Sunday, September 30, 2007

The answer


As promised, here is the answer to who wrote/writes the love messages on the KC dinner mints.

One of the late founders, Mr. Ibrahim Khan, was a very family oriented man who loved his family immensely and wanted them to have the best in life: a great education, peace of mind in a troubled word, fulfillment of their dreams and the granting of anything that their hearts desired. So great was his love for them (children and grand children).

It was when his father had died at the age of 9 (i.e. when he was nine, not when his father was nine!) that I.K. had begun to develop a great sense of maturity which enabled him to take on the responsibility of looking after his mother and sisters ... and which also inspired in him a sense of deep caring for his fellow human beings. This sense of deep caring expanded throughout his lifetime.

He was continually inspired to become more affectionate, increasing his wellspring of inner love and the desire to share it with others.

Here I will quote a line from the message that was sent to me, revealing the man behind the mystery of these minty messages:

"One thing that he learned and practiced a lot was the use of words that conveyed sentimental values, and he realised the effects of words upon women's hearts and people in general."

Since his passing, it is the people in the Marketing and Graphics Department of the company who continue to produce the messages on the wrappers.

And, if your next questions are whether or not there will be new messages in the future and whether other people will have the opportunity to come up with them ... the answer is YES.

So ... that's it. Short and sweet. A man with a sweetie factory who wanted people to be happy in life and to have their heart's desires fulfilled .. writing love notes on mint wrappers to make it all happen.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Beloved


(This week's Sunday Scribblings topic is 'Powerful').

As incongruous as this may sound, sometimes when I am weak I am powerful. In surrendering to the moment of 'powerlessness', something bigger takes over and brings a different kind of power.

That's how I felt when I sang my song 'Beloved' tonight at the Greenlight concert. Some friends had specially requested it - in fact they said they were coming to the concert just to hear that song ... but because I ended up starting the show instead of singing at 6 p.m. as originally carded (long story), they were not there to hear it. So, before singing 'Beloved', I said to the audience that it had been requested by absent friends and that I was going to sing it for them in spirit.

Something happened when I started to sing. I'm not sure what (maybe a bit of nerves due to unexpectedly opening the show and that being the first song) ... but after the first few words, I felt as though I had no control over what I was playing or singing . I was just about to think "Oh gosh, I'm going to mess this up!" ... when something in me literally surrendered and was taken over by something else. Hard to explain, but it ended up being the best I've ever sung that song ... or maybe even any song. My eyes were closed and, to me, my voice felt like it was coming from somewhere else, like a deep emotional cave ... and going somewhere else, other than that concert hall. I literally found myself wondering, like an objective viewer: "Is that me?"

I can't explain it. It felt powerful. So powerful that it made me weak ... if that makes sense.
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BELOVED
(by Elspeth Duncan)

Beloved, come to bed
Beloved, rest your weary head.
The pillow dreams of your face on it
Like the cup dreams of your lips on it
Like the wind dreams of your hair in it
Like my heart dreams of you
My heart dreams

Beloved,
Why are you there?
Beloved, you should be here
Where my shoulder dreams of you upon it
My mouth dreams of your lips on it
My hand dreams of your hand in it
And my heart dreams of you
My heart dreams ...

Beloved
Be love, love, love, love, love, love, loved
Be love, love, love, love, love, love, loved
Be love, love, love, love, love, love, loved.

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The mystery of Love ... solved at last!


Those of you who were reading my blog in May last year will remember my quest to find out the meaning behind the endearing messages on the KC dinner mint wrappers.

A few days ago I got a long e-mail from a woman with the intials S.K. which totally took me by surprise. Again, those of you who were reading the blog around that time may remember the 'S.K.' who was supposed to call me back but never got around to it:

Yesterday I called the KC factory to find out more about the messages on the mints. I was transferred to S.K. who was unable to take my call at the time, but the woman who spoke to me and took my contact information, told me that S.K. would call me tomorrow ...

Anyway, the S.K. who sent me the e-mail was not the same S.K. from the above blog excerpt. She is the grand daughter of the late founder of KC! As I began to read her unexpected e-mail, my first thought was: "Wow ..."

Exciting! Receiving a long awaited answer (to a question that had long since been forgotten about!) ... and coming full circle and getting a great surprise ...

She said she would be happy if I could write something about KC dinner mints (for their 85th anniversary supplement) using my personal touch, along the lines of what I had been exploring on my blog ...

I of course said "Yes!"
... The messages, Love, people's feelings about the mints and about their experiences with giving the wrappers to their beloveds, their local and global appeal over time. This will be for KC's 85th Anniversary supplement. Imagine that ... KC has been around longer than most of us reading this have been alive.

Of course, the main question I asked S.K., who has been very keen and kind ('Keen and Kind' sounds like a KC message in itself) was: "Who is responsible for these messages?" It's the question many may never have wondered about ... but no doubt would love to know!

Stay tuned for her answer tomorrow.

And feel free to leave a comment here if you have had any special experiences with KC dinner mints in your lifetime. If there is space I may include it in the article. I already have some comments from last year which I will include (... taking liberties, but I don't think those readers would mind me including their comments).

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Appointment with Love

Yesterday I went to visit my friend Patti's mother (wife of Ian Ali, who recently passed away). I was taking 5 tickets for her to this Saturday's Greenlight Network environmental concert. She invited me in and we sat chatting for a while. At one point she was telling me that she had been asked to give a reading at a recent function and had chosen to share her favourite story with the gathering.

Intrigued by the tone in her voice when said "my favourite story", I asked her what it was about. Instead of telling me, she said: "If you have time, I will get it for you and you can read it."

She brought me a photocopy of this story called 'Appointment with Love'. I started to read it, becoming drawn into the simple language and what was unfolding ...

As I reached to the end, the skin all over my body suddenly erupted into goosebumps, a floodgate opened and I started to cry, tears streaming out as Mrs. Ali sat looking at me - with surprise (I'm sure, since the crying flew out of me like a jack-in-the-box) as well as with quiet understanding.

It's not just about 'the story'.

Appointment with Love by a woman named Sulamith Ish-Kishor.

(N.B. Compared to the original which Mrs. Ali gave me to read, the version featured at that link is slightly abridged and a little different, with what I found to be some beautiful sentences missing ... but still, you get the essence).


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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hunting season

Around 9:00 p.m. I was on my bed with Satya, when Jasper jumped through the window and sat on the floor, to my left. It's only when I heard a slow crunching noise that I looked down and saw him consuming the lower body of this transparent, sickly-looking woodslave (gecko).

Argh ... good thing I wasn't asleep, because he would have surely brought it under the blanket! I quickly got a scoop and broom and placed the lizard (now half dead) in a bush outside.

