The Olympia Theater : WORDS! In the Lobby Lounge

olympia theater, words, stacy conde, the red speck, s. conde,
I am delighted to participate in this event at the gorgeous Olympia Theater.  Come join us on Wednesday, February 3rd for four readings from fictional works by Miami authors: Chantel Acevedo, JJ Colagrande, Vanessa Garcia, and myself, Stacy Conde.  Each reading will be followed by a jazz interpretation of the work, performed by the Gary Thomas Quintet.

Doors open at 6pm, the readings start at 6:30 pm. Cocktails will be available at the cash bar.  
Attendees are invited to enjoy a guided tour of the historic Olympia Theater during intermission. This is a free, open to the public, event.

Presented by the Olympia Theater, in partnership with DASS Miami. Grant funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami Downtown Development Authority & Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Gift of Maya

Driving to the gallery today, I began thinking about the beautiful letter written to me the other day.

The reader claimed “The Red Speck“, “stalked” her.  The book would magically appear in places she hadn’t left it.  The slim text “fell” on her chest twice while she slept…

I love the idea of the book as more than an inanimate object, walking around on little legs, hiding, waiting for the opportune moment to plop down on an unsuspecting reader, all for purely positive purposes.

I filled it with magic and symbolism from a variety of traditions, choosing concepts to help move the main character forward through emotional pain and broken thinking.  Why wouldn’t the book be able to materialize magically?  She called the book to her on a subconscious level, repeatedly.

The point to this long winded blog post is that in writing the book I was determined not to explain myself. If the reader understood the concepts presented within the allegory great, if not, it was my hope, that the book would still be understood albeit on more of a surface level, but understood nonetheless.  What has shocked me over the last couple of years is how strongly people relate to “The Red Speck” on a purely visceral level.  I attribute this to the use of symbolism.  I purposely avoided the intellect and spoke directly to the collective unconscious, through ancient symbols.

Now with time and a bit of separation, I’m ready to explain certain aspects of the book. Whereas “The Red Speck” is written in the simplest of language, as a fairy tale of sorts, the concepts held within are a bit more complicated.  Bear with me, the definitions are a bit laborious, but I think worth the effort.

In Chapter Nine “The Gift of Maya”, Sophie meets a character named Maya.  Maya appears as a little girl who gifts Sophie a prism. In this chapter I’m having a wonderful time playing with two really interesting and completely different concepts, one from religion and  one from physics: maya, and Total Internal Reflection.

Maya : 

“In the religions of India, Maya (Sanskrit māyā, from“not” and yā “this”) is a term denoting three interrelated concepts: 1) power which enables those in its possession, most often gods, to produce forms in the physical word, 2) the reality produced by this process, 3) the illusion of the phenomenal world of separate objects. In early Vedic mythology, maya was the power with which the gods created and maintained the physical universe. With the onset of the more philosophical Upanishads and eventually the school of Advaita Vedanta, maya came to refer to the illusion of the worldly realm as it related to Brahman, the supreme cosmic power. Each physical object, as well as each independent ego-consciousness, is deemed illusory when considered in the monistic context of Brahman. In many branches of Hinduism, maya must be overcome in order to liberate the soul from reincarnation and karma. Similar conceptions of maya are held within Buddhism and Sikhism.” – from the New World Encyclopedia

Total Internal Reflection :

“When light propagates from air into glass or from glass in to air it may change its direction of travel.  Snell’s law reveals the relationship between the directions of travel in the two media.

n1sinθ1 = n2sinθ2

Consider light propagating in glass with index of refraction n1 = 1.5 towards a glass-air boundary.  If the angle the light makes with the normal to the boundary in the glass is θ1, then the angle it makes in the air is given by

sinθ2 = (n1/n2)sinθ1 = 1.5 sinθ1.

If sinθ1 > (1/1.5) = 2/3, or θ1 > 41.8o, then sinθ2 is greater than 1 and there is no solution for θ2. The angle θc for which sinθc = n2/n1 = 1 is called the critical angle.  For angles greater than the critical angle there exists no solution for θ2, and there is no refracted ray.  The incident light is totally reflected, obeying the law of reflection.  If n2 = 1.5 and n1 = 1 then the critical angle is θc = 41.8o.

Total internal reflection occurs only if light travels from a medium of high index of refraction to a medium of low index of refraction. 

Summary:  Let light travel from medium 1 into medium 2 and let n1 > n2.  Then the critical angle θc is given by

sinθc = n2/n1

For angles greater than the critical angle the incident light is totally reflected, obeying the law of reflection.

Prism reflectors

An ordinary glass mirror consists of a reflective metallic coating on the back of a sheet of glass. This is not the only way to make a mirror. Total internal reflection can be exploited to make a perfectly reflecting mirror using only glass, with no metal backing.  It is possible to use prisms of various shapes to reorient images.” –  More

Maya literally means “not this“.  Maya is an illusion.  The little Indian girl does not exist, she embodies a concept.  She gives Sophie the prism, a tool to help her in overcoming false realities created in the mind and manifested in the material world, all based on the projection of an inner narrative that does not serve her best interests.  It is possible to use prisms of various shapes to reorient images.”  

The term and physical phenomenon of “Total Inner Reflection” is so metaphorically perfect for what I was trying to communicate, as it highlights the process of allowing light from the outside world in, (…from a medium of high index of refraction to a medium of low index of refraction…), to illuminate our beings.  …that at just the right angle, it creates a reflective mirror like surface with which we can examine ourselves completely, was a gift from the writing gods.

