Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wither Thou Goest

The grass is pushing through the soil, the trees are budding now, and birds have come to live within their branches. Earth is being born again in a new perspective. Night has gone, and we have come together in light.

- A Course in Miracles -

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are we Dreaming?

The Dream Catcher which was once a part of the Dream House Window Lamp - now hanging under the sapodilla tree at the bottom of the garden.
A few months have passed since we placed our dreams in the Dream House and then planted them with the Dream Trees. So much has happened since then ... and still so much promises to come as life shifts, allowing our dreams to manifest.

Is there anyone reading this who placed a dream in the Dream House or in the clay vessel when we planted the trees? Are you seeing and feeling your dream(s) unfolding?

The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.
- Tom Bradley -

Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
- James Dean -

I think we dream so we don't have to be apart for so long. If we are in each other's dreams we can be together all the time.
- Calvin & Hobbes -

Dreams are illustrations ... from the book your Soul is writing about you.
- Marsha Norman -

You see things and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were and I say: "Why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw -

You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
- C.S. Lewis -

Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -

If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams and endeavours to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
- Henry David Thoreau -

Source of Quotes

Sunday, September 21, 2008

International peace and spontaneous music

I was just reading an e-mail from one from one of my yoga students, saying she would most likely not be able to come to the class today. While reading her message, my room was quiet, the only sound being the washing machine in the distance and birds outside. I was responding to her message when all of a sudden I heard sweet music starting up. It took me a short while to realise that it was yoga music coming out of the blue from my CD player. I had put in a new yoga CD much earlier that morning, but it had not been playing for hours since. Interesting. Especially as it started up when I was writing about yoga. This sudden yoga music had happened the other night as well.

On that note, because today is the global meditation for peace,today's class will be geared towards that. Below is an extract from a 3Ho newsletter forwarded to me by Harisant, the teacher who introduced me to Kundalini. I've invited him to come and take my class today:

On September 21, 2008 the world will celebrate an International Day of Peace. The United Nations dedicates this special day to non-violence and invites all governments and citizens of the world to support this peace initiative through education, meditation, and peaceful action.

3HO is a Non-Governmental Organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and extends this invitation specifically to our worldwide Kundalini Yoga Community. As 3HO is committed to the excellence of the individual and the elevation of humanity through the technologies of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and conscious living, we urge all communities, yoga centers, families, and individuals to dedicate September 21 to peace and healing through education, meditation, and prayer.

We invite your creativity. Consider planning an event at your yoga center, or dedicate your sadhana or yoga class to peace, or visit your child's school to include the participation of children in this worldwide event.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Great news ... for those who missed the dance

One of the dancers in Invisible (the Dance) - choreographed by Sonja Dumas
Those of you who never got to see Invisible (the Dance) which was inspired by Invisible (the mini documentary), will get the opportunity to do so this Saturday 20 September at Movie Towne, when Invisible (the mini doc) makes its first appearance.

I have seen the dance performed twice and was moved both times. As such, I thought it would be fantastic to have it performed along with the film at the festival, for maximum emotive impact.

When I approached Sonja with the idea, she and the dancers agreed. Even though the space in the cinema is not optimal (not designed for dance and not spacious enough for full movement), it is worth adapting to the spacial limitations and giving it a try. Thanks also to the FF organisers for agreeing to let us do it.

Invisible will be screened at 8 p.m. on the dot. The dance (4 mins long) will happen just before. They are running a tight schedule, so if you do not want to miss it, please make sure to be seated by 7:30/7:45 p.m.

There will be a short Q & A session with the film maker (me) after.

Hope you can make it.


Tip of my index finger in comparison to some very tiny Amaranth sprouts
I sprouted some amaranth (took about 2 days) and, as you can see from the above photo, the plentiful sprouts are very tiny. They give today's meal a delicious texture.

