Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bring on the New Year!

Photosource: Sunshine

It's early but I already have a glass of wine in my hand; this year I can't wait to drown the “old man”…
I wish you could see the way the sun sparkles silver on top of the ocean’s blue surface… in the harbour seven ships are docked and ready for the evening’s big event and all around you can feel the energy of excitement bustling from every home.
The sky is clear blue, there isn't a cloud in sight and I contemplate, as I do every year… the year that I'm about to leave behind.

It's been a tough year…
There have been good moments but too few to remember;
This year, I long to leave the old year behind.
I didn't achieve half of the goals I set out for 2006; yet I feel that I got more out of it that I was expecting.
I grew, I matured and I'm a richer person for it.
Looking back, I find a different person to the person I was, a year ago;
It's amazing the difference a year can have on a person…

This year my resolutions are different and I honestly haven't figured out whether this year’s decision is a step back or a step forward.
While some call it quitting, giving up or letting go…
Others considering the maturity of knowing when to settle…
Don't ask me… because I'm not sure; all I know is that I've made the decision.
I'm coming home…
Back to the island which I considered my cage and now see as my haven.
Whether an act of wisdom or an act of stupidity, it´s my decision and I refuse anyone´s opinion... the consequences are mine to bear and therefore I dispense outside influence.

On the only night of the year where I eat raisons… 12 to be exact, I'm going to ask fate for something different this year…
For 2007 all I want is peace of mind... good music and a lot of dancing!
All I want to remember of 2006 are the people that made my heart smile and the year bearable.

The sun is setting... and with it the last light of 2006.
I'm grateful for my laptop and digital camera that allows me to share my last sunset of 2006 with all of you.
For all the people I most care about; I wish a year of Joy, Laughs, Smiles and above all lots of Love!...
Be happy people… if you're happy, I'm happy too.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Missing in Action...

Photosource: Bernard Mitchell

Last week as I waited to talk to one of my colleague’s, I overheard her phone conversation with her daughter.
Her daughter had never missed a swimming lesson since a young child and for the first time wanted to stay home because some boy had called her fat.

I listened with my heart in throat as her mother told her the words I never got to hear;
She told her that she should face up to the boy, face up to her problems; explaining that she's as beautiful as she is and should not allow someone else to make her feel bad about herself and take her away from what she loved most to do.

I had to literally hold back the tears and the impulse to hug that woman and thank her for merely understanding her daughter... I'd like to do the same for my own daughter one day.

Today was Christmas and the house was so full you could barely move… there were laughs, jokes, smiles and plenty of memories replayed.
There couldn't be a happier moment and yet, I had the nagging feeling that something was missing…
Something that's always missing…
That's never there when I need her the most.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Worth Losing Sleep Over...

How many all nighters can you handle in a row?

After the company Christmas party where I danced non-stop all night right through to the morning where the only pitstop was the shower before getting into work; the only image I had in my mind consisted of a bed and a soft pillow…

But then I got that call that told me I would get no sleep…
“I´m in Lisbon, as soon as you get your but out of work we´re going out!”
I managed to convince my buddy that I only had enough energy to last me until dinner but I surprised even myself…

Herman José´s Café Café in Alcântara…
I strongly recommend it!
The food is great and the prices are relatively low.
It felt good to live in the moment with two of my amazing friends.
The mood was so inspiring that we decided to draw up a list of the things we want to accomplish for the year 2007…
The list is meant to be common for the three of us, so before 2007 is through these are the goals we will strive to achieve:

1. Share a romantic bubble bath with someone special (S)
2. Find a soulmate (P)
3. Have dinner at the same place, around the same time with the same friends and their significant other (R)
4. Steal a kiss (S)
5. Convince Sunshine to go back to Madeira (P)
6. See Patricia Chapparinho´s singing carreer skyrocket (R)
7. Be responsible for a successful matchmake! (S)
8. Learn a new type of dance (P)
9. Reach our Professional goals (R)
10. Have a steamy night someplace we´ve never been before (And if possible with a position that hasn´t been tried yet) (P&S&R)

Hell… it´s a demanding list but they´re goals worth fighting for… i´ll be happy just to attain one… any one of them!

We sat between a hen and a Christmas party and once dinner was over, the entertainment began!
And the energy was such that I completely forgot how tired I was!

There are people that should be sued for attempting it!
Luckily it´s one of the things I don´t suck at so much…
Saving all my Love for You – Whitney Housten.
I like the memory we created to associate with this song better the first one I had before.
I sang with my heart but it was my buddy´s voice that sang with me that allowed for a powerful and vibrating performance!
(better than on my regular performances in the shower)

We danced…
Never mind the fact that I´d spent the whole night before dancing without any sleep in between…
The way I see it… Dancing is like sex!
The rhythm is like foreplay…
Once you´re in the mood you can´t deny your body from moving!
The energy in the room was simply contagious!
Even the lady in the Father Christmas suit danced…
She was old enough to be my grandmother but she sure knew how to move it on top of a chair!

Thank God and Pirex for that Herbalife energy thingy!... It got me through the night! But after almost two straight nights without sleeping… I couldn´t wait to end the party in club duvet with the sheets are my partners and the blanket as the deejay!

When I finally did lay my head down on my pillow, I did so with a sigh and a smile of pure joy and contentment…

Turn Around?

Photosource: Getty Images
There are times you want to turn around…
Turn Back…
To say Hello…
To say Goodbye…
To explain…
To put in the effort…

But then you stop and think to yourself: “Fuck it!”

I grow tired of “fixing” things…
Perhaps they´re meant to stay broken.
Why waste energy to try and fix things with someone who doesn´t need it…
Doesn´t want it…

It takes the will of two to make things right.

Should the universe forgive us our for our pride then destiny will make sure we have other moments.

Reiki After Affects - 1 Week

Photosource: Unknown

What has Reiki done for me within 7 days?
I could argue that I simply had a particularly good week….
That all the good things that happened just happened as life does!... BUT

I don´t believe in coincidences and I don´t believe in chance and therefore I consider the following side affects of the week to have been attracted to my life due to the Reiki i´ve been practising.:

Warm Hands: I don´t even have to focus energy into my hands, it´s just constantly there these days…

Touch: Everything, everyone… I walk around with the constant desire to make that connection…

I´m more conscious of my breathing… in fact i´m more conscious of everything around me. It´s as if a half of my soul returned from the future and the other half from the past in order to focus completely on the present…

These days…
Talking comes easier…
Smiling comes easier…
Laughing comes easier…
Even walking feels easier!

Everyone i´ve spoken to this week suddenly remembered something positive or happy to tell me and even those that are sad seem hopeful.

I was given a sparkly green heart with pink marshmallows for having spoken my mind…
I was told that I was missed…
And today when I arrived at work exhausted from last night´s exertions…
(Dancing!… Company Xmas party! :P )
…I was given a shoulder rub and one of those stimulant drinks that are ten times more effective than coffee…
Somebody´s made me feel special! :)

But the best side affect of all…
The one that will keep me practicing Reiki until i´m old and grey…
Are all the hugs and kisses!!!!!!! Lots of them! Hehehe.
As if suddenly I became a magnet and that the most natural reaction a person can give me is either a hug or a kiss… or both!
I was pampered with the kind of hugs that leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy after a heartfelt embrace. The feel-good kind!
And then there were the kisses…
And I don´t mean that Mwah Mwah, here´s a kissy for you…
I mean spontaenous kisses…
…kisses involving lips….
…loaded with TLC (Tender Loving Care)!!!!
I was charmed with the kisses I got on the back of my hand and I felt the heat left from the kisses that landed on my cheeks but it was that unexpected kiss that really put the cherry on the top of my week…
I couldn´t contain a huge smile of pure joy when a certain someone took a deep breath of my hair and decided to plant a kiss right there on my head, between my mass of curls.
I´d never been kissed there before… but I like it!
I like it a lot!
So much so that i´m considering throwing away my hairdryer and sticking to curly!
I could get very used to those kind of kisses!... Bring ´em on!
I feel so loved! :)

The universe must be compensating for all kisses I haven´t been getting!
Sadly, the lip service didn´t reach my lips…
But hey… i´m not complaining… as far as i´m concerned the universe can keep compensating with those kisses that say “I really digs you!”

It just goes to show you that one good thing attracts another and if you take care of your garden (attitude & energy) then the butterflies (hugs & kisses!) come to you!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reiki (Hands on Healing)

Photosource: Unknown

In two of the most intense days of my life, I was taught and retaught the art of Reiki. For those of you who don’t know what it is, I strongly suggest some research on the subject.

It isn’t a religion… It isn’t a cult or an esoteric practice…
It’s a science that any and all can do.

