I Have This Friend ... this magical wild woman whom I adore.

Pippa popped up on my Facebook wall, after we'd been chatting over there.  She wrote, and her words melted my funny little Kiwi heart.  She had written me a poem.   Memories from long ago during that first divorce of mine. 

We used to talk for hours back then.  Epic talks.  And beach-walks with that beautiful Labrador of mine - still much missed.  We talked wise woman talk ... tough but so good.  So clear.  That's the 'shit' she talks of .. .the times when we almost derailed our friendship.  Crying or laughing. then simply talking our way back to being comrades, sisters, best friends forever.

She wrote:

Hey Di... miss you as always... just about to retire for the night. But our little conversation here tonight sparked me. So here is a wee gift for you... of course I haven't edited, so rough as always, but from the heart. Love you xxx

Who wouldn't love her right back.  I'll even forgive her reference to that time, while moving a mattress, it collapsed under me as I leaned on it.  She almost died laughing as I face-planted on the shag pile carpet.  My head bounced off the floor on impact!!! 

(Fortunately some red wine may have been consumed.)

If I'd died ...!!  I told her.  Later.  After the laughter had stopped convulsing her body, the laughter that had rendered her speechless.

(She couldn't have called an ambulance.  I swear it.  I would have just died ... there on the floor. with her laughing too hard to give the address.)

How we laughed, back then, in the land of long ago.

Her poem ...

DI

Couldn’t resist
Sorry e hoa
To share such a rampant line:
Delicious as red-wine face-planting mattress-miss
Singing along
To magic music
Veins running red

Life-saving walks on beaches
Dog like abandon
Almost rolling in our own shit
To come out clean
Conversations shredding our lives
From before conception
And beyond limits

Dreaming outrageous dreams
That have come true
Faltered
Disintegrated
To make room for the exquisite chaos
Of life

Before death claims me
I know without doubt
I have lived!
Fearless
And fearful
In spite of
Because of

I will die a complete woman
Defeated, humiliated
To arise
Phoenix-like
To seize the dawn before anyone else is awake

Your smile, our clowning, stumbling shared
Moments
Brilliant jewels in the kaleidoscope
Of my life

Beautiful Things Found In These Days Of Searching For My Voice ... (it's coming)

A friend shared this article with me ... Why Some People Are Interesting And Engaging Storytellers.

And this, The Wanderlust Gene and Why Some People Are Born To Travel.

I watched Pane e Tulipa ... again, last night.  I love that Italian movie.

I thought this was interesting, How One Woman's Body Was Photoshopped To Meet 18 Different 'Ideal' Beauty Standards.

This may have made me giggle a little, as I shared it on Facebook.

My beautiful friend, Lisa Chiodo, shared some of her Italy.  I cannot recommend staying with her and Sam enough.  They are truly wonderful people living in Italy and opening their home to the world.

Moana Maniapoto wrote of the traditional Maori funeral here, and I loved how she captured it - Tangihanga - a dying tradition.

And this - Karanga Ra.  Sometimes I just play it up loud because somehow it takes me home. 

It's there on my playlist, between Tim Finn's, Parihaka - a song about the non-violent action preached and practiced by Māori prophets Te Whiti and Tohu at Parihaka in Taranaki forms one of the most compelling episodes in NZ’s 19th century history, as they resisted Pākehā confiscation of their land and home. Tim Finn was inspired to write this paean to the pair, after reading Dick Scott’s influential book Ask That Mountain. Band Herbs provide the accompaniment. Fane Flaws and cinematographer Alun Bollinger’s video was shot over a night at Auckland Art Gallery and takes Colin McCahon’s striking Parihaka triptych as its centrepiece.

Source: NZ on Screen.

And Little Bushman singing Peaceful Man.  Performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, it's the story of the peaceful Maori resistance leader, Te Whiti o Rongomai.

And then there was the poem!  Written by my exquisite friend butI need permission to share. I'll get back to you.  It's all about those days after my first divorce, when she was my soulmate and confidant.  There were beaches and long conversations, red wine and laughter.  And so much kindness. 

But that poem about those days ... I'll ask her.

Giovanni Tiso Writes ... and David Whyte too.

Giovanni Tiso wrote a beautiful piece about childhood homes and memories ... To visit now, if only electronically, to see that light again and the shallow sky, is to relieve the migrant’s grief for places and a life left behind.

