Moon, Light and Shadow




A Sub-par Reality?


Journal entry: 18th July 2014

I have to say, it has been less than a week since I came back from the most meaningful two weeks of my life and I am having some difficulty settling back in. I’ve always understood that there is a HUGE difference between doing what I want to do and doing what I have to do but I’ve never felt the difference this acutely before.

Adjustments and change have always been a bit tricky for me to navigate and I’m aware that it’s not ok to crawl into bed at 7pm just so I won’t be alone with my thoughts. I wake up early as usual, all excited about my day and raring to go at 4am. Then I remember that I have to spend most of my day in an un-fulfilling role, and I hide under the covers until I absolutely have to drag myself out of bed.

Those two weeks felt more real to me than this reality. While I understand that it will always feel more rewarding and fulfilling doing what I want to do instead if what I have to do, the experience was so much more than that.  I remember, on our last day, as we were having breakfast together for the last time, most of us were thoughtful and a bit sad. We all already knew that our lives were forever changed by this experience.

As we talked about what we each be doing the next day I had shrugged and said “Oh well, back to the real world.” Then immediately realized how incorrect that statement was. My life, my world before the Creative Retreat, now seems like the false one. My life has changed in ways I never would have dreamed and my reality before those two weeks  seems unreal to me now. 

Today 20th September:

I am still having dreams about writing, being around our workshop table and having excerpts to read. In the dreams I hear Professor Funso’s voice: “You must think about what it is you are trying to say.” Then ‘Aunty’ Merle says “But what you really mean by that?”

I wake up with words I have to write down which I quickly forget when thoughts of the office weasel their way in. But I am writing every day.

This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Not just because of what I learned about writing but also because of the incredible people I met. I will never forget how it felt to meet and spend time with people who share this singular passion. We were all storytellers and it was an honour to have met so many brave, talented, interesting, warm and inspiring people.

Those two weeks have left an imprint on me. In so many ways. Since then I have added more value to my life by including more creative and purposeful endeavours.

Here’s to changing my life degree by degree.


The Act Of Leaving

“I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” Jack Kerouac

Each Star On His Own Time

Some stars emerge in flash of brilliance
but will only burn half as long.
Some stars gather and gleam,
marking their own path as they go,
and will leave a lasting imprint on the pages of time.
Dedicated to Book.


I do not Define myself by how many roadblocks have appeared in my path.
I define myself by the Courage I’ve found to forge new roads.
I do not define myself by how many disappointments I’ve faced.
I define myself by the Forgiveness and the Faith I have found to begin again.
I do not define myself by how long a relationship lasted.
I define myself by how much I have Loved, and been willing to Love again.
I do not define myself by how many times I have been knocked down.
I define myself by how many times I have struggled to my feet.
I am not my Pain.
I am not my Past.
I am that which has emerged from the Fire. ♥
~ Author Unknown

Synchronicity of 555?

I’ve been curious about something for the past few months: for the past couple of years my two most popular posts used to be about the islands of Krakatoa and Anuk Krakatoa, but over the past few months my posts titled: The Significance of 5:55 has been a steady favourite. There seems to be a sharp increase in the number of people conducting online searches for the meaning for 555 or 5:55.
In numerology 555 refers to new directions, excitement, change and adventure. Seeing, or more correctly, noticing 555 often is a reminder that change is a natural part of life’s flow and not something to become stressed or worried about, and especially not something to resist. I especially liked two particular interpretations when I googled 555 earlier this year:
You have called this number to you because you have changed your inner beliefs and attitudes. You desire change in your life whether it be in your relationships, home life, career or another area. It is coming very soon. Be in a place of allowing and receive what is on the way to you. This is an exciting time. You have already done much of the inner work and have drawn this to you. Numerology-555
You are in for a major change in your life. This could be any type of change and could seem negative at first glance. Maybe there are reasons it is time for you to move…necessary for you to move but you haven’t been getting your butt in gear. Change comes whether you cooperate with it or not. So possibly if you resisted the change of needing to move then possibly the change will come in the form of being required to move without a choice. At first it all may seem disastrous and negative but could lead to the positive change that is needed. Meaning of 555
On Sunday while I was getting dressed to meet the girls for dinner, I saw 5:55 on my phone and immediately thought of the meaning and this post as I’ve been intending to write about the number of hits my 555 blogpost gets. I’ve been saying for sometime that so many people I know have been making huge changes in their lives. It’s been happening for a couple of years now. It’s almost as if once people identify what they want to change, they find out that they possess reserves of strength and the will to make those changes happen.I’ve been reading about these changes from my fellow bloggers and in the news. Makes me a little wide eyed when I think about the possibilities of all of this. It’s almost as if the world is changing dramatically as far as human thinking and will goes. Then with my 555 post becoming popular just because more and more people are seeing noticing 555 is more than a little thrilling. Global synchronicity perhaps?

One Day….

Moon Bridge, Taiwan
 … and the day after that:
Rainbow Bridge, China
I’ll see these places.

Chinese Wish Lantern Festival

All this week the Chinese Association hosted it’s Lantern Festival, held annually to highlight the integration of the diverse cultures of Trinidad and Tobago and China. There were events and demonstrations throughout the week.

