The Giant Woman of Ibiza

“The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse. ” 
- Ian McEwan

Yesterday I was a giant.

I thought maybe at first I’d be an amazon woman.   An amazon would make more sense for someone like me.  I am short and small but dream of being tall.  When I feel insecure next to tall woman I secretly call them amazons under my breath.  Only because I want to be like them.  Sometimes I am mean and childish.

However, yesterday an amazon was much too short.  Jennifer the giant sounded better on the tongue.

Early in the morning I sat on a rock at the edge of the beach and considered taking a walk into the sea.  My toes dangled near the water and I briefly wondered if the bottoms of my feet would be cut by the small jagged rocks hiding below.

Maybe I could walk to Majorca.

The Mediterranean changes all the time.  The colors move from dark blue to white to green so quickly that I sometimes close my eyes for two whole minutes just so I can open them to a new painting.  It’s like being in an abstract art museum and not having to move at all.  If you sit long enough, the paintings all come to you.

Certainly there must be invisible artists painting the sea.

Yesterday, unlike the last few weeks, the water was calm like glass.  I thought that maybe the invisible artists were taking a siesta or maybe out buying more sea brushes.

If I walked far enough I could meet the artists who painted such beautiful designs.  We would all sit and drink wine and eat pickles and they could tell me their secrets to painting the sea.  They would ask me to be their apprentice.

We would discuss very important things, the artists and I.

Maybe I would walk to Barcelona, I thought.  It would have only taken twenty minutes or so.  But the water might have gotten deep and I would be forced to swim.  Swimming in the deep water scares me.  I always wonder what’s underneath me.  Are there piranhas in the sea?  Would a million of them have eaten me in a big bloody mess?  I would have to fight them with my giant hands.  Would my blood then paint the sea too?  Would the invisible artists be happy to have a new red color to mix with the blues and greens?

I didn’t want to swim.  I wanted only to walk.  But the water would be cold on my skin and if I got to Majorca without being eaten by piranhas I would have giant wet clothes and have to find a shop with giant dry clothes.  Exhausting…

Instead of taking a walk to Barcelona, fighting piranhas or introducing myself to the invisible artists I simply sat on my rock in safety.

Yesterday I was a giant.

Today I’ve been asked by a famous travel magazine to travel to Rajasthan and write about the food, lodging and culture.  What a busy day…this daydreaming takes up so much of my time

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A Country of Women

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”
– Virginia Woolf

When my daughter was a little girl I would let my fingernails run softly through her hair and gently scratch her scalp until she would fall asleep each night.  If she was upset about something or someone as a teenager and needed calming down, I would do the same.  In one of my past blog entries, Oh Hands Of Mine, I mention how very important human touch can be.  Though for my daughter, not only was her mother’s touch important, but having a strong woman near her showing affection and strength was equally important in her development.  I’ve come to realize, especially in that last year or so, just how very important the women in my life have been to me.

Although my mother has always been a strong force in my life and important to me, I never really considered the role the other women in my life have played.  They were my girlfriends, yes, but to what extent they would be there for me in a time of need I wouldn’t venture to guess.  I have had many male friends too, although they have been shadowed by the sheer largeness of my personal world of women.

Some of them I see on a yearly basis, some monthly and even some a few times a week.  I’ve girlfriends that live in Italy, Spain, New York, Baltimore, Portland and all over the Seattle/Tacoma area.  They are artist, nurses, yoga teachers, photographers, office managers, librarians, mothers and fashionistas to name a few.  Each of these women in some form or another have risen to the challenge of showing me just how strong they are – how fortunate I am – to have each and every one of them.

A few years ago I read this great book written by Rita Golden Gelman titled, Tales of A Female Nomad.  There was a part in the book in which she describes the feeling of closeness she found when she would visit different cultures and cook with the women.  How it would bring her close to women around the world.  I am no nomad and I may not be literally in my kitchen with my girlfriends, but the feeling of learning and sharing worlds surrounds me nonetheless.  They are not there to merely help me decide on a New Years Eve dress….they are there to encourage and support my entire being, my choices, my depth.   And I them….

Yesterday I sat in the doctor’s office in a chair next to my daughter, now twenty-one, who was laying on the table beside me, baring her belly for the ultrasound technician.  I reached up and stroked her hair, gently scratching her scalp like I’ve done her entire life, while tears came to her eyes and mine as we watched her little baby girl – my granddaughter – swim in the sea of her mother’s growing belly; blissfully unaware she was being watched at all.  Yet another woman is being added to the long line of my family and I hope her country…..is the world.

Earth Poetry, Photographs

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.

Kahil Gibran

I am an advocate of many things –  of the arts, of humans, of trees, of philosophy, of poetry and literature, of interaction, of expression and of love.  A man whose words have always touched me deeply were those of the Lebanese-American Kahil Gibran.  If I could bring anyone back for an evening of conversation over a meal, it would be him.  I’d like that – to sit in an olive grove with Mr. Gibran and just listen…

Olive trees, as you may have read in my past posts, hold an allure for me.  I like that their gnarly trunks make this bold statement of, “I am here and have been for many years and will continue to do so,”  while their dainty silver-like leaves seem to be fickle in their presence..almost blending in to the sky behind them…