Last week, Tanz durch den Tag and friends got together for the season opening with a beautiful music festival celebrating the first of May. All I can say is, “Wow”.
After months of hard work, we arrived the day before the festival on Brigittenauer Sporn on the Danube. Trucks came and went throughout the day, leaving behind piles of equipment and decorations. The bar was built up, tents were raised, the DJ booth was constructed, and the decorations were slowly caught in the trees, stuck in the earth, or strung into the air (air which seemed to be alive with anticipation). At some point, late into the dark, everyone made there way home to an uneasy sleep, tossing and turning with anxious excitement.
The crew and the sun arrived in the park around the same time on the first of May. The final preparations were made and the Aquarianer began to arrive we began to dress in beautifully dyed fabrics, glittering from head to toe. The Auqarianer are the people of the water. They don’t usually come on to land, but with the water supplies being in such danger, they migrated on to land to share the message with the people, “Be happy, dance, and love yourself, your fellow animals, and your earth“.
Though the event didn’t officially begin until 10am, the first guests began arriving around 9am, possibly anticipating the massive crowd to would later temporarily inhabit this park. The music began, and the people began to dance… The rest I will share through photographs, tiny snapshots of a very big, very beautiful thing.
Thank you all for coming, bringing so much love, and making Ozeania the overwhelmingly beautiful event that it was, and don’t forget to keep loving your Earth. Love the water, but also the soil, the rocks, the plants, the animals. Love radiates, be it through words, experiences, or even these photographs. Spread love.
To say I love this small town in Upper Austria seems inadequate. Out of all the places I have been, this very well could be my absolute favorite. Friends of mine own a 400-year-old house in the mountains called “Spintriegl”. It is a home entirely deserving of a name because it has the presence of a being. The minute one walks through the front door, there is an overwhelming feeling of energy vibrations. It’s almost as if one can feel, see, hear the walls breathing. And the energy is incredible. Very old houses can be dangerous in the fact that, first of all, the materials used in that time are extremely absorbant. One must then imagine how many people passed through that home in the last 400 years, all of whom brought energy and left it there. Spintriegl is a an example of a home which was filled, for all these years, with love and joy. You feel it the minute you walk in the door.
It isn’t just the house, however, that vibrates with such beautiful energy. The whole area is filled with some of the most wonderful energy I know. It pulls you out of the home and into the mountains, the forests, the rivers, the valleys. It energizes you at the same time that it calms you. It is as refreshing as the crystal clear water of the springs flowing down from the surrounding mountains. Invigorating, healing, joyous. It is the escape from the hectic life of the city that I find myself sometimes so desperately needing.
I don’t know what it is, but lately all I can think about is magic. It could be the amount of ‘Game of Thrones’ I have watched in the past month or it could be the changing of of the seasons, but I feel fantastically romantic. I believe this is why I have found a sudden connection with the wonderful photographer Alison Scarpulla. I have enjoyed her work for awhile now and I often check her website for new inspiration, but I never felt as inspired by her as I have in the past few months. Recently, I would say that I find her to be one to the artists who have influenced me the most.
I find fantastic art in her medium to be the most interesting of the genre, mostly because it makes it feel real. Painting, drawing, etc., often feel like a fantasy to me, whereas photography focuses more on real-life moments, so when the medium of truth meets the dream world, magic seems to pour out of the page. It is rare for me to feel magic pouring out of the computer screen, but somehow Scarpulla manages to do what most photographers cannot; bringing a fantasy-world to life.
Take a look for yourself!
Over the next couple weeks, I will be composing some holiday themed posts to aid and abet during this choatic season, but to start, i want to give you a chance to relax. If you’re anything like me, gift giving can be extremely fun. I plan months in advance to give each and every one of my loves something they will love. This, however, does not come without its fair share of stress. I tend to get riled up easily, which I try to combat with regular meditation and practice, which brings us to our first de-stressing method
I wrote a post a couple months ago on the importance of breath. Whenever I feel like my stress level is rising or my mind is moving too fast, I take a moment to myself to do a couple breathing exercises. It always amazes me how something so simple as breathing can center and relax me so quickly and easily. My favorite exercise is to breathe slowly and deeply through my nose while envisioning positive warm energy entering my body with every breath in and negative cold energy exiting with every breath out. It’s also important to meditate regularly as a sort of prevention method. With regular meditation, I find that things that would have sent me into an anxiety attack before don’t even faze me now.
