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Moon, Light and Shadow

ART, POETRY, LOVE – THE MAGIC OF JOURNEYS

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Gifts

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”

I Only Wish You Love

There you go again,
chasing down that road.
I’ve held your hand
and watched you do this,
time and time before.
Now this time has come,
and you can walk alone.
I won’t right you when you stumble
Nor catch you when you fall.
I won’t kiss or hug away the hurt
from bumps or bruises.
This time, on my own and from afar,
 I’ll celebrate your joys
and mourn for you your losses.
Fare thee well, my friend,
as every time before,
I only wish you love.

Christmas Moments 2012

At Mum’s home.

My cousin took me for a drive through Snug Harbor Estates. It’s a whole neighbourhood that goes all Griswolds for Christmas. It was absolutely beautiful. Photos alone don’t do justice to the overall feeling seeing 15′ candy canes and beautifully decorated trees. I felt like a kid again. 🙂

Christmas won’t be Christmas without Ralphie. There’s a TV channel here in West Palm Beach that is showing 24 hours of A Christmas Story! Of course an Indiana Jones marathon is on as well. All I need now is A Charlie Brown Christmas, Love Actually and Home For The Holidays and I’ll be set.

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Spinach baked in Cream of Mushroom Sauce, Kale & Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, Caramelized Carrots and Fresh Salad – Mum’s and my contribution to the Family Christmas Potluck. It’s no wonder I’m already hungry. Hoping to hold out until one when the family gets together. 🙂

Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🙂
Luna

What’s In A Year?

 

December 31st, a day for setting resolutions and goals, is fast approaching and I’m overflowing with blog post ideas: December 21st and the ‘end of the world as we know it’; A possible explanation for my missing Farewell to 2011 post; My 2012 Wrap Up; What 2013 means to me; and many more. But right now, more than anything, I find myself ready for some peace of mind. If there is one thing I’ve done a lot of this year is THINK. I’ve analyzed EVERYTHING: the past, the present, the future, my behaviour, the behaviour of others, and supposed meanings in everything around me. It’s time for some quiet. So, I’m covering everything today. All these thoughts running rampant in my brain are coming out now. So, on with the show!
December 21st and the ‘end of the world as we know it’
Last week, on the drive to the airport it was the hot topic. To me, the big change is the shift in collective consciousness. Of course this is a shift that has been happening for decades and it will continue to shift for a few more decades. This year simply marked an acceleration. For the first time in the history of humanity as we know it there is a global network unlike any other. Almost 35% of the people on the planet have Internet access. Almost 85% of the global population is literate. Information is shared in a way it never has been before, through the Internet, television, radio and print media. And, even though much of this ‘information’ is insubstantial and as far as I see it, rubbish, I cannot deny that I’ve seen people who are trying. I see those who are making a difference in the world by helping others, by teaching, and by doing their part to make the world a better place. Those are the ones who give me hope. That is the collective shift that I am talking about. I see more and more like minded people making connections and working together for common goals. It’s exciting and encouraging.
My missing ‘Farewell to 2011’ post
By December 2011 I’d been going to a psychotherapist for a little over a month. After an unnerving end to an unhealthy relationship I realized that I was at a point where I had to figure out how I’d reached a point in my life where I felt it was acceptable for me to deem myself unworthy of, well, more. When the time came to write my end of year post, all I would do was re-read my end of 2010 post and wonder where I went. A friend told me that I had already accomplished so much, just by standing up for myself and having the courage to try to understand my life and to change it. He was right, but at the time, I felt broken and unsure and quite frankly, terrified. I didn’t know whether or not I could do it. Changing a core belief from a negative one to a positive one after almost three decades of reinforcement seemed an insurmountable task. Looking back on it now, I would say that if there was anything at all I accomplished for 2011, it was that I took a hold of myself. I made ME my first priority and I knew for sure that no matter what was revealed to me and where my journey led, I wasn’t going to quit.
2012 Wrap Up
It’s fitting that this would be called a Wrap Up. Like they say in the film industry: “That’s a wrap!” It’s been one helluva year. A few weeks before my birthday in November I was talking to a friend and I said to him that I was as much as 90% happy with my life. I am surrounded by people who I genuinely care for and am genuinely cared for: a loving family and friends I respect and have so much fun with. I can afford to pay my bills and have enough to enjoy going out for dinner or meeting friends to share a bottle or two of wine. I made a commitment to myself to leave an unsatisfying job no matter what, and I reaffirmed my choice to make Luna Surya Studios a place for creativity and healing. I learned to love and respect myself in a way I never have before. I’ve come to an understanding about my history and I see all the potential that it has. I’ve learned to love all the shadowy corners of me and embrace all the light in me. I am truly grateful for my life and for all my gifts. At the very beginning of 2012 I remember saying that this was a year for change. This was to be a year to understand what was not healthy for me and to learn to let go. It was a year for improvement. It has been, with all the remarkable, painful, surprising and incredible lessons that such change brings with it. This has been, truly, an amazing year, and I am humbled with gratitude for having had it.
What 2013 means to me:
So here I am on the threshold of a new year and for once it really does feel like an ending and a beginning. I know that change will continue, as it is in life’s nature to do so. I’m OK with that. I am stronger than I’ve ever been I think and I get butterflies in my stomach when I think of POSSIBILITIES. My world is open. My future is open. 2012 was a year of soul searching, learning, lessons and revelations. I think for now, I can say that for 2013 my goal is to Be Present. I am grateful for the past, it is my teacher, and I look forward to the future, it is my destiny. But today, I’ll make another promise to myself: I’m going to enjoy my present. I’m going to spend time with those I love, enjoying the things that make me happy: books, food, laughing, flowers, body scrubs, being healthy, art, music, writing, photography, nature walks, and my Studio. I’m going to have fun, go crazy and embrace life in a way I haven’t before. I’m going to BE PRESENT. I’ve earned it.

