Via Warsaw

Ljubljana Airport

The multiple lanes leading to and beyond Departures 1, 2, 3 and 4 at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport are clogged with cars driving very slowly searching for a spot to pull over in order to deposit passengers to the different departure halls. Quick or lengthy farewells are showcased by a hug, a kiss, a firm hand shake or a proud wave. It’s an early Saturday morning in August. Today holiday people rent their holiday house until the next Saturday. I had not thought of traffic this busy on a weekend day in summer. We should have left the house earlier, I tell myself and once more when we get to Polish Airlines check-in counters seeing a long line of people, waiting, not moving. At the economy counter there’s no staff. Only at the business class counter people are being attended to. We wait, try to get feed back as to why the economy class counter is uninhabited and wait some more. After quite a bit it’s our turn. We’d already checked in online and have been waiting only to drop off our suitcase. For which we are being asked if we paid the supplement. Apparently this is not noted. The ground stewardess of the now open economy class counter looks a bit confused but she kindly prints out our boarding passes upon asking her to do so. Fortunately we pass Schiphol security quickly. To discover some fifteen minutes after check-in that the departure gate mentioned at our boarding passes doesn’t  correspond with the information advertised on the digital departures boards. We find our way to the correct gate. Also here people are waiting. Boarding hasn’t begon. When we eventually get in the Polish aircraft we wait even longer, at least an hour. Finally permission to take off follows and one and a half hours after the scheduled departure time we are on our way to Warsaw. It means that upon our arrival we will not have a minute to loose for our transit at Warsaw Airport, going to Ljubljana, Slovenia. But the LOT stewardesses are pretty, fuzzy and informal and our two weeks trip through Central Europe has started. The trip I dreamingly label as a fairy tale come true. Recounting of love, transition and inner truth.

The Warsaw connection is successful and five hours afterwards we land at Ljubljana airport. Our suitcase takes a day longer to make it there. Leaving us to make our way into town feeling as light hearted as we like to travel light. That first evening we melt together in a soft Slovenian bed hidden behind an upmarket and neatly renovated historic centre street of a quaint little semi Alpine town.


Little Fish Spa

Five years ago, maybe six, my brother sent my daughters and me to one of the little fish spa’s that sprouted like mushrooms in the alleys and narrow streets around his neighborhood, location Bario Gotico, down town Barcelona, enclosed by the popular Picasso-Museum-neighborhood called Borne and the street-artist’s-Ramblas de Catalunia. Who hasn’t been there? In a single day there’s more tourists then cobble stones paving the medieval streets. After African people selling sunglasses to be chastisized by the guardia civil, wealthy European youngsters investing in real estate to open up Airbnb places and less wealthy Europeans opening up funny cafés, Asian people started spreading out from their whole sale-retail-everything-for-1-euro places into more popular signature Catalan streets opening up one massage salon after the other. At some point these massage salons competed in original ways to attract the millions of pedestrians strolling often aimlessly, the oh so trodden old streets where once a long time ago, time had stood still. Sit down in an electric massage chair and dip your toes, feet and lower legs into a water bassin in front of your chair. Black little fish study your legs for a little time before they attack your skin, nibbling on it, making you giggle, supposedly eating away the dead cells of the top layer of your skin. The experience is a happy one. After fifteen or twenty minutes you pay €25 and continue the aimless wandering most probably quickly interrupted by downing a few beers or a caraf of sangria.

My not yet teenage daughters and I liked the little fish spa’s very much. Surprised how it suits the appetite of different generations; not a common thing while walking through hot old streets with a million fellow holiday people. 

Today six years later, my daughters find themselves, spending the first few weeks of their summer holidays in The Netherlands before the two of them come hanging out with me for a couple of weeks. Location: a tranquile island in the midst of the Mediterranean where even in July it’s hard to loose oneself in some sort of dis- or at-traction. Nature talks, often very loud, and people disperse themselves in a quest for tranquility, purity and being away from it all.