The multitude of sprouts is reminiscent of the amount of things I have/need/want to do now. Life is suddenly very busy ... if not overwhelming at times ... but good overall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Update on Veronica's House

Still frame from the mini documentary 'Invisible'
Screenings at TT Film Festival:
Saturday 20 September, 8 p.m.
Monday 22 September, 5:30 p.m.
An update for those of you who are/were aware of the drive to get a house built for Veronica and her 2 children. Habitat for Humanity is on board and will be using a 2 bedroom prefab house from Agostini Interiors ... valued at $140,000TT. This will be faster and easier than constructing one of their standard homes.

Those who are willing to help but cannot contribute in cash, can do so in kind, by volunteering for the immediate tasks of:
1. Digging the land (manually) since the backhoe is sticking in the mud with all this rain
2. Sand filling (manually) with buckets

No need for gym membership. This is great exercise for a worthy cause.

Interested volunteers, please call Habitat for Humanity asap at 675-1222, reference: Volunteering for Veronica's House.

For those willing to donate cash:
Republic Bank
Account # 1804732621001
Habitat for Humanity T&T/Special Project

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TTFF focuses on Caribbean women filmmakers

Source: Today's Newsday

WOMEN DIRECTORS are set to make their presence felt at the 2008 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF).

The TTFF, which is running until September 30, is an annual celebration of films from and about Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its diaspora, and Latin America. This year, there are more films in the Festival made by women than ever before, covering a wide range of themes and genres.

Among the women filmmakers are Sonja Dumas and Nalini Akal, whose films – W and Dancescape, respectively – both incorporate the subject of dance, in strikingly different ways. Dumas’s film is a meditation on water and the environment, while Akal’s is a portrait of a dancer who fuses different styles in her work.

Renee Pollonais’ Directions is a wonderfully comedic look at how Trinidadians give (or don’t give) directions. In sobering contrast, Invisible by Elspeth Duncan is a heartbreaking, yet hopeful documentary about a woman and her young daughter living with HIV.

Other films helmed by women to be screened at the Festival are On the Map, by Annalee Davis, an eye-opening look at regional migration and the CSME; Kareen Brown’s The Fiddler, a touching portrait of a well-known street musician; and Wrestling with Angels, an exploration of Caribbean identity through the medium of the music video, by Marsha Pearce.

Prominent female guests of the Festival include Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director of Women Make Movies, award-winning independent film producer Effie T Brown (Executive Producer of In The Cut 2003) and Stephanie James of Shakti Productions who, along with her husband Steven James, produces the popular magazine series Women West Indies.

The TTFF is being hosted at MovieTowne and at other venues throughout the country. For more information,visit the website at www.trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.com. and the blog, at www.trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.blogspot.com

Loving cat seeks adoring companion

If those of us who loved animals could adopt all the homeless ones, we would ... but realistically we can't. The time has come again to highlight a young animal in need of a loving home. If anyone reading this can provide a home for Rhino (featured in the below photos) or knows of someone who would love to adopt her, please contact Shivonne Dubarry whose message on behalf of Rhino is featured at the end of this post.

There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.
- Tay Hohoff -
I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days.
- Bill Dana -
I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.
- Jules Verne -

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.
- Edgar Allan Poe -

Photos courtesy Shivonne Dubarry
Quotes sourced here.
(Message from Shivonne Dubarry. Please contact her if interested in adopting Rhino):

Rhino is a beautiful ginger kitten who was brought into the north branch of the TTSPCA a few weeks ago. She is now about 6 weeks old and very healthy and playful and has a tonne of personality.

Since she is too young to live in the shelter I've been fostering her. But I desperately need to find a permanent home for her since it's impossible to keep her in my apartment. If we can't find her a new owner, she will have to go back to the shelter. Unfortunately, most animals who go to the shelter have to be put to sleep because there just aren't enough people out there to adopt them. I've gotten very attached to her and I couldn't bear to have that happen to her.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On TV tomorrow

As one of the film makers with a film in the TTFF, I will be on TV tomorrow talking about INVISIBLE, which will be screened on Monday 22 September at 5:30 p.m.

