stop, look, breathe, feel, love…
Posted in personal March 4th, 2015 by pia

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I wrote this with a rock, on a rock at Balmoral Beach yesterday while looking out to sea and feeling the warmth of the sun on my back and the cool ocean breeze on my skin. I wondered if anyone would come across it during the day before the tide washed it away. Perhaps I was thinking also of this quote…

“Beauty abounds all around me, yet the state of my heart is the ruler of my vision.”

It’s something I wrote in my diary a number of years ago. It’s in My Heart Wanders, in californya font. And these past months it’s been a part of my email signature. While hitting ‘send’ on an email a moment ago,  I read the lines again, and realised how pertinent it is for me at this time in my life, and at this very moment when I feel so consumed by what’s been happening and how I feel about it.

I have a growing collection of unfinished blog posts here in my wordpress account. I have lists of things that I’d like to get done that haven’t been touched. There is a pause in my everyday. How do I get on with my everyday? How do I compartmentalise ‘that’ part of my life? My blog and my everyday life feel like worlds apart at the moment, and every time I sit to type and share my life and thoughts here, to find a connection, to bring the blog back into the everyday, something happens again to pull me away and the gap grows ever wider. I have wonderful ideas on how to refine and perhaps redefine this space that will also connect to a new book I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year. But that’s been halted, for now. It’s hard to get into a creative bubble when the bubble keeps bursting.

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I’ll try to connect the dots here as I realise I’m rambling without context. As Nadia wrote on an instagram photo of hers the other day, “Today words are tangled up”. I’ll try to detangle what I can…

Those of you I have met in person over the years or exchanged personal emails with may know that one of the reasons I moved back to Sydney was to be closer to my Mum. I may have mentioned it fleetingly here on the blog as well, though no doubt trying not to make a big deal of it. In my family, making such a decision would be taken as a sign of my weakness, so even though it was ‘the’ reason, as a matter of survival instinct I just dropped it in with a number of other reasons – like Romain was ready to experience life in Australia, having a baby, and at that time (2011), for the book launch of My Heart Wanders since it was published by an Australian publisher. I don’t think I’m ready to go into the details of why and how I feel I needed to be closer to Mum at that time, but to sum it up neatly, I felt her illness was progressing, and knowing that Romain and I were feeling ready to start our own family, I wanted her to have this time with my child, whoever that was to be. As it turns out, it was our beautiful Laly now 3 years old.

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That time is now coming to an end. It’s been intense. Even more so these past weeks. And I sense it is going to get even more so. Mum has a will like no other, she is a rebel and a leader at that, and although again, the family I grew up with define sickness as weakness and physical prowess as superior I know that Mum and all she has been through is nothing but strength and courage, even if she refuses to recognise it herself. I can’t imagine her doing anything but calling out demands, right to the very end. These past few years for me have been rough, tough, wild, and most often without appreciation and certainly with a whopping amount of frustration and hurt.  Navigating this terrain, mixed with raising our girl at the same time, has been incredibly ugly, and breathtakingly beautiful. It’s at times wild and other times smooth. When it’s smooth, I am drained and exhausted, yet I feel in those times instead of resting I am supposed to just pick up where I left off. Sometimes, if the path has become consistently smooth and even seems to have stabilized, I do manage to get back on my feet, replying to emails, returning phone calls and text messages and even saying ‘yes’ again to people, friends, work, projects. But then the path, even though I’ve been carefully watching it the whole way (which in itself is a tiring addition to the everyday), turns into a massive rocky drop which I have to scramble and slip and slide my way down, leaving all that I just picked up in my hands at the top . Looking back up, knowing I’ll never be going up there again, I wonder if I’ll be able to pick those things up again somehow or if I just keep going and try not to feel what I feel for the people I’ve disappointed in not upholding those commitments. It’s always my hope that some part of them understands, even if they haven’t been through what I’m going through.

