Flamenco Fusion by da-AL

“Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” is the title of the first of my soon-to-be self-published novels. The ‘Sitting Cat’ part of the title refers to the geographical shape of Iran…

Map of Iran out lined in shape of a Sitting Cat.
Map of Iran outlined in the shape of a Sitting Cat.

I grew up with only classical music — and flamenco music and dance. My father, who left Barcelona in his mid-20s, wanted it that way. Since I left home at 18, it’s a gift to watch any type of dance I like and to listen to every kind of music that comes my way.

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam respectfully and lovingly fuses dance cultures.
Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam respectfully and lovingly fuses dance cultures.

I still love classical — and flamenco! Especially fascinating to me is when flamenco is fused with the dance of Iran, where my husband was raised. Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is an Iranian dancer now residing in France. Flamenco is as much about individuality as it is about technique — it accommodates all cultures, all forms of beauty.

If only politics were as intent on creating a climate of ‘we’ rather than an ‘us vs. them’!

The way Ghalam (click here for his Facebook page) fuses dance styles is respectful and hypnotic…

For more flamenco, check out Part 3: Marvelous Madrid — Flamenco

What fusion art do you enjoy?

Guest Blog Post: “A Little Bit of Something that I Love: Postcards and Handwritten Letters,” in Nadya Irsalina’s exact words

Photo of fronts of postcards

Getting letters and postcards in the mail is a joy! When I was a kid, I even loved getting junk mail! Years ago, a friend told me that only handwritten could suffice for thank you notes, never email. I try to follow her advice as often as I can.

How about you? Do you write and/or receive handwritten mail?

Fellow blogger Nadya Irsalina inspires me to take it to a new level…

Nadya's Journal

I’ve always been interested to send letters since I was a kid. The curiousity grew from seeing rubik sabahat pena (penpals) on Bobo, a kid’s magazine that my mother bought for me. But I had to wait until I was in junior high school to actually start sending letters. I don’t know about you but finding a new letter on the mailbox is like a nice little surprise for me. Nothing beats the thrill of opening the mailbox and finding a letter, written and addressed just for me. I still remember when my dad’s friend sent a postcard from LA and I was so excited to read it and removed the stamp. I used to collect it, even though I wasn’t really a philately. To me, it’s quite saddening that years after that, letters carried by conventional postal service seemed to be left behind and replaced with modern technology like…

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Happy International Women’s Day by da-AL

Why isn’t this celebrated more in the U.S., the way it is in other countries?!

Here I offer a tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, an amazing lesbian woman of color who influenced even Chuck Berry.

First a brilliant performance…

Now more about her…

Which woman has influenced you most for the good?

How do you live? by da-AL

Nest of chicks
Thanks Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

“You only die once.

You live every day.”

Quote by John Feal

John Feal founded the FeelGood Foundation, which helps 9/11 responders as they continue to deal with the aftereffects of dealing with injuries and toxins.

We must, he reminds us, make the most of our lives. Every day we get out of bed offers us a new opportunity.

Good deeds, moreover, are infectious. In a recent radio interview Feal recounted how, when he’s in line to buy coffee, he often pays for the drink of whoever’s behind him.

His philosophy: when we’re kind, we can’t help but be kind to others.

The kindness of others has helped me to be a better person. How about you?

Guest Blog Post: “12 Beautiful Travel Quotes,” in A.M. Sanders’ exact words

"Adventure is Worthwhile in Itself" Amelia EhrhardtNothing connects us more thoroughly than the face-to-face connection of travel. What a super fun political action! …

Ōrphic Flux

Travel has always opened my mind to fresh ideas and opportunities, new friends and different places, all overflowing with life, love, and memories. There is so much wonder and beauty out there to discover.

I hope these quotes inspire a wanderlust inside you that will take a lifetime of adventures to satisfy.

  1. “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalía de Castro

2. “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart

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3. “It is better to travel alone than with a bad companion.” – African Proverb

4. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

5. “Experience, travel – these are as education…

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Guest Blog Post: “#Smile,” in Ipuna Black’s exact words

A wonderfully inspiring blogger, Ipuna, made me smile with her heartwarming post — hope it does it the same for you 🙂 …

Ipuna Black

Have you ever had just a blah day?

smile Media Credit: Pixabay

What’s the cure?

Smile!

smile “Fake it ’til you make it.” Smiling puts you in a better mood. Media credit: Pinterest 

Smile!

