Friday, June 10, 2016

A question that I always ask myself is where do my intentions come from? Are they purely selfish, or am I overly emotional, unable to separate what I desire from what is right and true? Or am I the result of a society that demands everything and gives nothing, therefore I cannot be held responsible for my lack of empathy? Or am I a combination of all of these things, and so much more, that I haven't yet had the opportunity to consider? 

I tend to have my most existential questions late at night, when I'm on my own. It's not exactly late at the moment, but I have spent more and more time on my own. I have craved my own company and damned those who have got in my way. There are a select few that I allow to be in my presence, but the moment their demands become too expectant I tend to scurry back into my hermit-like ways. I'm not sure where this has come from, or if it has been a long time coming, or actually this is what I'm truly like, as I was hiding behind a sociable facade?

I have all of the questions and not a single one of the answers. 

Since I am now into the second week of June, with only a fortnight left in the Far East, life is going at a tumultuous speed, and I've needed to take myself off to collect my thoughts before the long journey back to the Shire. Of course, I have the delightful pleasure of my Irish Ladies of Corcagh who arrive imminently, to look forward to, and their presence is greatly anticipated. But before they arrive, I have chosen myself as my only companion. That is, until the dark-eyed musician finishes entertaining the masses and I can have him to myself. I need some sort of consistency in my life at the moment, and he has the voice the purrs my name, in a way that only he can. 

Does that make it fair on the other people I have in my life. No. But, since when is life fair? And I have made no promises to break. Rather I have kept myself to myself, allowing my thoughts to cloud my sensibilities, and gone with what I believe are my truest of emotions. I don't know any more. I have been shut down for so long after the Duke of Albany, that I don't know what it is to feel and truly give myself to someone, and I am not yet ready to do that - thought I am finally allowing the thought to enter my mind for the first time in a year.

Love. What fools it turns us into.

D. S. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

There was a part of me that thought my last post would be just that, my last. But then there comes a day or a night where the words flow, and I can't stop myself from pouring out all that I feel, despite being unable to say the words out loud. 

Countries have been travelled since I last wrote; love and joy and frustration have all been experienced, heightened almost, by all too close quarters, and yet, the tenderness and fondness that I feel has not dissipated. Rather, it turns out that I have all these emotions I've claimed to not feel, they were hidden inside me all along and I'm only just coming to terms with the fact that they exist. I have ignored them for so long, easily since the Duke of Albany and I parted ways, and even before then, I was always weary and wary of all that I could feel bubbling under the surface of my skin.

And then someone you care about touches you and all the doubts, the worries, the questions, fall by the wayside, and all that matters is that moment in time. A touch that makes your entire body burn with desire, love, lust, a craving that you didn't realise you had, and aren't entirely sure that you want to satisfy. Or sometimes, it isn't even a touch - a tender look that speaks volumes. It conveys all the emotions that you have yet to admit, and aren't brave enough to utter into the hair that caresses your lips as you silently beg for more. 

For all that I feel, tiredness is something that I cannot ignore. My eyelids flutter against my cheeks, a daily struggle as I try to survive on a few hours sleep a night. It turns out age doesn't agree with me, and I need at least my eight hours to stay both productive and kind. The kindness leaves first once I'm under my eight hours. The productivity wanes under five hours.

I'm so looking forward to going home. I'm looking forward to having to put this year to a close. There is so much to still look forward to here in the Far East, but at the moment, my heart isn't in it. And I don't think it's because I'm ignoring my feelings this time, I just think I'm looking for something a little different. A chaos that I recognise instead of a mess that I'm unintentionally a part of; being home would relieve some of the tension building up in my shoulders. I hope. Though, am I possibly looking forward with rosy-tinted-spectacles? Am I already bored with the Far East? 

How could I be bored when there is still so much to explore? And I will admit that the travelling is something I long for when I have duties that keep me grounded for weeks at a time. And of course, there are similar opportunities back in Europe's beautiful green and pleasant land, but I want to see the world and be at home. How can I have everything that I want? Or is that life's great joke? We shall always want it all, but it is literally, metaphorically and physically impossible. 

