25.4.15

DAY 579

in {and out} Week 15: Water

My mother always had quite a green thumb. Her skills at growing plants were mostly intuitive (or learnt from her ancestors) and it provided her much pleasure. As a result, I grew up seeing her enjoying this activity. We lived in an isle without much water and without gardens, neighbors grew their plants in pots and they placed them all over their houses including the patios that traditionally were full of them. 

One of the things I remember is the amazing variety of containers that one could find in a single place. There were the usual clay pots, often profusely (and even extravagantly) decorated and any kind of repurposed stuff depending on the imagination (and needs) of the owners.

I also remember the lush vegetation, the splash of green indoors -when outdoors all were black and brown and blue and white- that made everyone be deeply aware of the great importance of water.

And last but not least, I remember the liking for exchanging cuttings. My mother was very fond of this, she loved to gather pieces such roots, branches or leaves to start new plants and she kept her fondness even after our move to a bigger isle where we could buy plants, seeds, peat moss, fertilizer etc.

When I was I child this attitude often embarrassed me. When I was a teen it simply drove me crazy. No matter where we were, if she was seeing a plant that she wanted to have, my mother gently asked for a cutting, she took a spotless white handkerchief of her handbag (often with a tiny lace or a subtle embroidery) and wrapped the cutting with it while smiling. Regardless of my annoyance, back home I shared her enthusiasm and along the following days I contemplated amazed the growing roots through the glass of the mason jars where she usually placed them.

When I left my mom´s house and started to have my house, I was too involved in my own matters and my professional career to recognize the worth of all those experiences. I bought a plant from time to time and tried to do my best to keep it alive but I was not present enough to achieve that goal. As time passed, I stopped having plants at home.

This saddened my mother. She could not understand why they were not important to me, why being her daughter (coming from where I come from) I was not able to appreciate their beauty and master the use of water that was –according to her opinion- the only secret to growth healthy plants… but I can be very resistant, so I persevered in my refusal to have plants.

However, a year ago or so, I decided to give them a new chance. I only have a few, but I am seing how the knowledge, tricks and odd habits of my mother are emerging. Now I understand better that attention is important; I am learning to respect and thank water and not to take life for granted. I also love to collect cuttings (!) and I treat them as she used to do: I display them beautifully and I wait impatient to the first sign of something new.

And when this happens, I told it to my mother who still loves plants (although she cannot take care of them personally) and expect her almost unnoticeable sigh of joy when she gets ready to give me some wise advice. Then I close my eyes and feel her beautiful energy once again. 



This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

22.4.15

DAY 578

regaining awe

I was about to leave the park when I saw a glimmer of purple next to my trail. I realized that alliums were flowering again. I got closer and look at the emerging buds carefully, slowly.

Their stunning beauty took my breath away and suddenly –just for a brief second- I felt like if I were alone in that moment, without past, without future… lost in that glimpse of the perfection of life´s cycles…  caught up in the presence of impermanence.

And during that brief second all the thoughts and wishes and dreams and desires stopped.

And the whispering voice with all its "do, do, do; wrong, wrong, wrong; more, more, more..." fell silent.

And the trivial competitiveness, the remains of anger, the fair concerns, the fading insecurity, the vast uncertainties, and the tireless fright were dismantled.

And the need to be right, to please, to demand approval… and the fear of not being enough ceased.

It was me and the flower.

And while I was looking hard at that unexpected miracle I knew that I was back to my path.

I acknowledged that I was ready to carry on with my practice, ready to continue teaching myself to take delight in little things, to preserve joy, to treasure a feeling of wonder over and over and over again.

18.4.15

DAY 577

in {and out} Week 14: Spring

S
pring has come so timely this year!. 

You may say that spring always starts the same day and it´s true, but I mean that spring has been very welcome in this moment of my life. The start of the year was a hard winter to me, not only meteorologically speaking, but from an emotional point of view. I had to go through some devastating losses and as result, I felt not only terribly sad and tired but also, totally away from what usually inspires me: I only wanted to cease from all activity.

What I was feeling was not that alien to me, but I had always struggled against that state of mind setting new goals, and this time I simply couldn´t find enough energy to do it. I felt bewildered, disconcerted (and so the persons around me were). I felt that I was going to fall into despair, that I would go deep into a hopeless land but one only things happened: stillness… a vast, stunning stillness. It could have led me to a definitive listlessness but surprisingly, created room for reflection and allowed me to connect with my true essence.

Retrospectively, I can see that during this challenging time I didn´t force myself to make things, to start new complex projects or to stay busy (this would have been me my strategies in previous stages of my life). I just stood still and this –paradoxically- created renovation. I permitted myself to be embraced by this concrete process and that made me realize how much I force myself to do things that I really don´t want to do.