First this morning's frog ... and now this. Jaspie's eyes are bright with that wild hunting expression. I'm almost afraid to go to sleep, not knowing what I may wake up next to ...

Although, if I do go to sleep I'll probably have some interesting dreams ...

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Beginning #5

twinkle
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Today is turning out to be an inexplicably great day in simple ways. Must be that frog Jasper brought for me this morning.

The mailbox contained some wonderful things - one being a Beginning from justbstudio. (Thank you). Part of it was a little transparent envelope containing four call-card-sized coloured cards, each containing a magical, flirtatious little word. (They are featured below). There was also a note wishing me: "Elspeth, I hope your fall is full of new beginnings, surprises and delight!" Since we don't have 'fall' here, I am interpreting 'fall' as falling in love.

I took the shots of the little cards using the iSight camera on the laptop, which is why they came out reflected.
wink
revel
embrace

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The gift

So much for putting my yoga mat on the bedroom floor this morning ... in the dark ... (as I normally do) ...

I will have to at least just do a meditation on my bed.

At 3:00-something a.m. I was awakened by Jasper's furtive paws fishing under my blanket. I leapt out of bed, turned on the light and shook out the blanket to see what he had captured this time. Nothing. I then raised my labyrinth pillow and saw a medium sized frog under it! Alive and well, it leapt off the bed and started springing around my room with me following.

After chasing it into a corner, it got smart and went under something. I fished for it with a long rod, but no amphibian came back out. Who knows where it is now! Somewhere in my room ...

Anyway, I never really mind these gifts. They always bring strong messages.

(Update: 6:20 a.m.) A short while after writing the above post, I was sitting on my bed meditating. Just as I was about to finish, Jasper jumped on the bed and started fishing around. He had found the frog and brought it back for me! This time I managed to catch it. It was one of those smooth, moist frogs - not the lumpy, warty ones ... so I didn't mind holding it and taking it outside.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Karishma

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Meet Karishma ('miracle' in Sanskrit).
... my new camera (which came yesterday).

Goodbye and thank you to my former camera, Pixie (short for Pixel) and the hard work you put in over the past few years.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Working miracles

A friend of mine once said to me: "You will be the one who invents a way to make smells come out of TVs."

I remembered her words today as I walked down the road to get papers. At the corner there is a tree full of white flowers with fluffy yellow centres. Their powerful scent engulfs in a cloud and truly does justice to the word 'heavenly'. Today this perfume was so 'loud' that I found myself wishing that cameras could take smells as well, if only to share it. But ... like photographs, it would never be as good as the real thing.

And on that note ... my long-awaited is here and will be picked up later today! Together we may indeed make smells (and more) come out of images.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

TLC: The Libran Pinnacle (Sept 24 - Oct 23)

T.L.C.
The Libran Club
Newsletter

LIBRANS UNITE!

This month's long-awaited theme:
VENUS IS OUR GARDENER

Dear Fellow Librans and Honorary Members,

Today, the 24th of September marks a sudden and powerful turning point in the astrological energies of the Universe. This is the beginning of the revered pinnacle known as 'The Time of Libra". Long awaited. Long awaited. Let's take a look at what this glorious period has in store for us.

THE HARVEST
The Libran cornucopia is abundantly overflowing. So much so, dear Libs, that we must not worry about anything or feel a sense of lack. All that is deservedly ours comes flowing into our lives without restraint. Enjoy as Venus showers us with goodies galore!

THE OPENING
Venus has all the keys to make huge doors of opportunity swing open ... and, should the eager Libran (or honorary member) decide to enter, s/he will encounter many blessings filling the lush garden of life. Enjoy! Bask! When faced with so many abundant opportunities, should one say 'Yes' to all? Consider this: When faced with a tree full of apples (for temperate Libs) or oranges (for tropical Libs) does one pick and eat all of the apples/oranges????

LOVE BLOOMS
Mmmm. What is that delightful scent? Love is in bloom and its exotic perfume is engulfing the lush Libran garden! Librans need only open their arms and welcome who/what is theirs. After all, the Divine Gardener is none other than ... Venus, goddess of Love. Her flowers of Love, which are experiencing profuse growth spurts in Libra 2007, have pushed deep roots into the earth, creating a firm foundation which, although not seen, is very much present. Venus dutifully waters these Flowers daily so that they continue to grow and produce blooms of Love on an ongoing basis. Every Libran in the known Universe will benefit profoundly from the products of Venus's 'green thumb' as it were. If there is any doubt as to why ... please note that these Flowers have five petals. You know what that means!

1. S/he loves me
2. S/he loves me not
3. S/he loves me
4. S/he loves me not
5. S/he loves me

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO
This newsletter is short and sweet, dear Librans. Why? The less time we spend reading about what is in store for us is the more time we have to get out there and celebrate life in this, our wondrous time of Libra! Let the magic unfold, let Venus do what she does best ...

We will close with a potent and pertinent quote from the sufi mystic, Rumi:

If you can’t smell the fragrance
Don’t come into the garden of Love.
If you’re unwilling to undress
Don’t enter into the stream of Truth.
Stay where you are.
Don’t come our way.
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Be Light
Be Love
Be Libran
*
No other signs of the zodiac were hurt during the writing of this newsletter.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The day after

Can't remember the last time I limed so late. After yesterday's workshop and the film festival (the films were great, but I'm not currently in a 'review' mood) was the birthday party which started at 8 p.m. I intended to just 'pop in and show my face' ... and ended up coming home at 7 a.m. this morning. The party started to wind up around 3 a.m. and, rather than drive back to St. Augustine (from POS), I stayed at a friend's house.

The day has therefore been slow and lazy. I will not be leaving the house ... except to teach a yoga class around 6 p.m. Despite feeling sluggish, the kriya I have chosen is quite long and may be somewhat demanding, with lots of spinal flexing, arching, stretching. twisting. But ... I did tell the others I would give them a good workout in our next class. Afterwards, we'll do the ra ma da sa meditation again. We've done it for the past 3 classes, each time using a different melody. It always gives us a nice healing feeling to take home and go to sleep with.

(Update @ 4:52 p.m. Did not have yoga again. For various reasons, at last minute no-one was available).

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today

Today I'm going to the last of the workshops organised for the film festival. This one is on music videos (with Lil X). The other workshops were great: 1st one on marketing, distribution, copywriting, producing. Second and third ones on writing screenplays and pitching (respectively) - given by Donahue Tuitt. All of the workshops were interesting and helpful, worth sitting in traffic for.

