‘In a restless world like this is’: A fairy coach’s take


After the disaster of 9/11, Charles Bernstein wrote a moving poem about the confusion that ensued, not just in the days but years that followed. The blurriness of reality is expressed in the opening lines: “Not long ago, or maybe I dreamt it/ Or made it up, or have suddenly lost/ Track of its train in the hocus pocus/ Of the dissolving days; no,” Without the knowledge that the poem was written in response to 9/11, I’d have read these lines as dream-like, as being in daze, as daydreaming caused by some unknown event important in the life of the poet.  Continue reading »

The cheerful autumn in your wardrobe

Karo in a deep blueberry sweater and strawberry shorts


Who said that autumn had to be bleak and dreary? There’s no excuse to wear dark or not-so-cheerful colors just because the days are shorter.  In fact, one way to make sure we feel happier in autumn is to surround ourselves with colors or to wear them. In this photo, I’m wearing a deep blue sweater and strawberry-colored shorts–they’re not the typical fall colors, and thus make me feel like a conqueror of the season: “Yes, I’m not blending in with you today, Dear Fall. So who has influence over whom?”

A carpet of imperfections: Our beauty woven into our life’s story

"The world is a carpet" by Anna Badkhen

“Enchantment” is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Anna Badkhen‘s account of living in an Afghan village for a whole year. The book’s title itself is intriguing: “The world is a carpet: Four seasons in an Afghan village.” The world? and the carpet? How can you really equate the two? And yet, in Badkhen’s narrative you can do that very easily, since the family’s life revolves around weaving a beautiful carpet and selling it to the carpet dealers. There are many other beautifully woven stories that explain the comparison of the world to the carpet, but since I have not finished reading the book, this is perhaps not the place do discuss them.  Continue reading »

A brighter & lighter side of life

Karo Caran

Credits: Tabbi2 at http://survivingpaloalto.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/now-this-is-the-way-to-layer/comment-page-1/#comment-354

So I was walking to meet Victor at the train station, and my thoughts wondered thousands off miles away, where my mom lives. We had had a long chat today, the content of which made me feel sad and sorry for her current circumstances. So imagine my surprise when Tabbi2, an artist and blogger came up to me and asked if she could feature my photo on her blog. She really liked the way I matched my clothes, she said. Continue reading »

“If I told him would he like it”: how do we communicate?

red lips

We humans are thinkers and over-thinkers. Sometimes, in the name of not making a fuss, not angering someone, not making someone sad, we mull our thoughts over and over. We ask ourselves: “Should I tell him/her that…?,” “is it worth telling them that…?”, “How will he/she react to this?” As children, we don’t have these thoughts–we have acquired them at some point during our social education. Along with directness and sincerity, our spontaneity went out the window. Continue reading »

Pines and acorns in a pot: A squash soup that enchants not just the forest

Acorn squash soup with leaks and pine nuts


This easy and delicious soup consists of two main ingredients: acorn squash and leeks. Just as I began writing this post, I realized how cool it is to mix an ACORN squash and PINE nuts, things that make me think of the forest, in this green and tasty soup. Perhaps this way it’s easy to remember the recipe. Enjoy!   Continue reading »

Learning from stories, not theories: My book review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “The Infidel”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I was recently a guest blogger at trulymadlydeeplyhappy.com hosted by the wonderful Julie Zommers. Here’s the beginning of my book review in which I argue that we learn from stories, not theories.

“There are probably millions of books written about happiness. They are usually available in the self-help or the psychology sections of bookstores. However, when I want to learn about happiness–what is and how to achieve it–I avoid these two sections and head straight to biographies and memoirs. I believe that no theory can truly make us happy and that we learn from stories, not theories. As doctoral students, my classmate and I reveled in critiquing all sorts of theories and could find fault with all of them. They are not universal and not applicable to the beautiful and superbly unique beings that we are. Theories always include caveats and exclude context-specific circumstances and unforeseen events. So reading a book about someone who reveals their life story of overcoming adverse circumstances, of personal growth, and achieving their full potential is what makes me happy and inspired.”Read more