I have been thinking a lot about the space we as women occupy in the maritime world, particularly given that my “space” has altered somewhat in the past year. Having up until this point considered myself strictly a sailor, I now mostly cook and have chosen a role as full time chef onboard. There came a point where I no longer needed to prove myself on deck, competitions in strength or agility held no more magic and I felt I was repressing my female desire to take care of people. Cooking full-time also comes with its obstacles, however ultimately it is very rewarding.
Women are often objects of either necessity or desire onboard a vessel, I have been both at different times. We have had to carve a place for ourselves within the wooden planks. To be sure there are vastly fewer famous “Navigatrice” than Navigators. However those who have come before us have invariably paved the way to a much fairer future.
So carve your place amongst ships that go to sea, see the world and all it has to offer, however remain cautious. Don’t get too attached to your transient home, for its future lies in the hands of the merciless sea. Take care of your own skin, your muscles, your bones, the beds of your fingernails. These are your true vessel. Stretch your palms to the sky and feel the deck bow beneath you, delight in this moment because it too shall pass and this is a life with little certainty. Move with elegance and with grace, show no fear but show mercy. A woman’s place is important, the feminine in you should be able to shine as it will undoubtably benefit others.
I will write again soon, best wishes,
I am writing to you as we sail past the sparse hillsides of Albania. Travelling from Corfu to Croatia, we have just watched the most incredible lightning show…..
The wind howls down this coast from Venice in the North. For some this would set their teeth on edge, but instead she hugs us in her arms and whispers stories from the land. The coastline is but a shadow yet pine needles scent the air.
Spindrift lashes across the deck, glinting as it passes and falls. This is my home. Proud to be sea gypsies, gone with the wind we pass fleetingly through countries, knowing no borders. It has not always been this way, before resilience there was fear. Fear of the night, fear of the water, the wind and those around me. Time has smoothed my porous exterior, calcified me, these days I carry a shell.
At home nowhere and everywhere I am at peace in the world. Gone are trivial desires and many necessities. We wash in fresh pools, dry in the sun. Sleep beneath trees and stretch on grass verges.
This place, our place, is a place of needing nothing and everything. Where freedom and love are the only requirement.
I will write again soon, best wishes,
The January chills are in the air, I sand until my fingers are blue and my wanders. Far from here, far from this place to another universe, another future.
So I thought I might share with you some of what I have been listening to, as everybody likes a good podcast recommendation on a cold winters eve, and if you have any you would like to share with me please do! The “GOOP” episode is especially special, as it includes a lot of recent research into Endocrine Disrupting chemicals. Something I have found scarce information on since I first learned about them in 2015. There has been so much research, exposure and communication about the amount of plastic making its way into our oceans, which is truly wonderful! Yet the physical impact of the chemicals present in these plastics (and many other products) on our bodies, namely women’s bodies, is somewhat harder to visualise.
Recently, I seem to often be pausing for a moment to reflect upon just how far we have come.
To marvel that “single use” has been coined the most popular phrase of 2018.
To delight in rarely seeing single use plastic bags, plastic straws or plastic cutlery in every day use.
To be so god -damned proud that just three years ago, setting off to research the impact of plastic pollution not just on the planet but on women’s health, I never would have dreamed that in just three short years so many people would be singing the phrases “slow-living”, “low impact” and “zero-waste”.
Yet we are still gracing just the tip of the iceberg. These Podcasts, I feel, all dig a little deeper than we currently are at the moment. Within each one glints a golden nugget of wisdom, for this reason I thought I would place them together and hand them out for you to give a whirl.
A particularly wonderful quote came from the “On Being” episode with Krista Tippett, featuring Pico Iyer;
“….to be human is to try to find the best part of yourself that is in fact beyond yourself and much wiser than you are, and have that to share with everyone you care for.” Pico Iyer
Iyer’s philosophies around simplicity, minimalism and silence are firmly soft, if that makes sense? I loved listening to his life story and hearing about how he reached his current state of being. I will be off soon, on another adventure, where slow living, minimal wanting or needing and the ability to find stillness and silence within my own mind will be of great importance. But more on that later. For now……each episode is linked below for your listening pleasure. Enjoy, S x
43.1737° N, 5.6052° E - to - 17.0608° N, 61.7964° W
I pause to look around me and reflect on how far we have left to travel and at how uncertain the future, our future really is.
The foundations on which our societies were built are trembling under their own weight. The compression of growth is causing fractures and earth beneath us is beginning to groan. This is not an attempt at scaremongering, one has to admit, that there is something in the air. Change is afoot, whether we like it or not.
In this Canvas I wanted to create a window into a moment in time. The moonlit waves could really be in any time or place, for me they are emotive of a very specific nano second in time.
I rarely work in oil. I don’t like the smell of mineral spirits or Linseed oil. Somehow this elevates their vibrance + density when I do treat myself.
In these more recent paintings I am attempting to further explore painting as a craft. Transferring skills such as wood working and upholstery from my work on the interior of sailing boats. Crafting pieces which sit between traditional painting and interior design. These paintings are designed to be lived with, to accent a space + provide a portal to another time and place.