Sona Jobarteh re: Decolonization

Recently I was blessed to discover Sona Jobarteh playing the Kora live with her band of equally talented musicians, I didn’t personally film until the very end of the concert because I wanted to be present. To give you an idea, I’ve taken this video that is much better quality from Youtube:

Not only did I feel the music incredibly profound, beautiful and emotional. The skills of all the musicians, the vibes, their humanity and their presence on the closing night in Toulouse were truly touching.

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Heeding the Call

Updated 23 July 2022 – Original 17 January 2022

Canigou Mountain, Pyrenees, France

Out and about, between waves of salt and snow, I heeded the call to let it all go.

Despite appearances, nothing comfortable, synthetic or artificial can ever actually fulfil us.

For it is amongst all the apparently uncivilised, savage and wild things that we can satiate our yearning. In that often unknown and uncomfortable space, that’s where we truly begin to learn to act with grace.

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Cathar Footsteps

Catalonia’s Cathar Country – Collioure, France

When the first lockdown hit it became increasingly clear that Sète, the touristic fishing town I lived in at the time, wasn’t where I desired to be and a plan was hatched to move on as soon as possible.

Between enforced limits on travel distances and nightly curfews, mask mandates and more lockdowns, and much introspective deliberation, a new adventure profiled itself, the parameters? Somewhere more rural, less populated, yet still within a 30-minute drive to the madness of the coast, a new coastline where scuba diving would be of more interest and the possibility to nip to Spain incredibly convenient.

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Stay Home and Fuck Off

Interesting municipal art in Banyuls, France, outside the town hall… a homage to those dead of c0ckvid… who were not expecting it… the sign also goes on to say thank you to the healthcare staff who assisted during the pantdo0mic

It is interesting then, that those very same staff now face expulsion from their careers and professional passion, rejection and ridicule by their peers, after receiving enthusiastic accolades from the entire country at 8 pm every night, the tables have well and truly turned.

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Underwater Love

I want to be where the people aren’t, in that magical aquatic world that many are afraid of because they don’t try to understand it.

From the second my fins hit the water I instantly feel appeased, regardless of what is happening on the surface of our world. Learning to scuba dive, to appreciate an ecosystem that is so essential to our lives up-top was hands-down my favourite education to date.

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Lost Levadas

Do you ever think about the places you find yourself in? Like on a daily basis, sure, but also when you go on holiday, or days out to new places when it’s sunny’n’that?

If not, you’d probably be surprised to learn the history, like the real, sometimes hidden, most often avoided history behind the places you attend.

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Cathar Carcassonne

The Cité of Carcassonne was founded during the Gallo-Roman period, over its 2,500 years of history the town has changed hands from Visigoths to Saracens and Crusaders… Around the 11th century, Catharism developed in parts of Europe as a result of teachings from the trade routes of the Byzantine empire (Cathars were a Gnostic group of Christians that opposed the Catholic doctrine and had the notion of a dualist faith, they identified as Les Parfaits, literally meaning ‘The Perfects’ or Good-men and Good-women).

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Are You Afraid to be Alone?

In such an overstimulated society, we often search for constant distraction. Spending our time and energy on the consumption of things that are ultimately destroying us, and our home.

We have lost the simple pleasure of feeling the wind in our hair and the sun on our skin. We are ignorant to the wonders that exist underwater, deaf to the birds fussing in the branches and blind to the beauty nature offers us every day for free.

Take some time to be with yourself in nature, no distractions.

“…fear not the unknown, for today was the future only a moment ago.”

Sixty-Five Feet Under

* The story about this picture can be found at the end of the post.

The first time I donned a wetsuit in my life was in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the morning of my first ever diving lesson to become a certified SSI Open Water Diver. I’d never tried scuba diving before and it had been years since I’d even snorkelled. Obviously, I was pretty apprehensive prior to jumping feet first to get licensed in the big blue at 20 metres depth (65 ft -ish).

Sure I was scared, but that wasn’t going to stop me. Amazed by the energy of the sea after growing up on the coast, I’ve always felt the call to go deeper. We may have once emerged from the primordial waters of our planet but the world that exists just under the surface has become completely unnatural for humans. Exploring this vast watery universe in some way with scuba diving had been something that intrigued me since a young age, so why would I stand in my own way?

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