Late last night I’ve arrived back at the island which I and my youngest daughter call home since half a year. The day after the night before I seek solid grounds and to recapture my little life here. I take to the rocks at one of my favorite parts along the shore, Dahlet Qorrot bay. I leave the few other people that come out here and my car behind to hike for twenty minutes, maybe half an hour. Until I arrive at what I call my private spa. Here the sea created craters like shallow pools, different ones, connected with the open sea but only by little water ways. The water in the shallow pools is almost stagnant but not completely. It’s as clear as glass. Little fish roam. Little crab crawl. The sun shines fiercely. The extremely salty water is hotter then the electrically heated water in the bath tub at home. I carefully get in the natural health spa, cautious not to slip and slide on the the film of soft sea moss and algea that covers parts of the natural pools, making the whole experience even more of an immersion in nature. The shallow pools are not much deeper then 50 or 70 cm. I stretch myself out in the water, arms wide, legs apart, floating as if I find myself on an airbed. The water is so salty. It prevents anything from sinking. I breath slowly, adjusting my ligaments, patiently relaxing more and more. The back of my head sinks further down. Only my neck is still tensed, trying to keep my head aligned with my torso. I gradually let go. Seawater encircles my closed eyes and blocks my ears. It’s eternally silent, soft and static. And then it starts. I feel the first nibbling at my right hand, it surprises me, I unconsciously pull my hand away from what it is touching. But I realize it’s just little fish and I relax again, stretching my arm comfortably, slowly, not to agitate the placid warm water. After a bit more the little fish seem to have regained trust and courage. They start to nibble at my feet, my legs and my ears. The most unique sensation is when they start nibbling at my eyelids and my cheeks. At some point it tickles too much, just next to the opening of my ears. I move to make them stop for a moment. But I relax again and they retake their meal of savoury human skin. I smile and enjoy intensely what’s happening to me. 

Thank you overcrowded Bario Gotico for having introduced me to this peculiar intimate experience. Reality beats any sought after dis- or at-traction by miles. One of the smallest islands in the Mediterranean, the tranquile isle of Gozo, which is part of the Maltese archipelago, this place completely beats it if it comes to the experience of reality.


April 2019 high up Gozitan cliffs

Sunset over Malta colors a silver grey sky pale orange. It contrasts significantly with the deep dark blue Mediterranean water at the down side of the horizon. He has left me for now. The love of my life. Like a brilliant golden sun setting behind the thin line dividing dark from light. He leaves me with memories of endless moments. They shine like brilliant sun rays shedding light upon vibrant colors of life. Unveiling it’s essence, basically. As if life is something complete.
I use words to bridge the distance between me and painstaking moments of completeness. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I shouldn’t try to put it into words, expressing individualized cut off fragments of perfectness. Like Muslims shouldn’t picture what is created by Allah. By putting divine creatures into individualized expressions through drawing, painting or picturing anything that is alive and breathing, one takes away the divine spirit of it and one assumes to be capable of recreating what only Allah can create. Beautiful abstract mosaic art is a dear result of the principle. Do words that describe something called love do the same? Does it take away the divine spirit of love? Much like we wouldn’t want to touch perfection at the risk of ruining it. In my case then, I shouldn’t touch it not even with words. 

