Her journey begins…

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She is bright… in fact, this is an understatement. Her IQ aside, she has developed a maturity and self-efficacy way beyond her tender years.

So when she spoke of writing songs and making music at 10 years old, I was happy to indulge her. She did not jump up and down with the excitement that usually accompanies little people when they discovered something new to do. I did not think she was ‘that’ passionate, that it could perhaps be a fad. She’d always enjoyed listening to music, and her musical taste was, and still is, eclectic.

Then about a year ago, she asked for (additional) lessons on music composition and vocal lessons, after years of traditional piano and guitar lessons. That was when I discovered (through conversations with her and her teachers) that she hears music in her head, not just a melody rather she is hearing complete compositions. She wanted lessons to equip herself to document, record and produce what she hears in her head. In a year and the half, she has developed into something of a music aficionado. And this time, I have been paying attention.

To cut a long story short, fast forward to now. She has an amateur bedroom studio, and hints 😊 have been dropped for a proper soundproofed studio with the correct acoustic for recording.

While I have always been adamant that we are to meet people, especially children, where they are; not where we believe they ought to be, I did not do so with her. Social narratives are not easy to identify and dispel. For example, “she is only 9 or 10, even if she was an exceptionally intelligent child”. “A child is too young to know what she really wants.” “It is too soon to spend such money on a child, she’s bound to change her mind.” And with every delay, lack of interest, placating and condescension, we bear the risk of discouraging a genuine passion, or worse of reinforcing a message of unworthiness of her ideas, invalidity of her desires and interests, and perhaps even her as a human being. A sense of “you are not enough” to know, to want, to dream, to aspire…

I am fortunate that she didn’t give up on me, and in her own sweet way, pestered me for what she wanted. Over a tumultuous period in our family, I did finally listen.

What is more amazing, at least to me, is how with the tools now at her fingertips she begins to emerge from her “shell”, to experiment, to have the necessary conversations with like-minded people.

And very recently, I was privileged to be told that she is publishing on SoundCloud, growing a following on Twitter and Instagram… oh wow!

Here’s a track – an acoustic cover:

It is far from perfect; it is a journey … of self-discovery… of taking each necessary step to achieve a dream. She is passionate enough to take risks. She has set a goal and working towards it. For these, I am the proudest parent.

I can’t wait for her original material! And no, I don’t get a private preview!

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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All is said… and done

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All is said

When all is said and done
I am only flying home.

Like the young curlew flying
Not knowing, north
Assured only by collective memories
Of a past not lived,
Universal in nature, instinctive.

Carried on the wings of others
Gone before, in trust
Of the flock marshalling its strength
Never ceasing its formation,
Forever holding, eternal love.

When all is said and done
Love, me myself and I.

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Sail away in contemplation

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Sailing on the Gulf of Tonkin specifically Halong Bay off the northern coast of Vietnam, all is peace and quiet. This is despite the approximate 1000 boats on the bay to cater for tourism in the area.  Halong Bay was included as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and one of the 7 new wonders by New 7 Wonders Foundation 2012; so yes, heaps of tourists.

floating-home

Yet for some locals, their world remains relatively simple. The local fishermen continue to live and work on the bay, amidst the 2000-odd limestone karst protruding from the sea.  Their family especially the women, have become sellers of  wares and food, servicing the tourist boats which sail the area. Their home a boat or a floating barge, their possessions few yet it would appear sufficient. Which causes me to reflect on my ‘enough’, and our true need.

fisherwoman

I marvel at the simplicity of life here, thinking I could sail on this bay indefinitely. Then I am reminded of the privilege of having my bed made, food prepared and physical spaces cleaned so I could enjoy this. Would I say the same if I had to do them all myself, with limited fresh water supply, space and ‘modern’ amenities? Definitely not.

Which leads me back to simplicity – seeing the children live without the distraction of social media and the pressures of the civilised world, having learnt to swim and fend for themselves in their beautiful natural world. I wonder if they appreciate their world; or do they long for the life of the people who intrude their world with materials things which they do not possess? Do they believe that that unknown is better? How will they navigate being part of this landscape and the supposed ‘better’ one?

Simplicity does not equate to ‘not difficult’, this I know. Their lives are by no means easy. As the movement to ‘be here now’ ‘in the moment’ and wellbeing takes flight in the “civilized” world, perhaps this is it – that all things are ‘the small stuff’ except for life and death, which is simple as beyond our control. And even death, at least ours, is a small thing in the grand scheme of L-i-f-e. What matters is the journey we take in this life and the love we have towards one another in whichever form, be they in tourist money or a smile and a kind gesture or a respectful interaction between two worlds.

Namaste.

~ FlorenceT

 

N.B. A song that crept to mind … a throwback to 1977.

© 2016 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

You are more marvellous…

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My thoughts on a Friday evening…

so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:

…                                                        ~ David Whyte, Santiago

Who you were and who you are now, for every self you had been and the one you are now, all will change. Yet, it is they who propel you to begin the journey… of self-exploration, self-discovery and self-mastery.

Yes, you are more marvellous in your simple wish to find a way…

And one day you will learn it is not about the destination, it being a glimpse of what could be, not what will be. Your quiet arrival will be momentous to the self that remains, each time.

For staying true to the road that beckoned and abandoned you, to the winds and rain that battered you and to the occasional dimming light, you will arrive at your destination, not as anticipated but evolved.

