The Eloquent Garden

The garden you create or dream of creating is a mirror of yourself

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Getting Lost, finding yourself, midnight plane snack-bars and duels for Papagajka Perks

IMG0137AI take a long trip, three flights in 34 hours, gloriously in defiance of gravity.

I discover Thai Airways now have adjustable-height foot rests that I can tip gently back and forward to keep that circulation moving. This is very comforting since I’m a fanatic avoider of DVT. I’ve got such a stash of anti DVT stockings, I expect anyday to be contacted by a TV show that feature Famous Collectors.

Watching ‘The Devil wears Prada’ for some extreme fashion tips completes my flying pleasure. Listening to ‘Flight of the Conchords’ just seems so right.

And reading matter ‘How to Kill Your Husband and other handy household tips’  (Attention: Potential Husbands, this was put in by someone else. Possibly the so-called deity who’s just seeing how far he take the limits of ridiculousness in my romances. Extreme Romance, is that an Olympic Sport?)

If the plane goes down, this book’s perfect for your Last Moments, such a soothing shade of Pink.

Then I discover! As if all these entertainments aren’t enough, now I can check ‘yes’ to “do you want to be available to chat to other passengers?’ Gosh!

Am I the kind of person who talks  to strangers? Am I that person? Am I losing myself, already, after leaving Australia for only five hours?

What then? Perhaps meetup and discovery of a common DVT phobia? Then finding this common ground, unhampered, uninhibited access to the midnight snack bar with another consenting adult?

You know about the Midnight  Snack Bar, yes? Late at night, the Flight Attendants are fed up and resting Somewhere at peace from audacious requests. Hopeful of maintaining satisfaction, they leave creative snacks out for those passengers unable, or unwilling, to sleep. Not everyone knows about this. Good place to swap tips on anti DVT exercises.

When we put ourselves in a different country, a different world, do we lose ourselves? Explore being someone else – try out new ways of being? Free of the usual encumbrances to be serious, funny, responsible, extreme.

I remember after my Daughter left home, went to live in Sydney. She said it was interesting seeing herself through the eyes of people who hadn’t known her all her life. Through the eyes of people she hadn’t grown up with or gone to school with. In a way she lost herself, left herself behind to begin to discover who she was.

And now, she’s in Sarajevo. Seeing herself, and the films she makes, through the eyes of people who speak another Language. Through the eyes of her fellow-students, this group of talented filmmakers and documentary makers from many countries – Spain, France, UK, America, Portugal, Singapore. Through the eyes of her mentor, Bela Tarr at Film Factory

Are her films autobiographical, I ask? Ways of seeing herself through her imagination?  She smiles. ‘There’s a little bit of many people  in my films.’ Her first Feature film ‘Papagajka” a psychological thriller, to be made next January, is about a woman who finds herself disoriented, in Sarajevo. As she comes to, she gradually takes on the life of someone else. There’s more. It’ll take you aback!

Rebecca Solnit has an article “A field guide to getting lost’ in Brain Pickings. She says “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark.’ And, “Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction. And it is somewhere in the terra-incognita in between lies a life of discovery.”

I spend three amazing weeks in Sarajevo. I see myself through the eyes of my Daughter. I see her through new eyes.

I lose myself in the culture, the sounds, the intensity, the mystery, the wonder of this brave, rose-filled country. I experience the unknown, or at least a small glimpse of it possible in such a short time. Sarajevo, Bosnia has such a long history, it would take much time there to know it.IMG0005A

I find myself there, too. I find possibilities. New pleasures. New friends. Imagine meeting a quantity surveyor from Melbourne, as I stare up at the gorgeousness of the newly renovated Town Hall. A  place of destruction and the burning of over 20,000 books during the siege of 1992-96. He was riding a bike all around Europe for three months, in Sarajevo. Discovering himself, perhaps? His friends seeing him in a different light as he sent home stories and photos.

I discover the smells of incense, like no other incense I’ve ever experienced, while walking up the amazing glass stairs beside the Synagogue. The pine scent of the sauna, clean pool smell, where I meet my Daughter for a swim, every day after she does her quota of writing her new script.P1050512

I discover I love the meditation, the  inspiration of swimming.

I bring that self home with me. I find a Gym here where I can swim and sauna. Yes in Brisbane, where it’s not even Summer, yet is very hot. Am I mad, or just renewed? Taken back to my Sarajevo self, that self visiting my Daughter.

A blog I’ve long followed is  Bucket List Publications, by a young woman who loves to travel the world.

I love that blog, not so much for the extreme of things she does, but for the feelings she has about her travels. Recently she wrote about the letters she gets and all the  different ways people see her for what she does, and doesn’t do. She’s criticised for traveling with her child. For leaving her at home. For traveling with her husband. For leaving him at home. It’s as if she’s two different people.

