quiet as kept

February 27, 2010 – 4:50am

End of Day of Silence.

Overall the day was totally relaxing and peaceful. There were only two times during the day did I wonder what was happening in the world. Is my family well? Were there any new natural disasters on earth? How is the media reporting Obama’s bi-partisan healthcare discussion? What happened on Oprah today? and there were many moments where songs entered my mind …

I spent most of the day just being still, reading a little, giving thanks, eating (of course), practicing yoga, and writing:

The feeling of isolation lurks but it is not an overwhelming one. The snow has finally ceased and now we are left with virgin snowy mounds accented by filthy slush as evidence of life in a big city. Outside my home has been anything but silent. There has been the continuous scraping and screeching, punctuated by honking horns and the cries of children having fun.

I stepped outside around two o’clock because I could see the sun peeking out and the random noise had seem to come to a full stop. I could no longer resist being with the fresh snow and touching the white clusters of wondrous coolness. I walked one block to the nearest playground and began to snap a few photos as proof that I had survived yet another New York snowstorm.

It’s been years since I made a snowman so I created Quirky, an androgynous miniature snow being. Do you like his belt?

Just as quickly as the sun had appeared twenty minutes earlier, it had vanished behind the clouds even quicker. Darkness and wetness descended upon our heads and I could see others picking up their pace, running for cover, just as I.

I am encouraged to do this more often, perhaps not for an entire day, but for a few hours as a way of focusing and being still.

Nearly six years ago, I attended a 10 day meditation retreat in Massachusetts called Vipassana. It was one of the best decisions I have made; I plan to participate again in the not-so-distant future. I highly recommend it for numerous reasons. For me, it was as if my internal hard drive was downloaded and cleared for new energy, thoughts and desires. This workshop is totally free and open to the public.

I hope that your day was as peaceful and pleasant as mine. Happy weekend!

Lala the Sunchaser

silence is golden

Thursday, February 25, 2010 – 9:54pm

it’s snowing again.

silence.

Silence is golden, a phrase or proverb that dates back centuries, possibly to Ancient Egypt. My father used to tell us, If you don’t have anything good to say then keep your mouth closed. My mother is not a person who gossips either, I can’t think of a time where I have overheard my mother talking on the phone or to one of her friends about someone else’s business. I’m pretty sure she instilled in us that “all of that nonsense” is a waste of time which is probably why neither my brother or myself like to talk on the phone for long periods. Fast forward to this minute, in less than two hours I will be going OFFline for one full day — 24 hours. As of midnight, February 26th, I am turning off my phone, laptop, and stereo receiver; and, I will be exercising a DAY of SILENCE.

It’s crazy how for the last three hours, I have been canvassing the internet as if I am going on a space mission for life. I am simultaneously writing this blog post, working on my next music podcast, chatting on the phone with an old friend who has no idea that I am unplugging tomorrow, and eating a bowl of rice n’ chili. My intention for taking this time away from my ‘gadgets’ is to simply re-group and re-purpose myself, if that makes any sense. I have spent the past few weeks, being extremely creative and now it is time to sit with what I’ve done while allowing any extraneous thoughts, doubts, or fears to dissipate like the wind.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from a piece in Thomas Carlyle‘s major publication, Sartor Resartus, written ironically as a commentary on the thoughts and early life of a fictional German Philosopher, Diogenes Teufelsdröckh (which translates as ‘god-born devil-dung’). The title of this major work translated means The Tailor Re-tailored:

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.”

I’m going to wind down and prepare for a meditation that will take me into the new day. Thanks for reading!

Have a gorgeous and happy Friday!

Lala

thank goodness for sunshine (tulum pt 3)

as the rain plummets, i am grateful for my comfy home and the warmth of my loved ones this evening. my morning was spent at home with my Babes and my afternoon could not have been more loved-filled if you had given me a truck load of L-O-V-E.