I am obsessed with lavender. Its de-stressing and relaxing aroma-therapeutic qualities have helped me on multiple occasions. I try to use a least one lavender scented product every day. There are so many ways to use lavender to de-stress but my absolute favorite is to give myself and lavender steam bath. I fill a bowl with boiling water a brew dried lavender (you can find lavender tea in many health stores) for about 7 minutes. After making sure it’s not too hot, I drape a towel over my head and put my face into the bowl. The steam opens your pours and the lavender scent relaxes you, leaving you relaxed and beautiful. I also adore Dr. Bronner’s lavender liquid soap. I use it for everything.
Take a day off
Or even just a couple hours. How often to you give yourself time to yourself? For most of us it’s a pretty rare occurrence. Somehow we are always finding something to do. Look at your schedule and see what really needs to be done. If you go through and pick out the excess, you’d be amazed at how much time seems to open up right before your eyes. Use this time to do whatever relaxes you the best. A hot bath, a good book, and a glass of my favorite red wine do wonders for me.
How do you like to relax?
We live today in a society where almost everything is given to us. We walk or drive to the grocery store and can chose from hundreds of products to consume, having little to nothing to do with the production. The same goes for most things we consume. We take advantage of having everything by losing our connection with the world around us and losing our gratitude. I was raised outside. I played with sticks and learned how to grow food on our farm. I wasn’t allowed much television or computer games and, although I resented it at the time, it is something I am now forever grateful for. I was raised with a connection to the earth.
Nowadays most people have never had a connection to the earth. Some have never witnessed food growing and rely entirely on food that had been pre-picked, pre-prepared, pre-packaged. They do not associate their meat with animals because, by the time it is on their plate, it doesn’t resemble an animal at all. It is so easy for us to consume that we forget to be thankful.
Today is a perfect opportunity to give thanks to the earth for providing us with everything we could ever need. I have filled a small glass with earth from a nearby park and it will serve as a centerpiece for my modest thanksgiving. It reminds me, as I eat my delicious meal, that it all came from the earth. If you decide to eat turkey today, take the time to thank the turkey for nourishing you and passing its energy from the earth, through it, to you.
How will you remember to be grateful today?
It took me awhile to learn to recognize when I was feeling nostalgic. It always seemed to creep up on me as a sort of dreamy ache in my heart. I couldn’t figure out whether it was a sad feeling or not, but I would suddenly be filled with this intense emotion, mostly when I was playing guitar or driving, and I just couldn’t for the life of me place it. I took awhile to reflect on the circumstances surrounding it. It happened most often when I was back in the States seeing old friends. I would get this feeling of not quite belonging anymore. I had ran away to Europe for adventure and must have changed in the process of doing so because when I returned to visit everything was the same, but different. My friends were the same, more or less, and we did all the same things we used to, but somehow I felt out of place.
And then it hit me; Nostalgia!
I at first rejected the feeling because I believed in the now being the only reality and the past was not worth over-examining (which I still do, to a point, believe). But after a lot of reflection I began to see my problem. I had ignored the fact that my life in the past made me who I am now. It’s a journey, a life, and while there is so much of the path ahead of me, I’ve covered a lot of ground. Getting caught up in the past can lead to a life not fully lived, but there is nothing wrong with curling up after a busy day and reminiscing.
Tomorrow is Sunday, so take some time to be nostalgic. Look through old photographs or journals, meet a friend and laugh over old stories, cuddle up with a loved one and recap your journey together, whatever brings that dreamy ache of the heart.
What do you like to do when you’re feeling nostalgic?
Here are a few of my own nostalgic images
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I boarded a train and headed to Salzburg, a city famous for many things including being the “Mozart City” and as well as the setting of “The Sound of Music”. Set peacefully in the mountains, there is somehow nature everywhere you turn. The “Salzburg” castle is located on the top of a steep mountain, which provided us with a nice hike and an excellent view. My favorite view, however, was from that of the Museum der Moderne.
Standing almost at the edge of a steep cliff, the Museum der Moderne was fantastic. The museum was hosting a wonderful super-realist exhibition of Chuck Close. The exhibit was phenomenal and I would highly recommend it to anyone. After the exhibit, we sat on the patio of their cafe. The view was unbelievable. The castle we were just in sat perched on it’s mountain behind the buildings that made up Salzburg’s old city. I could have sat for hours looking at the fiery hillsides of salzburg in Autumn.
I could go on about it for hours, but I just want to share a few of my favorite photos from the trip.
There is something about this time of year that makes me believe in magic. I find myself drifting into childhood fantasies of fairies and witches and the autumn air seems to be almost alive. I am pulled toward the forest where magic seems to wait, brewing, until someone comes and sets it free.
Whether or not you believe in magic, it is hard to deny the feeling of excitement it can bring. The sight of the moon shining through thin clouds makes the air feel a little colder and the flickering of candlelight on the walls of a dark room can send shivers down the spine.
As the days grow colder and the nights grow longer, allow yourself to believe, if only for a second, that magic is all around.