The Start

Meaningful. A positive effect. Balance. Sustainability.

These few words floated through my mind when I was cycling in India, in 2014. I had come from Oman by plane, landed in Cochin and moved on my own power towards the Himalaya. Cycling in India as a woman on your own in summer is hard. Time enough to think while battling the traffic, the people, the heat, the road.

Then these feelings and thoughts came back again, and again and again.

Not only the 4 words reappeared, the need to be creative too. I am an artist -not a very commercial one, that has to be said- but having chosen to be a contemporary nomad leaves little space for creativity other than writing and making photographs.

For some time I wanted to start something. But how, and what exactly? While cycling Croatia I got a luminous idea: ‘I start now!’

I figured with starting at the beginning, the rest will unfold by itself. The seed was planted a few years ago, now all I needed was water to pour on that seed.

My eyes started to search for thrown away textile, which I would use to make something creative out of it. All I could find were a few synthetic woolen scarfs with ugly patterns. That would not do.

In the past I had taken paper and crayons with me, so I could release my creativity. That worked minimal well when I was still a backpacker, but not when I started cycling.

So I bought the only textile the tiny handiwork shop in Rijeka, Croatia had for sale; shining stiff satin. Exactly the kind of textile I would not choose. I bought 4 colors of thread, needles and a scissor. Later on I added the dirty kitchen cloth to give the piece of embroidery some support.

Now, with my newly seized piece of shiny stiff satin I would wake up as soon as the sun start rising. I’d jump out of the tent and make a fire where I prepare masala chai. A liter of spicy milky black tea would then warm my hands and slowly lit up my whole body while I started to embroider: towards a design that developed itself.

DSC_0446

And I would find the answer to my own formed question: ‘Why do nomadic women make such detailed, intricate patterns while their life style is already so tremendously high maintained?’

It is a beautiful other form of meditation.

5 thoughts on “The Start

  1. And what a beautiful story of the Start. Thank you for sharing. My only guess is that the early non cycling nomads spent way more time at camps than the cycling cousins.

    Happy stiching and cycling/driving 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am certain of that. Perhaps our cycling is equal to herding the flock. Perhaps that is why I like to be in camp much more, because I love the camp spots. I think you too stay longer in one spot, isn’t it?

      Have a nice day, and for you, happy inventing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aha, ok I have a theory. Some people like to get away…. and like to camp. Others have no destination, they just like cycling. Why camp when you could be cycling?

        You like to make art, they like the art of riding.

        You like to rest, they like the excitement of what’s ahead.

        A continuum and we are all on it somewhere.

        It’s a theory….

        So far I have had constraints of various kinds and could not really relax into it. I hope to change that in future trips.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I agree and I have found out when making a trek recently. Last week I was walking through the mountains of Spain and I noticed that with walking there is no need to rest long periods. It is a different kind of exercise for the body and mind.

        I noticed I wanted to be in camp only to eat, rest and sleep.

        This might be because I have now plenty of time and am very content with my artistic level. Which was not the case while I was cycling.

        So, I do not like to rest only when I am tired. Being creative in camp is a whole other matter.

        I like the excitement of what is ahead too, that makes a traveler a traveler. And I would call myself a traveler, not a cyclist.

        I think your theory is poetic though. But not appliable to me really. Excessive rest may be needed when one is not in the very correct place…. could that be?

        I hope your issues which contrains you will indeed very soon disappear!

        Greetings Cindy

        Liked by 1 person

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