Hoping to see some of this evening's films, but the workshop finishes at 6 p.m., so may just make it to The Doctor's Daughter and then to a birthday party at 8 p.m. ... i.e. if I still have the energy by then.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

A new beginning

The image is backwards because I used iPhotobooth to take it.
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I thought I had reached to the end of my Beginnings, but a short while ago I got another one. It is from Valerie and the stamp says San Fransisco, CA, posted on August 4th. The iPhotobooth image above doesn't do justice. This postcard looks like a real, 'professional' one. The back says "Photography by Valerie", so perhaps she put together a triptych of her photos and printed them at home. Thanks, Valerie. I don't know your e-mail address though, so can't thank you personally.

I can't make out what the first image is: three candles? a cosy window at night? an electric heater? I guess it's whatever I want it to be. The image on the right (i.e. on left in the reversed iPhotobooth version) appears to be sunrise (beginning) over the ocean, as seen from the wharf ... or a ship. The quote in the middle says:

What I do today is important because I am paying a day of my life for it. What I accomplish must be worthwhile because the price is high - Jane Lafazio.

So true.

On the back, Valerie has written:

Remember - any given moment can change your life ...

Again. So true.

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Giving and receiving flowers

Today on Kelly's blog she talks about meeting up a man who was giving out flowers to strangers. It reminded me of my days of doing the same.

When I was working in advertising, sometimes at lunch I would gather a few friends from the office (enough to fit into my car, 'Babe'). We would pick flowers and then drive around the Port-of-Spain area, stopping off in certain areas to give flowers to people. Similar to what Kelly mentioned in her post, many people looked rushed, stressed, angry and tired.

We found that strangers' reactions to being given flowers varied. Sometimes people would be suspicious or afraid of us, thinking we wanted something from them or were coming to rob them, maybe (?) "What do you want?"

Or they would simply say: "I don't want it and turn away" ... Perhaps, in their minds, we were attempting to sell them something or ask for money.

Some of them, their faces would light up and you could see that the flower had made their day. Some of them (if male) would take it as an opportunity to deliver a sexual innuendo or cliché pick-up line. Some, if female, would look uncomfortable, receiving a flower from another female ... perhaps because they only associate being-given-flowers with a man-woman interaction.

My favourite was an old man who was standing at the roadside with a briefcase. I got out of the car and gave him a flower. He graciously took it, quietly pleased, saying thank you. As we drove off and I looked in the rear view mirror, he was gazing at the flower. He then opened up his briefcase and carefully slipped it in.

I have these wire flowers that I make. They're like a trademark. So many people all over the place have ended up with them for a variety of reasons. Sometimes someone I don't even know or remember will say to me: "I still have that little wire flower/wire flowers you gave me" (e.g. sometimes I would hand them out at my exhibitions, give them as gifts, etc. or I would attach them to my CDs, so someone buying one would get that flower). I've realised that the people who received them feel special ... and end up keeping them not only because they like them, but because they remind them daily of their own specialness. Plus, being wire flowers, they never die.

Time to make some more.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

To bee or not to bee


While stuck in a horrible traffic gridlock this morning on my way to a great workshop on pitching (films), I had my head buried into my steering wheel in heat and frustration. When I eventually raised up, I saw this bee on my windscreen, staring in at me. (Ironic, since these days I'm as busy as a bee!) It allowed me to take three close up shots of it before flying off.

Unfortunately I am allergic to the actual insect's sting. Once I flicked a bee off my finger and it bit me before flying off. My hand was swollen like a dead frog for one or two days before I went to the doctor to get something to bring down the swelling.

I therefore have great respect for bees.

It struck me that this fuzzy angel on my windscreen had come to bring me a message ... so I just looked it up as a power animal. I don't mind if it injects me with some of its great symbolism. I won't be allergic to that.

Here the bee is described as:
(i) a symbol of fertility and sexuality
(ii) its honeycomb is a symbol of the heart
(iii) symbol of the sun and all its energies
(iv) being busy and productive ... or taking time to savour the honey and not be a workaholic
(v) Symbol of accomplishing the impossible (aerodynamically its body is too large for its wings, so it 'should not' be able to fly ... but it does)
(vi) Symbol of accomplishing things you put your mind to

In Hinduism, the Bee relates to Vishnu, Krishna or Kama, the God of Love.
In Egypt, the Bee symbolized royalty.
In Greece, it was the symbol of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The Celts associated the Bee with hidden wisdom.

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'A Winter Tale' at TTFF

I'm no 'academic critic', but I will try to give a review of each movie I see at the TTFF. The first one I saw was the first one screened (last night). N.B. This review is written from the perspective of how I experienced it. You will see it and experience it in your own way and different aspects will stand out (or not) for you.Photo source

For me, even if or particularly when there is so much going on in something or someone, it takes a while for it to sink in and be assimilated. I therefore did not know what to think or say immediately after viewing A Winter Tale (Dir: Frances-Anne Solomon). It was only as I drove home after the screening that different impressions started coming to me.

It reminded me of a snow globe. Not only because it happens in winter (hence snow) and not only because the world of this small black Toronto community gets shaken (as snow globes do) by the accidental shooting death of a young child ... but also because of the closeness and intimacy of everything. The feeling was of being invited into a small space (like a snow globe) to meet these characters, experienced with an emotional and visual closeness (e.g. many close up shots of their eyes, faces, mouths) which pressed them and their lives against me as a viewer. How could we all fit into this small globe without becoming more intimately involved (visually and emotionally) or without feeling some kind of intensity?

Gene, one of the main characters (a social worker), forms a male support group, which addresses the need for 'dialogue' among the men of the community. In contrast, there are points in the film where there is no dialogue ... where what is not said speaks as loudly as (louder than?) what is or could be. This absence (of dialogue) stood out for me for two scenes in particular:
(i) after the shooting of the boy, one of the men returns to the eatery to tell the grandfather that his grandson is dead. This is done so wordlessly and powerfully that in the moment I was aware of the power of silence (absence of words). Anything voiced at that point would have ruined it.
(ii) Gene (social worker) crying in bed after the shooting of the boy, his wife's long, white arm reaching out to touch his turned back. He eventually turns to her, still crying, and there is an overhead shot of their naked interracial bodies intertwined. Sensual yet maternal. Come to think of it, the men in the film often come across as boys, particularly when in the presence of the women in their lives (whether wife, girlfriend or mother). They seemed to be reflections of that little boy who got shot: just as vulnerable - both emotionally and in the sense of being potential victims of gun violence themselves.

These (and other) no-dialogue parts stood out for me because it was something I had been dwelling on during the day ... no dialogue. I had spent the entire day in a fantastic screenwriting workshop with Dr. Donahue Tuitt. At one point, the topic of letting visuals speak (rather than words) came up. Show it, don't say it. Made me remember a great movie, The Red Balloon, which wordlessly tells the story of a little boy and a red balloon with simplicity, clarity and power. After seeing Red Balloon I was blown away and inspired to do an entirely wordless film myself. (Have not done it yet).

