Divine Calm



I am happy to report that I have transferred this blog over to www.divinecalm.com.

Please click here to head on over and don't forget to update your links with my new information.

I look forward to seeing you over at my new digs.


Mondays: why bother?

Some Divine Lovin'

I'm totally lovin' the following sites, and I highly recommend you check'em out!

1.) Dima, this girl is, seriously, such a cutie! Plus her smarts equal her quirkiness. In my book, you can never have too much of either trait. (She's on the right.)

2.) The photoblog, Out in the World, is totally beautifying my world with his gorgeous and compelling photos of places like Brazil, Taiwan, and Myanmar. His portraits move me to no end (and no, I didn't take this photo, titled "Chubbiness." He did.):

3.) The blog, Poetic Justice, motivates me to learn more about the written word. I hope you find her captivating prose as inspiring and challenging as I do.
I had been a language freak for long before the words became out in writing. Inventing expressions, feeling the otherness, trying to find that me in that language. Then in other languages. And I do find. But it stings. Some of it. The otherness, when it's not entirely me there, but some polyphonic figure speaking through. The writing of others sometimes does. When it does not, bliss and blessing.
4.) Wave of Modulation is my kind of blog. Awe-inspiring photography coupled with equally captivating words fill me with peace and the need to grab my camera and EXPERIMENT. Check out her recent frame-worthy photo titled "morning light":

5.) And, last but not least, I'm totally digging my tenant, Taste the World. Her recent tribute to her grandfather moved me and made me smile. Also, her favorite links of the moment made me sign up for 3 classes at Barnes & Noble's Online Classes. As if I didn't already have enough to do right now. See, that's how good of a writer she is. She merely suggested. I complied. Good thing she hasn't suggested I give her money.

Isn't she a cutie? So please visit my powerfully persuasive tenant under the "About Me" section on the left.


my lil' angel

my lil' angel, originally uploaded by Divine Calm.


Taste the World!!!

I've been a very, very bad host/landlord. Pretty please--with sugar on top--visit my tenant "Taste the World."

I really like her blog design, and she's very funny. Check out this adorable pic she placed on her blog too. I'm such a sucker for dogs.

So please click on her blog located under the "About Me" section. You won't regret it!

Better than sex

Old camera:

New Camera:

Old Camera:

New Camera:

Any questions?


Trusting your instincts

I'm taking a more optimistic approach toward both solicited and unsolicited opinions. For instance, while my mom might not always agree with my decisions, I'm not necessarily blowing off her advice nor am I angry at her vocal opposition. Instead, I am learning to shut the heck up and see her advice for what it really is. It's about love seasoned with fear for my well-being due to her own experiences. A couple years later, I might regret my decisions and realize that she was right all along. Or, I might be better off for trusting my gut instincts.

When striving for a goal or even for a happier life, it's beneficial to have a little feedback from the world. Knowing how much harder you have to sweat for success can propel you in a more realistic direction. Or it can paralyze you from even trying. Improving from criticism while insulating yourself from misleading, albeit well-intended, advice is critical to our evolution as adults. Additionally, recognizing which advice is offered requires both strong self-esteem and experience to know the difference.

It's especially imperative to listen to your inner voice and balance criticism while creating. For example, I have been entranced by the clothing designers on Project Runway and how they have improved their creations while attempting to retain their unique point of view. It's no easy feat to be an original and have everyone love your creation. Sometimes I feel as if a designer has to be in cohorts with the cosmic gods to predict that little something the world needs but doesn't realize it's missing. Everyone can be an original, but, alas, not everyone wants to hear or see what you have to produce. Of course there are a myriad of factors that render creative success like talent, mutated genes, drive, hard work, and dumb luck, but for the sake of my argument I'm assuming everyone reading this post has these traits.

I will return to my beginning point, trust your instincts. If you are constantly judging your own work or life through others' points of view, you are betraying your innate creativity. With the risk of sounding lame, creativity is best nourished if you protect it like a hothouse plant in winter. Shelter it, allow some light from the outside through, but you are ultimately responsible for its survival. (Well, you, a watering can and the modern invention of greenhouse heating.)

So, Mom, what do you think about all of my pontificating on creativity? See, I totally outed myself as being unable to follow my own advice. But I am trying.


Speckle Spackle


My diaphragm can't unhook itself, and my lungs are lodged in my throat. I can't breathe, let alone, sigh breaths of release. Every time I leave him, it's like this for the first few days of my return. Then tears spring forth and drain upon my cheeks, sapping my energy. Finally after a week, the missing dulls down to frustration, and I frantically brainstorm ways to end this separation. The solution is always the same. Patience. That damn word. I hate it.