Well, I've always been one to say 'never say never'... Whatever will be, will be, and all that, so I shall enjoy the journey. 

D. S.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The time between written posts passes too quickly and there are days when I forget that I have a duty to myself to record what it is that I do, where I go and how I feel. I wonder how long it'll be before this hobby of mine dwindles to a halt and it too becomes a fleeting memory, for I have no greater commitment in my life than the few words I share on these pages and the colours that I allow to drip on to a blank canvas. 

Though life is not as bleak as I portray it to be. 

Actually I am ever so fortunate. Another year older if not wiser, and though the frivolities were many and the permanent marks almost as damming as in previous year, I do feel more content. There are moments of dissatisfaction, but in general, I cannot believe my good fortune and I hope I show my appreciation to the Goddess. 

I only have a few more weeks in the Far East before returning to the Shire for the summer. Again I shall be at the Convent, (I cannot remember a time where the summer and the Convent weren't intermingled), and I shall have my darling Irish Lady by my side. I cannot wait to cavort in my overly-familiar stomping ground with my blue-eyed darling. She is almost as adventurous as I am in some aspects, and far exceeds me in others!

It will be delightful to catch up with my wonderful Ladies of the Shire and I cannot wait to watch my darling Armiger walk down the aisle. There are so many people to see and so many people that I am looking forward to spending some time with, if only for a few long summer evenings.

Though it cannot be said that I am not enjoying my time here in the Orient. I am off on some more travels in a few days, accompanying a truly captivating creature who I daren't write any more about at present. The Scottish Earl is still sojourning in the Far East for a while longer, which makes for interesting dinner conversation. And the musician, with his deep, soul-searching eyes... He is more than a little difficult to comprehend. Indeed, there is all manner of confusion in my head and heart and I know that I am the one who is going to end up burned, but truly I don't know how to do anything other than what I'm doing... I shall just have to wait and see how I manage to cope with the path I have forced myself down.

D. S.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I ended my previous post with a thanks to the Lord, an unashamed, unabashed plea for the good times to stay, in exchange for my appreciation and gratitude. So far, I must say that my prayers have been answered. 

My Mother joined me here in the Far East a few days ago, and though her journey was tumultuous, she has taken to the Far East like a duck to water. I forget that she has travelled as much as I have in her younger days, and though this is her first time to my Eastern city, she is more interested in the people I know than the places I have been. So we have dallied with friends, wandered the mountainside, delighted at the spectacle of dancing water that has astonished so many visitors to my Easter home. I am glad that she is enjoying herself and I hope she gets just as much enjoyment out of her own travels to come. 

Before Mother arrived I did have one day worth writing home about. It was a Wednesday and due to a wonderful tradition, everyone was in fiesta mode as we were celebrating the King of Festivals. I spent the morning in a state of undress with an artist of note - nothing like the portrait of Venus the Duke of Albany had commissioned for me all those years ago - but rather something much deeper and darker, and I have to admit it took me a fair while to get comfortable with my body being scrutinised in such a way. 

That afternoon I jaunted over the waters to a larger city to spend time with the Scottish Earl who surprised me with a visit. I couldn't not see him while he was in town, and there are rumours that he may be here for a little longer than expected. But of course it should have been scandalous to jump from one situation to another, yet it looks like I am used to these various trysts. 

The final chapter of the day was a complete surprise, even for me. I had left my painting class after my delicious dinner with the Scottish Earl and was wandering the streets of this most glorious city, when I heard the ever-so-familiar notes of a ballad from a musician I hadn't thought of in months. I couldn't help but be drawn to the sound. 

I didn't expect to see the same deep, dark eyes staring back at me from an equally shocked face from my travels in Indochina many months before. The musician continued to play, ever the professional, but the second he had a moment to spare, there we were laughing and talking about our fond memories from before Christmas. He was never someone I wrote of as an individual, always too wrapped up in the man who made me see myself, but now, now that I know what I am... I still can say nothing more. Not until I see him again.

