I grew up in a leafy part of Paris, seasoned from a young age by contrast: a French mom, an American dad. Words were threads to pluck and weave, pigments to splash around; I studied literature at the Sorbonne and translation at New York University, followed by a year of naturopathy.
On the tiptoes of longing and transcendence, I dove into devotional yoga, where I chanted, meditated, and interpreted for Intensives and retreats.
Came the homestead years in Virginia. I studied traditional midwifery under Jeannine Parvati Baker’s guidance, assisted local home-birth midwives, and free-birthed three sons. I became transfixed by Joseph Chilton Pearce and Michel Odent‘s research on Primal Health, dove into the Steiner / Waldorf community, and generally went about my life with a toddler or baby at the hip or breast, knitting, kneading, absorbing it all alongside beautiful women.
Life was idyllic and wholesome, but I needed to reconnect with my European roots. After returning home to Paris to jump-start my career as a freelance translator, I was writer-in-residence at the Epidemic of Art in Göteborg, Sweden for two years, working on a literary hybrid.
For my last year in Sweden, I moved from the art studio to a palatial apartment, and reached out to kindred artists from my favourite playlists, inviting them to fill my front room with their music.
Sweden taught me to approach life like a treasure trail. I learned that digging into curiosity and trust whenever I feel stuck will always lead me to the next aha moment. That curiosity is a clue waiting to be picked – fireworks on the verge of blooming. The more I cultivate wonder, against all doubts and fears, the more gratitude flourishes.
When the time came to leave Sweden, I decided to start fresh in England. Throughout my childhood, my mother had recited Victor Hugo with stars in her eyes, Dad dripping New York into my veins, with the entire Mediterranean swelling in the background. Though I had grown up in Paris, Peter and Jane books had taught me to read, as had Enid Blyton, Susan Cooper, or C.S. Lewis… I roamed an inner land of Arthurian lore, of boarding house mischief and Mary Poppins whimsy.
I had many rational arguments for moving, but the overarching motivation was the not-so-little voice, the giggling tickle to JUST GO – to experience the wonders that had shaped my childhood. To be with people whose response to miserable weather is humour and music.
I spent four years at the foot of an orchard, in an enchanted Cotswold village. Tides of mist upon blue fields, sheep at the school gates, wind hushing across poppy-speckled gold, wisteria tumbling down cottages… pinching myself every time I stepped outside.
Craving the community of live music, I curated Dovecote Muse concerts again, inviting friends and favourite bands to play, this time in our village’s 12th century church, fittingly called St Faith’s. Amongst others, we had the great good fortune of welcoming Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Hauschka, and Jo Hamilton. Sparks were lit – never have I seen a church so packed with smiles.
I’m now in Bristol, coming full circle to a city of sweeping possibilities, hills and seagulls, and to an open-minded, music-loving community – elements of all the places I’ve loved. I’m finishing a first book, honing in on holistic translations, and running a series of conversations on creativity. Feel free to be in touch.
All writing by Gabrielle Sedita is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Any form of reprinting or reposting of any content published on this website, whether in its entirety or in fragments, is authorized only if a link to the author and original web page are provided. Copyright © 2017