Moonchild

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

On Birthdays

Last year, on my birthday I posted the above status on facebook. I meant every word of it. Now, one year later and I realize I can only wish the same for myself and for everyone, with one addition: Gratitude. This past year has been an incredible one for me, full of surprises, delights, discoveries, adventure, as well as disappointments, hard lessons, and tears, which for me, inevitably led to triumphs, joy, happiness and more than anything, gratitude.

So today, once again, my birthday wish for you all is: That you figure out what makes your heart smile and your spirit soar and that you have the faith and perseverance to make your dreams your reality. I wish you love and light and gratitude.

Luna

P.S. My sister just called to tell me that on our birthdays we have a direct channel to the moment we were born when who we are meant to be was set. All our possibilities, potential and the divine essence of who we are meant to become was present, and on our birthdays we have a direct connection to that essence and potential. That’s why we feel special on our birthdays. She wanted me to know that today I have the power to repel negativity because of that connection, that I should find strength in that and celebrate my day and that connection. Anything is possible. Isn’t that beautiful? Of course I got all choked up but that’s me: whenever I feel the most connected to my true self, I feel overwhelming joy and it’s an emotional experience for me. A good one though.

Magical World

Thank you for sharing my Month of Calvin & Hobbes. Now grab a friend and go explore! It’s a magical world out there!

Love and light!
Luna

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.

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

Between Bodies Lie

“Something beautiful can be expressed beautifully the first time – we just need for our insecurities to step aside for the moment it takes our hearts to speak.”

Attempting to flee his declining literary career and failing relationship, Cristobal Porter travels to an island in the tropics to research his latest novel. There he meets Ana Kaplan, the wife of an American diplomat, and is immediately drawn to her by what he perceives as the shared “depth of their loneliness.” When Porter’s young mistress arrives on the island and enters into an affair with Ana’s husband, it is the catalyst that draws Ana and Porter closer together. Porter’s relationship with Ana evolves tentatively, amidst turmoil and resistance, sparking in him a creative revolution – even as the island around them threatens revolt. Exploring the connections between life, death, art and love, Porter discovers a faith that can offer redemption, even as he is forced to come to grips with the unforgiving terrain between ideology and reality, and the insurmountable distances which between bodies lie…
Reading this book was like sinking into a warm bath. Within minutes I was immersed in a world of vivid words and tone set by interpretation and emotion. It was like reading in colour. Beautifully descriptive with an easy rhythm that made me settle in comfortably and enjoyably. I found myself relating to the thoroughly crafted characters and understanding their behaviour. They felt real to me. They perceived, interpreted and reacted to each other, the world around them and to themselves, as I do. Then it sneaked up on me, like cold air filtering in from beneath a closed door, from a darkened room. What was once a warm bath turned cold, chilling my skin with a vague foreboding which settled upon me like a mist.

A novel about hope, faith and love, yet also despair, doubt, and loss, it pulled out of me my own life experiences, connections, disconnections. It summoned my own faith and belief in my own heart and made me question what I haven’t in a long time. Are we forever trapped by a history which will always shape our perception of ourselves and our world and who we will become?
If you love novels that explore the complex yet natural relationships we share with others and you enjoy the romance and philosophy that examining those relationships brings, you’ll be drawn in too. When you’ve read this book let me know, I’d love to talk about it with you.

Update: Between Bodies Lie receives a Kirkus Star! Read the review here.

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