Saltwater is the ultimate cure

21st August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Today, I once again had the feeling of my bare feet walking upon the heated gravel whilst the sun spread its warmth and glory upon my wet hair. It was a familiar walk, one completed for over twenty years, however, one aspect separating the walk from many other occasions was the pure joy experienced in knowing I had just completed my first swim in the saltwater since my operation. Honestly, on reflection, I believe the smile beaming from my face could have competed with anyone in the world.

The walk appears to have reinforced the reality of the circumstances unfolding around me, especially the progress made in six weeks. Limited restrictions were felt throughout the entirety of the swim, with a close only resulting from an intention of not wanting to push myself. In conclusion, I feel extremely fortunate to be back utilising the natural environment in the hot sun, and am filled with excitement of what awaits over the summer months.

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Time for a retreat

5th August 2015: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

I am writing a brief entry from a farm approximately two hours north of Sydney. The 10 acreages is more reflective of a health retreat rather than a basic farm I imagine you first conjured in your mind. The main residence is beautifully designed, with each piece eclectically made by hand over the span of two decades. I feel very fortunate to have a friend who has allowed me and two others into the treasured jewel, the place his family call their home away from home. It seems it has been an ever evolving project whilst maintaining a degree of tranquility seemingly imprinted into the DNA of the structure. At present, there is no other placeĀ I would rather be. Constantly, my eyes alternate between discovering a unique design of the house and simply taking in the sprawling views of the property. It is actually unbelievable to be sitting adjacent to a fire, totally immobilised by the pain and restriction of the surgery whilst feelingcompletely disconnected from the stressors associated with life. In all honestly, I must say a hope is felt in the paradox existing between the distance felt with my experiences over the past month and how my circumstnaces will unfold over the coming years.

Why I travel…

19th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

Yesterday, a moment occurred that will be forever remembered. The location of the moment was at a surfspot I have recently being surfing. The waves at the place break over shallow, sharp reef, and yesterday the size of surf significantly increased. A complexity is associated with the place due to the fear associated with falling into the sharp reef. I should note at this point a pivotal factor coming to surface on reflection. I have had the mentality throughout the trip of solely wanting things from the ocean. The entry will hopefully portray the understanding learned from the experience whilst also showing an overwhelming respect to the ocean.

So, a friend and I were intending on surfing together. Upon arriving at the place we saw the actual size of the larger waves running down the reef. It was an extremely low tide so we had to walk approximately 100 meters on the reef before attempting to challenge the ocean. My fried successfully managed to make his way out to the waves whilst I remained stuck on the reef throwing my board into the sky attempting to litigate the potential risks of the oncoming balls of fury breaking directly in front of me. Three consecutive waves rolled me along the reef, resulting in my sensing a message was being delivered about an imminent dangers should I continue. There definitely would have been a time when I would have reflected on this experience as a moment of weakness, however, my acceptance and submission lead me to respect the ocean whilst also allowing other opportunities to surface.

The outcomes of being rolled along the reef by three waves resulted in me drifting approximately 150 around the cliff. I noticed a patch of sand was exposed by the low tide forming a little bay, and I felt an overwhelming connection with the world around me. It seemed my fate was to submit to the ocean. Therefore, I decided to turn around to commence the journey back to the shore. Whilst paddling, I felt drawn to the exposed bay, and again felt I needed to follow my instincts. Once standing on the bay, I rested my board in some shade, and completed a powerful and emotive yoga session. I was surprised at how deep into the practice I became, and felt the three waves served the purpose of getting me to find strength in accepting my defeat. I fully acknowledge the criticism by some at the content, however, I can honestly say it is an accurate account of what I was experiencing at the time, and still believe the events are to hold some meaning in my life.

Natural bliss…

17th February 2015: Depot Beach (New South Wales East Coast)

I met a friend two days ago approximately four hours south of Sydney and will be staying for another two days before returning home. A brief recap of the circumstances preceding this entry provide an overview of the past two days. We are staying in a little shack within a national park, and have each taken temporary residence on the balcony. My friend has decided a single mattress should accompany him to provide complete satisfaction whilst I sit slightly tilted in a chair with my feet resting on the railings. A rather apt situation, bearing in mind the setting of our current existence. A constant chirping of native birds mixed with a breaking of waves dominate all auditory senses, and our eyes can easily become fixated on the array of flora and fauna resembling the outer layer of an oil painting set upon a canvass showing the Australian environment. Moreover, a bright blue skyline seems to complete with the striking crystallised water in the foreground that captures all other available space.

My friend had the intention of reading, however, is now resting in foetal position, leaving me to enjoy the slight breeze gently pushing onto the balcony whilst I sporadically shift my gaze according to the noises coming from the choir of birds singing from the tress overlooking the short row of empty holiday houses. The breeze oddly brings to surface memories of sitting in an office whereby the room temperature is controlled by an ever-antagonising air conditioning system. The contrast is almost unbearable, when considering the fact of my nasal passages are the means of transporting fresh air throughout my respiratory system, and for so many years there subject to constant abuse form a controlled devise. A factor definitely not resonating with a goal to ensuring my body is in the optimum state for enjoyment, peace and healing.

A twitching of my friend at the presence of a mosquito passing by is a reminder of need to add further details to the events of the past two days. The day commences with the rays of the sun calling my eyes to open. Surprisingly, I rise with no effort and directly walk towards the balcony to commence a morning yoga routine. A wholesome breakfast has followed fuelling my body with the necessary energy to enjoy the conditions of surf, and although the waves were virtually unridable today, the scenery, lack of people and weather still made the task a pursuit worth undertaking.

Is change coming…

10th December 2014: Sydney Australia

The road may be changing, well at least it feels like it is, and I am hoping upon waking up tomorrow morning signals further changes from how I currently feel. It simply can be labelled another day of rest, I did manage a surf and added some extra movement into my gentle relaxing yoga routine, however, overall it was a very quiet and uneventful day. It seems the idea of attempting to discover a somewhat miracle cure to future illnesses was a little unrealistic, in reality, nature has taken it’s course, and now I am starting to feel better. There would be inconclusive evidence to prove any of my actions has helped my circumstances and were a better choice than opting for either no changes in my life or opting for use of medicine. I guess, the attention placed on recovering faster can reinforce a belief about the capacity of my body to heal. Alternatively, as was showed yesterday, my mood can become deflated.

Another matter brought to my awareness over the past few days is the aroused curiosity on the reasoning for two colds striking within three months, bearing in mind no ill-health was experienced since the operation. The last blood results revealed no striking abnormality in regards to my white blood cells, dismissing the potential of the chemotherapy causing a weakened immunity. Again, I may be reporting very flawed information due to my lack of medical knowledge, and am basing this on my seemingly limited understanding of the body, however, it interesting, and hopefully is just a case of having sequential colds opposed to a matter much more severe.