I know these feelings he writes of, so well ...I cannot say that I miss this place, in the sense that there is no place for me there. Not in my grandparents’ house, that was sold over twenty years ago; not in the village, where I couldn’t build a life if I wanted to. I have a fondness for it that is reserved to distant things and for the past. I miss the people in it, but especially those who are no longer there. I miss my childhood, or maybe more precisely the idea of it: those interminable summer days and weeks, all identical to one another yet always charged with the remote possibility of adventure. I do not subscribe to the current fashion for romanticising boredom, but I wouldn’t trade that sameness, my few friends, our games for excitement and travel.

And David Whyte wrote this beautiful poem:

THE HOUSE OF BELONGING

I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that
thinking for
a moment
it was one
day
like any other.

But
the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
and
I thought

it must have been the quiet
candlelight
that filled my room,
it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,
it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

And
I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,
this is the gray day
someone close
to you could die.
This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next
and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,
the tawny close
grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels
of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun had made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.


'The House of Belonging'
From The House of Belonging
Poems by David Whyte
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Alice Phoebe Lou and her Berlin Blues Song

Alice Phoebe Lou wrote this about her music video, 'This video means a lot to me as it goes from my present in Berlin winter to the memories of my past growing up in Cape Town. My father filmed these childhood moments and last year he came to Berlin for a week and we became really close and he filmed bits and pieces of our journey together.'

I love it.

Me, as a Dreamer … via Dreamers2Doers, with Debrina Wright

I don't remember how I discovered Debrina Wright and her Dreamers 2 Doers story but I signed up to follow her, finding myself in a place where I really need to go back to dreaming big.

Like me, she works with women, both as colleagues and clients. You can read more about her next retreat, the Doers Retreat, the retreat where you learn how to turn your dreams into goals.  But I have to mention that I love that Debrina is also a Desiremap facilitator which  translates into the fact that her retreats are inspired by Desire Map, brainchild of another extraordinary much-admired woman Danielle LaPorte.

I guess those who know me, or have been reading me a while, might nod their heads in agreement when I write 'I'm a dreamer'

When I look back, it's clear to me that some of my 'life stories' seem more like dreams than anything resembling a regular life. I have lived all over the South Island of New Zealand. I was the wife of a high school teacher then later, when he changed careers, I became the wife of an Airforce officer. I went to university at age 34. Divorced. I lived in Istanbul for two years, alone … flying there, knowing no one.

I moved to Belgium and have spent the last 10 years building a different kind of life here, a New Zealander living in Europe. I'm a professional photographer. I write. I meet people from all walks of life and my friends come from all over the world. I have photographed prime ministers and actors, artists and opera singers, and weddings ... fantastic weddings for beautiful souls in countries not my own.

I have read a poet's poem to a large audience that included his widow, at a city gig honoring his memory. I have been interviewed for television 4 times, twice for short documentaries. I have read an e.e cummings poem for video, one that had me in a permanent state of blush during the reading and rereading. 

But to stop this introduction and return to the point of this post.  Debrina invited us to reply to the question ... How do I dream?

I think, mostly, I dream by Doing … until recently, when I lost a little of my courage perhaps. 

The dream I've been fixed on for a while has been all about creating a life lived in Genoa, Italy, working with women from around the world, women who want to understand their cameras so they can photograph the adventures they experience as they travel.  And then take that new knowledge back home to create a lifetime of memories.

But more than that, my photography workshops have been about introducing women to the beauty and joy found in 'solo' travel. To the doors that it opens if we only dare to step through them.

In Genoa business owners, musicians, artists, and dreamers too, have so generously opened those back-doors and allowed us into their lives, allowing my clients explore, to taste their food, admire their art and photographically document ancient processes still at work today.

Although my workshop dream is bigger than Italy or photography, it's also about the magic that comes from gathering women together in small and intimate groups. I keep my workshops limited in size because I want to take the time to work with each person individually, making sure all questions are answered. My desire is that everyone feels special, is heard, and experiences the intensity that is Genoa.

I had such big dreams for my photography workshops held in that 2,000 year old Italian city, the city I have stayed so deeply in love with since first being introduced to it back in 2008.  And now I need to get back to that dream of sharing it all.  It's been a tough year.  A journey to be blogged one day soon.

So ... a huge thank you to Debrina for having this this idea of sharing our dreaming lives, and then for making it happen too.

You might be interested to know that she is about to launch her first e-course, “ Dreamers 2 Doers Live: An 8 Week Online Discovery”. It will combine elements of her coaching programs focusing on finding clarity, discovery of self, core desired feelings, goal setting, and so much more.  I'm curious.

I hope to see you soon .... maybe in Genoa, Italy.  Workshop dates to be updated soon but if you're traveling and want to know if I can meet you there, let me know.  It's entirely possible for me to fit in around your itinerary this year.