One scene I appreciated was the one where we see Gene's wife (Emma?) getting up off the toilet and flushing it. I have a scene in 'All of Emily' where we see Elliot sitting on the toilet reading Emily's diary. He gets up and, being so absorbed in his reading, flushes without wiping. (I noticed the wife in AWT didn't wipe either, but that's not the point). It always strikes me in movies that we very rarely see people going to or using the toilet. Not that I specifically want to see it or that we have to ... but it's something which (on the odd occasion that I have seen it) brings a simple peep of reality into the person's life. It's one of those things that we all do, but seldom see or show. As simple as that moment was, it was a microcosm of AWT's larger reality.

I enjoyed it visually: the textures, camera work and editing. At times I found myself thinking that I could have been looking at a painting - particularly in the scenes that showed the city of Toronto. I saw it in a blurred, abstract, almost surreal way - in contrast with the realness of the life of the main characters. The close up red of a street car passing was like a paintbrush with red paint on it, streaking across the screen. The silhouetted CN tower against a golden watercolour blur of sky. A quick, haunting glimpse of a black brush-stroked female figure standing alone on a snowy sidewalk. Blurry memories of childhood. At points the editing, angles and distance of the shots worked together to make me feel as though I was seeing this urban painting through the window of a passing train: quick snippets. Not much of the city had to be shown to depict it. Like a few simple Japanese brush strokes creating the whole picture.

The soundtrack: it was there throughout, supporting and driving, but never standing above. The only point where I consciously became aware of it and found myself listening to what the music was 'made up' of was a looped instrumental part just before the little boy gets shot. I remember listening to it and being aware of the silence and spacing between the notes enhancing the tension of 'something about to happen'.

Going back to the snow globe closeness ... it was also a reminder to the Trini audience of how close the topic/reality of gun violence is here as well. One woman stood up after the film and related her own experience with such violence in her own neighbourhood - recently right next door to her. Toward the end of the film when the Canadian woman's news voice states that there have been "70 murders for the year", my friend and I laughed ... not because it was funny, but in a kind of 'wow, imagine that's all' way. As my friend said: "... and we are probably at 300 and something murders already and the year isn't even done."

I don't normally look at films so 'closely'. Normally I just look at them and like them or not. But maybe I saw this one closer because I was in the scriptwriting workshop all day (therefore was 'looking' at plot points and other little details we had been dwelling on, etc.) ... maybe because it was made by someone I know ... or maybe because it was so intimately presented that one could not help but see it close up or give it attention.

It was way past my bedtime, I was exhausted after a long day and I am known to fall asleep in long films, but my eyes were kept open.

You can see this film for yourself on Sunday 23rd and form your own impressions.

Lots of other films are on at the TTFF. I'll be going to see the ones that I can ... and will give my own little reviews after. Most (if not all) are repeated throughout the run of the festival, so if you like the sound of a particular film, you can go and see it. A Winter Tale runs again on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Duncan of Elspeth


Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse than Elfin. Yesterday I got a message on the voice mail of my cellular phone ...

Woman's voice: Hello, this is a message for Duncan of Elspeth. I am calling to tell him that the venue has changed for bla bla bla ...

I figure they had Duncan, Elspeth written on the list (for the workshop) ... but I'm not sure how she got "Duncan of Elspeth" from that. Did she think that 'Elspeth' was the name of the company (as someone once did) that Duncan works for?

The woman called back later to ensure that 'Duncan' got the message.

Sigh ...

At least she pronounced Elspeth right.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Early to rise

Woke up at 2:30 am., could not go back to sleep, so got out of bed and did some yoga/meditation. I have to be in St. Anns for 9 a.m. (all day film workshops) and have not left home yet (7:05 a.m.) The thought of the traffic that is already packed onto the roads is making me feel more tired than I already am. Sitting sandwiched between hundreds of cars for 1.5 - 2 hours feels like half the day gone - even if just energy-wise. Ideally I should have left home around six, reached town by 7:30 and hung around until 9 a.m. ... But no way could I have done that today.

I hope I can keep awake during the all day session!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Je suis fatiguée ... et très occupée!

Jasper is still groggy ... and now so am I.
(Photo from Photobooth)
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This evening I fought to keep my eyes open in French class. After 'la classe', I gave a fellow classmate a drop 'out the road'. As we stopped at the gas station for me to fill up PAX (ma voiture), I sighed with exhaustion and said to her: "Gosh, this week has really been busy!!!"

She looked at me for a short while, confused, and then said: "This week? But today is only Monday ..."

Only then did I realise that today isn't Friday ... which is what I had been thinking and feeling all day. That's to tell you how occupée I am.

J'ai besoin des vacances.

Maintenant je me couche.

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The poor Boo-boo

Jasper wasn't at all happy today that he had to go to Mount Hope Vet Clinic for x-rays. His limp seemed to have gotten better, but then it was back again. As my sister was on holiday she helped me to take him. While I drove, she sat in the back with him incarcerated in my laundry basket (as we don't have a cat carrier). Otherwise he would have been all over the place.

He howled all the way down ... a deep, gutteral, unearthly howl: "Na-rooooooooooo! Na-roooooooooooooo!"

Had to be sedated for the x-rays and is now staggering drunkenly around my room.

Nothing showed up as being wrong, so the vet is baffled. She says it may be a ligament or soft tissue injury, therefore not showing up in the x-rays. Hmmm ...

Right now, even in his groggy stupor, he looks furious with me. He hates vets.

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Black African rhythm (instructional video)


This is one of the rhythms the women in the Arouca class taught me on Saturday.

In this video I start slowly so it's easier to see what the rhythm is made up of. Then I play it faster so you can more or less hear what it sounds like. Then slow again, then fast.

For the rim shot (5th shot) make sure to 'cork' the drum (i.e. hold your hand down tight on the skin) so that the rim shot sounds like a 'crack'.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Drums ... and the nectar of light

Today I went to the Arouca drum class (transferred because it is closer than Grande). When I went 2 weeks ago the teacher was sick and there was no class. Last week I couldn't go because I had to go to Joanne's book launch. Today when I went, only the tassa teacher was there. I tried it out for a while and wasn't really getting it, so he told me to play the same rhythm on Dandelion. I was doing that when a large woman (wearing green and blue hiking boots, a blouse with small green and white checks, a short denim skirt with locks piled up on her head and wrapped in a red, gold and green scarf) came up to me, pointed to Dandelion and said: "Dat's your drum?"

"Yes."

"Come," she told me - and I followed her outside. There on a bench were two other women, one with a small drum (which belonged to the large woman) and one with a large bass drum.

"Show us what you learned in Deso's class," one of them said.