Sugar Daddies exist in Tulum too! Mexico 2009

i attended a women’s healing ritual and meditation with a good friend and i am so happy that the stars aligned so that i could be present. last week, i had made plans to have dinner with a friend visiting from California, let’s call him BT. when my girlfriend, MAM, asked if i could attend a meditation with her on Sunday (today), i had reluctantly declined given that i had already made plans with BT. since i had asked him for some serious one-on-one time, i could not reschedule our meeting; therefore, i responded to my girlfriend with “oh shimmy, i have plans … next time” via a text message. not even 48 hours after MAM’s invitation, BT wrote and said that while he was meditating it became apparent that he should spend the day indoors on Sunday preparing himself for his speech — the reason why he is on the east coast in the first place.

i know you’re thinking “WTF, make your point Lala!”

Shopping in the town of Tulum, Mexico 2009

anyway, he emailed to see if we could move our meeting forward to tuesday afternoon. “for sure, no worries, perfecto!” was my emailed response. this freed me up to go with my girlfriend to the women’s healing ritual. YEAH!!

Chatting with a local man - I need to learn Spanish...

don’t you love it when the “stars” or the “universe” or “whatever” moves things around so that you CAN have your cake and eat it TOO?

Beer Belly; Tulum, Mexico 2009

there were so many beautiful women in attendance this afternoon, i felt honored just to be in their presence. five hours later, my face is still glowing from the many hugs, kisses, and healing energy that were spread throughout the large space. it’s been many years since i have attended a church service but this experience was reminiscent of the after-church gatherings during my childhood years. some women were crying, others were immobilized, and many seem to be beaming with joy,  just as i was. what does this story have to do with sunshine? well, like LOVE, it comes in many forms; and today, it appeared in the smiles & touch of several powerful and amazing women.

The streets are named after constellations, just like the shops

the sun is our greatest source of energy! we are composed of energy! energy is life! and life is meant to be lived, shared, and appreciated.

in town; Tulum, Mexico 2009

in Haiti, during these tough times where an enormous number of people are un-certain of what life has in store for them, it’s the responsibility of the rest of us to lend a helping heart and hand. i am sending positive energy and love to all of those who are searching for a little sunshine – a basket of hope – no matter where you are ! more specifically, i hope that Haiti will recover and heal from this catastrophe soon.

Hammocks; Tulum, Mexico 2009

sometimes, we need to share our loving sun energy with others in times of need which is why we need to travel, read, listen, and conserve our energy. let’s keep the people of Haiti in our hearts over the coming months. perhaps, i will make it there before the year is up…let’s see.

There are food vendors everywhere in town; Tulum, Mexico 2009

I’ll never forget a few words of encouragement my mother gave me over 18 years ago when i was super down, she said to me:

There is nothing you cannot handle. If a challenge presents itself, it is because you are strong, capable and will prevail with effort and plenty of faith.

Driving while texting seems to be an issue everywhere you go!

thanks for reading, as always! plus, i have sprinkled the last of the Tulum, Mexico photos throughout this blog post in hopes of adding more sunshine to your day!

Sombrero anyone? Tulum, Mexico 2009

have you booked your ticket yet? what are you waiting for?! travel then travel some more!

love, peace and prayers

I didn't see one rat or roach in Tulum but that's b/c he's on the case!

Lala the Sunchaser

Posada Luna del Sur - the best B&B in Tulum!! towel art at its BEST.

saturn day trip

boy, time sure flies by…this post has been on my mind since i attended the 4th Annual New York Art Book Festival a week ago but for some reason, i am just updating it now. it is almost 2 am and i should be sleeping but i am not. i am what some people call a “night owl” without the wings, however.

it’s been over a year since i made a trip to queens, new york. when i discovered that the the NY Art Book Fair was being hosted by P.S.1, i jumped at the opportunity for a date with my camera and private thoughts. that’s a lie. initially, i asked my good gal friend to join me but at the last minute she bailed so i made the journey alone. no worries, i can make it to queens on my own. it took me all of 3 hours to actually leave the house but i made it to the C train with plans to catch the V train to my final destination. yeah right. it was not that simple for many reasons: one being that this is freakin’ new york city and simple is the complete antitheses of anything nyc; secondly, it was raining baby kittens; and lastly, the V train ‘does not run on the weekends’.

did you know that? i did not.

