The most ravishing autumn moments

This October’s weather has been a bitter-sweet candy that I most gladly take advantage of. I know that these spring-like sunny days, with temperatures above 25°C during the day aren’t supposed to be here anymore, that they coincide too suspiciously with the report just published about our climate, that sometimes I feel even my body being a bit confused because of the still so strong sun that my skin burns under the jeans… But but but – I savour each one of them like it was the last one, hell it soon really will be.

I look forward to work just because I’ll get to sit in a most charming garden during my lunch break or go to the near-by park to have a mid-day picnic, consisting of a fresh baguette sandwich, eclair and an espresso from a neighbouring boulangerie. Yes, for those of you who are familiar with my rant posts: I have a new job whose surroundings are so much more alluring to all of my senses at least one of my anxieties will calm down for a month. For the second time, a job made me discover an area I hadn’t paid too much attention to before, always walked through a bit too hastily, posted a single adjective on it and moved on (here, it was posh), bored somehow. I might not agree with the prices and will insist in the future to bring my own snacks, yet the morning sun rays enveloping empty esplanade‘s trees get me every time (Invalides). I even fall for the cliché tower again, seeing it so rarely recently, so early in the day probably just once before, appreciating it better from a far in the foreground of green.

All of this almost takes me back to my favourite October ever, that autumn spent in the South of France. And that says a lot.

7th arrondissement.

Sagres.

I might as well start at the end. Quite close to it, at least. This is the nearest I’ve come to the end of the world (ok, our old continent), even made a walk, a little tour around its edges, but left the peak of it for next time. And it’s not even scary. Nope. Mighty it is, though, awe-inspiring and beautifully so. I think we’re going to be alright. Still, I did have the feeling there was nothing else to do than just observe and let it be, leaving any survival-mode items I might have in my backpack in there, only letting myself to snap a few photos, then absorbing what we’ve all come to realize is my favourite setting. Cliffs, edges, these boundaries I might any second now slip through.

There is something so poetic about it and while I was sitting on the rocks with the most magnificent view, dewy-eyed in the setting of inspirational music of the waves, crushing in, and the wind, whooshing by, I kept thinking about this song with its name as the title. When I listened to it back at the hostel it just seemed so appropriate for an almost-the-last day in a region, in a country that yet again got my heart. (Portugal, why it’s always you catching me in crucial moments of my life? I’m gonna stop believing it’s a coincidence…)

little screams into the wonder
and a wild set of rides… *

You bet it was.

 

* Tallest Man On Earth, Sagres (from the album : Dark Bird Is Home, 2015)

La Corse.

Maybe, the reason why I needed so much time to sit down and write a post about Corsica, besides basic procrastination, is a certain kind of feeling I admit I don’t get often. If I did, I surely wouldn’t start a blog. A feeling of wanting to keep a place to myself. Sounds ridiculous for a place, crowded with tourists in summer months, but I wanted to keep it as my little secret, my little haven. The weary unreasonable ways of our brain. Truth is I visited it at the best possible moment, probably, not yet high season, without unbearable heat and sea of people, certain stretches of beaches with only you gracing them with your presence, but already warm and sunny weather, appropriate for a swim, everything green as can be, enough shops and restaurants open to keep you yumming.

All French must feel that way, though. It’s the place everyone dreams about, and it certainly doesn’t need extra advertising. With its position of being disconnected from the continent, yet still not far, it understands well its benefits of an island, soaks in its pride. Ask the Corsican people and they will talk about it as a country of its own, about French as if it wasn’t their own nation, laugh hardest and most heartedly at stories of those French coming here, buying their land, being all righteous about it, but eventually being hunted right out. Not literally, though you sometimes wonder. Yet, what touched me is that this pride shows real appreciation, and more than that, genuine care for their own little paradise. They know what they have on their hands and don’t squash it inattentively. Try trash it and you’ll get their anger on your back. I wish Croatian coast would be as clean as theirs, remembering whole stashes of cans, bottles and cheap plastic bags on one of the Southern islands of our Mediterranean neighbour.

So, what you do here first is breathe in the air, salty, clean, oxygen full and smog free, air, then you watch green flashing in different colour palettes with the wind and the sun, immerse in it completely, watch the blueness of the sky that can only compare with that of the sea, although they are not really comparable, the sea with its turquoise and the sky with its azure. And then the night comes, and your friend calls you while you’re brushing your teeth ”Come out for a minute!” and you do after and he only points to the sky with its finger and your jaw drops. When was the last time you saw these many stars, finally seeing they’re not as lonely as they seem in Paris? It was surely in the middle of the desert. Little by little, your whole body starts opening up, making you suspect the city you call your home is a jail cell, suffocating it, and it seriously needed this injection of nature.