So I showed them what I remembered: Avalo, Bele, etc. and they showed me the Black African and Indian beats. We sat there jamming and it not only sounded great, but felt great, sitting outdoors on the bench with these women. Prior to this I was the only 'girl'. The large woman was sitting next to me, jiving away on her little djembe, head and shoulders jerking back and forth in time with the rhythm. At one point we were playing the Jig and she got up and started to do the Tobago jig (dance): "Heel and toe! Heel and toe!"

"Attitude!" one of them called out. "Yuh need attitude!"

So she cocked out her bottom and stared at it with a sultry expression on her face while still doing heel and toe, with us drumming, chanting and laughing in the background: "Heel and toe! Heel and toe!"

At one point the large woman asked me: "Wha's yuh name?" When I told her she almost fainted ... and had to pronounce it about ten times before getting it. Her name is Susan (and the other two I can't recall right now). We were joined somewhat later by two young men, Junior and Israel.

The teacher never turned up and, when Susan called on her cell phone, she found out that he was in hospital (casualty). We continued drumming - and everyone who tried out Dandelion literally said "I am in love with this drum." Her tone is really special. They wanted one just like it.

When we were all leaving, I went to my car and saw this Tiger butterfly ... which appeared to be sucking nectar from my car light. Junior, the woman from the Centre and I stood watching it as it went through the sucking motions, never even flinching as I went close to it to get some macro shots. It only flew off when I drove away.

That was a great 'class'. A pity I won't be able to go next Saturday (I'll be at a film workshop and then at the festival) and I won't be able to go the weekend after either (the last class) because of the Greenlight concert. But the others say we should continue even after the classes are done ...

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Collector Personality?

(This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is 'Collector's Personality')

I woke up this morning in one of those moods where life felt cluttered and I needed to throw things away and create space. Speaking with a friend on the phone, I mentioned that I was in the process of cleaning up and discarding. She pointed out: "You're always doing that."

So true.

The idea of collecting things and having unnecessary physical objects around me turns me off now. If I look around, all that I have is mostly what I need and/or use: computer/laptop, cameras, drum, guitar, singing bowl, clothing/shoes, bed and a few little bits and bobs. I am a minimalist when it comes to 'things'.

I don't have a collector personality now at all.

When I was small I used to collect stamps and coins. I think all children in those days used to. There was a time when I used to 'collect' junk, old pieces of driftwood, etc. ... but that was to make things with. I no longer pick up junk. I used to collect old windows - to make lamps. But the Soul Window was my last.

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Just around the corner

Last night when I was coming home from singing lessons (which I started last Thursday), as I approached HiLo, St. Augustine, I noticed there was a lot of traffic on the Main Road for after 8 p.m. Nothing abnormal. There's always traffic now.

A little further ahead I noticed what was causing the traffic: a policeman was standing in the middle of the road diverting cars and making us take the back road detour. I looked beyond him and noticed that the Main Road was eerily empty of cars, but there were crowds of people gathered. "Something must have happened," I thought, envisioning an accident of some kind.

There was a lot of traffic on the normally quiet backroads as all cars were being diverted. As I reached Warren Street, I noticed a lot of cars parked at the road side and people walking to join the crowd on the Main Road. "Hmmm, maybe its a political meeting," I thought.

But the area was dark and quiet. No blaring politicians voices, no loud soca music, no-one wearing political t-shirts. Had I been "Trini to de bone" I would have parked and gotten out to maco. But I was only interested in getting home.

Turns out that ... at 5:55 p.m., right there at the auto place (where you get an under-body and engine wash) 'around the corner', a man and woman were shot. In broad daylight. On the Eastern Main Road. Peak traffic. People returning form work. School children milling around. Busy strip of businesses with customers going in and out.

A black vehicle stops, a man gets out and 'calmly shoots' (seven times) and instantly kills a couple (man and his female co-worker) who were standing, waiting while their company car was being washed.

Calmly shoots. Did anyone get a number plate? What did witnesses do? Any of us could have been passing. The man and his co-worker were connected to the housing development being built 'just around the corner' from home (Santa Margarita).

Earlier yesterday mummy told me that a dead body was found by UWI (also 'around the corner'.) Haven't heard anything more about it.

In Trinidad these days there's an increasing number of very disturbing incidents happening 'just around the corner' ... no matter where you live.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Got another one

Photo is reversed because that's what happens to Mac Photo Booth images
*
Early this afternoon I dug in the mailbox and got a Beginning from LTG in Portland, Oregon. Just when I was thinking that I hadn't got any in a while ...

So far this is my fourth.

The quote on the front of the card says:
She who plants trees loves others besides herself.
(T. Fuller; adjusted)

The handwritten message on the back of the card says:
Plant your 'trees' and share your gifts!

Very apt and timely.

Thank you, LTG. Unfortunately I don't know your blog or e-mail address, so I can't tell you thanks in person, but if the Beginner of Beginnings sees this post perhaps she will let you know.

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Les Cloches (... and how to get accents)

video
Ecoutes les cloches dans ce video
*
Une bonne amie qui habite à Winnipeg à venu a Trinidad pour trois semaines. Hier elle m'a visité et nous sommes allées a Mount St. Benedict (la monastère Bénédictine la plus ancienne de la Caribbean). Nous sommes allées dans l'église et nous avons allumé des bougies de prières. Aussi, nous avons cherché notre ami, un des moines, Frère Tony, mais il n'était pas la. Plus tard, pendant nous avons parlé de la vie, j'ai fait ce video des cloches et des montagnes. (Seulement cinquante secondes)
*
A good friend who lives in Winnipeg has come to Trinidad for three weeks. Yesterday she visited me and we went to Mount St. Benedict (the Caribbean's oldest Benedictine monastery). We went into the church and lit prayer candles. Also, we looked for our friend, one of the monks, Brother Tony, but he was not there. Later, while we talked about life, I made this video of the bells and the mountains. (Only fifty seconds).
*
And here's how to get the accents, etc. on a Mac!
Option + e, vowel = acute accent Ex: á é í ó ú
Option + `, vowel = grave accent Ex: à è ì ò ù
Option + u, vowel = umlauts Ex: ä ë ï ö ü ÿ
Option + i, vowel = circumflex Ex: â ê î ô û
Option + c = cedilla Ex: ç
Option + n, letter = tilde Ex: ñ õ
Option + 1 = Spanish exclamation Ex: ¡
Option + Shift + / = Spanish question mark Ex: ¿
Option + s = German ß Ex: ß
Option + \ = European open quote Ex: «
Option + Shift + \ = European end quote Ex: »
Option + o = o with a slash Ex: ø
Option + Shift + 2 = Euro symbol Ex: €

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feline yoga

Jasper on my yoga mat just after my ... I mean our morning session.
*
Every morning when I am doing yoga/meditation, Jasper joins me. As soon as I sit on the mat, he jumps off the bed or through the window (wherever he is at the time) and stretches out purring in front of me. If I am in easy pose, he often curls up in the basket created by my legs.

