Lying on the bed, we listen to “You’ve got a lover” by Shake Russell. It was not planned. I was just looking for a YouTube version to send to someone who loved it when we had sung it the other day. But I listened to the whole thing after sending it to her. We listened. And it was a beautiful bedtime meditation. Thank you, Shake Russell. And thank you, God, for such amazing creativity and talent and artistry and work to be shared with the world and with us specifically. Amen. Amen. Amen. Praise be to God. And thanks be to Shake. Amen.
Turandot is a spectacular spectacle – Puccini certainly got it right and did it well with this one, y’all. I almost cried twice, and then did cry near the end, all because of the music – it was so amazing. Robert Wilson’s visionary directing was spectacular in and of itself, yes. It was so fun and cool and amazing. But the music itself held its own… it was satisfying and utterly fulfilling… and, boy darn, was it good… Just wow…
Thank you, Houston Grand Opera, for this spectacular performance. And thank you, God, for allowing me to witness it… in gratitude, I pray. Amen!
P.S. One of the main characters suddenly had to step out (I believe it was today), and so another member of the cast played her physical role, while Juliet from the current production of Romeo and Juliet stood on the side of the stage with a music stand and in a black dress and sang the part. “Like no other,” the creative director said in his pre-show announcement, and it truly was. It was amazing on all accounts. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amen!
Tonight, we saw a very unique production of The Magic Flute. It was awesome, but also rather bizarre. Rather than being a typical opera production, this one was done with inspiration from 1920s silent films. So, a massive white screen was the stage backdrop, and a projector created every scene, props and all, and a good chunk of characters, too. Pieces of the white screen would flip around like trap doors, revealing a person halfway up it or at the bottom or near the top, depending on the situation, and the projector would make their appearances and locations all make sense. They interacted with parts moving around in the projections all throughout, and it was really well done. Also, instead of spoken dialogue, they projected large words onto the screen itself, like in silent films, and had Mozart harpsichord pieces playing as the music, really making it feel like a silent film. And the actors as did a wonderful job of being believable in their roles in the film – it was stellar. And the Queen of the Night was the best singing performance I have ever attended for that role. Just wow…
It was successful, by the way, the gift. When I presented it to him, he didn’t fully understand. It just looked like an odd, artsy, plant-y presentation of a rose-shaped folded piece of fabric. After the distractions of other sudden comments and conversations from passers-by departed, he finally continued opening up the rose-folded fabric… One guy commented enthusiastically, “It’s a scarf!” at which point I realized that no one had any idea what it actually was yet, and he needed to unfold it all the way. Finally, he got there, and he discovered that it was a Hawaiian shirt! And it was a very nice and pretty and purple Hawaiian shirt. He was delighted, huge smile and hug and everything. He showed it almost immediately to his friends, and they went wild, cheering. As I had said, he’d needed a Hawaiian shirt. 😛 Even though he enjoyed it greatly, he commented at one point that he thought his friends might be even more excited about it than he was – a major compliment on the present. I was thrilled and grateful that it had played out so well. My mom had done the folding and presentation setup of the shirt, cutting palm fronds and leafy, green things, and picking up moss clumps to put it all together in a beautiful presentation, like a fancy flower on display in a box. (Naturally, I never got a photo of it in good lighting, because I was so excited about gifting it…, but it is what it is, so here is the poorly lit photo I have of the “flower”.)
Separately, my mom and I went to an Islamic Art Festival today. It was filled with luminous, beautiful, heart-filled art. So much heart and light and love all around that room today. I am grateful to have been able just to be present with it all. I am further grateful for the fact that just a tiny bit of it came home with me this evening, thanks to my mom.
However, there was one piece that caught my eye early on in the day: a medium-large, mostly white painting. (I know, a white canvas sounds impressive, but it absolutely was…) It had some gold foiling on it, but looked like an otherwise white , slightly textured painting (almost oil-like with the depth and textures), with script shaped to look a bit like a whirling dervish, a Sufi. I wanted to know what it said. But mostly so that I could be clear that it had been calling to me in particular…, because it felt for the first time in my life that I wanted to – **snoot-snoot** – ‘purchase an art piece for our personal home collection’. I know it may seem to be odd wording there, but that was what it was. Like the Sophie Kinsella book “Remember Me?”, how they collected art for their fancy “loft-style living” penthouse, I wanted to start my own real collection of art today. (**Note: In the book, she had gone from having missed a bonus by a one-week hire date at her new, low-paying job to, after a car accident and resulting amnesia, being five years older, married, in a high-paying leadership job at the company, driving a Mercedes, and living in an extremely posh penthouse in London along the Thames. So, the lifestyle was absolutely foreign to her, and their art collection had particularly blown her mind simply as a concept, let alone what the art pieces were and how much they had cost [loads and loads, obviously]. Her commentary upon discovering everything in her ‘new’ wealthy life and lifestyle was comical and relatable, and her story was quite inspiring in terms of pursuing lofty dreams in life… like having a posh art collection in ‘loft-style living’. Hashtag real-life goals, right?… Anyway, moving on…)
When we returned later to speak with the artist – she hadn’t yet arrived to the festival for the day when we first were there -, I began crying during her explanation of the words on the piece and why she had done what she had for it. I couldn’t explain myself except that I was overwhelmed, literally overflowing with water. And I couldn’t seem to stop for a while. The words she was sharing through that piece were exactly what have been my guiding light lately in life, it was no wonder I was so drawn to the piece. I hadn’t even noticed initially that they were words, the energy of it was so loud and so truly in line with where I am presently moving in life.