anyway, after catching the C to West 4th St. then the F to 34th St., and finally the E to 23rd Street (in Queens), i arrived three blocks from MoMa’s P.S.1. i could have gone to Ithaca, NY in the same amount of time but that was not part of the plan. the festival itself was a baffling labyrinth of artists, tables, books, stickers, magazines, curious folk and their counterparts who appeared to be as lost as i was. after such a lengthy journey, i felt compelled to have at least one meaningful conversation before leaving the clamorous space. i had two actually but this is the one i remember most. i met a man who is a photographer who takes photos of other people’s photos then puts them into a category and makes small square-shaped books containing these images. hhhmmm. intriguing … kinda. i gathered that he was making a statement about true art vs. contrived art but i could be way off.

it didn’t matter cause i was ready to hit the streets again in search of something to devour (i.e. eat).

i exited the red brick edifice in hopes of finding a ‘cute’ cafe that carried the perfect afternoon snack. no such luck but directly caddy corner — or is it kitty corner — to P.S.1 sits a heavily spray painted building that screams, Photograph Me Now!!! which is exactly what i did.

queens1a

queens1

queens2

queens4

queens5

queens6

queens7

queens9

queens8

queens10

truly incredible work by a few of the aerosol artists at 5Pointz!

my day was far from simple but it was totally enjoyable and enlightening at minimum. my journey home was even more adventurous with a stop to union square for some fresh vegs and fruits and to Whole Foods for a bag of sweet clementines. i also listened to the latest zero 7 album, yeah ghost, which served as a lovely travel companion. new york city stole my heart yet again on a saturday afternoon; and despite the fact that i returned home with a sore throat, i felt inspired by seeing something new and bringing home images to share from my trip to saturn – i mean queens.

a walk in the park

as i become more and more accepting of my decision to leave new york in the very near future, i discover even more reasons as to why i should stay. there is something for everyone here. although new york may be affectionately known as the Big Apple, it is not the kind of apple one can eat alone, you need friends, parks, quiet places, and bacon. and in most cases, you are the one being eaten and — periodically — devoured. when i first moved here in 1999, i knew only two people — not including the man who made the journey with me. this man was my boyfriend at the time and we were not totally sure as to why we uprooted ourselves from our safe and pleasant existence but we were willing to take a chance.

First Time I Really Looked at this Fountain - Eastern Parkway, BK

First Time I Really Looked at this Fountain - Eastern Parkway, BK

days ago, I ventured to Prospect Park for a three and a half mile walk. on the way, i began thinking about my first year in new york and how difficult it seemed. it felt like i had jumped into a violent whirlpool, everything was spinning around me and noone made themselves available for questioning. i found one of my journal entries from that time period, dated September 5th, 1999. it reads:

We signed a lease for an apartment for which neither of us can afford, but we can’t stay in Harlem any longer. The apartment for $850 on Classon Avenue has been rented. I guess we were too slow in putting down a deposit so now we are forced to live in a one bedroom on Washington Avenue for $1,000. How crazy is that considering my last apartment was $700 where we had two floors, two bedrooms plus a washer and dryer. I don’t know what I am doing here…my thoughts are everywhere. I suppose I came here to spread my wings, to experience something new, and to find my True Self. I have some time to kill before dinner so I will check out Washington Square Park…

Eastern Parkway 2009

Eastern Parkway 2009

the most alluring characteristic of nyc is that you can re-invent yourself over and over. you can dress it up, change its name, divorce it and married it all over again. it is a forgiving city with a very short attention span. i suppose i have learned my way around while developing into who i have chosen to be: a photographer, a woman, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a friend, a producer, an aunty, a cook, a world traveler and let’s not forget, a lover. i am grateful to new york for giving me space to grow and for encouraging me to explore my Truest Self. like new york city, i am not perfect but i have learned to embrace the good and the naughty. i am assured by the fact that if i can make it here, everything else will, hopefully, be a walk in the park.

Ducks in Prospect Park August 2009

Ducks in Prospect Park August 2009

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 2009

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 2009

Ducks in Prospect Park - Vertical View 2009

Ducks in Prospect Park - Vertical View 2009

Happy Tree in Prospect Park August 2009

Happy Tree in Prospect Park August 2009

At the End of First Lap Around Prospect Park

At the End of First Lap Around Prospect Park

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