I don't know what it is about Breath of Fire, but it drives him wild. As soon as I start to do it, he 'wakes up' and clambers all over me, purring wildly, rubbing against me and repeatedly biting my gyan mudra. Cats are very sensitive creatures and no doubt he is tuning in to the energy.

He will calm down eventually, but purring louder than ever until he eventually dozes off.

When I'm done and I get up off the mat, he takes my place ... as in the above shot.

Sat nam, little J.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tickets are ready!


Tickets for Greenlight Network's Environmental Concert 2007: LIVE THE PLEDGE have been printed and are now physically available! We will soon be placing tickets at select locations (to be announced) ... but for now, you can call 645-0157 and arrange to pick yours up from Greenlight's headquarters - 21 Lyndon Street, Curepe.

We strongly advise you to do this, since people have already been calling and booking blocks of tickets. You want to be sure that you and your friends get yours!

Artistes, the same goes for you. No doubt your family, friends and fans want to come and give support. Make sure they secure their tickets in time.

At $40 and for a very good cause (future GLN environmental awareness-raising projects) you can't go wrong!

Please pass this message on.

Thanks!
*
THE DETAILS

LIVE THE PLEDGE
When? Saturday 29 September 2007
Where? JFK Theatre, UWI, St. Augustine
What time? 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Admission? $40
All proceeds will be injected back into Greenlight's creative environmental awareness-raising projects!

This event is a 6 hour music and multimedia marathon. Bring the family and come! Enjoy, be enlightened, shake a leg or two!

Performers:
5 O'Clock Shadow
Anti Everything
Brother Resistance
Don't Panic
Elspeth Duncan
Glenford Bhagat
John Pollard
Jointpop
Malik
Mark Ng Wai
Broken Mirroz
Ozy Majic

Rahil Babooram
Tie Dye Kitty

Two surprise guest artistes!

Videos!

And more!!

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A complete waste of time

This is an extremely miniscule representation of the gridlock madness.
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Yesterday I canceled all the appointments I had in town because of HORRENDOUS traffic. These smart people were paving the road on a weekday of the first week back to school during the prime time drive period when traffic is the worst! So you can imagine the backup. My sister took over an hour to drive what would normally take 3 minutes on a clear day. She turned around, went back home and decided to head out to work just before midday (and still got stuck in traffic). I also tried to head into POS, turned back immediately when I saw the pile-up and put off everything until today.

Today I left at 6 a.m.

I still got traffic, but more like the normal annoyingly slow crawl than the complete standstill of yesterday and the weekend. Got into POS at about 7:30 a.m. Then had to 'waste time' driving around aimlessly, stopping to eat sada roti (just to have something to do), etc etc etc ... because all the places I had to go didn't open until 9:00 or 9:30. I am back home now at 11:27, more than 5 hours since I left home this morning. And within that 5.5 hour period, my time spent actually being productive (apart from briefly reading my French book in traffic) amounts to one hour ... or less!

What a waste of time being stuck on the roads of T & T!

Apparently they are now going to be paving the road at night because too many people were angry about yesterday and the weekend. That is inexcusable madness. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that after dawn on weekday mornings ... or after dawn on any morning ... is not the time to be paving main roads and highways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This gridlock and this standstill is a daily symbol of where this country will go if it continues on its current path.

i.e. Nowhere.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Living in the present


Maintenant
Je suis fatiguee
et mon lit est un nuage.

Je veux dormir.

Des anges,
comme des lumieres,
entre dans ma chambre

Ils restent avec moi.

Je reve d'un arc-en-ciel:
ravissante,
avec beaucoup des couleurs
et un fin d'or.

Et tu?
Peut-etre tu reves la meme chose.

Bon nuit.
*
Now
I am tired
and my bed is a cloud.

I want to sleep.

Angels,
Like lights
enter my room.

They stay with me.

I dream of a rainbow,
charming,
with many colours
and a golden end.

And you?
Maybe you dream the same thing.

Good night.
*
(Since I don't know the future tense yet, everything written here is in the present tense. Living in the now).

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A little angel told me ...

... to send a special hello to Kariwak Sally.
Have a wonderful day.
You are out of sight but never out of mind and heart.
The angels are always watching over you.
The spirit guides are walking every step with you.
You are deeply loved.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

A first published novel to check out

Guess whose feet are on the programme
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Yesterday evening I went to my friend Joanne Allong-Hayne's private reading of her first published novel, WALKING at the Normandie. I have not yet read the whole book, but since I was one of the readers for the evening, she had sent me my excerpt by e-mail a few days before.

Just from reading that excerpt (The Prologue) I was amused, impressed and couldn't wait to read more. So today I will start reading my autographed copy: (To: Spec. Thanks for making the walk a little fresher, funkier and a whole lot friendlier.)

The launch went smoothly and swiftly. My kind of function. No unnecessarily long-winded, dragged out speeches (all that was said was succinct, meaningful and powerful) and there were great refreshments after (mini cheese quiches, stuffed pastry, sweetbread slices and local wine. But I drank Water.)

As I sat in the front row listening to Jo give her words of "Celebration" to close the reading, I felt proud: hearing her talk, seeing her published book and hearing the glowing tributes being paid to her by some of our society's respected authors and critics who were present. As Dr. Helen Pyne-Timothy pointed out in the review she read last night, the novel begins with the protagonist as a 6 year old girl wobbling in her mother's high heeled shoes ... and continues with the metaphor of 'walking' (that journey of life) until she is really able to stand strong in her own shoes. The 'MC' for the night, Oliver Flax, pointed out that Joanne was not walking, but sprinting to the finish line. From my perspective I saw a friend and kindred spirit who refers to me as a 'sister artist' and who understands what a struggle it can be sometimes to walk our inevitable creative path. There she was before me, having persistently wobbled, walked, sprinted and then (to me) climbed. Soon, I guess she'll really be flying. (Or maybe she was already flying last night after a few celebratory glasses of local wine ...)

Sometimes my phone will ring and it will be J.A.H. on the other end of the line, calling to check in on 'a sister'.

JAH (in her duMaurier voice): Spec, girl! What's happening?
Me: bla bla bla (whatever is happening or not happening that day)

Somehow she always manages to call on a day when I am feeling that 'walking' the inevitable creative path is getting me nowhere, nothing is happening, it's pointless, why am I doing this, maybe I'm doing the wrong thing, etc bla bla blaaaaa. Because she goes through/has gone through similar feelings, she knows what to say ... and always offers the right words of support and encouragement that make the sun come back out on those difficult 'walking' days. And I guess I do the same for her when it comes to that. So, seeing her up there last night was a great testament to the fact that we just need to keep walking to get where we're going. There will always be water stops and helping hands along the way (both Divine and earth-based).