Tomorrow the sun will rise again. I will drink tea in the morning thinking of him. Filling the empty space he left behind with emotions, feelings and thoughts. Weird enough love is as much about perfection as it is not. Those moments of perfection are indeed not to be touched. They can be admired, respected, wished for and dreamed of. However they should be kept pristine. Like crystal clear water should not be contaminated. And then there is love and acts of love. They fill empty gaps. Love completes that which without love would be barren, cold and empty. Like beautifully engineered food, which without love misses the final touch. Love makes up for life’s missed chances. Love turns life around, back into fertile grounds where the cycle of rhythmic growth steadily continues. Love has found me. It took the shape of my American hero. I allowed him and love and therefore life to touch me. As deep and powerful as the big blue sea. And as vulnerable and ephemeral as a mayfly, who has the short life span of one single day. Love touches softly without any pressure felt. Yet mega at the same time, as in Omega, the ultimate letter of the alphabet, finishing up, completing everything that has transpired before. Love is like the sun that rises again and again, facilitating growth, fertility and continuity. Regardless of the depth of the darkest of nights, the sun comes shining again the following morning. Always and forever. The pitch black of the darkest of nights exists merely at the mercy of the purest, virgin white light of day. Sparkling brightness outshines pale stale. The deliverance of a perfect moment is celebrated with effervescent champagne and blinking diamonds reminiscent of the temporary versus the eternal. Love is as light as it is heavy and as complicated as it is loud and clear. Love is life. As much as the continuous cycle of sunsets and new dawns are.

She Rocks

Seven years ago in Amsterdam my toddler brought home from her nursery a stone the size of an adult hand palm. Painted blue, red and white and in written in black her name. The Dutch national colored stone read: Mahdee Rocks. I think that might have been the first time that I remarked a special soft spot for the concept of what we label a rock. Her rock made me smile out loud. As we speak, my memory extends to many years before that little rock for my little girl where upon I unconciously projected my own longing for steadiness.
Carl Jung writes in his Memories, Dreams and Reflections about how he sits on a rock questioning himself on matters of reality. What is real? This rock I am sitting on is real. Or is it my perception of the rock that is real? Am I the rock then? What is the rock anyway; does it only exist ‘in me’? 
Jung’s contemplations fascinated me twenty years ago because I didn’t understand at all how one could ask himself if one actually is a rock. Walking through a city parc I would once in a while ask myself ‘what does that tree mean to me?’ Hoping for the thought resurrecting ‘Am I that tree?’ because, I reasoned, if I obtain the same experience as Jung, I understand him, understanding something that I had never questioned myself. However I am curious and I just like to understand things, people, the world around me and most of all, reality. For what I understand I might be able to master and not feel threatened by.
A year ago I desperately needed a job. I was drawn to a place called The Rocks. With my by then eight years old daughter on my arm I walked in, made an enquiry and got the job.
Half a year ago I desperately lost sight of the love of my life. Everyday without him I was drawn to two rocks at the shores of a place called Safety Beach. My eight years old daughter would walk there with me every single day until we left the shores of Safety Beach to return to our own hemisphere. Sitting on those rocks, listening to the seawater embracing the stone before kissing the beach, settled me. 
We’ve passed many places since and now we have rediscovered rocky shores. We love climbing on and over them. Shortly I will initiate yoga sessions on these rocks. Winking with a twinkle to all sweet strong slightly intoxicating alcoholic drinks On The Rocks, the ice cubs in the drink sorting a similar effect as yoga in our brains. On The Rocks without the alcohol.
 A sincere friend of mine presented me a pebble for my 50tish birthday. To me that means more then any other present. I keep it in my little wallet. Each time I turn the little wallet around to shake the money out of it on a store’s counter, the pebble rolls forth between real coins. What’s the most precious one of them all? 
It brings me back to I don’t know what. I think I am trying to own rocks. Envious of their capacity to remain undisturbed by rising and wading tides, burning sun, soaking rain and freezing cold. I am trying to make rocks my own the way other people try to make their beloved ones theirs, or material security or wisdom.
As for me, I’ll keep on rocking and rolling. Way to go.

Blue in grey tones moonlit

It’s a bit too cold to just sit here. On a community bench. At the bay of Mgarr-Ix-Xini. Even if it were only for the name I readily sit here. Mgarr-Ix-Xini sounds like Thousand and One Nights to me. Because romanticism is what I am made of. It’s the sea drawing me here. It’s particular appearance as recorded in my mind. Living on a small island opens gateways to new horizons. This day’s sunset do I prefer roaring waves full on? Or an unobstructed view towards the point where man and the universe meet? Or do I opt for an inlet where seawater is rolling on pebble shore and where concrete boat landings are used for pulling in and out bright colored wooden fishing boats that are now silently resting ashore. My emotions tell me where to go. Being grateful for nature’s overwhelming reality. I definitely need something bigger then myself to rely on, to submit to and to have me sheltered.