For you shutterbug junkies...

I seem to have outgrown my camera, a Kodak EasyShare Z730. Now I want to purchase a SLR digital camera and am researching what's out there. I'm sooooo overwhelmed! I want to be able to take better macro shots (close-up shots) and nighttime photos. Do you have any suggestions as to which camera I should buy, or how I should narrow down my choices? I would like to spend under $1,000. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Cardinal Rule


Escalating Obstacles

A black retriever service dog in training quivered at the top step of an escalator. His right front paw timidly stepped on the grooved steel and then quickly lifted as if he touched hot Florida summer sand. After dancing his quick step three more times while receiving correction from his trainer, the hesitant pup finally landed his two front paws square on the middle of the step. A little surprised to find his front end heading down to the first floor with his back end staying on the marble second floor, the dog quickly glanced at his human companion as if pleaing for rescue. With another metal step pouring out of the floor and left with no other choice, the trainee allowed the rest of his body to scuttle onto the escalator.

The trainer's praise, "You are a goooood boy, goooooooood boy," echoed throughout the atrium.

I was next to step onto the modern contraption that had given the dog such fits. As I glanced down to ensure my skinny high-heeled boots didn't fall between the escalator steps, I better appreciated the dogs' jitters. Pictures of my falling head first, with my stripped away brown leather boot stuck in the escalator step, made my face flush with anxiety, and I really yearned for the black retriever to be at my side for comfort and balance. I then began to think how scary it must be for a person who has lost her sight to ride these moving steps.

As I stepped off the escalator, I looked over to see the black retriever's next obstacle: a revolving door. With newly gained confidence from his last accomplishment, the dog wagged his tail while waiting for further instruction.

"I really hope you pass with flying colors, little buddy," I silently cheered. "Soon, your presence will represent freedom for some very lucky owner."


True Blue



Looking Beyond Your Nose

Lately, I feel as if the world has opened up for my exploring, but not necessarily for my taking. Don't get me wrong, my naivete isn't leading me to think that "the world is my oyster," rather, I am allowing myself to view life in ways I haven't imagined it. And, gulp, I've begun to believe I might have an overall happy life (mixed with the occasional heartache of course).

Until recently, I have been recovering from a difficult childhood and my subsequent reactions to it. I have struggled to put myself through school only to find my chosen career after college renders frustration and disillusionment. Thankfully, I've realized this at the age of 27 and am willing to make a change instead of barging down a path guaranteed to end in regret.

For the last three years, my brain has been parched for an unknown drink. I have yearned for mental stimulation and surfed the web, read novels, and participated in book clubs hoping to find something satisfying. I have salsa danced, watched movies, drank fancy mojito cocktails, and listened to jazz bands. For hours, I have read information regarding the psychology of the criminal mind, potential graduate programs, and websites geared toward career placement help. I have even distracted my thirst while hanging out in large groups of friends until the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, the friendly chatter only reinforced my need to figure out what I was missing in life.

I was missing creativity, the act of creating.

For a long time, I've been belittling my talent by thinking I was better suited to be an audience member instead of a creator. So far, my career focus has been to make enough money to support myself while helping others and, in turn, living comfortably. With maturity, I realize I can still have a well-paying job while fostering creative growth on the side. Who knows? Perhaps I will be able to incorporate the two. I'm not trying to portray myself as the next Da Vinci or Faulkner, but how will I know my capabilities without stretching myself beyond my comfortable stasis?

I have been anxiety-ridden for almost all of my life, and I am beginning to realize this denial of my innate creativity has been fueling my palpitations. As the cliche goes, there's just something that's dying to get out. Ha! Nevermind the fact that I don't know the exact details for how to allow that something out.

So I don't have a crystallized plan, but I am delving into new ways to express myself. And, dammit, it's a relief. Some of my more frequent readers might be wondering if I made the decision to attend law school, and the answer is a resounding no. I'm not a detail person, but more importantly, it's just not for me. I could do it and be good at it, but my gut feeling is that I would not be as good at it as I would be doing something else. You might say that "being good" shouldn't be the main driver for my career choice, but my ego demands it and I'm no longer going to suppress it.

In the short term, I am reaffirming my love for the written word (otherwise known as "reading and writing like crazy") and am critically analyzing how writers write. I am also planning on taking a graduate communications/marketing/writing course and a photography class once I move to Chicago. Lastly, I have a few other things in the works, which I rather not discuss here. I'm in an exploring mode and want to travel and better understand how people different from myself live.

Perhaps all of my musings sound rather grandiose and ridiculous. But I don't care, because I am excited for the first time in a long time. Finally, I see possibilities instead of dead-ends.

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