6:15 am on Gayelle

10:00 am on Allyson Hennessy's show on NCCTV 4

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pulp cookies

I intended to make 'crackers' the other night using carrot and poi bhaji pulp (left over from juicing), along with a few other ingredients. I rolled the pulpy mix into small balls, then flattened each pulp ball by hand into a circular shape. I'm not sure if they were technically crackers since, after dehydrating them for about 4 hours, they were not crunchy and crispy ... they were more like chewy pulp cookies with a rough texture, which I love.

I ate the pulp cookies in two ways:
(i) I snacked on them by themselves, which was very pleasant, both texture and taste-wise. One ingredient I had added was dates - so every now and then I would bite in and, amidst the savoury carrot/tahini taste, would get a sweet date burst.

(ii) I also ripped them up and tossed them with salads to add an interesting texture.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


My new market bag (only $3TT)

Today when I went for my morning walk I carried my camera with $43 dollars in my camera bag ($3 for Saturday newspapers and $40 just in case I went to the market). I did end up in the market and bought a few things. Since I hadn't carried my market bag, I had to buy one. I find this one quite funky, with its hearts and stars.

Upon leaving the market I saw the old woman who sits in that spot. I stopped and asked her her name.

She replied: "Dolly." (Oops, I'm now realising I didn't tell her my name). Then she said: "How you going, baby? You is the one who said you woulda help me with my foot?" She lifted up her skirt and showed me her left foot. "It mashing up."

I realised she meant her sneakers were mashing up and not her foot when she asked me if I have any old size 7 sneakers at home that I could spare her. She then mentioned that there were sneakers on sale in the market for $20. I had only $3 left on me (for papers), but told her I would see what I could do for her. She is there until 10 a.m. today.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sanitation Engineering

I don't think rubbish, especially en masse, is beautiful. However, when I rounded a bend on my way to Tortuga on Sunday and saw this totally unexpected expanse of rubbish, my first reaction was "Wow!" In the moment it struck me as having a strange beauty. It was early in the morning, just after seven, the atmosphere was cool and moist, pleasantly sunny and I was feeling peaceful, having had a breezy cruise down the highway with no traffic. This solid sea of colours stretched before me in an area greater than my camera was able to capture. Men in tractors and bulldozers and on foot were moving in slow motion through the wasteland and vultures were gliding above and around them. There could almost have been beautiful music playing in the background.

I have never seen such a vast amount of rubbish in one place. Had it been a hot, miserable day, I would most likely not have seen it in the same way. I would have been horrified. To think that it looks like so much, yet it's not even a dot in the grand scheme of rubbish which we human beings produce on a daily basis worldwide.

I have a silent fascination with garbage collectors. Whenever I see them hanging onto the backs of grimy trucks, constantly inhaling the fumes of people's waste, I marvel at how they do it. Most of all I wonder who they are when they get home and wash off the day. When people ask them what they do for a living, what do they say? Do they say it with pride? How did they get into the job as a 'sanitation engineer'? How much money do they earn? Do they love what they do?

I will hopefully be doing some 'sanitation engineering' of my own today. It's that time again when I need to throw away/give away some things and create space.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

While in traffic ...

Stuck in traffic the other day behind PERSISTENT FAITH.

Tonzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of traffic these days, not to mention heat. I have to head out this morning to be near Moka (not Cherrymoka, if you're reading this - and congrats again) ... for a meeting (to interview someone for an article) at 9:00. This is prime traffic time from East to West. I will use an affirmation. Traffic is a great place to try out affirmations and see them work.

Once I was driving home and, fed up of the traffic, I said: "The traffic clears miraculously and I am home by X time." Within a few minutes, the cars ahead started to move forward and everything flowed from there. Turned out that we were being kept back by a truck digging the road (at peak traffic hour). Once we had passed that, the roads were clear. I was indeed home by X time ... in fact X time on the dot.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the airport to collect a friend. She landed at 3 p.m. and I did not get there until 4:00 (having left home at 2:30-ish or just before). Traffic for miles, not even moving! And people driving badly, rushing and squeezing to get in or out and causing more pile ups. As I reached a junction in the Tacarigua area, I said: "The traffic clears miraculously and I flow easily to the airport. Now." Next thing you know, within about one minute the cars ahead of me started to move, kept moving (with a brief stop or two at a light or junction) and I did 'flow' through to the airport.

