Inspired Places

As most of you know already, Iโ€™m hugely inspired by nature. But everyday life inspires me as much. So, I’ve decided to reminisce about one of my interests, travel. Below are some of the places that had inspired my writings.

1. I Woke Up in Africa

The Heart of Johannesburg’s Downtown

The title is one of many poems I’ve written about inequality that still persists in my home country, SA. I’ve also experimented with short stories and pieces of creative nonfiction inspired by this city.

2. The Lost Diary

Prague, the best-preserved city

Years ago, my husband and I visited Prague. Let’s just say, it’s easy to fall in love with this city. It is beautiful. So, inspired by all sorts during our visit, I wrote furiously on my diary but only to lose it, later. In any case, Prague is one of those cities that warrants more than one visit. And The Lost Diary is a story I still have to write.

3. Presumption

Warszawa by Night

I wrote on a different blog years ago about how we ended up stranded in Warszawa; an incident that saw us sleep at the train station. It’s a funny story, actually. ๐Ÿ™‚ But that story I later compressed into a very short poem.

4. Winter Dream

Ruka Ski Resort, Kuusamo

Winter Dream is one of many poems I’ve written about Finnish winter. But on a different subject and season, as we approach summer I can’t help but wonder how the holidays are going to look and feel like with the pandemic still lingering in the air.

5. The Distorted View

An autobiographical novel (yet to be published) came out of this place I called home and a huge part of my childhood. Of course, the inspiration to write the story was much more than just about a place.

My countryside childhood home, now in ruins

That’s a quick peek at some of my travel-inspired writings. You’ve probably noticed that the photos are not touristy but rather mundane. That’s because mood of a place is one of the things that fascinates me. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to experience different moods in one place.

But over to you, have you written a story or book about a place? If so, where can we find it? Also feel free to share what you are reminiscing about these days? I’d love to hear from you! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Slow Processing

I tell a friend, โ€œWrite!โ€

This is in one of our regular correspondence and as we keep each other updated not only of writing but of life. Our correspondence that started as critique partners has become something of a ritual, over the years. It’s an exchange and form that affords me time to sit down, be silent and really listen to her thoughts poured onto the page.

My friend and I live in different countries that have been impacted differently by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, when she says to me, โ€œI cannot tell you how messed up all of this has made me. I can’t seem to write — not even the blog.โ€

I respond, โ€œWords will come to you. Perhaps in a bundle of mess. Write them down in your journal as clumsy as they come.โ€

I take time to process things: ideas, conversations and experiences (even this pandemic), sometimes to my own detriment…

After a month since that correspondence I now realise I could have told her even though she might feel as if she isn’t writing, for me her letters are a calming source of inspiration. They make me contemplate my own challenges and privileges.

โ€œWrite back soon!โ€

EARTH

Curiosity got the best of me this morning. I google a haibun but only an excited and active bee is revealed. Viral thoughts occupying space dissolve into nothingness as soothing sounds take precedence. The contagion that shakes and shapes our world continues to demand respect yet a simple act of moving my body allows me to rediscover the miracle that is spring.

earthling among trees
bears witness to life as the
green, sunny earth buzzes

Flowering Plants

note: Itโ€™s funny how this poem, a special feature for Rommyโ€™s prompt, came about. If like me, youโ€™ve always been curious about Googleโ€™s Doodles that mark special dates, now go ahead and find out what today is.

Image courtesy of Google

This is what I did early this morning. Google didnโ€™t only remind me that it is Earth Day but really made me smile with this delightful video. And as we know a smile changes everything.

Btw, last year, NASA said earth is greener than it was 20 years ago. That alone is a reason to smile, even though climate action remains one of the biggest challenges. So, Happy Earth Day! ๐Ÿ™‚