I call it the art of connecting to the universe’s energy source in order to heal your own.
And if you so choose to be a channel of that energy… you can heal just about anyone.
It's isn't about curing diseases though that could be one of the side affects… it’s about fixing the energy that surrounds a person.

Energy… everything in the world is made of it including the human being. If you keep that concept in mind, Reiki becomes an easy concept to grasp.
Consider the way you’re influenced by your surroundings. How many times have you been influenced by the energy surrounding you?
The atmosphere of a certain place?
Or the mood of the person near to you?
If you consider that the energy you step into influences your own then it’s easier to accept that you too can influence your own energy.
If that is true than why do we have so much trouble staying positive and are prone to “bad phases”… it’s the unconscious programming and Reiki teaches you how to reprogram your thoughts… your own energy.

“If you want to change the world, change yourself”

If you consider that life is a question of perspective, then how you choose to look at it plays a big role on how it will influence you.
Quit using negatives… Never… No… won’t… can’t… don’t…
Easier said than done… most difficult is to take consciousness of our own programming errors.

“Taking consciousness is the hardest part, once you’ve gotten that part right, the rest becomes easier”…

Program your own mind… Feel your body… Get in touch with your soul… Listen with your heart… Set your spirit Free.

What I loved most about this course, besides the group, the energy, the lessons and the cute teacher… was that the concepts were of the most basic.
No mambo jumbo…
No “take my Word for it, believe and have faith”
I was explained the basics and the science behind the practice.
Reiki makes sense if you research the theory behind it..

Not being a complete novice to the energy theorem, there were things I was merely retaught. However, I learnt certain things that readjusted my perspective hence changing drastically my vision on my life. What I learnt made all the difference:

According to Reiki, we have four types of baggage:
Recent Baggage: The stuff that happened not too long ago that we’re still working through (until maybe two or three years before the current date)
Adolescent Baggage: The traumas of puberty
Childhood Baggage: The traumas and bad programming during childhood
Genetic Baggage: The stuff you inherit from birth, and for those who so believe… the Baggage from other lives.

The older the Baggage… the harder to deal and work through. And the crappy thing about this kind of Baggage is that it sits in the centre of your soul like the eye of a thick onion… you can’t get to it without working through the other layers of simpler baggage.

To me this wasn’t a new concept, what was added to this concept is what brought tears to my eyes…
Doesn’t it piss you off when an issue you thought you dealt with comes back to haunt you? Guilt and an overwhelming sense of frustration invades you as you blame yourself to letting something you supposedly dealt with, bother you again.
Feelings of weakness and failure… not only do you have to deal with the issue again but the fact that you’re once again dealing with it, becomes an additional issue.

I fought to suppress the tears as my teacher told me that the fact that I deal with the same issue twice or more doesn’t mean I failed the first time around.
The fact is that certain issues go deep and affect you in different ways. In one phase of life it may affect you in a certain way; you deal with it and then move on.
At another stage of your life it may attack you again… for a different reason, from a different angle and you’re forced to once again work through it.
The most flagrant example I can think of is death:
Someone dies and you work through to get over it and you do. Two years later you may cross someone that reminds you of the deceased, or someone else dies, or something happens in your life that involves them and suddenly their death attacks you again from a different angle… you’re forced to deal with something you’d worked through before.

What I loved most about our teacher… besides the warmth and light that radiated from him… was the simplicity and humanity about him.
Here’s someone who isn’t sitting on an unattainable high stool. Instead he was someone I could easily have coffee with, talk with and share daily challenges.
“We’re only human, forgive who you were yesterday. Accept who you are today and know that you can and will do better tomorrow”
It makes the process of self-enlightenment easier… with less pressure upon yourself.

I could tell you about chakras, breathing, meditation, energy flow and articulations but it’s something that research will teach you better than I can…
If you press on the title or if you search on the links, you’ll find the source of the path that’s brought me to this entry. If I could I’d teach the world Reiki, I’d teach everyone to heal themselves and the people around them and convince each and every individual to take the course that I did.
Ask me… I’ll share with you everything I know.

Reiki – The art of synchronizing with the universe’s energy in order to heal your own…. Heal others… and even make a difference in your surroundings… in the world.
It takes more than mind… it takes heart… it takes soul… and it takes trust…
I’m working on the latter.

Reiki won't keep you from falling… you will fall… its part of working through the onion layers. Reiki just makes the healing process a hell of a lot easier.

Does it really work?
I’ll let you know the differences felt after 21 days… (Self Therapy)
However if you ever felt the mystical power of a heartfelt hug then Reiki is only another form of transmitting the love and care that it takes to make someone else heal.

I strongly recommend it and I appreciate volunteers in which to practice on!
Call me up... we can book a session!

Azucar & Salsa (Aveiro)

Photosource: Maggie Heinzel-Neel

The sound assaults you…
The rhythm takes you over…
Your heart tunes into the frequency of the music…
You soul synchronizes to the beat.
Hips sway…
The body becomes part of each instrument playing…
It moves…
It steps up to each beat…
You surrender to the music
The music takes you over and keeps you on the edge…
The edge of self-control where you take consciousness of every move you make and the fact that it is a product of the song… a consequence of the rhythm.
You let go to the spirit within… as if it were an orgasm.

It’s better when it involves two…

The challenge…
To listen to your partners body…
To feel how it moves, to move in sync to him…
To let yourself be lead… but not taken.
Step to… step from…
The challenge…
To push one another to the edge… to keep each other from falling.
It takes trust… it takes courage… heat… rhythm…
It takes heart.

I dared…
He dared…
We pushed onto the edge…
And when he spun me around… I knew my limit would be two sequential turns…
The challenge… one more?
Do I risk falling to the floor?
At two I knew that I could still control the stop…
I dared to trust…
I spun a third time…
I spun a fourth… certain that I’d see the floor…
What the hell… a bruise wouldn’t kill me…
Satisfaction of the risk would compensate…

But just as I expected my body to connect with the floor…
I was caught…
I was held…
I didn’t slip…
I didn’t fall…
We made it… in a sexy final pose that justified the trust I invested in my partner.

God I love dancing!!!
Take me again and again and again and again and again…
I can live without sex… but don’t take me away from dancing!

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Surrender?!

Photosource: Unknown

Is throwing in the towel such a bad move?

As I sat through a meeting today listening to someone who doesn’t know me, discuss my future as well as the future of my colleagues a pertinent question went through my mind:
“What the hell am I doing here?”

I realised the question wasn’t in purpose of the place or discussion taking place and instead was the question one asks herself after a year has passed after a big change.
I didn’t reach half the goals I set out for myself and both my career as well as my studying future looks pretty shaky.
The unknown doesn’t scare me nor do I lack the strength to keep on fighting.
I have what it takes; the strength, the courage and the resilience…
However, as I reevaluate my reasons for being here, I surprise myself with the question:
Are they really worth it?

Yesterday I knew for sure, today I’m not so certain.
The fact that I can’t give myself any guarantees suddenly begins to bear weight where once it was no more than a consequence of a risk I was willing to take.

Reach for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land in between the stars. (One of my favourite quotes!)

On the darkest of nights, I remind myself of this saying and yet, I can’t seem to see any stars in the path I’m following.
So maybe I should turn back and learn to give more value to the stars I already have… or should I keep believing in the stars I can’t yet see?
Are they really there?... or are they a mere fiction of my imagination?
I’m not a quitter but do I have the good sense to know when to let go?

Blind Faith is starting to lose its effect on me.
Though it isn’t a loss of faith, but a loss in the meaning behind the reasons in which I invested all my energy.
Being positively inclined by nature, it feels strange to contemplate giving up… perhaps I should see giving up as taking a step forward.

For a whole year I’ve yearned for stability, for direction and the one thing I’ve been fighting against the most seems to the inevitable choice: Change.
Change is the only guarantee life gives though for some of us it’s more than a consequence: it’s a choice.
I’m tired of choosing change.
I guess I’ll have to play it by ear, with a bit of luck my changes become clearer and this time around I can say that change chose me…
Is it time to pack my bags already?

I’m still not certain… all I know is that to stay… I need stronger reasons that I don’t possess…
Maybe that’s all the reason I need.

Friday, December 01, 2006

How to tell if he feels the same...

Photosource: Unknown

Ever gotten that butterfly feeling in your stomach each time a certain someone walks past you? After a while, when you realize you can’t quite shake that feeling you ask yourself the big question. What are the chances he’s feeling it too?

They call it. "The game"... and I particularly suck at it!
As far as I’m concerned, the whole cat and mouse thing is only fun when you know what you can count on, otherwise it’s just frustrating.
Patience is definitely not one of my virtues (don’t argue with me people... it isn’t!)
And therefore when that certain question arises "Does he or doesn’t he?"
I have to know.
Otherwise it keeps you up at hours which you should be sleeping!

