At last, long shifts finished, my daughter sound asleep and I am in bed with my laptop, browsing my favourite blogs and just relaxing. I have not had the time for this kind of luxury for a while now. (Prefering to read real paper books before sleep, I rarely take my computer to bed with me. But I feel like I haven’t seen it for a good while now, thus the exception.) Our house stands on a hill, so we can see the rooftops of our little town out the bedroom window. Caught in the runmill of daily tasks and checklists, it is easy to forget how beautiful it all looks. I am taking the moment now to give out a loud sigh, relax my shoulders, and look out the window at the numerous street lights scattered in the dark. Life is good!
However, the blog stats say nobody has even taken a peek at this space of mine for the last week and I haven’t posted anything for eleven days. So I thought I would tell you a little about the last book I finished. It was a very easy, entertaining, and at the same time inspiring read.
Catrina Davies’ book ‘The Ribbons Are For Fearlessness: A Journey‘ is a captivating story of adventure against all odds. Catrina lives her life clinging to safety and familiarity. After her cliff-climbing and sea-surfing boyfriend leaves her and her best friend unexpectedly dies, she is left drifting aimlessly with nothing to cling to.
Her solution? To buy an old van, put her cello in it, and go busking all across Europe. Well, to be fair, she does not quite set out to do this. Lost and confused after everything that has happened, she is running away by living the dream of her late friend – to busk all the way to the northernmost part of the continent and witness the magic of the midnight sun. I think it is fair to say that on her journey there and beyond she discovers herself.
I told her about Andrew and the senseless way he died, and how thinking about it gave me vertigo, and how I had thought that busking to the midnight sun for him would make it different somehow, but it hadn’t. If anything, it had made it worse. And I told her about Jack and how I used to carry his ropes to the bottom of the cliffs he used to climb, but was too scared to climb with him. And how I used to follow him down to the beach and sit for hours watching him surf, and it never occurred to me that I should try it, until I heard about the sweet, petite surfer, only there probably wouldn’t be any point anyway, because I was too scared of everything (…)
What is so endearing about this book is that the heroine is the least likely candidate for the journey that she undertakes. She is not the brave adventurous person looking for excitement. She has no money, no plan, she has not thought out the details, and, even though her only way of funding herself is busking, Catrina has never played in public and hates being the centre of attention. However, by making this one step – buying the van and getting onto a ferry – she initiates a chain of events that change the route of her journey and her life itself. She is made to let go of the anchor of safety and open her eyes to the vividness of life.
More than once she is forced to persevere simply because she has no other option. I think so often we just dismiss ourselves as unable to do things, being ‘not that kind of person’. It is so easy to put barriers in your own way, to fence yourself off. I am always fascinated by how, in really difficult circumstances, humans grow larger than their perception of themselves and achieve the unimaginable. I am fascinated by the transformative force of just powering through and dealing with the situation as best you can.
Fearlessness has got nothing to do with being unafraid. It’s about doing things anyway, getting on with it, living, whether you’re afraid or not…
In essence, this is a story of a journey from fear to fearlessness, from drifting aimlessly to being awake. It is a story of persevering against adversity, big or small, and growing as a person through this. And as such, it is a universal story of human heart. A story that makes you stop and audit your own life. A story that inspires. Check it out, you might like it.