fellow travellers

Did you know you entered with me?

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Received the same nod of dimpled welcome,

an identical tilt of acknowledgement?

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Oh, there was so much to say, my friend,

so much to share,

but instead we breathed between the words

and light consumed the palette of our conversation;

a thousand shades of bone and slate.

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We rambled along prisms of culture,

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a dignified kaleidoscope of shade and sun,

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we tasted bowls of Katong rapture,

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and then fed our eyes once more

on soft glossy swirls

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  and windows of tinted enchantment,012

You and me, we gazed on pattern, form and texture,

traced both porcelain and pewter,

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and wrapped ourselves in the double cloak of imagery and reality,

linking the sights to the words to the sounds to the thoughts.

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This was our adventure,

you came too, although you did not perhaps know it.

You sat amongst the lists, hung on every question

and nodded at each insightful remark.

You walked school halls and met teachers,

peered through windows, entered homes.

You marched grocery aisles looking for pieces of home,

drank jasmine tea with me and sat in the sun at Starbucks.

You simply held me steady when

the bigness of it all got greedy

and I felt like I was gasping and afraid.

So, thank you my readers – friends in a family of words - for your prayers.

===

And do, please come with me again?

We leave next week -

till then,

I’ll see you in the boxes :)

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Fear Fight

Whoever said travelling abroad was glamorous, obviously did not do much of it alone.


I am shivering with nervous suspicion of a fellow traveller in the SilverKris lounge who has abandoned his bag and keeps wandering around anxiously, checking on it periodically and basically who I think I would like to be very far away from.

I miss my home, my husband, my children and knowing what I am doing, or where I am. This is where the cracks show, my squeeze moments, where I can't hide behind anyone or coast along on auto-pilot.

Trust is forced down like the gulps of ginger ale in my glass, and my stomach clenches in a long-holding anticipation of finding sanctuary.

I will never leave you or forsake you....

Can I allow that truth to be real enough to me that it replaces the chilly feeling down my back?

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Creating Space

Sometimes who we think we are, or ought to be, is infact, not familiar or intended.

Each time I find myself caught in this weird shifting process, I get amazed at how distrupting to my identity it is. How my thoughts can veer off into territory that is unmapped. I have to be deliberate again about choosing my mindset, so easy it could be to fuddle along blindly.

I am sitting typing this at the desk in the hotel room, overlooking Singapore city. Familiar? Yes. Unfamiliar? Yes.

The saying goodbye to my children, wiping their tears, the assurance that I am going to prepare a place for them and boarding a flight with my husband to my soon-to-be home, was new...but not.

What I look out on this grey rainy morning, that jaunty roofline of red shophouses, that verdant greenery, the Mandarin lettering on the sides of buildings, those container ships in the harbour and the army of skyscrapers - all seen before but not through these eyes, quite like this.

I am caught between two worlds, having walked around one home this week with a packing company deciding what comes, what stays. Cancelling memberships, appointments, pulling up every root that I have intentionally put down over the last 2 years. At that same time, running parallel to this shutting up shop exercise, is the flying to new continents, making appointments, signing new memberships and choosing where to put down each new baby root.

As we taxied from the airport to the hotel last night, flashing past my window in the twilight, were goodbyes and hellos. They mingled and blurred like the tail-lights of the traffic, twining themselves around me till I have to remember which one is which. The scenery I tell myself, will become as familiar as that of every other place we have called home. When we left Zimbabwe and had to learn the ropes of a new country and town, I wondered if I would ever be able to drive around without thinking. And after a while, I could. And with moving to Auckland, I stared at the jam-packed motorways and wondered if I would ever fit in this city-world without having to think. And I have.

And now I leave merinos, snow-capped mountains, L&P and 3 News, Minx shoes, $2 coins with egret embossing; gold kowhai branches filled with tui song, fish & chips wrapped in paper, milk that doesn't taste like soap and the sense of comfort in the safe. The predictable. The serene sense of being home. Of knowing. Leaving the seasons of tender Spring and the crispness of Autumn, misty wet Winters and long scorching Summer days. My scarves, boots and charcoal woollen coat will be packed away and I will set my face to a different light, to a new climate defined by Monsoon seasons.

Today, before we meet with a relocation consultant, I will take my camera for a walk. And together we will look, and find new spaces to play and in which to find steadiness, and past barefoot Buddist monks, through cool black and white flagged lobbies, brushing past stems of orchids and in the wafting aromas of bananas and rice, we will find home again.

I will choose this. Because I am an influencer. And I can either crumple and let my eyes skim the surface of this place and not find a deep enough grip to latch onto. Or I can choose to believe that we are not coming to live in this bustling hub of Asia by accident, I can intentionally break below the gloss and grief and find firm places to rest my feet. My choice. My. Choice.

Each dear little Chinese girl I see, I think of my own three babies. And the rush of missing them crowds me, and spurs me onwards. I will create a space for them.

I think we are born to create space - for God, for others. One of my foundational beliefs is that I carry the same dna as God, if I believe He made me. Therefore, of course I am able to duplicate His intentions, was He not the Creator of Space?

And my own space is found in looking for more space to hear Him, to see Him. In each splashing fountain, palm leaf and each soaring temple door.

A minority, a blonde in a sea of bobbing black heads, an ang mo, an outsider - but a girl who believes in destiny and an expectation that wherever I put my feet, glory will surely follow.

I will go before you and will level the mountains... Is 45:2

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