Home is a place where we are eternally heading, there is a light on at the end of the street, the road, the garden, the block.
It’s the place we all turn to, to feel safe, to rest and to feel loved and nurtured.
Home is a place of familiar scents, a baked dinner on a winter’s day, the sweetness of one perfect white gardenia that sits by your bedside, the scent of freshly cut grass or your mother’s favourite perfume. Home is the comfort in sheets drying in the sun, lying in your backyard with your face towards the sky looking for shapes and animals in the clouds. Home is the fire that burns in the winter and in the summer sprays water from a sprinkler where the kids play in delight.
Home is a place of sounds that puts our heart at peace. The ding dong of a familiar doorbell, the tick of a pendulum on a clock that hangs on a wall and tocks in a comforting way, a lawnmower that breaks into action at a certain time of day and the sounds of the kookaburra’s that laugh their heads off at dawn.
Home is the sanctuary we create from the chaos of the world outside. It’s the beauty we carefully choose to put on our walls, shelves and in the nooks and crannies of our lives. An ex-voto found in a small shop in Naples, a painting from a dear friend that still reminds you of their smile, colours of the sea that light your heart every time you walk by it and a trinket you found in a market in Greece.
Home is the people we love, it’s the familiar faces of our mother’s and father’s, partners, nieces and nephews, friends, cat’s, dog’s and animals. Home is the place of memories.
To all the people caught on the road away from their family and friends, to the displaced ones trying to make your way home safely, my thoughts and love are with you.
May your Home weave its magic, keep you safe and calm.
Despite what is going on in the world, I am sending you a note of love and joy as it seems the fear department is working overtime.
I always try to find the good in a situation and often it’s hard to see what good there could possibly be when you are in the middle of it. Maybe this is the last shakedown before we truly embrace loving ourselves, doing life differently, respecting our earth and appreciating the small things in life we have always taken for granted.
Already there have been some amazing things come out of this situation. Here are six positive things:
Connection is an essential part of us as human beings and we take it for granted. I love this video of the Italians showing how creative they are at maintaining their connection even when locked in their own apartments.
Becoming more self-sufficient! So many of my friends who have a small plot of land have started planting vegetable seeds and growing their own food which we use to do and makes perfect sense. Sometimes I can’t remember why we aren’t doing it??
The pollution in China, Venice and European cities has almost disappeared. A friend of mine in Venice told me the waters were now crystal clear like a Greek beach as there were no more ferries pumping out diesel fuel, no more oversized cruise ships stirring up the lagoon. Mother earth has a chance to heal and so do we.
Disruption causes us to get creative. Often it’s with restraints that we produce our best work. I have taken up the photography challenge to see what I can come up with in my apartment. I’m calling this ‘My Corona Project’. Less can be more!
Grounding – I’m guilty of my default being moving from one thing to the next whether it be a project or an airport. This gives us an opportunity to deep clean, settle into a project such as a writing a book, creating a business or website. In a world we are used to producing and being constantly on the go, it’s a chance for rest and renewal.
Random acts of kindness – this what happens when things become unsettled, for every selfish act, there are double the acts of kindness. My neighbours have been knocking on our door seeing if we need anything we have been going out of their way to make sure our elderly neighbour has everything she needs.
I would love to hear what’s happening in your world and what positive things have happened for you or what changes you would like to make.
Sending you love, light and creativity,
PS: If you would like to have a little solidarity in this time I will be talking about what we can do to stay well, feel safe, have a positive mindset and make good use of this time. You can join me in this private group HERE
The gorgeous illustrator Kerrie Hess is having an Online Masterclass in Painting Fashion and she’s inviting you to join! In this special 12-week course for beginners, you’ll learn how to paint with confidence and take the lessons at your own pace, and if you’re already an artist, you’ll be able to enhance your skills in painting using watercolour and acrylic. Kerrie will also be sharing her insights on how to create an inspiring painting space, tips for travel painting and how to hang your own art pieces.
Enrolments worldwide are now open and only limited places are available, so don’t miss out on this chance. One of the most beautiful ways to be mindful is to be creative, and you will be able to discover your joy in art and painting with this course. Registration for places closes on March 1st at 10:00 AM AEST, and you can learn more about the online masterclass HERE.
Whether you are a photographer, creative or lover of life, today’s post is about Greek ‘Kefi’, which I believe is soul food.
One of my favourite things to do in life is to get on a plane to Greece because no matter how busy my year has been I know in my heart that I will put back what has been taken out of my creative well this year when I touch down on Greek soil.
For me the magic starts at the Athens airport and Greek folk if you are reading this I am sure you will know what I mean.
The nervous system seems to know its home!
It rolls over, it purrs, it knows it’s going to lie on a beach whether it be on beautiful Sifnos and or adventuring on Lesvos, and soon will become so hypnotized with good food, soft breezes, gentle joy that the Kefi immediately kicks in.
