Micky’s Masterpiece – A New Children’s Book About Art by Anne Gordon Perry

Anne Gordon Perry is a radiant artist, bright and brimming with creative projects. We interviewed her on the Baha’i Blogcast to talk about her film Luminous Journey (you can find that episode here) and in this interview she tells us all about her children’s book called Micky’s Masterpiece.

Here’s what Anne shared with us:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have been committed to the arts for over five decades, particularly since becoming a Baha’i, and my passion for creativity relates to many things I do. I teach college writing, film appreciation, art appreciation, and humanities at the Art Institute of Dallas and have a PhD in Aesthetic Studies. As an artist, I write and do some theatre, dance, visual art, and filmmaking. My interest in children’s literature comes out of my love for stories, for storytelling, and for contributing something to the education of young people.

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Exploring Far-Flung Futuristic Forms of Intergalactic Unity

This article is an abstract and hypothetical exploration of the far-flung future. Although it’s fantastical and based on my imagination, articulating my thoughts on this subject has broadened my perspective of the Baha’i Faith’s current state, given me a newfound appreciation for the significance of the times we are living in, and heightened my appreciation for the past. I hope you enjoy this exploration of the possibility of unity that extends beyond Earth into interplanetary federations and that it helps you ponder our collective future. Continue reading

Infinite Horizons: The Life and Times of Horace Holley – A New Book by Kathryn Hogenson

Although we’ve only spent a few hours in each other’s company, I have a profound respect and love for Kathryn Hogenson. You may know her from her book Lighting the Western Sky or from when she appeared on the Baha’i Blogcast in a special episode dedicated to Abdu’l-Baha (which you can listen to here).

She has penned a new book called Infinite Horizons: The Life and Times of Horace Holley and I’m eager to hear all about it. Here’s what Kathryn graciously shared with us about this book, what she learned in the process of writing it, why biographies of Hands of the Cause are precious, and what reading about Horace Holley’s life can teach us about service to humanity:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, and a Virginian transplanted to Florida. From my earliest years, I was unexplainably religious, so when I heard about the Baha’i Faith for the first time at age 19 at a Seals & Crofts concert in my hometown, Richmond, I immediately responded to it and within less than two months enrolled. That was almost 50 years ago. From that point on, the Faith has become more and more the centre of my life. I am also a lawyer with a lifelong love of history, but even though I have worked in the legal field, most of my career has been spent working for either the Universal House of Justice at the World Centre or for the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States. While in Haifa, I discovered the pleasure of researching Baha’i history and writing what I found as a story. The result was Lighting the Western Sky: The Hearst Pilgrimage and the Establishment of the Baha’i Faith in the West which was published in 2010. It has been a great joy to connect with people from across the globe who have read that book.

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Will We All Be Musicians in the Future?

More than 25 years ago I was praying at the Mansion of Mazra’ih, asking God for guidance on what to do next as I was leaving the Baha’i World Centre after two and a half years of service. While I was thinking of pioneering or travel-teaching, instead, I was startled to hear the word “music” pop into my head. That was so out of left field that it felt like a very clear answer to my prayer. Since then, I have been devoting more and more of my time and studies to music. Over time, I’ve been asking myself about the importance of music in the Baha’i Faith. Here is a small snippet of what I’ve learned so far. Continue reading

The Concept of Peace in the Baha’i Faith – A Book by Miguel Santesteban Gil

George Ronald, as part of its Baha’i Studies series, has released a book titled The Concept of Peace in the Baha’i Faith by Miguel Santesteban Gil. In this book, Miguel analyzes texts of Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha and Soghi Effendi to understand a common element of unity, justice and peace. To quote the book’s blurb: “The study explores the logical, anthropological and ethical extensions of the key theme of peace as it moved from one stage to another in the development of a young religion heavily invested in the world.”

