I’m going to share “Big Magic” conclusions with you –
“Creativity is Sacred, and it is NOT sacred.
What we make matters enormously and it doesn’t matter at all.
We toil alone and we are accompanied by spirits.
We are terrified and we are brave.
Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege.
Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. “
So – I recommend it- “Big Magic” by Liz Gilbert. Though I reckon many of you know all this stuff anyway.
It was a cool ride back down the valley to Bajram Curri, but by the time I arrived the sun had seared all the clouds away. There were great scars and pockmarks in the brand new road, from falling boulders from the cliff sides, I should imagine. I wouldn’t like to be around when they fell to earth.
It was hard to say goodbye to Valbona – beautiful and peaceful as it is. I liked meeting the B3P tutors too –and I hope I’ll meet some of them again one day.
From Bajram Curri, I move onto a new road – ‘new’ to me, though ‘old’ and rutted in reality. I cross another river and as I climb up the hill, I can see many lads enjoying the summer holidays and splashing around in the bitterly cold water. (I guess the girls are at home helping with chores?). Today was the first day I’ve been ‘high-fived’ by kids – three of them walking down the road held their hands up for me in time-honoured fashion – though they nearly gave up waiting for me as I’m such a slow pedaller.
Not too far from the Kosovan border I sat in a café and watched a beekeeper go about his business of topping up the sugar water reservoirs (I’m guessing) with no special gear apart from smoke. Then I watched the sun go down on beautiful Albania.
I am feeling the wonder and excitement of new territory and wondering where I’ll be sleeping tonight. Gayle and John (two role models who blog at http://slothsonwheels.blogspot.com ) had suggested that there was a restaurant with a very generous family who had allowed them to camp on their grounds – about 3km beyond the Kosovo border. I crossed the border after dark (around 9pm) and, sure enough, after a bit of a scoot downhill and along, there was Restaurant “E Jona” – all lit up and welcoming – looking pretty surrounded by pine trees. I was greeted with open arms by the extended family who run the place – with big boss Luan Salihiu, and his mother (who had had 10 children in all- 6 girls and 4 boys – I can well imagine NHS Maternity Services response to her grand multiparity!), and Luan’s brother Ferhat and HIS wife and three children (including a lovely toddler who waved goodbye so sweetly when she was taken home). I was fed and watered and given a proper bed – for which a large portion of the family vacated a room, I think, which was a bit overwhelming and totally unintended! - I really was happy to camp!
Welcome to county no. 9: the land-locked Republic of Kosovo, member of EU and disputed territory, ripped from Serbia, populated by (mostly) ethnic Albanians and as tiny as Montenegro.