She could tell it was positive crying, I believe. The piece itself she had set for $500, with all of the proceeds going to a charity she likes and supports. The latter part was impressive in and of itself (including what the wonderful charity does), making me want to support the artist all the more (and, of course, making me cry a bit more in gratitude for the wonderful, heart-filled good that people are still pursuing and doing in this beautiful life). The former set the piece where I believed it belonged, in a ‘true art piece’ category. She went on to tell me that she would be more than happy to work with us… on other offers of price, or, even, on a print of the piece – she’d gladly work with us on any of the options, as she wants the piece to go somewhere where it will be loved and appreciated and wanted.
So, we have all of her information, and I will be discerning over the next several hours and couple days, and I will reach out to her to let her know where I stand with everything, likely tomorrow or Tuesday. My mom said to me that this was a perfect example of where she would love to be in a life where such a purchase could be an easy, “Yes,” and a, “And here’s another $500 to go with it.” But we don’t live that kind of life. Not right now, anyway. And that is perfect for right now. Regarding what to do about the piece, I would love to have it in my home for the rest of my life. And that is a lot of money for me at present. Sure, I may have money in the bank, but, until I have reliable higher income, that money is there to keep me functioning (safely and reliably and without mental stress) in life with food and housing and transportation, etc.
I want to honor the piece for what it is. And I must honor my current financial state, and trust that God will guide me appropriately forward.
When I saw the piece, when it reached out and called me initially, my experience, though I hadn’t had the words at the time, was one of slight paralysis as the idea settled within me that, ‘I want to see that every day of my life.’ I believe fully that we are exactly where we need to be, exactly when we need to be there. And we are given exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. This piece and this wonderful artist and woman showed up today on purpose – we all fulfilled needs all around. This discernment is here for me necessarily, and right now. God, please guide me clearly forward with this art piece. I trust in you wholly. Amen.
I have a lot of emotion going throughout me right now. It has been a calm yet tumultuous few/several days over here, and the circumstances suggest that there will be at least a handful or so more.
Perhaps this has been thrown at me so powerfully simply so that I might get husked into gear on a few different things… meditation…, finishing sorting…, fitness goals…, art. These are things I have wanted to be greater parts of my life, especially lately, yet I had joy taken real steps towards making that happen. Perhaps these stresses are here to encourage – read “force” – me into just going ahead and doing them already.
I shall consider this, and see what actions lie immediately before me as likely aids in further alleviating this discomfort. While running, especially with the weighted vest, had been somewhat cathartic, I can tell that it is not enough. I will run myself into the ground, if I keep pushing it the way it feels I would need to do to get this all out of me. I have already begun the meditation this past week, and have felt a pull to do even more of it – it felt right but not enough. It was the same with doing laundry. I have a feeling the others will be the same, too.
Tomorrow, my calendar is empty.
Alors, tomorrow is the day to do exactly those things I just listed. I shall begin.
P.S. Today has been 4.20, and I didn’t even realize it. It was wonderfully ironic that someone asked me to help with something at the store, and, when I pulled it out of the bag, it wreaked of marijuana. 😛
I really slept in today, but I woke up the second (or fourth) time around 7:30, and then got up and dressed and went downstairs and did the workout from yesterday. Yay!
I had to make modifications, of course, because I do not have all the tools the gym has, and the workout was supposed to be used at the gym this week (but it has to close for the week for COVID-related safety). But it was still a great and a tough workout, and I felt very pushed, and in a positive way.
And I was grateful that I did the workout first thing today. That probably felt better than the workout itself.
I then taught an outdoor workshop for kakizome 書き初め, as part of an Art & Yoga class, and it was awesome to do! Sure, the people involved had their varied life issues that arose, but it still was a great experience, and I am glad and grateful that I was able to share kakizome with more people. And that is despite the fact that they do not see it as I see it. It also gave me an odd sense of reaffirmation for myself, that I am looking at things and approaching things in my life in a very good-for-me-and-the-world way, and that I am perfect being right here, right now, all the uncertainties and unknowns included. I am grateful for this life and for this particular piece of it – thank you, Universe. My ball of energy is rolling beautifully, and I am loving being at its center.