 

S. Conde

My Gift to You

BookCover

The New Year is upon us, resolutions and all.

Considering “The Red Speck” is about personal growth and transcendence, I felt now would be a good time to give it away as a holiday gift to all of you who follow me and have supported the book with your kindness and shockingly heartfelt positive reviews.

Follow the link below, at checkout, enter the coupon code : YH35D

My free copy of “The Red Speck”

If you’ve already downloaded the book, share this with anyone you think might benefit from the lifting of Maya and total internal reflection.

The coupon for 100% off is good through the 9th of January. Thank you so much, truly. Let’s see what good we can do in 2015.

oxo,

S

“The Red Speck” blends lush, sensuous imagery with raw emotion on an individual’s otherworldly journey to psychological wholeness. Sophie’s heartbreak leads her to awaken in an unknown but strangely familiar world in which she meets and learns from gorgeous archetypal characters tinged with the colors of Miami and the old South.”

“While an engaging story on its own, the reader will find genuine insight into into their own fixations that hold them back from happiness, including hints on how to move forward. The author has a gift for taking airy spiritual and psychological experiences and thoroughly grounding them in the body. She accomplishes this by painting vivid, emotionally engaging scenes with words, evoking a visceral and sympathetic response in the reader in a manner similar to the techniques found in the poetry of Rumi. In this way the protagonist’s alchemical transmutation of leaden emotions to joyous golden freedom becomes our own. Highly recommended.”

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

If you find yourself in the Miami area tomorrow Sunday the 15th at 4:00pm, join us at Books and Books in Coral Gables, FL for a conversation with Dana Donaty and me, Stacy Conde author of “The Red Speck”.

Please click on this link for further information.

Hope to see you there!

 

A Lack Of Vision

Moved to silence by my eyes.

Engulfed in the raucous visual.

External images, human interaction, social activity…

A buzz in my head.  White noise.

Detached from the me, the I Am.

Split in two.

Longing.  A quiet craving, it comes.

Eyes wide shut look within;

and follow the silver tether home.

 

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S. Conde

 

 

 

 

 

The Buyers

Dear Buyers,

There is a small but prolific vine that pops up all over the flower bed in front of the house.  I left her alone at first because she was lovely and bore tiny flowers.  She managed to choke and kill one of the lavender plants while I wasn’t paying attention last year, and nearly took out one of the delphinium as well.  So now I pull her out as soon as I spot her murderous little tendrils.  I yanked her from four locations just this morning.

There are three varieties of roses climbing up the side of the house.  One of them, I found (thought it was a weed) growing wild in the backyard.  She was tiny when I pulled her out and replanted her in the bed with the others.  At first I didn’t think she’d survive.  Now, she’s the biggest of them all, and covered in buds.  I hope we get to see her bloom one last time before we go.

It’s been an odd Spring.  The tulips, peonies, ferns, lilies, and bleeding hearts all came up at about the same time.  The irises came too soon, and were hit with another blast of arctic temperatures, stopping them in their tracks.  It was a long and bitter winter.  Only one iris managed to flower at all.

Happily, the strawberries, blueberries and grapes were undaunted and are already taking shape.  I do hope you enjoy them.  Take care to protect the grapes or you’ll never taste them.  The birds around here are quick and shameless.

About the house.  I vacuum the wood floors instead of sweeping as it keeps the dust down.  Once every couple of weeks a good vinegar and water mop brings out their shine.  Take care to mop then dry immediately in sections.

I add a few drops of essential oil to my dust rag, varying the scent from room to room.  I like eucalyptus or tea tree in the bathrooms, lemon or lime in the kitchen, geranium throughout most of the house, lavender in the bedrooms, and a combination of cinnamon and patchouli in the master.  …for obvious reasons.  Of course, these are just my preferences.  It’s your house now.

I’ve cooked many a wonderful meal in the kitchen.  I love that kitchen.  We remodeled it ourselves.  It was hard work, but well worth the effort.  I wish you could have seen it before.  Oh and the oven!  A Blue Star, made in Texas.  May she be as good to you as she’s been to me. The refrigerator is a beast, a Traulsen.  We had to remove a section of cabinetry just to fit her in; a decision we’ve never regretted.  It will glide you through pre and post preparation of all your holiday meals.  She housed enough food to keep two enormous teenage boys, a grown man, a beautiful young woman and myself well fed.

The three upstairs bedrooms were our children’s rooms.  After our eldest moved into his own apartment, there was an immediate shuffling of bedrooms.  The smallest, originally our daughter’s, became the guest bedroom.  The room at the back is ours, it’s always been ours.

Our neighborhood is safe, I mean, as safe as a neighborhood can be.  We have fallen asleep with the sliding doors open.  Gardenia and lilac floating in on the breeze.  We’re well within walking distance of the library, movies at The Pickwick, restaurants, and the train station. Affresco is our favorite local restaurant, the ingredients are fresh, simple and made with love.  The owner, Sergio, is a kind and lovely man.  He’ll make you feel at home.

I will miss it here.  We will all miss it here.  This move is bittersweet.  You see we made a life here, we raised a family, we created a home, and while four of us prepare to leave, one of us will stay.  Though I know it’s time to let go, I am struggling.

Please love this home.  Please care for the plants.  Please know that we did not leave this place easily.  We have filled this house with our love, be good to her, keep her filled with your own.

Wishing you all the best in our home, that is to say, your home.

S