The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey

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Sophie Ward is a dreamer, a philanthropist, a philosopher, a writer. Her metaphysical mind frame and the poetry she exudes from it is mesmerizing. For a girl in her early 20’s her wisdom is awe inspiring. 

As some of you may know I have been a fan of Ward’s work since happening upon her blog some time ago and I featured a Top 5’s interview on her and co-model Tiah Eckhardt on Style Voyeur back in March 2009.

This newest feature is to preview a sneak-peek, an excerpt for SV readers from Sophie Ward’s first book – The Beginning of an INEXPLICABLE JOURNEY which is to be released through her publishing house Paper Castle Press. 

The e-book can be purchased online now. The sales will go towards publishing the hard copy and I highly recommend everyone getting a copy as, if you are anything like me (and if you like my blog I am guessing you are), it is an incredible read!

The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey, part travelogue, part memoir, highlights a time in Ward’s life of discovery, of self evaluation and the evaluation of being, belonging, individuality and unanimous interaction with the earth and our outer spheres. Being the sister of – for a time – the world’s biggest supermodel and all the bizarre experiences that go along with that, compounded with her astute ability to observe life’s every aspect, Ward’s journey is not a usual one. 

Whether she’s sitting poolside with Dolce & Gabbana at their Italian beach house, reciting yarns with Hollywood heart-throbs or unaffectedly referring to top designers and celebrities on a first name basis, her refreshingly un-superficial recollections equate to a story that only a girl with an exceptional soul could formulate.
 
Ward takes us from hometown of Perth to nomad of the stars.   
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FROM CHAPTER FIVE

When
she was young she wasn’t nearly so weak. The strength in her bones held
her up at right angles, wouldn’t bend in the blue parts and didn’t rust
in the wash. She is fire and lead and limestone; all strong parts
separately but they lie when she tells the truth. As she got old she
grew weaker with emotion. Love weakened her. Truth made her melt.
Knowledge made her sigh. She wasn’t the same girl. She broke down in
tears before beauty. She longed in solemn rapture for those she had
left, those who’d left her, those she simply could not find any more.

The
older she grew, the more people she glinted off, grew from, soldered
herself to (tried to), the more she fell through. She learnt how to love
and to get to the pit of someone’s soul. It was interesting for you to
watch. She connected herself to as many people as she could, and as
such, the world became smaller and smaller for her. In this way she
learnt about the world, and in consequence, about human nature, and in
consequence, knew more and more (as well less and less) about herself.
She went farther and farther out of herself. She walked toward her
future with great speed; you taught her that. She wanted to find her
Self, understand herself as much as she could. You know because you have
searched for the same. Every journey made her think harder, and in
different ways. Across the borders she met borderline people. Everything
had a moral. Every thought has a reason. Every thing she wrote down
could have been thought in some way by someone somewhere before in some
form.

She
thinks she might have lived here before. She thinks she is too lucky to
be alive and feel for so much. She is afraid of only one thing, and
that is not being. To die when you think that you’ve already done so is
disconcerting. She is not immortal, though she feels like she might be
because the road seems so long and yet finite. This is a strange
paradox. She realises that the world is full of contradictions. It is
the place between them where she feels most alive.

B
– is for Black Hole: “Black holes contain a tremendous amount of matter
crushed into an incredibly tiny space. If the earth could be squeezed
enough to become a black hole, it would be the size of a marble”
Philip’s Millennium En- cyclopedia, Ed. Steve Luck, (George Philip;
London, 1999) ibid.

C
– it is Happening Now: What do you do when you don’t belong? The time
flies, you don’t think about much, you make your life an internal one.
An insipid one. It breaks down my body at the cellular level. I start to
feel weak. I start to look at myself. I stop interacting with the
world. We need to feel we belong, much of the time. If we don’t though I
might just go and break a bank, or smoke a cigarette or something
to forge the boundary more. I don’t belong, you say, so what the heck.
“You are someone who likes to have a lot of attention”, my mother told
me affectionately.

