Monday, February 09, 2009

Twenty Five Things

Sisters Kim and Joanna tagged me on this a while ago, and here it is at last. Sorry it took a few days to work out... What on earth does one say about one's own self anyway?

1. On our first date many years ago, my soulmate and I spent most of the evening talking about art and literature, and somehow or other I landed up reciting almost the whole of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat to him - for the simple reason that he didn't believe I knew it, let alone knew the whole thing. I can still recite it from memory along with vast chunks of Yeats, Rumi, Hafiz, Basho, Rilke, Neruda, David Whyte, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry.

2. I learned to read before reaching the dizzy age of four and have had my nose firmly planted in a book ever since.

3. I could cheerfully part with my whole wardrobe and probably the family silver, but never my library or my camera equipment.

4. The little blue house in the village does have a television set, but I can't remember the last time I turned it on.

5. I come alive when I pick up my camera, a paintbrush or a good book.

6. Owning a book shop/art gallery would be a dream come true and a truly celestial experience, but I am not sure I would ever be able to part with a single thing.

7. I adore hats, but I look perfectly dreadful in most hats.

8. There is a slight bend in my nose which isn't noticeable because of all the freckles on it. As a youngster, I broke the poor sniffer several times, and it now lists permanently to port. Nobody seems to notice, and I don't usually volunteer the information.

9. My preferred items of footwear (on the rare occasions when I cop out and wear shoes these days) are my purple lace-up Doc Martens. I feel like Xena in those boots, invincible and as though I can do just about anything, but I don’t have a helmet, sword or breastplate to go with the boots.

10. My favorite color is ultra-violet, and one of these fine days, I shall tint my silvery hair that very same color to match my favorite old Doc Martens (if the Docs hold out for another year or two).

11. I am indifferent to potatoes, but I simply couldn’t live without rice. There is always a large bowl of brown rice in my refrigerator, and my favorite kitchen gadgets are my wok, rice cooker and Le Creuset pots. Throw a handful of sauteed greens, tofu, peppers, shitaki mushrooms and umeboshi (or whatever else is available) into the rice, and hey presto, one has the perfect serendipity repast.

12. The comfort food of choice is pumpernickel (real honest no-yeast wheat-free pumpernickel) toast with butter and buckwheat honey, preferably consumed with a good pot of tea - Earl Grey or a fine malty Assam will do nicely. If there is no buckwheat honey in the pantry, I substitute my own wild elderberry jam.

13. Did I mention that I love tea, all kinds of tea? I have a whole cupboard of it, all kinds of it from Arctic Crowberry and Cloudberry to Lapsang, Darjeeling and Ceylon.

14. I just say "no" to white bread, white rice and wheat pasta whenever I encounter them and can't remember the last time I ate the wretched stuff.

15. Up to the present moment, I have been adopted by three clans in the Lanark Highlands: Raven, Heron and Wolf and can speak the three languages reasonably well - I have been known to sing along with the wolves in Lanark after dark, trade jokes with the ravens on fine summer mornings and converse with herons along the lake at sunset.

16. There are four places on this earth I should like very much to visit before I shuffle off this mortal coil, the Himalayas, China, Japan and (for some strange reason) Iceland, and I plan to make it to all four places in the next year or two.

17. I've already journeyed to Baffin Island and absolutely adored the untrammeled rocky wildness of that far northern place. The Arctic calls to me in the voice of the sirens, and one of these days, I shall have to go back there.

18. I can travel like the wind on snowshoes, and it is a good thing that I can. Winters here are long and cold and very snowy.

19. When younger, I wanted to own a working mill and came very close to actually doing it. I still have vivid dreams of mill wheels turning, of sitting by mill ponds stocked with trout and visiting quiet channels graced by herons on warm summer nights. The dream remains, and who knows? It may still come true. If it happens, I shall acquire a good cello and sit by down the water, playing Mozart for the trout and the herons and the ducks.

20. In my next life, I would like to be a mermaid or a dryad.

21. Having been quiet, introspective, freckled and rather easy going all my life (and about as intimidating as the Easter bunny), I secretly aspire to become a commanding presence in my elder years, someone who is wise, compelling and a little scary.

22. Deep inside this plain boring old hen is someone or something extraordinary - a wild adventuress longing to get out, book passage on a tramp steamer and go traveling around the world.

23. I am truly and incredibly passionate about this magnificent little blue planet we live on and about healing it. The myriad beauties of this magical earth bring me to my knees every time, and the wonder of it all sustains me.

24. When younger, I assumed that I would be a wise entity by this ripe old age, but as I move further along this meandering journey, I am realizing that I don't know anything, not a single darned thing, and that makes me laugh. Becoming wise or enlightened is an undertaking for many lifetimes, and several more will probably have come and gone before I have learned anything at all, however small and insignificant.

25. I shall be content, if in this lifetime I have managed to cultivate even a small scrap of mindfulness and compassion.


Anonymous said...

Oh Cate - after reading your 25 things I now know that we are travelling very similar paths. Did we get cut from the same cloth!? Did we live in parallel universes or past lives!? You are a treasure, thank you for sharing of yourself. Respectfully, Jane

greentangle said...

A fine series of posts--Twenty five very fine things, and Spencer looks like he's getting wise as well. It must be the rambling for bear.

I had a world traveling friend who said Iceland was her favorite place to backpack, so perhaps not such a strange choice.

Shell said...

I loved your list. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. I love to be adopted by wolf clan, one day.

Amanda said...

Thank you for posting this. Your list is so much more thoughtful than many others I have read. Best of luck and grace with your travels!

Aiyana said...

You shared a lot about yourself and I found it very interesting, especially your skill at speaking Raven, Heron and Wolf. Actually, all your skills continue to impress me. Although I know you only from what I read and see here daily, you are one of the most interesting and talented people I 'know'.


One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Cate, I find you remarkable. Wish I could claim a small amount of your talent. All you enter is a blessing to this One Woman.

Lil said...

that was great to read Cate! LOL ~ you've probably revealed more in the post than in the 3 (??) yrs you've been blogging...or at least that I've been coming here!

Tea ~ betcha you and I could open our own tea shop, that's how deep our passion goes for the luscious leaves hmmm?!

Ok, I'll bite...but give me a couple of days....

Lil xo

ps. Tenacity ~ how's it going so far?

Sky said...

i so enjoyed reading this. thanks for sharing yourself.

silverlight said...

TraveL lady, pack your duffle and go. Because you never know what tomorrow brings.
We did our traveling while we were still young enough to enjoy it and get around easily.

Now we are both not in good health. and can go nowhere. except the store or the doctor.

Make your wishes come true.

Val said...

I, too feel drawn, to Iceland, though why. I dont know either. The Himalayan mountains (well foothills) and Japan have felt like coming home.

Right now, (having been to Kyoto last autumn) I feel I am staying put for a while.

I travel in your world when I read your blog - which is travel enough.