I take the espresso outside
and tuck myself
in the corner
on a wide metal seat
at a small wooden table.
The air about me is forest
fresh, and brings hints
of the rain
which thumps the streets
beyond this awning.
It’s when the door slides open
cold air disrupting oceans of calm skin,
that I feel
my desire to abandon this life of ease–
I grow bolder
Yesterday I had it in mind for an evening of theatre.
I imagined rocking up in my fancy shoes (of the three pairs of shoes I have, one pair is fancy), my hair freshly washed and voluminous–to keep all my secrets and spare change—and politely inquire after one ticket please, adult–obviously.
I imagined swirling a glass of red wine at intermission, sipping gently, letting the dryness roll over my tongue. Swallow, feel my toes lift just a hair.
I imagined myself amidst a sea of theatre-goers; stunning women wearing long dresses and high heels, groomed men with sparkling smiles. A host of intellectuals, individuals who chuckle at things like subtle English puns.
Armed with a select amount of Kiwi dollars in my pocket and the evening off, I scanned through the listings of evening theatre performances.
I am a creature of freedom—
a creature of freedom.
Some days like—
mind beats, judgement calls, unsound spectacles
unsheathing my soul in sub rosa places
only I can see (but boy do I feel).
Some days, more like—
crawling away hand over hand
grubby knees scoot across dust.
All the esoteric giggles become
covert, stealthy, tainted by criminality.
I doze with the lights on,
curled up on marble tile
next to my hanging laundry.
I see my world for what it is—
too tired to be
Wafts of lavender greet me gaily
and I air myself out on the tile floor.
With my ear, like this,
I am becoming less and less attached to the young female finds herself genre;
the rows and rows of book covers featuring strong tanned white females gazing into the sunsets with sloppy grins, mangy hair, and fluorescent teeth. The promise of “life-changing”, “truly inspirational”, “will make you want to pack a bag and go save the orphans”.
But when I picked up Ffyona Campbell’s A Walk Around the World from the free bin at Cafe Korero, something subconscious prompted me to unzip my backpack and place the book inside.
Tim Ferriss attributes much of his success to the practice of “fear setting“: he takes a sheet of paper, divides it into three columns and labels them “Define”, “Prevent,” and “Repair.”
Under the first column, write 10-20 things that could go wrong if you answer your question in the affirmative. Under the second column, answer: “what could I do to prevent each of these bullets from happening?” In the third, answer: “if the worst-cast scenarios happen, what could I do to repair the damage?”
I, on the other hand, attribute all of my success to the practice of “cheer setting”.
It’s very different, and not explicitly useful in the slightest.
Seagulls sound like happy goats
and naked babies tickle toes in the water;
the first day of spring in the bones
is a good day indeed
for a picnic with my bare knees.
The duck, with feathers slicked
from quick dips
looks smooth and skilled
like a snake, in the water.
I perch on my rock ledge
wearing my wild hair
listening to the symphonies of Wagner.
I abhor routine.
Routine makes me feel like I’m adding more and more iron reinforcement to my own cage. That I stick myself in these patterns and they hold me accountable. They take over; I must do this and then this and then this exactly this way, it’s expected of me. It’s what I’ve got to do.
I find that this routine-loathing is quite prevalent among those who love travel and the freedom of adventure.
On the other hand.
How peculiar to be
so water proof.
Like eating a sandwich with only the hands;
so much easier than knife and fork,
than rain coat umbrella-
I’ll just get messy
use the restroom hand dryer.
These rules we make
for not ourselves.
I don’t recall making the rules
I’m riding light
etched far above my shadows
casting brilliant stark on a smooth grass plain
the sun is strong the sun is
holiness is all around me. I taste it—
touch it, brush it,
holiness snuggles against me
tucks my hair behind one ear.
It’s a bottle of wine
and a glass of stars—
and my heart beat beats
like you wouldn’t believe.
The wind, she rustles my tresses
but solicits no favors;
she gathers me up
and dip dives down in the valleys
of tree tops and tumbled down ran-shacks
the very kind
I can empathize with.