via Ordinary Meditations: New Year Restart Meditation

Powder Blue Rainbow by Chati Coronel, 2012. From her SkinSkin exhibition.

I thought I would maybe start writing a post, now and then, about some of my friends. Hopefully they won’t mind!

My friends. You would like them. They are artists, directors, writers, art therapists, graphic designers, journalists, travelers, extreme sports enthusiasts, singer/songwriters, filmmakers, dancers, actors, playwrights, social workers, doctors, musicians…and they are all visionaries, aces in their fields, risk-takers and question-askers, ecstatic poets, seers and mystics. I feel extremely lucky to know these amazing, fiercely individual people.

There were nights, years ago and in Manila, when we would all manage to turn up at one place together: the energy, the vitality in the room would be a palpable force. Many a time, at these magical events, a quiet mood would settle over me and I would sit back from the conversation, look around the room at the faces of my friends, and be aware that I was witnessing one of the happiest moments of my life. At the time, I was convinced that the sheer concentration of vision, talent, quality and character gathered there would, most certainly, change the world…how could it not? I also knew that we would find it harder and harder to come together as we got older…that we would scatter, that we would each go off alone (or go in pairs) and grapple with the narrowed-down parcel of life before us.

Of all the things I had to leave behind when I moved to Australia, the nearness of my friends is what I most deeply miss and feel the loss of.

In all my group of friends, I am the underachiever. No, really, I’m not kidding and I’m not being self-effacing.


Artist Chati Coronel on

“Soft human, open heart, mind on fire, walks with tender feet on the earth, laughing.”
Chati describes herself.

Chati is a painter. A fantastic one. She is also a living doorway into stillness, mindfulness, cosmic harmony. She radiates joy, she treads the razor’s edge of the present moment, and being near her puts all your mind’s chattering, falseness and discontent to rest (and yet she is not some naive and prudish saint…her works are sensual; they revel in being alive, in womanhood, in wildness, in playfulness).

She also keeps a quiet, luminous blog, Ordinary Meditations, about her “quest for everyday enlightenment.”

The reason I wanted to introduce you to Chati, actually, is that she’s written a lovely end-of-the-year post about how she and Edber prepare for the New Year. She has, since publishing this post a couple of days ago, gone completely offline, as they begin a process of mind, body, and spirit cleansing, meditating, reflecting, and space clearing—of both physical objects and “old affirmations, old dreams, old goals. Melt away old pains, old issues with breaths. Go to zero.” I thought I’d share her post with you, in case you wanted your New Year’s rituals to amount to a little bit more than noise-making and a hangover on the first day of 2013.

Via Ordinary Meditations: New Year Restart Meditation.


hello, 2010!

eye full of fireworksOn the whole, 2009 has been a good year to us…

I had my first solo show of embroidered works (Encarnación) and it was well received, if selling 13 out of 15 works is any indication); I made a few things…not nearly enough, but then it’s never enough! I worked with an ace bunch of crazy people at Garma 2009. My two best friends in Manila gave birth to a beautiful bubby, each, and my best friend in Darwin, Melanie, gave birth painlessly to a sweet little Mehlkloß called Charlotte Antonia. I had a total of  40 students attend my bookbinding workshop. I moved my creative circus out of the rented studio in the city and back home onto our boat, Sonofagun, which my belovéd made all cosy and welcoming for me. My Flickr account expired on New Year’s eve so I can’t access my pictures of the year until the holidays are over (LOL) and normal life returns…

Oh, and one little sting at the very end: we found a lump in my left breast the day after Christmas, but I can’t find out what it is until doctors’ clinics are up and running, as well…so I’m not going to get emo about it…just wait quietly until the world comes out of it’s holiday stupor.

In the meantime, I’m going to laugh as often as possible, snuggle up in a big bed with my belovéd (on our cozy boat, at the start of the monsoonal rains) and dream of all the things I’m going to do with this blank book of a year, this white page, this waiting canvas, this theatre stage humming with anticipation just before the curtains rise.


The lights snap on…

the floor boards creak…

the orchestra starts to play…

and the curtains rise…

{   A few bits and pieces from 2009 (what I could get out of Flickr, anyway)   }

2009  mosaic of pictures

1. The Midnight Velada, 2. Señorita Rosa, 3. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 4. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 5. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 6. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 7. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 8. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 9. Exhibit Opening 3 July, 10. ♥ my Sharpie…, 11. DSCF1524_1, 12. Melanie and Lottie, 13. Untitled, 14. work in progress: star lantern with ornamental hands, 15. Help the Philippines weather the storm. Links if you want to help., 16. IMG_0022, 17. IMG_0028, 18. IMG_0005, 19. How to make :: book beads, 20. A quick model accordion book for today’s class, standing for display, 21. five-minute drawing, with my left hand, of Kris, 22. Magic shoes, 23. NaNoJouMo – 003, 24. NaNoJouMo – 005, 25. NaNoJouMo – 007, 26. NaNoJouMo – 009, 27. NaNoJouMo – 011, 28. NaNoJouMo – 012, 29. my mini-jungle environment, 30. is it the “Aloha Shirt from Hell”?