It’s half January. Not the time of year to go out on a little fishing boat. Behind me an older man climbs into his Landrover Defender. A well kept one. I say hello. Jealous of his house at the inlet. Reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s hamlet in the gardens of Château Versailles. Romanticism here however, manifests itself in pristine and real forms. Not affectionately made to be nice but efficiently made to live, in, through and for. A birdcage hangs at the secluded veranda to reach with stairs carved in the rock that shelters the house from behind. I wonder if it’s lonely these days at the shore where beautifully colored seawater rolls in and out repeatedly, incessantly, reassuringly alive. The salted liquid cristal is grey reflecting the soft velvet sky above her. There’s hardly any clouds. Vaguely visible is a cotton like lining of one woolpack cloud. 

Although I started with saying that it’s a little bit too cold to just sit here, it actually is remarkably warm for the time of the year. I am dressed in an olive green suede body warmer and a black scarf instead of a decent winter coat, no socks neither. The cool air touches bare parts of my skin. I am surrounded by the soothing sound of the sea. Meanwhile my gaze drifts off again to the grayish water, brightened by mellow light blue tones. Further out towards the open sea the colors change to darker blue. Fresh and vivid, radiant of happiness. Which makes me laugh. Because we humans tend to project our feelings, interpretations and opinions on to other humans. What is good for me, is good for him/her. No second thought about it. That’s why we don’t like strangers in general. They’ve been brought up and conditioned with other habits then ourselves. We don’t understand. And thus are scared. So far about projection as a social dynamic between people. I didn’t know I project my inside on to the sea as well. At least it isn’t harmful. I do know that when I am happy I prefer the sunrise over the sunset. When I am sad I am comforted by drowsy weather. But regarding a natural phenomena as happy or sad without a single difference in it’s appearance, is bringing me another step closer to both Einstein’s theory of relativity and Plato’s ‘there’s no object without a subject’ miracle. What exists, exists solely in the eye of the beholder. An almost full moon rises behind the cliff at my left side. I am struck by it’s clarity, appearing in a still bright and clear evening setting. While the seawater, now the light reclines looks less colorful but still very beautiful. My fingers are cold. The moon is amazing. The sound of the waveless water rolling on the pebbles and the concrete boat landings resonates in my ears. I am receiving the present.

Christmas Carol 

Five days ago I am into arguments with everyone. It must be the mellow Mediterranean sea in combination with the refusal of my tourist visa to enter Australia for a month of borderless time in an off the grid cabin in Tasmania with the love of my life. The host of colliding emotions it invokes outweighs last night. Experiencing Christmas Eve in The Netherlands alone with my 84 years old ecclectic father, sipping half a glass of champagne for the sake of it and a full moon keeping me wide awake the whole night. Now it’s Christmas day. I return to Malta, alone. I’ll be finding myself with my back against one of it’s five thousand years old walls. Risk after risk after risk I’ve taken, ‘you gotta face looking death in the eye, when you want to be with you, Reina’. Yes baby, that’s what’s my dad says about me. After having been called a kamikaze pilot for decades this can be interpretated as a promotion in the illustrous way of the anti hero. It’s not anger that is my ennemie. It is fear. Anger is not the ennemie. It’s fear. From a logic point of view yes, I jeopardize symmetry, homeostasis and all sense of security. From a Mother Earth point of view I am yin, black, drawing in, mysteriously feminine. My father is scared to death, literally. Because this ‘feminine, non logic, thus incomprehensive female mind and what drives her, leads to imminent loss. My mum having left him for ever, ’till death did them part’.
Being dead or staying alive seems a matter of mentality. The deep conviction ‘Yes I can do It’ opens every door. The giant assumption ‘No I can’t’ annihilates any opportunity. A matter of mental health. 

