Querencia


Querencia (adjective) Origin: Spanish | que·ren·cia  A place where one feels safe, A place where one feels at home.

When I was a baby, I was afraid of everything and everyone. It didn’t matter who was around.  It didn’t matter what I was doing.  I was just afraid. Even if I didn’t look like it, I was.  Mom and dad would tell me stories of how I would jump at everything.  I would scream and cry at the introduction of everything new. When I look at my baby picture, I just wonder what the heck was going on in my little pea brain.  I wonder why I was so afraid.

At some point in my life, that all changed and for the most part I have felt safe and at home pretty much where ever I happened to be.  It didn’t matter who was around.  It didn’t matter what I was doing.  When I saw this word, I had to really think about what Querencia currently means to me.  At first I thought to myself, I feel pretty confident where ever I am and in pretty much every situation.  

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.  ~ Maya Angelou

However, when I re-read the actual definition, “A place where one feels safe.  A place where one feels at home.”  I had to seriously ask myself where that place is.  I could not, off the top of my head really say that I felt that there was an actual place where that would be true.  These days, I feel slightly more restless and not very safe.  

I started going through some old photos and it was strange.  Years ago, I would have said that this place existed when I was with my children.  I did my best to make their lives safe and comfortable.  They were babies and I was their mom, their protector.  I’m not sure that would be my answer right now.  Kids grow up, things change. Life happens.  Drama ensues.  I hope one day I can go back to that feeling.  There will always be love, but it hasn’t felt like home for some time.

Even before kids, I would have said it was when I was around my younger sister. We did everything together.  I trusted her to be my solid.  My one bestie that I could always depend on.  I think that has also changed. Life happens.  Emotions held back, words left unsaid hanging in the air. Doubts and fears and who knows what.  But it changes.  I hope that one day I can go back to that feeling.  There will always be love, but it also has not felt like home for some time.

I have some special friends that always make me feel safe and comfortable.  But at home?  We are always so busy that we can’t always make the time.  I always feel good when I am around them but the times around them are so short and so far apart that the home piece is missing.  It’s because I live so far away.  The relationship building is hard to do so far away.  I have some friends that I connect with frequently and when we come together, no matter how long we have been apart, it feels like home and it feels safe.  It’s just the darn suitcases that remind me that I’m not really home.

But then, I came across some pictures of my older sister.  Even though we didn’t hang out much when we were little and we fought like cats and dogs as we grew, she was always my protector when I really needed her.  She has been consistent and the same our entire lives.  She has opened her house to me and visited me when I was down, picked me up from teen heartbreak, joined the Navy like I had, raised kids like I had, and so many other things.  She’s the one to placate a situation. She’s the peacemaker.  She will make me laugh when I go over the ledge rather than help me jump.  I don’t like getting all stressed and down and she doesn’t let me feel sorry for myself but she does it in a way that is kind.  She never tries to over-analyze every situation I need to talk about.  She lets me flow and grow and feel safe.  She’s much better at it than I am.  I feel safe, unjudged, and familiar when I am around her.  I love her for this. I feel safe around her for this.  I feel at home around her for this.  Thanks sis.

    Querencia:  Rhapsody; keshy; hope; Varsha; Rebecca; 1227; sanguine; jessica; heartmind; Dylan; Pennie

 

 

 

Ukiyo


Ukiyo (noun) Origin: Japanese | The floating world – Living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life.

A hard translation of this word dates back to Japan’s Edo-period as it describes the urban lifestyle, and a famous related word is ukiyo-e or Japanese art paintings of the ‘Floating World’ or of our fleeting life and transient world.

13339516_10153778411483282_3043364160837400577_n

I was fortunate enough to take a vacation with my daughter to Croatia.  I let her plan the entire trip.  Where we stayed, where we ate, what we did.  It was one of my favorite trips.  I didn’t have to make any decisions (only had to pay for everything.. haha)

I sat on this very cool spot for hours in Zadar, Croatia.  We visited this place again and again throughout the day because it was just interesting and beautiful.  It was mesmerizing.  Next to it was an ocean organ.  They were steps that went into the water and when the waves came up it would sound like an organ. Seeing people walk across this at different times of day made it seem like you were in another world.  At night it would light up.  I think it was one of our favorite places in Croatia.  The entire country was amazing and one day I will go back.