No, I won’t do a list of top things to do here. I mean, if you need it, you already missed the point. Just take a ride or two on the stomach-not-friendly roads, admiring the view, find your own favourite beach, and be sure to go inland, too, to see the more mountainous landscape and capricious weather. You’ll learn to trust them soon, the always changing, usually for the better, clouds, and the winding, never-ending roads.

The simplest wish

Sometimes, I feel spring wakes up our soul with its desires and dreams, gets us going joyfully again in that relaxed atmosphere of insouciance. It’s the sun, yes. Then, it’s the flowers too. The simplest ones shyfully popping out of the ground, white, yellow, purple. Reminding us life can be simple as well, perhaps. Taking a walk in a local little forest with my grandma I only have one wish. For more of these moments, chatting and laughing, sharing the enjoyment of beauty with the people closest to me.

For WPC.

The list of things I had thought I’d never do – but did

Because it might be just as inspiring to look back to your used-to-be wish list than it is to always just keep adding stuff on it. Maybe. At least we see how sometimes life is only the choices we make and the stubbornness of our will, and other times it surprises us by itself. I’m personally trying to feel its openness and less and less of the contrary. It feels more natural to think of it as a flow than to see it as our prison… (Not that I’m denying existence to certain limitations.) Because things may seem distant in the future and possible at the same time.

  1. Living in Paris. The youthful dreams that we dare to keep alive… and then one day we say ”Ok, I’ll wait no longer!” and move. Just like that. And once you do it, you have to keep going.
  2. Speaking French fluently. Almost. Hey – I can communicate!
  3. Seeing Alex Turner live. With The Last Shadow Puppets, not Arctic Monkeys, but I’m an equal fan of both and Miles Kane is just as well hot as hell, so… yes I saw my teenage crush live and was pretty close to the stage, too. Who cares about growing up, khm khm?!
  4. Attending real music festivals. With friends, alone. Austrian, Slovenian, French. Can’t believe I used to be awkward about going to a single concert by myself and now my ideal idea of having a good time is a solo enjoyment of a 3-day music festival. Glastonbury is still waiting for me, though.
  5. Traveling alone. Yes, it used to be unbelievable, too. I think I used to call (female) solo-travelers brave actually. Funny that I now roll my eyes when others describe them that way.
  6. Backpacking to South America solo. Yes, I did it for only three weeks which is a minimum of a minimum, I did it in the most comfortable country maybe, but I was there. It started. It didn’t take too much nerves neither.
  7. Reading Virginia Woolf in the original, English version with all the difficulties of the subtleties of language, but – I was right – all the more charm of her flow than the translations. Not that they are bad. I mean, they try and mean well.
  8. Falling madly in love. Like you know, flying high, you know what I mean… Intense. All consuming. And inevitably short. The impossible attraction and a certain kind of surprising connection.
  9. Writing as in finishing a novel. The count for now is two. If they ever get published or not, if they are any good or not, I persisted and poured my heart into it. Got the guts to (successfully) submit my short stories, too. Writing and getting my writing out is feeding my soul.
  10. Being a waitress. Yes. It wasn’t on my wish list, you can guess. However, I would never in my life believe I could do it, me, a shy, extremely introverted and quiet person who never wishes to approach others, ask, speak, receive attention. Yes, we can change, not in the core, but so that we function and are alright with the situation. We learn so much in the process and occasionally even enjoy it, because we might be lucky enough to meet awesome colleagues (and clients) there.

And I’m only, almost, 26. Still got a way to go.

Luxury in present tense is simple

Maybe luxury isn’t something we strive for, but something we are already surrounded with. Talking from a privileged perspective, we already have that life full of things escaping a strong definition of absolutely necessary to stay alive and the rest, there only to give us a minor or a major pleasure. Even more, it seems luxury itself is escaping a permanent definition, and it is this which perhaps defines it most accurately.

Wouldn’t you say as well it changes with a certain perspective and the minute we pick another, items that fall into its category also change? Continue reading “Luxury in present tense is simple”

Yes, I’m afraid, yet grateful.

I’m afraid of the world I live in. The wars, coups and attacks, the people’s comments and political agendas, the omnipresent power of money and greed. Sometimes, when I stop for a second and actually read the news I’m reading I become the child at 8 who only wondered and could never understand. No, I still don’t. I get anxious and terrified, I could cry, and do when I let myself, about all the complications we put ourselves through when life can be so simple… I learned, like everybody, to live with it, to be grateful that for now I’m here, in a so far still privileged country.

