This year on Christmas Eve me and three of my siblings ventured out to Longwood Gardens instead of attending church services, and I have to say, the vastness of the outdoors, the artistic splendor of the displays, the quiet reflection of the snow, and the exhilaration of the cold, made the whole experience very holy and very festive!
I'm so glad we decided to change things up. At times we even separated and ventured down a path or two alone allowing for some tranquility and then through the magic of cell phones, would meet back up. My favorite part of attending church on Christmas Eve is singing. My mediocre voice miraculously becomes pleasing when singing hymns and carols. And such was the case at Longwood Gardens where we were invited into the Conservatory to sing along with their historic organ and organist.
Best of all, I got some really good nighttime shots on my camera.
Here's a link to the complete album on facebook
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
I'm a member of SITS ( a group of 40,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments & learning about blogging). Each week SITS hosts Saturday Sharefest, which allows you to post a link to your favorite blog post from the week, and in turn, you are supposed to read the blog of the person who posted before you and be sure to leave a comment.
It seems like a good way to get traffic to your blog and maybe pick up some new readers (I normally submit a post from Tinsel & Tine). But it hasn't been very effective for me. I do follow the rules and read someone's blog post from the site and make a comment, even if it's not the last person who posted before me. But I often find my blog still devoid of comments at the end of my Saturday:(
Anyway, the blog I read today is called Singing Through The Rain and she wrote a post called "The Secret Life of a Girl With Anxiety.
I admired her courage in writing the post and found myself responding with more that just the perfunctory "Stopping by from SITS - Nice blog". Here's my comment:
A very moving and brave post. I'm glad you were able to write it. Anxiety is so very difficult to deal with. I've suffered from panic attacks too and in the beginning truly believed I was having a stroke or heart attack. The mind/body/spirit connection is an actuality that many people scoff at as new age crap, but in actuality, if one's mind and spirit are in turmoil, the body reacts in debilitating ways.I admire those who suffer with anxiety but are still able to get married and have children. I feel like my problems with anxiety have in some ways prevented me from having a relationship that could lead to marriage. I try to alleviate my stress and fears through meditation, acupuncture, exercise, and a magnesium complex I get from Whole Foods called Calm, but there are times I feel I should be taking something stronger.I am thankful my anxiety is not just general and across the board or all the time or has an unknown cause. Mine has always been centered around lifestyle - desperately seeking a certain lifestyle. It really kicked in at age 38 when I realized my life was no where near being where I thought I'd be at that age, with no knowledge, ability or plan of how to catch up to my age and live out my dreams.
I'm constantly working on acceptance and trying to enjoy the present (see blog post from July), but it's very hard.
Visiting from SITS
Monday, November 12, 2012
Audible.com allows us to rate the books after we've listened to them, so figured I may as well post my review to Book of Hours too:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Audible: Would you listen to The Night Circus again? Why?
Me: I don't normally listen to books twice. However, I did so love the odd rhythm of this novel, that if I were to revisit books, I would put "The Night Circus" on my re-listen list.
Audible: What was one of the most memorable moments of "The Night Circus"?
Audible: Rate narrator Jim Dale's performance
Audible:Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Me: No. It's engrossing, but does not have a traditional narrative, you tend to want to enjoy it in smaller sessions.
Audible: Any additional comments?
Me: This book may as well have been written as a screenplay first. It's so easy to imagine it as a film. The colorful characters and the black and white set. I can't wait to see all the clever CGI they'll use to create the magical illusions of Le Cirque des Reves. And also the spectacle of red scarfs and roses against a backdrop of en noir et blanc.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
For me, the present being a present, is such a hard concept to grasp.
Everything good is always in the past or a desperate hope for the future; made ever more desperate with each passing birthday.
The present is most often just things you're trying to get done before going to bed. These things hardly ever feel as if they are preparing the way of a good outcome for the future.
