When I was reflecting on 2015 and making plans for this year, the theme for 2016 kept popping up – travel. While at the moment I have no travel plans for the year, it seems a good a theme as any.
There are, of course, places I’d like to go this year, such as Crete (for a week-long workshop on Minoan culture) and London (for the 2nd Annual Bloggers Bash), but at the moment I have no idea if I will be able. I will have a chance to travel a bit around Poland. I plan on attending the Big Book Festival in Warsaw this summer. I hope that I’ll be able to go to Krakow once again for a few days as part of research for my novel. Maybe I’ll go to the Conrad Festival in the fall.
Physical travel is only one way of going places, and I’d like to interpret my theme much more broadly and inclusively.
One way to travel is by reading. For example, here are some places I’ve been recently (via books): Hungary, U.S. east coast and others (In the Forest of Forgetting
by Theodora Goss), Wonderland (Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll), and Krakow (Legendary Cracow by Ewa Basiura, Legends of Jewish Krakow by Artur Kiela). This year I will read as broadly as possible, which means I will read books written by authors from around the world. From the books I have lined up so far, I’ll be reading authors from Sweden, Norway, Czech Rep., Japan, China, Netherlands, Poland, etc.
Other than reading, I’ll be posting on here throughout the year about various places. Next week you’ll find a post on what I miss about Chicago. In the future, I’ll write about the benefits of being an outsider, something about Krakow, and others. If there is something you’d like me to write pertaining to Poland, let me know.
There is also something else I’d like to give a try this year, and this needs you to work. First of all, since I’ll be turning 35 this year (in June), I’ve decided to randomly select 35 people signed up for my newsletter to receive handmade mail art. I miss good old fashioned mail. So if you want to get in on that, sign up now. The drawing will be in June.
The second thing is a book/mail art exchange. Getting books in English here in Poland is sometimes difficult and costly. With the Polish zloty weakening in recent times, I need to get creative. So here’s my proposition: you send me a book and in return I’ll send you mail art made especially for you. If you’d like me to include something specific on the mail art, we can discuss that. I’ll add a tab in the menu above to facilitate this. If you’re interested, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A week ago, I participated in a workshop where at the end we all drew cards from the Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals by Jamie Sams and David Carson. The animal card we selected was to be our spirit guide for the year. The card I selected was the moose. According to the book, the moose is about self-esteem. “Self-esteem is the medicine of Moose because it represents the power of recognizing that wisdom has been used in a situation and that recognition or a pat on the back is deserved.” “If you have chosen the Moose card, you have reason to feel good about something you have accomplished on your journey. This may be a habit you have broken, a completion of some sort, an insight on a goal, or a new sense of self that you have fought hard to earn. It is a time of feeling harmonious pride, and of recognizing those who aided you in the process.”
Today I drew a tarot card to guide me for the year, and I got the Temperance card. Temperance is about moderation, but also merging. I’m no professional tarot reader, so I googled the meaning of this card. My take-away is that my life situation requires patience. It is also a confirmation that my approach to writing at the moment is best (for me at this moment) – I feel a need to be able to merge my writing, professional and family life. They cannot continue to feel as opposites vying for my attention, but should work together.
It’s interesting that I got the Moose and Temperance cards simultaneously as my guidance. I need to work on being self-confident and patient with attaining the results I want. My hard work will pay off, eventually.
Do you have a theme for 2016? Share in the comments.
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