And of this beautiful Iberian princess that I have become acquainted with...? For now, I have no words.

D. S.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another post and another country that I have fallen in love with. There is nothing I can say or do to stop myself from travelling, and honestly I can't think why I wouldn't spend the rest of my life discovering new cities, cultures and ways of life that I wouldn't be able to imagine had I stayed cocooned in the luxury of the Shire. 

I have continued to travel the Far East, not leaving the bustling shores of the Orient, but listening to the distant rumble of cultures un-yet discovered. Indochina called my name and I followed willingly, exploring tiny fishing villages that haven't yet experienced the furore of the future.

I went with my gorgeous Scottish Lady and we dined and danced and dallied with all that the country had to offer - and I cannot stress enough the beauty of a country so little effected by the trappings of the modern world. It was truly a glorious place to visit and if I had any disappointments, at all, it is that I didn’t get to spend more than a few days experiencing paradise.

This only means one thing, that I have to, at some point in the future, return to Indochina and give more of my time to a place that has opened my eyes to the truly important things in life.

This journey was not one of self-discovery. Siam taught me that I am running very low on patience and my tolerance for other people is not where it should be… Seemingly however, my creative ambitions are soaring, so I need to work on finding a balance before I become an artist and a hermit rolled into one unintentional situation.

I have a desire to see more of the world, and to paint. Nothing else seems to give me the same satisfaction, though there are individuals that I have become close to, and they in turn are demanding more of my attention and are only too willing to smother me with their affections. Please do not take the term ‘smother’ in my usual negative connotations, but rather imagine that someone is placing no more than a chaste kiss on my cheek, and I am overreacting. It is another of my flaws that I intend to work on, at some point.

Until then, I shall discover more about what the Far East has to offer. My Mother is going to join me at the end of this week and together we shall roam the streets of my home. I shall share my memories of this place that I have spent so little time, but have already created snippets of my life that I hope to never forget. It will be exciting to have someone from my past visit me in this new and exotic place. I remember how wide-eyed and in-awe I was when I arrived, but now I stroll past the palaces and gigantic buildings without a second thought. It will be wonderful to see my own town through the eyes of a visitor.

I feel ever so privileged to have all I do and see all I see. Please Lord, I am the happiest I can remember, let nothing take this feeling away. Help me always be grateful for what I have, because there is nothing else that I could ask for.

D. S.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

As always I have no idea where to start... Other than the beginning, but that in itself is a rather tricky situation. Where even is the beginning?

I have just journeyed back from the tropical delights of the Kingdom of Siam, and am suffering from a a serious case of withdrawal. I travelled on my own, learning to love myself once again, and indeed discovering that my normally rather cold and calculated demeanour, melted away under the blazing sun and I am ready to try and care about other people. 

Of course I have always cared about my friends and my family, that goes without question, but my apprehension is more towards opening up to other people, allowing them to get to know me a little more intimately, rather than accepting me for the more brusque and brash personality that I am known for. It's a wonderous feeling to be so alone in another country where I do not know the traditions, culture or the language. It is truly eye-opening to discover how much I do not know about the world. It is humbling to be accepted by strangers with a wide smile and kind offer of hospitality. 

There were sights I will never forget: fish the size of my body leaping out of the water, flying towards large pieces of bread thrown from bridges and decks on the shore; lizards lazing in the sun on low-hanging trees, their scaly tails taut against the branches in the wind; palaces of gold and silver, diamonds glistening at every turn; statues towering over the throngs of people that crowded around them in search of some good fortune.

