Bilkish Vahed

Rebellion & Romance

Page 2 of 11

The Double Bind of High Heels

If every day, I could slip my feet into beautifully made shoes with elegant 6cm heels, I would. I’d walk in them through the mall, to work, to café’s, on the sidewalks. Everywhere.

Milla’s shoes, photographed by Peter Lindbergh

But I don’t. Because I can’t. Because I can only tolerate them for an evening out, or a day here or there. Anything more, makes me ache and hurt. Sleek they make me feel, but sore.

How I lust after the day that some genius gets it right and designs a chic and sharp high heel, beautifully balanced and structured, comfortable! Then I’ll rush out and buy a dozen pairs for every day, and more.

The Cowboy

When I was growing up, I watched western movies incessantly. When playing together – my siblings, cousins and I – if I wasn’t allowed to be John Wayne, I refused to play. I was always John Wayne.

Adam Jahiel Photography, ‘The Last Cowboy project’
Movie, “Jane Got A Gun”

Now that I’m grown up, I wonder about my connection to the cowboy? Not the real ones, you understand, not those real cowboys in Colorado or Texas, or the Pampas of Argentina, not those actually herding cattle on a ranch; for me it’s about the mythic cowboy figure in my own inner world.

It’s curious, in Westerns, it’s not the women characters that I pay attention to. Sure there’ve been some interesting women, but they’re always eclipsed by the man on the horse, the romantic figure who roams outdoors, whilst the women remain within.

A strong, silent man is how I think of a cowboy. Strong character, who walks tall and proud. A plain talking man of few words, who when he does speak, speaks with directness, says what he means. Honour is his internalised code. He inspires trust. Courage flows in his veins, you can rely on him.

The traits of my mythic cowboy are seductive. Come to think of it, they’re qualities that make for both a fine man and a fine woman.

Something Missing

Many a day, I have the feeling that I’m missing something.

If only I could just figure out that elusive piece, then all the randomness of my life will mysteriously re-configure into something glorious, then my heart will grow still and quiet with an inward sigh.

Yes, if only.

Hues of the Landscape


Structure and form with layered softness. Ensembles of earthy browns, strong rusts, hints of black, moss green, petrol blue, natural khaki, golden cream and crisp white. A melange of hues that reflect the landscape as it blends into the sky.

“The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless, ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it, but it has blue vigour in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue.”
―  Karen Blixen Out of Africa

In the movies they roam the desert, thunder the earth on the backs of horses, write history, love, live, and die.

Styled in a suede or leather jacket, a white voile or crisp cotton shirt,  khaki jodhpurs; a voluptuous coloured silk pussy-bow blouse here, an elegant printed silk neck scarf there.

Theirs is the glamour of the pioneering spirit that stirs the imagination with romance, and the restlessness to adventure.

Kristin Scott Thomas in ‘The English Patient’ (1996)

Nicole Kidman in ‘Australia(2008)

Jennifer Lawrence in the movie, "Serena"

Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’ (2014)

Ralph Fiennes in ‘The English Patient’ (1996)

Needing Stillness

I’ve been an on-and-off meditator for at least twenty years. My off periods have lasted months. My ons at best, dismally inconstant. I assumed meditation is good for me, but over the years I never felt anything really different by doing it. I tried mantra meditation, attended or listened to guided meditations, but wasn’t aware of any felt enhancement. When I did it, I just did it.

Until now that is. The other evening I came home after work feeling truly drained. I’d been feeling depleted on many an evening. A lot had been going on at the office, a lot that brought up emotional responses in the people around me, and in my self. It all felt intense.

Here I was finally home, having eaten my dinner, I could watch a movie, read a book, talk on the phone, surf the net, or eat more pudding. None of these quite answered what I was wanting, needing.

Out of the blue a thought came to me – what I really, really wanted was to be immersed in a well of silence. To be taken to a deep pool of quietness that I could sink into. So quiet, so deep, pure respite from the day’s excitability. Meditation?

Quickly, I googled “How to Meditate?” and was taken to The Chopra Centre, where I scanned Learn to Meditate in 6 Easy Steps. Without thinking too much, I rushed to my easy chair, put on my timer for 20 minutes, and off I was.

This time, for the first time, meditation felt really satisfying to me. No bells and stars, no scintillating lights, nothing spectacular. Just a comforting time of quiet.

Every evening since, it’s been just over a week, I look forward to my 20 minute interlude. Breathing gently, I softly think the mantra “So” on the in-breath, and “Hum” on the out-breath. Softly breathing, I simply enjoy the time of stillness.

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