So, to an 'artist sister' and fellow walker of the creative path - congrats again ... and all the best on the rest of your journey. Looking forward to reading your first published novel!
*
An excerpt from the prologue (Josephine, the protagonist, is 5 at the time):
I would know from the sound of his bell exactly when he rounded the corner and I would run inside, slide into my mother's shoes and wobble back out to the top of the driveway. Soon as I saw the bright red cap coming up the hill two houses before mine, I would put my hands on my hips and begin the jerky movements I called dance, attempting to keep time with the ping of his bell. My ankles and feet would rock in a different direction from the rest of my body, but the saucy grin I wore would give no testimony to the pain in my feet.

By the time Roger John came into view, I would be rocking and grinning, hoping each time he's stop and talk to me. Somehow his bell always got louder and faster just before he reached my house and I would find myself doing a sort of zigzag movement, compensating for the increased tempo by jerking my shoulders hard, since I could not move my high-heeled feet. Roger John's cart at the front of his bike would sway sharply from side to side, and I wished for it to fall so he would have to stop. He would scowl at it, as if warning it not to, and just after he passed my gate, he would turn the same look upon me, push his cap back and shot, "Yuh fresh lil girl!"

I would grin and continue my frenzied movement until I could see the red cap reach the top of the hill that took him out of Lazzari Street, then I would limp back inside, take the shoes off, and sneak them back to their rightful place, now remembering to be frightened lest I was caught.

To read the rest of the book, you can purchase it online (Google: Joanne Allong-Haynes Walking) or (in Trinidad) at Nigel R. Khan Booksellers and Paperbased, Normandie.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Breath

"Inhale, and God approaches you.
Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you.
Exhale, and you approach God.
Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God."

~Krishnamacharya

(Got this from Regina Clare Jane's site and find it's such a great quote!)

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Scattered seeds blooming on the big screen

Dates to write in your diary: movies to see!

The website for the TTIFF (Trinidad & Tobago International Film Festival) is up. Check out the listings, as there is a lot of interesting work to be viewed.

Actually ... I keep calling it the T & T International Film Festival ... but apparently it's just TTFF (no 'International' in the acronym). But from my perspective it is 'international' because it will feature films from the region (Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba) as well as from the UK and Canada (the diaspora).

I used to dislike that word ("diaspora") because of how people wore it out in unintelligible 'artspeak' (aka suchness). But now I like it ... from the perspective of scattered seeds being blown in the wind to bloom in other soils.
*
Anyway, of course on behalf of the children and anyone who worked in any way on making I SPY a possibility, I must plug the series via its links on the "TTIFF" site:
1. I SPY synopsis
2. The calendar on the home page tells you which episode of I SPY is showing when (from 19th September onwards). They have been slotted into the 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. slots, daily. This is a great field trip for teachers and students (particularly primary schools). The children can find a haven in Movie Towne, being inspired by the I SPY documentaries, which were filmed by children in their age group (7 - 10).
3. Short blurb on me: Elspeth Duncan
Worth checking out:
1. All of the I SPY dates and times (daily) starting from 19th September 2007
2. A Winter Tale (Dir. Frances Ann Solomon) on 19 September, opening night ... and again on the 23rd.
3. I was on the screening committee and saw a few of the films from before. So I saw La Rebelle ... but wasn't in French class at the time, so read the subtitles rather than try and listen to the lingo. But I think it's an entertaining film for anyone learning French.
4. (Plugging a pal): My friend Emily Upczak's film Dancing Deities on Thursday 20th Sept at 5:30 p.m.
5. Saturday 22 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. - one might call this a block of gay films
6. Looks interesting: Cold Dead Hands by Kaz Ove.

And of course there are lots more worth seeing ... just check out the schedule and see what interests you.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

J'ecris une poemme (I am writing a poem)

*
La nuit mange le soleil.
Tout de suite:
Noir!
Mais
je n'ai pas peur.
Il y a une lumiere ...
Une etoile,
comme toi.
Petite,
Eloignee,
mais toujours
plus grande que la obscurite.
*
The night eats the sun.
Suddenly:
Blackness!
But
I am not afraid.
There is a light ...
A star,
Like you.
Small,
Faraway
but always
bigger than the darkness.
*
*
*
These days, sometimes I write my blog in French ... whether it's written right or wrong. Being wrong is what helps us to eventually be right.

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Ma Me Mi Mo Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Last night I had my first singing lesson with Jean Marc. He started me off with some deep breathing exercises which were easy for me because of the yoga. But somehow breathing for yoga and breathing while singing are two completely different things for me.

We did a series of vocal exercises using vowel sounds: aaaa-eeeee-iiii-oooo-uuuu (running up and down like a scale). Then maaaa-meeee-miiiiii-moooo-muuuuu ... and so on. Then Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall (going up); Humpty dumpty had a great fall (going down); all the king's horses and all the king's men (up); couldn't put Humpty together again (down).

He described things to me in a visual way. This works best for me in terms of understanding - if I can see and imagine something visually taking place, rather than trying to understnd with my mind how it works. When I visualised the things he was saying, I really heard my voice change.

E.g.
Imagine the note rising from my stomach and out through the top of my head like smoke.
Imagine the voice projecting from my third eye.
Imagine a fountain holding up a ball and the water that falls does not let the ball fall (i.e. the note).
Imagine walking up steps (i.e. with the rising scale of the ma-me-mo part)

And so on ...

I sang "In This Garden" for him and asked him if I could work on that as part of the singing classes. Rather than just 'learning to sing', it makes more sense to me to experience a two-fold process: learning to sing while singing my songs. By the time the Greenlight Concert rolls around on 29 September I won't be sounding like a nightingale, but at least I would have picked up a few tips to improve upon how I sound now.

There are so many things to get into with proper singing: how to warm up, how to hold a note, how to breathe properly, how to make a smooth switch from low to high register (natural to falsetto), how to sing with emotion/expression, how/where to place my tongue, how to open my mouth and form each vowel and syllable, how to relax and not think abut the singing, how to sing softly and keep the voice controlled, and loudly without sounding harsh and forceful ... etc.

Phew!

With all this learning happening all at once (French, drumming and singing) ... in order to get my homework and practice in, I'll have to do them all together: sing my French homework while drumming.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

One, two, three Beginnings!

A bird in my hand
*
Yesterday I came home to find some exciting snail mail waiting for me. (Disregard the one that was a Courts ad). One was a cheque for an article I had written. The other three were all Beginnings!

BEGINNING ONE
One Beginning was from Kizz, who was the first recipient of one of my Beginnings. She sent me an envelope with an origami bird (featured in the photo above) and a homemade postcard with a montage of images on it (visual symbolism): a sunflower, a dog, a tree, the face of a stone church, the figures of two people, a bunch of white flowers and a large tree growing outside of a wooden house. And the words she wrote to accompany these images ... Who wouldn't want a beginning full of these?