Health that in my case involves accepting emotions and working through them in whatever way. My father seems to be as appalled with my emotions as the love of my life challenges them. I’ve turned fifty. Where is my logic? It changed places with physical health, overwhelming emotions and wholehearted intended love. Weird to unveil the dynamics. The love of my life surely has invented logic in itself. As good couples we do our simple bit of antagonizing. But it goes far beyond that. I got hearts, he drew the logic numbers. We roll the dice. Queen of hearts for him. Nine of clubs*) for me. These playing cards cross our path, falling from the air. 

Around the same place where the playing cards are given to us – a bit more then a year ago next to the remake of Captain Cooks cottage in Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne CBD – I run into a natural Fibonacci sample. A stem of a flower unfolding in perfect symmetry. How beautiful. Fibonacci brings nature back to numbers. 

It’s striking, mankind’s effort and urge to bring things back to numbers. Or to put labels on people’s foreheads, on glass jars in laboratories and on commercial goods. We categorize and judge. It enables us to segregate, to take or discart in our quest to control the surrounding outside world. 
Even words are judgements. A word labels something. A word aims to cover a concept and unveil it’s truth at the same time. By naming thunder we took a first step to start overruling the fearful treath thunder casts over us. By naming (labeling) the treath we took a first step towards getting to know our ennemie and to master the fear for it. The fear in us is our real ennemie. Not thunder itself. Thunder doesn’t know conscious, thunder can’t intentionally come after us. Meaning if we are able to distinguish it’s dynamics we will be able to prepare ourselves, defend ourselves against the hazard. However the simple act of identifying what’s outside us from what’s inside us means creating duality. It means stepping away from unity, from the point where all is one, from the safe and protected mother womb. Thus conscience is born: basically the ability to segregate. 
Whether it’s numbers or words, beta versus alpha, doesn’t make a difference. Both symbols are ways to identify, categorize and to create order and comprehension in a seemingly absurd chaotic, randomly organized and overwhelmingly powerfull reality.
Five days ago my 9 year old daughter and I spent a good hour during our last day in Malta at Comino Island hiking around a bit. There’s a succulent plant that smells like cumin. However the real cumin grain no longer grows at the island’, tells the captain who sails the little ferry up and down between Gozo and Comino (cumin) island kind of mysteriously. It surely needs some googling. 

We grow as we go. And the set rythm in which growth develops is almost killingly systematic. Thank you Leonardo for sorting out Fibonacci’s spiraling growth. Spiraling up as opposed to our often experienced mind spiraling down. Thank you for merging numeral science and evolving nature. 
I’ve seldom seen the Mediterranean sea more beautiful then from the rocky coast of Comino island. 
Il Millied Il Tajjieb, Maltese for Merry Christmas.
*) Nine of clubs, a playing card given to me in a café last year November, is an expression which according to Wikipedia signifies: work, a job. Queen of hearts is the playing card that around the same time, same place, was given to Brian and handed down to me: Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne CBD. Queen of hearts found shelter in my passport and has distracted many border officers since.

Washing your clothes in Salt Pans

We’ve got five senses that seem to work perfect as suppliers of happiness. Untill doom’s day comes around. This is not about January. This is about life. We’ve fullfilled our eyes, tastebuds, ears, skin and noise with any of the most delicate, unique and special experiences and pleasures in abundance because we could and now we are overfed.

We have to abstain.

Wether it’s ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder) that kicks in or the vague sentiment that Nothing is Enough to fullfill all wants and desires, the ‘I am simply becoming a slave of my wants, longings and desires’; our computer crashes.

Ctrl Alt Delete, shut down.
We reboot. This time satisfaction has to come from a deeper place. Targeting concepts like security and familiarity. We look for the trustworthy feeling of recognition (finding our thoughts confirmed). And simple cruise control patterns or habits that enable growth, learning and mastership.

