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travel experiences recounted

I’m back. Four weeks of travelling are behind me. So much has happened that I have a hard time believing that it hasn’t been four months. The facts are against that theory though, the calendar insists that it’s really only been four weeks.

Four weeks full of friendship – old ones renewed and new ones made. Four weeks full of beauty and taking photos and fun and kindness and laughter and space and breathing and writing and exploring.So much of it that I have a hard time knowing how to share it, where to start, what to choose – there are myriads of aspects, experiences, thoughts I could share. And I have a great desire to share them. I feel the pressure, the need to write it all down while it’s fresh, not only in my travel diary, but form my personal rambles into something more coherent, something meaningful, to reflect the meaning this trip has had for me.

I think I’ll concentrate on the physical places and use them as the gravitational center to collect my thoughts around, to make it unfold for you like it unfolded for me. Will you stay with me while I attempt this? I promise you photos. I promise to give my best to make you chuckle. For that, you’ll have to bear with me while I turn this blog into a collection of travel essays for a short time.

I think I’ll tempt you with a photo right now…

view of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado

view of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado

what I want

it’s all very well

saying I’ll only do what I want to do

when what I really want to do is

soar across an evening sky

look down on a landscape of open space

mountains on the horizon

the red sun lighting them up from beyond

the moon riding high and cold

on air that is cool

and tasty and supporting me

slipping along my body

carrying me as I glide over

the dusky emptiness

night music

While putting together a collection of music for a friend, I got stuck on Nick Drake. To be exact, on Bryter Layter. And writing a little anecdote for said friend, explaining why I’d chosen this album, I relived the times I described and it suddenly became so real and so overwhelming that I couldn’t go on and am now, on an autumnal Saturday night, at my desk, listening to the whole album and drifting somewhere between daydreaming and remembering. I will just hope that the friend in question does not read this post before I can send the music off, because I’m just going to copy what I just wrote for him half an hour ago because I can’t describe it any better:

I can’t say that I have a favourite Nick Drake album, but if I had one, I think it would be this or Pink Moon. This is my “falling-asleep-under-the-stars” album. I listened to it almost every night when I was travelling in Croatia. I’d be outside in the sun all day, hiking or swimming or reading or writing or meditating and when it started getting dark, I’d crawl into my little tent and watch the stars through the mosquito net of the open tentflap, snuggled into the sleeping bag more for comfort than warmth and I’d listen to the rustle of the wind in the pines and the creaking of wood as the earth slowly cooled down and then I’d put on my mp3-player and listen to this album very softly.

I held on to that feeling in a poem. I’ll share it below the songs, together with a photo I dedicated to the poem.

night music
night
cold stars are out
zipped in
warm and safe
in the dark
notes floating
in my ears
piano and guitar
tears fall
for lonely songs
with intricate longings
and the vulnerable voice
of a musician
who died too young
and yet can make me feel
at home
in this night

Stari Grad bay, Croatia, at night

it’s all in the details

The sun was warm on my back this morning as I strolled through the garden, a mug of coffee in one hand, my camera in the other. I’ve been taking pictures in our garden for weeks now, some in the morning, some at dusk, whole series of photos of flowers, stones, trees, … What I’m saying is this: in a garden of normal and moderate size, I’ve found new things to take photos of every day and it never gets boring. This morning was a case in point.

I almost stepped on this in the grass (barefoot, too!).

Looking closer, this is what I saw.

A dead dragonfly, that had somehow managed to ground itself head first.

Isn’t that cool?!

P.S.: The morale of this story? Look closely.

Sunday inspiration

I decided, when coming home to my parents for my post-dissertation break, to treat this like a holiday – at least photo-wise. 🙂

It’s remarkable that I have tons of beautiful, amazing photos from almost any place that I have visited, yet when I’m home I only take family snapshots and pictures of the garden. This time, I’m pretending to be a tourist and trying to look at my surroundings with fresh eyes. It’s quite astonishing what I’m finding in the neighbourhood I grew up in and thought I knew like the back of my hand.

This afternoon, with a cold, high sky and the sun making the autumn trees blaze in gold and red, we (some of my siblings and me) kidnapped our grandma and drove to a neighbouring town, going for a walk in the park of the palace of the count whose family used to govern the town and surrounding area for hundreds of years. Below are some of the best pictures and I hope they will inspire you as they have inspired me (new story idea! plus a non-fiction idea!). Or maybe it was the fresh air. In that case – look at the pictures, then go for a walk. Try to keep your mind as open as your eyes – who knows what wonders you will come across?

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