There is a simple message here – be true to yourself, trust yourself and you will fly with the best possible emotions – love, self-confidence, happiness, creativity. Too often these days joy is squashed out of us by rules, regulations, nose to the grindstone work, interminable, stressful and boring testing in schools and universities, when what we need is the flight of our imaginations and the freedom to be who we are: to be honoured, each of us, as individual beacons of light illuminating the darkness of dead, dullifying bureaucratic shackles and smashing them to pieces.
Spring has finally arrived here in North Cyprus after a long, cold, wet winter and a very dodgy start to spring – moving from sunny days back to wet, windy spells. But now we’re around 28-32C (82-90F) pretty much every day, the sun is bright in the sky which is now a bright blue virtually every day, and our garden is looking fantastic, with all kudos going to my green fingered husband who can plan gardens and see them as they’ll be when the plants have grown and everything’s merging in a rather wild sort of fashion.
My husband’s not into formal gardens, but more into loosely-woven garden beds which house a variety of plants all mixing it together. As I’ve mentioned previously, gardening is a complete mystery to me so I admire the flowers, take pictures of them and steer clear of trying to garden, for which the plants and flowers are profoundly grateful!
Lambousa is an ancient, historical site about five minutes from where we live on the north coast of North Cyprus. It was once an important, bustling sea port but declined in importance as people moved in land for protection against various sea-born attacks from the various countries surrounding Cyprus.
There you can find rock tombs – either open, or carved into the ground. It’s quite eerie to think you’re walking among tombs that once housed the bodies of adults and children – you can see the different sized shapes – small, medium, large – carved out when you go into the rock tombs under the surface. There are open tombs but these have degraded more than those that have been protected within the rocks around this area.
The above image is another tribute to the colourful, ancient history of Cyprus which has developed over thousands of years. It’s a collage of photos of the rock tombs as well as of the openings to the rock tombs as you walk into an enclosed area housing these ancient monuments to the dead. Over it I’ve super-imposed an image of a spirit being to represent those whose energies permeate this area as a reminder of those who’ve inhabited this island so important in history that Cyprus due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean.
The above image is a re-working of a photo I took of the cloisters at Bellapais Abbey – the Abbey of Peace and Beauty – which is the ruin of a monastery built in the 13th century on the northern side of the historic village of Bellapais. The ruin is 220m above sea level, about five or ten minutes from the centre of Kyrenia, and from it you look up to the majestic Besparmak Mountains and down over the historic port, along the coast and over the Mediterranean sea.
The ruins are extraordinary and full of grace, even now. You walk in and feel the peace, as well as see the beauty of the ancient structure. Parts are still in use – the refectory is used for concerts and there is a restaurant with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
But when you move around the ruins, the absolute sense of peace eases into your body, mind and spirit, and the history of the place – a monastery for centuries – surrounds you and reminds you of the unbroken link between past and present.
I created the above digital art to expand on the feeling of being among so many benign ghosts in this elegant ruin, to reflect the sense of mystery and Divinity which radiates from every stone in the building, and the stars (as usual in my artwork) reflecting the long history of Bellapais and its service to the Divine over the centuries.
If you want further information on this beautiful space, here’s a link: Wikipedia – Bellapais Abbey
The above piece of digital art is created from a photo I took of columns near the fish ponds at the ancient, historical site of Salamis. This huge site is on the south coast of North Cyprus, a few kilometres east of the historic port of Famagusta. More details can be found on this link: Wikipedia – History of Salamis, Cyrpus
My husband and his friends used to play in Salamis when he was a kid, living in Famagusta with his mum and siblings, while his father served in the army in Suez. They found the ruts made by chariots when Salamis was a thriving metropolis and I think that’s amazing.
It was just as amazing when we visited this site – to realise you’re walking along pavements where there has been a human presence since the eleventh century BC (Late Bronze Age III). It’s now very overgrown and we couldn’t find the chariot ruts but the rest of the site is fascinating – fish ponds, latrines, amphitheatre, Temple of Zeus, gymnasium with huge columns still standing tall, just heaps of treasures literally at our feet.
It’s why I liked the final digital art version of the photo I took near the fish ponds because the stars in the sky, to me, reflect the on-going history of this marvellous historic site. You can walk for miles finding all sorts of goodies from ancient times and the stars have looked down as people have visited Salamis over the centuries, a never-ending procession of humanity in all its shapes and forms.
This post was inspired by reading an interview with a woman who left her husband when she was 40’ish because she wanted to follow a spiritual path and, according to the interview, she said he didn’t. Now you might say, good on her, and yes, follow your own path by all means.
But I’m rather interested in this whole idea of spirituality. Because her husband is a world-famous musician who has created music over many decades which has thrilled millions of music lovers around the world. Isn’t that being spiritual – following your calling?
I’m fascinated by crystals, Reiki, digital art, healing and Tarot. At one time I rather quite fancied the idea of being dressed in white, drifting around and looking spiritual and quiet and self-contained (a bit like the aspirations of Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love), but the truth is I talk. I communicate. I write. And while I like my quiet moments and am happy to be on my own, I am mouthy and gregarious.
On the other hand, my husband loved being a dogman on high-rise buildings, is a great gardener and has a real magnetism for animals.
We are very different but I happen to think that the way we live is spiritual because we are embracing what we’re meant to be. In astrology, I have nine air signs which means I definitely am an airhead. I also have Neptune right next to my Ascendant, Libra, and my sun, Libra, which also means I’m off the planet, love psychic matters, can tune into people and feel their emotions, and I’m hugely sensitive.
My husband, on the other hand, has nine fire signs and his idea of purgatory would be to sit in front of a computer all day. He has to be active, on the go, planting flowers, digging, walking, living up to all his fire signs. But he’s honest, kind to strangers and animals, he helps people whenever he can, because he’s a Leo and they’re a generous, loyal, warm-hearted and passionate.
And that’s why I think being spiritual is being true to yourself. If you’re born to create music, go be a musician. Think of Eric Clapton (not the musician in my comment above, by the way) who knew early on his ‘teens that he was meant to be a musician. If you love cooking, then cook, and you don’t have to be a Jamie Oliver, you can just enjoy pottering in your kitchen. If you love looking after kids, do that. If being at home makes you happy, stay at home. If you want to work, then work (but for god’s sake do something that keeps you happy and healthy). If you don’t like crowds, feel free to avoid them without any guilt. If you’re a nerd, enjoy being a nerd. Do what makes your heart and soul sing because that, to me, is being spiritual – living who you’re meant to be, not someone else’s ideal of what makes a spiritual life.
I’ll wind up by saying I really loathe that word that is flung around so much these days: “Awesome”. Everything’s “awesome” or you have to be “awesome” or a child is “awesome” or whatever. No, you don’t have to be awesome. You can be fearless by being plain old ordinary you (because that’s what most of us are) and enjoy your life because you’re happy as you are. Don’t buy into the whole shtick of being dissatisfied with your self, just get on doing what makes you happy.
Do what you love.
Spend time with your kids.
Embrace your loved one.
Spread kisses far and wide.
And SMILE and LAUGH.
Because that’s what makes the world go round from day to day!