this post, and give you a few of my favourite poems (in no particular order). I’d love for you to send me yours in response!!
Finally, the humidity and stickiness of summer is wearing off and making way for fresh wind and cold fingertips. I woke up this morning feeling so cosy in my bed, with the rain gently tapping on my window, and with a mug of earl grey in my hands (a perfect start to the day). The heat has been far too stifling lately, so today was the perfect opportunity to take a walk in the light rain and enjoy the little treasures nature has to offer. It’s undoubtedly the best way to keep oneself grounded.
Since I was little, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of faeries and sprites presenting themselves as creatures like beetles with iridescent armour, or colourful dragonflies. I think they live in the hollows of gum trees and amongst the moss-covered rocks of creeks. Crystalline drops of dew are their source of water and they feed on little grubs in the soil. Of course, the males are mischievous by nature, they play tricks on humans – stinging them, tangling them in webs, tripping them with vines (even you might have been prey to their antics). Seduction – now, that is the art of the females. They drink nectar from honeysuckles, giving them a sweet voice that humans can’t hear. They whisper and dance whilst creating beautiful blooms of all colours and orchestrating birdsong. Don’t be fooled, they’re deadly too. They’re the ones who lure flies into spiderwebs. Continue reading
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
I took a gap year because I was afraid. Not of change, quite the opposite, actually, I was afraid that I’d settle into the same routine I had in high school, not having changed at all. In my heart I knew I had to get out there and learn – not from university, but from challenging myself. From the offset I was aware that I’d fall into a slump sooner or later, between jobs and travel. Well, here I am. I’m in a Slump.
24 February 1821. This Grave contains all that was Mortal of a young English poet who on his Death bed, in the bitterness of his Heart, at the malicious power of his enemies, desired these words to be engraven on his tomb Stone:
Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ in Water.
In September 2016 I was fortunate to spend a few days in The Eternal City. I was staying in a hotel built over the Capuchin Crypt, next to the church of Santa Maria. The crypt is a brutal, creepy reminder of the brevity of our lives; I felt as if the vacant eye sockets of the skulls were watching me. What you are now, we used to be. What we are now, you will be. Sometimes words aren’t enough – Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre seems like an appropriate way to describe the experience.
I met him in a dream.
The forest floor was cushioned in moss and little white blossoms. Soft morning light illuminated a path of dew before me, paving itself as I stepped. The birds sang their reverie, gently pulling me in. I walked barefoot, relishing in the feeling of fresh, cool soil between my toes. There was no sky, no stars, no sun; above me the canopy of leaves went endlessly upwards. Light came from within the white petals of flowers as if they held the secrets of the universe inside.
The first ‘big girl novel’ I read was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Following that, I read every single novel for children written by Roald Dahl and I made a vow to myself to never read any book by another author; that would be treason. Evidently, I didn’t stay true to my word. This is a list of my five favourite books of all time…
1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour. If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?