Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy 2017!

This is my prayer and invocation for 2017. Blessed be!

Mother, Father, God, Universal Power
Remind us daily of the sanctity of all life

Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness of all creation,
As we strive to respect all the living beings on this planet.

Penetrate our souls with the beauty of this earth,
As we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of the seasons.

Awaken our minds with the knowledge to achieve a world in perfect harmony
And grant us the wisdom to realize that we can have heaven on earth.

~ Jo Poore

Monday, December 26, 2016

waiting to go on | David Whyte

…It must be
we are waiting
for the perfect moment.
It must be
under all the struggle
we want to go on.
It must be,
that deep
we are creatures
getting ready
for when we are needed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 : the winter of my discontent

By my count, today is truly a dark day in the history of America to date.

Make no mistake, I am not referring to winter solstice

Against all our hopes and prayers the Hamilton Electors and the US Electoral College failed to overturn votes and turn the tide. 

This was our last line of defense. What we all hoped and prayed for.  

And so Donald J. Trump steps into office as the 45th President of the United States.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

sunrise, sunset

Back in the East once again for the holidays, I look to the skies and am uplifted.

Even jet lag has its advantages if it wakes me as the sun peeps over the horizon.

Painting the sky in glorious hues and unsurpassed palettes.

Friday, December 9, 2016

world wide web vs the war on words

Why do people turn to the internet - the Wild West World of information and misinformation - where we can judge each story for our self?

Why do we profess to be such know it alls when clearly we do not know what we do not know.

Blinded by belief in our knowledge of self, we stumble and storm, grapple and grope, so sure we know what we are doing.

HA! Such entitled foolish behavior is so tragic and dangerous.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Farewell, America

As I pack my bags to fly off for the winter, I can't seem to get out of Dodge soon enough. Asta la vista, 2016 - good riddance!

You've been a true pill of a year and I am eager to purge you out of my system for good.

I am one with Neal Gabler, who writes - [read his full article here]

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country.

The sun sets behind the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

And we are lost for it. As I surveyed the ruin of that country this gray Wednesday morning, I found weary consolation in W.H. Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939, which concludes:

“Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”

We all now hunt for that affirming flame.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

let's get ourselves into some good trouble

Today is Thanksgiving Day and this is the prayer I offer up for us all.

"With due respect for the colored ribbons we’ve worn for various solidarities, our next step is to wear something on our sleeve that takes actual courage: our hearts." ~ Barbara Kingsolver 

Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist and poet - a woman of substance who I have admired and followed for decades.

Friday, November 11, 2016

healing heartache

As I watch President Barrack Obama's tearful thank you to his campaign staff I listen to Leonard Cohen's gravely voice, hoping to heal my grief and heartache.

I turn to Cohen's Buddhism, the Path of Enlightenment through the understanding of human suffering, to lift my spirit and soothe my soul.

The Buddha is a tremendous help right now, with supportive advice for working through my debilitating devastated emotions.

Body, mind, and heart are running amok, at war with each other, and each tearing itself apart.

Monday, October 31, 2016

home, haven, heaven

As a feisty and fierce woman I am not easily bullied or harassed.

When boarding the bus with a man-ling in line ahead spraying his kaka all over our late bus, over crowded with steaming rain soaked bodies of tired commuters eager to get home, it takes great effort to rein in a sharp tongue and prickly temper.

But I do.

The Enlightened. . . .yogi by Sanjay Sonawani

Saturday, October 29, 2016

hollow horrors

As this chaotic year draws to a close, Halloween is by far the most apt occasion to celebrate before voting in the US elections on November 8.

We all need to bring back more fun and humor in our lives after the rocky horror show of this presidential campaign season.

So much rides on our choice and our vote.

If it's not screaming, it's not a TRUMPkin!

As Halloween has transitioned through the millennia - from the somber meaningful pagan ritual of Samhain to making merry of hauntings and horrors, with costumes and candies, in parades and parties of today - have we made a mockery of or important traditions and beliefs?

Friday, October 21, 2016

shooting stars & growing pains

Against the dark Jupiter, the brightest star-like object in the predawn sky, rises in the east.

As the orb of the sun creeps into the horizon, the dawn offers up Sirius, the sky’s brightest star.

Consolation for a waning gibbous moon and overcast skies eclipsing the Orionid meteor shower.

“Shot around 1 am. The night was bright because of the full moon.”
Zefri Besar, Brunei, Darussalam

These meteors or shooting stars are vaporizing bits of ice and dust trailing from the famous Haley's Comet, streaking through the night sky.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

peace, baby, peace

October 2 was International Day of Non-Violence, celebrated on the birthday of civil disobedience 
pioneer, Gandhi

Leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence and non-cooperation, Gandhi remains a controversial inspiration of global peace 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September Days

Last year's blog, Equinox & Eclipses | blood moons & bloody times, focused on September dates of import that impact us all - cosmic, global, national, local and personal - stirring us to the core. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pinay Power

Accidentally on purpose, wonder | wander | women are focused lately on remembering and honoring significant women in our lives.

