Monday October 16, 2023 // Post Solar Eclipse
Yesterday was my birthday. Over dinner last night my partner (now husband as of September 21 2023!) asked me for my reflection on my thirty-third year. It was a big one when I think back: freshly back from an ancestral coming-home to Italy, newly engaged to my love of nearly a decade, I opened a shop, I closed a shop, I re-learned a lesson on holding my boundaries, I organized and produced (with the help of many invaluable hands) the most significant gathering of my life (wedding!), I got married. It was a transformative year in many ways.
And to welcome in my personal new year, on Saturday — the day of the solar eclipse in Libra, a marking of time for alchemizing old, ill-serving ways of relating — I chose to usher in a new era that shines a sparkly spotlight on building stronger friendships at an age when keeping friends, let alone making new ones, isn’t always easy: I hosted Girl Dinner. With a very small gathering of women — some old friends, some newer, some family — we together leaned into an evening for the feminine; sharing laughter, stories, and personal fears over glasses of bubbles and plates of finger foods sufficient enough to call a meal. They brought flowers from their gardens, more bubbles, homemade chocolates, farmer’s market orchids in an exquisite vintage green glass jug dug up from the yard, and in return when the candles burned low and it was time to go, I sent each of them on their way with a hug and a good old fashioned pastel pink goodie bag (but for grown-ass women).
Just before composing this, I read a post on Instagram from author and group dialogue facilitator Priya Parker. In reflection on the humanitarian crisis in Palestine and Israel, she shared a social project by Wendy Macnaughton where she lugged a table and chairs down to the SF Bart station and invited strangers to sit and draw each other for one minute. They were to draw a portrait of the stranger sitting across from them using the blind contour method which allows the artist to draw using only one continuous line and without looking down at their paper. I used to bring this activity as an introductory exercise when I taught art to elementary aged students because, as Wendy Macnaughton also knows, it is about so much more than learning how to draw what you see. It’s about process, it’s about slowing down, and ultimately it’s about connection.
In Priya’s instagram post she wrote one sentence that weaved everything together — the summary of my last year reflections, the significance of sharing an evening of frivolity with friends, the solution to enduring collective grief and abolishing colonization and mending the tears of political, spiritual and social divide —
She said, “an antidote to horror is connection”, to which I would strip down further to say, “the antidote is connection”.
I have spent the past several months while the shop’s been on pause reflecting on what Hina Luna is and what it will become. Ultimately, what I’ve come to is that the intention of Hina Luna is to inspire connection — connection to our Self, to our place, to our ancestors, to our community, to the objects we choose to surround ourselves with, to connect with our sources of personal belonging and inspire a lifestyle that both pays homage to those sources and intentionally weaves them into our everyday. There are many ways to weave those connections and the avenues of beauty and creativity that I seek I also share with you as an offering of momentary relief and slowed sense of time.
So I invite us all to ask ourselves
What in my life might be cured with deeper connection?
How might I be able to relate more deeply/honestly/authentically/vulnerably?
How can I offer more understanding, more compassion, more empathy to others?
What do I require from others for them to connect more deeply to me?
What helps me to stay connected to my humanity in times of relational difference?