The world is always changing and often the only constant I can identify with is my imagination, which is also always changing face and form. Therefore the essence of consistency is rather distorted, and the outcome of change is guaranteed, and yet woven within all this motion and madness and magic, is story, our stories.
What has been lived is unchangeable, and therein lies the foundation for recounting reality.
I am not one to start many stories in the now, because I like to savour that for my entire self in full presence. So I am going to take a walk back in time to places and faces and traces of wonder I am ready and willing to share.
Our stories start with how we imagine the world and are a reflection of the seeds that swirl in our willingness to investigate possibility. Our stories are us, in our entire spectrum of experiential expression. Of all the guru-isms, dogma, and truth telling running rampant in society, story is the only compass I feel comfortable tracing, for it is an inarguably living vessel that is uniquely ones own.
I write this with such sincerity and tears well up in my eyes as my heart is flooded with this feeling; this sweeping sensation I often get when the capacity to love, dream and see into the beyond spaces is overwhelmingly clear and so, so beautiful.
May these letters of story; with their woven sentiments, puzzle like meanings, and mysteriously clued paragraphs, entice you into the elusive space between reality and imagination. There is no telling here, find or dismiss what you wish. May you belong, in whatever capacity is right for you. May you know you are welcomed in these verses, as we share in a mirroring exchange. May my own humble public declarations of magic give you permission to stoke your own magic inferno, just like the place we are about to travel to stoked mine.
Meet you there, see you soon.
Love All-Ways, Bibi
PS. It was the early hours of the morning when I put the finishing touches on this letter, and shortly after closing my laptop I decided to head to yoga just as the sun was rising. I hopped in my car while everyone was still sleeping and society at large was quiet with no one to be seen. The first light was starting to shimmer through the darkness and I indulged in this morning window of solace before the madness of modernity erupted. A car suddenly appeared in front of me and its number plate caught my eye as it read "Infinite". Then my eyes caught the sticker above it on the back windscreen which said "I'd rather be here now". I smiled, what were the odds. Such a divine example of Universal messaging and intervention! This will make so much sense as you read on.
The Beginning, Possibility & Authenticity.
In 2015 a lot changed for me. I moved to the top of a mountain. Alone. To loose myself and find myself, and most of all plunge into a path less travelled that my soul was calling for. Here, I was welcomed home. And maybe I can only see that now, six years later. Even though I will always be a nomad at heart, and my feet can hardly stay planted in one spot for long, this mountain was a homecoming that I did not know I even needed.
The mountain, as I call it, has became one of my most treasured places on earth, and despite going on to travel through many lands which knocked me to my knees in awe, this particular mountain, this pinnacle of a place, held my heart in ways that I can try and articulate, yet never could I truly do the encapsulating magnitude of its imprint justice in words. For it embodies a possessively dizzying and enchanting feeling, one that sort of wraps you up in a trance of possibility; endless and unstructured possibility.
Maybe you could take a moment instead to imagine for yourself a place you have been, or a place you dream of, that is wild and untamed. Within the arms of that place all permission is granted to you to expand and exclaim who you are through the messages in the trees, the calls of the birds, the sparkling darkness of the forest and the windows of potential that lay before you, within either the physical or metaphorical mountains and valleys and mountains. Maybe we could pause here, together, in this far away dreaming, and take a long winding drive to the top of my once mountain home, where we can seek some comfort from the modern world and tap out, to oh so magically tap in.
When you live in pure, untouched and far removed areas a lot falls away. There is this sort of rewiring that happens, that now after years of living on the road seeking remoteness falling away has become a natural state I can actively access and live from. Out in the wild your internal systems can breathe in full illumination and your longings become less about conventionality and more about your soul kissing the face of the earth and your heart caressing the lines of love etched in the laws of mystery.
