Dear Australia, my home

living, loving, noteworthy, photography, travel

 

I love you. As I pack some things to head to remote Australia for a couple of weeks, I’m starting to think of the journeys I’ve taken in this part of the world, where landscapes almost too beautiful for words went flowing on for miles and into my camera lens.

 

I expect to be reinvigorated by the sparseness of space; the most elusive powerful element to the world we crowd today.

 

Regards,

A happy local.

 

 

 

 

peace out

 

 

 

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Will the real Slim Shakespeare please stand up?

living, loving, noteworthy

 

I was lucky enough to score 2 tickets to an opening of a play tonight – that of Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Reasons to be Pretty (here in Sydney, for those of you global folks). The actors were entertaining, all content was relatable, and there seemed to be an organic flow of dialogue complementing often argumentative and explosive outbursts.

 

I walked away under-nourished, however. Far from prodding my sponge-like brain to soak up splashes of rationed out reason, the content was more pop-culture comedy that denied digging deeper. With a title that suggests, it denied what it promised.

 

To see two people yelling and repeating the same invectives like “fuck” and “shit” one can just walk just down the road to Kings Cross, where repugnant verbal banter is unfortunate and rampant. If the play was written as a greater statement about the folly of “fuck” transcending all language barriers as a universally over-used term losing its meaning, the idea of watching talented actors sculpt commonplace characters would be much more interesting – albeit somewhat of a sobering test in theatre.

 

I’d be interested to know if other people experiencing theatre around the world are finding the same. Is the devaluation of our English lexicon (or indeed, any language) through media-perpetuated apathy undermined further by theatre that seeks to connect through colloquialism alone? Have the days of the genius playwright all but turned, or will writers sick of pop playwrights rise up, write more, and right decayed dry dialogue?

 

 

Please, chime in.

 

 

Oh what do I know, am I being too critical?

 

Maybe I am.

 

I mean I felt there was SOMETHING wrong with it though.

 

It was missing something Italian, maybe.

 

 

 

peace

 

 

 

 

The Universality of being Human

living, loving, noteworthy, photography, travel

 

 

Stumbling over photos I’ve taken in the last few years, the following two speak volumes when placed next to each other.

People told me I’d be robbed in the highlands of Southeast Asia, and kidnapped by the crooks crawling all over South America.

I don’t undermine concerns about safety – luck, commonsense and confidence must all come to the table when in unknown places.

But the widespread ignorance (and that’s not written with malice) held of the people in foreign lands seems, for the most part, entirely shaped by inexcusable one-line prejudices that blanket and smother all the richness of diverse peoples. I’m looking at you, sensational news products punctuated by hour-long pieces perverting all reason.

People told me all Colombians were drug dealers.
That in Vietnam, they kidnap the tourists for trafficking.
They said the French were all rude and presumptuous.
And most Chileans rob people to feed the gang wars.

There’s a chasm existing – help stifle its growth by thinking of Others as humans, with heart.

 

 

Simple splendour – ladies in Saigon

 

 

Refined and admirable – ladies in Bolivia

 

 

 

with peace

 

 

 

 

Be Present.

living, loving, noteworthy, photography

One thing I’ve noticed of late is that we love to hate ourselves.

Every worry, every plaguing demon presents itself as a self-fulfilling truth, and a penetrative one at that. It strikes like a sharp fork from the aether – those gnawing, indescribable feelings of ineptness, insufficiency, and oncoming failure that are unwelcome, rampant, and perhaps ever-present to the emotionally intelligent thinker – but they are not inevitable. Perhaps just as relevantly, they present themselves through myriad of behaviour – chewing fingers, over-cleaning, under-eating; or maybe general deflated apathy. A sneaking detriment, identifiable only to seeing eyes. At least to some extent, the scrutinisation of important aspects of life considered unachieved or lacking pervades the endeavour of all other human experience. Many people mourn the course of their life to where it has led them now – a loathing for decisions that chartered them through learning, growing, and tests, without the reward of financial luminance. I say hurrah! sirs. Celebrate the present and allow yourself the space. To inhabit in the present is to understand your peace – not for prize or place or money but for loving what is here. For all choices that you’ve made, you seem to be alive here still, reading words that can disperse a theorem eating at your truth; that damn old grass just could be greener if you’d just turned left not right.

We could talk much more on this subject but no more shall be written tonight.

Peace x

See the colour

Pondering Peruvian culture

living, loving, noteworthy, travel

There are several things I´ve had the pleasure of experiencing in the last few days, and of the myriad there are several I´d rather have gone without. Still, every shit sandwich seems to instigate some sort of welcome side effect – at least that´s what I tell myself to appease the ¨arghhhhh!¿!!¨in the situation.

 

I´ve been travelling for 11 weeks now, and have loved the differing flavours and tastes of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru (aside from recurring bouts of food poisoning). What is my favourite? you ask. I have a love for the fruit markets in Sucre, and the gathered warmth of travellers in Wasi Masi hostel – a perfect place to nestle and learn Spanish for a few weeks. The laid back edginess of Argentina skips hand in hand with its rosy red wines – find a garden, eat some meat, relax. Stay up late. And Chile kindled the initial fire for South America – the streets of Valparaiso an artistic labyrinth of anarchic expression. Now here, in Lima, I´ve developed an addiction to all things ¨Menú¨ – the ingenious inexpensive option at almost every eatery, offering up to 3 courses and a drink for a measly few dollars (get your soup on GIRRL).

