Last night in Dublin

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By the time I’ve removed glitter, mascara and smog from my face its 23:00. I change into pajamas and make a cup of herbal tea I brought back from home last time, and think of my childhood friend who always stock this particular blend in his kitchen cabinet.

I can’t connect to the hotel wifi so I switch on the hotspot on my phone and look at the time again, consider what time I should get up tomorrow. I need to pack my backpack and have breakfast before 11. 8 o’clock should do. 

Nathaniel is taking my Mac and phone to the office so it doesn’t have to stay in my unlocked room while we are on holiday. We may get new roomies in the meantime. 

This means I won’t have my Mac Friday night though, and I need to do my expenses before the weekend. I can do them in the morning, but then I would have to get up quite early. Giuliano wanted to go for an ocean dip in the morning as well, but since she is still out I think the pressure is off.

The chat connects, there are 63 messages from the crazy kids still at the bar, now another one. Two team mates are already back at the hotel though, having admin/PJ party like myself. I rub the lenses of my glasses to remove a stain, then send a selfie to the group chat. I check my personal phone, Loverman aka Merman has not replied yet, did he go to bed without texting me goodnight? I message mum and a friend, then leave it next to me.

I find the receipts I have already sorted for last week first. Personal phone vibrates, its Merman telling me goodnight. I smile and crawl a bit deeper under the covers.


 FR7407 to Luton

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I’m packing homemade flower remedies from mum, chocolates, artist brushes, glitter, herbal tea, 6 menthol lip balms. 

For the road my friend equips me with a tinfoil wrapped bread roll, an organic apple, a tiny box of raisins and November’s issue of Eurowoman with an article about being from a beautiful place but not feeling at ease there, and making home elsewhere.

I tear up as I bite the bun, sat in my blue and yellow Ryanair seat, already mid air. A girl in a tank top is riding on her mum’s shoulders on the commercial on the wall, the sun is shining, arms stretched out she looks like she is flying. To me now it looks like something that would be really hard to return to. I fumble for my head phones and blast a funkão carioca to remind myself why I chose that, and how it chose me too. Somewhere inside, my PC feminist scratches her head… But who has the time when the beat is this great? If you can’t twerk it sure aint my revolution.

 Tchau & Bjão Dina, vai se ver por aí!

Ko-hee, friends and trees

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”sleepy?”

”yess… no coffee in Misono, I never really wake up!”

”ooh, here you can have ko-hee every day, just ask someone to make it. Every afternoon you can drink ko-hee”

– And such was the conversation that gave me very strong and warm sisterly feelings towards Hide. While Misono is a bit claustrophobic for my taste, with all its elegant meticulousity, the little model farm upholds a sane level of beauty and elegance, the snip of the toilet paper is still neatly folded, and every inside surface cleaned several times per day, but in the farm work it is like anywhere else. We throw around things and some fall on the side, people exchange roles fluently and each person moves to the role which is needed, there is chit chat about everything and nothing, with shy laughs when things get lost in translation, and every once in a while a song.

” Hide I have something to ask that you might find weird because it is not in your culture.
You see, for my spirituality it is very important to go into nature, and touch the soil, hug the trees to really connect, now I see all this amazing forest around and I really really want to take a walk inside it…”

Hide’s face goes blank, then he translates to the others, laughing.

”so you want to go into the forest? For me its fine, I think there are no bears… it might be the only problem if trees fall… maybe its a problem”

Hide needs to call Taka, who is my official caretaker on the trip, to get approval. Then comes back to me.

”so… tomorrow afternoon after lunch you can go have a walk. How long would you like to stay in the forest?”

”maybe some two hours?”

”two hours?!” Hide laughs again…

Later same day after lunch cooked on the traditional wood-stove Eri brings me a whole thermus of ko-hee, and sits down next to me to chat until she is called back into the kitchen. I stay seated on my pillow on the floor and pour myself a second cup and a third, and keep the cup close to my face as I change between inhaling and sipping, as I fall into the gentle music and the fresh air coming from the open door.

The house’s sensei brings me three little packages of ready to use drip filter kohee.

”special gift”

Indeed it is

”Arigatooo gozaimasu”

Next day indeed I go into the forest, in the pouring rain, to the one temple where I truly feel at home. And Eri brings me more ko-hee, more beautiful, beautiful ko-hee.

Peace quietens the space around me, and my heart expands into the great one-life.

Arigato gozaimasu….

 

 

 

 

 

Misono days

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With a babbling brook outside our bamboo covered windows, and all the simplicity I have been yearning for my whole live in our bamboo mat covered room with two futons and a low table a night in Misono could not be any more peaceful.

The days however can leave you out of breath. Morning call is at 6:00 am but in order to perform the mandatory ritual cleaning of the bathroom before breakfast 5:45 is more realistic. After the cleaning a clothes change is required as you cannot enter the temple in work clothes or jeans. Then breakfast is served in the canteen two floors up – our meals are rice, soups and tea three times a day. After washing the adorable little bowls and placing each part back in its original place, and head towards the temple were you wash hands and mouth in the fountain, and bow in all the right places on the way to the entrance where you cover your shoes with plastic slippers before coming inside Meishusama’s hall (which reminds me of Mariko Mori’s imaginary of a space ship: elegant, feminine, bright and deliciously beautiful, though less colourful – no photos allowed inside so you will have to trust me xD).

