Time to play again

Time to start playing with the 157 hours of video and sound I have collected. Starting small, here is another clip from the '30 Second Presence' series. Click HERE to go to the "30 second presence' show page.

Life is Gorgeous

Mardi Gras Parade, Sydney.

Life is gorgeous
Life is sweet
Easier said than done

Pink glasses help for sure
So true
But it takes more than that
To see the beauty of life
It takes courage, strength and determination
To look for pink glasses

So many believe they are impossible to find
So many believe it is inappropriate to wear
Or God forbid, be like pink glasses
Many never look for them

It’s sad, so sad
To observe those
Unaware that pink exists
That pink is
A gorgeous colour

I must admit
At times I lost sight of pink
For I was
Like many
Conditioned to see only gray

But then
Just as I was about
To surrender to the grayest of grays
Something gorgeously pink
Awakened me

Arriving Home, the End of a Journey.

Looking back it all seems so logical, so natural, but it did not always feel like that. I am still in awe about how a new life fell into place just like that. Within two weeks I found two jobs, one came with fabulous accommodation attached and I will still have time to work on my film.

It all came together on the 14th day after I arrived in Sydney. It began with a total stranger offering me a free bicycle. Next I had a successful job interview which was followed by news that I was accepted for the first position (with accommodation) I applied for earlier that week. The day ended with another total stranger giving me two free movie tickets because he was unable to attend the screenings. Someone said I should have bought a lotto ticket that day as well…

Somehow that did not cross my mind. I was blow away about how everything had fallen into place on the one day. I gratefully accepted everything as signs that I was in the right place and that I had arrived in Sydney at the right time and that I could relax.

I now live just down the road from this sign, hehe.

I moved into my new home the next day and I was no longer a nomad or a pilgrim, my journey ended that very day. No longer was I in a bardo, the ‘in-between-space’ separating one life from another.

I did not return to the place where I started. I have moved on in so many ways; economically, physically, emotionally and spiritually. That gives me great joy as it means that my journey was not in vain. Not only have I found a new home, but I feel I have also found ‘the home within’ I was searching for.

How can I tell? Well I don’t know how to explain the experience I am having. But then... as it happens, someone send me a link to this video of a presentation called ‘A stroke of Genius’, (click on the title to watch the video) by Jill Bolte Taylor. It possibly describes the kind of experience I am having right now, a ‘right brain experience’.

I feel very happy, grateful, at peace with where I am, what I do or don’t do and most importantly who I am. I feel connected, not just with myself, but with everything around me, I accept the way things are with ease and go with the flow of the moment. I am no longer living the old ‘life of doing’, but living a new ‘life of being’ instead. This is what I set out to change by going on this journey of transformation. I never dared to dream that I would actually achieve that goal, an achievement worth celebrating and celebrating I did.

It so turned out to be that time of year in Sydney for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. It was the 30th anniversary. The first time I watched the parade was in 1986, never was I in the parade, something I always wanted to do. It was now or never. I managed to join a float, was given a press pass, enabling me to film.

There were 500,000 people cheering on the parade, 10,000 people in the parade. I had the best time ever! Loved the crowd! For me it was my ‘homecoming parade’, nobody knew that of course but that did not matter. It provided a fitting closure to my journey ‘home’, my ‘pilgrimage in search of self’.

Right now I am still enjoying just being here, being in a new place, a new space, the right side of my brain. Soon I will start editing my film. That process could take up to 12 months. I intend to keep posting on this blog, possibly about the editing process, the writing and rewriting of my script, my journey, my life, my experience of past experiences.

It seems to be a fitting moment to thank everybody who has supported me during my journey: my friends and family, my extended family, the kindred spirits, the many ‘random’ strangers, the angels in disguise, all those who offered me a place to stay, all those who were willing to listen, give advise, challenge me, give honest feedback, hold up a mirror, all those who helped me in times of need, everybody who has been a witness, you all know who you are. I am truly grateful to you all, I feel humbled and blessed by your presence.

Thank you so much indeed! Marcel

At home down-under.

Going ‘Home’…?

I got to Bangalore International Airport too early and I had to wait outside the terminal for more than one hour before I was allowed inside to check-in. There is barely a pavement separating the terminal from the chaotic car park that is also the road, the pick-up area, drop-off area the taxi stand and everything else. I sat down on a curb with my luggage, like other passengers, lost in chaos. Honking cars swarmed around like panicking bees whose nest is under attack. It was this aspect of India that I was definitely ready to leave behind.

Just over a month ago I left India from Bangalore. I was heading for Sydney via Singapore. I used frequent flyer points to get (almost free) seats. I had a confirmed seat to Singapore, but the next flight out of Singapore to Sydney with seat availability was 2,5 weeks later, leaving me stranded in that part of the world for 2,5 weeks…

Airlines do not like people who go with the flow, they prefer to pin you down in their system and make it hard and costly to change a reservation. But I came armed with a determination to get the first connecting flight out of Singapore. I did not know how… but that detail I left up to… well… what turned out to be an angel in the disguise of a fellow passenger with access to business class lounges.

The only thing to do once you checked was to watch television or people. I preferred the latter. Everybody seemed to be absorbed in their own waiting game, uninterested in fellow passengers, except one woman. The second time I saw her we both rolled our eyes out of boredom. I walked over for a chat, you know, the usual, where are you from, where are you going and why are you traveling. She was heading for Sydney as well, on the same flights… was an orphan, and therefore intrigued by my mission to make a documentary about an orphan. She had written books with titles such as Serendipity Road… do I need to say more?

As I told her that I was unsure when I would make it to Sydney on the same flight she said that she would be happy to help. With a platinum frequent flyer membership she would invite me into a business class lounge and try to get my unchangeable reservation changed. You get better service there in general than at a transfer desk that deal with “ordinary” passengers like myself.

The plane flew us through the night, shortened by time difference, we landed at 6 a.m. of the Chinese New Year. Jet lagged and sleep deprived my guardian angel and I went to the business class lounge in Singapore. The staff member at the desk was sleep deprived and possibly hung over too. She was not a happy camper and in no mood to help me change my unchangeable reservation. “You will have to wait 2,5 weeks or buy a new (very expensive) ticket”, she said. “There are no seats left anyway, the plane is overbooked with 11 passengers.

This did not sound very hopeful, but there was also a First Class lounge that opened some time later. The airline representative there had to totally different attitude was willing to help and immediately made a call. “ Leave your boarding pass, baggage tags and passport with me” she said. “I will see what I can do. You go and have breakfast in the lounge”. Well that sounded hopeful. Walking into a first class lounge after Bangalore airport was like walking into heaven. The fresh and safe food, internet access and a hot shower (all for free) were such a treat!

Before check-in was finished the airline representative came back with a boarding pass for me. My luggage would be taken care of. I don’t know how she pulled that off, but I did not care, I was just over the moon. I was on my way to Sydney, Australia, the place where I hoped to start a new life

With both feet on the ground, new challenges were waiting for me… I needed to find a place to live, a way to make money, all that with time left to work on my film. I had no idea what would happen, what it would be like to be back on the southern hemisphere, if and how I would integrate back into a western life style without falling back into the old patterns that I was so desperate to change at the start of my journey, the motivation for going on this pilgrimage…