Meraki


Meraki (noun) Origin: Greek | Putting part of yourself into what you are doing.

This is a modern Greek word that’s often used to describe the instance wherein you leave a part of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work — so it’s like when you intensely love to do something or just about anything that you put something of yourself into it.

Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become. ~ Johnny Weir

I started this blog in July of 2012.  I initially started writing this and showing off the places, people, food, and art to help my kids be a part of what I was doing.  For the most part, they are largely oblivious that I am still writing this.  Initially I did it for them, but I have realized that over the years,  this blog has been something I have been doing as much, if not more, for myself as for them.  

Every time I go back and read what I have written, I can place myself in the exact place or state of mind I was in when I wrote it.  The pictures encapsulate where I was, and sometimes who I was, at that particular place and time.  A lot of what I wrote cracks me up.  Reminds me that I have not made gigantic philosophical leaps over time.  I am still the silly, weird, dorky, child that I was at 10.  I still wander and wonder about all of the things I come across. It takes very little to amuse me, make me smile, and/or destroy me.

I have on occasion gone back over some of my posts and have felt slightly embarrassed because what I wrote was a bit too ridiculous and stream of consciousness style.  I have considered deleting some posts for that reason, but changed my mind.  Those posts are likely more me than many of the other more lucid posts.  I am Sam, Sam I am, I am what I am. Auspicious beginnings was one of the first posts I wrote and yes, even now it is all true.

I put my all of me into my blog.  My soul, creativity, and love.  I started a diary when I was 9 years old (1976 if you struggle with math). Ironically, it took me over a year to start writing in it.  Like all diaries, I started out writing daily 9 year old drama and eventually moved to weekly, monthly, and eventually yearly entries.  In 2013, my daughter gave me a new diary called “The Happiness Journal” I wrote in that one for five years every single day.  I cannot honestly say those things were the happiest things I could have thought of, but they were also all me.

It’s so bizarre.  I can see myself in each of those pages in full form.  The love, hate, funny, angry, and sad person that wove me through my life.  I am 54 years old now and I imagine that at some point my kids will find this slab of my mind in print and laugh and cry as they work their way through what is likely going to be a 50+ year retrospective of my imagined but really felt joys and failures.

Seriously, leave me alone I was only 10!! Cracks me up though and I can seriously see angry little Sami, stonily sitting in her basement bedroom furiously writing out my little world’s woes.  Ah to be 10 again!

When my daughters were born, I began a journal of their lives and when they turned 17 or so, they were completely filled with my random wonderings of their lives and I presented these to them as a Christmas present one year.  I believe that they each still have that documentary evidence of my love for them during the first part of their lives.  I hope that they know that all of those words, photos, clippings bring back memories to me that are as real and poignant to me now as they were when I entered them into and onto those pages.

So my meraki appears to be documenting my own life and experiences and even the life and experiences of the ones I love.  I have been diligent about it.  Accurate to my own first-hand experiences and memories.  If you have read anything I have written here or looked at anything I have painted there.  You will see me.  You will see what I saw.  You will see and understand the things that have been important to me.  The things that are still important to me.  I hope you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy the ride and the read.

Meraki mumblings:  Leha; Pooja; Princess; Merakisbsc; Gavin; Whisperer; Jess; Adyeshablog; Roy; DanielleAnika

.

Numinous


Numinous (adj.) – Origin: English – Definition: Describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted.

116018972_10157642753108282_5566393823100888351_n

I’m not afraid of heights.  Yet, every time I rise above the clouds, my stomach turns.  I ask myself, “Why am I up here?”  Every time I stand at the edge of a drop off, I think, “Good Lord, what am I doing?”  I have flung myself from an airplane, jumped off the side of a mountain, jumped off rooftops, and bridges.  What was I thinking and why would I do that?  What is this fascination?  Why does anyone do it?

It’s crazy, but jumping from a plane or from the side of a mountain was way less scary than hanging Christmas lights from my roof, or washing my 2nd story windows.  I have heard that it is because you are so high in the sky that you can’t really grasp the full spectrum of where you are or what you are doing.  When you are on a ladder, or within view of the ground, you can actually feel how close you are and understand the consequences … or something like that.

I have only done it once, and it’s true, it does not actually feel like falling.  I guess that’s because you are traveling at about 120 miles an hour and you can’t actually go any faster and unlike being in a car or a plane, you do not have a chance to see things pass by you but only to feel the wind.  I have a video Skydiving in Venezuela and it’s such a rush re-watching it. It was definitely a numinous experience.  Something that I would be attracted to do again, and yet wonder… during the entire event… why oh why was I doing this?

“I guess everyone has a bird urge when they look down heights, a desire to jump, without wing or buoyant sail. Fear of heights is fear of a desire to jump.”
― Amruta Patil

“People who are saying that they are afraid of heights are usually not actually afraid of heights. They are afraid of falling, which means it’s a synonym for losing control.
So they have to get in touch with the definitional belief to find out what’s really going on.”
― Bashar

From a past post – another heights fascination.  Though I would be less likely to Canyon again.  It felt more dangerous than skydiving.  Again perspective.  The ground was so darn close.

Canyoning in Venezuela – (2 more links you can view) 2nd link 3rd link – Scared, hot, cold, falling, jumping, sliding, wet.  Energy, Exhaustion and Emotion.  Rushing water. Drowns thought. High-low-tired-wide awake.  Heart racing.  No worries only the moment. No thinking only moving.  Laughter. Fear. Laughter. Memories.

Heights:  CEE; stine; pensivity; crazy; kathy; jade; archyde; matrox; tadra; yahya; simplicity; guamanchi;

Annu Miarabilis


Happy New Year!!!

Annu Miarabilis (n.) (phr.) – Origin: Latin – Definition: A remarkable or notable year in history; a year of wonders and miracles, used to speak hopefully of the future.

happy new year

The year 2020 has brought us so much negativity and bad news. The world news corps sharing their 24/7 pandemic of fear. COVID-19, an actual pandemic, has caused millions of people to lose their lives or at minimum, their way of life.  Fire, politics, racism, riots, masks, online education, all followed by memes to mock it all.

Based on the above negative aspects of last year, I have decided on a new personal writing/photo challenge for 2021. Words – happy words, weird words, words relating to travel, words that sound funny, words that represent my identity, words that I have never heard of before, words that might very well be made up.

So here is a toast to 2021 with the hope that it will take off in leaps and bounds, turning into an annus mirabilis.  With love and memories to all past travels, smiles, hugs, and kisses and hoping all of these things can resume!!!!

Paul; sadje; charlotte; vincent; Phil; Sandra; Pooja; Debbie; TrangWanderlustigEugenia

Timid Souls


Sometimes I prefer the voices of others to start my day! Here’s one of my favorites!

Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena”

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”