I have so much love and respect for the Kingdom of Siam, it was stunningly beautiful in parts - the river, the palaces and temples; the places of worship - both spiritual and material - yet they were contrasting in a painfully obvious, yet ignored way, with the squalor of wooden huts and corrugated metal houses that were hidden in plain sight, overshadowed by the grandeur of the architecture. It was an enlightening place to visit, and I know that the three days I had there weren't enough to do the city justice. I'm sure I shall find it in me to travel there again at some point in the future. 

The monks were something to behold, their robes of orange clashing brilliantly with the hue of the city, but more than that, they held themselves with such a poise that they were revered from across the street. Furtive glances were kept low out of respect and yet the monks had a look of serenity upon each of their faces. I was entranced by their very presence, even more so when I saw them out of context, beside the markets and peddlars rather than contemplating life beneath a fresco of their beloved Buddha. I still have so much to learn.

D. S.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Apparently it is unfair to equate love with other feelings. Love lives in an ivory tower and calls out for those who are courageous enough to try and search for it, whereas I expect love and I to accidentally bump into each other, realising that we've been living in the same ivory tower all along. 

I am not bitter, nor hopeful. I am just enjoying being me. I want no one in my life who needs more than a friendship right now, and sometimes I'm not even sure I have a friendship to offer. It is much more difficult maintaining friendships with people you haven't known for decades. My Shire Ladies take no offence from weeks without a word, nor do I expect to be filled in with all their scandals until they are ready to tell that story. In this Oriental bubble that I now live, my friends are few, but we see so much of each other that it becomes instantly recognisable if one of us opts out, or chooses to spend time with anyone else, or even on our own. 

What is so wrong with wanting to spend some time by yourself?

The weather is also truly having an effect on my rather more acerbic tendencies, a fog has cloaked the island so that it feels we are trapped beneath a great white cloud and breathing is becoming somewhat of a noticeable struggle. I cannot remember the last time I saw the sun. I think I need to escape, to run away and breathe, so that I can come back and be myself - be kind and caring and compassionate, listening to my friends who need me and allowing myself to feel something, anything, even if it is not love. 

Why do we feel the need 'to love and be loved in return'? Does it give us a sense of purpose? Does it make us feel like we belong? I cannot believe that love is the only reason for our existence, nor that life is without meaning if we don't have love. Not that love is a bad thing, but from what I've experienced, it does blinker you to thinking solely about one other person, and forgetting who you are in the process. 

Love is confusing. Life even more so.

D. S.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

What have I learnt since my last post? If anything (which I sincerely doubt) I have discovered that practice truly does make a difference, and my sketches have improved immeasurably since the beginning of the year. It is a pleasant feeling knowing that pushing yourself to do something every day does eventually pay off. 

If only I could be as dedicated with my writing, like I was in Bohemia, but it turns out I have to make choices between my arts, my friends, my work and myself. And truly I have been suffering for I have lost who I am, and maybe that's because I haven't been doing my writing? Questions are all I have, attempts to see what works is all I can do, and only from there can I adapt and develop to this being that I believe, nay, that I know I am. 

I know that I need to make more time for myself, to experience things that I enjoy, for it is all too easy to hide away in my ivory tower, drawing, writing, painting, with no thought to the outside world. But when I hear tales of my wonderful Ladies of the Shire, cavorting in the snow back at home, I not only envy their freedom, but wish I had the opportunity for similar experiences here. 

I miss my friends. Of course I have wonderful acquaintances here and few close enough to hold to the bosom of my heart. Nevertheless, it is not quite the same as having your friends from childhood laugh, reminisce and gossip with a furore that I'm sure only we know how. I don't think I have missed my Marquessa and Baroness, Armiger and Court Jester as much as this since I lived in the Antipodes and had yet to meet anyone outside of my family. 

Love is also a thing that I feel I can no longer speak of. It has left me, leaving only bitter memories of that which I have lost. I am in a confused state, still only worrying about me. The Duke of Albany has also been on my mind more than I care to admit. Indeed he has gone from a a name I barely recognise in conversation, to someone who haunted my dreams only last night. I feel the need to speak with him, but distance is a great barrier. So I shall write a letter, letting him know that he is in my thoughts.

