a new place for words…

Hello,

not sure if anybody still looks here to find new posts…

maybe you have… will… happen to.

My new blog is now up and I will be writing more there in the days to come.

You can find it here:

http://www.xistovillagelife.wordpress.com

I hope you will visit…

 

namaste

ThomasIMG_1199 copy

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One more time…

It has been two years…

since I drove up from Lisbon after an overnight flight from Canada.

Two years I have now been living here.

In the hills.

In my house.

In an abandoned village in Central Portugal.

A small valley, a little river…

a huddle of houses, some converted to summer homes.

Which means that people come for a couple of weekends and two weeks in August.

For the traditional ‘Festa’… which is called ‘Picnic’ here in my village.

I was a bit of a wanderer.

Now it seems, I have become a gardener.

I know a lot more about wandering around on this planet than about the plants that live on it.

But I have learned to like them.

Water them when it is hot and dry. Plant some for the spring to come and some for years to come.

Plan on more next year, but for now it is enough.

It is enough also, for me.

Here.

To live in this small house.

This small village in a small valley in a small country on the edge of Europe.

Feels good to be small.!

Friends have decided to join me here, by restoring small houses of their own.

I help a bit with ideas and connections to the local tradesmen and council.

With knowledge from my own adventure of getting my house together, here.

It is good to know they see some of the beauty and wonder that I see here every day

that I walk up and down the valley.

Two years… not without mistakes, trials and tribulations.

But in some small ways, significant ways, I am more whole, more healthy and calm than I have been ever before.

Living here, alone among the xisto walls, in the woods of the valley, I feel content.

Am grateful for every day that I am here and am happy in a quiet way.

There is no peace in the world, sadly, but there is more and more peace inside of me.

Maybe in a minute way it helps those that touch my life in the struggle of their own.

Tonight the rain is pelting on the roof, but the fire in my wood-stove is making it cozy inside.

A glass of red wine, dinner in the oven, starting to smell nice, and soft music to write by.

I feel quite far apart from the world on nights like these.

Not that I am different, no… I actually feel more human.!

But I sense the centuries in the walls of the old houses around me. The lives they have already sheltered before mine.

The history of man in all the things around me.

I am only here for two years now, but slowly I feel I am becoming part of stones and the trees.

Find my way back to basic human life.

Simple life.

I have far to go in that direction, but I am on my way… and that is important.

Simply by continuing to walk on, I am surer now than ever before, that I will get to my end.

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Two years of living here and walking alone in the hills.

5000 km and 2 pairs of boots later, I have become closer to myself.

I have learned about goats.

About trees.

About which mushrooms are good to eat.

About making jam from fruits picked by myself.

Many mistakes, but also smiles of success.

Two years of simple meditation on letting go.

I failed many days.

I gained no wisdom other than that it is still important… to let go.

Thank you for walking with me these two years, because now…

yes… I am letting this blog go.

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Namaste

Thomas

Wet and wild…

… a week of sunshine and warmth, then days of stormy wet weather.
Fall has come to my home in the hills.

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Every walk this weekend is a good chance to get soaked.
The power has been off a few times for a couple of hours already. Something not so un-usual here.
But it is still warm enough… no fire yet.!
Candles at night.
Sometimes long afternoon sleep, hiding in bed, listening to the raindrops drumming on the roof or splattering on the stones in the yard.
Planting herbs in pots for the village to use.

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Tending the flowers that still bloom in the dry days of sunshine.
Finding Parasol mushrooms, making for a good lunch.!

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Watch insects all around me.

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I walk the old path up the valley once more, while it is dry.

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Sit on my deck in the sun, when she shines in the afternoon, making it warm enough for shorts.
Collect chestnuts and walnuts.
Pine-cones for the fire in the winter.

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Think about forgiveness and how hard it is, to actually say the words… even think the thoughts.
It feels like a long winter sneaking into my heart.

On the outside, I prepare for another house-project. Restoring yet another small house on my square.

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But not before my own house will get the planned, but always delayed, sauna, under the deck.
A warm place for body and soul in the cold season.

Methinks this is what we all need…

Thomas

Moving…

Moving 

… weeks have passed and I have passed markers noting distances too many to remember.

Not that my life is un-raveling, but somehow I have stepped back into the slip-stream I travelled with before.

There are so many thoughts in my head, I am tired from keeping them there.

Memories of drives like the one I just finished… on this continent and elsewhere… on different continents.

Moving… running… living close to the wind.

I managed to give it up for 18 months.

More than before.

More than I had thought possible.

Now I am sitting here in my house in the hills, trying to come back to myself… and failing miserably.

In my head I am still in some nondescript hotel in northern Spain or southern France… or anywhere……….. meaning NOWHERE.!

Too many miles, too many days… too many thoughts of all that has been.

Back to pretending.

Being home.

Being well.