So now that we’ve decided to cut-the-bullshit, let’s find out if the other side is listening to the same song; the big question becomes:

There was a certain guy I had a terrible crush on in high school which I never found the courage to tell him I liked him. The whole school seemed to know except for him.
Years later when I finally confessed, I was bummed to discover that the feelings were mutual and had I done something about them, my love life back then would’ve been more eventful.
This taught me a very important lesson: feelings are a gamble; if you risk it you at least have a chance of making a dream come true.

I was one of the gutsiest girls on the playground. I beat up the boys when we played kissing catches and I was the girl who could be found racing bikes, getting dirty and looking for crabs or tadpoles in the river with the boys.
I stood up to the meanest teacher in the school and I stood up to my very first boss. I’m courageous and I stand up for what I believe it, but when it comes to feelings, I’m as chicken as they come.
So after lesson number one, I had to find a way to let the guy know I was interested without dying of embarrassment. And hence I opted for writing "the" letter.
In first grade I recall getting a letter with the question "I like you, do you like me?" and a yes or no box I had to tick.
Instead of using that intelligent technique invented by a seven year old, I decided to write to the object of my affection a detailed essay of how I felt about him.
Needless to say, the results were devastating! Not only did he not share the sentiment, he decided to share my sentiment with everyone else!... He might as well photocopied the letter and pinned it on the walls so that people could throw darts at it.
Lesson number two: don’t put in writing what can and will be used against you.

After that I realized I have no other choice but to say the words but seeing as I’m such a chicken, I decided there had to be a simpler way of telling someone how you feel without melting in front of them:
The telephone!!!
And this time. the news was positive: he liked me back!
What saddened me was that later on, I had no facial expression to remember the beginning by.
Sadly, I discovered that the feeling only existed in either writing or over the phone.
When we were together there was very little we had to say to each other.
The break up was also inevitably: over the phone.

If you want to tell someone how you feel, you do it face to face.
And because it’s so damned hard, you take three shots of Tequila and your best friend in the background for back up.
The great thing about Tequila is that you feel great even after the rejection and that you manage to laugh in between sobs while your best friend comforts you through the rest of the night in one the club’s bathroom cubicles. (Thanks Buds, I’ll never forget the support or the hangover!)

You have to be sober.
So much so that you actually feel drunk by the lack of equilibrium your body suffers.
Your throat dries and your body shakes and you search that other person’s eyes for that look of insurance that tells you that everything is going to be alright.
Did I do it? Did I finally say the words?
Hell no!!!
They got stuck in my throat so tight that I could hardly breathe!
Ladies and Germs, I’ve pulled off a lot of difficult stunts in my life but this was by far the hardest.
But I just had to know... and so...
Deciding that if the feeling was mutual, he’d lean in towards me; I decided to lean in slow (with adrenalin, the anticipation is quite excruciating) as I hoped for the moment in which his lips met mine letting me know as Cher did that the feeling was in fact reciprocated "In his kiss"

It wasn’t.

I learnt that when a man cares for you, he comes after you. Women aren’t supposed to make the first move: so I’ve been told time and time again by women who are far more successful at relationships than I am. And so, we women are meant to wait and see what happens.
In which case... I’d go nuts, sorry mom; I’m just not cut out for this game.
I expect you all to come visit me in the convent! I hear there’s a good one some where in the middle of nowhere, Arrábida right?

I believe in dancing, I don’t mind making the first move as long as the moves are being made with me. I don’t regret my decisions, even when they end in tears.
Will I declare again?... I sure as hell hope not!... At least not anytime soon!
I have better plans for becoming a nun...
But I do know that I want to continue being the kind of person that faces my fears.

In that last case, I didn’t hear much after the "No" (Thank God that I got a straight answer: nothing worse than a "maybe" or a "I’ll think about it" - Yeesh!)
But I do recall being asked "Did I mislead you into believing I felt the same?"
At that stage I was too busy praying to disappear or disintegrate to finish a proper response but if I had the chance to go back and answer him I would have said:
"The eyes only see what the heart wants to see… and so when we care about someone, we take their every sweet gesture as a sign that something bigger might grow from there.
I could point out words, conversations and moments that I might have misinterpreted but what lead me to believe that you may feel the same way didn´t come from something I could point out.
It was the look I found in your eyes that drew me into believing that the magic I was feeling was staring back at me.
I guess I was wrong:
It must’ve been only a mirror of what I was feeling."

I strongly believe that what you feel is worth fighting for… truly fighting for and no amount of heartbreak will change my point of view.
This particular entry was inspired by someone who has spent two years caring about someone else who hasn’t assumed the commitment.
To him I say even knowing so very little or nothing about the story:
Fight… push her against the wall and kiss her. Grab her by the wrists and force her to look at you in the eyes and tell you how she feels.
It’s so easy to run from words, but you can’t deny the truth found in the eyes and in a kiss.
There are no maybes in the heat of the moment and if she truly feels the way you say she feels… she’ll surrender, she’ll commit to what she feels.

Worse than a "No" is not knowing for sure... the anticipation; the frustration of not having that person in your arms.

As for me… Analyzing my track record; I’ve decided to invest in a rosary this Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Me, My own Nemesis

Photosource: Sunshine

This wasn't the means I would've liked to have used to respond. However I believe in replying by the same source and so we publicly voice what we don't personally tell each other.
Thank-You for writing for me in my language. It's not that I'm not capable of understanding what you had written had it been it Portuguese. It's not that I don't understand your language. My difficulty isn't in the translation, my difficulty lies in understanding the meaning behind the words. English is so much more direct… or maybe all that lies in the author's intentions?!

I was happy to read that you're doing great, that you're living as opposed to merely surviving and that you've made progress over this last year.
It's been a difficult year for most of us.
But if you truly took the time to get to know yourself, to know what you want and what to fight for then you've accomplished what on a daily basis a lot of people fail to do.
“To know others is wisdom, to know thyself is enlightenment” – Chinese proverb.
I'm only sorry that you consider yourself to have found your limits. Forgive me if I don't believe in limits… not onto you.
The extraordinary things in life are accomplishing those things we thought not possible. The things which began as a dream.
Don't limit yourself my friend; you have the capacity for so much more.
“The limits are within the mind and not the muscle” – Alexander Popov (Run a search, it's worth the read)

You called me kid.
You're right; I have faith in things that grown-ups eventually give up on.
Love… Life… a Family….
Did it ever occur to you that somewhere along the line, I too have reached the bottom of the pit? Perhaps even more than once?
That I've hurt… that I've despaired and gave up on breathing?
What if I told you that I know what it is to see the world through grey scales, to eat food with no flavour, to hear no other sound but the “Fado” and call all of that my reality.
And if somewhere along the way, I realized that there's more to living than merely surviving?
That love exists around me and that as long as I bear the ability to love someone, then my dreams are as attainable as anyone else's.
There are days I want to throw in the towel, give up on my dreams, it's so much easier to quit and justify it with all the dreams not yet accomplished.
But that's what they are… they're not yet accomplished and as long as I live, I have those dreams to believe in. Otherwise, we have very little to get up in the morning for.

Are our dreams so different?
I also want to be a parent… I have an immense amount of love with which I would like to lavish children with. And not just any children… my children.
I want to enfold my own in my arms and love them like only a mother knows how. To guide them, teach them and give them the home I wish I'd had.
This isn't a solo goal, it takes the right partner to accomplish such a dream and without that… the above has no meaning… in fact, without the right partner, very few dreams bear meaning.
I have many other goals and dreams to accomplish but this is the one I pray makes me stay… the reason to stop packing, to stop moving and to build on something special.

“Just because someone doesn't feel for you the way you feel for them doesn't mean they don't already feel for you with all their heart”
Truth hurts doesn't it?
Would it make you feel better if I told you that this particular truth has hurt me more than once, and continues hurting me presently?
In the past, I chose to protect a person's heart at all cost. Presently I've learnt that there's nothing like the blunt and honest truth to help a person move on.
I'm sorry.
Would you believe that deep down, I'm truly sorry that you aren't the one.
If you were, both of us would have happier things to write about.
Deep down, you have to know that I'm not the one for you.
I believe you'll make an enviable partner and a great father someday. I'm hoping that you'll include me in your life as a bystander… a friend.
Because I still am your friend and I never stopped being your friend.
I never turned by back on you – that was your choice.
We'll be friends until the day you choose for us not to be; that will not be my decision.

I believe that your true Nemesis is the dreams that you deny. Everyone searches for happiness and you're right, happiness is not a constant emotion; it's made up of moments.
Only when you look back, can you say you were happy.
Haven't you ever found that without even knowing it, you were living the happiest moments of your life? It gives you a lot of think of when you consider your present.