Croatia: inavukic; Dave; slovanians; lidija; michael; Ellen; viveka; maris; Isaiah; luke; kylie; isaac; Cameron; nathaniel; tina; ahoyne; somewhere; justtravel; chester

The Sea organ is an architectural sound art object located in Zadar, Croatia and an experimental musical instrument, which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps.

zadar

Sehnsucht


Sehnsucht (n.) – Origin: German – Definition: The inconsolable longing in the human heart for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home.

I spent 3 years teaching English in Korea.  My youngest daughter lived with me for the first year.  I homeschooled her and she would often come into my classroom and “assist” me in teaching the kids. My oldest daughter came and lived with me for a bit, and then off on her own for a bit teaching English herself.

During both of their times in Korea with me, we hiked, went to mask festivals, tea festivals, ate, ate, and ate more than you can imagine.  We volunteered at an orphanage and at a soup kitchen.  My kids volunteered on the set of a “movie” once and we participated in a variety of artist events.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sometimes I feel a bit of sehnsucht for this special country and often consider it my second home from home.  I will sometimes dream that when I am done doing what I am currently doing, I will go back there once again and resume my previous life.  I know they say you can never go home again. I hope that is not true.  I will forever hold Seoul in my heart as one of the most special times in my life.  My daughters both agree that if I were to go back, this is the one place they would follow me to if they could.

Korea – Rolling; avagal liz; corvec; zhenya; graeme; naomi; charlie; fugitive; sofie; joseph; hab; kaja; secretmoona; margaux; bamculture; stephanie;

Heimweh


Heimweh (noun) Origin: German | Homesickness.

“I felt a pang — a strange and inexplicable pang that I had never felt before.
It was homesickness.  Now, even more than I had earlier when I’d first glimpsed it, I longed to be transported into that quiet little landscape, to walk up the path, to take a key from my pocket and open the cottage door, to sit down by the fireplace, to wrap my arms around myself, and to stay there forever and ever.”
― Alan Bradley

As much as I love to travel.  As much as I love new experiences.  As much as I love a variety of food and drink.  As much as I love making new friends.  As much as I love the open road.  As much as I love flying.  As much as I love taking the train.  As much as I love new sceneries.  As much as I love the sounds of an unfamiliar culture.   As much as I love who I become in a new surrounding.  As much as I love the view of an unfamiliar landscape from an open hotel window.  As much as I love everything about every other place in the world….

There is nothing I love more than home.

123536059_10157862187173282_6138063500143918435_o

riverfrong

117644954_10157672501213282_3037322923781784617_n

116584304_10157643606763282_6011125820700265631_o

“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.” ― Jodi Picoult

Homesick: Nawazish; pianogirl; susi; rugby; sang; iqra; christy; gdutta; manoj; jonathan; dale; cassandra

Dérive


Dérive (n.) – Origin:Latin/French – A spontaneous journey where the traveler leaves their life behind for a time to let the spirit of the landscape and architecture attract and move them.

Venezuela was my first posting.  I have some of the fondest memories of this place and hope to one day be able to go back and revisit some of my favorite places and discover new ones.  This was a very special time in my life for so many reasons.  I hope can you vicariously enjoy some of my favorite times there.

Skydiving and Canyoning

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Merida

Colonia Tovar

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Port Ordaz/Ciudad Bolivar/ Playas/Chichiriviche Cerca de Morocoy/ Santa Theresa/ Avila/ Caracas

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Catatumbo/ Delta Orinoco/ Los LLanos / otres partes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you asked me what my favorite part of living and working in Venezuela was, I would not be able to answer.  I loved all of it.  My colleagues, my friends, the random people I met and places I went.  Just so many good things.  Like I said, I would love, love, love to go back and hopefully one day I will.

Venezuela: Geri; Barbara; Luke; Isaiah; Elliot; Oliver; Dillan; Noah; Mason; ravanji; Rob; Archyde;