Nevertheless, the knot created in the night of the finishing hours the 13th of November last year, didn’t disappear, but is only growing with every new brutal headline I come across. I’m stupefied by the fact that some people have to live with these kind of threats daily and still manage to survive, have the will to survive. I sometimes just want to escape to a cabin in the far-away woods where the atomic bomb will at least catch me unexpectedly, in the midst of my solitary ordinary joys.

I’m afraid of the threat just as much as I am of our response to it. Continue reading “Yes, I’m afraid, yet grateful.”

Sometimes, cherry on top is an actual top.

One of the best journeys I’ve ever had closing with yet another breathtaking panorama.

I was getting ready to leave Chile in only a couple of days and this trip was one of my last adventures of the actual last week. One of the best journeys I’ve ever had closing with yet another breathtaking panorama. In my thoughts I was already saying goodbye, imagining myself on the then cold streets of Paris and in warm hugs of beloved friends. Still, on this volcano top, Osorno, first of my life, I was acutely present, feeling an overwhelming gratitude and joy, against the cold wind in my messy hair. Travel is a privilege. Breathe it in while it lasts. Embrace the views and the lonely walks on dusty and rocky paths. Appreciate those moments when everything you need is simply clear and there and it seems that everything that may come next is just another wonderful contribution to the already magnificent picture.

Volcano Osorno.
Volcano Osorno.

For WPC.

 

Details grow with age.

Sometimes, a girl buys herself a rose after a certain celebration, hangs it upside down beside the window and leaves it there to dry for a month or two. Then, she puts it in a vase with another which she got as a gift, as a permanent reminder on her shelf, the first standing effortlessly, the second invariably reposing. In every detailed wrinkle the rose wears proudly and beautifully she can see there are lessons and experiences that never die inside of us. (For WPC.)

rose2Do you really wanna know,
About these lines on my face?
Well, each and every one is testament to
All the mistakes I’ve had to make
To find courage

– Villagers, Courage

 

 

Pushing through the blizzard

A post written on a frenzic day (so excuse the errors) in May that sort of got lost…

A personal reminder, in a way.

Maybe it’s usual and something everyone goes through to have a personal crisis about 6 months after you leave home and start a life someplace new. The initial enthusiasm wears out a bit of course and then you feel that even though the many basic things are already figured out, too much – everything is still missing. Where’s life, you know? Someone I met here defined that as ”lack of structure” of any kind, because everything you have and do seems to have a temporary or insecure nature. I’m not sure what brought it up for me, since I’ve already had so many crisis in my life and with all their differences they are all in some point or another just a repetition of an ancient story. As always it burst out at the least appropriate moment and as always it hangs around much longer than you think it would, long after you think ”you’re good now”. Even the lessons stay the same, but still you feel the urge to shout them out loud. So, I will.

I’ve been living my dream for half a year already and a part of me still feels like I’m stuck at the same place I was last year. When I’m lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to the newly discovered favourite French band and thinking about the past day, there is always this strange surreal feeling about something being somehow off. Is it true? For real? Isn’t that just a bit too much? Would you believe it if somebody told you? …

Because that part truly is still stuck in the past. And I need to say to it every day: ”No, you’re here with me, in Paris, in your own room, with a job that actually pays the rent and all the other costs, you walk the Grands Boulevards every day to work, you go for a walk on an easy Sunday afternoon by the Seine and buy your books at Shakespeare&co … you, you, you. Right f*** now!” Continue reading “Pushing through the blizzard”

Mundus or Why I travel

There are a lot of things that impress me in life. A melodic song on the radio that stays in my ears all day long and makes me smile every time I whisper its tones, makes me want to dance in the street. A simple sentence that conveys the sense of beauty in just a few words. A cheese-pie, especially my grandmother’s one, sweet, crispy … mhm … delicious. A magnificent cathedral, pyramids, Buddhist temples, mosques… Faithful people who can believe and pray to something never seen, never heard, never touched. Or sometimes it is just a simple glass of water after a long hot summer day.

But still – there is nothing like nature, despite the comfort, convenience, accessibility, accommodation and luxury of the human world. A scent of meadow in spring, daily sunrises and sunsets, all blushed, frozen trees, covered in snow, extraordinary shapes of clouds, blueness of the sky, waves, lonely island in the middle of a huge ocean with a small palm for its charming decoration. It seems so effortless, but so incredibly fascinating, marvelous, divine.

—- And here I was, somewhere in Africa, few kilometres from Mombasa,savana standing in a van while driving on a bumpy and dusty road, watching the landscape, trees and grass of savanna, flying birds, termite mounds. Continue reading “Mundus or Why I travel”