Today is the Lunar New Year. It rained all morning long but the sky cleared in the afternoon and everything looked fresh and renewed. I had the best latte served in a bowl, walked around and took tons of photos with my iPhone, and bought a poetry book at a used bookstore.
While walking, I recited a poem that I started memorizing two weeks ago. It captures everything that I feel about new beginnings, starting over. And quiet perfect for a day like this one.
Burning the Old Year
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.
* * *
For those of you who celebrate the Lunar New Year -- Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy New Year, the year of the water dragon! I just know, this year will be a great one.
Hello friends! I hadn't planned to take a short break but things have been hectic around here (in a good way) and before I knew it, a week has passed already. How have you been? I hope you are having a great start of the year. And can you believe its almost February? My, how time flies!
Here are some little joys that I want to share with you:
A very short video of my afternoon by the bay.
Have you ever wondered what happens to a bookstore at night? Watch The Joy of Books.
A heartwarming true story of Navigating Love and Autism.
Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele version of Bohemian Rhapsody. So beautiful!
Letter to My First Love is a fun read.
Lovely images from Lula magazine's scrapbook.
A beautiful song, perfect for the world's second largest aquarium.
And yes, it's Friday! Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.
(Image from the movie Billy Elliot via)
If there was a 2011 film that I insist you should see, it would have to be this one. A documentary about the New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, this film is pure inspiration from start to finish. I was crying and cheering quietly in my seat while watching it and left the theater feeling like skipping along the sidewalk. Yes, I was that happy.
Bill Cunningham is one of those special people who found what he loved the most and dedicated his life to it. He is passionate about clothes and even to this day at 80 years old, his days are spent riding a bicycle around New York, taking pictures of what people are wearing on the streets. His two weekly columns, 'On The Street' and 'Evening Hours' is one of the most popular features of the Times, predicting upcoming fashion trends and showing visual essays of life in the big city.
But more than the clothes and the photos, what really touched me about this documentary is the gentle portrayal of its subject.The unobstrusive way the filmmaker follows Bill Cunningham as he goes about his days is very similar to the way Bill takes photographs on the streets - quietly and without fuss. Because of this, the film becomes more intimate, allowing you to have a glimpse of a great artist who is as much human as everyone else, someone who washes his clothes at a local laundromat or eat $3 sandwiches at a diner. Someone who's bike gets stolen countless of times.
When Bill Cunningham received an award in Paris for a top honor for the arts, he said, 'It's as true today as it ever was: He who seeks beauty will find it.' I think that watching this documentary will give you a glimpse of that beauty.
10 days into the new year. I don't usually make resolutions but I've thought about what I really want and my intention is this: choose joy.
Whatever it is that brings me joy, I'd like to make deliberate choices to have more of them in my life. It doesn't have to be anything spectacular, little things like handwritten letters, sunsets, lists, open windows, paper supplies, coffee, mochi ice cream, afternoons by the sea.
Reading, writing. Writing more. Spending time with people I truly care about.
: : In photo above - 2012 Moleskine planner and journal, stationary + envelopes, Kyokuto notebook, my iPhone. Taken during New Year's Day.