So, how is your ball of energy, your life, doing today? I hope it is helping you to roll onward powerfully, whatever that May mean for you and your life. 🙂
P.S. Just before bed last night, I saw an e-mail that my flight in a couple months – fingers crossed on that trip – was changed dramatically in terms of timing. I was very annoyed, as it was the second such e-mail of the day, and this was a huge change. I checked the website to see if there were a different flight I preferred. The prices were almost half what they had been when I initially booked a few weeks ago! So, what did I do? I promptly canceled my original booking, and I rebooked with the new prices. It had been with points, but I gladly will make the effort in order to spend 5,000 points instead of 8,500! Cha-ching!! And thank you, airline, for allowing such a possibility. Much gratitude from here.
I recently made a new friendship with someone. We got along like friends the first moment we interacted with one another. When we first spent time together, not long after that first meeting, I discovered that she, too, rarely arranged to spend time with people unless she really likes them, and feels they are genuine with themselves.
She and I have been in touch via phone, both message and conversation, off and on, and have attended yoga together, and seen one another in passing since then. For several weeks now, almost since the first time we were arranging to spend time together, I have had this pull, this desire, to create a song with her. I don’t know what it is about her, but it just keeps coming up that we need to write a song, possibly songs, together. And so, rather than casually mention it, I told her about how this idea keeps coming up, and I asked for her thoughts – would she create a song with me?
Her reply was that, though she ‘can’t sing to save her life,’ she would create a song with me, Hannah Banana. 😛
And so we shall begin this song pull, now. I am quite excited. I think and I feel that something huge and beautiful will come of this.
^ Still got it wrong at first, but caught it before saving!
Saturday was All Hallows’ Eve, Sunday was All Saints’ Day, and today was All Souls’ Day. My family has a very strong connection to Mexico and Mexican celebrations and culture, so we always celebrate Día de Muertos. Last year, I even brought sugar calaveras to my French students to have them decorate the extra sugar skulls from an event my mother had led (and with which I had helped). Talk about mixing cultures, eh? Houston kind of already is a huge mix of cultures, and in various ways, so I grew up in a world of mixed culture, with my family embracing the people around us in life. In other words, mixing cultures is totally normal for me and to me. 😉
This year, I created a special project for myself. Mattel created a Día de Muertos Barbie both last year and this year, but sells the collectible doll for far more than I could afford to pay. (Though, to be fair, she is stunning. They both are.) I found myself wishing I could have just one of these Barbies, perhaps one day, and, as I was looking at photos of them, my brain somehow developed an idea.
You see, there have been several old Barbies – from my childhood – in a box in my mom’s laundry room for ages. They, for some unknown reason, are all naked, and they have always kind of reminded me of a graveyard of Barbies. Though, I’ve never used that word, graveyard, as I’ve always just thought of them as, “the poor, dead Barbies”. It seemed like an extremely low-risk situation, since, and I mentioned, the Barbies were already “dead” anyway. So, I went for it. And I had a student join in with me.
I brought a bag-o-Barbies (yes, all still naked) to her house, and we each selected a Barbie. We then painted their faces and bodies, over a few days’ time, to be the designs we each wanted. Afterward, I then shopped for some ribbon and tulle, picked up a few fallen fake flower bits at the store, and then sewed a couple dresses for the dolls.
I hadn’t played with Barbies for probably about two decades at this point, but I think this really was some of the best fun I have ever had with Barbies. 😀
Alas, here are the process and the final results of today. Enjoy!
I was at an artist retreat this weekend with my mom, out in the forest North of Houston. I wasn’t in the sessions themselves (my mom was), but was still part of the activities for the families who accompanied the artists on this Catholic outdoor camping and hiking adventure. I listened to what was said, my conscious and sub-conscious absorbed the words and the themes that surrounded us all throughout this retreat, and, yesterday afternoon, I produced this song while sitting on a yoga mat in the grass after a rough and glorious hike. It wasn’t intentional to have such obvious connections – that’s the sub-conscious managing things here – but the irony of it all is that I wrote a song based unintentionally around the phrase “I trust in you”, while at The Divine Mercy Retreat Center. (If you don’t get the irony, look up The Divine Mercy painting images.)
Whatever your beliefs and followings, I hope you find love and joy in this song. 😉 ✨💗🎨⚡️🕉🌏💫📿🧘🏻♀️❤🤗🙏🐪 🤸🌸🌻
P.S. To hear the song, it seems you have to go to the Instagram post, since I can only attach photos in here.