Miguel Santesteban Gil very kindly agreed to tell us about his latest publication. Here’s what he shared with us:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was a born when the reverberations of the Spanish Civil War were sufficiently fresh to cast an ominous shadow in most of the family conversations we used to have at home, in Spain. I grew as a youth when the Cold War was at its peak. I well remember the articles my father used to read about the space race and the explanation he gave me once when I asked what it mean “not apt for irreconcilable ones,” a phrase I saw at the head of a magazine on the civil war. Living under a dictatorship schooled me in recognizing some of the evils of the twentieth century; but my inventory of ideas came to an abrupt widening when I first came across the Baha’i Faith at the age of 14. I became a Baha’i at 17, largely the result of many favourable circumstances, including the arrival in the intervening years of two Iranian Baha’i families that settled in Pamplona and acted as my spiritual family. I read widely, Baha’i texts as well as religious and cultural history books, and some philosophy of history. I met my wife, Elham Sami, at a Baha’i Youth School. She spoke Portuguese, which was enough to understand each other. We married in Melbourne and had three boys, two of them already married. We have a lovely grand-daughter, Alaia (happy in the Basque language), and another grandchild is on its way.

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My Experiences with Timeliness, Sequence & Spirituality

When I pay close attention to the timeliness, the sequence and the order to how I strive to apply the Baha’i Writings to my personal life, I feel a significant leap in my spiritual growth and understanding.

I suspect this type of discipline rolled over from my yoga teacher and therapy training, where timeliness and the sequence and order of doing things is the crux behind the “science of spirituality” that yoga is.

I will use the space below to outline what I have observed of how timelines, sequence and order, principles I learned and instituted in my yoga practice, affect my efforts to align my life and daily habits with the laws, teachings and principles of the Baha’i Revelation. These reflections are personal and the experiences shared are solely my own; everyone’s understanding and experiences of these principles will naturally be diverse and nuanced. Continue reading

Growing Up – A Children’s Book About Life’s Stages

A dynamic team made up of Catherine A. Honeyman (or Catie) and Bahiyyih Maani (Bahi) have created a resource for children called Growing Up: A Book About Life and Love, Inspired by the Baha’i Writings and we were excited to learn all about it! In this interview, Catie and Bahi tells us about their book, how it came together, and its purpose.

Here’s what Catie and Bahi shared:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

I’m Catie, the author, and right now I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the United States. My husband Neil and I have three children who surprise and delight us with their unique personalities—Naim, Elena, and William. Our first two children were born in Rwanda, Neil’s home country, and we keep a lot of connections there. I work for an international nonprofit organization promoting youth training, employment, and entrepreneurship programs in many different countries. That means I think a lot about how to help young people transition into fulfilling adult roles in our society!

I’m Bahiyyih, the illustrator, and I live in Vila Velha, in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, with my husband Diego, and our two daughters, Agatha and Jade. I’ve been a Baha’i since I was born as the daughter of Persian pioneers. I studied architecture and urbanism and served in the Holy Land twice: the first time as a gardener and the second time as an architect. The second time I stayed for three years and that period gave me the chance to learn how to paint with watercolours. Since 2015, I’ve been learning more and more about the techniques and have been illustrating books and doing personalized commissions. Continue reading

So Powerful – A Short Film by Isabel Miranda and Emmanuel (Manny) Lopes

So Powerful is a touching and genuine short film by Isabel Miranda and Emmanuel (Manny) Lopes. It is a documentary about two individuals from very different cultural backgrounds, Max and Shoghi, who build a deep friendship through music.

So Powerful is a joy to watch and a sweet film to derive inspiration from. I’m grateful to Isabel and Manny for taking the time to tell us about their 17 minute documentary. Here’s what they shared with us: Continue reading

A Deeper Calling – A Short Film Sharing Reflections on the Transformative Power of Prayer

I had the fortune of taking part in the 2022 World Conference which recently took place in Brisbane, Australia, and on the opening night of the conference, a short film was shown called A Deeper Calling: Reflections on the Transformative Power of Prayer. The film features five young people from Brisbane, and it shares their personal reflections of how prayer has affected their lives.

I found out that the film was created by my friend, Devina Saberi, who also happens to have taken part in some of our very first Baha’i Blog Studio Sessions (“Shine Ye” and “Sorrow Shall Pass“), and she agreed to publish the film on Baha’i Blog’s Youtube channel, and also answer some questions about the film. Here’s what she shared: Continue reading