I’ll assume you’re glad to see me :-) but want to know where I’ve been?
I gave myself permission to take a blogging-break far from the madding crowd to reconnect with the peace, acceptance and happiness from living in the *now* that I discovered in Spain.
Have you ever been in the company of someone who really-truly lives in present moment awareness?
I feel very fortunate that I met Mathew B [below] last year. After spending more than a decade meditating at an isolated mountain Ashram in India, he wasn’t distracted by any internal chattering, or the people around us at the party where we met, but could instantly focus on the *now* of our conversation.
It was humbling and inspiring.
Being present means paying attention to the now, without thinking of the past, projecting yourself into the future, analyzing what’s happening or wondering what could happen. It’s just being there.
When I walked along the Camino far from the stresses of grid-locked traffic, constant communication, and any obligations, all I had to do to get to the present moment was listen to my breathing as I put one foot in front of the other, and once my mind stopped wandering the warmth from the sun would fill my soul with happiness, and the world seemed brighter.
I’ve spent many hours during these past few months tramping around Southern California with my wandering mind. I highly recommend the services of my personal trainer, Signor Monty-Carlo, and not only because I’m able to fit into my favorite jeans, but he’s taught me that it’s okay to spend a day silently walking barefoot on a beach with no expectations other than being there, and if he wants to investigate any of the messages left by others I’ve learned to enjoy the moment with him: when he sniffs, I breathe.
My one frustration is I can’t yet speak his language. Any advice?
While I’ve been off-line, my blog hasn’t entirely gone to sleep – our posts are always “out there” – and buried in the middle of the spam I’ve had two interesting visitors:
When we were in South Africa in 2011 I took this photo, and without knowing anything about Ted Grant (I assumed he was South African) I used it in a post where I explained it’s easier to photograph signs than people.
Dr Ted Grant found the photo on my blog earlier this year. He’s a Canadian photojournalist who lives in British Columbia:
Your photograph is of a quotation of mine I used in lectures many years ago while I was chasing about the world as a photojournalist. I was never in South Africa, and that makes it an even greater mystery!
There is a biography being published later this year covering my 60 years as a photojournalist. If possible might you send me any details you may have about the tablet? These will be passed onto the National Archives of Canada who have a personal collection of my photography in the number of 280,000 images. And our National Gallery have another 100,000.
The largest collection by a single photographer in the history of Canada. [Wow!]
Thanks to sleuthing help from my friend Linda S, I was able to tell him his quotation is on the floor of a mall in Johannesburg i.e. “in the Rosebank zone, at the north entrance to Woolworths”.
If you walk the Camino you’ll see this memorial to Myra Brennan about twenty kilometers from Santiago de Compostela.
I used the photo last year in a post about Spain, without being able to find anything on the internet about Myra Brennan or Bridget F.
Two months ago Bridget F found my blog! The internet is mind-boggling.
Submitted on 2013/08/30 at 11:34 am
Greetings from Ireland and Kilkenny,
I am the Bridget F who put a plaque up to my dear pal Myra Breenan in 2008. No she was not in pain, while her postmortem said she had a tumor which had not yet presented itself. She died as she lived, full of life and fun. She and I loved the outdoors together.
Twas a shock, but for Myra, way to go in beautiful Santiago having finished her Camino.
I completed the French Camino this year marking her 10th anniversary But (Accidentally!! as if – doing a 26km night walk on that very night she passed on – with 10 other crazy lunes under a full moon from Carrion de las condes.. She lives on the Camino.
God bless all Camino minded folk
Bridget F 30th/08/13
I wouldn’t know how to begin trying to explain this to someone like my father who died almost thirty years ago. He’d think it implausible that a woman in Ireland, and a man in Canada were able to find my vacation photographs in my “journal” (which I call Wondering Rose) while in their own homes, and without using the Postal Service.
Does this post mean I’ll be blogging regularly again?
I’m not going to stop blogging, but for the near future I’ll only be posting now and then.
While it’s not possible for me to meditate at a remote retreat to reach deeper levels of inner-calm like Mathew, I feel I’ve made a darn good start in getting my thinking mind to shut-up, and I’m not going to go back to the frantic multi-tasking person I was last spring. I can’t.
I left my computer at home during our vacation in Northern California last week, which meant I wasn’t distracted by electronic devices and could stay in the *now* enjoying each moment of Max and Melanie’s wedding, the farm where we stayed, and our strenuous hike along the Blue-ridge trail overlooking Lake Berryessa.
Synchronicity? As if I needed confirmation that I’m on the right track wanting to spend time outside with my personal trainer I just discovered a book [which I still have to read and will report back once I do] called Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality in which the authors Eva Selhub, MD, and Alan Logan N.D. explain how important it is to detox from IT overload with the healing effects of nature:
Scientific studies have shown that walking in nature has been associated with heightened physical and mental energy.