Holloway, a memory of a life

  
Today I was at a friend’s place, to hang out with her and chill out after hard day’s work. She is an artist, she has just graduated and now, she is at the crossroad in her life. We have all been there, I admit that I have been there at least two times in my life, and that is always the time when one has to decide what to do next in one’s life. There are no bad choices, and with every choice we make, we grow in every way possible. We learn. We create memories. We were listening ro her favorite band, Radiohead, and she showed me a book with illustrations by an artist who makes illustrations for their albums as well. The book in question was called Holloway, and it was written by Robert MacFarlane, in memory of his late friend. It is a reminiscence of their journey into the hollow ways in the deep parts of a forest somewhere in Britain. The text is followed by these dark, Gothic illustrations that represent their journey, a discovery of their own lives, their friendship and their time together. It is simple and beautiful in all its simplicity. It was made from memories, which makes this book a true piece of art, wven though not many people know about it. I didn’t know about its existence either until today. It has made my day and it reminded me of my friends and everyone I’ve left behind when I left. Memories are our own stories that need to be written down, not because there is a chance of forgetting them, no..but because they are oir own legacy to others that will come after us. I love memories, good and bad, because I have become the person that I am today because of them. If you ever get the chance, read Holloway, and allow yourself to go on a journey down the memory lane. 

 

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Home after shock

I think that I was a bit overwhelmed with my visit home. It was relaxing and nice to spend time with my family and friends, and it was hot as hell, I am totally not used to that after living in Scotland for some time now. I am nit used to taking things easy, and you get a lot of that melloweness there especially in the sun and by the sea. I missed the sea so much though, after living next to it for twelwe years, it is hard not to live next to it anymore. The scent of sea salt in the air when you walk down the beach, the calmness that it imposes on you, and you accept it with enthusiasm..all those things were essential to me being who I am, among other stuff of course. Now when I am back, I am again busy with everything, a lot of writing jobs, a few photography gigs, and overall busy atmosphere which pleases me, and I feel happy. But, the nostalgia is kicking in, I miss some people so much that at times it becomes unbearable, and it is at times hard to concentrate. You know, weiting saves the day in my case! I love it so much that it makes me focus on everything and on my future career, which is going in the right direction, in its own pace. Now I get it, why writers write. It is not about the money or fame, it is about yoi being you, about creating new worlds, new characters, new everything. You are the creator of something beautiful and extraordinary and that is the one feeling that money cannot buy. I love writing and I will write until my last breath.  The photo represents the path forward through all the difficulties in life, and this place is one of my favorite places to write. 

 

Edinburgh, City of the Dead and the power of storytelling

Even before I came to Scotland, I was already familiar with ghost stories and dark history of the country. Fascinating as it is coming from the pages of a book, it is however a completely different feeling when you actually find yourself on the streets of those cities that each hold a different fragment of that darkness that made Edinburgh known as the one city with the darkest history and chain of events in Scotland, if not in the world. I visited Edinburgh a few times, walking down the Royal Mile and admiring the greatness of the Scott Monument, among other things, and only recetnly I stumbled upon a book that tells the story of this place in a different way than other historical factual driven books. It is entitled Edinburgh, City of the Dead and is compiled of several chapters that begin with telling a story of historical characters as an introduction to a more complex telling of the dark events that made Edinburgh what it is today, with dark tourism rising each year offering its visitors tours through the dark corners where ghosts were still present, eager to tell their story to whoever wants to listen. Now, I do read a lot, but what fascinated me about this book is the genuine storytelling approach of the author, Jan-Andrew Henderson, to the overall historic topic. As I already mentioned, each chapter begins with telling a story of different event which is important for the part of history covere there, and it is preciesly that kind of a novel-like retelling of history that caught my attention. And mind you, dark history it is! from witch trials to Templars to today’s existence of Freemasons,other secret societies, Wiccans, Satanists and such, you can’t help wondering how  can this city be so remarkably beautiful and so monstrous at the same time. I read the book in one evening, and now I am eager to find out even more about the topic, about the way of life that actually still exists today, but in a more civilised fashion, about the ghosts that still haunt dark alleys and old houses, some of them demolished in the 19th century, while others survived and were converted into shops and interactive guided tours like the ones of Edinburgh Dungeons. And it is all because of a book 🙂

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Did you know that Edinburgh today has the greatest and rising population of people practising Paganism and Satanism, and people practising magic, either black or white? And that sometimes, even though they still do it in secret, secluded places, sometimes they even advertise by giving adds in newspapers? That is a fun and interesting fact! But the point of mentioning all this is the fact that the city has embraced that darkness connected to it and converted it into educational and fun events for everyone who visits Edinburgh, and that most of the people living there are going back to their roots of respecting nature rather than other religions imposed to them throughout history and in the modern world today.

After this, I will definitely have a different feel of Edinburgh next time I visit it! Can’t wait! 🙂

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Exploring Stirling

I have a couple of days off and I decided to go out and explore Stirling some more. It is a beautiful Gothic town, you can encounter stories about people and history every step of the way. I got a book on haunted places, crimes that occured here and ghost stories. True or not, they are interesting and in the next few posts, I am going to tell you these stories through my photographs. I hope you will like them as much as I like them, and one day choose to visit this Gothic gem of a town situated in Central Scotland 🙂 

 

Overwhelmed by the world around me

You know that feeling when you feel a rush of all sorts of emotions crawling through your body with amazing speed of light and tickling sensation under your skin? When you are so overwhelmed by everything around you and you don’t know whether to laugh or cry or scream, all at the same time! I remembered a beautiful memory from the past and that made me feel like that. It changes your perception, that old feeling of familiarity and love for people that were a part of your life at any given moment, no matter how long. You cope with loss, and when you transcend that dimension where loss is just one of those emotions that you feel, and instead you experience love with such intensity that it feels like flying..kinda like Alice in Wonderland! I was nominated for that week of positive thinking by my friends on FB, and even though I avoid these things, I agreed to do this one. Why? Because I think that we all need a bit of positive thinking, if not a lot, in our lives. I noticed that I do see positive stuff happening all around me more than before, so the outcome of this challenge is a positive one. I think I am going to do it after this challenge officially ends, because I’ve seen it work, there is a positive mark that is left on people who choose to read my experiences, and it is a beautiful thing to inspire and encourage people to do something nice, something positive that will enrich the lives of others rather than destroy them. Go out, smell the early spring morning air and enjoy life! I forgot how to do it, and was recently reminded of it again, and it is that beautiful, intense feeling of being overwhelmed by the world around you! I learned that it never goes away, it just needs to be awaken from time to time. 

Plus, sunny days in Scotland and some new wolf statues around town make it all even better! 😉

   

 

Goodbye Terry Pratchett

The world has lost yet another great writer. It is always sad to witness these things, as a fan, as a person and a writer, in one generation. I am thankful that people like Terry Pratchett and Ray Bradbury were a part of my life through their works because it was them that taught me valuable life lessons that formed my character, whispering in my ear that it is ok to be myself. Different. Creative. Courageous. To be free. Thank you, you will never be forgotten.

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On Tuesday morning, I was telling my best friend about going to see Neil Gaiman the day before. I told him that he talked about Terry having Alzheimer’s and I got the impression that Terry didn’t have long to live. I told him, it was something about the way Neil paused, not looking up, and there was a kinetic emotion that I experienced in the crowd. I can’t speak for Neil or how he was feeling at that moment, but in my mind, there was a great sadness. I felt it myself. I was not surprised when his passing was announced today, because I already had the impression it was coming soon. For that, I say thank you to Neil for softening the blow today.

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