This morning I had a meeting with my accountant. She lives a fair
distance out of town, so when she asked me to pick a place to meet, I
immediately suggested Cafe Brasil, a coffeehouse 'inside the Loop,' in
the Montrose area near downtown Houston.
Brasil used to be my local haunt: there was a time, pre-Alex,
pre-Marcus, pre-many-things, that you could find me there on any given
day, spending hours there on weekends with friends; or alone on
evenings after work (when Brasil has more of a wine-bar vibe) with a
glass of red and a good book. When we returned to Houston after living
in Trinidad (and we needed to buy a house with a back garden for Alex
that we could afford), we moved 'outside the Loop' -- and my days of
daily visits to Brasil ended.
I arrived at Brasil early today, and so had the chance to have a
quick breakfast and enjoy the scene before Diane arrived. I've always
loved Brasil's clientele, a weird mix of bohemian tattoo artists and
musicians, Rice University professors and medical doctors. This morning
a tall, clean-cut man, with the words 'Get famous, not a job' on the back of his polo shirt;
a middle-aged woman with very short, almost-shaved hair, wearing large hoop earrings and an African-print dress; and
a very young, dark-haired woman with intricate, brightly coloured sleeve tattoos and carrying a rather expensive handbag.
I really miss Brasil, with its eclectic mix of regulars, all of
whom invariably aren't what they appear to be. And as I left this
morning after my meeting, I promised myself that Marcus, Alex and I
needed to make an effort to come back a bit more often, even if it
means only doing so on the weekends.
Song: Corcovado, as performed by Everything But The Girl
God, aren't you tired of me telling you I'm stressed and overworked?
Who are you?
Me too. But no respite yet. Soon come.
In the meantime, however, I've been thinking about something. I've continued shooting a lot for my little project, The Beauty Perspective,
and I've got to tell you, I'm so pleased with how it's coming along.
The women who have allowed me to take their portraits have been so
generous with me, particularly when sharing their answers to the
question, 'What makes your life beautiful?'. It's great seeing all the
varied ways that make people's lives beautiful, and I'm really looking
forward to sharing them all with you -- which, obviously, I will.
But the thing is, there's another question I've also been asking:
It seems like such a simple question, and yet, many people people
find themselves stumped when coming up with an answer. In fact, I find myself
struggling with the answer. So far, the answer that feels most right to me is:
I am a multicultural Trinidadian woman who
loves her family deeply, and who is currently on a journey to living
her most authentic life.
But with your permission, I'd like to ask all of you the same question: Who are you?
I hope you'll share your answers here.
Song: Come Find Yourself by Fun Lovin' Criminals
Dragonflies have been showing up around our home a lot, lately -- but
they're really zippy little buggers, making them difficult to
photograph. Today, however, while I was outside talking with a
neighbour, one landed on a branch nearby -- and didn't move as I got
close. As it happened, I had my camera with me.
* * * * * * *
During a recent e-mail exchange with my friend Kelly Rae
, she sent me the following quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
'The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence
moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never
otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the
decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and
meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would
have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now'.
I've been thinking about this all day. Though I'm afraid to say this out loud for fear of jinxing things, I suspect she's right
Song: New Beginning, by Tracey Chapman
One day while I was in Oregon, all thirteen
of us trouped down to the beach to take some photographs. Each of us
had our cameras, and we were all shooting the beautiful scenery, as
well as each other.
At one point, I glanced over at Andrea,
and noticed that she had her camera aiming downward toward her feet,
with its lens shoved into a makeshift cardboard tube crudely attached
to a funny-looking box.
'Hula,' I said delicately, 'what in God's name are you doing?'
'It's my Duaflex,'
she explained. 'Basically, I've got my digital camera looking through
the viewfinder of this old Kodak Duaflex camera, and the cardboard tube
keeps the light out. I can get some really interesting shots this way. You should try it.'
After talking with her a bit longer, she'd convinced me. When I
returned to Houston, I logged onto eBay and bought my own Kodak Duaflex
III for about US$ 30.
It arrived this weekend.
Marcus built me the requisite cardboard tube (because he's handy
that way), and I took aim at a bouquet of flowers a friend sent me this
past week. What you see above is one of the shots that resulted. I love
the old vintage feel of the image.
And I think I might be addicted. I may have to declare Mondays
'Duaflex Mondays,' or something, just so I don't overwhelm this site
with all of the images I know I'm not going to be able to help myself
taking with the help of this little old camera.
Song: Tell me somethin' good, Rufus & Chaka Khan
'Act as if you know what’s going on, as if you are
divinely guided. Believe that you are always at the right place at the
right time and everything you do and everything that happens is
orchestrated for your higher growth.'
I'm sure I'm not the only person in the
world who does this, but when I start to feel overwhelmed, or
unfocused, or underwater, I start making lists. Lists make me feel in
control, and help me spot the 'baby steps' needed to get me to a place
of serenity again. And frankly? I just think they're fun to do.
Also, today, I came across the following quote at Penelope Illustration:
Dude, with my lists and that quote? There's no stopping me.
Song: Je n'peux pas te plaire, by Jonatha Brooke