#woawomen uphold the trend with this commemorative on Philippine precolonial warrior princesses.

“While women in precolonial Philippines were often designated to the venerable position of the babaylan, it was not an uncommon occurrence for them to pick up arms and become warriors.” – Perry Gil S. Mallari, The Filipina as Ritualist and Warrior

Filipinas of precolonial Philippines were not the protected simpering Maria Clara image that our colonizers chose to conjure and perpetuate. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

a grand design

Mahala celebrated her birthday yesterday. We refer to it as my labor [of love] day as well.

Graphic Illustration by Mahala Urra

It is the start of a four year "high" that culminates on marking another special decade. 

This is incredible!

As solar systems are aligning in the Universe, our planets are aligning with our sun, so too are her life years and numbers lining up - 1, 2, 3, 11.

The microcosm within, the macrocosm outside. The internal manifests externally. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hunter S. Thompson on our purpose in life

Discouraged and distressed over the current political climate and media coverage in our world today, I find solace in a letter of advice by 22 year old Hunter S. Thompson to his friend Hume Logan on finding your purpose.

Written in 1958, it is timelessly insightful, especially given that Thompson and the world had no idea then that he would become one of the most important writers of the 20th century - gonzo journalism godfatherpundit of media politicsdark philosopher

Friday, August 12, 2016

bully to the back, bully at the front

Around this time last year I blogged about local elections in "make your vote count".

For the Philippines, many breathe easier now, having dodged a bullet when Bongbong - the only son of the Marcos conjugal dictators - failed in his bid for the vice presidency. Yay! for another six year reprieve from yet another Marcos threat.

Wax Figures: Imelda & Ferdinand Marcos

This November it is our fervent hope that our prayers will be answered once more and that Donald Trump will lose as well and fade into the orange sunset of his fake tan.

Fat Cat: can't keep his trap shut

Monday, August 1, 2016

book review? writing ideals? social commentary?

This book being marketed as a sequel to the Millennium Trilogy has definitely stirred a hornet's nest.

For fans of author Steig Larsson who mourned his untimely demise in 2004, even before his first book was out, the new release of a Lisbeth Salander novel is a mixed bag of surprise and speculation.

For followers of this gifted and beloved writer who was plucked from our world all too quickly and too soon, we are caught between a rock and a hard place as we witness the drama behind his legacy unfold in the hands of others.

Friday, July 22, 2016

monkey me, monkey mind

I turned 60 this July, the year of the red fire monkey - my birth year, no pressure, right? 

"[W]e are all monkeys. Not only because that is what Darwin concluded a while back, but because in the Chinese zodiac, every twelve years we are under the influence of the primates. But every 60 years (5 cycles of 12) we are in the domain of the Red Fire Monkey, and as the name suggests, we can expect more action and adventures stories than romantic comedy tales." ~ Gahl Eden Sasson 

Art by Gorillaz: Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett

At this halfway point of my year, I am bound to assess what has transpired for me so far, and what to adjust in order to optimize my forward momentum and direction.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

feeling grand

Happy 60th birthday to me! Today the Sun returns to the position it was in when I was born. 

drawing my lines

It’s a new year, the dawn of a brand new decade. Today is a day of new beginnings with influences affecting the entire year to come.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

leave or remain : heart & spirit divided

With my one and only based in the UK, this sad business and sorry outcome of the Brexit vote has our whole family on a ridiculous ride of our lives.

Reading this laudable article of Laurie Penny, "I want my country back," reminds me that this is a shared sentiment that is bigger then the UK or the EU even.

I want to wake up tomorrow in a country where people are kind, and tolerant, and decent to one another. A country where people – all people – can feel at least a little bit safe. 

This is about each of us and our place in the world or the stand we take.

traipsing the world & the wake we make

Through the years we have become increasingly mobile. Uprooting ourselves to parts unknown. Be it permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. 

Photo Credit: Wig Tysmans

The world has grown increasingly smaller as there are more of us to fill it, map it, conquer it. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

book review of Mia Alvar's "In the Country"

While back in the Philippines for a recent two month visit, I brought this book to read on the flight.

It got such raves that I was eager to read what this new breakout author had to write about our country, its diverse people and its many differing circumstances.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mahala's illustrated book gets an award!

This book that Mahala Urra illustrated won an award - whoohoo! proud mama Issa UrraWoaWomen Urra, proudly Negros, proudly Kolasa! Thank you Tahanan Books

2016 Skipping Stones Award for Multicultural & International Books

Posted on June 2 at 9:20pm ·

Woke up to great news! With the University of New Mexico Press, Tahanan BooksWhat My Grandmother Told Me won a 2016 SKIPPING STONES AWARD for the Multicultural & International Books Category! Shout out to the team! 

Author: Maria Paz Eleizegui Weir
Illustrator: Mahala Urra
Designer: Auri Asuncion Yambao

You may purchase your copy at! Add this book to your shopping cart when you claim your 12% OFF coupon. Valid until the Philippine Independence weekend!