Smile      Smiling decreases stress! Media credit: Pinterest 

Smile!

Smile Smiling is contagious. Media credit: Pinterest.

I hope eveyone smiles more today! Have a wonderful day!

Thanks, Jane for the smile challenge.

Ipuna-Black-sign-off

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Join my private positive FB group page. I’m hoping to connect with other positive/motivational/inspirational bloggers. We can collaborate and share our blog posts:Your Best Self.

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Guest Blog Post: “My Gender Creative Son’s First Pride,” in Lori Duron’s exact words

We’re never too young to be brave …

Raising My Rainbow

Just a boy and his two best girl friends marching at Pride.

“That was one of the best days of my life. Thank you so much for taking me,” C.J. said as Matt tucked him into bed for the night.

Most kids say that to their parents after a day at an amusement park. Not our kid. He said it after we took him to his first Pride.

On Wednesday, we told C.J. that we were taking him to the local Pride on Saturday. His level of excitement was unprecedented. He’d seen pictures of Pride and, with all the visual rainbow-ness, he’d been asking to go for the last year.

I told him that we needed to make signs. We did need signs, but mostly it was a project to keep him busy for a few summer hours.

C.J’s sign

Matt’s sign

My sign

The night before Pride, C.J. laid…

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Happiness Between Tails is Now Multilingual Thanks to Google Translate by da-AL

Picture of Google Translate button on Happiness Between Tails

Click the Translate Here dropdown menu at the top of the right-hand column of my blog — and voila! — Each post instantly translates into most 90+ languages!

About the only language it won’t translate into is dog language — but my furry loved ones speak mostly with their eyes and tails anyway.

Thank you, blogger Anita, for showing me how to do it with just three clicks!

For WordPress.com

  1. Go to Appearance
  2. Then Widgets
  3. Then add GoogleTranslate to your site.

Happy Earth Day everyone! by da-AL

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is celebrated worldwide to heighten awareness about our obligation to protect the environment.

It was founded and created in 1970 by Iowan John McConnell, a devout Christian who believed it is essential for each of us to work for the common good. He committed his life to working for the relief of human suffering, namely peace and helping the environment.

John McConnell - Earth Day Founder
Earth Day founder and flag designer John McConnell. By Charles Michael Murray, Courtesy Endangered Planet, Laguna Beach, CA

Read more about Earth Day here and about McConnell here.

 

 

Guest Blog Post: “The Big Question,” in Story Teller’s exact words

Blogger the Story Teller shares his musings of 13th April with us here at da-AL’s blog. It’s autumn there in Cooroy, Queensland, a town in Australia…

Sunset yesterday, from the ’Story Hill.'
Sunset yesterday, from the ’Story Hill.’ I live on an old ‘Aboriginal Story Place’  a ‘place of power’  ‘a place of Stories.’

The big question for me is: ‘where did we come from, and where are we going to,’ or what is the point of ‘life and death?”

The other day, I was sitting in my garden. I was on my favorite garden seat, in the shade of a leafy green tree. Bees buzzed, insects clicked, birds sang… a genteel breeze moved the leaves and branches. Energy flowed like an invisible stream, I felt it on my cheek and the back of my hand. Some people call it the wind.

Blogger/Author The Story Teller
Blogger/Author The Story Teller

I felt profoundly happy and at peace with the world, I breathe in and fill my lungs with energy… I think about the big question. The energy of the universe fills my body, I am everything… everything is me. It’s blindingly simple…

I think and daydream; I’m in a big city someplace, I’m walking across a dusty road, rubbish spins listlessly on an unfelt breeze. Somebody in a dirty white shirt and unkempt trousers staggers towards me, he has no shoes and his feet are filthy. ‘Do you have the answer,’ he croaks as he gets closer.

I smile at the man, I don’t have to talk. I grabbed my shirt at the neck and ripped it open, standing there like King Kong with strips of shirt hanging from my fingers, the unformed universe fermenting in my chest. It was so black, it was before black; electrons shoot out like tiny white rods… they moved in a twisting, linear way.

I tell the man to step inside. I think to myself; “I am nothing… yet to me, I am everything.

Life is a conundrum, the mystery of it makes you smile, the possibilities endless.  Open your mind, dare to dream.

Thoughts on an autumn day down-under.

Read more of the Story Teller’s musing here.