Feeling, reaching, believing, growing, wanting, laughing, loving, sharing, dreaming, being, doing, giving.

*
BEGINNING TWO
The other Beginning was from Lara in the USA. She didn't leave her blog address, so I can't thank her via this medium. Hers was very simple, minimalist, yogic, Zen, surreal, Dali. The front of the card features a peaceful lake over which she pasted cut-out images of a large moth, a rose and a bee. Again, interesting symbolism. The three words which she cut out and stuck amidst these images are: MAKE WILD PEACE. That's great. On the back she wrote: "Everything that happens was once a dream." That resonates. Thanks, LA.
*
BEGINNING THREE
This Beginning ... it's from the States, but there is no name on it and it was not in an envelope (no return address) so I don't know who it's from. It is somewhat of a mystery, yet it has an intimate feel, sharing with a complete strange, as it lists things for this person that are about to begin over the next year, marking a new stage of life:
- getting married
- moving 3,000 miles
- buying our first house
- starting graduate school

The images on the front are: a map, a mortar board that has been tossed into the sky, a cosy white house and two rings.

To whoever you are, best wishes on your new beginnings. May what you mentioned as your "occasional list of what if's" only yield positive results.

What if we live happily ever after?

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ce soir

Ce soir la classe etait un peu plus dificil que la fois derniere. Je ne sais pas pourquoi. Peut-etre parce que je suis fatiguee depuis d'une jour longue o parce que je n'ai pas apprenu le vocabulaire. Je doit lire le livre. Il y a beacoup des mots et phrases nouvelles pour m'apprendre. Je pense que le meilleur methode d'apprendre le francais est aller au pays ou on parles le langue: Martinique, France, Montreal, etc.

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The HHHA 2007


This year is flying! Very soon it will be time for me to open the floodgates and welcome your nominations for the Happy Hippy Hero's Award 2007.

Last year's winner (2006) was Catherine Chadee, a caregiver for young children. She actually called me a few days ago and we did some quick catching up. So much for retiring! She is still at it, doing what she does best ... taking care of little babes while their parents are at work. As she says, it's hard for the parents to find people they can trust these days. And they trust her.

I have already located the person who will make this year's piggy bank trophy. We'll hear more about him in time to come. Last year's pig was actually a wild quenk, made by the 2005 Happy Hippy Hero, Detta Buch.

Every year I aim to improve this process, making it more fair, more enjoyable, more outreaching ... and always keeping it natural and simple. When I have everything ready, I will announce this year's details. In the meantime, please begin thinking of the person you would like to nominate ...

Last year's criteria (may be exactly the same this year or slightly tweaked):
BASIC AWARD CRITERIA:
1. Nominee must be born in T & T (or must be a citizen) and must be living in T & T
2. Someone whose work or continued contribution has one or all of the following: a positive, healing, empowering, uplifting, progressive impact on our society and/or environment - on a micro or macro level. (Does not have to be a member of an NGO, CBO, etc. May also be an 'everyday' person or ‘regular citizen’ who regularly goes about doing good deeds without thought of recognition or reward).
3. Someone who, in spite of financial and/or other obstacles, continues to believe in good and work tirelessly towards the realisation of dreams and goals connected to (i) a particular cause or (ii) the betterment of life

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Apres de la classe francaise ...

Je ne sais pas si tout de mon Francais est exact maintenant, mais j'essaye ici avec ma blog. Cette blog n'a pas des accents, etc. (cedilla, grave et accute). N'est pas possible faire la ici.

Apres de chaque class Francais, j'ecris en Francais dans ma blog pour practicer. (??) "Practicer" est le mot pour 'practise'?

Je pense que Sylvain, l'homme de Kelly parles le francais. N'est ce pas? Et Kelly, je pense qu'elle parles un peu aussi. Mais je ne sais pas autre blogger qui parles le francais.

Hier, la classe francaise etait bien. Les etudients: il y a dixaine femmes et un homme qui s'appelle Rian. Notre professeur etait une femme, parceque l'homme francaise qui va nous lecteur est en France maintenant, pour trois semaines.

Ma vocabulaire n'est pas excellent, mais je pense que n'est pas trop horrible, especialment que je n'ai pas fait le francais (since) treize ans. Mais quand j'etait dans le universite, il y avait mes amis qui parlent francais et j'etait parlait avec leurs quelquefois.

C'est bon. J'apprend.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

I almost forgot ...

Aujourd'hui je commence ...

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Returning to the Source

A few days ago Mala, my neighbour down the road and I were chatting and she was saying that she wished I would start back teaching yoga, as she missed it. I agreed.

This Sunday (yesterday) we had a class on her wide, roomy porch. Well, even though I was guiding the session, I didn't look at it as 'a class' ... but more like a shared yoga experience. There were five of us: me, Mala, her daughter Clarisse, Debbie (a friend from Chaguanas) and Mitreya (Mitra?), a young woman who is here on a Fullbright (staying with Mala). Since three of those present were completely new to it, I kept it simple. We began with the opening mantras, went into the breathing techniques (breath of fire and long deep breathing), went through a series of warm up exercises to get the energy flowing, then ended gently with the Ra Ma Da Sa healing meditation.

Afterwards, we all felt so relaxed, tingly and renewed ... and decided we would do yoga together every Sunday As Mala said, it was good to remember how great it feels. I myself was so zoned out (or zoned in) that I knew I could only go to sleep when I got home. That I did ... and had amazing dreams!

Sat nam.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Book your 'Live the Pledge' tickets

Ticket design: Brown & Partners
Printer: Andes Printery

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Tickets for the Greenlight Network Environmental Concert 2007: LIVE THE PLEDGE will be available for public purchase from the first week in September. There have already been call-in requests for bookings ... so call Greenlight Network's headquarters: 645-0157 or e-mail greenlightnetwork (at) gmail (dot) com to secure your tickets now!


LIVE THE PLEDGE
When? Saturday 29 September 2007
Where? JFK Theatre, UWI, St. Augustine
What time? 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Admission? $40

All proceeds will be injected back into Greenlight's creative, environmental awareness-raising projects.

This event is a 6 hour music and multimedia marathon. Bring the family and come! Enjoy, be enlightened, shake a leg or two!

Performers:
5 O'Clock Shadow
Anti Everything
Brother Resistance
Don't Panic
Elspeth Duncan
Glenford Bhagat
John Pollard
Jointpop
Malik
Mark Ng Wai
Broken Mirroz
Ozy Majic

Rahil Babooram
Tie Dye Kitty

Two surprise guest artistes!

Videos!

And more!!

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