Homemade, soul warming soup in Amsterdam. Many years ago, I was out with several friends in Toronto where we inevitably always seemed to end up at the good for nothing but calories, the cozy and aesthetically pleasing, Future Bakery. I never was a pie girl, but this time, we all agreed to buy a braided, frugal, apple strudel, that was long enough to share and then some. On a night like this, we launch into ad-hoc improvisation, as per standard, where no idea is rejected, only built upon. The salt and pepper shakers and anything we could find on the table became puppets for our re-enactments with interesting characters. In fact, so did the hand puppets I carted around from the party themed store I was working at which gave us great pleasure. Through these characters, alot could be expressed with humour. Someone of us had brought his cousin, who fit in with us like he had always been a pawn in our humour squad. Somewhere around midnight, laughing our guts out, I started to feel melancholy. I looked down at the disappearing apple loaded braids, and said “It’s just that…I don’t want the strudel…to end…” My reluctance was contagious. There I had said it. And as soon as it left my mouth, we had all caught on to the double meanings and enjoyed their fruits for our story telling ways. We’re talking at least a decade now, and that strudel is still fresh in my head. I can think of a few times in my life I did not want “the strudel” to end, because the spontaneity, the laughter, the adventure, or the wonder is something that only disappoints due to it’s fleeting freshness. Here now, memory thereafter. Good memories should be savored, and create inspiration for the next “now.” Hence this savory blog, weaving braids of experiences into a life-gulping journey. Why aim for the last bite when every moment gives us a chance to choose the path of indulgent spontaneity? Of course, I am not just talking about food here, but as humans, we do need fuel for our collective adventures. And sharing it with worthy eat-mates heightens a meal’s enjoyment. Even if we are alone, yet amongst locals, it can feel like a child looking through a peep hole…witnessing other lives passing uncoincidentally by our hungry eyes.
Higher than a bird’s eye view, the big picture. photo Paula Erskine
Destiny is in your hands, photo by Paula Erskine, Spain.
I was always the glass half full, positive type. Second City Improv classes in Toronto helped me very much to expand upon building a “scene” on the now and saying yes..and… in order to create a spontaneous and funny plot. But laughing at your self, you know, the ego part, is quite a great preparation for letting go of what wasn’t and opening one’s self up to what could be the unfolding now. But since getting my self-realization, through Sahaja Yoga meditation, this billboard takes on a whole new reality. There is more to life than just avoiding what we fear. There is one more dimension to be added to our collection. The fourth dimension, the connection point, is what makes life even more juicier than it already is. Life in the present, in connection, is where the happy part of us keeps attracting more and more enjoyment and laughter. It can make a sunset in Greece, so simple, so priceless, a monumental event to be savored.
Island of Hydra, Greece at Sunset. photo by Paula Erskine
High Tea in Manchester, England, on the healthy side. photo by Paula Erskine
Savoury Meat Goulash with Noodles in the village of Vrbnik, Krk Island, Croatia. All photos Paula Erskine
Soothing beach coconut icecream, Costa Rica, all photos Paula Erskine
Delectable Fried or Grilled Squid (Calimari) on the island of Krk, Croatia. photo, Paula Erskine
A chance meeting in Cameroon, on the continent of Africa, a nomadic tribe of women and children taking a rest with their children and cattle. Butter and milk in tow. Photo by Paula Erskine
How the anti-life-affirming fears and conditionings have peeled their pesky layers with every new step taken. It is that newness, exploring the unknown, inside and out in a thoughtless, yet aware state, that delights my soul daily. Here in these photos and articles, are just a taste of people, places, things that have inspired and fulfilled my appetite for travel, the meaning of our being, and the beauty all around. Life is seemingly imperfect, only because we put it in a box full of limitations according to our materialistic unreality. The reality is, we can explore the implication that the strudel’s infinite figure eights are not so far from what can be. Enjoying the variety of people on this earth through the eyes of a child and a pure heart, through taste, sight and sound, in which each culture adds its’ flavour to beautify the planet, is the strudel of life.
Remedy Cafe, Edmonton, Canada…Kasmiri Chai tea with slivered pistachios and savoury Indian Chicken Korma in a jam packed, artsy-boutique type cafe with loungy, mismatched armchairs. All photos Paula Erskine
On standby in Japan, on our way to Thailand, shortly afterward, a mild earthquake rocks our world, but as you can see, we survived.