I wanna put my trust in The Universe - too concentrate on truly enjoying or at least being fully engaged, presently in whatever I'm doing - whomever I'm with - where ever I am; and in turn, the Universe will keep providing me with more and more of what I want. So that eventually, the future that I worried about, is my present, and it's still all good.
But this kind of trust requires blocking out anything you've ever felt was a mistake on your part. A mistake made from not being ever vigilant, from not properly preparing for the future, for not worrying enough. You see people in bad financial straights once they retire; you see lonely people who never found anyone with whom to share their life; you see dreams that never came close to being fulfilled. All this keeps you from believing in a simple concept like - "Live in the Present".
Thursday, May 31, 2012
I love audiobooks evermore now that I can listen to them on my phone (Android). It seems odd to me now to think of sitting stationery in one place, using all your concentration on only the task at hand; where in contrast, if you listen to a book, you can do chores, walk, work, cook, drive, shop...
Most recently I finished listening to Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. It's a post-apocalyptic story of sorts written in 1949, but for all accounts you would swear it was written within the last decade or so. Of course there's no mention of internet or cellphones; but otherwise, I feel Stewart does an uncanny job of depicting an earth populated with only a handful of survivors of a deadly plague.
The main character Ish is a studious young man who considers himself an observer of life. A trait that serves him well in the aftermath of the disaster, helping him to keep his equilibrium, where other survivors lose their minds trying to comprehend and live with the magnitude of loss.
Eventually, Ish takes a wife, father's offspring and gathers together a few people to form a community - "The Tribe". Soon the tribe begins to procreate and eventually those children inner marry.
Throughout we witness the changes in nature due to the lack of population and how it affects Ish and his tribe. Before long, a great deal of fear and desolation gets replaced by the joy that freedom brings - freedom from government, currency, most diseases get wiped out, there's no need to work, no need to rush around or keep exact time; instead play, relaxation and the enjoyment of each other become the way of life. Of course there's day to day necessities, still, it's an existence without ambition and stress.
And here in lies the crux of the novel. Ish is concerned about the deterioration of society and civilization, but he's the only one who seems to feel a sense of responsibility to maintain and restore it. The other survivors are simple people, perfectly content to scavenge off of what was left behind. And much to Ish's dismay the next generation are not thinkers or doers either. He struggles in vain to teach them to read and write and to learn history, but only one child has the least bit of interest in anything academic. So we see the world reverting back to an almost primitive society.
Well actually, Ish and the others don't know what's happened all over the globe, they have very little knowledge of who has survived outside of a small section of CA, but the book spans over 50 years after the plague and no one strives to reestablish electricity, running water, transportation, phones, TV, stores, government, schools etc...
Normally when one thinks post-apocalyptic, thoughts go to aliens and/or nuclear war, where the earth is uninhabitable. Or even Noah's Arc where everything has to begin again from scratch; but it's interesting to think about a world in which everything remains the same for a long time, but without the excess people to muck it all up.
But then, without the excess people, there's no one to run things. So, although you no longer need to have a fortune to vacation along the Amalfi Coast, who's going to fly you there? Who's going to wait on you? Whose going to cook your 4 star meal? Can you really enjoy it without posting pictures to facebook and tweeting it to make others envious?... hmmm....
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
When this book is available as an audiobook, I'm going to read it or rather have it read to me.
I found out today that governments in certain countries are threatened by Yoga and Meditation and have gone so far as to ban its practice!
Here's the link to the Project Camelot Interview
Friday, May 4, 2012
|Transylvania Nipple Productions Photo credit: Le Anne Lindsay|
I recently bought a new camera. My first expensive, more than just point and shoot Nikon.
I'm having some difficulty feeling comfortable with it; learning all the features and becoming attached to it the way I was to my 12 year-old, first digital, Olympus camera.
However, I have to say this pic I took last Saturday at the screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is a money shot! I really love the composition, the clarity, the theatrics. I took it from a balcony above.
Perhaps me and the new Nikon are getting better acquainted than I thought.
Friday, April 20, 2012
My friend Mia only has 13 days left to raise funds for her Textile Design Company. Check out her KickStarter Campaign below:
I am raising capital for my DESIGN COMPANY.
