Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#REVERB12 (Day 12): What were you most intense emotions?

INTENSITY? What emotion does this photo taken in San Salvador, Bahamas, evoke in you? Do we project our feelings on environments or do they impact us and change our dispositions? I am frightened by water! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

#REVERB12 (Day 12) PROMPT: What were your most intense emotions in 2012? What made you dance? What made you weep?

Hallelujah for INTENSITY of EMOTIONS! The whole gamut from celebration to weepiness or whatever that other extreme is!

In 2012, I danced...

When I became a new cat Mama for our two babies, Tao and Sapelo! 
Tao and Sapelo

When the ESL improv class I created with Lesly Fredman was a success (see this blog)!

When my Chiboogamoo and I travelled to the UK to visit our friends Denise and Ian in London and then took a train through Scotland!

When using newly crafted ESL improv lessons at Emory University's Goizueta Business School to teach the preMBA internationals to compete and volunteer (see this blog)!

The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia
by Ron Shaklee, art by Hallelujah Truth
When the children's book I illustrated was published (see this blog)!

When Chiboogamoo's professional development as an ichnologist took us to Newfoundland to see many amazing geological wonders (see this blog) and we also got to meet a fascinating poet and environmental artist (see this blog)

In 2012, when I wasn't dancing, I was confronting my mental blocks--not exactly weeping--but strong emotions nonetheless! One such intense block can be illustrated by the 2011-2012 trip I took to San Salvador, Bahamas, with my Chiboogamoo and his Emory University class!

HOME OF GERACE RESEARCH CENTRE. Destination for me along with my husband and his Emory University class (2011-2012). (photo by Chiboogamoo)

I'm afraid of water. Large bodies of water frighten me, and I have tended to avoid being in the ocean because of the heebie jeebies I get when immersed. However, I am a SPIRITUAL ART PILGRIM, I take risks and face fear in order to have FUN and LEARN

This was the year that I confronted my fear of water head on. Instead of opting out of these field-related activities like I had done on my previous trips to San Salvador, I rented a wet suit and borrowed a snorkel and fins so I could participate in every class activity involving water except going into the bat cave at the Lighthouse--I didn't do that!
HALLELUJAH TRUTH. Confronter of her 
fear of water! (photo by Chiboogamoo)

I snorkeled offshore and explored a declining coral reef. I snorkeled in a lagoon and looked into the mangroves, and I jumped off a boat and snorkeled in another coral reef. I was afraid--the kind of fear that fills your stomach with butterflies and makes your mind race with galloping horses. INTENSITY! I even walked into a stinky hypersaline lake with its muddy bottom (microbial mats) to experience and learn about stromatolites. That kind of stuff fascinates AND grosses me out!

But I LOVE LEARNING, and in 2012, I broke through a significant barrier, my fear of water, in order to get up close to a coral reef, mangrove roots, and stromatolites. I am not cured of my unnatural fear of swimming in the ocean after this, but I see that I can tolerate my discomfort in order to EXPERIENCE an awesome part of NATURE

Now I can declare this--I have seen the elkhorn coral that I drew in The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia. I saw both healthy and unhealthy reef systems. I felt sad concern for the decline in these marine environments. The purpose of the book that I was illustrating took on more meaning. 
HURRAY FOR FUTURE ENVIRONMENTALISTS. These Emory University students spent three days researching and presenting their projects at San Salvador, Bahamas. We had spent the previous days in water and in the interior of the island. (photo by Chiboogamoo)
San Salvador's coral beautiful yet dying reefs are just one example of why we must care for our EARTH. I worry that not enough people can get close to NATURE and EXPERIENCE it as I have. Why am I afraid of the ocean? Are other people afraid too? If we don't get to know more about the EARTH and EXPERIENCE its beauty and power, it is doubtful that we will work towards preserving it. This failure to do so does make me weep.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what were your most intense emotions in 2012? What can we do to preserve the Earth? Are you afraid of swimming in the ocean?

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: As always, thanks to Kat at "I Saw You Dancing," for managing #REVERB12. Thanks to my Chiboogamoo for paying for my wet suit and for being such a fantastic professor! In this video, he explains the course he taught that gave me the opportunity to swim in the ocean and see coral reefs! 


  1. You are not alone in your fear of water. I grew up in Kinston, NC, and the ocean was a convenient distance for day or weekend trips when I was a teen. Several of my friends took up surfing and had so much fun I resolved to try it. I was an adequate swimmer, but never enjoyed it, as I was afraid of water. They did not know I was afraid, and I resolved they would not find out - and they didn't! I learned to surf, enjoyed the beach trips with my friends, water skied a bit in the sound and rivers. Canoed in college and afterwards, and really enjoyed white water canoeing, which does not tweak my phobia nearly as much as endless salt water.
    I am still afraid of water, and intend to avoid it in my retirement.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your fear of water! I admire your courage! Why the fear though? I don't quite understand it!

  3. I loved your question. So here's my answer.
    In January of 2012, a relationship I was in ended suddenly. And I found myself living alone for the first time ever. One of the first things I did was to frame a reproduction of The Kiss by Klimt and hang it above my bed. That night I stared at it for hours, thinking why I had done that so quickly. I came to the conclusion that I did it because I wanted to be kissed like that. I wanted that kind of intense love and passion. I wanted something real.

    A couple of months after that, I met the man who brought that kind of love into my life. So, the most intense emotion of this year came to me the next time I stared at the painting for a long time, and it was the awareness that my wish had come true.

    1. Dear Diana Elizabeth! Thank you for SOUL BLOGGING with me and sharing your most intense emotions for 2012!

      I am so happy for you, for following your HEART beginning with framing that Klimt painting and contemplating it!

      Hurray for you, your boyfriend, and for making WISHES come TRUE!

  4. Ditto on water fears. Mom insisted i take Red Cross swimming lessons
    one summer in VT in the early 1960s. Horrible. i threw up often before classes began and struggled through Beginners-Intermed and Swimmers lessons.I can swim now, and i walk into the surf with modified glee, but i prefer mountains and long walks upon terra firma.
    Now for the 2012 emotional ups and downs
    Ups: Living the artist's life this summer. Sleeping with my creations. Stripped down living in a quiet landscape. Meeting Vermont artists. Having artist friends in Vermont throw me a birthday party in August. We had a day of swimming in a creek, roasting a huge salmon in a pit, drinks and great conversation. I was thrilled. Feeling healthy and strong.
    Completion of my hole digging project...such a feeling of self sufficiency and accomplishment. Glory days with individual grandkids throughout the year. Ayla announcing her pregnancy.
    Downs: Not many. I think I forget the moderate bad times. Some personal disagreements here and there that I lived through. Mostly my tight finances are a downer as I struggle to pay off credit card debt, a dental procedure and a burial plot (cheerful, huh!)