Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HELP! I am turning into a BLOG MONSTER.

The husband came back home last night to discover that there was NO dinner, NO plans for dinner and NO hint of any plans to order any dinner.

After being together for twenty plus years, he KNOWS exactly what to do when I am wallowing in the throws of creativity. Close the door securely behind him and start dialling for Pizza, but NEVER utter the words:
'What's for dinner tonight?'
It's called 'self-preservation' in the Jain household.

The sad truth of the matter is that instead of pouring my thoughts into words on my computer screen, I spent almost five hours prettying up my blog. 

YES, I tried every template, every font and every text colour on the palette to make MY blog look fabulous- so much for the 'journey of self-discovery'!

It's not easy for me to face the fact that while I am trying to exit one kind of rat race (the real world kind), I am parking myself at the start line of another - preparing to jump into the virtual vortex of the BLOGGING world.

I find myself visiting my own pages any chance I get.

How to get new readers?
What makes for a successful Blog? and 
Tips (from 5 to 21) on how to get noticed, have become my permanent google searches. 

I feel for my colleagues at work who HAVE to politely accept little slips of paper with my blog address scribbled on them, peppered with silent pleas to check out my latest posts.

Why am I so desperate to stick another label (i.e. Blogger) on me?

So, I ask myself-  Is this what I really want?

Will my journey of self-discovery twist and turn through this obsessive compulsion I have to get noticed for the work I do?

No, says William Martin in 'The Sage's Tao Te Ching'- 
"The only approval we need is our own."

I promise myself to disentangle the creativity from the publicity. I hope to spend more time writing. And if that writing finds its way to a reader, great! If not, then that's fine too as I relished those moments of creativity.

And just when I thought I'd sorted my thoughts, a friend forwarded me this TED talks video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg

(you may want to watch the video before you continue reading)

Yes, the story has to be written.

But, is a story a story if it's not read? Is a picture a picture if it's not seen? Is a movie a movie, if it's not watched? Is a song a song, if it's not heard and then sung again?

What do you think?

How much of our energies should be channelled into making people aware of our creative outbursts? How much is too much? I would love to find out your thoughts on the subject.

And why do I need to justify how I spend my creative energy? Is it wrong for my family to eat Pizza while I polka dot my blog's background?

"It is time to cease worrying about how you are perceived" says William Martin in 'The Sage's Tao Te Ching'.

This journey ain't gonna be a bed of roses- that's for sure.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Scenic Route- Highway 61...continued.

You had me at Nani....

Walking a trail is thirsty work. So we decided to drive to Naniboujou Lodge - just across from the Judge C. R. Magney State Park for a drink. I had stumbled upon this lodge while researching the area-thanks to CAPH52's  trip report on-  http://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/a-big-campus-a-great-lake-and-a-mighty-river-wimn-trip-report.cfm#top. 

The name conjured up images of a roly-poly nani (grandmother in Hindi) in my mind and I made a mental note of visiting this lodge. I am so glad I did.

My lemonade was refreshing and freshly made.The husband was thrilled, too...
We were served by a beautiful smiling girl who hails from Jamaica and although she loves the area in the summer, she's still getting used to the winter snow.

We were rather intrigued by a pair of oldish ladies,seated by the window opposite us, enjoying their afternoon tea. For reasons I cannot fathom, every now and then they would shoot us down with weird looks- these were NOT the friendly glances given by strangers that we'd got so used to in this land of the 'Minnesota Nice'.

My paranoia even tricked me into picking up that shiny cutlery you see on the table above to give my face a once over.

I don't know why these not-so-pleasant moments become embedded in the fabric of our otherwise blissful memories. 

Moving on to the blissful- the warmth and old world charm of Naniboujou- or 'the aura of the 20's'- as their website states, is priceless. The serenity of the dining hall calms you with its harmonious explosion of colours.



The staff suggested we check out their back yard before we head back...
... and so we did. We sat and posed and chatted and rested our tired feet in this jewel of a place hugging the North Shore.