Being whole.

It will take time.

It will take pain.

I can not even find the hurt any longer.

My internal compass of fear is gyrating in convulsions.

But I keep calm.

Keep moving.

Keep nothing close and everything within reach, just to be ready to… move.

That is what I know.

What I don’t know is , why the flowers still need me.

Why I walk in the woods on old paths and smile.

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Why I pick up pine cones and not let them go.

Why I still want to go on…

all feels like I should be sorry for something, except I do not know for what… and we all know that is the worst part of feeling sorry.

So… only a couple of pictures and not so many happy words.

But this is still me.

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Thomas

Night…

Night approaching…
light fading.
A brief passing of pink clouds overhead… rushing to somewhere south of here. It will be a sunny day tomorrow.
Darkness descends…I light a candle for Buddha.
Look at the faces of the small Buddhas from a lot of different places and now here together in my little alcove-shrine.
This makes sense to me.
Not only the different faces, but more so the different times they came to me. Like people in my life.
I think of them… those people. Every night, when I speak simple sutras in my mind.
Hope that the peace and the happiness I feel somehow can reach them.
Hope that my thoughts of good will can find others and make a difference to someone out there.
Hope that my silent happiness can make someones un-happiness less in a karmic sense.
Hope.

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Old roads to walk on… that is good.
Because it makes be think of time being flexible enough to include me.
A hundred years ago another human walked here… now I do.
This connects in a way that is more and more important to me.

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A generous man in my village offered me to have a bit of his garden to grow some food on.
I was humbled by his offer.
Was joyfully elated at being able to grow a row of carrots and a row of onions as well as 2 bushes of tomatoes here in the village.
Will tend his cabbage for him in return.
2 square meters of garden for myself… exactly what I can handle at this time.!

For now, I have made jam from the fruit I collected.

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My shelf is full for the winter.

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I must think of fire-wood and pine cones…;-)

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Namaste
Thomas

Still kicking at the darkness… until it bleeds daylight… [ Bruce Cockburn ]

A single little light shines,
beside me on the garden wall.

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My supper finished, I am sitting in the dark. Looking up at the stars.
The shadow of the owl passes overhead.
My village is quiet.
As am i.

I have no words for what all the rushing was, which held me captive in the months past since I posted last.
Life comes at me sometimes and I grab on-to things and let it shake me, hoping I will learn to let go.
Yes … I know what paradox I am telling you about.
But that is what it feels like.
It also makes me human.
Makes me vulnerable and small, sometimes weak.
Makes me cry… like tonight.
Make me proud.
Makes me strong.!
Another day… another week, another year.?
I never thought I would make it here.
My own very small paradise.
With all it’s faults.

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With blackberries I will make into jam for the winter.

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Pine-cones I collect for the fire.
Flowers I tend.
Old paths I walk.

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It has been months… I know.
I have been away and also here.
I have worked and sweated in the summer heat.
Have done some good deeds and also not so good.
But I have not forsaken myself.
Have only had moments of despair and darkness… much less then ever.
So it seems that I am still on the middle path… just lost in some valley.!

Time to let words come back to me.
Time to let go of superficial industriousness that only benefits others.
Time to find myself again in all the left-over parts.

Months have past…but I am feeling the enchantment of my home again.
Tonight,
with my small glass of wine, my small candle in my small house.
Life is granted for another day.
That indeed is enough.

More than enough.

Namanste

Thomas

The ‘real’ world…

The real world…
… whatever that is, really, seems very close. It seems like the distance between myself and the demands of the ‘real’ world has closed in again.

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The house-restoration, ruin-rebuilding project is coming to the end.
A few more weeks and the finishing deadline is here.
So there is more supervision needed… more hours being put in by the workers. Soon there will be Saturday shifts, no doubt.
This disturbs my quietness and solitude.
It raises the excitement level inside of myself as well. I am seeing the ideas and dreams I had about this house coming together and all seems to be working out, over-all.
So there is the satisfaction of creation.
But the understanding that this ties me to the wheel again is also there.
Am I getting caught again..? In all the opportunities..? In all the entanglements.?
Happily constructing new toys… where as I wanted to de-construct me.!
Wanted… is that already past tense.?
Barely more than a year and I am getting back into my wheel… running.?
Is it inertia… falling forward or trying to not fall back.?
Creating… designing… making.!
Illusions.
All this.
But oh so sweet.

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I am stumbling along the dirt-track of my life hoping that it is not too far off the middle… of some bigger boulevard of dreams.

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Have I lost my way..? Or was it always planned this way by the universe.?
Was I not looking inward… or was that already illusion.?
Am I looking outward.? Or is that in fact the biggest illusion of all.?

Do I walk every day to keep from running.?

I have to slow down.
Slow down.
Slow…

The woodland strawberries are warm from the sun, when I taste them on my morning walk…

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Thomas