Ambling Around Andorra

 

Photos by Tessa Mythos

 

The giant white bull in the middle of the way says that taking a break from deliriously snaking up the unlit back-roads is a good decision to make right now. That portable stove is handy for a coffee in the sticks after hours in the dark going up. The hair-pin hills are growing into wild mountains. The sun has hit the floor and the foot has hit the pedal in a bid to reach the top before the break of dawn. Motion sickness yields to the will behind the wheel – ready for its turn to take the driver for a spin, when they finally come around the last bend. Focus is a friend in the tired face of fear.

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Waiting in Wien

Why would you want to while away a week in Vienna when the whole wide world is waiting..?

 

Photos by Tessa Mythos

 

 

Those thrift shop trouser you got two countries ago, are still too long. The Eastern tailor at the bottom of Rennweg can fix it for Friday, he promises. He measures you deftly and questions you about your nation’s glorious economy. “40 years ago Wien was wunderbar, now it is ein Katastrofe!”, he sighs as he charges you a 10’er for his services. They include some lengthy lamentations: Rent is through the roof. Wages are a joke. Insurance is unreasonable. Police are targeting him in traffic. You untangle yourself from the harsh realities of his life and hit the street hungrily with a rumbling unease.

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You are welcome in Vienna if you can get past the palace gates

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Tribute To A True Friend

I wrote this piece for a beautiful friend of mine who recently chose to end her life. I met her in Golden Bay on my first journey to New Zealand, and it was friendship at first sight. Cheyenne had a troubled background, and growing up she suffered severe trauma and abuse. Despite these hard odds, she was an inspiration and a joy to be around and I am honored to have known her. This is my tribute to a brief but powerful friendship that etched a strong impression in my being…

I could tell straight away that she was on a journey of sorts. Outside the nightclub, the fireplace in the cosy yard had caught her full attention. All around us carefree people were laughing and drinking, but as she sat on the ground and stared down the flames, her face was grave, with a strange hint of awe. I was a stranger in town and took my beer in a corner, observing the scene in silence. Suddenly she caught my eyes and fixed me with the most intense stare – piercingly hard and straight through me – yet it wasn’t aggressive but somehow almost pleading. Unusual. I could only return her gaze in hypnotic surprise. She was in a cosmic state of mind and seemed to be navigating a particularly rough patch of universe just then. A solitary psychonaut making her way home through a soulful storm.

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Samples Of The South Sea Soul

Traveling to less privileged countries where you don’t speak the language, many tend to disregard that culture as inferior to their own. Of course, once you penetrate the soul of the place you realize that the locals are every bit as deep and every bit as human as yourself. Reading the literature there is usually a good indication for understanding what goes in the local hearts and minds. The other day, I was lucky to find a Tongan poetry collection translated into English and I wish to share these great 3 samples with you…

 

 

A Poem

 

The children sleep blanketed in their skins

Close to the hairy fibre of their long chasing dreams

And I who watch to note such passing things

Know that that which is may be what merely seems

 

Like silken textures coarsened dark from light

The sleep of children curls and unfurls with change–

          which is my plight:

Even as I resist or welcome sleep, blanketed in skin

There is a hairy waking to what lies within

 

                    Leialoha Apo Perkins

 

Now where did that image go?

Imagine sailing for many hours in the vast Pacific Ocean when suddenly you see birds, and waves breaking differently, indicating land nearby. And then you arrive at this little bump which you can walk around leisurely in about 8 minutes!

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A Wide Open Weekend

 

Follow me on my first trip into the arid heart of Australia as I get my brains blown out at a small big festival and spit a doctor in the face before I finally understand what race an Australian doof’er belongs to…

 

THE REDHEADS MADE ME DO IT!

It was Ginger who invited me. I’d hardly ever spoken to her but I knew who she was and I knew she was a good one. Wired to the moon and family straight away. Voice like a cyclone. The Ghost by her side is another good one. Subtle smile, humble hat and a treasure-chest brain he has; music he simply is. More than performers, these guys together are passionate focus incarnate.

They were my neighbours in Sydney and they were playing their hypnotic show at Australia’s “biggest small festival” – the Wide Open Space festival. Since I both wanted to see Ginger & the Ghost as well as the famous Australian land mark Uluru in the desert, I decided to travel with them to the very middle of the oldest continent on Earth.

Now where did that image go?

In Australia they call redheads for “rangers” as in orangutang. Here are my two favourite ones, Beautiful Ben and Mish the Miracle, breathing meditatively at sunset over the MacDonnell ranges.

It didn’t take much convincing to get my two new best friends to come along. Ben – who runs an artisan warehouse space – Mish the Miracle, and yours truly had been working like beasts for weeks on end, and the sudden prospect of a festival holiday was beyond temptation. This was going to be epic!

Two weeks later, we were all on a desert-bound plane. None of us knew it then, but most of the passengers on that carrier were heading to that same little beautiful spot in the MacDonnell Ranges, some 80 km out of Alice Springs. On board was a motley crew of artists, volunteers, punters and organizers. Most were strangers to each other, yet only days away from becoming friends and future colleagues. No doubt Sydney’s warehouse scene got a network upgrade on that jet full of shakers and makers.

And although this was just another disgustingly early low-budget national flight, this trip into the sky was the first leg on a journey around the world for some, for others the last leg into the mystical heart of Australia for the first time.

Now where did that image go?

The incredibly talented and highly innovative Ginger & the Ghost had the honor of playing up an 800-year-old tree while a unicorn pole dancer performed on the ground. The ghost said the view was unbelievable…

DESERT IN THE PARTY

Outdoor raves around here are called doofs. Doof doof doof, you get it…. In Australia, throwing an outdoor party means negotiating merciless forces of nature, majestic logistics and kilometres of red tape, not to mention a corporate government’s corrupt law enforcement. But Aussies like a party and bloody oath if anything will stand between them and a good time.

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a beach of few words

a visual poem reflecting on past love-relationships and choices. all pictures taken at the stunning wharariki beach on new zealand’s south island.

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later mate

my latest poem…

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Am I Square?

Here are the lyrics from my latest song. Hopefully soon someone will donate me a premium upgrade to this blog (nudge nudge) 🙂 so I can also upload audio and video. Then you can hear this song and the others I have written along my way. This one is called “am i square?”

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