This solid pace eventually runs out of resources too.

We shut the system down again. This time more considerate. Using the on/off button.
Depression, fatigue and worrying hold us back. Much sought after distraction from it in the form of drinking wine, watching tv, listening to music, following the news and going on a holiday are working it’s way up on the ladder of satisfaction. Until another bad day comes around and we feel overtaken. Our security searching driver, has become a way of life in itself.

We get a wake up call:’Hey you! Stop, Look, Open up, Listen!’ By your child, your kidneys or the proclamation of yet another war.

The system is overloaded again and we start to look inwards now. Instead of relating to what’s outside of us. A soft whisper in the back ground becomes louder and clear: ‘pick up gardening, yoga, any kind of art form’. As long as you express something from deeper within you: your inner self or your inner child. There’s soft whispering of ‘balance’ as well. Allowing us to justify the dichotomy between pain and pleasure. In other words, allowing pain into our lives.

That clear cut black and white segregration or duality between pain and pleasure is relative anyway. Pain versus pleasure. It’s more like they are each other’s alter egos, like Love and Hate. Analysing BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sado Masochism) reports I am fascinated by the simple discovery that the experience of pain hightens sexual pleasure. It’s like the fear that comes with bungy jumping that gives a purpose to the mind goggling experience of breaking through natural limits. It’s the adrenaline injected flight or fight response that intensifies any emotional experience and gives it a kick which might compare weakly to the kick heroin addicts find in feeling the liquid gold running through their veins.

Why do we yearn for these extremes is like asking who would want to wash their clothes in Salt Pans. Maybe we need all of it as a reminder to enjoy life as it comes.

From raw to liquid

Five years I’ve eaten predominantly raw food and 95% vegan. The remaining non vegan 5% is what I put in my mouth and digested of the food I prepare for my children, the love of my life and in the restaurant I worked. During the yoga teacher training in Nepal two years ago, dinners consisted of cooked instead of raw vegetables. Other then that I discovered my body and health on a raw vegan food diet. When I started it, due to a kidney cleanse cure I set myself to years ago while on holiday in Ibiza, I thought I’d last three months. However interesting but what we think, what we think we are able to and what we expect in general is not what this is about. 

When people ask me why I was on a raw vegan diet, I would say: ‘out of curiosity, to see how my body reacts to no animal protein at all’. The curiosity a result of twenty years of vegetarianism which would incessantly cause people to exclaim:’but what about your protein?’

Vegetarian and vegan diets are challenging for me in a weird way. Because the number one rule if it comes to food for me, is: ‘deliciousness, taste, satisfying the senses’. So why the heck do I not throw in everything? 
I like to prepare a fulfilling meal from nothing but left overs and random fridge content

I like minimialism, less is more

I like real authentic stuff as opposed to pretensions and decadence
After five challenging and fulfilling years, I change now. I’ve learned how much energy is saved when I do not have to digest dead food. I’ve proven to live without animal protein and according to people’s comments, look fantastic at the age of fifty while not eating animals, gluten or refined sugar.

Why do I change? Because I am no longer afraid to sit still, to let myself go do nothing for a while but being content, happily digesting food and nothing else: Wu Wei. Stream like liquid, no blockages, let love come.
Last night’s dahl:
150 gr Red lentils

1 patato

1 white onion

Vegetable stock cube

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. cumin seeds
Cook 20 minutes
Add sliced zucchinni, black and green olives, any green leave vegetable or cabbage, 

Cook for another 5 minutes

Garnish with olive oil, pepper, salt to taste and 1/2 cubed avocado
This morning’s smoothies (2 recipes): 

With handheld stick blender:


