My Heart Wanders - Pia Jane Bijkerk
A celebration of taking risks, letting go and making a home wherever you are
Last month, when visiting my cousin Amy, the talented designer and letterpress printer of Saint Gertrude fame, she excitedly recommended Pia Jane Bijkerk's illustrated travel memoir, My Heart Wanders. The imagery is immediately beautiful - somehow moody, peaceful, reflective and inspiring all at once - and the words on the cover are captivating (A celebration of taking risks, letting go and making a home wherever you are). Sounded like perfect holiday reading to me so a few days later I ordered it from the Book Depository in readiness for our trip to Broome, Western Australia.
Holidays are the perfect time to reflect and dream, so reading this while far from home enhanced the book for me. It stirred anxieties I have about not having the time or space to do everything I want to do in life and it highlighted recent feelings of uncertainty in areas I am usually content and sure of where I'm headed. This may not sound like a good thing but I truely think it is good to delve deep into your inner thoughts from time to time just to check you are happy on your current path.
The author is a stylist, photographer and writer - a true creative who even plays the piano. As you do with good authors, I felt an affinity with her and with some of her restlessness, contradictions, attempts to appreciate the present moment (and not always succeeding), tendency to be 'too' honest and even the way she found meaning from connecting random dots, particularly in the world of nature.
Towards the end of the book, I was delighted to read that Pia is a fellow blogger. In that moment, I realised at least one of the reasons why Amy had recommended it and why it resonated so well with me. Perhaps this is more a reflection of that fact I was reading it on an adventure far from home, but the book enhanced my inner gypsy - the repressed desire to cut off from the safe path that I've planned (and worked towards so diligently and responsibly)...to get in a van and circle our country or uproot to a foreign land. But there is something inherent in me that keeps me here - perhaps it is the ingrained responsibility of being one of the "big kids" in my family, or it could be that my life and career plans are not as flexible as I tell myself, but more likely it is my love of home and being surrounded by the people and things I love. Whatever the reason, I feel I am where I'm supposed to be.
Of course, I adored reading about the nuances of creating home comforts far from home (or close to it) but the big things I took from this book were about accepting yourself, embracing your creativity and learning to follow your heart. A wonderful read and a visual treat.