I had the privilege of meeting the wonderful Gordon Kerr at the recent Ink of Light Baha’i Writers’ Festival, and he told me about an awesome initiative he’s started in the UK called ‘Creative Circles’.
Creative Circles is a small retreat for those striving to serve humanity through art, and it’s a gathering where artists of all types come together from around the world for a week of masterclasses, workshops, presentations, and the sharing of experiences. It’s also an opportunity for artists to explore their interests and nurture their creative talents in an atmosphere of fellowship and support.
I absolutely love the idea of Creative Circles and I wanted to know more, so here’s what Gordon had to say about this great initiative: Continue reading
Although we’ve never met, I feel like I’ve gotten to know Jacqueline Claire over the years as we’ve connected over creating Baha’i-inspired content for Baha’i Blog. She wrote about her experiences creating imaginative spaces for elevated conversation, what she has learned in striving to be a spiritually restored and active participant at Nineteen-Day Feasts, and she shared with us some of her artwork and an arts newsletter she sent out every day of the Fast. When I heard about a new initiative she has developed that combines storytelling, art and dynamic conversation, I was eager to find out more. It’s called Awake to Your Life as a Spiritual Journey and I loved what she shared with me:
Baha’i Blog: To begin, could you tell us a little about this initiative?
Sure, I would love to. Awaken to Your Life as a Spiritual Journey is an uplifting and interactive blend of art show, storytelling and dynamic discussion designed to empower attendees to see their life path in a new way. It incorporates a series of seven mystical landscape paintings of mine called The Seven Valleys of Summer. It begins with an icebreaker that immediately creates a warm, friendly environment and starts to connect people with each other, the artwork and passages from The Seven Valleys of Baha’u’llah. I speak a little about the series and how it came about, branching in to larger concepts about life as a spiritual journey. Collectively we then discuss the Valleys, gleaning wisdom from each one.
Our friends at Bahaiteachings.org have recently started a podcast called “Cloud9”, which shines a light on the artistry and creative process of artists around the world.
The host of the series is Shadi Toloui-Wallace, the Arts Editor of BahaiTeachings.org and an incredible artist in her own right. We’ve interviewed Shadi before about her music (such as her most recent album, Daughters of the Kingdom), and she was also a guest on the Baha’i Blogcast with Rainn Wilson. This time we wanted to hear more about Cloud9 and Shadi graciously obliged, so here’s what she shared with us: Continue reading
A little over a year ago I had the bounty of visiting the Holy Land for a few days, and while there, I had the privilege of meeting a young man named Nima Majzoubi, who was on Baha’i Pilgrimage at the time. Nima and I spoke about music and his desire to produce an album, and now friends, here it is!
Nima’s debut album is titled Promised Land, and I’m happy to share my interview with him about the music and inspiration behind the album: Continue reading
(Photo courtesy of 9starjewelry.com)
Everything you know is put to the test when you have children. Recently, after singing the prayer that begins “O God! Educate these children…” for what must have been the 1,000th time, my five year old asked me: “What is the Sun of Reality?”. She stopped me in my tracks. I really had to think about it, and think about how to explain my thoughts. She also frequently asks about what is referred to as “the ringstone symbol”, a work of calligraphy often found on Baha’i-inspired jewelry, and used by many of our family members. My answers to all these questions need some work, so this prompted me to read up on this significant symbol and, in preparation for the next time she asks about it, I’ve written up seven questions and answers about the ringstone symbol: Continue reading
To celebrate Baha’i Blog’s 7th birthday, we recently posted our 10 most popular articles of the year, and now we thought it would be a good time to share our 10 most popular Image posts of the year as well!
What do we mean by “Image posts”? Well, Baha’i Blog has an Article Section, a Video Section, an Audio Section, and about two years ago we launched our Image Section, where we feature photos, wallpapers, design, art and other imagery from talented Baha’i creators. (You can find out more about our Image Section by reading this article.)
In this top 10 countdown, we list the top 10 posts with the most amount of traffic from Naw-Ruz 2017 to Naw-Ruz 2018 based on Google Analytics. Let’s start with number 10: Continue reading
It is humbling to see such an incredible flourishing of creative expression blossom in honour of the Bicentenary anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith! You can feast your eyes and your ears on works of art, poetry, music, videos and dance from all corners of the planet on bicentenary.baha.org. Continue reading
Untitled, watercolour & ink, December 2016
A few years ago, in late February, I laid out a bunch of tiny Starbucks cups with a handful of dirt and little seeds in each of them under a desk lamp in my apartment.
I didn’t undertake this on my own; I was part of a group of friends who wanted to learn more about the idea of organic growth. We had been saying these words, “organic”, “process” and “growth”, a lot in the Baha’i community but we wanted to go a little deeper into their meaning and define their characteristics. The following are my own reflections on that experience, as well as my current experience watching the growth of my son. Continue reading
November, 2015. Ink pencil on paper.
“One body, two souls!” a friend exclaimed when he saw me during my pregnancy. Shoghi Effendi explains that the soul or spirit of a human being is associated with the body at the moment of conception. The soul is a mystery, an intangible, untouchable and yet essential part of who we are. Abdu’l-Baha explains,
The essence of the human soul is clarified from material substances and purified from the embodiment of physical things. It is exclusively luminous; it has no body; it is a dazzling pencil of light; it is a celestial orb of brightness.
I was in a coffee shop when I found out I was pregnant and began reflecting on the transformation that was taking place, as well as this notion of the soul. Describing this discovery, I wrote: Continue reading
I was probably 15 when I was first asked if I’d ever make “secular” music. To be honest, I actually had no idea what the term “secular” meant until I went home, asked my dad and learned it means not having a spiritual basis. I was a little confused as to how this newly acquired knowledge was relevant to the music that I was creating, in my bedroom, at 2am on a Tuesday morning. Continue reading