To Follow


It was impossible not to be rearranged.

Words will fail to impart the depth of this experience,
but perhaps my lens will tell a better story.



I visited with dear friends who speak the language and hold the children as their own.

The needs are many.

If you would like to know more about their work,
please visit them online
or contact me to find out more.



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Listening

This is where I awoke and sit this morning, sipping my cup of Kenya tea.





A room on the river in a country that has been calling my name for many years.



Finally, I answered, and simply just came with no agenda, or ambition.


Just a response to a dream that quickened my pulse every time I thought about it, and when an opportunity to come with a couple of other girls arrived, I said yes before I had time to reason it out.


And it feels so unfamiliar
yet known at the same time.

A dear friend wrote to me a while back and this line in her letter struck me to the core:

Your voice is your soul's code.

Not meaning that I needed to talk more.

But that I need to listen,
to me.

So here we are, listening.



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Crumpled Wing


It is unfolding more, this crumpled wing syndrome.


The cocoon of grief that has veiled me is thinning. Shafts of light in the shapes of my dreams are slanting through the fog. I see colours and patterns and textures everywhere I look. I have unharnessed my creativity from the grind of the responsibility to my beliefs and let it flutter loose. Without trying to force my soul colours to stay within the noose of my own rigid expectations, I have instead listlessly let them doodle wherever they wanted to go. It is like being so wasted that you don't care if your child is crayoning all over the walls, and then look up to find they have graffiti-ed a startlingly good rendition of Renoir.

Yes it is still foggy around me, but it is more like an elegant morning mist that is wreath-like and slips away by mid-morning.

I have begun to genuinely study the logistics of my passion as a profession.


An embryonic business is budding and a graphic artist is working on my logo.


I am packing for the first of my design related trips to a neighbouring Asian country.


I am meeting the most
fascinating people.

I am discovering the things that make me flare with recognition,
that hammered steel, the beat up old bench from Rajasthani, a bunch of frayed charcoal taffeta, starched bleached linen, a strip of grosgrain ribbon the colour of a thunderstorm, a ruffle of moonwhite tulle, mugs of hand cast porcelain, words of my unspoken dreams stamped.


Sorrow has an outstanding value, for it tempers into a warmth that lies quietly in our hollow spaces during times of peace. It is a wiser joy, aged with a patina that glows secretly, known only by our own familiar seeking. Taste enough grief and you finally know what joy really tastes like too.


It is an unexpected discovery to find land like this after being adrift internally for so long.
After a long time rocking out at sea, I have hit a beach.
And it might just be the most beautiful island I have ever seen.


Now I just need to convince myself to get out of the boat, get out of the boat.

Keep. Getting. Out.


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Compass spinning


The need I seem to have to be grounded firmly in a home
does not diminish with each move around the globe
and the perpetual struggle to find my balance in the shifting and
constant identity establishment gets more intricate with each move,
yet I do not find myself wishing this away.

In order to catch my breath on the internal slopes of tension I find myself slung between,
I sit in a coffee shop and watch the world clip by on corporate heels.

I pad along book store aisles and handle the pages reverently, running my hands over ruffled pages and beautiful imagery on the covers that sends me to
faraway places in my head.

Then I jolt with remembrance that I already live in faraway places.

This sends me in search of dusty antique shops filled with Chinese heritage,
statues of warriors and bronze gongs,
wedding baskets and rice measures,
ming vases and curved table legs,
ornate doors from Rajasthan
and teak kitchen cabinets from dynasties past.

I explore organic shops with potions and lotions
and rug shops stacked with Persian carpets.

Narrow shophouses are smoky with incense
and the aroma of bartering.

I admire a tiny 70 year old Chinese stool and
watch school girls giggle under the precise tip of the henna brush.

And then, after walking through this life I am living,
like the pages of some strange novel,
I return home
and the gates clang loudly behind me.


I walk in barefoot on cool marble,


Open the doors wide and quietly watch drifting reflections in the warm breath of a breeze.


I turn to the familiar,
the spaces that nourish and mend.
I whisk, melt and beat,
from the pages of historically splattered recipes.



I am standing mentally in my childhood kitchens when I do this.
I am making my aunt's cakes and grandmother's cookies,
my mother's desserts, my father's curries, my friend's dough.

And as I mix my present into the past,
folding the whipped whites
through the heavy batter,
I realise both are needed to make it rise.
To allow it to be soft and edible.

And in order to live
the nourishing way I intend,
I am convinced I need to stand softly and
relish the ordinary
in order to create a home from it.


Yet, I have noticed that
the extra-ordinary begs an audience too.

My word for the year is
embrace.
I want to embrace with two arms,
one from west, one from east.
Past and present.
Light and shadow.
Salt and oil.
Rain and sun.

There is much for me to learn.

========================================
But now it is my pleasure to do something I have been looking forward to for years.

One of my friends has begun to blog - whispering to the keyboard some of the insights and depth she possesses. This woman is not only extremely intelligent and articulate, she has inspired me in real life on numerous occasions, with her gift of analysis and perception. She has structured her life intentionally, and although is in that challenging flux of motherhood, she has not stopped learning and making this role one that deserves the best of her planning and energy.

One of her most valuable assets is that she is steady and strong. Her laughter comes quickly and her heart and home are open to those who need anything. I am profoundly blessed to know her as a friend that speaks into my life, but even more than this, she is family - married to my brother.

Please, make her welcome.


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