laugh, breathe, love, live.

Photo taken with my iPhone: Jericho, New York

There’s this simple saying I heard that always stuck with me.

“Laugh as much as you breathe, love as long as you live.”

I was surprised that it wasn’t said by the Dalai Lama or Gandhi or some great sort when I heard it. It was by Johnny Depp, (yes, I know, it makes him cuter) 😉

When I was snapping this picture, I remember hearing it in my mind… as Laila squealed, as my nani ba, Lila, took a breath and laughed with pure love as she held her.

Laila with Lila.

It was unbelievable to see them side by side this way. And the truth in those simple words, in the simplicity of my grandmother’s learned and daughter’s new eyes, both full of love and joy, reminded me how beautiful these breaths of life can be, every day. It’s about our perception, the way we see what these maya, these illusions, mean to us. It’s how we hold the loving visions, or don’t hold the unserved, in our hearts and eyes.

That through the cycle of these breaths, the beautiful, stormed, tainted, precious and dreamy…all of them, we can find real happiness.

We just have to breathe.

familiar travel song.

 Photo taken with my Nikon SLR. Ahmedabad, Gujarat: INDIA

I’ve been missing traveling. It’s been almost 18 months since I have been to another country, (besides the 2 hour plane ride for a weekend in Mexico for a friend’s vow renewal we went to last fall). I mean real travel. The exploration. Those who know me, know this is a long time. With a just reason of course, I was pregnant and then gave birth to my own love bug, rearing the travel bug in me to the side. But I’m itching again. Mommy hood has been good to me, and of course my daughter’s precious eyes, (she really does have the most unbelievable eyes), remind me that this part of the journey is a different kind of travel…to a place of unconditional love.

So I guess, the rest, well, it’s just a layover, a temporary stop in my exploration of culture, life and learning overseas. Yet at times, I still can’t help but to long to hear the song of travel, (over the sounds of Baby Einstein’s blue puppet that my daughter just goes ga-ga over).

The sounds of airports and unfamiliar tongue, the scents of a country’s comfort food sold by street vendors, the bold colors of it’s flag against the skies.

This photo is was taken on my travels to India in 2009, when I went with my mother and she led me through the neighborhoods of her childhood, turning corners and through narrow streets, recognized what was still and taking in what was new. To me, it was all new, and I stopped at anything to that made me feel something to snap my camera. Which felt like everything. In an odd way, it all was old familiar and new, even for me. I wrote this poem when I got back:

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backyard adventures.

 

Photo taken with my Canon digital camera: St. Louis, MI: USA

There’s this VHS tape in my parents home titled, “Puja and Mili’s Backyard Adventures”  in my mother’s Indian-English cursive handwriting on one of those old vertical labels gracing the black edge of hours of footage my parents captured as my sister and I explored our small world.

If you know me and my sister, this title is highly appropriate for all our phases of life together. I was always the visionary and story teller, as we dug for buried treasure on Gerald Lane and built forts of magazines on Jamaica Avenue and she was always the explorer and up for the adventure. If you know my sister now, she is still always up for the adventure, no matter how large.

This poem, is a dedication to her recent courage, to step into being my father and our family’s hero.

As we patiently wait… for however all of this unfolds.

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