August 17, 2019

Pay It Forward & Finding Happiness

Photo by Cody Engel on Unsplash

If you have a gift, share it with the world. If you have little to share, share it with the world. I promise you, if we were all to spread kindness in whatever capacity we can, things would become much different. 

Helping people is a sure shot path to finding your gratitude. To finding your center and focus. It's as simple as holding a door for someone or saying thank you to the tollbooth collector; neither of whom might even acknowledge the gesture. Remember that your peace is your journey and yours alone. Others are on their own path.

One is held responsible for one’s actions. That’s universal law. So please, trust yourself, things are different when you pay it forward. It starts with you. 

July 15, 2019

Q & A with Lea Lumi’ere, writer and artist

Lea Lumi’ere is a visual artist and writer from New Jersey. She has been writing freestyle poetry and prose since she was young. Her debut poetry collection Olive Rain is available on her site/ Amazon. Her work has been published in Unvael Journal, Hevria, and various other journals. Connect with her on IG@lealumiere | @artlalumiere. Check out her website here.


GB: Lea, thanks for taking some time to chat. Can you share a little bit more about yourself? Any background info that's NOT in the bio?

LL: Thank you for this opportunity Glen. I grew up in a Jewish community, in a very creative, colorful family of seven siblings (5 of which are boys!). I've lived in New Jersey, Dallas, St. Louis, Norfolk, and Israel. I've been a teacher by passion, not profession and have taught various subjects in high school since I was 18 (yes, at one point the students were only a few years younger than me. I was fondly called "Miss Abe") At one point, I was interested in Life Coaching (before i got over my head in my own life) so in theory I am a certified Life Coach... I have a Bachelors in Liberal Arts (read: Bachelors in nothing) but I'm currently a Yoga Instructor. I also dabble in the arts of Motherhood, as I do have a rambunctious toddler. I would say I'm a part-time wife too. (Here the housewife covers face with large vintage fan and curtsies to the audience). But my main occupation is dealing with my overactive mind. I'm also a Scorpio. And a being that I am, I clearly felt a need to say that.

GB: Olive Rain is a stellar read - unique in the noise of modern poetry. What's its purpose? Its manifesto?

LL: Thank you. I wish Olive Rain had a real manifesto. I never was that kind of writer. Things come clumsily and haphazard, kind of like fireworks flashing without being able to trace where they are coming from... I would say it basically speaks to the subconscious level of humanity- that place where we kind of fuse our spiritual, emotional, and physical selves; where we feel things deep and raw and hurting. My main wish is that someone will find the book in a coffee shop, and nod their head over a page, finding words maybe for the feelings they didn't even know they had. Feeling understand perhaps. and maybe deciding life is worth it for one more day.

GB: Is there any advice you have for someone looking to launch their creative career this day & age? 

LL: Hmm. That's a really good question, and I wish I did have more answers. I'll break up that phrase into two sections: 1) creative 2) career. So in terms of number 2, I don't have too much advice. I wouldn't say I am the best businesswoman. That side of my brain is kind of graffitied with poetry, it's a little hard to comb through that litter.... but in terms of number 1- yes! CREATE! find what it is that make your soul come alive. Whether that's using your hands to create something out of wood, using your mouth to sing, using your body to dance; whatever it is, find it first, and then do it second. Do it often enough that you will be craving more. That your heart will ask for more than a taste of its meal. Judge yourself less. We are all creative beings, and I believe we all have unique contributions to mankind.

GB: Talk about your creative process. Do you have any takeaway strategies or routines? 

LL: I think everyone has a different process; there's no right or wrong, and one way might not work for someone else. personally, I have an odd brain. A very visual, often literal brain. So when I start writing, I am usually trying to describe a certain emotion, and images come to my head, and then I describe what I see, or am trying to see. I don't have set writing times. sometimes, it's a pull-over-to-the-side of the road poem because I just saw a hitchhiker wearing a purple jumpsuit and crossing the road to catch a frisbee that the man in the green jeep threw. The hitchhiker was also holding flowers. Who the heck are the flowers for? Now who can continue driving when you see that. But other times, it's after a long day, dishes soaking in the sink, lights turned low, and I whip out my phone and just start scribbling... but nature is a massive inspiration too, and when I sit at the ocean, I feel poems spilling out of me like waves.

GB: What does "success" mean to you?

LL: This is a hard one. I am very hard on myself. I judge my work a lot. I am usually never satisfied with what i have done, always moving toward the next idea and creative burst of energy. Success at this time in my life, would look like gratitude. It would look like sitting inside myself and being at peace, regardless of what I "produce". But success in general can mean different things at different junctures of life... sometimes it's just about stepping your feet on the ground and off the bed, putting your feet in your shoes, and then tying your laces. Then taking a step forward.

GB: If you could use one word or phrase to describe your work's message, what would it be and why?

LL: Soul. I let myself feel things. And then I write about it. My poems might not make any sense, but they make heart. Somehow they are expressions of the way I connect to myself, others and G-d. And I hope someone reading that, can intuit their own soul. And maybe feel a sense of energy beyond themselves.

GB: What other types of art do you like to experiment with? Why?

LL: I like painting and collage art... I randomly sing and dance (but hey doesn't every mom do that while their kid is in the bathtub?). I was a very dramatic, intense kid, and was drawn to the sensitive things in life.

GB: Who and what is on your MUST-READ list?

LL: Recently I've been reading historical novels, which I love, as I love history and storytelling... for poetry, I love Sylvia Plath. On Instagram, there are so many talented writers i have come across, but just to name a few favorites: @graphic_violets @violet_rhymes @poetry_horizon_ @leah_jean_

GB: What's next for Lea Lumi'ere? Got any upcoming projects we can look out for?

LL: I have so many ideas... I don't know what I'll actually do (says the self-deprecating poet once more!) but I have 2 poetry collections ready to go somewhere (any publishers out there hear my holler!? ha!) I would love to write a novel. I have the idea for the basic story, but haven't actually started... I would love to have a podcast with spoken word poetry... also to buy more canvases in Michaels and paint on them (they have these really good deals btw... every once in a while, like a whole pack for 1/4 of the price) but in terms of actual projects you can expect, I might have some art booths this summer, not sure of the details yet... and maybe some poetry events. unpredictable for now. But expect sporadic poems on Instagram, that for sure...