Before landing on the mountain I was yearning to slip into another realm, something in my being was pushing me to new edges, and I understand now precisely why. These are the places where I am whole, and maybe that is true for you too. Over the years of being in the presence of my animal kin, many flowering fields of fantasy, the elemental extremes and the radiant manifestations of light, shape and texture I have discovered a great courage and a great growth, alike to that of the green towering ancients and sky born glistens. A resounding message has led me astray, where leaves curl through my hair, and clothes fall off into a messy pile, and creek water washes me anew, time and time again;
I need to let it all go,
to let it all in.
And the mountain, oh the mountain, was the ripe beginning of a voyage precisely of that nature.
Nature Beings of the Mountain.
When you learn to lean into the world around you, and truly, deeply press your soul against the surrounding spaces, your senses adjust to a revived way of existing. You begin to discover a lively plane of beings and you realise you are never truly alone. The nature beings that I befriended on the mountain revealed to me that there are many worlds within this world. From the dingoes that wandered the valleys, the blue crayfish that hid in the creek beds, to the king parrots and regent bower birds that greeted me each morning and the padymelons that scurried on the pathways, the glow worms hidden in the caves and the foxes that darted in the open fields. Above all of this commotion, soaring this untamed eco system, was two mystifying creatures that sent me many a message. The one that sounded the loudest, echoed - you will be changed.
Let me introduce you...
Eagle - with crystal clear vision that reaches further than any human eye can see, the eagles of the mountain taught me to visualise with no limits. Many eagles went on to follow me across the county, as though they were the extension of my own wings, it was here that we were personally introduced. This is one of my most treasured self portrait images, which is an unedited double exposure of me with an eagle on the mountain. Yin and Yang. Cyclic primal creatures. We are embedded with the animal world, all ways.
Owl - at night I could hear yours calls. You sung to me and reminded me to always dream through the night and see in the dark. You lived right near the window of my room. I spotted you once in the forest in broad daylight. This was your home, and I was your visitor.
I could go on to tell you all the wholesome things about the mountain; the towering forest, the starry night skies, the electric storms and rainbows, the pure air, the powerful waterfalls, the deserted creeks, the ancient ferns and the sky high vistas. But those elementals are carrying on with their duty on earth with or without me, or you, so lets skip more to the point of where my curiosity falls, towards the question of what our duty within this sphere is?
What I can suggest is these potent places offer us an opportunity of metamorphosis, if we are willing to find the courage in the first place to reshape our conditioning from complacency into something far more compelling. Nothing in this human experience was designed to be stagnant, so for me this far-removed mountain world was not just a mystical wonderland of beauty, but the anchor I needed to shift my entire lens on life.
The challenge is to walk lightly, to wander softly, and to let the currents wash over you. To hear the opinions, the commentary, the judgements, the advice and the endless babble of humans and walk forward anyway.
Could you too find "that place" for yourself; that opportunity, that field, that resounding chance, and plunge into following the call over the critics, the pull over the projections; flowing deeper and further into the woods, the wild, the winding ways that weave our belonging into something expansive. For our becoming can often never fully exhibit itself on the same walls it lost itself on, therefore a rejection of that which was passed down to us on auto pilot has to occur because we no longer inhabit the identities others pitch us to be.
It takes a radical shift to enter the terrace of transformation. But when you do, oh when you do, something happens where you will never look back. And if you do, the likes of eagle and owl will be right behind you, reminding you of the path forward into yourself.
Changing the Format.
Although appreciative of its somewhat genius and convenience, I have always been repelled by technologies dangers; my true spirit calls for tangible, authentic and naturally rhythmic means of connection, presence, expression and immersion. During my time on the mountain a friend and I seeded “Circle of Stars” which was a self-funded handwritten Life Letter we individually mailed (yes, with stamps), to people who signed up to receive. The premise of this entire offering was to encourage people to honour the insights of awakened others walking the earth steward path and invite people to hold the words of writers in the traditional, tangible container of pen and paper. Even back in 2015, the online world was increasingly dangerous in our eyes, and we cherished the original forms of creativity; hand writing, drawing, poetry, collaboration and snail mail. There was a calling for an offering of this nature then...imagine the deep ancestral calling we all carry now, whether we identify with it or not, for mediums of collaboration and connection that are rich to the touch, attentive and tendered to like a garden.
