Life is beautiful

This is my story of 2018. My story of connecting, reconnecting, welcoming & parting.
This is the past years through the eye of this beholder; my humble contribution to the world’s vast collection of imagery.

This is my everyday life. My simple tale of small adventures, close to home & close to heart.
This is the shared intimacy of family; the familiarity of a smile, a scent & a gesture. The thin line between what we share, what we think we share and what we can’t help but share.

This is my beautiful, colorful & fortunate life, stripped down to its bare essentials. Stripped of words, meaning or context.

This is my story & this is me sharing it with you.

Wishing you all a beautiful & unforgettable 2019!

The Cutting Room Floor (2017) – B&W

 After a month of grey winter weather, it’s no wonder that I feel in the mood to share a couple of this year’s loveliest black & white photos with you; photos that never made it to the blog before, but which deserved an audience all the same. And don’t worry; tomorrow the colorful version of my annual cutting room floor images will be online, to truly brighten your day!

Goodbye September

Goodbye September, with your bright blue skies, uncharacteristically warmth temperatures & your incredible high spirits. You were a holiday, a gift; a getaway from life as it tends to be. You brought me arms full of freedom, legs full of miles & a head full of refreshed dreams. And all I can say to you is: thank you!

Goodbye beautiful September, what a lovely time we had together. So much sunlight, so much air to breath, so many adventures to go on & so many hours to spend exploring the world and my place in it. There was nature everywhere. There was the mesmerizing sea; the cold water stinging, the waves rolling in. Like a child, stretching my arms, trying to catch a ride to shore. There were the wide, empty beaches; there were unexplored possibilities in every direction, there were tracks to follow & there were seagulls going their own way. There was sand, grass & wind. There were birds, like great white clouds, sailing away from me. There were seashells in my hand, there were ships on the horizon, colourful parasols creating shade where needed. There were fields filled with flowers, curious goats at lunch, evenings to stay out & mornings to have breakfast at the break at dawn. The sun turned my skin a golden brown, white feet where my socks used to be.
Days passed. Sunny days. I followed my sand covered shoes around. Sometimes walking, sometimes peddling, sometimes resting in the spaces between. I read books, experimented in the kitchen, happily celebrated new life on the way. I was filled with joy, then filled with doubts. Conversations drifted in & out of me. A head full of things to say, I found words for some things, unexpected silence for others. I thought of all the possible things I said & all the possible things I should have said. I felt happiness & it was large as life itself. I felt both pride & regret. I remembered all the lessons I learned along the way, only to forget them moments later. And through it all, I think I was growing somehow; growing up as well as down.

Goodbye September, goodbye to your never-ending tale of human sorrow. Summer is come & gone and some of us are still waiting in vain. Waiting at borders, waiting in between the rubble which once was a city, waiting for aid, a solution or simply waiting for some compassion. Waiting for this world to become a better place, a safe haven for all & not just for a selected few. As I lived out the days of my incredible life, old & new stories sprang to life all around me. People stood gathered, remembering & mourning. Committees were assembled, summits took place, citizens from far and wide took to the streets & demanded a little bit of everything for everyone. It was good, it was brave, it was the best they could do, while I sat & wondered whether it would ever be enough.

Goodbye dear September, our time to part has come. October is waiting. Autumn is setting in. Leafs are falling. The months ahead will carefully wash the traces of this past summer from my skin. But even as I turn a lighter shade of pale, I won’t forget you, nor the colourful days you brought me. Thank you, sweet September. Thank you for all the time you gave me. All the sleep & all the waking hours. Thank you for the seaside, for the fields, the forest & the cool canopy of its trees. Thank you for the safe travels, the memories made & the promise of moments to come. And more than anything, thank you for granting me the time & space to reinvent my ‘extra’ordinary life, just in time for the holiday to end. Take care & I hope we’ll meet again…

Love, Naomi

Book: I read two Nicci French novels (my guilty holiday-pleasure:), called ‘Blue Monday’ & ‘Tuesday’s gone.
And I read a beautiful little book called ‘For one more day’, written by Mitch Albom. It’s a great story about a son who gets to spend one last day with his deceased mother; beautifully written & great food for thought.
Series: E.R, still:)
Songs of the month:
The promise – Tracy Chapman
Motherland – Natalie Merchant
We must be crazy – Milow
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye – Leonard cohen
Take me home – Jack Savoretti

Again….

Last February, I posted a blog about three hundred boat refugees who drowned out at sea. Around that time, news items about all these desperate people out at sea, trying to reach European shores, were only just reaching our living rooms for the first time. These were short stories, easy to miss; none of them preparing us for the immense scale of human suffering still to come.

Today, I would like to share my old blogpost with you again. Because, unfortunately, today it tells as accurate a story as it did back in February. It has remained & will stay a current affair for much longer than I wish it would. And while there is little I can do, I can try to do what I can, by giving voice to the sadness & the frustration that I feel as a fellow human being.

Below, you find the poem I wrote back then & if you wish to read the entire blogpost, simply click here.

Drowning out at sea

My desperate voyage of death
is coming to an end
with hope and land in sight
I must admit
I amount to nothing
but a nameless, homeless number

Sailing unforgiving seas
surrounded by
these sinking ships of hope
it is my burden
to find demise
wherever I seek freedom

I don’t do it lightly
but I will abandon ship
for the captain is long gone
throwing hands full of faith
from the deck into my eyes
on his long way down

And so,
my desperate voyage of death
is coming to an end
as I surrender to
the wide skies above
and the wild seas below