Check out their website: http://naniboujou.com. Do stop by - if you are visiting the North Shore.



....to be continued


Saturday, August 24, 2013

A time to sit and stare...

Thanks to www.davidpbrown.co.uk for reminding me of one of my favourite poems 

and

 to my daughter who captured this moment.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Scenic Route- Highway 61

We drove from Duluth to Grand Marais on the 13th of July 2013. I had read about the Grand Marais Arts Festival and I had to steer my family in that direction without too much resistance from them. Although the women in our family are very fond of appreciating art and can do so from sunrise to sunset with a few cups of coffee to keep us going, strangely (and this always boggles my mind) the two men (husband and son) find it a waste of time. So the promise of World's Best Donuts (as recommended by our Duluthian friends) helped me in my cunning plan to not only get the men to the Art Festival but one of them even did the driving...you gotta do what you gotta do for the sake of Art.

Scoffing down sensational Scizzles with steaming hot coffee- HEAVEN!


Check out  http://www.worldsbestdonutsmn.com in case you are planning a trip to the North Shore.


The Arts Festival was a treat, too- details on: http://www.grandmaraisartcolony.org


Fortified with donuts and coffee, we made our way to Judge C.R. Magney State Park and burnt off the extra calories hiking 'The Devil's Kettle of the Brule River' trail. I'll let the pictures do the talking...














......to be continued.....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Delightful Duluth

'The Book Thief' gets discovered in delightful Duluth.



'Would you like to go for a walk?' asked my friend.
'Sure', I agreed naively.
It was  the 12th of July 2013- our second evening in Duluth, Minnesota.

The walk meandered through immaculately laid out streets brimming with maples and pines. Houses spoke their stories and shared their histories as my kind friend animatedly filled the evening air with local tales peppered with dashes of gossip. Life couldn't be more prefect, could it?

Then it happened.

We turned into 5th street. She spotted it first- I followed.

The 5th Street Little Free Library beckoned her. She dug out a book and shrieked with joy, 'Have you read it?

I shook my head -no.

'You'll love it. It's my favourite book'. She thrust The Book Thief into my hands and promised the library that she would come back with her offering soon.

Walking past the sign that read 'Please leave a book when you take one' and patting each other heavily on respective backs for stealing such an ironical moment, we hurried back home to share our awesome adventure with our families.

Thank you God for giving us teenagers-effortlessly and with the slightest hint of aloofness, they brought us both down to the reality of-what's-for-dinner-tonight?

The book has been read (in Doha) and I LOVE it. My summer is made.

Thank you Kirstin and thank you Markus Zusak for such a fantastic book.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Who am I?

Honestly, I don't know. When I was nineteen, I was sure of who I was and what I wanted from life. Twenty three years later, I seem to have harvested more questions than answers about myself. However, I have come to the conclusion that I am the sum total of all my ordinary moments- hence, this blog.

For the purposes of sounding sane, let me introduce myself. I currently live in Doha, Qatar with my husband and two teen age children- a beautiful daughter who composes and sings and a son who loves to cook- yes, I am blessed. I am a teacher by profession but I like to think of myself as a creative spirit- too lazy to fit into a tag line.

Few of my favourite things are:
Travelling, gardening, reading, listening to music, writing and watching movies.

Spending time with my husband and my children (when all of us are in a happy mood-you know how rare that can be with teenagers!) fills me with joy.

Adjectives that I wish were not used to describe me but sadly do...
Procrastinator, champion sufferer of buyer's remorse and in terms of a Superhero: "Captain Nagpants", but then again nagging really is a mother's forte.

Lately, I have been toying with the idea of finding me in the crowd of roles I play as a mother, a wife and all the other labels that I have been using to describe myself. Writing has always helped me to clarify my thoughts and to move from the chaos of the mundane to a sense of calm. I hope that by logging my ordinary moments I will be able to get a sense of who I really am.

You can reach me on -myordinarymoments@gmail.com or leave your comments here.