Monday, April 26, 2010

my beautiful week 16

- I plunge Max's tail into a bucket of soapy water then gently work the lather through the coarse chestnut hair. It feels quite different to washing the girls' hair (Max doesn't moan one bit as I comb the tangles out) but the end result is no less satisfying.

- Talya rides with such confidence and ease; her entire being radiates joy. It seems to me that at the age of 7 she has already discovered her bliss.

- For a split second I find my point of balance and feel the sense of lightness that comes with achieving Bhujapidasana. Perhaps one day I will master this pose but for now I am content with a brief moment of poise.

Friday, April 23, 2010

my beautiful week 15

It's been a busy back-to-school week. On Wednesday I started writing an inspired 'bloggers block breaking post'. And then on Thursday when I returned to finish it, it was gone! Vanished into the blue! Swallowed up by blogspot. Darn!

I'm way overdue on 'my beautiful week 15' but here I go - and hopefully I'll hit Publish Post before the banshees get it.

On Sunday I turned 43. Forty. Three. (I still have a little trouble saying it out loud).
I don't feel 43!
And I could swear yesterday I was 25. Where did 18 years go?
If I'm not careful tomorrow I'll wake up and be 61!

But Daniel Francois Esprit Auber wisely said 'Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life'.

Having longevity in my genes I fully expect and intend to be around for at least another 43 years. I just want to make sure that I make the most of every one of them and I don't turn 86 thinking 'where did the last 43 go?'
So that is why I will continue to write.
Writing compels me to pay attention, to notice my life as it unfolds each day and to find the beauty which is here right now.
I will write to record, to remember, to communicate and to explore.
I will write as long as I can breathe.
As long as I can see, smell, touch, taste and hear.
As long as I can string a coherent sentence together at the end of each day.

It has been a beautiful week. This is what I saw:

- A large soft brownpaper-wrapped parcel is waiting at the post office. It has travelled all the way from Cape Town to Auckland and arrived two days ahead of my birthday. I hug it too my chest and it hugs me back.

- An envelope addressed to me, bearing 6 stamps depicting 4 Lilacbreasted Rollers and 2 Whitefronted Bee-eaters arrives in the mail. I love birthday snail mail.

- I receive a signed copy of Karen Maezen Miller's latest book 'Hand Wash Cold' which I had ordered off her website. Inside the front cover she has written 'Dear Kathleen, Attention is Love. Karen Maezen Miller'

What have you noticed this week?

Friday, April 16, 2010

happy blog first birthday!

In the midst of my blogger's block I managed to completely miss my blog's first birthday on 1 April!
So apologies dear blog and may the new year be filled with many more posts and growing blog friendships :-)
I started this blog last year as a way of sharing ideas, inspiration and photographs with my sister in Cape Town. It's developed into a place where I practice stringing words together and hope that what results will make sense, if not to anyone else, then at least to me.

And I've discovered that the more I write, the more I realise how much I need to write. I spent many years wanting to write but feeling I simply wasn't good enough at writing to even know where to start. Every now and then I'd have an attack of inspiration and I'd sit down and write something that seemed to come from some place buried deep down inside me and I'd be surprised and delighted by what came up on the page. But then I'd get bogged down with life again and I'd lose touch with that place. But blogging has given me a place to begin. At the moment it still feels very much like I have barely left the starting blocks but it doesn't matter because every time I write I feel better. Even when what comes up on the page/screen seems dull and boring and stupid.

Because always after I've scratched through the surface and dug through all the dirt, I discover some little shining nugget of truth that makes my life more meaningful and helps me make sense of the world.

So my hope for the coming year is that I will continue to write even when I feel blocked and stuck and crazy. (Hang on make that, especially when I feel blocked and stuck and crazy!) And that my writing will help me continue to make sense of the world and how I fit into it.

If along the way, what I write helps someone else make sense of the world then so much the better!

(One of the wonderful spin-offs of blogging has been meeting other bloggers and making new friends - so a big thank you to all of you for your comments and encouragement, and the daily inspiration you share in your blogs).


Monday, April 12, 2010

my beautiful week 14

It has been a beautiful week of school holidays, fine autumn days, a trip to the zoo and a flying visit from my big brother.

There is so much to write about but I seem to have lost my words, lost my writing way. I feel stuck.

So until I find my way back, here is a photograph of Rangitoto Island taken from Mount Victoria in Devonport on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

my beautiful week 13

- Leaves the colour of red wine decorate a young oak tree, like a perfect Christmas paper chain three months overdue.

- It’s 5.30am and the alarm wakes up two big Easter bunnies. They hop out of bed and into the garden to hide chocolate treasure.

- Not a breath of wind disturbs the morning air. Every leaf on every tree is motionless. Each time I exhale a mini hurricane disrupts the stillness. I inhale peace and take it with me through the day.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

in praise of my body

Rachel at Suburban Yogini's 'our bodies are awesome' post got me thinking about my body and how much it has put up with from me over the years. At various stages during the course of my almost 43 years I have overeaten, or undereaten, drunk too much, exercised too much, or too little, worked when I needed to rest, lazed about when I needed to move...and still my body has kept going, like a reliable Labrador, always there when I need it, waiting for my next command. All in all I've lived a pretty healthy active life so am lucky to be in good shape for my age but I have a tendency, like many women, to notice the flaws in my body rather than to celebrate what is great about it. So here with deep gratitude are the Five Things I Love about my Body:

My body can move. I have long, strong legs that have taken me to some wonderful places; I have climbed mountains, run marathons, cycled passes and swum (ok, splashed about in) seas. Last week on the way to school, the girls wondered what it would be like to be a tree rooted to the same spot for one's entire life. 'Boring!' they decided. Have legs, will travel.

My body knows what it needs. In the last ten years, thanks mainly to my yoga practice I have learnt that my body ALWAYS knows what it needs, when it needs it - it's been up to me to learn its language, pay attention, and to respond accordingly - whether it be for healthy food, exercise or rest. Whenever I ignore it, I suffer the consequences.

My body is flexible. I was born with natural flexibility. When I was a child I spent many hours doing backbends over the back of the couch driving the rest of the family mad, no doubt. As a teenager I danced, and as an adult I discovered yoga. My flexibility means I can achieve with ease poses that many people struggle with. Along the way I've learnt that too much flexibility is not a good thing and needs to balanced with strength and awareness. In yoga, as in life.

My body has a beautiful head of thick wavy dark brown hair. A hairdresser once told me I have enough hair for three people. I curse it because it can be difficult to manage but I am often complimented on my luxurious locks. And thanks to my great genes I am still a natural brunette (although I am noticing that the greys are multiplying so this may change soon...)

My body is an early riser. Morning is without doubt my favourite time of day. There is something sacred about being outside as the sun is rising on a new day. My body agrees and always wakes before dawn without an alarm clock.

What are 5 things you love about your body?