Read about Mahala's creative process and project highlights on our previous blog, Mahala's Illustrated Book

Publishers Book Launch Invitation

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

celebrate life, grieve loss, grow & gain

This week was filled with one eulogy too many. Life and death. Loss and gain. Joy and grief.

In any stage or phase of our lives, these are attendant attachments of every human being.

However well lived a life - in intent and application, in motivation and purpose, in success or satisfaction - its end does not always bring closure for those left behind.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

more finds at 188 Galerie

wonder | wander | world has found more gems from one of our favorite sites, 188 Galerie in New York City

188 Galerie

This month's blog features Sogara Yuzen which means "single view" in Japanese and refers to the large, hand-screened sheets of paper that depict vibrant elements of Japanese art and culture. 

Beyond Beauty : Shop our Sogara Yuzen decorative paper. Now available online and at our store

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SHE rah! rah! rah!

Do you watch the Syfy TV series, "Wynonna Earp"?

Syfy officially acquired Wynonna Earp - a 13-episode Canadian drama series based on the IDW Publishing comic created by Beau Smith - from the independent station CHCH

Show Summary: 
The great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, Wynonna, returns to the town of Purgatory where she was born and where Wyatt spent the last years of his life. The outlaws that Wyatt killed return as revenants to haunt every generation of the Earp family. Now Wynonna has to put them down with the aid of Wyatt's mystical Peacemaker. Helping her are her younger sister Waverly, government agent Xavier Dolls, and the risen spirit of Doc Holliday. 

Watch it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

times we are [not] a'changin'

Returning to the Philippines on an election year is always chaotic and discombobulating.

Archipelago of colors, one strong weave. 
Image courtesy of Haim Chicken

This time a man proud to be known as the Donald Trump of the East may yet reign supreme.

Yet another halfling with pretensions to manliness and personal power runs a close second.

In the wake of Mother's Day Facebook is flooded by such ugliness.

Disappointment overwhelms in the difficulty to reconcile beloved homeland with reviled behavior.

O Pinas kong mahal, so tortured by this whole convoluted affair. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

paradise lost

Progress unfolds and builds momentum as it goes on a roll.

View from the executive suite at the Manila Marriot Hotel

How consciously and ethical it does is largely in our hands.

But more often than not greed and avarice rule over sense and sensibility.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Southeast Asia.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

we're having a heat wave

A tropical heat wave! The temperature's rising! It isn't surprising!

It has hit us here BIG time in the Philippines where El Niño has reared its hellish head. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

over here, over there

For however many conveniences a more mobile life has procured there are some downsides to it.

Where Heavens Meet

What gets to us all is when we are here there are things that we miss from over there.

And the same goes the other way around.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter time

For me, Easter in the US is all about eggs, bunnies, baskets, candy, and stuffing our selves on feasts that have tables and bellies groaning under the weight of family favorites. 

In contrast, Easter in the Philippines, was a lot more somber and mired in religiosity.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

alive, awake, alert

We live in interesting and stimulating times.

Productive or not - many external influences now sway us in diverse and divergent ways.

male|female - yin|yang

More than any other time, we are stirred and stimulated in facets and aspects of our selves we hardly knew we possessed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Bless us this day with these our gifts which we have received with much bounty! 

The Hindu deity Ganesha c. 1200–1300 India; Karnataka state; schist; Asian Art Museum of 
San Francisco, the Avery Brundage Collection

Ganesha is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshiped in the Hindu pantheon. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

gourmet living

wonder | wander | women are believers that suffering is optional. 

non-seafood paella

We love our life and choose to live it well. 

When we were given a four week liver detox instead of pining we came up with a creative menu 
to enjoy. 

Read all about it at our wonder | wander | women blog : gourmet dieting

Sunday, February 21, 2016

strings attached

The preservation of art, stories, myths, belief systems, details of day to day life, and all aspects of our culture while we still can is a major concern.

Through the years too much has been lost to colonization, urbanization, modernization and every other mad rush for more and better. 

Feng Shui Bagua

Our origins and web of life are often at risk long before we are conscious of the steps leading to its loss that often are not to be retraced or retread. Much of the cultural diversity of our world is 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

heartfelt happiness

Mid life woman 
you are not
invisible to me.
I seem to see 
beneath your face 
all the women 
you have ever been. 

Midlife woman
I have grown with you 
in another parallel, 
breathing with you 
as you breathed,
seeing with you 
as you see, 
lining my face 
with an earned care 
as you lined yours, 
waiting for you, 
as it seems 
you waited for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

zip zap zoom : Kung Hei Fat Choi!

2016 has come fast and furious. Taken by surprise, we are now February and here we are playing catch up.

I am eager and excited to welcome the Yang Fire Monkey - this is my year.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

options | potential | possibility

I just finished reading "All Who Go Do Not Return" by Shulem Deen.

The book blurb reads: A moving and revealing exploration of Hasidic life and one man's 
struggles with faith, family, and community.

While it offers an intriguing peek into the secretive world of one of the most restrictive sects of the Hasidim, I was struck more by the parallels and similarities this world shared with our provincial equatorial hometown half a world away.