Category Archives: Yuna

Gratitude Friday

eddyfallbench

grateful I took this picture when I did, because the next day it snowed

1. Privilege. Putting away clean dishes, loading dirty ones into my new dishwasher, folding clean laundry while listening to a Mike Birbiglia comedy album on Rhapsody using my smart phone which is connected to my wireless internet, taking a warm shower using my favorite soap, getting in my car which starts right up and driving to work, where I have a job.

2. A new shower curtain. I’m typically not too excited about that sort of thing, but I am really loving it, and somehow it helps me to see the new bathroom we’ll have someday.

showercurtain3. Colorado Cell Dogs. This is what rehabilitation looks like.

4. A new album from Yuna, Nocturnal.

5. Fall colored Aspen leaves. I have never seen them turn any shade of red or orange, so I had to pick these up, collect them and take them with me.

aspenleavesBonus Joy: These boys.

ericandsamshadow

#Reverb12: Day 4

reverb12There’s an odd magic happening with the Reverb prompts I’m using. Checking five different lists, one not even from this year, you’d think it would be a random collection of things, but it’s not. As I work my way through, they weave together, connect and support each other, giving a universal answer, telling a single story about the year I’m leaving behind and the one I’m entering into. They reveal things to me I hadn’t considered or seen, give me the space and opportunity to reflect and contemplate. Magic.

Fear

The full prompt is: “When were you most scared? Why? How did you respond? How do you wish you would have responded?” (Author: Mary Churchill).

Two things come immediately to mind: Dexter’s “bloody scare” and the World Domination Summit prefunction of sorts party at Kelly Rae Roberts’s Studio, (I talked about that second one just the other day).

bloodyscare

Before Dexter was diagnosed with cancer, we took him in to have a nasal scope, to rule out something stuck in his nose that might be causing his symptoms, and for a biopsy if they didn’t find a foreign object. It’s always stressful having your dog put under anesthesia, and it’s even more nerve wracking to know that the procedure might find cancer. It ended up being even worse then that, because when they tried to wake Dexter up after, he started hemorrhaging profusely from the biopsy sites (multiple tiny tissue samples that shouldn’t have caused such a bad reaction, but did), and the only way they could stop the bleeding was to sedate him again.

When we went to pick him up later in the day, they wouldn’t let us take him home, and suggested it was probably best if we didn’t try to see him, (we agreed, getting him excited and then leaving him again wouldn’t have helped). We had to leave him with the emergency vet overnight, and when we left him, they weren’t sure what was going to happen, which meant I didn’t know if I’d ever see him again. It was one of the worst nights of my life, and I was so scared I could hardly sleep, couldn’t eat, had to force myself to drink anything, felt sick with worry and panic. Things worked out okay (other than the fatal cancer diagnosis), and we now refer to it as “The Bloody Scare.”

P.S. I forgot to answer the last part of the prompt! I reacted by loving Dexter something fierce when he came home, accepting his cancer diagnosis with grace, so happy to have him back, to see him again after not knowing if I would, that instead of resisting his loss, I opened myself completely to it, grateful for whatever time we would have left together.

Place

The full prompt is: “What places anchored you this year? Or were you in search of new places and spaces to call your own and call home? Describe the place you love and why it means so much to you.”

beachgrassWaldport, Oregon. Half my heart lives there. Every other year, we try to plan a month long vacation there, and the rest of the time, I dream about it, miss it. I’m not sure I could ever again live year round with the gray sky and rain of the Pacific Northwest, but it still is home to me. I love everything about it (in my dreams it is always summer)–walking and walking, hiking, looking for shells and agates, gazing at the sky and listening to the waves, eating good food, taking long naps, renting movies at Waldport Video, being at ease, laughing, spending lazy afternoons reading books or listening to the radio. My heart breaks a little when we have to leave it, but I also love my little house in Colorado, my bed, my studio space, my garden, my routine here and my friends.