Ever beautiful!

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

The Journey to arrive

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For each ending, a beginnning.  For each leaving, an arrival.

This is an amazing poem by David Whyte titled ‘The Journey’ – do listen to the audio track of his reading.

 

Journey David Whyte

 

Listen also to ‘Everything is Waiting for You’, ‘All the True Vows’ and especially for you, ‘True Love’.

I hope the beauty of David Whyte’s poems (with Jeff Rona’s music) lifts you and inspires you!

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Where you plant your feet

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Ever thought, where you plant your feet? How have you influenced these places you found yourself; and how have these places influenced you and the life you live?

Are you aware how you come to be at these places? External circumstances beyond your control? Or a personal choice to be there? Or a non-conscious gravitation to these places? Or…

These have been some of my reflections. How is it that I am here? Why am I here? While I am aware I could not always control nor have choice over the catalyst, I am also aware that I always have choice over my response. Just because I arrived does not necessarily mean I must stay. Just because I arrived does not necessarily mean I have to play by its rules.

Take time to contemplate where you plant your feet and your response, meditate on it… To understand oneself and one’s own motivations are significant factors for personal growth, so I have found.

In loving awareness,
– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Connect, get intimate.

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1000speak-blankI do not know where to begin this post about connection, the topic for #1000Speak for Compassion this month and #BeWow. Ideas swirling through my mind – words and phrases – so here goes.

I will begin with the essence of connection which we find so appealing, supportive, enriching, rewarding… this ‘thing’ we call intimacy. Without intimacy, any connection is barren, void of the positive meaning we attach to it.

As we become open to another being, another creature, to nature – connection and intimacy happen. To be frank I don’t need the scientific explanation nor an absolute definition to know the power of connection and intimacy. When two minds, two hearts connect, there is beauty.

So what is intimacy? A close, familiar and affectionate personal relationship with another – and it comes in different ways. We have cognitive or intellectual intimacy with another with the sharing of ideas, visions, viewpoints, dreams, hopes. Then there is experiential intimacy such as that between gym buddies, dance partners, fellow bloggers … Emotional intimacy is one where feelings are shared between two or more people, and emotional awareness and support are present. Then we have sexual intimacy which is not just about the act of sex but a sharing of sensuality.  Through one or more of these intimacies we connect to each other.

But which comes first? Do we connect then intimacy grows? Or do we establish certain intimacies such that we connect? Instead of a linear cause-and-effect relationship, the relationship between connection and intimacy is reflexive.

I am an introvert – self-labelling I know though it makes for easier expression. I enjoy the company of others only sometimes, and only in short bursts of time. I have a small group of close friends, and I am grateful for their presence in my life. But since I began my blogging journey, I realise it is the physical presence of others that drains my energy. The need to front up at social events tends to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Connecting online is different. I seem ‘chatty’ online, so I’m told. The ‘why’ makes for great reflection though I won’t go there here. Suffice to say, I have connected with people in blogosphere, people who in their own ways touch me by their presence, their being, what they say, how they are etc. These connections are no less valid in my book, than hanging out with girlfriends. Different, but no less valued.

Intimacy and connection are deliberate and conscious processes. We must be willing to explore, to be interested in another’s life, to be present. Most importantly, we must be real. And we have to give it time to develop. Hold this new interaction/relationship lightly, watch it and see where it will grow. No preconceived-notions of how, what and why. And no attachment to the outcome because not every interaction becomes positive connection.

So how do we do this ‘thing’ named connection?

Be sociable. Be open. By the way, this does not mean, be naive and gullible. It does however mean you do not approach every person you meet as a threat. Keep your head, open your heart.

Maintain your values. People with whom you connect will be those who share a certain ‘thing’ with you, this ‘thing’ which calls to you are usually underpinned by your values. Be yourself. Be honest.

Whether we connect through body, mind, heart or spirit, the intimacies another shares become a part of us just as ours become a part of his/hers. So be gentle, be kind. Be respectful.

I have people (what a lucky person I am!) with whom I am intimately connected. I have learnt not to expect them to meet me on every level – body, mind, heart and spirit. Few can meet this ‘brief’, I believe. By the way, I am happy to be proven wrong – how amazing would such connection be :-).

However and whatever our connections are with our world, they are important to our human-ness and necessary to our well-being. Which of us would refuse a genuine connection?

webI wish you bountiful connections and intimacies.

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Sometimes we cry…

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Poignant song, amazing vocals… Tom Jones and Van Morrison in a duet. 

Enjoy!

Sometimes we know, sometimes we don’t
Sometimes we give, sometimes we won’t
Sometimes we’re strong, sometimes we’re wrong
Sometimes we cry

Sometimes it’s bad when the going gets tough
When we look in the mirror and we want to give up
Sometimes we don’t even think we’ll try
Sometimes we cry

Well we’re gonna have to sit down and think it right through
If we’re only human what more can we do?
The only thing to do is eat humble pie
Sometimes we cry

‘Fore they put me in a jacket and they take me away
I’m not gonna fake it like Johnnie Ray
Sometimes we live, sometimes we die
Sometimes we cry

Sometimes we can’t see anything straight
Sometimes everybody is on the make
Sometimes it’s lonely on the lost highway
Sometimes we cry, sometimes we cry

 

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The owner and/or author asserts his/her moral and legal rights over this work.