Benevolence to myself was a sort of light blinking in the darkness that presaged the termination of my winter. Finally, it has come to an end and accidentally (or maybe not) it has coincided with the end of the solstice.

Right now I want to get lost in this promising spring, stay open to new intuitions and strengthen the flood of life and joy that I feel inside me... but I am not going to do it hastily. I am going to penetrate into this sweet spring on tiptoe, softly, slowly (yet steadily) till I find the propitious soil to keep growing and plentifully flourish.




This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

13.4.15

DAY 576

authetincity

Every year I choose a single word that usually helps me to define my inner work throughout it. Often I find difficult to select the right one but this time I knew that my word for 2015 would be authenticity 
since the beginning of December. I felt that the time to stay totally true to myself had come and I was ready to try it, maybe because my 50th birthday was near.  I hadn´t thought too much about the word, it was a sudden revelation, it came into my life without asked for permission and I accepted it gratefully. 

I was planning to write about my commitment to stay authentic when the year started but I suffered an important loss in January (and new ones in the upcoming months), and I didn´t feel like writing about my word, or about my circumstances either. In fact, I don´t want to talk 
openly about it yet. 

I have questioned my need to stay quite many times. I wondered why I was not able to share my feelings here or why I was so reluctant to look for new possibilities or ways to overcome my quietude, my loneliness, my sadness… why I was not fighting against all this through new activities,  why I want to be isolated in my little world by myself… 
why I was not demanding consolation...


I blamed myself on being so strange till I understood that I was simply embodying the word that had hit me months ago. I was simply giving a concrete form to authenticity by allowing myself not to be strong and competent and constant and careful and diligent, by allowing myself to act according my own vision without considering social conventions, others expectations or even my own criteria about how I should behave, how I should be.

And suddenly I realized that this was indeed a new twist of my inner work. Being authentic was leading me to distinguish in a much more accurate way between the stereotyped image of myself that I had perfected along my life and my true, highest self, to distinguish what really moved me from attachment or prejudices, passion from ego.

I never meant to reexamine the manner I deal with suffering or unease when I chose this word back in December. In fact, I thought I was already clear about this issue, about my responses related to caring or fighting. I never meant to peel a new layer off my conscious only to discover that after letting go many conditionings I still had to keep doing it, that (after this big, long journey) I still want to rescue, save and redeem the world (how arrogant can I be!).

But it happened… and thanks to this, a time of sorrow has become much more significant. Now searching for this kind of authenticity is part of my daily practice and I am planning to go more deeply into it along the next months.

I would like to have you all by my side, your support means a world to me.

Much Love, dear friends

Z.

7.4.15

DAY 575

in {and out} Week 13: Easter

I have thought much about this entry of the project. I am not a religious person, I was not raised to be practicing, even when my mother was it, so I have never felt compelled to follow any creed although I deeply respect those who do have those beliefs.

This made difficult to find a right approach to this theme since Easter is itself a Christian celebration and I live in a place with important Judeo-Christians (and specifically Catholic) traditions. In the very beginning, I didn´t feel comfortable with illustrating the rituals that rule this time of the year according to some fixed ecclesiastical patterns, I preferred a more secular interpretation, so I explored other possibilities.

I considered many other aspects of Easter in order to write about them, moreover I also thought of playing with a more delightful imagery. In the end, painted eggs and lovely bunnies are much sweeter than Our Lady of Sorrows or the Death of Jesus upon the Cross. However I always ended up thinking about crucifixion and resurrection, not only because all this is part of the shared story with my mother and part of my culture, but because all this truly appeals to my spiritual side.

So after forgetting some of my reluctance to embrace this point of view, after letting go some of my preconceived ideas about myself and, in particular, about how I like to show up here… after doing all those things and more, in the Good Friday, I headed for a church and stayed there for a while.

The atmosphere was really stunning and strikingly peaceful. The light, the silence, the flowers, the beauty, the messages about salvation and redemption, about rebirth and forgiveness, about love and kindness spoke loud and clear to my soul. I find hard to share many parts of Christian doctrine or Catholic liturgy, and I think I have prejudices about organized religions (most of them related to bigotry, intolerance, abuses or falseness) but I resonated with the essence of the message nevertheless.

Sitting there, quite and tranquil, free from harm, I realized how lucky I am to have had the chance to know about all this as a child, without being pressured into adopting any religious faith. I too realized how clever my mother was by doing things that way. Her mindset made me free to explore my spiritual side without restrictions (I had not the sense that I was abandoning anything), to welcome new perspectives and viewpoints when the right moment came but, at the same time and maybe paradoxically, it helped me to go depth into it without fear, just because I was already aware of being spiritual despite my preferences, behaviors, experiences or attitudes, my mistakes and my wise choices, the sense of unease or my erratic pace.

And sitting there, quite and tranquil, free from harm, I gave thanks.



This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

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