So maybe I'm a kid, to believe in love and faith and happiness…
For all those highs, there are consequent lows but I know one thing for sure… each time my heart chooses to believe, I'm blessed with those smirks that you call happy moments.
Those don't happen much when you play defense.
I don't believe happiness is found when you achieve everything you aspire… you're right, very few people would be considered happy.
I believe happiness is found where love is found and that takes different forms for different people.
I consider myself to be a happy person but I'll be happiest the day from which I look beside me and see my partner for life. The one that bears witness to a life we choose to live together. The one that will embrace our children with the same amount of love that I do. Someday when I tell you about my adventures, I hope there to be someone beside me to say “I was there, I saw it and I love her for that and all of it”
Once again I ask you… are our dreams so different that you once may have thought that I didn't understand you?

There's so much more I'd like to tell you, but not on a stage… you know where to find me the day you decide you want to hear what I've got to say.
Here's to you… Here’s to your Friday evening thoughts, may your Nemesis bear no strength over you.

Love Always,

Sunday, November 26, 2006

For You...

Photosource: Unknown

Being opinionated and self-spoken, I usually have no trouble expressing what is on my mind… the gift is such that I had to install a three second delay word processor to scan my thoughts before I blurt them out loud.
I mean what I say and I say what I mean and I stand by my opinions…

But with you… The words get stuck in my throat.
I dare not speak them… lest they come out all wrong.
And I'm left with that sensation of something important left unsaid.

Can’t you hear my heart beating when I'm silent?
Can't you hear the words that I don't say?
I constantly fight the urge to take you by the hand and take you someplace where I lose my sanity and return to you every emotion you stir in me in a kiss.
You're driving me crazy!

Am I reading the signs all wrong?
The more I try to ignore them, the more they plague me.
I seem to be running in circles… every road I take brings me back to you.
So what do I do?
I'll stay… I'll surrender… if only you’d ask me to.

Today I heard your song…
It replayed in my head until I thought I'd lose my mind.
I thought I heard you…
I thought I felt you…
Are you feeling what I'm feeling?
Or is that look in your eyes a figment of my imagination?
I'm losing trust in my instincts…
I need to hear the words…
Your words…
Your voice

Five minutes…
The required time that I pray to be alone with you…
For that one moment that either gives us the certainty…
Or shatters a dream.

For you, I've already walked over the “nevers”
For you, I'm willing to give it my heart.

You were Saying?

Photosource: Unknown

On my way to work this week, I saw one of those scenes that you only expect to see in the movies…
Right outside Telepizza, a couple was arguing about something or other with very little importance. How do I know it was of little importance?
Because just before I passed them, the guy grabbed the girl by the elbows and ended the argument with a kiss.
I was so flabbergasted that instead of continuing on my way, I actually stopped to stare.
Somewhere in their thirties, they weren’t exactly bickering teenagers still learning about love and relationships...
As they pulled away from the kiss, they both smiled at each other and she put her arms around him as if to say “You're right, this isn't worth arguing over”
Shocked… Amazed… and deliriously happy that there's still magic in the love that people feel for one another, I couldn't help but be influenced from positive vibes that radiated from them.
Fighting the temptation to interrupt and ask the guy if he had a younger brother; getting bumped by an umbrella reminded me that I was clogging traffic and so I made my way through to work with a smile on my face.
There's still hope!

There are days I lose faith…
Days in which nothing makes sense; and I can't catch the signs that tells me that everything is going to be okay.
Nights in which I long for that warm body to fill that empty space in my bed.
I find myself alone and scared, wondering if all my hopes are nothing more than figments of a fertile imagination.
Wondering why I still haven't found what I'm looking for… or why it hasn't found me.
I search my heart for insurance and it gives me none… only that faint hope that refuses to die and makes a believer out of me.
Love is so scarce these days; it's hard to find anyone who still believes.
Anyone who will fight for it;
Defend it;
And keep it from slipping away.
I want to let go… Live without it.
But something stronger and wiser than me holds on.
It's that voice from inside that reminds me that it's the one true reason worth living for.
On the days that I think I've given up…
Strangers remind me that I'm still a believer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Silva Wrapped!

Photosource: Sunshine

What you see above took ninety minutes and 48metres of aluminium foil.
I call it a welcome-back, missed-you-like-crazy, damn-what-took-you-so-long way of telling a colleague her absence was felt!
When you live a life where you're stuck eight hours a day with the same people, they tend to grow on you. So much so that when they're on vacation, you feel like something really important is missing.
Working the nightshift implies that after 19pm, I have only one person to keep my company through the night. Having that person gone for a month has proved to be tedious as well as lonesome, I can't wait to see her back!
Usually she's the one with all the brilliant ideas and tricks to welcome back those who went on holiday… I reckon she deserved nothing less than a big welcome herself!

It didn't take me long to think up what to do, although this punishment itself was meant for pink-silicon-polka-dot-fingers (LONG story… whole different post!)
And don't think that's the only idea I came up with… I had a couple more that involved post-its, graffiti, confetti, streamers and toilet paper: that's not even starting on themes!
Before falling asleep, I thought of a thousand different ways I could've done her desk and I couldn't help laughing at my fertile imagination.
I recently read a blog about the brain, its capacity to invent, solve and memorize… Often I surprise myself with my own thoughts and imagination…
I'll tell you one thing though! The proof of God's wisdom is the fact that he made our thoughts to be silent! I reckon that if people knew what I'm really thinking of half the time, I'd be in for A LOT of trouble, hehehe.
To this date, there's only been one person to contradict me. I recall distinctly my shock as he looked at me straight in the eyes and said “if some people knew what was going on in the other person's mind, they'd probably fall in love”
At first I thought he was kidding… then I thought he was nuts… now I realize he was absolutely right, although the opposite could also be true.
I prefer his more positive perspective.
Have you ever had a first impression of someone alter dramatically once you've figured out what goes on in their minds?
There's only one way to know though… people need to communicate.

Having completely gone off topic, I return to the Silva-Wrap revenge to conclude but one thing:
The time, effort and attention you invest in someone is directly proportional to how much you care. I know I'm probably going to regret this when I get back from Christmas vacation but one thing is for certain, getting in a little earlier today will be worth the look on her face!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Basic Insinct... Too.

In the last week alone, the visits to my blog have doubled?!!
With more people reading, I'm well aware that I should be more careful with what I write… My concern is such that I confess that I thought twice about writing this entry (once about writing it and another time about what picture to add to it)

Basic Instinct… Too.

Who hasn't yet seen the movie? I've yet to meet a male who doesn't know the whole cross legged scene by Sharon Stone. In fact, try reminding a guy of it… instant drool appears as they replay the whole scene in their heads… at least twice!

And speaking of two's… Today I caught up with my movie trivia and the choice of the evening was: Basic Instinct 2.
I don't know who wrote or who directed the movie but whoever did is nothing short of genius. The psychological suspense is grueling. It will leave you with some serious trust issues and a deep desire to either kill someone or have wild sex.

Who killed who? Was it the Cop? Was it the Journalist or was it the Shrink? One thing is for sure: They all had sex with the blonde Novelist. And not just regular sex; the heated, thrilling, exciting… dangerous kind.

Recently I read on someone's blog that the misconception that you can't make love and have sex with the same person, still exists.
What?! You're kidding me right?!
No wonder people get bored with each other… they're always going about it at the same speed!
The way I see it sometimes you put your soul into it and others you put in your hormonal drive and sometimes you can even mix the two.
Creativity is the name of the game, when two people love and trust each other why not take each other to the limits?

I took note of one particular scene in the movie for future reference:
The guy had the girl from behind and at one point, one hand moved from her hip to her head. He first caressed her cheek just before tugging at her hair and pulling her towards him with his other arm which had slid under her breasts.
This is one of those: you-really-should-try-this-at-home stunts.

Last week as I had lunch with a good friend of mine we swapped notes on this particular subject. Some ideas merely involved props: food, toys, lingerie… the accessories. Others involved more acrobatic positions.
He explained to me that in one in particular, her knees are either placed by her ears or on his shoulders allowing for a much deeper penetration and closer interaction.
Hmmm… I can think of a couple more variations to that one…

Sometimes you take it slow…
Other times you pick up speed…
It's a question of the mood and not the person you with.
One night I'm on top, next night you can be on top…
Or better yet… we wrestle for it!
Let's try something lacy… something silky… something soft.
Something red… something white… something black.
The way I see it, there are more uses to scarves than having them around your neck.
When you have someone that you love and trust, then there shouldn't be any reason why you can't give life to your fantasies.

Sorry but No

Photosource: Harvey Edwards

There are many ways to dish out rejection. For someone who doesn't want to hurt another person, it isn't an easy task. So we develop mechanisms, tricks and manipulative techniques to let another person down easy without them even realizing they're hearing the big “NO”
Over the years, I've become so good at it… so good that the other party thinks that they're doing me a favour by “letting me go”.

