February 17, 2014

Notes from February: Mines of Inspiration

What has been inspiring me this February?

The random, the personal, the political, the literary...

One Billion Rising for Justice:

One Billion Rising for Justice's call also echoed in Pittsburgh, where I witnessed an improvisational dance performance, the reading of Eve Ensler's 'Man Prayer', activist poetry, and a moving call for justice for Charmaine Pfender, who was convicted at age of 19 in 1984 for defending herself against rape. The event reverberated with infectious, incredible energy and raising awareness about a cause that we must be continually mindful of and work towards accomplishing every day: demanding an end to violence against women and girls.

A Little Boy's Wish:

On my way home from the bus on Valentine's Day, I got caught chatting to a little boy called Nathaniel. He was rummaging through his Valentine's Day goodies, which included an Elmo card from his teacher, red Hershey kisses, a pink fruit drink called Hugs which he said "didn't taste of a hug...just water" and this heart-shaped lollipop. Just as I was about to get off at my stop and was saying goodbye to him, his mother, and younger sister, he gifted me this lollipop. "This is for you- Happy Valentines Day!" I couldn't help sharing this story on my personal social media net-works to tell him: Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Nathaniel for your adorable gesture and spreading the love!


Several times while walking around Miami, I chanced upon this unusual sight: shoes tied together and hanging from the wires, as if they had fallen from the sky and the wires had arrested their fall. I wondered what it was: an urban shrine? Street installation art? A quick google search revealed that this is called shoe flinging or shoefiti...there are many stories and explanations behind this occurrence so have a look if you're interested to find out further! I was just fascinated by how these seemingly random sights are actually part of a larger, dynamic and ever expanding urban narrative and universe...

The Signature of All Things

My best friend gifted me a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, Eat, Pray, and Love few years ago - and I particularly enjoyed accessing her voice, her distinctive turn of phrase, which was witty, elegant, and joyfully executed. I then read her meditation upon marriage, Committed but I never got around to reading any of her fiction. As a daughter of a botanist, I was therefore intrigued to read her latest work, a novel, The Signature of All Things; suffice to say, as soon as I started reading it, the memoir-writer Gilbert swiftly receded away and I became engrossed in the life and thoughts of nineteenth century botanist, Alma Whittaker, whose life is shaped by two central forces in her life: passion and the desire to know. Whether its substantially expanding my knowledge of mosses or getting a portrait of Tahiti or thinking about the explosion of scientific discovery and innovation that occurred in the late nineteenth century, this has been one of the few novels in recent times that I was compelled to read again as soon as I was finished reading it the first time.

"I’m having a hard time trusting in The Process."
“What process?”
“The process that says if I do my part, everything will turn out right.”

I am probably a little tardy in discovering this incredible website showcasing photo-narratives of NYCers but it's swiftly become my new favorite site to browse or dip into whenever I have a moment or two on my hands. With a single evocative image and often few lines (sometimes just even one sentence!) of accompanying quotes, you become drawn into the life-orbits of the people that populate his site. 

What has been inspiring you of late?


  1. A very interesting and indeed inspiring mix of experiences!

    1. Thank you, Anonymous - appreciate you visiting and being inspired by my inspirations!


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