So whenever stuck in traffic, why not use the time to say affirmations? ... not just for the roads, but for life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Raw dreams and a mysterious nocturnal experience

The above image comes from this site. Take a look at their decadent desserts.
Last night I had a delicious raw dream followed by a mysterious experience.

I dreamed someone made a huge raw chocolate cake for me and I was eating a massive slice. I was fully enjoying it, actually experiencing the tastes and textures ... in fascinated disbelief. It was a "wow" moment, as I have never made a raw cake of my own and never tasted one 'in real life'. The one in the dream was towering, impressive and delicious and the experience of eating it in the dream was authentic. Even now as I am awake writing this, I am still tasting it, as though what I tasted in the dream is embedded in my gastronomical memory.

I am not aware of the order of the night's events, so I can't be sure if the 'mysterious experience' happened before or after the raw dream. I was awoken at some point in what felt like the early morning by the sound of music playing loudly. I slowly came to my senses, my eyes opening to the dark room ... and to the sound of the yoga CD that was in my CD player, playing loudly! I lay there in a half-asleep daze, listening as the Mul Mantra (track #1) played. It took me a while before I woke up enough to realise: "Hold on a minute ... there's no-one in my room but me ... and I was asleep. Who turned on the CD?"

There's no 'logical' way that it can play unless someone presses PLAY with their fingers. But clearly something had made it play, even though it had been off when I went to sleep. It also sounded like the volume had been turned up, because it was sounding louder than I'd had it playing the day before (perhaps because the night was so quiet?) I got out of bed to turn down the volume, just as the healing mantra, RA MA DA SA SA SAY SO HUNG (track #2) came on. Playing softly in the background, it put me back to sleep.

(N.B. For those of you who don't know Ra Ma Da Sa, there are various versions - all of them soothing. Have a listen to this lovely rendition by Snatam Kaur):

TT Film Festival 2008 17 - 30 September

The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival
Movie Towne
17 - 30 September, 2008

INVISIBLE will be showing on 22 September at 5:30 p.m. (all ages)

(Below: extract from festival website):

Invisible: Children Living with HIV/AIDS

Running Time : 10 minutes
Origin :
Trinidad & Tobago
Year : 2007
Director :
Elspeth Duncan

Heartbreaking, heartwarming yet hopeful, this mini-documentary focuses on the true story of Veronica and her two children. Both Veronica and her four-year-old daughter are HIV positive. In light of the debilitating social discrimination faced by the small family as a result of HIV, Invisible asks which is the greater threat to human existence: HIV/AIDS or ignorance?

Lots of films to be shown.
Click on the TTFF link and have a look at the schedule.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lead us not into that maxi

Unfortunately the name of the maxi isn't too clear in this photo which I snapped quickly when I realised what was happening.

Yesterday, in pursuit of information and vibes for an article I have to write for a magazine, I ended up in Tortuga, where I experienced a pilgrimage and service in celebration of The Feast of Our Lady of Montserrat (officially today), the black Madonna with child to whom the old church in Tortuga is dedicated.

I walked amidst the pilgrims as they followed the statue of Our Lady of Montserrat who was being driven through the streets on top of a 4 wheel drive vehicle. There was a car driving in front of it with a woman on a microphone talking, praying and singing hymns. At one point, she said the Lord's prayer ... and soon after she had said "and lead us not into temptation ..." what should come driving along in the other direction but a maxi called TEMPTATION!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My first raw crackers

One from my first batch of (dehydrated) raw crackers.

Ingredients: lentil sprouts, tahini, onion, flax meal.

They are light and crispy and taste quite good.
Sealed in a ziplock bag to keep them crispy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This Sunday

Will you do me a favour, sil vous plaît?

(I say s'il vous plaît in honour of the fact that French classes started back last night. I am now in Level 3A).

Click on the link (to the top of the side bar on the right) that says 'Click here to e-mail me' and send me a test e-mail.

