I am now in Prague, city of my heritage. It is 18 months since I was here last, and I am so grateful to this place, to this flat in Břevnov, this jewel close to the monastery. The neighbourhood is blissfully quiet, a place to restore.
I have just been in residency in Wales for the early spring. Wind storms blew into the attic where I hibernated with two cats, Jamie and Hew. Warm sun days were scarce, but gorgeous stars and moons greeted me during the nights. Ah! now we ascend towards the sun-filled days! Yay! It feels like it has been such a struggle this year to transition from winter. The temperatures fluctuating so much. But now, finally, I feel us easing into the warm zone again.
My work with Samantha Sweeting (Nest: Inhabit) was a female dirge-dance describing cycles of change from danger to safety, and the labour of building home, of opening the heart. I feel this moment of life as one of screaming, the earth is screaming, my body is screaming. We are living such turbulent extreme times. But we must keep moving and moving. It all keeps changing, and perhaps if we stay conscious enough, we grow. And for sure, we must find ways to restore, replenish, to heal, to help each other.
So now in Prague I find a different rhythm. Suddenly, there is a quiet pause. I know there is still much to contend with and much to do, and the world is in an urgent state, yet it is necessary to pause sometimes. Easter comes before Beltane. And for the transition of death to rebirth to occur, a communion with the underworld is necessary.
So I travel inwards, and there I find the repetitive noise of a million thoughts. There is nothing to do sometimes but just to sweat through and pray. To pray for renewed strength. To ask for guidance back towards what is really important. And then, there are moments of grace. The clues inside dreams, time with friends, the way birds chase each other in a state of play.
I went to see a beautiful retrospective of the Czech architect Eva Jiřičná who turns 80 this year. Glass stairways and spirals dominate her expansive architecture. Her clear and elegant style is sweeping, calm and grounded. She creates environments for various activity: prayer, education, perambulation, meditation, domesticity, work meetings, exchange. Her architecture includes history and yet it is forward moving, a continuation opening to possibility. She creates spaces that call us to venture forth - not just to survive, but to lead, to dream and to invent, and to keep an open space within us.
Banner image by Adriena Šimotová