Upon arrival to Valasske Klobouky (Kosenka), I was greeted with hugs and kisses, fresh apple cider and slivovice. It was a beautiful reunion.
For those of you who received my previous emails, you have an idea of what Kosenka and this little town mean to me. My time here in the winter was the most profound part of my entire excursion abroad. It is the place where I felt welcomed and empowered to participate and I gained the confidence to aim towards the larger picture, rather than the immediate concrete change. And so I am back to add another set of hands to assist their endeavors and to recharge from my time away.
I am writing to you sooner than I had anticipated because so much is happening and everything feels great. My first full day at Kosenka, Mirek took me on a hike to see some of the White Carpathian reserves. He showed me the diversity of the land as we hiked up and down and around the mountainside. He took me to a meadow where there lives about 160 different species of plants, about a third of them medicinal. He showed me the many different orchids and taught me that while orchids have the smallest seed and can travel easily, they need a very specific community in order to grow. This meadow even has bugs that can be found nowhere else. During our last hike up the mountain, he took me to a field filled with wild strawberries, and so we hiked crouched down low, to find, pick, and eat the sweet, small berries.
Yesterday I sewed and weaved on 100 year old equipment! It was great to feel my body so engaged in these activities. And afterwards, my feet felt like they were still rocking on pedals of the sewing machine.
I spend my free time hiking and meditating and reading and doing yoga and writing. I write a lot. Things seem much more peaceful this time, but maybe I am just more immediately relaxed and comforted by the familiar space.
Upon your suggestions, I am currently engrossed in Octavia E. Butlers Liliths Brood, and I just read the mowing section from Tolstoys Anna Karenina, and I am taking in daily doses of Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. I would highly recommend them all. I meant to send you all an email of a compiled list of the suggestions I received, I will try to get that out to you soon. With all of the reading recommendations that were in my local library, I copied a couple of chapters of each so that I can have a taste of them all while abroad. I plan on using this paper for art projects as I finish reading each selection. Anna Karenina is on its way to become a paper mache eye (Mireks eye, whose wrinkles resemble sun rays)
At the end of the week I will move on to Barbara Benishs farm and camp (www.bbenish.net/artmill), where I will teach dance, participate in taking care of the land, and learn about how they are working towards sustainability. I will be there for about a month.
vsechno je hezky.
p.s. uz jsem doma.
only for you. not in original email....
I spent this morning out in that meadow of 160+ plants, picking herbs for tea..... and I heard yodaling (it is so foreign to me, I dont even know how to spell it). I mean this wasnt like Jewel, or any other sexy pop star, this was actually someone calling for someone else on a different mountainside. Maybe they were calling for me? I didnt respond, I just looked towards the sound and smiled.