Until today I was convinced that I was the Queen of Rejection, imagine my surprise to discover that someone else does it better than I do!!!
It takes one to know one… I couldn't help but smile as I recognized some of the techniques I've used myself.
Had it been a live show, I would've applauded and the only reason I didn't congratulate the person is because I would've broken down the whole act.

It's really not that hard… first you adopt the see no evil, hear no evil, read no evil concept. That way, what they thought you might've understood, really was supposed to pass you by.
Then you reassure the person that nothing's changed and that everything it has always been, that way they don't feel the weight of having to explain anything to you.
If things get tough, you make sure that you remind them that they can do so much better than you.
Eventually they give up and you're off Scott free.
Nobody hurt.
They can send you a thank-you note when they marry the person of their dreams.

If things happen exactly the way they're supposed to… and you know it… why do they still have the capacity to leave you miserable?

I'm all in favour of preserving people's feelings but there are days I dispense the diplomacy and the “nice” way about it.

Annoyed with myself.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Growing Pains

Photosource: Sunshine - Ushaka Durban 2006

When my brother was born, I imagined myself in the big sister role… first changing his nappy, then defending him against bullies and then one day teaching him about girls.
I still recall the day he smsed me asking me the mechanics of kissing a girl…
At first I jumped off my chair and literally had a fit in trying to figure out how it is that an eleven year old was considering swapping saliva with a girl!!!
I then remember than my first kiss was at ten and decided to calm down. I thanked my lucky stars that he hadn't been present to see my first reaction and decided to deal with the whole novelty with maturity and prudence that a sister should have.
Deciding that perhaps he would feel less comfortable if I called him up, I smsed him back and suggested that he practiced on his hand.
Satisfied with my response, I decided that perhaps being a big sister wasn't all that hard after all… until he smsed me back and asked when the tongue comes in!

After going different shades of red and pulling over a dozen hairs out my head, I finally found the serenity to advise him to take things naturally and let it slip in only when it felt right. Of course I gave him all those useful tips like: don't slobber, don't force, don't exaggerate on movements… right after I knocked my head on the wall a couple of times in imagining my little brother at the beginning life's most complicated discoveries: the opposite sex! At twenty four, I still haven't figured it all out and the way I see it… I was happier when I knew little or nothing about it! Sometimes, I still feel clueless!

I was pretty chuffed when he let me know a couple of days later that the whole tongue thing wasn't very attractive to him… YET… Hehehe, he’ll surely see it differently later in life.

I pride myself in the fact that I've always tried to teach my little brother in how to handle the ladies. Considering his youth, it might be a fruitless thing to do – the kind of thing that goes in the one ear and out the other. However I hold the hope that one or two important things will stick, the kind that will help to understand his woman one day and avoid unnecessary heart ache. Some things I could see he understood, others he simply ignored or took for granted… unfortunately dancing resulted in more bruised toes then successful moves (Although I haven't given up hope on his two left feet yet). During most of the time, I've always felt that he merely listened with the disinterest of a child that hasn't felt his heart beat faster at the sight of a particular skirt.

Eventually it would happen, although I can't say I was prepared considering he blurted it out while we were talking about our dogs. My little baby has fallen for a girl and from the way he tells me things, the feeling has gone beyond the regular crush.

What happened?!! The last time I asked him about a girlfriend he proudly told me that he didn't want to be a bus statistic from girls at his school that compare how many boyfriends each has had… and now suddenly I find out he's been harbouring a soft spot for a particular girl for months!

I ignored the hurt feeling that he's kept the secret from me for so long and decided to give him the best advice possible. I discovered that my little brother is a hopeless romantic that is afraid to show emotion and hasn't the courage to own up to it… In other words: He takes after me!

Damnit! He was supposed to inherit all the good genes! And I don't mean just the good looks and fabulous body; I mean… he wasn't supposed to be softie…
Suddenly guilt kicks in and I wonder if all the secrets I've taught him about the opposite sex hasn't made too much of a good guy out of him…

After two hours of talk my little brother graced me with the best kind of reward a sister can get: a heartfelt thank-you and a I love you.
I however was left with that sinking feeling of someone who knows what kind of road softies travel and the heartbreak that goes with it – I really don't want that for my brother but I can't choose his road for him. I can only be there for him when he falls.
Why did boet also have to be a softie?!

A year ago, someone looked me in the eyes and told me that I was the kind of person that fell fast and hard. I got so angry with the statement that I wanted to throw him out the window.
Partly because I didn't want to accept that like that, partly because I know that I am.
It's hard to catch a heart like mine, but once it's caught – I'm caught hook, line and sinker! I've realized with time that I don't have much choice in the matter but I do have the power to decide what to do with it… if only that were an easy decision! Luckily I've become really good at keeping it in a box.
This year, it occurred to me that it takes one to know one… and that the person only accused me of what he recognizes in himself.

It occurs to me that my little brother is growing up. That he's far more mature than I'd like him to be and that from now on there are things in the world I can't protect him from.
I'm proud of him; I know he's got what it takes to survive… My only prayer is that his soft heart doesn't suffer as much as mine did.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

And Now?

Photosource: Ruben Lopes

We Arians rarely find ourselves backed to a corner.
We know what we want and we have what it takes to go after it.
But every now and then, something happens that wasn't in the plans and suddenly you find yourself up at five in the morning contemplating the very complex question that ever so often creeps into a person's mind:

“Now what do I do?!!!”

Just when you think you know where you're going, the winds of changes throw you off your feet and land you on the other side of the world, disorientating your whole voyage.
It's not like you can easily get back on track…
You first have to discover where you stand before you can decide where to go.
Things get even messier when you realize that where you were going isn't where you want to be anymore.
There are decisions that simply can't be made by flipping a coin.

So now what?!

Sitting at the crossroads I contemplated all those philosophies that I once held strong and one day decided to walk right over…
I hated when dad would say “Never say Never”
He obviously didn't understand my perseverance and determination… or how stubborn I am… but he did know one thing…
There are boundaries that you set for yourself that one day you'll right walk over.
Most boundaries I only tiptoed over, but there were others I trampled right through!
Remembering all the past rules that were broken, I couldn't help but smile…
There are things I'll never do again, there are memories I'll keep forever.
Know the rules well in order to know how and when to break them.
For the right reasons… there are rules worth breaking.

You know you're going to be okay when a smile comes easy, when there's a tune playing in the back of your head and you've once again fallen into the habit of talking to yourself.
You know that life has taken you exactly where you should be, when you find yourself sitting on a curb in the middle of the night, drenched from the rain and laughing on the phone with your best friend about things you'll probably be crying about later.
I don't know where the hell I am or where the hell I'm going but I do know…
I'm exactly where I'm meant to be.

Sitting at the crossroads I contemplate the question that's bothered mankind before even Christ was born:

“Now what?!!!”

Maybe if I say loud enough, the answer will come to me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Beginnings

Photosource: Unknown

I didn´t get any sleep.
I opened my eyes this morning to the warm sunshine pouring through my window but inside my blanket, I was cold. I was empty.

I stopped crying sometime in the middle of the night, but I haven´t been able to stop the tears from running down face. In the back of my head a slow song by Metallica numbs my heart and takes me back to past Chapters.
This morning, I´m once again the Unforgiven.

Everything comes to an end.
I´m not quite sure exactly when you and I saw our end, but paging through your wedding photos, the knowledge that it could´ve lasted longer tears away at me.

If only we´d been less stubborn,
If only we´d bee less proud,
If only we´d had more faith,
If only we´d talked.
Would things have been different?

No regrets.
Life has a way of working out exactly as it should.
I have no doubt in my mind that you married the right girl.
But I can´t help the empty feeling caused when I think about how differently things could´ve been both of our attitudes and decisions had been different.
I guess we truly did need to be older…

I remembered everything last night…
The first day we met, I was five and you were seven… I was sad and you did everything to make me smile., including irritating the living daylights out of me.
Chappies… lummies… trips to the Pick ´n Pay… rollerskates… pillow fights… hot summers and countless hours in the pool.
Wrestling… I knew that I could never beat your physical strength but that never seemed to stop me from trying.
You gave a different meaning to the Word: “Mercy”
There were days I hated you and even on those days; I admired you, looked up to you more than anyone else I knew
God, I wish we´d talked.

I played the songs that remind me of you and recalled the intense moments that will follow me always…
Dunking me in the pool, I fought you the whole week! But on that last evening as we were both getting out the pool, you surprised me by asking me if you could dunk me again… I was tempted to tell you to go to hell.
Maybe it was the way the moon reflected on the water or perhaps it was the way you you looked at me, all I know is that I didn´t fight you.
I put my arms around you as you pulled me under the water… I think we both lost count of how many times we dunked.

