posted on January 19th, 2015 | in Lifestyle & Fashion, Musings, Travel

Janus

Le chalet, Q Grill Selfridges

 

Christmas has disappeared; all that pizazz and cheeriness and homespun philosophy about the magic of a greater being are behind us. It is like one of these very important dreams that you have and you carry it around for days and it seems so real,then one day it has just disappeared from your consciousness as if it was never there. Such is the ephemeral nature of life.

 

christmas wrapping paper

 

So Christmas has gone. But I just want to show this last little memory of it: this wrapping paper  with the little pom poms. It brought out the girl in me as I gleefully enjoyed its playfulness; the girl who loved ballet and Enid Blyton and fairy tales. Somehow Christmas , although touching the sentimental, can still do that important thing of reminding us to be playful.

 

cassandra struthers

 

Now on with the new year. I feel so fortunate that I had my unplanned for experience with the Saddhu. As I wrote previously, India always seems to bring me these spiritual moments; it just breathes it through the air. It is an extraordinary thing to receive understanding and help when it is not expected, and especially at such a deep level.

 

A few months ago  I wrote a post about a very intense time I was going through. I felt very deeply that I had to throw out all concepts if I didn’t truly feel their truth, but was just hanging onto them for sentimental support.

I referred to Krishnamurti in this context as his books have always resonated deeply with me. He advocated always to look to oneself and to find freedom from the mundane and limiting by releasing stale thinking and habits. This is of course not an easy course of action but if we keep finding the playful within ourselves, by relaxing and being curious, then it is easier to recognise the false bits we are hanging onto. More and more it becomes easier to work with your intuition.

 

cassandra struthers

 

My Saddhu ( as I have come to think of him) has helped me to take a step further in releasing unnecessary burdens. I won’t go into the intricacies but out of this special meeting a ceremony took place which affected me beyond the expectations of my rational mind. As a consequence, a further door has now opened where I can feel a deep belief in my own experience as I feel and understand things for myself.

In the past, I would experience something uplifting but then somehow not really believe in it. I suppose this was my “rational” self reasserting its control; pretty damn negative actually. This fear of blossoming out (felt strongly in Scotland but I am sure appearing in other areas) I am sure stems from the calvinistic notions of “not getting above yourself”! So this has been a very important step forward for me.

 

cassandra struthers

 

And as I feel this fresh positivity so it has been fun to have a few days in London. More than ever, I enjoyed roaming around my old haunts. Having lived there for almost twenty five years, I regard it as the place where I spent my first grown up years; The Disco, Punk and the New Romantic years all acting as a backdrop.
Assouline Books London

 

In my wanderings, I found by chance Maison Assouline. I peered in through the large glass window in the door and couldn’t quite work out what I was looking at. I glimpsed walls of books but then there was a very chic little bar also.

 

I was reminded of “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse where he finds this  door into a magical club and then can’t find it again for some time after. So I wandered into this room with double height ceiling with beautifully bound books arrayed on three walls from floor to ceiling. But they were, many of them, large with colourfully designed front covers, putting a new slant on the genre of coffee table books. I was enamoured.

Adding to this was the chicest of French music subtly playing in the background. And then of course, The Bar, where a couple of people were casually drinking and having a snack. I thought I had indeed entered a little place of magic.

 

Anne Somerset House

 

After visiting the Schiele exhibition at Somerset House the next day, I had a rather magical meeting with a stranger and again felt I was back in the world of “Steppenwolf” where nothing is accidental but echoes to the  profundities of the ephemeral of life. On my way walking along the Strand to Somerset House, I had seen a rather interestingly dressed woman and then, later, I saw her also at the exhibition.

Afterwards, pleasantly exhausted, we found our way to the cafe and were seated in a lovely sunny spot in the window … right next to this woman. We smiled towards each other, and that was that. And then as husband and I left the building there she was again, sitting by the door texting. “There’s our friend again”, I said. At that point, I went off to wander around the courtyard area looking at the buildings, while said husband went off to a lunch appointment. I then turned back and as I walked back onto the Strand there was my “friend” again, just in front of me. “This is just ridiculous”, I said to myself so as I drew level with her I spoke. We both stopped and had an extremely pleasant chat. It turns out she wears vintage clothes always and conducts dance exhibitions, mainly in Germany and Switzerland … oh and she is also of Scottish extract. I think we will be good friends; what fun.

 

cassandra struthers

 

By the way, the Schiele exhibition, when seeing the originals, was unexpectedly appealing. His courage in confronting the morality of society was based on a deep spiritual conviction that all superficiality had to be pared back to the core. Nothing was to be left from behind which to hide. I cannot say I would like to have his paintings on my wall but I am humbled by his bravery in expressing his vision.

 

cassandra struthers

 

So, here is to a 2015 which will hopefully prove to be both satisfying and surprising.

 

cassandra struthers

 




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