Monday, June 29, 2009

daily rituals #007

home, sweet, home.
midcity. los angeles,ca

Saturday, June 27, 2009

daily rituals #006


good bye michael

the masses
true fan
true fan
the star
Despite the swarm of people to see Michael's star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I expected there to be more hard-core MJ fans. What I found was mostly a mass of tourists and opportunists. With the helicoptors above and the media frenzy below, I inched my way through the crowd in front of Grauman's Chinese and happened upon Joya. She held her head high as she proudly explained how she aquired all her MJ buttons and how she cried all night remembering him. She talked about her love for Michael as if he was a member of the family. She had no doubts about where she needed to be on this day after Michael's passing. Despite the hour wait, it was truly worth it for her. Another man, passed by the star thinking he could just walk up to it and leave some flowers. He was sadly mistaken. He walked away disappointed, but still with a smile on his face, "I just wanted to come by and leave the man some flowers."

See the whole MJ's star set at my Flickr.

Friday, June 26, 2009

miss you michael!

to say the least, i was shocked when i heard the news. you never truly know the effect someone has had on your life until they are gone. i was surprised at how deeply saddened i was about michael's passing and what an impact his music has had on my life. i remember how real "thriller" was to me and how mesmerized i was by "smooth criminal." some people argue that quincy jones was the real talent behind his best hits, but michael brought life to that music. he gave it moves. he gave it magic. and that was something only he, and no one else, could ever accomplish. he will be greatly missed!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

welcome summer

8.5 x 11 c-print
los angeles, ca

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More For Practice

Julia Cameron has developed a 12 week course aimed at unblocking your creative flow. The program consists of two Basic Tools: The Morning Pages and The Artist Dates.

The Morning Pages are a routine to be followed everyday. You wake up in the morning and before anything else you write 3 pages of whatever you please. It doesn't have to be good. It doesn't have to be coherent. It just has to be done. The idea is to peel away at your self-censor and to dive into your creative center.

The Artist Date is a once a week commitment to exploration. You must allot a block of time specifically for nurturing your creativity. And this is to be done alone. The date does not have to be extravagant. It can be time alone to read a book at a coffee house, dance class, or a trip to the museum. The point is to spend some quality time with yourself and your creativity.

Being a mother poses much difficulty to this 12 week program. Honestly, I could not adhere to its demands. However, the theme of practicing everyday and spending quality time with self, I do implement. These are essentials in the journey back to the soul-home. I recommend checking out the basic tools and tailoring them to fit into the demands of mamahood.

Download the Basic Tools here.

Mestre Pashtina

This is what happens when natural ability meets practice.


I don’t like surprises. As a result, I plan, I schedule, I make lists. (This is actually part of being an ENTJ). I used to think I have become this way because of baby girl. Not so. I have realized that my ability to organize and execute comes naturally to me. Because I am responsible for the life of another human being, these instincts have come out in full force. I am howling at the moon.

When baby girl was still tiny, I used these organizational instincts in order to meet her needs. Our day was planned and I was prepared for whatever she could dish out. (Or throw up.) However, the one place it was not applied, was to my creative life. It didn’t even make it on the list. It is a challenge, but I put work for this blog on my list everyday. Even if that work is just thinking, it is still part of the creative process.

Once you decide to respond to the call of the wild, you must rely on your own unique natural instincts to you lead to a creative life. And once you get there, you must practice everyday. Keep in mind that the creative process does not start and stop in any one place. Because you have not yet produced a tangible work does not mean you are not honing your skills. Expand. Research. Think. Write about it. Draw about it. Dance about it. Whatever it is. Natural instincts and abilities are nothing without practice—everyday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

daily rituals #005

scarecrow, community garden, highland park

Saturday, June 20, 2009

For Daddy

song for my father
the horace silver quintet

For Tata

“All our guns and machine gun placements were hit directly and nearly the whole area was burning because of incendiary bombs. We were not able to eat nor drink anything during those two days...The Red Cross hospital was bombed, leaving pieces of human bodies hanging on the trees and mangled bodies everywhere in sight. On April 9th, Gen. Wainwright ordered all Bataan forces to surrender. We were then ordered by the Japanese to line up on one side of the street without our guns and pistols."
~Excerpt from the Memoirs of Marciano Lim, my grandfather

My grandfather served in the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE) in the Philippines during World War II. This excerpt tells of his escape from the Bataan Death March and his journey back home. Prisoners of war in the march were subject to starvation, beheadings, casual shooting, disembowelment, and bayonet stabbings. By seeking opportunity and seizing upon his courage, he was able to escape Japanese forces. He had to abandon his military clothing, including his shoes, and walk barefoot for miles while sick with malaria. He walked for three days. Sadly, upon his arrival he was told that his first child, a son, had died just a few days before.

Losing a child is unimaginable; as were many conditions faced by our elders. Somehow they were able to endure, love, and create life. How strong the force is that pulls us toward home and family. It is that force that is responsible for my existence today. And for, that I am grateful.

From T-B, L-R: Marciano Lim(grandfather), Miguela Lim(grandmother), Crispin Lim(uncle), Geronima Marcelino (aunt), Ana Nazareno(aunt), Denny Lim (my father), Miguela Lim, Marciano Lim, Lea Carnero(aunt).

for papa

"En ti los rìos cantan y mi alma en ellos huye
como tù lo desees y hacia donde tù quieras.
Màrcame me camino en tù arco de esperanza
y soltarè en delirio mi bandada de flechas"
~pablo neruda
excerpt from "ah vastedad de pinos"

"In you the rivers sing and my soul flees in them
as you desire, and you send it where you will.
Aim my road on your bow of hope
and in a frenzy I will free my flock of arrows."

daily rituals #004

io peeps

rising with the sun

I must always remind myself that training capoeira keeps me sane; mentality and physically fit. I woke up this morning at 5:50am for my date with the park. Training capoeira that early in the morning is alot more effective than coffee! The other added benefit is that everyone in the house is still asleep and I have the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts.