Photo by Carla Coulson
Kefi, like so many words in different languages never translates as the Greeks know it. It’s about joy, passion, living in the moment, togetherness, music and dance and more.
The above photos were taking of my husband on the last day of one of many of our Greek holidays.
I wanted a photo and had tried to make it happen the day before which ended in a rare fight. I found this amazing motorbike and the guy wouldn’t rent it to us. We drove out to this beautiful simple place on a ugly alternative and then hubs dug his heels in and refused. My sweet Italian wasn’t feeling it. We were leaving the island in a couple of days and I knew this window was closing but my philosophy has NEVER TO DO ANYTHING FOR A for a photo so I let it go.
Then later the next day he said ‘come on let’s go take some photos’. We rented the not so attractive bike, headed out to the beautiful spot and I started taking pics of him riding. Then he jumped off the bike and started humming the music to the sirtaki and just like that, on a dirt road, as the sun was setting with him and I dancing and humming we found our Kefi.
Sometimes I think Kefi is the secret to happiness!
There is a wonderful interview here unfortunately only in French or Greek that describes Kefi
Or you can catch a little bit of it here in this scene with Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek. I adore those words you would love any man to utter to another ‘will you teach me to dance’?
Here’s how I take Kefi home into my daily life:
Live in the moment – I try and stop living for tomorrow and live in the moment if whatever I am doing is enjoyable and not rush off to the next thing. Just sit, kick back and enjoy. Tomorrow will come but right here and now is amazing.
Relax – I find I get more done and am more creative when I take time out, have weekends and days away from the computer and meditate or relax during the day. Yes, when the sun is shining I take a long lunch break and even lie down during my work day and don’t feel slightly guilty about it because I know when I get up everything will be clearer.
Music – I make music a part of my life, it changes my mood takes me from lethargic to excited, feeling down to happy and helps me bring what I desire into my life. Yes folks I manifest to music!!
Dance – Even if it’s only for my husband I try and dance every day! Dance is the thing that connects us to joy and the forgotten wild women inside.
Share – There are so many ways to share our lives with others. Make a habit of sharing a meal with someone, share a ride home, an after walk or something that works for you. Actively share.
Let Go – If there is one thing that is tough to master it is letting go. Letting go of all the millions of things we think we should do and surrendering to them or delegating them to someone else. Once a day I let go of something. I allow things to be imperfect even if it’s a small thing and I am the only person that knows it, I just kiss goodbye to perfection and mentally let go.
So dearest folks, I hope you have enjoyed this little reflection on joy and life and hope you try and bring a little Kefi to your daily routine.
This summer I had the joy of spending a month in Australia reconnecting with my family, friends and my mother’s garage, sifting through photographs & memories.
Every trip home ends or starts in the garage!! My mother’s joy of decluttering could outdo Mari Kondo and in fact I’m not sure why mum doesn’t have her own Netflix show on it. Her love of decluttering may have something to do with the fact that mum has moved her whole life, loves order and peace (of the visual kind) in her house and garage.
So down we went, opened up the garage door to let the sunshine and fragrance of frangipani in and we went through the remaining boxes of my life that we had already scoured the year before for any superfluous things that might be lurking in its depths.
I humoured her because for the life of me I remembered having my garage goodies down to the bare essentials. When we opened the big wooden boxes that housed my stuff there were the copies of Chasing a Dream, Italian Joy and My French Life that remained like precious jewels that I wanted to hang on to forever. There was my uncle’s beloved Voigtländer camera that we were never getting rid of, my collection of CD’s and my photos.
Mum and I started digging through the remains to see if there was anything that could be recycled, given away or tossed. We ended up as we always do getting side swiped by memories, the ones we found in the photos and there we were sitting amongst the mess in wonder at these beautiful old photos of my mum and dad, so elegant, young and beautiful and my brothers and sisters who were free and joyous in childhood.
For so long in your 20’s, 30’,s & 40’s, your life feels like it stands still and that things move slowly and then one day you dip into the box, you realise you are over 50 and even though you still feel like 30 on the inside we have become the grown-ups (well you know what I mean).
It may be my age, it may be that I live on the other side of the world, it may be that the world is conscious of all the stuff that is destroying our planet but I can no longer stand having stuff in my life except the photos of our lives which will always remain a treasure.
In these faded sometimes blurry images are the echoes of the sea, laughter, possibility, love, friendship and family. They are more than just an image, they are the energetic representation of our lives, of our ancestors and where we come from. When we go, they are the only thing we leave along with the memories and stories.
So I will leave you with some of the treasures we found in the garage this year, that we scanned from old slides, the memories it brought back into our lives and the words of Aaron Siskind, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
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