Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the tag “belonging”

The Paperback is OUT!

At long last THE PAPERBACK OF THE SPIRIT OF FLYING IS HERE!!!  And what a long strange at times completely exhausting trip it’s been!
My labour of love – I hope you enjoy reading it.

Currently available in the UK on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1v0tQUL
And in the USA  http://amzn.to/1uHjSFr

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Phineas the thumb-cat inspects the very first copy of the bookbook!

Introverted adventure to Malinalco

I recently went to Mexico’s quirky capital, D.F.– Distrito Federal – on business and decided to tag on some writing time and make it a two in one, just for me. Going on my own was not the original plan, it just happened that way.
I’d forgotten how enjoyable and liberating it can be travelling on your own; doing what I want when I want, no one to take into consideration, no wondering if your companion is bored, or being bored myself with other peoples choices. No fears over missing out; I can relax in the evening with a book back at the hotel room, rather than feel irritated and overloaded in a bar; a compromise to a travelling companion who thinks we should go out; it’s what people do on holiday isn’t it… No packed days of stuff that you have to do or fit in, just a couple of ideas and see where I end up. A lot of cosy bookshops and cafés then…!

Random cafe in Mexico City

Random cafe in Mexico City

I’ve been asked a lot how I found out about Malinalco, or Mali as the locals called their picturesque little mountain town. Happenstance is how. I was in a hurry so I ran into the bedroom, grabbed my Mexico travel book, threw it on the kitchen table in passing en route to the toilet… Out of curiosity looked I looked where it had opened when it landed, read it and thought that sounds good, why not head there? So I did and it was lovely. Truly beautiful.
During the week it was a tranquil, relaxed haven with Wednesday market being a film-makers dream. So much so it felt out of integrity to take photos of all the traditionally dressed up traders with their wares and handmade crafts, come from all the little villages and towns around for the day.
Roll around Friday and the week-enders arrive; hotels and guest-houses fill up, the amount of shops and restaurants triple and the town centre becomes party-central until the wee hours of the morning. Time your visit to suit your recharging needs.

2014-08-20_17-34-53_116Going away to write did not work out quite as I had imagined for a variety of reasons. I missed my husband and the cats yes, that was expected.

Part of me wanted too much to explore to be disciplined. Where we live there is little or nothing I haven’t already done countless times, so being in a new and beautiful setting with wild rambling walks and culture at my fingertips, I wanted it all; Inspiration, experiences, nature, exercise. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a nature person, I do like the absence of other humans and the company of trees and other pretty greenery. Add to that an Aztec temple, museums, and lots of craft shops.
To just lock myself in a room (which I chose specifically because it had a desk instead of a tv) or sit on the balcony, felt a bit like ignoring a buffet when you’re starving – dumb and counter-productive. It also made me feel too weird and judged, though I don’t expect anyone actually took any notice.2014-08-22_10-29-55_164

There was also the old pressure stalking me, ready to pounce… Others may hunt down all the sights for great shots to show friends back home, and to sustain themselves whilst saving up for their next adventure. I’ve realized I travel in search of spiritual connections, in the hope of encountering soul family. I look, I search, even though I know the futility of it all. I can’t help myself. My fear is what if “they” are here and I miss them because I didn’t “make the effort” and “push myself”.
That fear drives me on. I wander aimlessly, perusing, observing, smiling, trying to relax, be approachable. While part of me wants to scream at my soul creator come on, darn it! Something, someone. Make my effort worthwhile! Someone approach me for a change, strike up a conversation. We don’t have to become bff, just ten minutes of meaningful conversation, a connection, a spark of light and glimmer of hope at the end of a solitary tunnel, that the loneliness (not to be confused with solitude) won’t last forever. That it’s not the life sentence I’m beginning to fear.

For someone as introverted and highly sensitive as myself it is a truly horrible pressure to force yourself to “go out and meet and talk to people” because I think I should, but I have yet to find another way to make friends. Noone’s ever come knocking on my door saying “I heard you were in town, I’ve been expecting you. Want to go for a coffee?” and turned into a fast friend.
Just because I’m introverted does not mean I don’t want friends. It just means I’m not interested in what I call extrovert-fun; the bars, clubs, noisy shopping malls and crowded parties. It could mean walks, coffees, lunches, small groups or one on one.

View from the Aztec Temple

View from the Aztec Temple

Lastly it was the am I getting x pesos worth out of this day, x being the cost of the basic hotel-room and food etc. It goes something like this; if I’d been filling notepad after notepad with pages and pages of inspired prose of the kind that barely needs editing, then yes. Heck yes. As it were, I got some good character studies that no doubt will come in handy later when fleshing out the population in my current novel with personality traits and quirks that make them fascinating characters. But nothing near what I had hoped for.

When I started writing Andino Andina the writing flowed. It was a magnificent stream of inspiration and consciousness a writer – any writer – dreams of. Writing at it’s most enjoyable. I wrote for hours, not even pausing to eat, until my hand was all cramped up after some seven hours that I had to continue with my other hand, which is considerably less easy on the eye.