1 banana 

1 tbsp peanutbutter

Particles of half a grapefruit + juice


1/2 avocado

1 tbsp peanutbutter

150 ml oat milk

Tsp turmeric

2 dried apricots

Moving to Malta

By The Sea – they call themselves ‘fresh fish kiosk’, it’s the best place we’ve been so far. Where? In Gozo. When did we arrive here? At the little island next to Malta’s main island, called Gozo. We’ve left Australia two months ago. Since a few days the feeling of having landed here at the island of Gozo, set in. When I fly, my physical body arrives at the destination at some point. My metaphysical self takes a few days more to catch up and re-enter my body. The further I fly, the more synchronized the two are. A twenty four hours flight from Europe into the Southern Hemisphere almost makes the two set foot on the ground in union. Two years ago I left Europe for Australia. Immigration into Australia had not really crossed my mind. Enchanted as I was, completely taken, blown away by meeting the love of my life. I experienced why we do not talk about finding or discovering love. It is falling in love, with the emphasis on falling. Falling deep, deeper, deepest until at some point resurrection sets in. Rebirth into a new form, a new shape, having shed off old skin like a snake, transforming from a caterpillar into a butterfly.I experienced emigration from an old existence as one thing and immigration into a new existence as something else. And surely it didn’t have anything to do with the immigration lawyers, the work permit and finding a house. As opposed to the emigration out of my old existence, immigration into Australia wasn’t successful. Immigration into a new existence however, is. Difficult to discern the difference between the two. At least for me it was. Didn’t failing a successful immigration process in Australia stand for failing the love of my life? How to Move Out of Love could have been the disastrous title of the ‘based on a true story’ novel that would have been published by me. Moving from one place to another, moving out of the country, moving as opposed to standing still and succumbing. If it weren’t for the victory of love. I am grateful without limits. I moved my physical existence from the Australian province called Victoria, to the main town of the little Mediterranean island Gozo, called Victoria. What? Yes my youngest daughter and I moved from Safety Beach at the Mornington peninsula, Victoria, Australia to the central town Victoria at the island of Gozo, part of the Maltese group of three islands. Lazy littlest waves glide rhythmically on shore, here at the Mediterranean inlet called By The Sea. A movie with Brat Pitt and Angelina Jolie is set and named after this place. However that doesn’t do it for me. The memory and resemblance with the calm littlest waves that glide on shore at the bay in Safety Beach, eighty kilometers South of Melbourne, our safe haven for half a year, does struck me. Seas and salty water, tanned boat people, silent fishermen, salt on my skin and reflections on a mirroring surface connecting me with an ancient yet never static place, somewhere beyond it all. Who thinks mindfulness is a nowadays invention? 

Reflections on Congo

Maurice tells me he’s afraid of women. Women are different from men. Life is about being together. In a world where you can’t count on any thing physical, the interaction between humans becomes the only safeguard. There’s no money to acquire possesions. There’s no economy that cultivates produce. Getting your daily food and beverage is as much of a hazard as loving a woman is. Maurice lives by himself in a hut in a tiny little village some five hundred kilometres nord-east of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo. He’s born in the capital and knows his way around. But he prefers to cater for his own sustenance at the country side rather then being dependent on others in the city.

On est ensemble Maurice repeats. If I can do something for you, I will do it. If you can do something for me, you do it. The context is Congolese Africa. There isn’t much secure in live. Fellow human beings can form a safe guard if they intent to. Loyalty becomes dominant in a place where hunger, governement corruption and sorcery rule. Food and beverage is to be shared rather then consumed. But mainly it’s about time spent together, being together. Even if there’s nothing to be shared but silence. Individual impressions, thoughts and emotions being processed sitting side by side in each others presence. 

We meet Maurice early in the morning in front of our basic room provided by the priests of a mission post not far from his village. He’s wearing dark shades, a long dress and a little red radio. The peaceful silence at the little monastery is overruled by African music radiating from his device. Maurice is talking philosophy. Sometimes his words are hard to follow. Which makes it even more compelling to listen to him. From the moment he comes to see us until days later, when we leave the country per speedboat crossing the Congo river, he and his little red radio accompany us. By expressing this words I might be able to make the experience everlasting. As if time and distance are relative. Which actually they are.