I just emerged from my cocoon
into my new story
legs still wobbly
wings slow to unfurl
but oh so happy to be here
I started the new year steeping in solitude, savoring this blank-slate feeling. I found it very difficult to surface from underground, to show up on the topside world. The swirl of thoughts, visions, sensations crystallizing into clear directives in my interior utterly absorbed me. I allowed myself to linger, to not hurry. This trust I have arrived at, this ease with the unknown I now have…dazzle me.
If you ever find yourself in Manila, I suggest you head over to this casually cool eatery called Wildflour in the Salcedo neighborhood for breakfast or brunch. I am crazy over their breakfast cazuela- egg, mornay, mozzarella and chorizo. I discovered it on a morning I dared myself to inch out of my comfort zone by having breakfast out alone. You see, I am daunted by the idea of dining out alone. What a yummy reward for my courage…
I spent the month of October letting the dust of the time I spent in Rhode Island settle and continue to work its magic on me.
I went there for SQUAM-IN-THE-CITY, a five-day creative retreat in Providence birthed in late September by the exquisite Elizabeth Duvivier.
I first heard of Elizabeth and her art retreats in one of the e-courses I took with Susannah Conway. Although immediately intrigued, I never seriously considered going myself. So when I heard about this one, I was absolutely surprised to find myself signing up! It was a totally intuition-powered move. And as with all such moves, it seems, it led to an adventure that still reverberates with my soul.
Staying at The Dean, the coolest boutique hotel ever.
Taking my very first photowalk with incredible photographer and teacher, Andrea Jenkins. I am dreaming of my next one- I really can not wait!
Meeting the wonderful women who felt similarly called. Especially Elizabeth, a woman who possesses a deep knowing of the power of such gatherings and an innate instinct for the needs of creative souls. I was utterly charmed, moved and inspired.
The photo is of Waterfire, a dusk-to-midnight installation on the Providence River featuring burning braziers that rise from the water and tended from boats. This iconic Providence event is held several times a year. The last one for this year coincided with the last night of the retreat and several of us went to the river to see it. I have always been curious about it and was happy to have finally caught it. It is just one of many memories of a city that has suddenly become so special to me.
For the umpteenth time, I popped Dan In Real Life into the DVD player and pressed play.
Funny, romantic and big-hearted, it has yet to stop making me feel good.
Have you seen it? I wonder if it makes you feel the same way…
Another delightful feature of the movie is the soundtrack created by Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche.
Here’s one of the songs- My Hands Are Shaking.
I sip coffee from the paper cup in my hand as I stroll past the 18th- and 19th-century candy-color houses of Benefit Street, Providence’s “mile of history”.
I anticipate the hour or two I will spend on a bench at the quad of Brown, reading the book (Karen Joy Fowler’s “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves”) I picked up at Cellar Stories, the crammed, old-fashioned bookstore I sought out on Mathewson Street the other day.
In the meantime, the morning light dappling the pavement and the yellow leaves fluttering to the ground are delighting me.
Sometimes, it really is enough to just be walking in the sunshine…