Tag Archives: dreams

Celebrating Courage, Creativity and Grit.

One of the most satisfying aspects of blogging is accompanying (and hopefully supporting) fellow bloggers as they discover, pursue, and, eventually, achieve their dreams.

As writer, architect, traveller, and dreamer, Virginia Duran, explains in this video clip,  achieving dreams requires  persistence, strength, skill, creativity, and a great team of supporters. To her list I would add courage.

Virginia has courage as well as  all it takes to be an achiever of dreams.   I was thrilled to see her latest post announcing the publication of  her London  Architectour Guide , which has been  described as an “exquisite travel book for anyone passionate about architecture”.

Other blogging friends with oodles of courage and talent, namely Cynthia Reyes and Marisa Alvarsson, have delighted me and many others recently with their latest achievements.

Much admired and loved blogger, Cynthia, and her  lovely daughter, Lauren Reyes-Grange, have just  written and published the second book in the Myrtle the Purple Turtle series. As Cynthia recalls in this guest post  bringing Myrtle’s Game to us, the readers, was no easy task,  and getting it off the harvest table into our hands became a full-on family affair.  They had to adopt Myrtle-like persistence and determination to achieve their dreams. In ‘Myrtle’s Game’, ” Myrtle and her friends are turned away when they try to join in a game with others. The friends walk away, feeling hurt, but that’s just the start of the story.” With persistence, patience, and practice, Myrtle and her friends prove that even a  slow turtle can play the game as well as anyone else. And, more than that, Myrtle  shows us that the best team is the one which is inclusive and allows you to believe in yourself.  

Marisa, who has been a dear blogging friend almost from the beginning of my blogging days in 2012, began her social media life unwilling, like so many of us, to even mention her real name.  We knew her only  as Miss Marzipan, mother to a toddler, and confined to bed rest with a difficult pregnancy.   Today, thanks to Marisa’s creativity and courage, and  the support of her loving family, she has given herself permission to  embrace the dream of being the author of a fabulous cook book ‘Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats“. She is also a wonderful, kind (almost magical 🙂 ) presence on Instagram, with 146K followers.

Another achiever and  blogger, whom I have come to know in recent months is A Voice from Iran, Laleh Chini.  Like Cynthia she lives in Canada, and, like Cynthia, Laleh and  her daughter  Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi worked together as co-authors to produce ‘ Climbing over Grit’. “The story follows the journey of Najma as she is forced into a marriage at the age of eleven and faces the challenges of motherhood with an abusive husband, all while the eight-year war with Iraq is taking place.”  The story  is a tribute to Laleh’s mother.  And a tribute to Laleh’s determination to write stories important to her and her family, and which, she believes,  are important for the rest of the world to know.

Now, if, like me, you have places to go and things to do, and if, unlike me, you have your own dreams to pursue, you may not have time to buy or read the books I mention here, but I would urge you to take a closer look at, at least, one of these strong, creative women and their achievements.

I celebrate them all.  And I thank them  for letting me  be a small part  of their dream journeys.

Special note: the photos in this post are not mine. They belong to the authors and illustrators of the books featured.

ps  I may not be on WordPress very much for a few months, but I will do my best to check your posts whenever I can.



In Dreams begin Responsibilities*

A little while back  Sophia Stuart (and her virtual self teamgloria  )  walked away from the fast lane……

Walking away from the fast lane

Walking away from the fast lane

which must explain why I found her/them, last week, at a small post shop in quiet, suburban Christchurch.

In the quiet suburbs

In the quiet suburbs

I was very surprised to see her there (that’s me in the window, not her), because we are awfully far away from her home in Los Angeles. But there she was, and she had obviously travelled very s l o w l y, possibly by sea, because her departure date was stamped November, and, even in our little backwater, it is already December ;). Because it is such a long way from over there, in the Northern Hemisphere,  to here, however one travels, and because teamgloria ** is one of my best blogging friends, I thought it only polite to invite  tg’s** who-she-is-in-real life-persona, Sophia, home for a spot of tea. So I scooped her up (she does say she is small) and home we went.  Sophia is used to driving about in a perfectly silver Prius but our transportation, though silver, is more modest :)…. a tiny Echo aka motoka kiwikiwi.

Since I was not expecting guests, I  had only a simple cup of tea (rooibos, it was)  to offer, but I was sure Sophia wouldn’t mind. So, once home, I gathered up the  tea-tray  and

Tea Tray for Sophia

Tea Tray for Sophia

a  favourite shawl (Sophia likes shawls)  which, long, long ago, was loomed by the  loving  hands of gentle women in far Nepal,

Cloth of silken threads

Cloth of silky cotton threads

and spread a small picnic tea for the two of us,  in the late afternoon  shade of the sweet-scented, summer roses.