After morning service with chanting and Jyorei (healing sharing) we change clothes to work and go for dedicated hoshi activity. The point is not what work you do, but to focus the mind on selfless service for the happiness of all beings – in my case means turning over soil and making compost outside in the fresh mountain air. NOT BAD. (most of the other hoshi tasks are Cinderella inspired jobs such as cleaning floor or mattresses on your knees, scrubbing the kitchen etc.)

After hoshi the clothes change again and we venture back into the temple for evening service, followed by bowing, rice, greetings, and my dear Brazilian friend with much eloquence extorting sexy Japanese phrases from our very shy Japanese friend.

After all this left is only to roam around the reception area to pick some wifi to talk to my boo, or finding our Sensei to see if he will break the tea monotony with a oh so beautiful whiff of coffee, or as we say ”ko-hee”. I haven’t made it to a ko-hee encounter yet though, I have mere managed to collapse on futon, and as it says in the sleeping instruction manual (because everything in japan comes with a manual): ”lastly please get into bed and sweet dreams”

Tomorrow 05:45 repeat…

Bald Poetry and a Beat Root Passport

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Bald Poetry and a Beat Root Passport

I dream of Ariel. His ears cut off, van Gogh wasn’t crazy either. He smiles. I reach for freedom, for a razor, and carefully slice off my left ear. I stay with it in my hand, looking at it, my cut off ear, overtaken by doubt, should I sew it back on, if I don’t what does it mean.

I wake up in the middle of my dilemma. Morning shower, my razor in the bathroom. I shave a little piece of my head and marvel at the sensation, pass Karité to protect my newborn skin. I look weird, I look beautiful.

A kiss on my naked head, never felt anything like it!

**My last post received over 180 visitors and 280 views, I never had this kind of traffic before! I can only take it as a clear sign that I ought to pursue a career as a bald poet**

… This Sunday I am going to use my European beetroot colored passport to return to Gringolândia (well, most likely that is, because lately few things are very predictable).

I am looking forward to soy lattes and to the gentle spirit of the people, the softness of the peace which seeps out of the walls. The peace which silently suffocates the outrageous, disturbing pulse of the life that beats in everything, beats inside me stronger now, after two therapeutic months cuddled at the chest of Brazil.

Rio is pulse; pumping out chaos, color, creativity, sex, celebration, violence and beauty, beauty, beauty.

”There are a lot of things which could be a lot better in Rio, but it has a really good magic”

Magic. That’s what I feel. And I am aware that I am experiencing Rio from the point of view of my European passport privilege, a ticket to a life with a kind of freedom which means not ever having to seriously worry about violence, visas, or money to pay for health care.

Its a comfort privilege, its separation too. I live in a fenced off condomínio, Fortress Europe. It is a wealth which doesn’t show up on my bank account.

I am not leaving with a crushed heart this time, but with a suffocating feeling in my chest from the expantion created by having so much love compressed into tiny chambers, knowing that I am of this too: it is inside me.

And I can come back.

Still… I sit blank-faced looking at Avia’s page booking my connecting flight out of here, scanning my mind for another option…

Human

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Human

I cut it short
I cut it off, my razor stuck in the waves
I didn’t plan it.
skin I never saw
under my hair

I shed from axiety, my hair, I always had.

Under my hair our skin is the same
my skin is the same as anybody else’s
I’m human
I want to press myself against him and whisper it
”I’m human”

High tech Hobits and Micro Cosmodelic Sustainability in Curitiba

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I wake up in Giovanna’s and Fabio’s little hobit house. High tech hobit, because it has a flat screen TV glued to the wall. I wake up alone, I wake up happy. Outside is breathing peace, a little porch which a passion fruit bush is slowly absorbing into her stomach. Sun and a mild breeze.

Me and Gi are friends since 9 years ago when she came to my home town and told me that I should come and find my tribe in Brazil, where everything which was weird about me would be normal, and the jeans would fit my bum. (xD.) The rest is history.

Curitiba is a calm cool town in contrast with Rio, Salvador, Recife or São Paulo. I’ve landed in Gi’s micro cosmos of sustainable forrestry, organic foods, vegetarian restaurants, funky hair cuts, piercings and compost. I settle in with the people and the place as if I had in fact lived here my whole life, this feels so easy, I talk about spirituality with everybody, without getting a single blank stare. Everyday is a new delicious and spirited conversation about feminism, buddhism and indigenous mysticism. I cannot get enough of people. On more than one occasion there are several alcohol free parties to chose from (so psyched!!), in compensation the air is heavily perfumed with burning weed.

Gi and Cami(kaze) support their income with a home grown tobaco business, freeing smokers of the hands of the multinationals while providing the people with nicotine and sweet smelling flowers. (check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loguca/827600707257502?fref=ts) . I join in the production and feel like a clandestine migrant worker as we crack silly jokes through the evenings. Totally high from the fumes of happiness, I feel stronger and more at ease than I have for long: this is h.o.m.e…. as well!

I’m invited along to pass carnaval at Psycodalia – a festival guaranteed to relieve your mind from any heavy residues, LSD, theater and the best of the genious musicians (such as living God Tom Zé) readily available… I am drawn like a bird to the horizon, but chose the violent magic of Carnivorous Carnival Rio, and dream of fires, deaths, kidnappings and slaughtered cows bleeding on the pavement… Have a feeling this is going to be intense.

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