I want to see if it works and to know what you see when you do it. Someone told me once they were trying to use it and every time they clicked, another female name would come up (e.g. Amanda) and they would actually get into Amanda's e-mail inbox.

Then recently someone said she was sending me an e-mail with some information and I never got it. When next we communicated I reminded her to send it and she said she had sent it, using the e-mail me link from the blog. But clearly it never got to me.

So I just want to know if (a) you see my name/email address popping up when you click on that link and (b) I want to see if your e-mail gets to me.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fruits of Stillness and Peace

Pippa: "Yawn ... We dogs aren't into fruits."
(... after a trip to the market when I had first 'gone raw' in May)

This morning I felt like eating watermelon so I went to the market to get some. It was early and the vendors were now setting up. The only stall with watermelon laid out was one that I enjoy going to because of its energy. It is run by an Indian woman and her adolescent daughter. I first came across them one morning as I walked by their stall and noticed, propped up against each pile of their fruits (bananas and watermelons), little pieces of cardboard with quotes written on them in red marker.

I had stopped, absorbed, reading the quotes. Each one resonated and spoke so directly to me that I said aloud: "Wow!" Not only because they felt true, but because they were special and humble. Someone had made them with love and a sense of dedication and a desire to share and extend their essence. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the market, that little stall with its simple yet deep quotes (from some major thinkers and spiritual masters), felt like an oasis of stillness and peace.

When the woman heard me say Wow she smiled: "Dat's my daughter," she said proudly, indicating the shy adolescent perched on a table behind her. "She does like to write. She have a book she does write poems in all de time."

I told her daughter that it was so great seeing the quotes next to the bananas and watermelons and that it made me want to buy from them. Great messages for everyone. Giving so much more than just 'fruits'. Giving something to everyone who passed by, whether they stopped to read or not.

This morning when I bought the watermelon, the mother was now setting up the stall and hadn't yet put out the quotes. I wonder what they would have said today ...

The daughter wasn't there. Perhaps she only goes on weekends when she doesn't have school.
Maybe this weekend when I go, I will speak with her and with the old woman.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do you want an adorable Beagle pup?

A friend's dog has had a large litter of adorable beagle pups. Please see below and make contact if interested.
The proud mother, Lily
Mother and Brood
Posing for the puppyrazzi
(Below is the body of the e-mail sent out about the pups)

The Beagle is a gentle, sweet, lively and curious dog that just loves everyone. A happy little tail-wagger, they make sociable, brave, intelligent, calm and loving pets. They are excellent with children and generally good with other dogs. Beagles have minds of their own. They are determined and watchful and require patient, firm training. This breed doesn't like being left alone. Consider buying two if you will be gone a lot. Beagles have a tendency to follow their own noses, so they may take off on their own exploration if let off their leash in an unfenced area.

The Harrier is somewhat more playful and outgoing than the Foxhound, but not as much as the Beagle. Cheerful, sweet-tempered, and tolerant, it is excellent with children. This pack dog is good with other dogs and prefers life in a pack with people, dogs, or both. This active dog likes to go exploring, sniffing and trailing, so be sure to keep it on a leash or in a safe enclosed area.

~Call 682 9904 or 356 2803 or 632 3787 for more information & pricing~


People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.

- St. Augustine -

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sea Key

When I was at Grand Riviere last week there was a lot of heavy, stormy rain. One day the river swelled up, broke the sandy shoreline at its mouth and went pouring into the sea in a mass of churning, muddy chocolate water, with large branches and other materials swept along its path. The entire landscape was entirely changed within minutes as the river lived up to its name (Grand Riviere means Big River).

Afterwards I went walking near the river mouth and saw this key lying in the sand.

Immediately I wondered: Whose keys are these? What do they open?

The key didn't look as if it had been swept there by the waters. It seemed to have been placed so gently and specifically (quite like this) for someone to find.

I wondered: What would I want it to open up for me?

Then just now as I wrote the title of this post, it immediately sounded to me like 'seek ye' ... which in turn reminded me of Ask, and it shall be given you; Seek, and ye shall find; Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.