In the shade of the roses

In the shade of the roses

Isn’t it a lovely setting for a cup of tea?  Take a closer look  and enjoy talking to Sophia as much as I did. I hope you can see her, though 🙂

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If you think I am being a little too fanciful, (and I am, just a little), think deeply on  the serendipity of this. In the morning, before I met Sophia at the post shop, I read this, about beauty and dreams and cloths, in my book of daily poetry: our encounter was, I think,  meant to be……

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats
Now, most everyone says that this is a love poem and most everyone
is, no doubt, right, but I am NOT everyone, and, for me, these words
speak of the gloriousness that is created, and the life that is lit,  loved
and well-lived, when we cherish and respect and take responsibility
for our   dreams: all dreams;
your dreams, my dreams, the dreams of city dweller, suburban home
maker and  the gentle weaver of Kathmandu……..
(Phew! All ‘that’ from a cup of tea and a magazine :D)
© silkannthreades
A loose thread

Canada Dreaming

Where do you sail?

Where do you sail?

Although I grew up  on a very little island, my life was far from little or insular. I am not sure how the term insular came in to being because most island life, it seems to me, is  exposed to the comings and goings of the wider world.  It is in the very nature of an island to be outward looking; with eyes always turned to the horizon at sea and minds dreaming of what lies beyond.

Some  of my childhood dreams revolved around a huge country, namely Canada.  My dreaming was  influenced by a book we had, at home, about a modern (1960s!) Canadian family exploring their own country. The book had a stunning photo of what I thought must be the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Louise. And I yearned to be like that travelling family, standing by that lake, breathing in the beauty of Canada.

My yearning and dreaming, and, most likely, some suggesting to my parents that we take our next holiday in Canada, came to nought. Nought, that is, unless I count my greatest (ever!) school project, entitled Canada. I completed this ‘master’work  during my last year at elementary school, when  I was about 11 years old.  I remember the hours I spent on it; the careful penmanship, the drawings, the maps, the frustration of the maple leaf  that refused to be drawn correctly; the beautifully straight, ruled lines I made across the pages. Ah, it was a labour of love; and  a labour of  heavily plagiarized content, as well. References, or sources, were not part of a school project in those far off days 🙂

Maybe the project lacked originality, but I adored it, and have kept it safe for more than forty years. Like me, it has travelled the world and rested in many homes. Unlike me, it has stayed in good physical shape and, apart from some discolouration and a few loose pages, it is much the same as on the day I finished it.

Here is a glimpse of the project. As you look at the slide show, imagine a young girl, in an old, wooden classroom, in a little sugar industry town, on a small island in the large Pacific Ocean, studiously and carefully  recreating  the story of Canada. And, for extra fun, imagine also that maybe, just maybe, that circa 1968, there was, in the middle of Canada, on a deeply snowy day, a young person dreaming and writing about small islands in the far Pacific, for I am sure there was one such child.

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Did you look carefully at the brochure   for the Canadian Pacific Railway trains? I put it  in my project because I thought those scenes  were the epitome of elegance and luxury.

Note: to  11 year  old self….how could you do this?????

Erratum required

Erratum required

© silkannthreades

River Dreaming

Today, as the TV babbled on in the background, I caught the tail end of an infomercial. Something about skin cream and its magical properties. The Voice said ” blah, blah, blah blah, something something..” and then , “The internet confirms the beneficial effects of blah blah blah..”  And I laughed, and thought, so this is what life has come to. We no longer need to be convinced that 9 out of 10 specialists recommend a certain cream. No, if the internet confirms it, then it is so. Definite, indisputable, undeniable.

Then, why oh why, when I really want the internet to confirm something, does it  fail me? Know it all, internet!  Bah humbug. If this were a skin cream,  there would be no problem, but, as it is, my internet searches neither confirm nor deny that where we ventured today is the source of the Avon River . One out of one of me believes that it is.

Here is the approach to the source of the Avon on Withells Road. The artistic fencing seems to have experienced some earthquake mangling.

The approach

Nearly there. One out of one of me believes that she read (obviously not on the internet) that the water level at the spring source has been revitalised since the earthquakes? Will my belief be confirmed?

Nearly there

Yes,  here it is; the beginning of the rising water….Springing Forth

and a little further alongMore water

And, off the river goes through the suburbs, the city, the parks and gardens till it reaches the sea, near New Brighton. On its way to the sea

So, what has any of that got to do with Dreaming? Only one thing; it’s my dream to walk, or explore , little by little, all the rivers of Christchurch from ” source to sea”. It’s  a pipe dream but you will notice that a lot of my posts connect with rivers, particularly the Avon. It will take me more than a few tomorrows to achieve this dream, but I have made a start. As usual, it’s a non-linear route that I take. But  dreams, like rivers, are not straightforward; they meander.

© silkannthreades