31 Comments

I think that I read this in three parts, with no comments when I first clicked and now a community. What a joy to be part of this journey, Tonika. The cat, the gypsies, the Eyes of God. The doppelganger (one of my favorite words). And you know I got coined 'the woo woo woman' when JJ talked about my video with Mathew and Mark K., before I knew any of them. I cherish the moniker ;-)

Expand full comment
author

Woo-woo woman is a fantastic moniker! 🤩

Thanks for taking the time, Tereza! Means a lot to me. 🙏

Expand full comment
Sep 26, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

I've never read a travelogue before, (so sue me) and I probably won't read another one, because this one is so perfect, so interesting, so inspiring and so heartwarming and unique. I loved the song in the Eyes of God cave. How very special to sing it as a family. And I was intrigued by the part about the gypsies.

My sympathies for the loss of your dad, and for not being able to say a proper goodbye. Handsome man. He was born in the same year I was.

So, I don't think I ever realized all the woo-woo you're into. How wonderful. You don't have to apologize to me for talking about conspiracy stuff.

You might check out the Rev.'s article this week. It may spark an idea where your dad is concerned. She tells a story about a mutual friend of ours (hers and mine). Thanks for telling your story. It makes us all feel connected.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for the great comment, Rocket. And for taking the time to read. I’d never written a travelogue either, so not sure if that’s the proper way to do it. 😂

I’ll look for Reverend’s stack. I didn’t know she had a stack.

Expand full comment
Sep 21, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

Very well done!!

Condolences re: you not being able to see your dad.

Expand full comment
author

🙏

Expand full comment

Tonika, I'm so sorry ta hear of yer papa's passin'--apologies fer comin' ta see this so late--been pre-occupied an' pri-awk-u-pied... a long tale fer later. Yer lucid dream is fascinatin' but I also was taken with yer vision--in the cave--of bringin' yer father there fer the magical restorative waters... Of all times ta find healin' waters an' threads of the mystical (the gypsies! the theosophist! the blind baba--gypsy like herself). Even when ya warn't tryin' it all came up--"welled" up in all senses of the word so ta speak.... Somehow (bein' a lil' woo myself) I feel that without seein' yer father ta say goodbye--you kinda met up with him on another plane... more water-plane than that've the air. The music you chose seemed sort've far away an' both monastic an' a bit enchanted. The healing waters an' the lame pup that "discovered it" an' the Aqua (water!) kitty that wasn't dead after all--animals (with greater senses..."familiars?!"), water... an' the singular magic of yer beautiful children--connected to the sea too! We all are born from water... so somehow, somewhere, in your poetic travelogue--is not only you--but I felt a sense of a father... sort of hoverin' there I think. Not sure why but the entire racountin' had an extra presence... I wonder if yer kids or yer mama also sense it in readin' an watching? I feel that in our very real world we touch many other worlds--even if they exist just in minds...hearts...souls. Sendin' blessin's along with the condolences... and thanks for this beautiful piece!

Expand full comment
author

Grateful you took the time, Daisy, I know you’ve got plenty on your hands and never need to apologise for not reading or reading late! No such thing! Grateful you’re here! I find myself pri-awk-u-pied myself,

And, wow, the water thing makes so munch sense, thanks for pointing that out. I can’t believe I didn’t connect that before! There is so much water stuff that I didn’t even mention! Glad your woo-woo was able to echo that back to me. ❤️

Expand full comment

Of course--an' golly, yer bringing up Echo (a bittersweet figger in mythology...also related ta water an' unrequited love of course....hmmmm) also gits me thinkin' 'bout echolocation where folks n' critters all find each other with inaudible sound bouncin' off the ears--sentient humans have it but also all them amazin' water creatures--dolphins, whales--they all find each other, mamas find lost young, some find ways to help and rescue each other--all via the water echos! Echolocutin' back atcha in these wacky waters we'ze all in!

Expand full comment
author

What a terrific sentiment, Daisy. I sometimes say that we (the folks talking out loud about the matrix) are like lighthouses in a stormy sea, trying to find each other, keeping that beam shining so we can catch a glimpse in between the tall waves, to know we are not alone. But echolocation is under the water, in a way, it’s an inalienable skill not subject to the storm (the manipulated narratives.) Even if they shut all the platforms down and we cease to be able to communicate out loud, we would still know that we are not alone. Really, such a great sentiment. ❤️

Expand full comment
founding

thanks for sharing my friend. makes me want to visit Bulgaria. Loved the parallel FB universe. down right 5th dimensional.

Expand full comment
author

I knew you’d sense the 5th! I think you’re right!! Thanks, David!

Expand full comment

The photographs are fabulous! and the one with your friend Andy holding up the picture of your relative Peter... a true doppleganger, freaky!

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad.