I’m back home now. The person I found, swims a lot, does a lot of yoga. Chats with strangers in steamy saunas. Is single. Sits in groovy coffee shops writing blogs. Does holiday things every day.  Smiles as though she’s on holiday. Plans to be in Albania in 2015. Leaves the door open for possibilities.

I help my Daughter promote her Campaign to get her Film Made. It’s an Indiegogo one  j.mp/1tAEIOD #PapagajkaFilm

Go on over to look now. Do something different. When  you donate even a small amount, that’ll help make her film. And you’ll be part of that. Your name on the Credits.

The Perks are one-of-a-kind, groovy ….a handwritten cocktail book invented from Bosnian spirits, especially for the post-shoot Cast party. You, drinking the cocktails at the Cast Party! Film props, custom decks of cards the Characters play with in the Film. Signed DVDs and postcards from famous filmmakers, A character named after you. The chance to be someone else.

Gosh you could even get together a group to go for the Extreme Reward, ‘Producer Party Perks’. Groovy! Party at Cannes with Emma, the DIrector, herself! See her do the famous Happy Dance.

You could all put together the money, then duel to decide who actually goes with her! (Tights obligatory!)

Come on, Antonio Banderas, rally a few close friends – maybe Simon Baker, Guy Pearce, Nicole Kidman, The Hemsworth brothers – just a suggestion…..

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Chaos Rose – The Flower of the Rose Blooms in profusion in the World of Chaos

Blooming in profusion in a world of chaos – it is the Chaos Rose.

Roses have a language universal.

5 I arrive in Bosnia to visit my Daughter and to welcome me, she has sweetly placed a vase with a posy of red Roses and mint in lilac flower, in my room.

I look from the balcony of her house next morning  –  yellow roses arch to the top story, Blackberry canes heavy with ripe fruit, a green and lilac understory of  mint .

I walk this ancient city of Sarajevo and see gardens and balconies filled with roses and ivy geraniums.

Lives slightly glimpsed through windows and doorways partly hidden by cascading ivy and roses.

 

I see the “Roses of Sarajevo’, on streets where reddish resin fills mortar scars.

I see beside the streets the many, many little white gravestones of the men, women and children, who died in this invasion.

I visit the art display, “Genocide of the Bosnians 1992-1995′  painted by Dr Mevludin Ekmecic.SarajevoRose

There are Rose bushes amongst the part-ruins of the bombed Morica Han Caravanserai,    where traders and their horses could stay.

Who knows what those Roses have seen amongst the chaos of those times?

And yet, I see in close proximity, Jewish Mosques, Greek Orthodox Churches, all day hear the blended sounds of Catholic bells, Muslim call to Prayer.

 

In the Caravanserai and the Old City area, people have stalls and shops with unique locally made art and jewellery.

I buy handpainted scenes of Sarajevo and am drawn irresistibly to a brass filigree-framed gold-orange worded picture  from “Art Denici”.

A painted butterfly bracelet in brass from ‘Egoist’ for a friends daughter. Handsewn glittery table mats for a friend who adores a sequin-overdose.

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I see elderly ladies on footpaths, selling small treasures. Posies of homegrown flowers, roses, zinnias, mushrooms, beans, mysterious root vegetables. Amazingly, fruit massed with bees attracted by the super sweetness of the fruit.

Men with tiny stalls selling everything from corn on cob, to secondhand shoes and clothes and honey.

People living on their own resources.

 

In the country, huge pumpkins, garlic ropes, tomatoes deep red from the richness of the soil.

My Daughter and I wander the streets of Stolac, see huge pumpkins, take hot Chocolate while feeling the spray from the waterfall.

We walk along the river flowing under houses from Ottoman times, see giant pumpkins, buildings now completely colonised by plants and trees. Curious schoolboys ask shy questions, then give us chestnuts for the ducks.

And everywhere the  Rose. It blooms in profusion amongst the signs of chaos, the beauty, the history and wonder of this lovely, mysterious, intense, relaxing, country.

 

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They say to drink from the Fountain in the Old Town means that you will return.

On the last day in Sarajevo, I admire more roses in a garden.

The Woman whose garden it is,  has a few English words and I have only a few Bosnian words. Therefore, we must use the Language of Flowers.

“Hvala’. Yes, she understands. Signs me to wait. She cuts three roses, red, yellow, apricot and hands them to me. We smile. I take the roses and inhale deeply. ‘Hvala.’

I give the roses to my Daughter as I leave Sarajevo that day.

Sri Chinmoy says ‘when we offer a rose to someone, the beauty and fragrance secretly stay with us.’

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The roses of Sarajevo stay with me.

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