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ART, POETRY, LOVE – THE MAGIC OF JOURNEYS

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Salybia

Neala Luna Photography - Salybia

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

“There’s Beauty in the Breakdown” – A to Z Challenge 2016 Continue reading “Salybia”

Panka Street

Neala Luna Photography - Panka Street

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, ’til he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his canvern.” ~ William Blake

“There’s Beauty in the Breakdown” – A to Z Challenge 2016 Continue reading “Panka Street”

North Coast

Neala Luna Photography - North Coast

“Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.” ~ Vaclav Havel

“There’s Beauty in the Breakdown” – A to Z Challenge 2016 Continue reading “North Coast”

Unexpected Gifts

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In February of this year I created Write Club to bring together other creatives with a passion for writing. It was also meant to be a space for me to prepare for an upcoming writers workshop that I’d qualified for. 10 months later I am overwhelmed whenever I think about how much Write Club has exceeded my expectations. It is truly a space for creative growth with a fantastic energy which would not have been possible without the people who decided to join. They have made Write Club what it is. Last week we all met at V&J’s to celebrate the end of our first Focused Project Segment, (and which very well might’ve been our first annual Write Club Lime), and my super awesome club members presented me with an unexpected and beautiful gift.
Continue reading “Unexpected Gifts”

A Sub-par Reality?

backtothegrind

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.

Caribbean Creative Writers Workshop

In February of this year I received an email indicating that I was one of ten authors chosen to participate in Cropper Foundation’s Creative Writers Workshop in June. I was alone at home when the email came in and the feelings were completely unexpected. I felt like it was not really happening, and actually imagined that no one else had submitted poetry and so I was chosen to make up a quota. I had applied on a whim submitting six poems to compete with other Caribbean writers, never really believing that what I wrote could be seen as poetry.

I had never entered a writing competition before and had only shared my poems with one friend and anonymously on my blog. In fact, I’d never referred to them as poems and called them Scribbles instead. So, receiving that email and subsequently sending my acceptance letter was a pretty surreal experience. I felt like I was someone else, like a little kid about to steal cookies from the cookie jar, with the anticipation of something delicious and thrilling, and the fear of being caught where I wasn’t supposed to be. Was this really meant for me?

The workshop, sponsored by the Cropper Foundation, and organised in partnership with the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at The University of the West Indies (UWI), took place from June 29th to July 13th in the quiet seaside town of Balandra on the north-eastern coast of Trinidad. Over sixty applicants from across the Caribbean submitted fiction, non-fiction and poetry for a chance to spend two weeks with two incredible moderators,  novelist Dr. Merle Hodge (Crick, Crack Monkey and For the Life of Laetitia), and poet and short story writer Professor Funso Aiyejina, winner of the 2000 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa) for The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories.

I had no idea what was in store. A friend of mine had been a participant in 2008 and when sought she offered the best advice: Expect nothing. Appreciate everything.

I never imagined that my life would be forever changed.

The Stars Are Aligned

Alignment of Saturn, the Moon and Mars. August 3rd 2014.

The alignment of Saturn, the Moon and Mars. August 3rd 2014.

I am marveling at the Universe at the moment, on account of two things: watching Finnigan’s documentary about Stephen Hawking and having this view from my porch tonight. 🙂

The Lady At The Lighthouse

The Lady at The LighthousePhoto of me taken (and titled) by Kavita Ganness, one of my Cropper Sisters, on the last day of our Creative Workshop. We were at the Toco Lighthouse, squeezing in one more adventure before it was time to head back to “reality” and our old lives.

Weekend Getaway

Grand RiviereWhere I will be for the next three days: In a gorgeous cabin on the north coast of Trinidad surrounded by friends, birds, flowers, trees, peace and quiet. The Caribbean Sea is a two minute walk away and best of all, we are still in the leatherback turtle nesting season. 🙂

Camera: Check!    Notepad: Check!   Paint & Canvas: Check! Check!

 

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