Amanda, Hong Kong


As the curtain falls on this project/experiment/challenge/call to action, I am looking back at Thirty Voices with immeasurable gratitude; to everyone who contributed and especially to Clare and Stacy who made it happen and stuck with it.

Thank You.

Because of this project I took the time to really think about my writing… what inspired me, tired me, wired me. I got motivated to finally put all of my disparate ramblings together and actually put a blog out there that I feel proud of and compelled to continue.

Because of this project I have new people in my life that I think about on a very regular basis and feel connected to in very real ways regardless of distance, difference, diffidence.

One year down the road I have seen a lot of changes and made a lot of changes and feel just that much more ready to take on whatever comes my way. I am not sure how much of that has to do with any one thing in particular, but I am sure that somehow the convergence of events in my life that has included Thirty Voices undoubtedly contributed to this sense of well being. Older? You bet. Better? Uh-huh. Wiser? I guess we will see…

I would like to be able to echo the sentiments of all the writers who answered this post before me and so to avoid redundancy I will say, ‘I second that emotion…’ and sign off.

ell-oh-vee-ee

Amanda, still blogging here in Hong Kong

Of all the things I could think of to tell my younger self, or perhaps warn my younger self about, I think the one thing I would say is this: YOUR MOM REALLY IS RIGHT.

Basically, anything I have to say to myself of years past, my mom did tell me. Of course, I didn’t listen to her then and I wouldn’t have listened to the ethereal older me either. Experience is not only the best teacher, in so many cases it is the ONLY teacher.

 Still, here are a few samplings of things-my-mother-told-me-that-would-have-made-my-life-easier-if-I-had-listened-to-them: (more…)

7. My favorite store in the whole wide world is 7-11. Any country, any flavor. Oh, thank Heaven for 7-11. I have photgraphs of 7-11s (the authentic and the inauthentic) from every country I have visited.

6. I love Sharpie Markers even though they seep through paper. I love their permanence and the resultant disregard for errors.

5. I smell everything before I use/wear/touch it. This has spawned many discussions and in some cases some tricky situations. This includes boys and Sharpies.

4. I do not have any debt/I love my job. I believe these are probably linked somehow. I am fortunate to do work I enjoy, which is not to be confused with wanting to work all the time or support people who are not working.

3. I dry the sink after I use it, always. Kitchen and bathroom and I am talking about the basin not the counter, though in all honesty, I dry that too.

2. I read books and watch DVDs in the order in which I get them (and therefore stack them) on my shelves. I will not deviate from this.

1. I often feel that inanimate objects have feelings and this changes the way I look at them and what I do with them. I may be more considerate of the inanimate than the animate at times.

Amanda, 37, freakishly normal in HK

… in the traditional sense of dreams being, you know, ‘dreamy.’

He was sick. Really sick and sick in ways that people around him didn’t know, couldn’t know. And even if they had known, would have been able to know, they would have chosen ignorance over reality. I know this. Ignorance is so much easier sometimes than the realities we create and endure.

People are always confusing ignorance and stupidity, which is a shame. They are very different concepts most notably in the element of choice.

I am not stupid. But I was ignorant about some things and then there was the dream, and after that you can never go back and then ignorance doesn’t seem so bad because it is a comfortable place back there that you can never inhabit again. Everyone around me believed they were neither ignorant nor stupid, which somehow equated to enlightenment in their mathematics of personality. The derivative of this was that I was subject to a lot of “helpful” problem solving which was both misguided and inappropriate. But I see now it was not their fault, it was no ones fault, it was just the different ways people chose to see the situation, what I am now calling the dream.

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Memory is such a fickle thing.
Strange triggers.
Unexpected significance.

It is not very accurate in the long run, and I have decided this is a built-in design bonus, I mean really my memory is like a ready made editor for the story of my life. And there are so many moments that come to the forefront of my mind at any given time I am always surprised by what is pulled out of the files. However, I have found the more I want to hold on to a memory/idea/vision/thought the more likely it is to scurry off into the dark recesses of my head. It is the ones that come in authentically – I often think they must look like the little light-bulbs we see in cartoons – that stay with me.

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Posting Challenge #16 has been haunting me. Not just because it is a life question that has been pondered by some of the greatest minds of all time (think Buddha, Confusicius, Voltaire, Locke, Jesus, MLK, Gandhi, HST, Shiva… the list goes on), but because really I think it might be the key to finding peace, or at least peace of mind, in a mad, mad world.

“What keeps you going when extremely unpleasant things happen, or to be blunt when the shit hits the fan? What or whom pulls you out of your blues / insanity?”

I have just read Kurt Vonnegut’s short, concise and wonderful A Man Without A Country [please read this book], and I think he might have some sound suggestions for what we should do, because let’s be frank, the shit has hit the fan, no sense sitting around waiting to see if this is really it. HST told us long ago we were doomed, and it looks like he may have been correct. But what Hunter gave us was a warning, a heads up if you will. And he reminded us that it was all our own doing. We are the only species that intentionally and aggressively destroys our own home and our own kind. What the hell is that about?! And we are supposed to be the most ‘intelligent’ life form? I shudder at the thought.

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…sunshine and my kitties and good, strong coffee. All three of these things improve my outlook on the world in small and meaningful ways. I love how you can feel the sun even when it is cold outside, that is powerful and amazing. I love how my cats are uninhibited hedonists and I think everyone should take a lesson. And I love how warm coffee can totally relax me and clear my head in a grogeous morning moment…

But my favorite things change all the time and being born and bred in California I am prone to saying things like, “Oh my God I love – – – -!” So, I share the love and on other days it includes things such as…
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