I’ve been a bit quiet lately but with very good reason. I’ve been busy!
First of all, let me tell you that Katie has regained her lovely velvet coat and most of the lesions that were messing up her heels and elbows have healed; there are still a few marks left, but nothing that will not go away in time. Being almost 56 (8 dog-years) has its drawbacks and those of us who have been there can testify that callusses happen … So, Katie seems to have beaten Leishmaniosis but she will remain on treatment for a year. Little Jessie is as quaint as ever, stealing Katie’s bones and burying them for later.
This last week I made a flying visit to England to meet up with my shipment of antiques and collectables that arrived at the auctioneers in Folkestone; timing was impeccable as I was able to help unpack the precious cargo. The day was deeply exhausting as the night before I hardly got any shut-eye. The hotel was adequate and rather old-fashioned with an up-beat trend in the bar and I laid my head upon the pillow at 7.00 while the sun was still shining. Yes, the sun was shining! In fact, the weather could not have been better.
One of the reasons for the long silence is that each and every piece had to be cleaned, polished and listed – this took a lot of hard work and patience, day in and day out. Then there was the shippers and insurers who had to be dealt with and I can certainly recommend the ones I used! But, I got it done and I must say the shipment could not have looked better when it arrived.
My home has become rather Zen-like with beautiful open spaces, light and airy. Now I need to put my thinking cap on to make it into a real island home as opposed to a half-blood English/South African style. Time to think about whites and blues and sand colours …
The day after that, I went up to London and spent the day and night with my great-nephew, Juan, his partner, Jessica and the very new great-great-niece, Annabelle. They can say what they will about Old Wives and their Tales, but I’m delighted to say that I gave them an invaluable tip about sleeping habits for babies. They all got sleep! Jessica exhibited great self-control while I was proving the point … new mothers only want to protect their new born from any and all harm and who can blame them! I’ve been there, done that and have a multitude of T-shirts to prove it. But, the 24-hour period spent with them made me, as a writer, think about a possible new bit of scribbling …
And speaking of writing, yes … I have rejoined a writers’ group which has risen from the ashes of a previous group. And yes again, we named it Phoenix Writers! We meet at my local club twice a month and this group will remain small and intimate without the trappings of chairmen and secretaries and treasurer.
Oh, by the way, I have also taken two on-line writing courses, one of which was very useful, the other I just could not get my head around. But, I’ve got time and will probably go through the entire course again during the deep dark hours of winter in front of the fire … hmmm.
In between all these activities, I have been engaged in building a little website – a directory really – for all the artists in Cyprus. Since our Open Studios project collapsed two years ago, lots of people have found it hard to get their work seen by the public. This directory – hopefully – will enable a bit of exposure. Go have a look but remember that it’s still under development as in the end, I would like to add links to the various websites, links to other places of interest in the vicinity of each artist’s workspace and even a few maps. I know – I know nothing! I’m working with templates and have no idea of code and/or HTML … which means one has to rely heavily on what is available. That also means a steep learning curve. Anyway, go and have a look at what’s up :
http://www.art-en-route-cyprus.com – they do say that it’s healthy keeping the old grey cells active.
And then there is the garden. Oh, boy – it’s bliss and pain! While Donald needed a lot of attention, there was little or no time to spend tending the space. Moving about in it now, makes it abundantly clear that it needs ample TLC. This I’m not averse to as I love pottering in the dirt and helping Mother Nature making things beautiful. It’s one of the most rewarding pastimes one could adopt.
The intention is to create a garden that is fit to show to the public. However, it probably will never come to that as I do have (other) plans brewing in the back of my head. Perhaps one weekend in the year, accompanied by an art exhbition such as we did for Open Studios – but we’ll see. There is a whole glacier of water to go under that bridge.
My ultimate intention is to create a place of Peace and Harmony and in pursuit of such an ethereal objective, I have studied hard and long over, I think, many lifetimes. It has always been a dream to go to India and stay in an Ashram, in an effort to pin down God. You know, stick her on Pinterest so that everyone can see what God looks like. Well, it dawned on me that I am actually living in my own, very private, very special Ashram. I cook, I clean, I work in the garden and have a multitude of other tasks – more than I would have in an Indian Ashram. I spend my days in Silence by choice. I can meditate at any time of night or day, chanting my mantras to my heart’s content without anyone judging or pitying me. I have, to all intents and purposes … ARRIVED – at the destination I have dreamed of. Not many souls in this dimension can say the same, but I am at Peace. I don’t even have to visualise it – it’s real.
I’m re-reading Liz Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ but skipped over the ‘eat’ part as I’m trying to get myself in shape for my beach holiday at the end of the month. I went straight to ‘pray’ and agonised with her through her tortuous chanting, meditation and floor scrubbing and that’s when the realisation crept in: Do I need that? Especially at my age? No, I think not. There are other places beckoning where I’ve never been before and others I would dearly like to revisit. However, could I – just maybe – provide the platform for other searching souls right here in my Ashram? Time will tell.
I leave you with a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke (born December 4th, 1875 in Prague) : –
“I beg you … to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”