That first kiss! – I hadn´t seen that one coming!
I only threatened it because I thought you´d let me free…
I hadn´t counted on the challenge in your eyes,
My lips were only meant to graze yours, so that you knew I meant business…
I didn´t expect that kind of response…
You kissed me with such force and hunger,
My knees went weak, my head began spinning around and if I wasn´t pinned to the cupboard I would´ve slipped through your arms to the floor.
You had strong arms, you didn´t let me fall… I wish we´d held on longer.
My biggest surprise was the reactions you provoked.
I met your heated kiss with my own and shocked myself with my own reactions.
I had no clue how intense things could get.
Till this day, no one´s pushed me further.
God I wish we´d talked.

The photographs are beautiful, though i´d pictured them a little different when I was younger. I know that fate couldn´t have been more right.
I wish you all the love and happiness that I always dreamt for you, even though i´m not the one standing in the picture with you.
Destiny couldn´t have been more right to have written the story as it did. I wish I could´ve told you that in person, it´s just another one of those things we´ll never get to say to each other. Another of those things you´ll never know.

Not everything comes to an end… something´s stay with us always. It´s the good moments I plan to keep in my memory for lonely days like this one.
May your love and happiness see no end.
And may both our dreams be fulfilled with the right person.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Prenda de Natal

“Como vês, não sou mulher de ignorar um desafio… por isso considera este texto a tua prenda de natal antecipada e uma resposta ao teu desafio. Espero bem que tenho estado altura das tuas expectativas…”

PS. Tuga é aquele que se vê nas minhas palavras... este post foi pensado no plural e não para uma pessoa em particular.

E se eu senta-se no teu colo e abraçava-te?
E se eu te fizesse cócegas?
Se eu apenas sorri-se e te disse-se que te adoro?

Ai que transtorno iria te causar!
Tu que não dás ponto sem nó, tu que procuras perceber todos os motivos e razões de ser. Será que algum dia serás capaz de entender o gesto por o que ele é…
Um simples gesto… um mero gesto
De uma pessoa que gosta de outra e lhe apeteceu exprimir o sentimento.

Tadinho do Tuga…
Que foi criado para sobreviver o mundo calculista…
Que sabe que existe uma intenção por de trás de cada acção…
Que entra em cada situação de pé atrás…
Que foi programado para controlar tudo e todos á sua volta...

Beneficio da dúvida?
Isso é para os iludidos!... Aqueles que ainda não bateram vezes suficientes com a cabeça contra a realidade fria e dura para aprenderem que o mundo não é um sitio simpático.

Ai se te esforçasses tanto quanto reclamas!

Tu cansas-me com o teu desgaste de energia desnecessária

Tudo tem que ter motivo…
Tudo tem que ter justificação…
Tudo tem que ter melhor forma de fazer…
Contigo, até respirar tem técnica!

Quero Mais!....

Questionas tudo... pensas demais… falas muito… acreditas pouco.

Ai se eu te pudesse libertar!
Se apenas confiasses em mim…
Soltava-te dos pormenores e voltavas a ver, viver, sentir e amar com o coração de criança…
Sem medos, e com vontade de rir, sorrir e viver!
Passavas a ver o melhor das pessoas…
O melhor da vida…
O melhor de ti…
E ao dar oportunidade aos outros…
…á vida…

Uma oportunidade…
Duas oportunidades…
Mil oportunidades… e as que forem precisas.

Olhas para mim desconfiado…
À primeira achavas-me iludida… ingénua... criança…
Mas algo dentro de ti fala;
Uma voz que conheces vagamente… há tanto tempo que já não a ouves.
As minhas palavras parecem ter algum sentido…
Mas não somam certo!

Não tens a fórmula certa para experimentares estas sugestões...

A tua capacidade de análise não abrange esta lógica.
Não foram assim que te ensinaram!
Sou um perigo… é melhor ficares longe,
Arriscas-te a começar acreditar em histórias que contam ás crianças.

Tadinho do Tuga…
Eu sei que te baralho…
Tu também baralhas-me a mim.
Tento ser como tu no teu mundo, mas sempre que tento, sou infeliz.

Somos criaturas diferentes tu e eu…
Temos muito que aprender um com o outro.
Se pelo menos me amostrasses a tua forma de amar…
Compreendia-te melhor.
Terás interessado em conhecer a minha?
Tu que és egocêntrico e convencido, imagino que acredites que a tua maneira é a melhor e mais correcta!
Que surpresa era a tua de conseguires adormecer nos meus braços sem que os teus pensamentos habituais de perturbam. Puder te entregar sem medos... sem receios...
Será que a nossa forma de exprimir carinho difere tanto?
Será que o meu toque te provocava um sentimento que nunca experimentastes?
Que o meu beijo seja de um sabor diferente aos que já conheces?
Ou será que tudo isso tem mesmo língua universal?

Tuga… tu falas demais.
Não tens a coragem das tuas convicções
E não lutas por aquilo que mais queres da vida.
Mesmo assim…
Acredito em ti.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Picture by Emil Schildt

I'm not South African… and yet I am.
I'm not Madeiran…. And yet I am.
I'm not Portuguese…. And yet I am.
I'm without a doubt, an immigrant.

There are a lot of things the heart doesn't know and should.
One of them is that it's physically impossible to be in two places at the same time. Perhaps if the soul knew this, it wouldn't be so divided when the heart decides to belong in two places.
If home is where the heart is then I'm a citizen of the world…
I belong here, there and nowhere.
I wouldn't say I'm lost, but neither am I found.
It's a constant nagging of the spirit that reminds you that something’s missing; that tells you that you're not where you're supposed to be.
But if you ask your heart where it wants to be, it gives you more than one destination including the place you find yourself in presently.

A Jamaican in New York?
If you want to feel like an alien, try being a South African in Portugal. Or even a Portuguese in South Africa. You'll find that in whichever country you may be in, it's your latter roots that speak to you the strongest.
Wherever you are, your heart pulls to wherever you were and you find yourself only at peace in the belly of an airplane.
Because up in the air, you're neither here nor there… you're in between.

Exactly five years after leaving the country where I'd been raised and educated, I went back. Four weeks… the time given to get reacquainted with my past and to analyze my present. It's been a month since I've been back from South Africa, and I still feel out of place… As if the shoes I wear aren't mine.
As if I am an imposter in my own body.

In South Africa, I looked in the mirror and was Portuguese.
In Portugal, I look in the mirror and I'm South African.
It's the constant pull of a heritage you're not quite sure is yours. The minute you identify more with the one, an inner voice accuses you of betraying the other.

I woke up this morning with the anxiety felt when late for school. Did I remember to iron my shirts for work? Did I fall asleep while I was studying? I have to recheck to see if I have a spare toner in the cupboard….
My head lifts itself off the pillow in an attempt to make sense out of things.
Where am I?
As the images around me come into focus, I notice that it's still dark and that the patterns on my sheets aren't familiar… or are they?
A few more seconds and it hit me… I'm neither in South Africa nor Madeira.
I'm in Lisbon.
Truth is, I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad about it.

During the day, I tell myself to focus more on my grammar in order to improve the Portuguese level I need for varsity. At night, I scold myself for not immediately remembering the English translation for some or other particular word. I panic on catching myself thinking in Portuguese and it breaks my heart that all my brilliant results in the English language have gone to waste.

My South African upbringing tells me to walk into every situation giving the benefit of the doubt, my Portuguese experience tells me to walk into things with one foot back…
It's not wonder, sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy.
I have my Portuguese friends… I have my South African friends…
They don't mix.
It's not a form of racism, they simply don't identify with each other and I identify with both… or do I?

I don't allow my surroundings to influence or dictate my personality.
And yet… lately I ask myself… who is it that I want to be?
If I already am the person I want to be, where do I fit in?
Perhaps I'm not meant to…
Being an immigrant is a culture all on its own.
It implies to live with the longing… of never truly fitting in.

The mind is never at peace when the heart longs for it's other half.

I was challenged to write a post in Portuguese. The challenged part of me wants to try, yet the other half reminds me that this blog was created to honour my “native” language. The language I was educated in, the language in which I think in and the language I don’t want to forget. I've never written a post in Portuguese nor do I have the desire to maintain two separate blogs… I'll have to think about it.

There are days, where the longing is so desperate that it drives me insane and then there are others where I near forget about it.
One a day I nearly went mad, I was grateful for the comfort of a friend that said “You're literally a teammate” it made me realize that I do belong in somewhere, somehow.