While primarily a painter, I have always used a variety of materials and techniques to make fine art. Translating iconic, archetypal and universal imagery from my paintings to TEXTILE DESIGN, I have designed rugs and tapestries-art that can be lived with and enjoyed everyday in your home or office- using imagery which spans thousands of years and multiple cultures.
Determined to use the FINEST MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES in a respectful and responsible manner, I collaborate exclusively with fair trade artisans. The rugs from this particular project are designed by me and knotted by adult artisans in Pakistan.
Communications between myself and my artisan partners in Pakistan have been largely through cyberspace, crossing geographical and cultural boundaries. These unspoken exchanges have required us to build a mutual trust in understanding what was required to create these rugs-and the final product has exceeded expectations.
I have loved creating these special pieces, but my biggest reward is knowing that together we are building positive livelihoods for all of us. This is at the heart of what I want my business to be.
Funds contributed now will go to production and marketing of the LIMITED EDITION HEIRLOOM RUG SERIES.
I hope that you will support my project so that I can continue to make products of the HIGHEST QUALITY, MADE with INTEGRITY and infused with UNIVERSAL MEANING.
Please view my Rewards in exchange for your support and see details of rugs under "Post update" (top of page) or visit www.miamuratori.com
Munificent thanks to Kickstarter for this platform, the Sounds of Taraab for music and Roth Johnson for technical support.
Friday, April 6, 2012
I found close to a dozen ladybugs going about their business, two were even fornicating, in this barren waste land of an unintentional rock garden.
Why? Wouldn't a ladybug prefer a real garden with flowers and grass? I mean this area is just an abandoned parking lot. I started thinking that if a ladybug can flourish here, maybe I can flourish in a place that isn't really suited to me.
I also thought, although a bit cliche - that beauty truly can be found in unexpected places.
And lastly I thought, these ladybugs do have wings in which to fly away from this barren place, why don't they find a more suitable environment?
Do I have wings to do the same?
Saturday, March 3, 2012
I attended a short film festival called LunaFest (See Tinsel & Tine post)
One of the films was called I'm a Girl by Susan Koenen (Amsterdam)The film featured a series of interviews with a 13 year-old "girl" Joppe, who was actually born a boy.
Now from time to time, we've seen this, nature seems to get the X & Y chromosome all mixed up, creating a boyish girl or a girlish boy or an androgynous being. Which is an unfortunate cross to bear through life.
However, this young girl, Joppe is different - not only did she seem amazingly well-adjusted, confident and open; she truly is a girl! There's just no male energy to be found anywhere. Yes, she has a penis and she's not developing curves, (can't be given female hormones until she's 16) but she is every sense through and through female - now. I say now because they showed pictures of her as a baby up til about 4 years-old and she did NOT appear to be a feminine baby, she/he was a boy.
This got me to thinking less about science, DNA, psychology etc... and more about a spiritual explanation. Could it be possible that little boy died in his sleep one night and at the same time, some little girl died too. Only instead of crossing over, that little girl decided to inhabit that boy's body. Perhaps her spirit being stronger than his, was able to reanimate his body. The next morning no one would know the difference until little by little the young boy starts acting and desiring things more female in nature.
Who can say, life is so mysterious...
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
It was this kind of moon tonight.
Technically, what is referred to as a Harvest Moon, except that term is really reserved for full moons in autumn.
When I see a full moon, especially one as big and close and orange as the one tonight. I feel excitement! It's like I can't contain myself; and then I realize there's really nothing to do but look at it, or perhaps try to capture it with your camera phone.
I asked myself tonight, what is it that would satisfy my relationship with the moon? Where do I want to direct my excitement?
My answer: I realized I wish on nights like this, there were still pagan festivals, where one could dance around a bonfire, naked and fornicate in a clearing in the woods. Everyone laughing out loud with joy and abandon. Not in worship of the moon, but rather in acknowledgment and awe.