Each brown envelope made from recycled paper felt like a whisper in the night, sweeping through the cosmos reaching some far-fetched corner of the globe in secret and in wonder. The Life Letters are largely apart of this story because their tangible line of connection, that was so unhinged from social media, began the piping that connected the flow of creativity that followed and flourished.
A reformatting occurred on how I wished to participate, collaborate and interact with the world around me. It was prevalent that the more you removed yourself from the automatic or systematic way, the more you connected with your authentic way.
I would be found with baskets of envelopes in hand outside the little country post office, buying stamps for all over the world. I grew to know the local post man who would ride his red postie motorbike up and down the mountain, who has now become an old friend of mine, retired from the bike but still a legend of the mountain. Although years apart, he had a look in his eyes that registered with a look in my eyes and we would laugh and laugh and laugh about life!
Snail mail was always in my bones, and beyond the Life Letter it is my general delight to collect treasures or words and mail them far and wide. I carry a little address book in my bag, and always have a stash of locally made cards, and my eyes scale op shops for second hand pieces that call the name of someone I may know or maybe a stranger that I am yet to know.
Funnily, there is a book that depicts my attentive care for others through surprise and delight, called Stargirl.Maybe you know it? When I was a young teenager, I entered a drawing competition. I cannot for the life of me remember what I drew, but I won, and the prize was a book voucher for the yearly book fair. The book I chose, among lots of titles I was completely uninterested in, was this one of kind book, Stargirl. I devoured it. And I have carried the book with me to this day, and lent it to many people or purchased copies and gifted them to others. It has pages falling out, and this deep smell of incense, and a stain of essential oil that I don't know who was responsible for. This book spoke to my inner identity and heart in so many ways and gave me the secret permission I needed to keep fighting to be myself in my full expression despite my apparent difference to others. One of my favourite conversations from the book is...
"Star people are rare, you'll be lucky to meet one"
"Star people, you are loosing me here."
"That's okay. I lose myself. It's just my way of accounting for someone I don't really understand any more than you do."
"So where do stars come in?"
"The perfect question. In the beginning, that's where they come in. They supplied the ingredients that became us, the primordial elements. We are star stuff, yes? And I think every once in a while someone comes along who is a little more primitive than the rest of us, a little closer to our beginnings, a little more in touch with the stuff we're made of."
The mountain was the foundation where I rekindled this spark in myself.
Path to Self.
The obvious human needs that were being replaced and neglected by social media began a rebellion inside of me against the mandated technological grain the world was being chiseled into. I began to dig my feet into the soils of the mountain in gentle protest against the rapid tidal current of inauthentic filtering, editing and reality distortion that was taking place. I vowed here to always see reality in its grand mastery and to never edit the way I saw in awe and loved the natural world as it was intended. Which, in essence, is how I wished to be seen and appreciated; in my raw authentic nature, as an extension of the earth. I began to cradle this sentiment with great exploration and used the sacred optical tool of my grandfathers film camera to tap into the very embodiment of touching reality and seeking the magic that lives in the creases curious eyes will always capture.
Luckily I was not reliant on or interested in the digital procession, and had always been pulled to see the world through a film camera. I suppose in all its trendy capacity now, there are some artists who chose film as a first love, long before it was on the dating scene. You can read about my exploration of Self Portraiture, the Release of my first book Sacred Self Sacred Source and watch a Super 8mm film HERE.
This period was also where I seeded an offline project that has now been marinating for at least five years. This project has maintained momentum in a very protected and intentional way, and remains fully in mystery and completely offline until the time is appropriate to share. The collaboration is swirling across the globe, in its own tidal current, and I trust the evolution of this vision with a full heart. To those that have trusted me with this project, many who are reading this, I thank you with such genuineness.
