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“the Parade of our Mutual Life”

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It was a year ago today that I set up this site (as I was reminded by a Congratulatory! email) a year since my finger hovered over the pink ‘publish’ button and I somehow got the courage to touch it.

A year that started by reading the words of Others ….. that being the great gift.  Stumbling upon writer after writer whose words spoke so deeply and honestly I felt ‘broken open’ and that opening allowing more of my inner world to be exposed.

One site led to another, it felt like climbing on a large web of linked consciousness, each writer working in their own corners writing words that only they could release .
I started to hear this as the ‘collective human howl’.

Joy, pain, darkness and light all being expressed individually and in perfect unison. A virtual worldwide Salon of sorts where the doors are always open and swinging both ways, all ways. Everyone welcome….so grateful I stepped through the threshold.

” it is important that awake people be awake” William Stafford

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©westcoast woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Release

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©westcoastwoman

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”     Anais Nin

Release

We tend gardens in Spring under the illusion that we somehow affect the outcome, that our careful placement of seed or plant has anything to do with the eventual opening of the buds of May.

No credit given to the artist and unknown creator of the fragile petals that unfold, we proudly display our garden, rarely acknowledging that we are just the temporary curators of an impermanent living  gallery.

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© westcoastwoman

Our heart and spirit are also part of this life gallery, we too are meant to unfold and flower in this fleeting moment we occupy space on the planet.

Not born to stay “tight in the bud” we struggle in darkness until most of us break open, this second opening no less courageous than our journey from the womb.

Conscious of our consciousness and knowing that venturing forward will involve both great pain along with pleasure, we willingly submit and release ourselves again and again to the unknown.

One undeniable truth “No one gets out of here alive” and we who have experienced all that this life has to offer will finally stand in complete and exquisite exhaustion and wonder at our solitary arrival and departure on this mysterious journey ………
© westcoastwoman

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Sculpture   EXPANSION, THIRD LIFE
Paige Bradley

This was written in response to Girlieonthedge  Six Sentence Story Thursday
Prompt word: Release

 

 

 

Featured

Afterglow

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photo credit westcoastwoman ©

“Everyday a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls. And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light.”

Henry David Thoreau

Afterglow

Every night they come, the watchers of the sun-set, drawn down by the need to see the light extinguish behind the islands and the sea.

I want to share with them as they slowly rise and disperse that the setting of the sun is only a prelude to the experience they had been called to witness, but I stay silent.

It is this time between the setting sun and rising moon, this short extension of the day, this in-between-time when my heart and mind settle for just a moment.

I watch as the sky paints itself with each night’s original palette, wanting only to share with those who can look out from the same place and feel the colours as they appear, understand the need for silence.

In these moments when I am neither here nor there, anything is possible, magic is afoot and I am caught in the afterglow of another original creation as it slowly fades from sight.

The darkness takes the light, the starlings swoop once more in perfect unison over the water, I share with all who stand watching… being neither here nor there, a silent good night.

westcoastwoman 2019 ©

Written in response to GirlieontheEdge’s  Six Sentence Story Word Prompt
Prompt word : Extension 

 

 

Without Despair

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photo credit westcoastwoman “Rock formations Newcastle Island”

Write a little everyday, without hope, without despair“* Isak Dinesen

Without Despair

Rough, yet ever so gently
Water on Stone
washes in, out
softening edges of
Body and Breath
Slow inhale
Surrender
Audible sigh
Release

Water on Stone
Stone to Surrender
Surrender to Release,
Sweet longing, caressing
our lives carved open as
“without hope, without despair”*
we float, we whirl,
a single leaf riding
a wandering stream.

©westcoastwoman 2019

 

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unknown photographer
Sculpture “Break through from your Mold” Zenos Frudakis
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

 

Fully Loaded

DSC_0239photo credit westcoastwoman

“We drag expensive ghosts through memory’s unmade bed”    Paul Hoover

Fully Loaded

Coming, ‘fully loaded’
sporting this years options,
last years designs
illusions, gimmicks, tricks…
all previous short cuts
eviscerated, overhauled, upgraded.

New thoughts, emotions,
technologies implanted and borne
on hands and knees moving
forward in darkness,
trusting, begging, opening,
blessing, praying for release.

Duality blends into
hope of wholeness,
Reuniting shards of
repressed memories,
rolling out the newest model
of one’s unlived lives.

No cherry picking of
options that appeal.
Movement forward to
one truth, this roll out
is all or nothing
large deposit, no refunds

or prerequisites.
Operation best suited
to those experienced
with similar models.
Not for beginners,
a ride you will never forget.