Try waking up before the baby in the morning. Take a walk. Make some tea. Write. Stretch. Meditate. It will change your life. I promise.

To see the entire capoeira set, click here.

Pictured above is Capoeira Angola Center of LA's monthly roda held at Creative Seeds. Learn more about Capoeira Angola here. Click here for class schedule.

a verdade
mestre moraes

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keep On

Sorry for the 2 week hiatus. I'm back with that same old feeling!

The Dig

little men. 8 x 10. silver gelatin print.
My homegirl Anita recently inspired me to dig into the archives. This is the first photo I ever printed. It was taken outside an army surplus store in New York City, October 2001, shortly after 9-11.

Walking around New York was very surreal at that time. People were going about the city, trying to return to “business as usual”, but it was clear that everyone was still in a state of shock. While walking down Broadway, I passed these two little boys decked out in army fatigues. They were quite the spectacle. Passersby, with a new found fervor for patriotism, cheered and applauded. “They’re ready to go to Afghanistan!” someone exclaimed.

With my dad’s old Nikkormat, no photography experience, and nothing but instinct to guide me, I approached the boys. With my lens at very close range, their eyes pierced right through me. In that instance, they weren’t boys; they were little men. And they were serious. Like trained soldiers, they saluted. Unfortunately, knowing nothing about exposure, the salute shot was totally blown out and almost unprintable. But I will never forget that pivotal moment when I had, for the first time, felt my place in the universe.

For new mothers, who are searching for their lost creativity, it is important to dig through the archives. In her recent dig, Anita said, “I found myself in that old box and remembered that I was a woman before I was a mother.” When you decide to go on your dig remember: the point shouldn’t be to get back to where you were. That is impossible. The woman you were has grown into the mother you are. Looking back to the archives should be a tool for moving forward, taking the reins, and leading yourself to a life that will sustain art.

Words From Wise Women

"Poetry is like painting. You say are going to paint a portrait. You start with a blob of color and then wash, and when the lines are taking shape, you see a landscape, perhaps people. You are not quite sure what you're driving at, but it means something in the end. And the first person to be surprised is the one who made it."

~Tita Lacambra-Ayala (b.1931) Philippine poet

Monday, June 8, 2009

for inspiration

for so many mujeres,
it seems we have to decide~
CHOOSE between ourselves and our
our desire to create ART and
our desire to create LIFE.
but life is art and art is life
we shouldn’t have to choose between
2 beautiful and important worlds.

some revolutionary women are transforming
ordinary beliefs
changing with our children
and living to create worlds that we
have envisioned
not just for our children
but for us all.

we are creators of dreams
and weavers of realities
we don fine threads made up of
for ourselves,
our children,
the world.
~sara aguilar

Sara Aguilar is a mother, filmmaker, and artist. Her piece featured here is also featured in her upcoming documentary on mothers and creativity, called "Mamahood." The piece focuses on four mothers (including yours truly) and their insights on raising children and nurturing the creative life.

Photo: Li Onesto

the block is hot

drive by

This is the reality of my day. Shots rang out in the middle of the day. Not the first time. And not the last time, I'm sure. The police tape you see here is tied to my gate. Not the first time that's happened either. I reminded the officer to remove the bit of tape they left behind the last time they were here. Injured parties were able to run off before police got there. At least they showed up this time...

I could let this get me down, but still, I move forward!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend Revelations

This weekend I attended a strengths building conference for moms, called the Yelo Experience. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but like many things, you take the best and leave the rest. I took an assessment called the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator. The type indicator was created by mother/daughter team, Katharine Briggs and Isabel Meyer, and was based on Carl Jung’s theories of psychological type preferences. The type indicator identifies 16 personalities types based on where you focus your attention, the way you take in information, the way you make decisions, and how you deal with the outer world. The results do not define who are so much as they may help you to understand the way you prefer to interact and react to the world around you.

My test results show that I am an ENTJ: “Frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas.”

Because this was a conference for mothers it was interesting to see all these different women apply this knowledge to the way they respond to their children, their partners, and their pursuits outside of family life. Women who were familiar with the type indicator seemed to not only know their partners better, but they seemed to have a lot of acceptance for their differences. Where aspects of their personalities might seem like weaknesses, they would turn around and present them as strengths. This was incredibly motivating and eye opening.

While I employ many tools to my creative process I am opening myself up to exploring the validity of these findings before fully recommending them to my readers. For the next few weeks, I will be examining my results from the conference and accessing the things that make me strong versus the things that drain my energy and how this pertains to my creative life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

First Day Back

After a four year hiatus, Thursday was my first day back in the darkroom. As vile as photo chemicals may be, I must admit, I missed the smell. Anxious to see the fruits of my labor, I pulled the first contact sheet…not what I expected. I moved passed my own disappoint and continued on with the rest of the batch, barely able to look at them. In fact, I didn’t even really take a look until today. Although, I didn’t find the gems I had expected, I realize what needs work and more importantly, to stop buying drug store film! The little guy above was the child of a family we met while camping in Moro Bay. His energy, as well as his family’s, was penetrating and intense. I can't wait to print this.
Shout out to Coleman for his help and the rest of the Mochilla family for their support in my journey back to the darkroom.

daily rituals#003

rainy day by you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009