The way of the menhir

I have touched the silent menhirs in Carnac, Brittany several years ago and I left with more questions than I came with.

I needed to try my hand again, in Portugal, just outside the beautiful Evora, where the Almendres form one of the most interesting megalithic monuments on the Iberian Peninsula.

I rushed my pace to get to the stones, up the narrow, tormented path, until I thought I heard a whisper…

…ever so soft, almost as if someone was getting ready to say something.

There was no wind. But when I looked around, something fell into place, when my eyes began to delight in the details at the side of the road.

So I spent about one hour on a 15 minutes walk and remember every second…

That soft voice must have been a better self, trying to teach me… Where was I rushing to? The stones had been there for thousands of years, they were not going anywhere and their stories were outside themselves.

They just drew the stories strongly towards them, with their mysterious apparent silence.

But they are shouting for those who can hear: “on the way to the menhir, it is the road, not the destination.”

Instant perspective of heterotopias of time

Airports can be such a contrasting combinations. On one side, they are cold, characterless warehouses, with no soul – we never spend enough time there to leave too much of ourselves.

In the same time, they can be nests of spiritual gatherings, hosting such a diversity of humans with all the hopes they carry while inhabiting them.

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And if you start paying attention at the people queuing at the security control, most of us are walking like in a trance, maybe even some kind of meditation. And when you start listening to some of the things people say, you might just get an instant perspective of the beauty of the human mind –

…it’s like putting your life back again,” says a man giving me a smile while he is gathering his belongings after passing through the security machine.
…we have to die so new little people can grow again, right mamy?” A small little girl says while pulling at a large briefcase towards the conveyor belt.

…if you are to choose only five words to define you, what would those be?” The dark-haired girl asks her boyfriend while he is taking his computer out of his bag to put it in the tray. He looks at her and asks her if she took out her toiletries bag. She smiles.

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Are airports heterotopias of time? Can we connect better with each other if we rationalize that we are constantly in an airport?

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Escaping reality in reality

There is something comforting about hotel lobbies. Like being in front of a portal to a world where you are simply a guest. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA No commitments, no expectations, no definite plans. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I am here just for a while, I don’t need to own this place to enjoy it. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I take in the scent of overpowering restroom airfreshners – which I would never use at home – and I vibrate with  the expectations of discovering the place. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Why do I feel so good about this blissful uncertainty and change completely once the holiday is over? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Our whole lives are temporary stop-overs in places we call ‘homes’. Do we really enjoy them better because we give them a permanent status? Because they are full of stuff we call ‘our own?’

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Or we need our homes to have something to escape from? Or it’s me, a constant escapist, somewhere over the rainbow when I’m not behind a photograph? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Je Suis Charlie: A thank you to all my diverse selves, wherever you are out there

It’s no coincidence that I have been reading “Tomorrow’s God” by Neale Donald Walsch when the events in Paris happened.

And even though Walsch says that any act of violence is a cry for help, is so hard to look at the attackers and admit that they are merely the embodiment of our collective failures in how we treat one another. Hundreds of years of bowing to fictional descriptions of a series of Gods who are continually separating us from one another. It was such a tough mirror to face.

So, like never before, I was so proud to be a human being when people gathered in Paris and other cities of the world, showing that Life, above all, is what we treasure most and what unites us all.

Many humble thanks go to everyone who was out there on the streets marching on behalf of Life today. With your permission, from the wild northwest of Donegal where I am now, I would like to call you all my different other selves and join in your diversity and solidarity.

100_6017Tomorrow’s God does not require anyone to believe in God.” N.D. Walsch

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Tomorrow’s God is separate from nothing, but is everywhere present, the All in All, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the sum total of everything that ever was, is now and ever shall be.” N.D. Walsch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow’s God is without gender, size, shape, color or any of the characteristics o an individual living being.” N.D. Walsch

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow’s God talks to everyone all the time.” N.D. Walsch

self assurance

Tomorrow’s God is not a singular Super Being, but the extraordinary process called Life.” N.D. Walsch

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Conversations during Afternoon Tea

I believe the initial idea of the afternoon tea was to feed the hunger and satisfy the thirst of those who were too passionate to converse, to stop the flow of ideas….

Historic ambiance of Brown's Hotel, London
Historic ambiance of Brown’s Hotel, London

…writing and how a forgotten red scarf on a chair can tell a story…

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Contemporary chic Corinthia Hotel London

… time passing and how sometimes the memories of smell and taste overwhelm those of faces…

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Contemporary chic Corinthia Hotel London

… should a scone have a crusty top or be more like a brioche?

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Historic ambiance of Brown’s Hotel, London

… art nouveau and how some places are like a magnet for our romantic fantasies…

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The Ritz Hotel of London

… chocolate and love and how the simple thought of the separating them is hard to imagine…

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The Ritz Hotel London

Digging for Dracula

columbiahillen:

Met this passionate and talented photographer recently in Dublin and I am glad to share one of his posts.

Originally posted on Ed Mooney Photography:

Digging for Dracua (limited Edition) Digging for Dracua (limited Edition)

For my final instalment with a horror theme for this year, I find it quite poignant that my journey ends not only with the Bram Stoker Festival but also with an insight into another’s adventure, in search of the elusive character that many believe was the basis for Bram Stokers Count Dracula. It all stated some weeks ago after writing an article on Bram Stoker for this blog. I was contacted by a fellow Photographer/Blogger Columbia Hillen. To cut a long story short I was kindly invited to attend a lecture given by her Husband John in the Mansion House.  Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland John Sean Hillen is a seasoned journalist & editor with more than 30 years’ experience, working for various media organisations. During the course of his career he has covered many of the world’s hotspots, from the Troubles of Northern Ireland…

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