Archive for July, 2006

fire and water

Monday, July 31st, 2006

i love beach bonfires. love love love. love sitting with feet buried in cool sand while a crackling fire heats my face. love the smell of wood smoke curls that tangle themselves in your hair and linger in your clothes. love staring at red embers and blue flames, watching sparks throw themselves into the sky to disappear against the stars, wrapped up warm and cozy while drinking a cold beer.

nothing beats it.

happy birthday dad!

Monday, July 31st, 2006

happy birthday dad.

i love you lots and thikn of you often. hope you have a wonderful day.


star struck

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

we head up the hill in the dark to the plateau far above the sea and lights. at the top, we lie down side by side and wonder up at the inky blue-black heavens. i’d forgotten just how many stars you can see in the southern hemisphere. a profusion of dancing, glittering pinpricks piercing the vaccum, defining the infinite. an emabarrassment of riches carelessly strewn across the evening velvet. no moon to overshadow their quiet constant presence. stars streaking, falling so thickly i cannot keep up with wishes. the southern cross. orion. the dog star. the ethereal swathe of milky way streaked through the middle. touchstones scattered to the edge of the horizon in every direction, the deeper layers revealing themselves the longer we gaze into the ever deepening night. until finally, chilled, dizzy, star-struck we cautiously make our way back down into the light.

fiji time

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

our fiji island schedule looks something like this:

9:00 – wake
9:30 – breakfast
10:00 – hike to secluded beach
1:30 – back for lunch
2:00 – daily yahtzee session
3:00 – read/nap
4:00 – hammocks
5:00 – read/rest/shower
6:00 – happy hour! :D daily chess session
7:30 – dinner
8:30 – resort evening entertainment
9:30 – word games/walks on beach/ reading
11:00 – bed

rough, eh? ;)

grudge match

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

grrr – j has an unbelievably maddening streak of luck when it comes to yahtzee. the boy can roll 2, sometimes three yahtzees in a single game. now how’m i sposed to beat that, i ask you?

un bel di

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

i think one of the reasons i like opera so much is because it so perfectly matches the majesty of nature’s beauty. looking out over a dazzling ocean sunset while listening to the clear, bright, soaring strains of ‘o mio babbino caro’ or taking in the view from a mountaintop to the booming reverberation of ‘nessun dorma’ – nothing else even comes close.

i’ll never forget the summer nights at central park, lying in the grass, watching the sky give way from sunset to stars while listening to the metropolitan opera perform ‘carmen’, the arias flying to the treetops, and thinking just how unbelievably perfect it was.

sundamage? what sundamage?

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

travelling is absolutely great for your skin. the combination of no makeup, lots of sun, and less urban pollution mean i’ve barely had a clogged pore in months. who knew?

the fire inside

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

fijians are reknowned for their traditional firewalking – it was customarily part of a religious ritual which required extensive preparation, cleansing, and meditation. in order to undertake this passage, their bodies and minds should first be in the proper state – if they have rigourously achieved this, they will feel no pain. the underlying belief is that firewalking is like life – it requires discipline, balance, clarity, optimism.

and i am reminded of my own firewalking experience. i didn’t fast or pray or carry out any sort of symbollic preparation. yet it required the same leap of faith – a trust in something greater than my own fears, a belief in the existence of something outside the boundaries of my limited knowledge of the world and its workings. is it untapped mental power? protection by the divine? complex physics?

i don’t know – and i’m not sure it matters. or that they’re not all one and the same.

what i know is this: when every ounce of experiential learning and self-preservation instinct is screaming up and down your nerve endings as your foot is poised over red hot coals… you will never take that step unless you believe in something.

and that’s where i think firewalking is like life – because it’s what we face every day when we get up in the morning. it’s that belief in something - one’s self, one’s religion, one’s environment, one’s family that keeps us waking and walking and every so often putting our fate in the hands of forces we can’t see or fully understand. maybe it’s a god. maybe it’s love. maybe it’s human instinct.

maybe it’s the physics of fire.

maybe it’s life.


Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

“bula” – it’s a fijian word you hear everywhere you go. it’s chanted during kava drinking sessions, said in passing on the street, offered as a warm welcome to guests. it’s a greeting, a blessing, a wish, and the literal translation is “life”.

and i feel it working on me – the tension easing. i didn’t realise just how much i needed to relax until i started letting go – we’ve not spent more than 4 nights in any one place since we started this trip. we’ve been on a tear, and every second has been wonderful – but it has taken a toll. and so this is what we’re doing these two weeks – melting into the sand, staring into a blue so gloriously vivid it hurts your eyes. we could spend time seeking out the village culture, or visiting historical sights, or oging on nature hikes. there is so much more to fiji – but all i need right now, all i want is some sun in my hair and sand in my toes. i am meditating on the calm. pondering the innumerable grains of sand. gazing at endless horizons. watching sunsets. contemplating the meaning. emptying my heart and mind so the can be filled up.

just being.

sometimes, that’s all that’s required.


(the internet connection is both extremely expensive and unreliable, so updates and photos may be spotty)

the hardest part of travelling

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

… is not the stuff you left behind, but the family and friends you can’t bring with you.

having beers at sunset in fiji would be so wonderful to share with friends. wish you were here.

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