There are tons of people writing, and writing about writing, and instapoetry became a thing sometime in the last little while and here we all are, ‘expressing myself’ through writing.


‘Expressing oneself’. Such a cliche.

Why is writing for that? Why is art for that? I wonder if people can appreciate the idea that sometimes there’s no ‘output’ or ‘outcome’ or recognition or anything like that which is required.

I mean, occasionally, it’s just because.

Art for art’s sake, et al.

Let me expand on this.





My writing is for me, mostly, and for people I don’t know who vibe well with me, and it

Why have I been writing since I was six years old? Why is it part of my daily practice?

Why do I care about writing? Or is it something besides ‘writing,’ and beyond ‘expression.’ It is, I think.

Let’s go into why.

For me, at those early stages, in my adolescence especially, I felt like writing was a kind of home. It was where I could be, just be, honestly and completely, and utterly, and say anything.

It was good for me to have a place like that.

As I got older, I could write more and even send letters. I did send a lot of letters in the 90s. To find out. What was going on, within. Sharing with a recipient in mind helped me get more steady.

To articulate things, while building the practice and writing-endurance, let’s call it, you need. This matters so that later, the right words appear, and through that, then show you things. Specifics, of things about you that become more clear, with time. Practicing in this way, and learning your own best practice, through the process, you can clarify.

Through the clarification, then you can make better choices.

And through choices, which include deliberate motions away from either going outside of the boxes when that’s what’s best for you or taking chances and saying ‘yes’ when you don’t know the outcome, you can see who it is that you are becoming.

A friend in the cojournal project in 2015 had said she read something about that. The question to ask in life is:

Did you become yourself?


I like this.


cojournal, space, writing

Journaling and writing with others, in writing circles


I kind of got really into writing about flow, the other day.

I blogged into the late evening and well past my usual falling-asleep-time, which I have been paying attention to, due to research and interest lately in circadian rhythms.

Rhythms of all varieties.

Creative flow-making is getting into the zone.

Circadian rhythm-heeding helps let your body optimize for flow-starting states, too.

So it’s related: art and making, and how we take care of our bodies’ natural rhythms. I like this.

From my notebook, about Circadian rhythms.
. Why is it important to pay attention to Circadian Rhythms? My understanding from skimming text is disease prevention; during sleep, we repair a lot of things that could otherwise go haywire. The body’s incredible ability to heal itself is doing its big lifting while we sleep. I think that’s what they’re saying. I’m checking with experts.
. How much leeway is there in the scheduling thing to still be healthy? I kinda sometimes just don’t want to be on such a tight schedule. It feels boring. Actually, the more I read about how to do this correctly, the more I see my grandfather’s lifestyle.




Sleep well. Eat well. Keep to a schedule. Exercise, rest, and repeat.


Cojournal : ‘A Life Well Lived’

Is a life well lived this?

Exploring, in Cojournal of late.

Making the rounds and enjoying the energetic starting, that come from having systems developed an respected to get you ready to make, move, connect, enjoy, engage, and create?

I’m in flow, these days. Which means, for a time, I’ll go offline. Except for The Mirror and Cojournaling, I’ll be away for a bit, with the quiet, simple and comfortable spaces. With friends, comforts, and the good stuff.

Love the life you have; live the life you love. Where did I hear that before? I’m wondering now. As it flows back, into consciousness, from a back-portal and archived memories.




cojournal, space

Connexion, conversation, and the movement between the both


There is a lot of stuff to write, today, about what I’ve been reading. Check that. What I used to read.

Things from the past. School texts, absorbed and unquestioned.

Whole patterns that have been debunked; like ‘left-‘ and ‘right-brained’ people. Apparently that’s not a thing, now. Apparently, Pluto’s not a planet, bread is not a food group, and the idea that if you work really hard you can ‘make it’, well. Let’s leave that one alone, given ‘The System’. Et al.

Naturally, doubts have encroached.

On the validity of the expertises of some; the agendas of others.


Maybe this older person who told me to go and read things online, in obscure texts, got me started on questioning everything. Then I posted about ‘Farce Media’ on KismuthBooks, the FB page. It was funny until it wasn’t; fake news got real.

I feel like there are so many stories, from the past, that I read and believed. But now I don’t. 

Ever feel that way?

Just thinking out loud.

This post continues in The Cojournal Project

cojournal, vignettes



Behind the scenes, we talk each week in The Cojournal, The Mirror, and S P A C E. To learn more, apply.


I found this lovely snippet from an article on Psych Centeral about what therapists learned from their clients.


This is the bit that stands out:


… explained how mindfulness practices were helping [client] cope…:


‘I realize now that it is as if in life,
‘the needle sets on a record album
‘the moment we are born and
‘continues to cycle as we live.