(above photos by Allan Lim Choy)
Photo by Damian Luk Pat
The week long celebrations culminated in a grand event on the final night: The Wish Lantern Festival! My Mum is visiting this week and she, having only just arrived at my apartment, hurried to get dressed as I excitedly explained to her what the event was and what a wish lantern represented. During the Yuan Dynasty, which began in the 13th century, Chinese Wish Lanterns became a symbol of hope and good wishes. The Lanterns are now traditionally released with a wish to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. It is no wonder that with Trinidad and Tobago celebrating it’s Golden Jubilee that the Chinese Association saw it fitting to encourage people to make such wishes. 
I had offered to add my friend’s wish to my lantern for her, as well as her brother’s as he was unable to attend as well. So Mum and I bought an additional lantern to our two, to release for my sister and my one year old nephew. We were guided by Chinese symbols for Happiness, Courage, Joy, Wealth, Love, Peace, Harmony, Health, and the like, and you could pay extra to have the symbols screen printed onto your lantern. We decided that the Sharpies I brought along would be sufficient. 
We walked around the asphalt grounds looking for a clear space to sit to write our wishes on our lanterns. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people present. People seemed excited and thrilled and hopeful. This was the first time such an event was planned here and it was obvious that many many people were enthusiastic about the event. I was for two main reasons: the act of wishing, sending your dreams and desires up and out into the world, and secondly: to photograph the hundreds of beautiful lanterns lifting up into the night sky!
By the time we were through, we folded back our three lanterns and met up with friends who were anticipating the lantern release as much as we were. There were demonstrations going on, while we waited out the windy conditions: Dragon Dances, Martial Arts and Tai Chi Performances. 
It was a little difficult to see all the demonstrations because of the amount of people but it didn’t matter. We happily waited, hugging our wish lanterns to our bodies as we waited. The event organizers said they were only running half an hour behind.
Photo by Simone Rudder

Alas, our Lanterns were not meant to set free that night. The Fire Marshall’s voice came over the microphone to say: “Goodnight ladies and gentlemen. While we encourage you to continue with your celebrations please be advised that you will not be allowed to release your lanterns.”
That was all he said, unfortunately. Needless to say we were very disappointed. My friend Simone, her first reaction was: “Does this mean my wish won’t come true?” She looked so unhappy. I felt it too. But I was more concerned with us leaving before the crowd. We got to our car as quickly as possible and headed home with mixed emotions. I understood about the safety factor but was disappointed that the event was not better organized / managed in terms of the wish lanterns. Whether the fault lies with the Association or the Fire Service, it is unfortunate. There were so many people there who seemed excited and hopeful and genuinely interested in this first of its kind event and the release of the lanterns was what everyone was talking about.
Ah well, c’est la vie. Perhaps we are meant to be more determined to make our wishes happen. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to prove what we really want. We’ll find a way to let our lanterns fly, one day very soon.

A Wish Lantern Release in China

I’ll See You In My Dreams

Click on comic strip to enlarge

Sweet dreams my friends  🙂

In celebration of the release of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes on November 13th 2012, I’ve decided that November is My Month of Calvin. I’ll be featuring my favourite panels with that lovable, precocious, and philosophical six year old and his tiger. Enjoy! All my Calvin & Hobbes posts can be viewed here.

Faith, Trust ‘n’ Pixie Dust!

Perhaps fairytales do come true! In September 2011 I opened my Studio. Luna Surya Studios, my beautiful space for healing and creativity through yoga, art and music, emerged from a desire to learn, and to teach the ways in which we can discover the beauty, spirit, and art, which lie within each of us. It was my dream to have Luna Surya, its teachers and students become a significant part of my life and for a while it seemed like it was all possible. But, there were a few hurdles and then a few months ago I realized that I’d have to decide whether or not to close my Studio, for as much as a year.That realization was breaking my heart. I worried that if I closed I would not start up again.
Even though Luna Surya was not as wildly successful as it could have been, I knew with absolute certainty that Luna Surya was supposed to be a part of my life. I learned a lot in the past year, about drive, dedication and faith. Luna Surya and I made many good friends and connections, and teachers as well as students felt that our Studio had a good energy and feel to it. It was a great space. 
On a personal level, Luna Surya represented the truest part of me. It reflected the best in me and I decided that I had to make a commitment to that. Closing was not the right thing to do. So, I created my very first Very Personal Ad, a sort of wish list for a new home home for Luna Surya and me, with an action plan on how to find it. I trusted that our new home was out there waiting.

I visited many many real estate sites and clicked on at least fifty possible choices. Eventually I scheduled some appointments and saw a few apartments and houses. Then I found it. As the car pulled up the driveway to the apartment compound I felt happily familiar. I lived in that same compound twelve years ago with my sister and even though we didn’t stay together for the year, we both remember that compound fondly. As I stepped into the apartment I spotted her, across the foyer and the living room and waiting for me on the window pane of the room that would become Luna Surya’s new studio space:
“Faith, Trust ‘n’ Pixie Dust!” As Tinkerbell says, sometimes, that’s all you need.

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