Chronicling the journey of writing
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by Veronica Louis

Hillel Quote

Photo: Etsy.com

Three years ago I left Japan with a heavy heart. I had always told myself that I would return before my visa as a Human Specialist ran out. My re-entry visa expired this February 2014. I wonder if I would have still left Kyoto, if I had known back then that the next time I would once again board a plane would be in three years.

All this to say that, when I returned to Montreal, life happened. Life tends to do that. Finding an apartment, establishing a career as a freelancer, falling in and out of love… All of that “life” stuff happened in the blink of three years.

Now, at 31, I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime between leaving Japan and this present moment. But since change is the only constant in life, I embrace it and welcome it. Tomorrow, I will board a plane bound for Europe where I will have the opportunity to work on an exciting web project while visiting old friends in France, Switzerland and Germany. And for those readers who faithfully followed my solo adventure through India, you will be glad to hear that I will finally be reunited with a couple members of my Hampi family, Eun Sun and Stephen, who live happily together in Berlin. The mere thought of the reunion makes me happy. (more…)

by Veronica Louis

Veronica Louis at 31

Photo: Veronica Louis

Today I turn 31.

Being 30 was a lot about embracing change. At the beginning of the year I was teaching English, in the summer I was writing, by the end of the year I was working full-time at a radio station.

The year started off strong with the clear goal to write a book about being 30. As I neared completing the novel, something went awry within and I lost myself. The ground caved below me and I was swallowed whole.

Truth be told, I was propelled into that dark place when I discovered that I did not get that “dream” writing job I was working towards. Perhaps my confidence took a hit and that everything-is-going-to-be-alright feeling was too faint for me to emerge from my drab disposition. (more…)

More than three years ago I embarked on a solo journey to India. That experience was priceless and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. While there are life circumstances that keep me in Montreal for the time being, as of late I have been living vicariously through my older brother who is currently traveling South America. His current journey is nothing short of magnificent, and I would like to share some of his travel writing with you. 

Text below by Philip Louis

Ometepe Volcano

Photo: Philip Louis

Yes, its true, I haven’t posted a lot of pictures…

But there’s a good reason for that! Much like the time I’ve spent in Vancouver or travelling across Canada or even in Toronto, what I found to be the most fascinating in my travels were and are simply…the people. More impressive than the oldest buildings, the tallest structures, the prettiest vistas…the beautiful people I’ve met, their stories, their challenges, discoveries, pitfalls and triumphs. All intricate pieces in a grand mosaic of “Living Art,” the complexity and beauty of which can easily match and surpass any man-made structure.

If I could post pictures, I would post pictures of the people that have been placed on my path. I have found that they are the reason I’m travelling. Simply…to talk, laugh, exchange, share and LOVE. Ok, yes! I can do that in Montreal…but the people I’ve met through Couchsurfing and sleeping in hostels are different than those I meet on a daily basis. Some of them have been away from home for months…some for years…one particular friend with whom I shared a room with couch surfing said that when he was asked, at the airport, what his country of residence was…he simply couldn’t answer. He had been gone for so long and had lived in so many places for months at a time that he didn’t know what his current place of residence was.

Legally speaking, yes, residency can be determined and established…but where I’m at…nobody lives “legally.” In other words, life is lived on the outskirts of the conventionally established social norms. They live from their heart space. When you live from this divine space, your residence, family, friends, your life can exist everywhere and anywhere at once. (more…)

S.N. Goenka Passes Away

September 30th, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Inspiration - (1 Comments)

by Veronica Louis

S.N. Goenka

Photo: www.vri.dhamma.org

S.N. Goenka, the principal teacher of Vipassana meditation, passed away yesterday at his residence in India. He was 90. My heart weeps for a man who has helped me realize the most important changes of my life. His discourses were always selfless and enlightening. He was all about love and advocated that truth was universal − that it belonged to everyone. He also clearly explained just how everything was impermanent, and has the characteristics of “arising, passing away… arising, passing away.”

He sought to help others find their own liberation. He helped me find mine.

This week is a sad week for the world of Dhamma, and the whole world over, the world has just lost an extraordinary being who touched the soul of many and showed them how to come out of their misery. He never professed to be a guru, nor a prophet. He was a teacher and he simply taught what he knew and led by example.

My heart weeps and smiles at the same time. Goenkaji led a full and exemplary life. He was liberated.

May he be happy, peaceful, liberated. Liberated.

When It’s Not Meant to Be

September 30th, 2013 | Posted by Veronica Louis in Inspiration - (0 Comments)

by Veronica Louis

Painting of a stick figure looking out a window

Painting: Joyce Quansah

For the past few months, I had been actively pursuing a “dream” writing job for a “dream” company. I spent months researching and preparing myself for the whole interview process. And come interview day (a two hour text-based chat through Skype) I was more than ready as well as high on anticipation. The interview had gone really well, and the next step was to complete a few writing assignments.

When I found out a couple of weeks ago that there was a hold put on hiring for the position, my heart sank. Sometimes, you believe so much that something is meant to be that you can almost taste it and feel it with all your might. So when things fell through, my confidence took a hit, and I fell through. I was so attached to the idea of getting this position that my vision had narrowed and could only focus on that one thing. When that prospect fell apart, my vision blurred and I found myself disoriented. (more…)