As long as I'm this or that, I'm not all things.
Divided, am I still a whole person.
I am who am I am and make no apologies for I wouldn't want to be anyone else.
I may not fit completely in anywhere,
But as long as I'm not defined, it means I can't be catalogued or copied.
I'm comforted by the fact, that I'll always be the person I want to be.
If that makes me the odd one out, it also means I'm an original.
Those that truly care about me know that what makes me deep down who I truly am isn't defined by time, place, distance, age, language or culture…. Those are just the surrounding pieces to the heart of the puzzle.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Let´s Go Fishing

This week’s quote was: “A wise master doesn't educate his student by giving him the answers; a wise master is the one who teaches his student to find the answers within himself.

All too often we give people the answers and the information they need just to find that even so, they don't manage to survive on their own. My father used to tell me that if you want to ensure survival, you can't keep giving a person fish. Instead you give them a rod and send them off to go fishing for themselves.

Every week I'm challenged with the task of teaching and training a group of people in working with their tools of the trade. New options, new services, new applications or simply a refresh of the ones we already have; the idea is to train them to become more efficient at their jobs.
To get information through, as clearly and completely as possible without having a room full of bored or sleeping souls is the weekly mission; and so one learns techniques to keep them interested. This takes inventing and reinventing teaching methods.

This week however, the lesson was given in a completely different way. So different that instead of teaching of the services, the students were given half an hour to research, prepare and teach the lesson to rest of the class. Divided into three groups, each was given a certain aspect of the service to research. Thirty minutes, Online Manual and a box full of paper, pens, glue and assorted stationary… I appealed to their research and to their creativity.

Give a person a pole and tell them to go fish; their next reaction tells you a lot about who they are and what they're capable of….

There were those that merely stared at me in shock; those that dove into the information highway and then there were those that headed straight for the goodies box…
Upon given a task where do you start on your plan of attack?

Having being divided, most members of each group knew little or nothing about each other. There was little time however to build team spirit. I was surprised to see some groups come together by throwing themselves into the challenge… others had to be pushed and nudged into working together.

As the teacher or the trainer, this had to be the most rewarding of classes I'd ever given. Each group needed different kind of support. Some lacked in information, some in creativity and other in just general motivation. Some however needed only more time to put their ideas to flight… these were the groups that inspired me the most even though my true challenge was those that had little or no sense of direction.

Giving the very last lesson of the week, the box of goodies was slightly slimmer and in lacking compared to the first lesson in the beginning of the week and there were those that excused their lack of imagination on lack of utensils.
What is one man's garbage is another man's treasure…
The very last group to present their presentation was without a doubt the most creative of all the groups throughout the week.
They used a piece of cardboard that no other group would touch and made a big cardboard cellphone. Cutting out a screen, they made square screens with the answers to the questions there were given to research. Two members held the cellphone and removed the paper on its screen to reveal the answers. Another member read the questions whilst another read the answers out loud and there was even one more member to go “beep” each time the answer was revealed.
The presentation was a laughing success and had I been grading such kind of effort I'd give the group an eleven out of ten points due to their correct answers, creativity, simplicity and amazing performance of team spirit.

Not only was it a great exercise to stimulate ideas, I'd say I had just as much fun as the students who thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. It got me reflecting a bit more on the subject of teamwork.
Who am I in the team?
Am I the information seeker?
The creative one?
The one who speaks for the group?
The one who encourages the team?
What is my role?
With the 360 degree evaluation coming up, I felt the weight of responsibility on my shoulders as I am to evaluate my own work and the work of my colleagues.

One can take so many conclusions on answering these questions. What I do know for sure is that each week, each time I'm given a group of people to inform, teach or train; I have an opportunity to hand out fishing rods and make a difference. I look forward to the feedback of those who work with me for a better positioning of my place in the team.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Let it Rain...

Drenched!!! From head to toe, my umbrella did nothing to protect me from the sheets of water thrown down from the clouds above me.
All the angels and saints in heaven must be on strike because they've all left their taps running. Instead of dodging puddles, I found myself unsuccessfully looking for any indication of solid surface under the pools of water flowing over Lisbon’s streets and sidewalks.
At first I hurried as fast as I could to avoid getting too wet, but I realized that the battle had been lost when I felt that squishy feeling inside my boots. From that moment on, I slowed my pace to a pleasant walk where I imagined Sinatra proudly clapping at my version of “Singing in the rain”.
The great thing about singing in the rain… is the fact that there isn't a soul around to hear you!
I managed to avoid unwanted spray showers from passing cars by sticking close to the walls, my efforts however, proved very poor as not even my underwear managed to arrive home dry.
It would've been nice to arrive home to a towel and a warm smile that followed with “baby let's dry you up…” but I'm in the least grateful for not being greeted with something like “where the hell have you been”.
I've been spending more time than I should at work. I could blame old obstacles and new challenges or the fact that someone is on holiday but the truth is that I'm there later because I want to be, because there's nothing to come home to.
Watching tiny rivers stream down my window, I contemplated the advice I gave a friend earlier.
Find someone to love and hold on to that person.
Did I really say that? That sounds like something a really old person who’d forgotten what love is all about would say to someone like me.
I know for sure I wasn't trying to blow him off with some general, unfelt and unthought-of answer; so what was I thinking?
Either I'm getting old, or maybe old bags really have something when they say it's as simple as finding someone to love and then holding on…
People invest so little these days… or too much… but mostly too little.
Listening to drip drop song on my window sill, I sit in the darkness drying my hair with a towel and reveling in the warm feeling of dry pyjamas…
Right now, I don't think I'd rather be anywhere else in the world than right here… sitting on my bed, listening to the heavens hum the age old lullaby that guarantees me a peaceful sleep tonight. Perhaps I'll be blessed with sweet dreams… the kind that you wake up from with a stretch and a smile. Either way, I know I'm going to sleep nice.
I don't feel alone even though I'm the only person in the room…
Lately things seem so clear, even when they don't make any sense.
Somewhere along the line I gave up trying to make sense…
I fear it's a phase, though I'm not quite sure I want to climb out of it.
These days, I've given less thought about the things I can't resolve immediately.
I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but it leaves me feeling good about fate and gives me peace of mind…
Like the rain… I love it when it rains, just listen and not think of anything but the falling of the rain… Nothing in the world leaves me feeling more centered or secure.
Let it rain,
Let it fall,
Let it pour cats and dogs and may no spot be left dry as God washes the world with his tears… tears of joy, of sadness and of pure emotion…
Let it Rain.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Not only is this my movie suggestion of the month but it's also the kind of movie that will make you stop and reflect a little about the kind of decisions you'd make should they be possible.

I always said that I'd be a happier person if I could dictate to my heart how it should feel; the way I see it, I'd save myself a hell of a lot of trouble…
I'd never considered though the possibility of forced Amnesia…
Or better yet… Erasure…
The possibility of erasing something or someone from your mind.
Imagine it…
You're happily living the relationship of your dreams when one fine day you accidentally catch your reason for living, screwing your best friend's brains out, a sport he's been entertaining for a while…
It's the kind of knowledge that tears a person a part, drives one to drink and causes the suicides of people who can no longer take the slow procedure of going insane.
Go ahead, picture it and feel it if you can…
The psychological torture.
No matter how long you imagined it; it felt a second too long didn't it?
And yet, this poor sod, who's one in many would have to live with this kind of anguish for days… weeks… months… until finally restoring his mind to some sane shadow of what he normally was before the incident.
But what if you could save yourself from it… forget you ever met that person.
If you could completely erase everything and every memory about them…
If you could… would you?

This question bothered me for the simple reason that it would eliminate the whole concept of “everything happens for a reason” and it would change my whole course of life, how would I learn my lessons if I can't remember them?
Who would I be if I hadn't gone through what I did?... or in this case, remember what I went through?
And then the question that bothered me the most is… if I could wipe my slate clean from only once incident or one person… what or who would I want to forget?

I pondered this for a while and came up with no concrete answers… In my mind I remembered times I wanted to erase and then moments later I'd want to unerase the very same ones.
Maybe I should start with the school bully, or that first boyfriend that went wrong, perhaps I should focus on the ex… or that one heartbreak that shook the very essence of me…
But all those I've already come through and survived to the point where they don't bother me anymore and in realizing that, I came to the conclusion that the person to wipe out should be the one presently taunting my dreams.
He invades my thoughts, steals my concentration and shakes my self-confidence.
A nuisance that neither fulfills destiny nor fades away and when I'm meant to be focused on more important things, I find myself wondering what he'd think about them…
Salvation!!!! Bring on the zapper… the dude in my dreams has got to go!