 

I´ve seen a fair bit of Lima that most other travellers should hope to never encounter. Hour-long queues in government buildings and wandering around business sectors looking for a Scotiabank to pay inexplicable fees (sometimes a frustrating 8 Sol) for administrative costs, preludes navigating your way back to the initial 17 storey building to offer your receipt in order to proceed with procedures and procedural procurings. Passport matters are an easy day processing (love you @AustralianEmbassy) whereas re-entry stamps into Peru  include this tedious search for the correct queue, filling out forms, trying to race before the 1pm closure of its Federal window operators.

 

In these moments I can´t help but feel the strain of this stolen passport debacle (thank you, anonymous Peruvian) but take solace in the same stories repeated from previous travellers to the Cuzco area, who experienced this too. Oh, Machu Picchu. Home to some beautiful ruins, and ruined morals.

 

And it´s days like this, when I storm out the internet cafe with a mission to find a particular building or snippet of information to further my USA visa tribulation, I have little tolerance for the endless smooching sounds and whistles on the street. I guarantee you by now, I´m a dirty backpacker with day-to-day practical clothing and yet, I seem to attract attention like I´m a hooker walking down the street at night. Every 3rd or 4th man can be expected to ¨woooo¨ at the tall Gringa woman walking down the street, and after a while, my friends, it gets pretty fucking old. To be fair, Peruvians, in all their candid glory, are fairly harmless in this manner.

 

And that´s my vent for today. Much love and peace

 

 

xx

 

 

Helen and Mighty Machu Picchu

 

 

 

 

 

Here be musings

living, noteworthy, rhymes and rhythm, travel

 

Thoughts lying on a couch, in Argentina. My diary records me.

 

Spy those legs that weave around the table,

teaching me, as I forget

your name, it’s your name, and I forget it.

With new turns I do remember

Reading always means existing

long forgotten, never learned

But learning is recording, that is all

that is all.

 

My learning is a constant

and submits to massive failures

yet same constant is my freedom

it’s my burden and I’ll keep it

For the beauty on its table

under darkness, in the stable

left for loneliness the token

Fine-tuned journey, wisened teacher.

And the preacher near the doorway

tells me I have not yet spoken;

but I’m screaming

and I’m deeming him to be deceitful,

lying.

Then the silence in the slumber

of my waking world assaults me,

for there’s truth in what the preacher

prays to tell me for his part.

I have not yet known the netting

that protects me from my neighbours,

a perversely porous bubble

brewing trouble in my heart.

So I thank the man and take my toil

tangled in tomorrow,

to enjoy the jousting justified

by jaded faded means.

Meander in the mires but

remember mighty focus;

that we travel tasting all

the tainted tethers of latrines.

 

 

peace

 

Iguacu the Mighty

 

 

Lost little girl in Argentina

living, noteworthy, photography, travel

For those of you who missed my doodled scrawl about going overseas, I´m currently in Salta, Argentina (that´s in the North);  a place I´m going to pop the bubble of silence surrounding absent posts.

I´ve had a blocked ear the last week. In all its seemingly trivial beauty, the stuffiness with which I feel I´ve been off-balance and walking underwater has undermined many an mighty experience, and even threatened to numb one of the most exquisite sights known to mankind; Iguazu Falls.

Self-imposed exile from serious writing was employed; surely I couldn´t capture with concision the surreal feel of unfathomable falls of water, nor the endless toil of buses, night after night after night, with this hideous handicap.

Today, my friends, I enjoyed two whole minutes of clear hearing. So I´ll indulge you with a little story from a bus ride.

There I was, on a 7 hour stop in Posadas, backpack swaying, precariously positioned on a local bus back to the station. The little bottle-blonde girl sitting next to her mum kept looking fervently at the young dark-haired boy behind her (who in turn stared out the window), eyes wide with an intensity of still nervousness that seemed strange for her age. Of course, the first thing that struck me was not the look on her face but the look of her face – dark kohl eyeliner rimmed her young eyes, red lipstick stained her lips and foundation smeared across her chin compelled me to stare. For a few long moments, she stared back at me, utterly concerned. Promptly, she turned back to her store-bought goods and dove in, pulling out a pink sequinned mirror.

She checked her face, then checked again, with the demeanour of an aged destitute dear trying to cling to some semblance of youth… not a 6 or 7 year old.

Unsatisfied, she began applying more mascara, shitloads of shimmer, (checking behind to stare at me, aware of me) then finished her session with lashings of lipstick. I felt deep disappointment in her dismissive, disinterested mother; perhaps even perplexed incredulousness at this saddening scene.

You might argue it´s just the whimsical wants or a fanciful phase of a young girl´s childhood – but if you´d have seen the fierce focus with which she ¨needed¨more make-up, you too would be unnerved. What this spells for her future is not foreign to me – I see years of yearning for a prettier tomorrow, for bolder beauty, for something. Once again, the inane engendering of girls is evidently failing a child.

 

That one I will remember. More to come.

 

peace

 

x

 

Street beauty in Valparaiso, Chile