Music

The full prompt is: “Did you discover a favourite song or musical artist in 2012? What is it? Where did you discover it? Does it hold any special meaning for you? If you do not listen to music, how about your favourite book or author? Or artist across all mediums?”

My favorite new artist is Yuna. Her voice, style, lyrics, sound all are so spot on perfectly lovely. I wrote all about her when I first discovered her, and shared this video.

Beauty

The full prompt is: “How have your standards of beauty shifted in the past year?”

thanksgivingsky08The shift has been from perfection to wabi-sabi. In our culture, if you are a woman, perfection of body means straight and white teeth, skin that is slightly tan but has no wrinkles or blemishes or scars, all over tone, no cellulite, big boobs and small waist, young and fit, blah, blah, blah. Our homes are supposed to look a certain way, our families and children, our relationships and our work, our lives are suppose to look a certain way. We can never measure up to that standard, so in the last year, little by little, I’ve let it go.

I’ve surrendered to the brilliant mess. Things broken and dirty, old and dying, loved and worn, alive and full of joy, imperfect and impermanent. When I talk about beauty, I mean something more like the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which is all about accepting transience, and about knowing what is beautiful is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Something is wabi-sabi if “an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing” and this view “nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect,” (Wikipedia entry on wabi-sabi).

Celebrate

The full prompt is: “How are you going to celebrate your self this festive season?”

eyeiI’m going to honor myself. Ask myself what I want, what I need, what I’m craving, what I’m truly hungry for, what I want to stop doing, what I want to let go of. I am going to ask, really listen, respond. I am going to do what the brilliantly compassionate Sunni Chapman suggested on Facebook today, listen to my heart and be truly, madly, deeply alive:

In the quiet of your heart, lies every answer. Take it up with her first. Mind will always offer a second opinion. Thank it for it’s opinion, and go back to the truth that moves you. If it doesn’t move you, it’s not alive… and all you’ve ever wanted to be was truly, madly, deeply ALIVE.

Something Good

1. I am still completely grooving on Yuna’s album today. I think in the last 48 hours, I’ve listened to it at least 20 times. Favourite Thing is another great track. It reminds me of Eric, my favorite.

It’s the way you drink your coffee
And how you have faith in me
And you love your cameras and you tell me that I’m good enough
Boy you bubble-wrap my heart

And all the things that I used to be afraid of
Suddenly it all disappeared

You remain my most favorite thing
And everywhere I go you’re here with me
You remain my most favorite thing
And all the time I keep you near me

The way you look out of the window
And you stay because you know
It wasn’t your intention but you caught how boats are crashing
Like the wave I’ve been waiting for

And all the things that I used to be afraid of
Suddenly it all disappeared

You remain my most favorite thing
And everywhere I go you’re here with me
You remain my most favorite thing
And all the time I keep you near me
The way you look out of the window

When I feel like the world has turn its back on me
When I feel all alone and I’m loving nobody
Oh, when the people wanted me to be somebody else
But you love me completely

You remain my most favorite thing
And everywhere I go you’re here with me
You remain my most favorite thing
And all the time I keep you near me
The way you look out of the window

2. The Fine Art of Limitation on Be More With Less. I have trouble (real, big trouble) with setting limits, so this piece was a good reminder. Courtney Carver promises “I want you to have everything you deserve, and by setting limits, you’ll discover that everything you deserve is available. A lovely life is yours for the asking.”

3. Mad with joy… from Carry it Forward. This is a great post from Christa, and starts with one of my new favorite quotes from Iris Murdoch: “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things with us.”

4. The Courage to Be Uncool from Owning Pink. Not sure if you’ve noticed this, kind and gentle reader, but I am not cool. I used to care, but now I am totally okay with it. Still, a post like this from Lissa Rankin, reminding me that it’s okay, more than okay, is really nice.