On
an aeroplane to the other side of the world you felt for the first time
alone. You don’t want to leave everything you have behind, when what
you left behind was so small (a sensation, a nerve ending) yet so
unfathomably bigger. I was trapped, a captured kidnapped. I didn’t want
to be on this plane, I wanted to get off; at one point it hurt me so
hard I broke down in the bathroom. I watched my face tear itself up and
the blood come to bursting point beneath it. I wanted so much to be
where they were. Where I left my lovers. The boy who ran to me with my
new coat he’d kept safe, who held my cold hands in his between his
fingers, who kissed me one last time before tearing back to work, my
lips holding on just a split second too long. The long pauses hurt
hardest. The last times. The final contact. The heat of his chest on my
hands.
On
the drive to the terminal (terminate) I listened to my best friend
laugh in the back seat. After a while the joke wore off and the silence
began. That kind of sound binds more than any words can. The four of us
in an unmovable cube of pounding pounding silence; life, life, life,
car, tree, white lines again, and again. The rhythm was stultifying. I
began to cry for the first time. I was leaving, and I didn’t know where I
was going and why I was really doing it. My friend’s hand crept into
mine and I didn’t look down, or over. The knot began to grow in my
forehead and I wept without the back seat knowing.

It couldn’t have been any harder. These were my friends, but more than that; a family. They’d protected me and
nurtured me and couldn’t have done any thing less to have won me
completely over. I fell head over heels in love with them, and my life
because of it. Life can be so perfect, can’t it, over and over again,
but you don’t realise until you’re in another dimension. A different
age, a different place. A different space-time continuum. Bending your
body through the gap doesn’t feel right or natural, and nothing can make
it better. You are nothing, and everything all at the very same time.
Aeroplanes twist my mind into strange contortions. How can this be
possible? At thousands of feet we are suspended in a metal glass engine,
roaring tunnel of human body matter, lifted by simple engine power and a
few gusts of wind. And all of these people are all going to a house, a
hotel, a nook in the earth below somewhere. They belong somewhere. But
they cross the lines together. At this moment in the plane we do not
exist in comparison to any country or suburb or cafe, we are just there
in a tube. There are no borders up here, only metaphysical ones remain.

I
step off the plane at Heathrow. Wait four hours in the airport. Drink
black coffee and read trashy magazines. I watch the sunshine morning
through glass and grey buildings, the black British vintage taxis. We
drive to Glastonbury. Wade through muddy puddles. I meet Kate Moss,
think of my oldest friends, think of the floor, I’ve been flying for 22
hours, and standing for that time too now. We sit in a Moroccan bar at
Winding Lake, watch pixelated fireworks.
L’uomo
Vogue asks me to join their photo shoot. I sit amongst the slate and
flower weeds waiting in the sun, talk to a Canadian rock star. I walk to
the Winnebago, watch Van Morrison, stand four from the front of Brian
Wilson. A man surfs on a surfboard over the crowd. Another man strips to
the ankles.
I
lay on a stone wall by the Portofino lagoon of Domenico and Stefano’s
beach house. A quiet man brings me a blue bowl of salty popcorn and
potato chips. It matches the sky of the ocean, the stretch of rippling
water and the occasional cloud of a boat. The Fortuna, and others. Mario
cries “You’re cancelled, darling” to my sister in jest. We sit outside
drinking red wine and other things, smoking marijuana near the lemon
tree leaves and their crushed scent like summer time and love gazing.

Josh
Hartnett plays his music, his Bob Dylan talk. He sits by me describing
the ‘Palma Sutra’ on the assistant’s phone in accents beknownst only to
him. Jamaican rings out under the baroque white marbled floors, the
balconies above us, the beach some flights of stairs below. Later he’ll
be licking a cigarette paper labelled ‘Bob Marley’ and plastering it
again and again to my forehead. Flashing me his teeth and smiling eyes:
“Only the best for you.”
But
nothing sticks anymore, and I realise it never has, for long enough.
Routines, lifestyles, they all start to shift before I want them to.
Home isn’t the same, isn’t where I grew up. There are no more girls
lying in couch corners in my home on the opposite side of the world
anymore. It is half empty now, and old habits are dying too, with our
departures. I wonder what will happen next. I just hate the thought of
an empty house at night, on both sides of the world. I hate the thought
of the opposite side of the world. I couldn’t get farther away if I
tried, and if I tried, I wouldn’t even consider going that far.

I
tire, and wake with the scent of him on my fingers, and in my hair, but
he is not here. Even though I dream about him in the day and the night,
he is not here. What is it about you that I love so much? What is it
about the best men that makes me thrill with the challenge of being the
best woman?

11-11-2010

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