It’s a roller coaster of mixed emotions – at one moment I feel a flood of gratitude for all of this – for it being such a suffering-filled and slow journey for her as in my caring and witnessing of her I have grown and learnt so much. I feel immense gratitude for my friends, those who have stood by me through this time, listened without judgement or expectation and let me weep on their shoulder. But then something is said to me in her feeble state, something that cuts to my core and the gratitude flies out the window and turns into deep sadness. I would love to say it’s all gratitude (like the word ‘authentic’, I can almost not type ‘gratitude’ without feeling such resistance as it’s been so heavily overused online these days), but it’s not.

I know other long time carers will relate to the roller coaster, perhaps there are some of us on it together, right now at the same time. Holla if you are, and if we can hold hands virtually, I would love that – my hand, palm up, is reaching out to you now.

I’ve been reading a book by Zen Buddhist Joan Halifax, whose knowledge and experience has helped me so much, and this statement here, sums up what I am learning to do right now: “…the waves of birth and death…our challenge is to learn to not drown in those waves but ride them freely.”

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I have much more to say, much more I feel, but small steps, right? Small steps as I pull out these tangled threads and cords.

Thank you for being here.

xx

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Kaspia’s Caravan…

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What a beginning to 2015, for all of us… much energy moving around, can you feel it? Old energy moving out, new energy moving in, big changes in the air. I have many thoughts on it that I’d love to share with you and I’d love to hear your thoughts, to see how we are shifting and changing as a collective. I haven’t been blogging much this past year, as many of you know who follow my instragram, there are a number of personal reasons for that. But I miss being here. I miss this space, I miss you.  And this year I have some ideas on how I can be here some more, with your help. Because I’ve come to see this is a special place, a creative passage I need in my life – a place in the past where I’ve been able to thrive, to create freely, to move forward. And it feels really important to keep it going, keep it alive and fresh, for all of us. It’s not something I take for granted, and I’m very grateful for it, for you, both silent and spoken readers – we share something together, something we can’t really see, or pinpoint. But it’s there, it’s present and strong and it needs to grow…

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Today though, I wanted to share with you a creative endeavour of a dear friend of mine. Her name is Kaspia, and for years she has been dreaming of opening her very own pop-up shop, filled with incredible treasures she has collected from her exotic travels around the globe over the years. Kaspia has an incredible, unique style. I’ve long admired her sense of colour, wonder and energy, and I’ve been so excited for her, to see her dream become a reality and be shared with the world. You guys know how I feel about taking risks and following your heart!  Kaspia opened her pop up shop last month in the heart of Sydney in Potts Point, in the stunning artist’s space known as The Yellow House

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There are rugs, cushions, quilts and throws from the most remote parts of the world. There are necklaces, bags, boxes and bracelets, tables, day beds, lamps and baskets from Mexico, the Far East, the Himalayas and beyond.

The collection is out of this world and I urge you to go and visit before it closes on February 1st, 2015, that’s only two weeks away.

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A big warm, all encompassing hug to Kaspia for making her dream come true and sharing it with all of us… If you’d like to learn more about her wild and wonderful life, read her interview on Daily Imprint, and for more information about the pieces in her store, you can read her blog, there is lots to learn about the collection, where each piece came from and how they are made.

To celebrate I’ve put a few copies of My Heart Wanders and Little Treasures: Made by Hand in her store as a package for $65 (instead of the normal retail price of $85) so that means you basically get Little Treasures: Made by Hand for just $5 when you buy both books together. I know that’s crazy, but I want to! It’s only for this two weeks, so I hope it will encourage you to get down to Kaspia’s shop pronto. Someone commented the other day that they received My Heart Wanders as a graduation gift from a relative and I thought that was a wonderful idea.

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Looking forward to hanging out here in my blog house this year, in between working on my next book. Here’s to the new year, to celebrating our connections, and to being who we are meant to be, with our hearts open…

Pia xx

all photographs by Pia Jane Bijkerk

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Posted in pia's music, piano November 9th, 2014 by pia

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Music and photograph by Pia Jane Bijkerk.