For truly, the only other person to enter my mind, is myself. 

D. S.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The end of another month is nigh and already I am closer to the spring, when the flowers break through the frosty soil and stretch towards the warm glow of the sun. Then I have to look forward to the summer months back in my homeland... Last year still feels like a dream, yet the summer is already approaching at a speed I'd forgotten. It's a wondrous prospect to go back to the Convent, doing something that I love with the friends and family that I don't get to see often enough, but it's astonishing when I think about all that has occurred since I arrived in the Far East. 

Love and loss... Well, more like love and lessons learned, something that I realise I am still in the midst of, despite my loud affirmations that I already know everything. Life and how to react and respond to other people... It seems this is not something I excel at.  I love to socialise, to be the centre of attention, and I crave acceptance from others, even if I am not as interested in giving them anything more than my judgement. I am harsh, overly-critical and not as affected by the idea of self-improvement as I should be.

Yet there is another side to me that I have been cultivating out here in the Far East, one that I haven't had the pleasure of since my time in Bohemia. I write, I draw, I paint. Yes this entry is dripping in upright, self-indulgent 'I', but I can't get myself out of my head. My mind is focused only on my emotions, my feelings, my opinions, my choices and decisions. Though I know I need to be aware of how these actions effect other people. 

I believe I know what the problem is... I am my own worst enemy. I don't look to fix myself, because that would be admitting there was a problem in the first place, and that is something I cannot bring myself to do. That is my biggest lesson, and there is more to learn that what I have discovered so far.

Love... I flit, I flee, I fly. It's an intangible emotion that cannot carry any weight, though people base their entire life decisions on a feeling. I too am one of those people, yet I know I am too scared to completely let go like I have done in the past. If I cannot be my scared, contradictory, paradoxical self, then who am I? What am I supposed to be?

Another question for another lesson.

D. S.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Another year and another Valentine's Day. This time however, though I am somewhere in the midst of something that is remarkably like love, I cannot dwell on the feelings that I have, nor do I really want to. 

That's a lie. 

All I really want to do is talk about love, and my feelings and gush about the other person in my life. But then I can't be critical and sardonic about all the other people who do the the exact same thing... Hypocrisy is an aspect of my nature I'd like to keep disguised for as long as possible.

So instead of telling the world how happy I am that there is someone in the world who gets ME, I shall instead regale you with tales of the Orient ~ my travels have continued to broaden my horizons and I have seen so much more than I could ever imagine. 

I have witnessed women of all ages standing underneath candlelight selling their bodies with a gusto that I generally save only for the bedroom (and the beach, that one time). I have taken part in customs that are still alien to me, but watched and learned with the utmost respect as traditions have surpassed all passages of time. 

The Far East cannot be defined by one culture, everywhere I travel there are snippets of differences that cannot be explained. No one tries to understand what it is that instigates these subtle changes, and it fascinates me to know that there are more places to visit that have no similarities. 

All I can suggest darlings is to travel ~ it opens your eyes, your mind, your heart, to worlds and possibilities that you didn't even know you were searching for. That is my Valentine's message to you... Love yourself and give yourself the life you deserve.

D. S.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

To be overtly pensive about the fickle friend that is 'Time' can haunt thoughts at every moment, but to get nostalgic and sentimental about life and the choices that we make or the ones that are thrust upon us... I believe that is less self-indulgent and more necessary so that we can allow some self-awareness to simmer near the surface of our facades that we have spent so long cultivating. 

It seems that nostalgia and creativity are intertwined as I cannot put pen to paper without reflecting on the past and musing about what is to come. 

I suppose I should explain...

I came to the Far East with the Duke of Albany hot on my heels as we discussed attempting to pursue our relationship for a third time. But the powers that be dictated otherwise and he had to return to Bohemia. We have corresponded since then, and while he was here in the Orient I did allow the notion of absolution to cross my mind, but it seems that resentment and bitterness are hard emotions to swallow. That and pride.

