Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I ended my previous post with a thanks to the Lord, an unashamed, unabashed plea for the good times to stay, in exchange for my appreciation and gratitude. So far, I must say that my prayers have been answered. 

My Mother joined me here in the Far East a few days ago, and though her journey was tumultuous, she has taken to the Far East like a duck to water. I forget that she has travelled as much as I have in her younger days, and though this is her first time to my Eastern city, she is more interested in the people I know than the places I have been. So we have dallied with friends, wandered the mountainside, delighted at the spectacle of dancing water that has astonished so many visitors to my Easter home. I am glad that she is enjoying herself and I hope she gets just as much enjoyment out of her own travels to come. 

Before Mother arrived I did have one day worth writing home about. It was a Wednesday and due to a wonderful tradition, everyone was in fiesta mode as we were celebrating the King of Festivals. I spent the morning in a state of undress with an artist of note - nothing like the portrait of Venus the Duke of Albany had commissioned for me all those years ago - but rather something much deeper and darker, and I have to admit it took me a fair while to get comfortable with my body being scrutinised in such a way. 

That afternoon I jaunted over the waters to a larger city to spend time with the Scottish Earl who surprised me with a visit. I couldn't not see him while he was in town, and there are rumours that he may be here for a little longer than expected. But of course it should have been scandalous to jump from one situation to another, yet it looks like I am used to these various trysts. 

The final chapter of the day was a complete surprise, even for me. I had left my painting class after my delicious dinner with the Scottish Earl and was wandering the streets of this most glorious city, when I heard the ever-so-familiar notes of a ballad from a musician I hadn't thought of in months. I couldn't help but be drawn to the sound. 

I didn't expect to see the same deep, dark eyes staring back at me from an equally shocked face from my travels in Indochina many months before. The musician continued to play, ever the professional, but the second he had a moment to spare, there we were laughing and talking about our fond memories from before Christmas. He was never someone I wrote of as an individual, always too wrapped up in the man who made me see myself, but now, now that I know what I am... I still can say nothing more. Not until I see him again.

And of this beautiful Iberian princess that I have become acquainted with...? For now, I have no words.

D. S.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another post and another country that I have fallen in love with. There is nothing I can say or do to stop myself from travelling, and honestly I can't think why I wouldn't spend the rest of my life discovering new cities, cultures and ways of life that I wouldn't be able to imagine had I stayed cocooned in the luxury of the Shire. 

I have continued to travel the Far East, not leaving the bustling shores of the Orient, but listening to the distant rumble of cultures un-yet discovered. Indochina called my name and I followed willingly, exploring tiny fishing villages that haven't yet experienced the furore of the future.

I went with my gorgeous Scottish Lady and we dined and danced and dallied with all that the country had to offer - and I cannot stress enough the beauty of a country so little effected by the trappings of the modern world. It was truly a glorious place to visit and if I had any disappointments, at all, it is that I didn’t get to spend more than a few days experiencing paradise.

This only means one thing, that I have to, at some point in the future, return to Indochina and give more of my time to a place that has opened my eyes to the truly important things in life.

This journey was not one of self-discovery. Siam taught me that I am running very low on patience and my tolerance for other people is not where it should be… Seemingly however, my creative ambitions are soaring, so I need to work on finding a balance before I become an artist and a hermit rolled into one unintentional situation.

I have a desire to see more of the world, and to paint. Nothing else seems to give me the same satisfaction, though there are individuals that I have become close to, and they in turn are demanding more of my attention and are only too willing to smother me with their affections. Please do not take the term ‘smother’ in my usual negative connotations, but rather imagine that someone is placing no more than a chaste kiss on my cheek, and I am overreacting. It is another of my flaws that I intend to work on, at some point.

Until then, I shall discover more about what the Far East has to offer. My Mother is going to join me at the end of this week and together we shall roam the streets of my home. I shall share my memories of this place that I have spent so little time, but have already created snippets of my life that I hope to never forget. It will be exciting to have someone from my past visit me in this new and exotic place. I remember how wide-eyed and in-awe I was when I arrived, but now I stroll past the palaces and gigantic buildings without a second thought. It will be wonderful to see my own town through the eyes of a visitor.

I feel ever so privileged to have all I do and see all I see. Please Lord, I am the happiest I can remember, let nothing take this feeling away. Help me always be grateful for what I have, because there is nothing else that I could ask for.

D. S.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

As always I have no idea where to start... Other than the beginning, but that in itself is a rather tricky situation. Where even is the beginning?

I have just journeyed back from the tropical delights of the Kingdom of Siam, and am suffering from a a serious case of withdrawal. I travelled on my own, learning to love myself once again, and indeed discovering that my normally rather cold and calculated demeanour, melted away under the blazing sun and I am ready to try and care about other people. 

Of course I have always cared about my friends and my family, that goes without question, but my apprehension is more towards opening up to other people, allowing them to get to know me a little more intimately, rather than accepting me for the more brusque and brash personality that I am known for. It's a wonderous feeling to be so alone in another country where I do not know the traditions, culture or the language. It is truly eye-opening to discover how much I do not know about the world. It is humbling to be accepted by strangers with a wide smile and kind offer of hospitality. 

There were sights I will never forget: fish the size of my body leaping out of the water, flying towards large pieces of bread thrown from bridges and decks on the shore; lizards lazing in the sun on low-hanging trees, their scaly tails taut against the branches in the wind; palaces of gold and silver, diamonds glistening at every turn; statues towering over the throngs of people that crowded around them in search of some good fortune.

I have so much love and respect for the Kingdom of Siam, it was stunningly beautiful in parts - the river, the palaces and temples; the places of worship - both spiritual and material - yet they were contrasting in a painfully obvious, yet ignored way, with the squalor of wooden huts and corrugated metal houses that were hidden in plain sight, overshadowed by the grandeur of the architecture. It was an enlightening place to visit, and I know that the three days I had there weren't enough to do the city justice. I'm sure I shall find it in me to travel there again at some point in the future. 

The monks were something to behold, their robes of orange clashing brilliantly with the hue of the city, but more than that, they held themselves with such a poise that they were revered from across the street. Furtive glances were kept low out of respect and yet the monks had a look of serenity upon each of their faces. I was entranced by their very presence, even more so when I saw them out of context, beside the markets and peddlars rather than contemplating life beneath a fresco of their beloved Buddha. I still have so much to learn.

D. S.