The Daisy Chain reading at Kariwak was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for more. The ajoupa was neatly set up with intimate rows of chairs and a few padded yoga mats for those who wanted to sit on the floor. To the front was a chair for me, a small table with a reading lamp and a microphone. The simplicity and peaceful energy of the space, along with the trickle of the nearby fountain and the bird song, gave the feel of a late afternoon meditation as I sat waiting for audience members to arrive.
Despite it being a fairly overcast Saturday evening, there was a good turn out. It felt cozy, reading in the muted lighting of the ajoupa which, as I learned over breakfast on Sunday, was first ever used by the Dalia Lama when he visited Tobago some years ago.
I had put the names of 14 of my favourite characters from the novel into miniscule zip-lock bags with hearts on them (purchased once on a visit to Toronto). The white paper bag they were in was passed around and different members of the audience chose one name at a time. I would then read an excerpt from that character's chapter. I didn't count, but I probably read about 7 or 8 in all—ending with a full reading of the PHILIPPINE chapter.
We ended with questions, comments, book sales and signing and cups of Kariwak's delicious spice tea! I would recommend going to Kariwak if even just to drink that. The taste lingers in my throat even now . . .
Quite like the women in the book, every Daisy Chain reading event so far has had its own personality. I have loved them all and I look forward to more. In fact, offers to do more readings in different geographical locations came up this weekend. I am definitely following up on those. It would be great to do readings all over the world.
It is a heartwarming feeling to look up and see recognition and enjoyment in people's eyes as a character resonates with something in them . . . and to have people eager to buy novels after a reading—for themselves and as gifts for others. It is lovely to hear someone say "My friend________ would love this." It makes me think that they think specially of that person. It's also lovely to think that people not only in TT, but in different parts of the world will be receiving Daisy Chain as gifts, sitting and reading it on airplanes, subways, in bed, while waiting, in parks, reading alone or reading together as friends or as a couple, etc.
Teaching yoga the next morning in the ajoupa was also intimate and meaningful. This was followed by a delicious Kariwak breakfast. Also worth experiencing!
I took my camera but unfortunately didn't think about it. It remained in my knapsack. Hence no photos.
To sum up: really glad I went and did this. It was perfect timing and everything fell into place exactly as it was meant to. The Universe was at work.
Many thanks to Kariwak, in particular Tanya Clovis, who organized and set up everything for me so beautifully, so that it was all smooth sailing. Thanks to everyone who attended the reading, bought books and gave encouraging feedback . . . and also to those who came to yoga and shared conversations and breakfast after.