Thank you for sharing all this personal stuff, you have a way of taking your readers on the journey with you.

Expand full comment
author

🙏 thanks for coming on the ride, Jen.

Expand full comment

I'm overwhelmed, with so many thoughts and emotions your essay brought up for me. How you managed to put me in your pocket with you, and carry me on your journey so casually yet with so much deep wisdom, is a writing tour de force, Tonika.

I am so sad for the loss of your father and how you didn't share a proper goodbye with him. Yet your lucid dream... by god, the power of prayer and intention! May you continue to connect with him to close any part of that circle that remains open for you. And I'll add my prayers for his peace and your healing.

In no order whatsoever, more reactions: joy for Aqua (yes, joy -- I loved her reappearance almost as much as you, I think); laughter at those blisteringly honest town names; reverence for the Eyes of God (and for your video that took me directly into the magic); intrigue (lots and lots of that -- I want to go to Bulgaria and to ALL the mysterious places, esp. the ones the gypsies told you about); compassion for the slew of misfortune that greeted your arrival home in the US; admiration for your sense of adventure (though I've experience that before!); and gratitude for your eyes and your heart, which combine to take us on our own journey.

So glad to know you, and to now know you better. xox

Expand full comment
author

And what a great last line. 😍🥰😍 just drop it casually, like you would. 😂

Expand full comment
author

🥹 don’t know how to accurately express how your feedback makes me feel, so I’ll quote Marlowe: “your words put me on a plane with Caesar.” Thank you, dear Mary. You’re a star sister and I know exactly how your sense of adventure echoes in my own heart. 🤗 ❤️

Expand full comment

After that intro, I had to go look up Lyudmila Zhivkova's birth chart (obvs). Oh boy, so juicy! If you can somehow find her birth time we can do a full conspiratorial celebrity birth chart reading on her 😏

(now back to the article)

Expand full comment
author

I’ll look into it!

Expand full comment

Lovely writing Tonika and so honest. Pretty impressed with your video skills too. I spent a very pleasant hour absorbing this.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you, my dear. Honored to have pleasantly filled your hour. Especially through your troubles lately. 🙏 looking forward to Friday.

Expand full comment
Sep 20, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

This is lovely! You are an amazing and beautiful writer and I believe English is not even your first language? I'm so sorry about the loss of your father.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you, Jane. It’s been surreal.

Yeah, English is not my native tongue, but as an adapted one, I find it more flexible and fun than Bulgarian. I like how punny it can get. No wonder the English empire set out to have a universal language with the Shakespeare project. Francis Bacon knew what he was doing.

Expand full comment
Sep 20, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

English just takes words wholesale over from other languages, and our pathetic American tongues say them poorly! I learned German in college and it was interesting to me how different it was—lots of rules that are followed, with few or no exceptions. But “Hochdeutsch” (what I learned) came after all the dialects I believe.

Expand full comment
author

You know German? Awesome! I find that one extremely hard to learn.

Yeah, English borrowed a whole lot, but its breaking of rules is what makes it so flexible and fun. American accent is the easiest one to fake imo. If I concentrate I can get through it without anyone noticing I’m a foreigner, but I’ve stopped trying too hard and now lean into the easier way to pronounce certain words even if it’s with an accent. I love NZ and Aussie accents. But I find them to be the hardest to emulate.

Expand full comment
Sep 20, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

I don’t know much German any more, sadly. Our American accents are funny —there are definitely regional ones. I grew up in WA State, I’m not sure we have an accent, but there definitely are ones in the Midwest, the South and the northeast, at least As I recall. I don’t have an ear for languages at all—my German accent was terrible.

Expand full comment
author

😂 Ope!

The Germans’ ‘I love you’ sounds so harsh. It’s so much softer in other languages. But not in Deutschland! ‘Ich liebe dich!’ You what? *covers up genitals*

Expand full comment
Sep 20, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

Too true! But I liked how Germans say “freund” or “freundin” for their significant others whereas we have the silly sounding “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” in English.

Expand full comment
Sep 19, 2023Liked by Visceral Adventure

Incredible holiday with so much going and doing it makes me feel like a slacker who does my fair share of sitting, sipping coffee and people watching on holiday. Of course my favorite is always when stars align for the most unlikely events and meeting the legendary OU badass herself has got to be one for the record books as proof of angels guiding some of our travels!.

For the sight seeing portions the Eyes of God cave with the moon is one of the coolest natural features to discover.. Nature is amazing and some humans can be kinda terrific too. Big time thanks for the vicarious journey with you and virtual hugs until our stars align in magical ways!! <3

Expand full comment
author

I really do hope the stars align for a chance meeting, Pamela Drew! You’re a OG. Love the comment. And btw, I did my fair share of people watching. My favorite activity when out of my comfort zone.

Expand full comment