 

 

Naked in Yalova (or don’t get caught with your pants down in a Turkish Bath)

Photo of woman’s Hamam in Yalova, Turkey

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I must be a Mermaid, I have no fear of depths, and a great fear of shallow living”
Anais Nin

“You must have a Turkish Bath in Istanbul!” my well travelled friend advised me before I set out on my latest adventure. Upon arrival in Turkey I continued to hear about  a Hamam ( Turkish Bath) as something one must experience and I resolved to book an appointment on my return to Istanbul.

I am in the small Turkish village of Yalova built on Thermal Springs and my destination for a dance and whirling workshop attended by a group of beautiful and diverse women from all over the planet.

Sitting in the van on a return from an afternoon excursion my seat mate Caroline told me she was going to head down to the local Hamam before dinner, I expressed interest and when we reached the hotel we both headed down into town. Neither of us had ever had a Hamam and naively agreed that this would no doubt be an ‘authentic’ experience.

We bought tickets at a kiosk and then proceeded to try to find the actual building that housed the ‘women’s’ Hamam. After a few false starts we were rescued by a street artist who spoke some English and handed us over to a woman in an official looking jacket that ushered us to the entrance.

Once inside there was no doubt that this was indeed going to be an ‘authentic’ experience. No pampering North American  mood music or lush white robes offered here, we were confronted with two no nonsense Turkish women surrounded by numerous signs all in Turkish that I assume explained everything we needed to know. Caroline took charge by holding up her bathing suit and through sign language we figured out we needed to put them on and head into the marble catacombs below.

It was at this point I realized that perhaps I should have done a little research as to what exactly was involved with Hamam. Caroline figured out that we had not paid for a ‘full treatment’ so after more money was exchanged, down we went into the pool area.

The building was old and the marble stained in places by years of running water and bathing bodies. There were two rooms, both circular with marble sinks every six feet containing bright plastic coloured bowls .The only other participant was a large voluptuous naked Turkish woman who had filled her sink and was pouring water on herself as she sat on the floor.

Caroline and I sized up the situation and decided to take our cue from the only other customer and by the time one of the attendants had made her way down to check on us Caroline had her suit off and was filling her sink and I had my suit down around my knees.

Standing there naked except for my tangled bathing suit at my knees we were now confronted by a loud angry attendant attempting to tell us  that we were breaking a rule that was not obvious to either of us. Frustrated by our lack of comprehension she then grabbed a Turkish sign from the wall, held it in front of her and continued to berate us.

Desperate to figure out what she was saying I searched the signs on the wall behind her looking for something in English. The only English sign in the entire building said “No Photos or Videos”. Even in the heat of the moment I found it amusing that anyone would think to take photos or videos down there and at the same time considered what a priceless video this would make.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed our large naked companion had risen to her feet and it was revealed that she was not completely naked, she had some form of bikini bottom on.  It became clear this was our problem and we quickly remedied the situation.

Now half naked we attempted to soak in the too hot pool, lie on the burning hot marble that could not be cooled even when doused with buckets of cold water and breathe in a sauna that was just this side of suffocating.

The large Turkish woman was led away to have done to her whatever we had each paid an extra 30 Turkish lira to have done to us. It was decided I would go first and when the attendant came to get me I followed dutifully  behind.

We travelled a narrow cave like opening to a small room and into a rather strange situation. There were two marble sinks, our fellow bather was still in the room pouring water on herself and I was told to hoist myself on to what looked like a picnic table draped with a red plastic tablecloth. I am not sure what was said between the two women but eventually the other woman left.

What happened next would best be described as having your whole body scraped with sandpaper, front, back and face. I sat up ready to leave and then without warning a bucket of water was poured over my head and body leaving me gasping for air.

I went out and got Caroline gave her a little smile and warning and off she went. We were going to do a bit of shopping afterwards but Caroline’s comment as we left was “I would like to get back to the security of the hotel”which had us both chuckling.

Authentic it certainly was, fodder for a great story and I must say my skin has never felt so soft. So my well travelled friend I did the Hamam and survived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Wanderlust, Dance and Blogging


©photo credit westcoastwoman

 

” I had known almost every pleasure and discomfort, all the happiness and all the suffering that can befall man as a social animal. Useless to give you the details: the repertory of possible events in human destinies is rather limited, and they are nearly always the same stories. I will tell you that one day I found myself alone, all alone, fully convinced that I had completed one cycle of existence. I had travelled widely, studied the most esoteric sciences, learned more than ten trades. Life treated me a little the way an organism treats a foreign body: it was obviously trying either to enclose me or expel me, and I myself thirsted for ‘something else.’

Quote from Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal

Reading this rather quirky and inspiring allegory for the journey of life before setting off on my own journey/adventure in a few days.