Pedicure in the Amazon

July 3, 2013

Pedicure in the AmazonCan you help me tell the stories?

I want to tell you the stories of my time away in South America. But I’m stuck. There’s a lot to be stuck behind.

The setting: In fall-winter 2012, I spend eight weeks in six countries, three continents, two hemispheres and four climates.

There are gobsmacked moments, in which surreal becomes real. There are horrible, harrowing moments, in which all is questioned. There is home away from home, community-turned-family, small-world wonder across expanses of miles, and love. There are a crowd of images to share with you, and one lone brain through which they are bottle necked.

Ironic dilemma for a story coach

When my clients are stuck, I let curiosity do the work for us. I ask questions about moments I’d love to hear described, about relationships and the characters that make them up, and those nostalgia instigators: what-was-it-like-when…?

Please come play the game with me! If you’re curious about sailing past Cuba, traveling solo in Buenos Aires on 25 pesos, finding friends in the middle of the sea, and hearts broken by an ocean, please!…ask me questions in the comments below, drop a note in my Contact-Me form, or hit reply if you got this in your email, and send me a one-liner. The stories want out! They just need your lead.

To spark some seeds to get curious about, here’s a short list of images and moments that come to mind.

Speechless in the Amazon
Sea legs in Rio
Graves + egg shells: Beginnings + endings in B.A.
Back Story – How’d I get there
Trip Prep: How to set a voyage theme
Tango + Yoga
A yoga teacher’s tears
Tropical rain
Tall is her body
Dreaming at Sea
The long engagement
Wifi, waves and inner life
Blind in the subway
A post office in Uruguay
London winter tan
Presidential election at sea
The body’s language: Yoga in Spanish
Roommates and sisters
A world embrace

A story party for the page

In the Story Charming Parties I throw, we let ideas and images in the room spark the stories we tell that night. My plea for your curiosity is an experiment to uncork my autumn, and share, finally, the stories I’ve been wanting to tell you.

Some of the thought seeds I’ve listed are attached to concrete events. Others trigger ideas and moods more ambiguous. Tell me what draws your curiosity and I’ll tell you a story that grows from it. We’ll watch a story collage emerge to describe those weeks away as I and my cohort of 500 explored Earth as home.



{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelly July 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I love this idea Pema, I want to hear more about how to set a trip voyage theme? and how that influenced your actual travels and I’m curious about travelling solo on 25 pesos!

This is so fun!
Shelly recently posted..What do you Most Desire?My Profile


Pema July 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Shelly I’m so glad you asked about the theme! It totally influenced my travels, and framed the stories with remarkable meaning… I’ll get to work on writing that one first. Stay tuned. Thank you so much for asking!


Nicole Lane July 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I like Shelly’s question and…

I’m a curious on the mechanics of your journey, well, lots more but I don’t know that I know the questions to ask.

I feel like I remember that you were going on a shorter trip, but somehow it became this magical adventure. If I got it wrong from the get-go OR if it did indeed evolve, how?

Either way there were choices, or were there? Were you water or fire jumping?

Also, I’m a big SMELL person, I wonder about the smells you encountered in all these incredible places.

Hope that’s helpful!



Pema July 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hi Nuke. Great questions! I’ll give you the mechanics, including a trip to the ship’s bridge…and…the river captain said one dark night that the smell on the Amazon River was like nothing he’d found anywhere else in his travels, smoky, humid, peaty. So many great directions to go in, thank you. <3


L'Tanya July 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

After all of the travel, what brings you back home? Do you ever think of just continuing on and on?
L’Tanya recently posted..The ReturnMy Profile


Pema July 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Hi L’Tanya, oh this question. It’s a life question. It’s a turning point. The long answer will come in story. (Thank you for triggering it.) The short answer: after this trip, I have turned down the seductions of three countries since, so weary was I when I returned.


Irka July 4, 2013 at 1:28 am

Dear Pema, I’m just triggered by the theme: A yoga teacher’s tears. I would love to hear the story about, feels like there is a big moment and a moment of deep touch behind…
Love, Irka
Irka recently posted..HomeMy Profile


Sandra de Helen July 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Pema, this is a wonderful way to bring forth your stories! I love that you are doing it this way. I’m so curious to hear the story that goes with the prompt “blind in the subway.”


matt July 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

name 10 things you can do with egg shells?

The main post office on 125th street in Harlem has been described as “stagnant chaos”…what is the two word descriptor for the post office in Uruguay?

There are people who swear that the do “moon bathing” to get “moon tans”…how does that relate to London Winter Tan?

You can make patterns with words by seeing what they suggest…for example you can see the connection between the words…some are close and other are a bit further away. Not A – B. But maybe A to C. Maybe even A to D.

The suggestion is: Dog

Rin Tin Tin
Barking up the wrong tree
101 Dalmatians
Open 24 hours
Sunday paper
Bird dog
Bird Man of Alcatraz

so we got back to collar in an interesting way and discovered a crime/punishment theme. So, for instance, lets say that “Dreaming at Sea” is right in the middle of one of these loops? How do you get there?

Lets say the suggestion is Chess (don’t know how this is going to work)

Dreaming at Sea
Demilitarized Zone

IT WORKED! So there is sort of an old/new theme in there with Dreaming at Sea at the doorway inbetween the two.

Now do your own.
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Dave July 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

Yoga in Spanish…

how words can say so much but actions say more, and how ironic it is that to share the experience one has to use words…


regina July 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm

i’m with nicole. i want to know the smells. of everything. the amazon. the boat. the people. the smell of the moods…. everything. xo


Pema July 22, 2013 at 11:09 am

Thanks everybody. Stories in progress…


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