Download. Share. Enjoy.

With Love and Gratitude,

Pia x

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Posted in little treasures: made by hand, stores September 26th, 2014 by pia

PJB_littletreasures_PBP_nestLittle Treasures: Made by Hand is now available for purchase at Paper Boat Press

I’m so pleased to let you know that there are now a number of beautiful stockists around the country who are selling Little Treasures: Made by Hand. I’m very grateful to these independent bookstores and boutiques for supporting my latest creation, I hope you can help me to support them in return by visiting them because they really are magical places. All these stockists mentioned in this post are in Australia, but I am still hopeful that some stores around the world will become stockists.

Queensland:
Riverbend Bookstore, Bulimba
Rosetta Books, Maleny
Paper Boat Press, Ashgrove
Cathy Penton Atelier, Highfields

New South Wales:
Better Read than Dead, Newtown
Hill of Content, Balmain
Oscar and Friends, Double Bay
Oscar and Friends, Surry Hills
Little Paper Lane, Mona Vale
Bookocino, Avalon
The Design Hunter, Waverley
Megalong Books, Leura

Victoria:
Hill of Content, Melbourne
The Avenue Bookstore, Albert Park, Melbourne
Readings, Hawthorn

South Australia:
Council of Objects, Adelaide, SA

 

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If you’d like to become a stockist or international distributor of Little Treasures: Made by Hand, please email my sales assistant Penny with your inquiry and she will get back to you with the details.

Thank you again to all of you for your continued support and sales, without it I know I would not be able to continue creating.

Love & gratitude,

Pia xx

 

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force creates fear, fear destroys trust…
Posted in quotes, tibet, yellow September 5th, 2014 by pia

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“Force creates fear. Fear destroys trust. Trust is the basis of harmony.”

I’ve been reflecting on these words for the past couple of days, spoken by the Dalai Lama in an interview on SBS Dateline earlier this week.

On observation it’s fairly easy to recognise this force in others and in the outside world, and to see why the world is not a harmonious place these days. On a personal level, I can feel clearly when someone tries to force their belief onto me, or when I am forced to participate in a conversation I do not want to have. From my past I can see clearly now how lines of trust were broken because of the force inflicted, and why there is no harmony with those human connections and how that lack of harmony radiates out to others.

On a global scale, it’s obvious to see the forceful destruction of lives and our surroundings. With both personal and global experiences of force the heart aches, and the mind ‘tut tuts’ and silently demands, “why can’t you see that you are destroying trust, that you are making it impossible for harmony?”

After listening to these words by the Dalai Lama, I began to reflect on the feeling of force within myself.  Over the past few days, I’m suddenly more aware of this feeling – when I force myself to work harder, ignoring my body’s signs that I’m very tired and need to rest… when I force my parenting beliefs in our household at a time when we need to let go and just be in the moment with our two-year old’s will… when I force myself to be social even though my heart, body and mind says “hibernate”… when I give more than I have…

By carrying this learned force within me throughout my life,  I can see that every time I force myself to do something or be something or have something at a time when it’s simply not necessary, I am feeding the fear within me, destroying my self-trust, and therefore not living harmoniously.

It suddenly makes so much sense.

Do you recognise when you are forcing yourself to do or be something other than who you are? For me it’s been so ingrained, such a part of me that it seemed impossible to separate. And I’m sure if I don’t retain the awareness, it will slip through the cracks, and be stitched into the seams of me again.

I had no intention of writing this post, I have a list of ‘important things’ to do, but something that resembles a flow of sorts, made me aware this was the most important thing to do – to share –  in this moment.  And in this very moment,  I can feel the pull of force to take me away from it. I recognise it. But right now, I let it be.

Have a beautiful weekend, mes amis.

xx

 

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