It’s for Life

the thing i was born to do

Very early on, I started writing short stories and poems. It seems, I have started writing my first book at precisely the right moment… and in the process am finding meaning. I love how writing makes me happy, while at the same time enabling me to give something back to the world. It’s for life. I don’t think I will ever stop writing now.

Gliding through the Depths

2005 liam and whale shark cake

The ocean – vast, energetic, calming, countless shades of turquoise and blue, salty, invigorating, and simply enchanting. For many years, I had been less than beautiful whenever I immersed myself, looking much like a drowning poodle. When I finally became an Advanced Open Water diver, something clicked. In a matter of days, I went from wearing nine pounds of weight to zero. I will never forget the freedom of being truly weightless, silently gliding through the depths. In my room, I was greeted by a whale shark cake. One of my best friends in Switzerland had contacted the hotel in the Maldives and asked them to bake it for me. What a beautiful gesture of support from afar! I ran to the kitchen to organize plates and soon my fellow diving students, our instructor, and I celebrated our success in style.

The Bright Red Sweater

2005 liam and babas dad

Sometimes we meet people for only moments, and they inspire us our whole lives. In 2004, I met the gentleman in the red sweater at a birthday party. He was the retired dad of the birthday girl, and had just hit seventy years of age. Being a true Swiss mountain boy, he had never left his home country until he reached retirement. Not long after his last day at work, when he was sixty-five, he informed his family, he would go on a trip. The adventurous senior packed a small backpack and took a plane to Sydney. Not speaking a single word of English, he followed a group of teenage backpackers to a hostel. An idea formed in his mind, and a few days later he asked them, if they wanted to buy an old car together and drive through Australia for a few months. They could help him get around. He had been a mechanic his entire life. In exchange for their help, he would make sure their car survived the trip. They all ended up exploring Australia for many months, in a rusty old van, having the time of their life together. During our short conversation, my friend’s charming dad had us all in awe with his tale. Whenever I am scared to face the unknown, I remember this friendly, positive, old man in his bright red sweater, and off I go, happily plunging ahead towards new horizons.

The Road Not Taken

2003 road not taken

In 2003, I asked one of my friends to transform my entire apartment into a work of art. I gave him the poem “The Road not taken” and trusted his imagination. My friend came up with an intriguing graffiti, transforming the walls of my entire home into a colorful wonderland. His visual story culminated in this piece, on the living room wall. Robert Frost’s poem crossed my path when I was just fifteen. I believe in the road not taken. I believe in seizing the moment and exploring life. Sometimes great, sometimes hard, I wouldn’t want to miss any of the experiences I was fortunate to make so far.

An Aspiring Writer

2014 sleeping with the boys

Being a writer is fascinating. At first I was only able to write in total quiet and isolation. The slightest distraction threw me off balance. Now, I am more focused. I am getting more done. My writing is developing and I can see a stark contrast between the first few chapters I wrote and the subsequent ones…
My dream is to keep writing, get ever better, and hopefully in a few years be able to live full time as a writer. There is so much I can imagine writing about. I love reading fiction, but concerning my own writing, I am more interested in reality – people’s lives, struggles, and courage.
My notebook accompanies me wherever I go – either in electronic form on my iPhone, or in the form of Hemingway’s favorite notebooks. Thoughts come and go, some of them seemingly important… but if I don’t capture them immediately, they slip my mind as quickly as they materialized seconds earlier. Sleeping in, and cuddling with my loved ones in the morning helps to get me off to a good start. I have incredibly vivid dreams since I started writing.
A few hours of reading a book follow. Being a writer, I am still the crazed bookworm I always was, easily devouring three books a week.
My own first book is slowly shaping up. I am writing parallel on my 2nd and 3rd drafts. It’s a good life and I am profoundly happy.

Home

2006 on snorkel boat with gayoom

Homelessness has always been a blessing and a curse. Growing up homeless in body, family, and country I often felt a great longing inside of me, a loneliness beyond words. No amount of time spent with people could extinguish that. Over the years much of my nomadic existence was a search for home, a search to belong. In the end home was inside of me, and in the people around me who made a difference… and home was in the ocean. No other place, no matter how comfortable I felt was ever truly home. It is the ocean, the endless shades of turquoise and blue that slow my heartbeat to a confident, peaceful pace. I cannot think of anything more invigorating and soothing than diving beneath the surface, feeling the Big Blue with all my senses. Then I move on, in search of new encounters, too curious about the world to be able to remain at peace. Eventually peace will have to be inside of me so I can carry it with me wherever I go. I would say I am about halfway there…

The Mighty Columbia

2004 Columbia River

The Columbia River holds great significance in my life. Here was my first home away from home. I wrestled with black widow spiders and rattle snakes. I bought freshly caught salmon from Native Americans. I learned how to drive a car. On this river’s banks I found first love after my gender change operations. Above all I learned that instead of black and white, our world is made up of thousand shades of grey. At the mighty Columbia is where the nomad in me awoke.