All of this talk of letters reminds of the final letter in the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, added below. I hope it evokes a sense of infinite possibility within you, as it does me, and maybe invites you to connect with that younger, raw version of yourself who carries wild hopes and big ideas. Maybe, it can also touch the tender parts of your spirit that have suffered but found a way forward, and maybe it can also touch the empathy in your eyes where you are able to see others in both their suffering and their success.
As I grow older I have always promised to never forget what it was like; to be that teenager on the brink of the world, or that worker hustling for money, or that heart broken mess, or that thinker who had their idea shut down, or that child whose innocence was vital, or that lover who feels invincible, or that body that has been touched with passion, or that outcast that carries an all seeing eye. I promised to be so present in all my first times; because they were going to become my stories, and each page a bridge into the Universe within and around me. So I suppose this is all happening, I am here, and you are there, and although we are not looking at each other, I know how to meet your heart exactly where it is and celebrate that we are alive and there is an endless untapped stream of possibility connecting us all.
I have also put a link HEREto watch the short clip from the movie that brings this letter to life. I adore the song Heroes by David Bowie which accompanies the spoken word in this final scene.
On the last night shift of a job I was finishing the guests at the Retreat I managed were playing music, and all the lights were out, and the fire was crackling. It was just me and the Chef there, and I had said all my other goodbyes to the staff that day. It was a bittersweet time for many reasons, not so much leaving the job, but just life in general. Heroes came on right as the Chef and I were stepping out the door, and I stopped, and said "I love this song, do you know it", and he said "yes". We paused for just a split second but long enough to appreciate some fleeting memory or thought. And then the Chef just looked at me, with such wholeheartedness, and out of the blue said "you are a hero Bibi". I smiled and he smiled. And in that moment, although I don't identify as a hero, I felt seen in all the ways I hold the world and others in my heart. And that gift of being seen, and seeing others, is truly something else. I walked through the dark along the gravel path and hopped in the four wheel drive for what was my last trip down this bumpy rocky road, and as I looked up there was a shooting star, and nothing really mattered anymore except the wishes I was yet to make and the opportunities I was about to take.
I filmed this completely unplanned and off the cusp and was going to share on Instagram. It would not load, no matter what I did. I spent literally hours in the heat of Summer sweating profusely trying to get it to upload. And just as I was feeling incredibly frustrated I was hit with the obvious realisation that it was not for Instagram! Of course! This transmission was for my Reel News Letter. And so it has finally begun.
I suppose this is a precise example of the way in which change, reconstruction and fulfilling your truth can be uncomfortable. And how damn easy it is to avoid, abandon and excuse the visions you were born to be, until something, in either a subtle or substantial shape, pushes you to finally do, and not just be. I have lived in the desert, I have been in 40 degree heat waves, I practice Bikram Yoga, so the sticky warmth that was cocooning me was clearly not a discomfort in the temperature. It was fucking pushing me to pivot my actions into alignment! So here we are, and its not really any less hot today, but I feel at ease, and my heart is content, and the stars will glow happy tonight as another human chose to leap into possibility and act.
Where are you feeling discomfort, and how could you lean into it and break on through?
You cannot define me, and I do not define you. My work is not one thread, but many, many threads. It is a practice, of Possibility, Presence and Potential. And this is precisely why it is called A Reel News Letter.
Reel - a cylinder on which film, wire, thread, or other flexible materials can be wound.
There is a cylinder which runs through these letters; where my film, my words, my dreams, my lived experiences, my tears, my changes, my body, my mood, my journeys and my spirit is wound. This cylinder is not rigid, but a fluid channel for me to share that which is sacred to me and hopefully inspiring or encouraging to you. This is my unique version of news, spun on the wheel of sacred human life, in the form of a letter.
I look forward to where we meet next.
All my Love, All-Ways, Bibi
Until we meet again, please take a moment to share my work with others who would enjoy this journey. They can sign up HERE
All images captured on 35mm film by yours truly.
Artwork by a dear friend Kara Rane www.cosmiccircles.com
Other amazing creatives mentioned: Shae @shaeoceania Talulah www.makingsacred.com
Collaboration with Talulah can be found HERE