‘If we bring our awareness
‘to the past or to the future,
‘we scratch our record
‘and there is no music.

‘If we stay in the present moment,
‘we hear
‘the beauty
‘of our song.’


So lovely, isn’t it? Very self-aware, and poetic.
culture, found, pop psychology

‘We hear the beauty of our song’


Ten years, now, in Southeast Asia. Mostly Cambodia. Mostly writing.

This blog was a Tumblr when I left the United States for the ‘year of uncertainty,’ which stretched into a decade. World saw what happened with the jolt in 2020; but for me, the purpose of jumping out into ‘the big unknown’ was to see and sense how to manage, wherever I could, whenever I did.

Regrets are easy to calculate and harp over, though, no matter which choice you make. The road not taken always leaves another road that wasn’t taken, so you can’t get out of it. Wondering, I mean, what would have happened. What about if, was always the premise of this blog, when I started it and thought about how to frame all the stories I wanted to put down into a series.

Kismuth means destiny.

Is it that simple?

Hm. Maybe it is.


Ahakista, Ireland. Read about my experience with this place in my short book, Kanishka


Meaning and Design

cojournal, essays



One of my favorite things to do is host an online writing workshop, called The Mirror.

It is a set of writing prompts, that also includes an interactive component.

There is a lot to say about the purpose of reflection, including the pandemic-related focuses on ‘what am I doing?’ and ‘what’s really important?’ bringing the importance of the big work of thinking clearly about one’s own self-knowledge into a sharper relief.

Learn more at my personal site,, and check ‘eWorkshops’.

apply to the mirror

books, vignettes

An anniversary: 37 years after the death of Air India Flight 182

June 23. It’s this day in 1985. That we lost the people who were on board Flight 182 of Air India. A plane called Kanishka.

My best friend was on that plane, along with her brother and her mother. It was the weirdest and most surreal feeling, ever, to see that story reported on national news. But we didn’t talk about it, out loud. We never did, at home. Emotional topics were not to be brought up, and ‘bad things’ cast aside, and ‘past is past’ invalidating anything close to an actual feeling. This is how childhood grief can solidify and stifle someone. I worked out some of that with people, years later. Another girl who, like me, was watching in horror as it all unfolded, us talking many years later, like the little kids still grappling with it that we, emotionally, still really were.



Many years later, I went to see the Air India Memorial in person and joined the service on this day that was held there, in Ahakista, with the kids playing their instruments and locals laying out foodstuffs on white tablecloths in the outdoor setting so we could all mark the moment together.  What a story. I wound up living in Ireland not far from there. I wound up seeing the black-and-white, three-d reality of the memorial. It was the closest I had had, til then, of closure. Because we ‘don’t get emotional,’ at home. Because of that. Closedness to the heart. At age 10 I stuffed away this pain. At the memorial, I could open that box and see what was in it. And there I found a part of myself that had been set aside for so, so long. The part that was still crying.


Writing Kanishka

I wrote the story Kanishka after visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and talking to Salim Jiwa, the author of the book The Death of Air India Flight 182. I also did a writing residency at a place in northern India, in Preetnagar, with some very excellent people including Poonam Singh. Who understood the nature of my e-query, to their first-iteration version of the residency program back then. I sent a note through the form, in which I asked if I could come and stay and write and listen to their angle on the things that had happened, which affected them, too. ‘Operation Blue Star…’ Unhesitatingly I was invited.  Then, Kanishka was published as a serial in Ms. Singh’s magazine, in 2015. As I learned at that time, it was to be the first-ever English-language series. That felt good, for this Punjabi-American, to hear.


Of childhood grief

It’s in my story, what I heard. It’s not a historical piece or a journalistic one, but it’s the story I could tell. As honestly and true and deeply as I could. The loss of my best friend, at age 10. In a terrorist attack on her airplane.


End of the Rainbow (2020)

My first book, The Elopement, was about running off to Ireland to get married. Kind of. I didn’t mean to run off, and I didn’t mean to get married. Lots of things happen in the course of, well, youth. Next year marks the 20-year anniversary of the events in that book’s main story, and I wanted to write a follow-up one. Its working title is End of the Rainbow.  


Order End of the Rainbow


Breakfast in Cambodia (2016)

Breakfast in Cambodia is a true story of disconnecting from life in a rich, Western country for one year on ‘the road’ in south and southeast Asia. Of landing in Phnom Penh, and reinventing a sense of self. What solitude, time, distance and quiet space can teach us about our innermost selves is the heart of this story, to me. I really think this next thing. I believe this. That in our modern world, the village is one to which we all belong—as humanity. There is a quiet, strong, ancient village that dates back centuries. It’s ours. It’s beautiful. And it belongs to all of us.

Order Breakfast in Cambodia — $15