5. Neil Gaiman Speaks to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia Graduating Class. Oh my, how I love this man: his mind, his voice, his work. He is brilliant and funny and so utterly himself, and wants the rest of us to be the same.

6. This is Your Guarantee of Failure. Proceed anyway. It’s not a surprise that Danielle LaPorte is on fire with white hot truth, but holy wow and holy crap, I love this! I printed it out and have been reading it to myself from time to time. This is so important. Please read it. Every time I get to this part, I cry, and then I forgive myself.

There will be many, many things that you’ll wish you had said — fiercely loving and bravely tender things, righteously justice-rendering things that could change everything — but instead, you’ll fail to rise in the way you wanted to.

7. The DIY: Fastest Friendship Bracelet Ever. I’m not sure I’ll ever grow out of my love for these, and I feel the need to make some and give them out, tie them around the wrists of the women I love. Blame it on summer vacation, I suppose.

8. 60 Selfless Ways to Pay it Forward from Marc and Angel Hack Life. I like this much better than my to-do list.

9. So You Think You Can Dance clip. This makes me cry every time I watch it, and I have a huge crush on this girl. The way she moves, the way she is: beautiful.


10. An amazing lip dub marriage proposal. You may have already seen this, but if you haven’t, it’s pretty sweet. I love a good flash mob, and combining that with a marriage proposal?! The goodness just about kills me.

11. Creative Writing Prompts. Lots and lots of them.

12. What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.

13. Beating the Anxiety of Online Reading on ZenHabits by Leo Babauta. I needed the reminder, so thought you might too. But Leo, there’s just so much good stuff out there…

15. This quote from Cheri Huber, in honor of the two awesome yoga classes I’ve attended in the past 48 hours:

Practice offers us a lens through which we can examine suffering—what
causes it, why it happens, how it happens. It gives us the tools to tap into our authentic nature and to experience being lived by Life – present, whole, and joyful.

Day of Rest

You might not know this about me, but the one thing I love as much as books is music. It has been a constant in my life. My childhood home, church, and school were filled with music. That infusion carried into my adult life. As a highly sensitive person and introvert, I value quiet, but music feeds me. I listen to it in the car, when I exercise at the gym and then after when I take a shower, when I work and when I do chores around the house. Sometimes, I do nothing else, just listen to the music. I never go a full day without it.

Yesterday, listening to the Chill station on satellite radio, I heard a new song by an artist I didn’t know. I was loving the lyrics and completely grooving on her voice, so I wrote down the title and artist, logged in to my Rhapsody account and listened to the whole album…over and over and over. It is amazing fantastic heartbreaking beautiful precious holy wow holy crap I am in love with this woman good.

Yunalis Zarai (aka Yuna) is a 25 year old singer, born in Malaysia. Her biography on her website says:

Music is one of the most powerful forces of unification. It has the power to heal, the power to help, the power to inspire, and the power to change. [Yes! Yes! It does.]

Yuna understands the importance of music and has the ability to write songs that transcend any and all boundaries. With her soft vocals and warm acoustic guitar, this singer-songwriter crafts intriguing and infectious ruminations on life, love, and so much more.

The song that captured my attention yesterday is “Live Your Life.” Beautiful voice, melody, and message.

Find your light
Don’t hide from what you are
And rise before you fall
And hope for something more
Live if you really want to

All my life I’ve been looking for something amazing
It’s almost like I’ve been stargazing
The sky is right above me
We were meant for something bigger than this
Don’t ever try to dismiss yourself cause you don’t have to

Find your light
Don’t hide from what you are
And rise before you fall
And hope for something more
Live if you really want to

All my life my dreams just seemed so far away
And now it’s like they’re here to stay
I hold it close to me
We were meant for something bigger than this
Don’t ever try to dismiss yourself cause you don’t have to

Find your light
Don’t hide from what you are
And rise before you fall
And hope for something more
Live if you really want to

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised I love Yuna’s music so much, since another of my most favorite singers is also from Malaysia.