Dérive verb. to drift.
Freewheeling noun. the state of being undefined by rules and regulations. See also: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan
Invisible Cities noun. a book by Italo Calvino published in 1979. Invisible Cities is comprised of prose poems depicting fifty-five imaginary cities from the perspective of the explorer Marco Polo. These vignettes are parables or ruminations on time, memory, death and the relationships between the imagination and physical world.
Road noun. a long stretch of cleared earth for the purpose of getting from one place to another, especially for motor vehicles, carriages and bicycles. Roads can be made of cobblestones, asphalt, concrete, gravel and dirt. A road can be a street, laneway or highway.
Odyssey noun. a long wandering defined by adventure, changes in fortune and within the self. An odyssey may also be a spiritual or psychological journey.
For this journal instalment, our guests describe a moment in a journey of the foot or heart.
Written by - Manisha Anjali
Opening image - Mancie Rathod
The earth absorbs colour like a sponge slowly drinking water. It puts on weight; rounds itself; hangs pendant; settles and swings beneath our feet. - Virginia Woolf.
Travel excavates the senses, bringing each one to the surface in its fullness. The mind becomes a stereo system, tuning carefully into one channel, eliminating the others.
The sky gleams silver reflecting light like the diamond shaped scales of a snake. The taste of snake fruit in my mouth too. A boom echoes. The electric storm whips lightning across the sky, vibrations low and crackling. The air becomes thick and heavy, weighing on my body. Sweat beads on my skin like pearls. The smell of wet earth mixed with metal.
I make a holiday of sensation, traverse the land as I would a body. Sounds pervade my being like a mist; voices do not come from throats but from the air itself. Red silk flags turn liquid in the still heat, volcanic springs, a humidity that I dream and bathe in and emerge smelling of hot pink dragonfruit.
The colours assault me with a bruising pleasure. I feel each hue make an impression on my skin; swirls of ultra violet and moss green. The light at golden hour multiplies its effect on walls, glass windows, and roofs. I watch it siphon through the streets until every object in its way is robbed of luster —
a star moving through space that forgets itself in the forward motion, leaving only a shadow behind.
Shannon May Powell is a writer, artist and somatic therapist in training based on sovereign Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country. While they studied writing and philosophy at university, their practice is grounded in the body and is socially activated by the people and places that they collaborate with.
Artist, writer, gardener
Having returned from a year abroad, I am only just beginning to unfurl each experience deep in my body’s memory.
I realised that a journey of the foot is necessarily a journey of the heart. It would take a particular kind of determination to resist the effect on our soul of distance and time. I can also see that an internal voyage can transpire at any given moment, without moving the body at all: a pilgrimage to a favourite place in your imagination— that is accessible to you, always.
As I attempt to re-root and settle, I see the power of embedding oneself: into a place, a neighbourhood, a country, even a relationship. Shallow roots don’t develop robust branches.
Travel is expansion. Your world multiplies infinitely as you uncover new ways that a life could be lived, new ways of seeing and making on this planet. Inspiration overwhelms, yet it seems only natural to come back to earth after a time spent in the clouds. To look not always elsewhere and beyond, but to turn the gaze earthbound and within.
I went searching for something I thought was not here and that existed only over there. But the longer I was on the road, the more it became apparent: everything I craved I carried within myself already.
Nicholas Trifiletti is an artist, writer and gardener. His work revolves around the relationships between memory, landscape and the human heart.
I have lived in the very same home for nearly a decade.
A home that has met two beloved cats, one fierce (now deceased) and the current, demure & innocent.
Some dalliances have passed through and a great love remains, in this place which is not really mine but given the length of my tenancy it feels achingly as though it is.
My bedroom was initially downstairs, I inherited a piano that came with the (then) sublet, now my lease.
The piano met an unfortunate demise.
That same bedroom eventually became my studio, a creative refuge - one that I ultimately longed for nothing more than to empty.
A bare room, a blank canvas, another evolution.
Whilst I've not travelled as often as I've desired to, nearly ten years of sunrises and sunsets within this same home sees me reflect on it as well travelled terrain.
We have changed together, this house and I, but in some ways we have remained the same.
MELISSA IS THE CURATOR & CARE TAKER OF BEFORE MARCH STORE.
SEEKING TO INTERTWINE AND INVIGORATE THE SENSES THROUGH THIS PLATFORM.
This soul of mine.
How can I silence the yearning for its home?
My yearly pilgrimage awaited me for many years.
This singing soul of mine.
How could I hush the ceaseless echo, the symphony of yearning?
I was 4 years older, nonetheless wiser. All I knew was that I had no other calling but to be back in what I call my spiritual home, India.
The sounds of nostalgia moisten my eyes.
Each and every time I go back, my soul bows down to me and whispers thank you. This elated soul of mine.
I fondly relive each journey, with a heart full of affection. They hold a unique, tender place. A cherished connection in the depths of my being. Each precious tale holds just as a jewel in a jewellery box.
This wistful soul of mine.
It recounts moments in Kashi.
A place like no other. A pilgrimage for love & loss.
A place to attain Moksha - to be liberated from the cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation.
With much of life still to be lived, long laughs and anticipation for the unknown ~ the cycle of birth and death, and everything that comes in between still awaits me.
It yearns to go back so deeply.
This burning soul of mine.
"My Name is Mancie Rathod and I am an Asian woman of colour based between Australia, New York and India, focusing on modelling at Stone Street Agency and photography.
Born in Naarm (Melbourne) to a family of immigrants from India, my upbringing has been completely entrenched in South Asian music, dance, culture; forming an extremely deep connection to my roots, to my spiritual life and became an integral part of my identity from a very young age.
This identity and influence has heavily informed my photography, in the stories I tell through my pictures about the people of my home.
Since the beginning of 2022, I have been offering my images for purchase, independently and through No Border Shop. I also take part in pop-up events in New York, India, and other locations where my images are available to take home. Sharing my pictures with the world provides me with a great sense of fulfilment, as it allows me to connect with and receive love from the community I have created and beyond. I am deeply moved by the positivity and endearment that I receive, and it is truly special to see my work resonate with others.
Additionally, I am honoured to be a contributing artist at the Shapes of Identity exhibit at Land to Sea in New York, an Asian-owned and operated space."