So I then had the chance to breathe, on my own, on the other side of the world. It was exhilarating. Is exhilarating. 

There was a gorgeous man who caught my eye and took me on a whirlwind romance that lasted far longer than I intended, but I knew that relationship would be short-lived. As wonderful as it is to be adored, living on a pedestal can be exhausting and far less satisfying than one might think. I have had liaisons and infrequent frissons with other men, but only one has stood out and has the potential to go the distance. 

I am afeared to write much more on the matter. It is far easier to find objective words about men that no longer mean anything to me, but writing about someone who has opened my eyes to who I am. Someone who has given me an insight I didn't realise I lacked?

Words are not precious enough to describe him, nor pencil marks to give him form. Nay, even oils do not do him justice as I have so much to thank him for. And it still surprises me that his heart is mine. How even? Why me? How...?

I daren't question it nor speak above a whisper in case it is all a dream. 

D. S.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My last post was rather nostalgic, and overtly selfish- for the new year I shall focus only on that which makes me happy. Because obviously it is only MY happiness that matters. 

That sounds like me in one of my more petulant moods, though it does seem to be a recurring theme in my life. Trying to make other people happy only ends in dissatisfaction and deflated expectations. However negative I may be sounding at current, I am actually grinning at a song that has begun to play, enjoying the luxury of time to myself to do what it is I love; to write, to draw, to create, to be me.

What Can I  Do? A very good question Rufus Wainwright. What else can I do but be myself? Even if that is occasionally selfish, conceited, arrogant and rude? I have the music just loud enough that I can't hear the outside world, and it's not the song itself that brings me joy, but rather the memories that have clung to the poetical words sung from a mouth more honest than my own. 

Had I spent the time to think or begun to plan my year as so many of my contemporaries have done, I would certainly say that my life has diverged somewhat from the original course I had set out on. But that in itself is why I do NOT plan. How can you guess what life will throw at you? 

Love? Death? Birth? Marriage? Natural disasters? Even those who claim to have a so-called-gift would never bet anything more their name on some of these occurrences that are just that... Inexplicable occurrences. It is a good idea to have a broadly, sketched-in-pencil, vague idea of what you would like to happen in your life. But a concrete plan? 


You're tempting Mother Nature to throw her worst at you, and I have no longing to enter into a game of wits with my goddess.

So, this year... Three weeks in and already I am claiming failure. Although I disagree with myself. I feel that the current turn of events (though slightly unexpected) are for the best. A positive influence that I wouldn't have dared to imagine. But then, only time will tell.

D. S.

Monday, January 04, 2016

As much of a cliché as it is to state 'new year, new me' at this time every three hundred and sixty five and a quarter days, I don't feel that urge. I don't feel any different at all to how I felt this time last week. I am more determined to focus on my favoured crafts; writing and drawing, but those are longings that I have all year round. The start of a new year only reminds me that life goes on, and there is nothing at all we can do about it.

I don't want to compromise myself, nor constantly adapt to suit my surroundings. I wish I could accept that I will not fit into every environment, but should rather spend time searching for my natural habitat - whatever that may be.

Anyhow, I have returned to the Far East with a bronze on my shoulders, and a flurry of fond memories, though it is truly wonderful to be home. Yes. I'm home. It may not be my native or natural habitat, but I have adapted the Orient to suit my needs. It is my home. For now. But I felt a huge release and the utmost relief as I stepped foot on the familiarly foreign soil. I have said similar things about various countries, but for the first time in half a decade I'm not considering where I can go next. 

I'm content with the space I am occupying, I just need to figure out how to spend more time doing what it is I love. 

As far as men are concerned, I am doing my utmost to keep them from my thoughts... There are always suitors, whether conjured up from the past, those who I can see and touch and taste in my present, or those that will somehow find a way into my future. I have spent far too many hours and days dwelling on these men. They aren't going anywhere, so I may as well accept that and do what makes me happy.