And yet…
I hesitated when I realized that I'd no longer wake up with that sensation that he's by my side, the smile on awakening from a dream with him and the warm feeling I get inside each time our eyes meet…
When we look at each other that way, I wonder if he's feeling what I'm feeling…
But the phone never rang, the sms didn't come and the e-mail wasn't replied to…
That's the kind of torture I'm talking about! The kind of distraction I don't want or need in my life and the weakness I had to get rid of eventually… so why not straight away?!
I looked for every piece of evidence that linked me to him, every written letter, every photograph and every memory I had of him ready to be lost and disposed of…
I hadn't even realized that I'd collected so much…
Looking myself in the mirror, I smiled with a certain amount of relief that finally all of him would be gone and I'd move on with someone else.
I couldn't help notice however, how calm my heart was taking the whole situation.
Well that's a change! For a stubborn heart you sure aren't putting up much of a fight right now!
My heart however, calmly told me why it had already won the fight.
“You can wipe away the memories; you can take every special moment and destroy it so that it never happened and you can forget that you ever felt attracted to the man…
But I won't forget, I'll never forget the timber of his voice and the depths of his eyes and when you see him for the first time, it will all just start over again because you can't and you won't escape the fate that was written for you”

And with that… I put away foolish thoughts and resigned myself to the fact that I can't control what I feel or go through and it's up to me to choose what I do with whoever and whatever happens in my life.

My heart is right, if the magnetic pull that attracts (or repels) me to a person could be explained then it could also be dealt with… but it can't and it's the emotion that needs to be lived to be understood. If there is such thing as reincarnation then it could explain why two people feel like they know each other forever upon their first encounter.
It's odd to think that I could've lived a thousand different stories with one person and even stranger that I can't remember what they are but I can inexplicably sense that I like/dislike, trust/distrust the person in front of me from the beginning. Is it extrasensory instinct or is my heart remembering a story my mind erased?

Watching this movie, I perfectly understood why God would choose amnesia each time a person reincarnated. How else would they overcome the eggs that can't be unscrambled?
A new beginning? Another chance? Do people keep coming back together until they've fulfilled their destiny and if so… why?
Have you ever watched someone walk away and felt totally at ease? I've been told that one tends to feel an overwhelming sense of relief at that moment, like an invisible chain is broken… karma they call it, the death of karma.
And then there are those who take your heart with as they leave and you know, that even though you may never see them again, the resolve is far from over.

I'm glad that Erasure as I've baptized it; isn't possible.
It would be a very tempting option to have to deny.
I believe in climbing over my obstacles instead of under them even if it takes longer than I'd like… as the song from the movie itself suggests;
“Everybody’s gotta learn sometime…”

What would you want to erase?
Would you ever erase me?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hook Got Your Tongue?!

Have you ever listened to someone that spoke to you with an admirable passion just to realize that it's all bullshit?!
Your first reaction is to think that they’d make a great politicians considering that it's all talk and very little or no action. The blame is always elsewhere and although they know all the solutions, they advance with none.
Their eyes water, their lips twitch and all through their criticizing, you stare at them incredulously and pray to all the saints in the heavens that they would just stop and listen to themselves!

There are people so self-centered in the world that they simply can't see past their own belly buttons. They can't fathom why the world can't see their suffering due to the fact that things don't go their way and for some unquestionable reason, the world is to behave as they see fit and owe them the living they imagine themselves worthy of having.

I recently read a piece where the writer sordidly criticized the behaviour of another person for being childish. The person was accused of being immature, defensive and intently decided on “not growing up”. There were no examples given of the person's behaviour to justify such classification and the writer somehow still revealed that when asked why he had given the person a nickname with an immature connotation, the writer “cleverly managed to not answer the question”.
Gee that shows a hell of a lot of maturity!
In order to guard the identity and integrity of the writer at cause, I've decided not to point out the facts which indicate why he should be the last person to label anyone immature.
However, I would like to share my general point of view directed at anyone who thinks they're good enough to judge another person…

There's an old Portuguese saying that says: May he with the house of glass throw the first stone. Considering the basic concept that no one is perfect, what gives you the right to label someone for their faults?
People are not objects that can be label and catalogued!
If a person has a reading disorder it doesn't necessarily mean that they're retarded.
If a person has had bad luck with the partners they’ve chosen doesn't necessarily mean that they're “A sucker for punishment”
If a person believes in their dreams, it doesn't particularly mean that they haven't grown up!

In my opinion, a person who judges, labels and catalogues is a person with no perspective or consideration for his fellow man.
Just because you don't agree with a person's behaviour doesn't give you the right to classify them for it.
Its one thing to criticize behaviour and another to label the person for it; and in order to correctly criticize a person's behaviour, it helps to know all the facts and reasons behind it… otherwise it's nothing more than hot air.

Do people not look themselves in the mirror anymore? Gee whiz! It's already such a bloody mission keeping track of what to better in ourselves to go around playing Judge and Jury!

The way I see it, courage is a sign of maturity. When a person comes up to you and directly asks you why you've given them a particular nickname it's because they're interested in the reasons and intend on reflecting on them.
Cowardice is a sign of immaturity, to dodge a question as not to have to answer truthfully is clear indication of a person who doesn't have the courage of his convictions.

If you talk the talk then you better bloody well walk the walk!
I read somewhere recently that a true master first does what he believes in before preaching it. So if you can't take responsibility for the things you say, be wise enough not to say or in this case… write them.

That some people get away with playing eternal victims and then still have the cheek to point fingers at other people who are doing the best they can.

A critic is a legless man that teaches running.

My advice to Peter Pan is not to worry about her reputation. Worry instead about your character because your reputation is only who other people think you are whilst your character is who you truly are.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lost and Found

Photo Source: Unknown

I left my heart in South Africa, I lost my strength in Paris and my mind is wandering somewhere in Portugal… where exactly I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that it's between work and university.
Where is my soul… shhhh!!!!
Don't call her… she doesn't want to be found.
She’s lost and doesn't know where she is,
She doesn't know where she wants to go…
And in this doubt, she’s in bliss.
Eternally divided between desires, dreams, wishes and responsibilities.
She doesn't feel like deciding right now.
Ahead of her is Love, Hurt and Struggle… none of which she’s ready to embrace.
She hasn't decided whether she’ll smile or cry first…
Let her be.
She’ll sit on her bum and watch the world go past whilst building the strength to pick herself up again.
She doesn't need your help, she just needs time.

Forgive me my friends for not writing sooner… I promise to make up for lost time the minute it becomes mine again.

Song Suggestion – Lost (Anouk)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sunshine´s Six


Sunshine has been put to the challenge and those who know me; know all too well that I've never been one to back down from one… And the challenge is:
6 words that describe the author of this column… me.
As my challenger himself had said… it's not an easy task, for who could sum up a person or a lifetime in only 6 words? For someone who lives for the mere experience of living… this definitely wasn't an easy one… however, here goes my answer to the challenge and a thank-you to the person who put me up to it; it certainly reminded me of who I am and how far I've come:

It's not only a nickname but my way of being. I was given the nickname because my spirit is radiant. I infect the people around me with good humour and good vibes. I make it my sole mission to get people to smile deep enough to reach their hearts. You might not see me on a dark night… but I'm the star waiting to bring in the morning, to warm up souls and dry the tears.

Majestic, powerful and comforting… I love the sea. This is where I go to recharge my batteries, to heal my hurts or just to be. I love water, I love being near water and in water. When happy I splash it with joy, when I'm sad it collects my tears… when I'm angry it lets me work my frustrations until I've vented them all out in each stroke that I swim.

Music & Dance
My remedy, my saviour, my soul… I can't live without music. It's the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I switch off at night. To feel the music soothe, move your body, take over your soul and speak to your heart. I consider dancing and music as one because I believe they go hand in hand – you shouldn't have one without the other.

Because there's no justification in a lie… because the truth always surfaces and because a lie destroys lives and people. Hypocrisy, manipulation… it's all different forms of lying. Why can't people just tell the truth or keep quiet, it's a hell of a lot easier, it keeps you honest and gives you dignity.

If you believe… then anything is possible. Believe in yourself, believe in your work, and believe that whatever happens, it happens for a reason. Greater than courage, stronger than determination and wiser than perseverance is the hope and the faith that a person invests in everything they do. I'm a believer.

There's not a soul on this planet that can live without it. What good is any life if you don't have someone to share it with? Someone to bare witness? Someone that you can turn to and say “Did you see that?!”. Over the years I've met a lot of people, made amazing friends and had the time of my life at family events. I've loved and been loved in return and I live in the belief that all you need in life is love to be a happy person. I am.

I live by the moment, for the moment. Every moment is to be appreciated and recorded to be played back on rainy days or reunions. To make the moment count – to live it to it's fullest. To laugh, to cry, to sing, love and rejoice… the moments of life are like the paragraphs in a book, the scenes in the plays or the chorus of a song, either or you make something of it or it passes you by.

Yikes… and that's it folks. I do believe I stood well up to my challenge… as for the words that are missing… let's just say that there's a piece of me in everything I do. Candles, Smiles, Angels, Laughter, Independence, Friendship… there are so many more, you can find them in all my other posts.