Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Archive for October, 2012

Oh My Golly! My First Diwali!

My new adjunct professorship at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) in Language Studio/ESL comes with some very cool perks.  One is enjoying the beauty and history of SCAD’s many restored and repurposed buildings scattered across the Historic District of Savannah.  (Most of SCAD’s buildings are not new–more often than not, they were derelict or ready to be torn down before SCAD came to the rescue.)  My office, for example, is in Habersham Hall, part of the old Savannah jail.  (No more comments about finally being where I belong, please.)

Another perk is being exposed to so many unique cultural opportunities (for example, the Savannah Film Festival started this weekend).  On Friday night, I ventured over to the Habersham courtyard to celebrate Diwali, or the Indian “Festival of Lights.”  Diwali, or Deepavali, is a major Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph and victory of good over evil, specifically when the Hindu God Rama defeated the demon Ravana.  Celebrations incorporate the lighting of lamps and fireworks to symbolize hope, restoration and joy.  That’s right up my blog’s alley!

Turning the corner at the end of that mysteriously dark walk, I was amazed to see what looked like an Indian street festival in full swing.  Just look!

A large group of folks, many in traditional Indian garb, hovered around the food area.  And for good reason–the aromas were enticing.  The music was body-swaying.  Of course, I wanted to make a bee line directly to the grub, but I saw two of my students from ENGL 193 (Composition for International Students) and felt I had to pretend to be mature and say hello.  Here’s Kathrine and Stefanie:

But oh gosh, the food!  I can’t remember any of the specific names, except for naan (the bread), but here’s my plate:


After stuffing myself to an embarrassing degree, I finally came back to my other nongastronomic senses and saw on the other side of the courtyard in the stage area another of my students, Aakash Mani (aka Cash Money!  Really!).  I made my way toward him, stopping to say hi to some of these folks along the way:

I finally made it to Aakash …

… and discovered that he was one of the stars of the entertainment part of the evening!  Here he is dancing up a storm!

After the performance, I asked Aakash what made him happy about Diwali and the festival.  He explained that the festival itself, because of its recognition of the triumph of good, is reason to celebrate, that it’s all about happiness, and that the very smile on his face (which is almost ALWAYS present) is there because of the joy of life.  He also said that dance shows happiness.  (That sounds like an A+ answer to me.)

Other entertainers:

(Should I take up belly dancing?)

I was amazed at the beautiful orchestration of the evening.  So much fun!

I didn’t want to leave.

I love this place!




Sunday Morning Quote — 10/28/12

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came –
The Chestnuts, Oaks,  and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And  everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the  band.

George Cooper, “October’s Party”

Five Friday Happy Bringers (10/26/12)

A cool, breezy Friday in Savannah.  I’m happy because …

1.  My international SCAD students turned in such beautifully created Visual Essays as a part of our ENGL 193 Composition course.  Here are a few from (in order) Miao, Dang, Ji Sun, Alejandro, Kathrine, and Stefanie

2.  S’mores.

3.  Reading an insightful book, The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard (popular writer/speaker back in the middle of the last century) who taught that “your mind is always arranged in the image of all you believe and consent to as true.”  I appreciate the wisdom of his truth: that which we think about, believe in and agree with creates our habitual mindset.  So to me it makes sense to think about and cling to the joyful and the good.

4.  The excitement and fervor of kids as they decide what to be for Halloween.  For Grandies Daniel and Gabriel, it apprears that the ninja craze is going to win.  I’ll let you know next Wednesday.

5.  Good eyesight.

I hope you SEE a delightful weekend ahead.

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