Knowing I only had enough funds for a few days and not producing “enough” to justify the expense to myself, I booked my ticket back home.
I then asked myself what I needed most; more culture nourishment or more nature (both being in short supply where we live) and decided on another 24 hours in DF, rather than listening to another night of bad karaoke while trying to focus and squeeze coherent sentences out of my pen somehow.
It turned out to have been a wise choice. I spent hours in the hazy sunshine topping myself up with the delicious coffee and warm atmosphere at the Mono Azul, watching the hang gliders high above, before catching a colectivo to the bus station in a neighboring town and bus back to the big city.

Coffee at Mono Azul before leaving Malinalco

Coffee at Mono Azul before leaving Malinalco

And that is where I met some truly lovely people; on the microbus, among them the flyers I’d been watching from below, making their way back up the mountain for another flight. It was wonderful to be really seen, in the moment. I have a honest interest in flying of any kind and if I go back I’ll definitely consider a tandem. They in turn showed a genuine interest in me and my writing. We didn’t swap email addresses or anything; it was not one of those meetings. But I came away with a smile on my face that lasted, even in the pouring rain, for the rest of the day.
Or maybe that was the sweet, wild strawberries I’d filled my thermos-flask with and shared with the hotel porter and the cleaner 😉

Until next time,
Catpaw

Validation

INSPIRE ME!

Be real.  Don’t hide behind platitudes and woo-woo talk.

See me, for once in my life SEE ME!

I’m feeling a little bit lost this weekend in this labour of love of mine and I’m wondering if it ever will be completed or if I am forever doomed to be as substantial as a ghost and as attractive.

Everybody needs help sometime.  Everybody needs support.
My soul chose to do this round invisible.  Without positive feedback.  Imagine that.  I’ve taken one for the team and I’m damn good at it by now.  This body is turning 46 next week and it’s time for something NEW.  It’s time to be acknowledged.  It’s time to be seen.  To turn the invisible VISIBLE and claim the space in life that can only be filled by me and has until now looked vacant.

I don’t know what that looks like.  I don’t know what it feels like.  I don’t even know what I want any more.  But it’s got to be out there because I have not claimed it yet.
This labour is in it’s 70th hour and by now I’m feeling spent, lost, exhausted, and just get it out of me!
I’m wondering if it is the primal scream before fainting, and if so what will I wake up to?

If you have roots, be grateful.  If you have a dream, vocation, passion, be even more grateful.
If you have joy, friends, a roof over your head, a sense of belonging and fulfillment in your life – all the things that makes life and the human experience great and worth all the other times – CELEBRATE!

I’m in labour and I have yet to meet my creation.  I’m feeling the vibrational erection flagging and I wonder for how much longer I can hold it together, how much longer it is going to take.  And then what.

So excuse me if I need some support.  If I need for someone to see me, acknowledge my existence.  I’ve taken this and run with it as far as I could but the gig is up.  It’s time for a change.  Different horizons.  Different work.  New friends.  I need someone to show some faith in me, the faith I’m lacking in my own creator-abilities right now.  That I’m not just a waste of space, waste of years of experience and wisdom which it would be if I never get to share any of it with other beings.

Don’t you want to be useful?  Don’t you want to be part of?  Don’t you want to help?  Don’t you want to be appreciated?  I do.  I want this next part of my life to be Inspiring.  Enjoyable.  Fulfilling.  And to be allowed to share my gifts with the world, rather than feel abused or used when what others want is what I don’t want to give.  Don’t have to give.  Have no interest in doing.  Let me contribute what I’m good at for a change and just watch it bloom!

Our lives are in flux.  We don’t know where we are going but we know we can’t stay for much longer in this familiar suffering.  I call it familiar suffering even tho I don’t like the expression.  It means living by fear.  Living day by day on the hope that One Day it will ”get better”.  If we just hang in there it will improve, and bestow some small blessing that will make it all better.  A break.  When the truth is, our job here is done.  It’s time to move on.  Even if we don’t know where or how.
A kingdom for a ”normal” straight forward life.  To know where you want to live, to feel rooted and have the supportive network of friends.  A garden.  Know what you do for a living and loving life.  To not once more leap off into the unknown, with all the fears of where to land, how long until we make new friends, where will we live, what about visas and work?  It is said every journey begins with the first step.  There is so much we need before then.  Stuff that more often than not cost money.

It’s so much right now I feel like bailing out.  I don’t want what I’ve got until now.  I want more.  I want different.  No more cr@p.   So please, may I ask for your support, they way I have supported countless others over the years and will no doubt continue to do so until the day my dust is spread for the wind to scatter.  Just intend for clarity and a more fulfilling way of life from now on.  Acknowledge me.  And anyone else close to you who is struggling to at the moment.  Thank you.

Love, Catpaw.

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