So, Carnegie Hall.

So, Carnegie Hall. Let us speak of this - soaring ceilings, itching dresses, the sound of medals clanking against one another. Increasingly, I am realising how special it is to be part of a community in which the first question asked of new friends is not what's your name? but which award did you win?

How could I possibly encompass with words the beauty of being surrounded by those who live and breathe their art?

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony was something rather magical this year. I am realising these days, as I tiptoe into these communities of creative abundance, that my soul thrives on being around those who immerse themselves in art the same as I do. They are so rare, so difficult to find - and so endlessly gorgeous when I finally stumble upon them.

Afterwards was the Maker Prom, a dance for the medalists. Though I am truly not one for parties, as you lovelies certainly know, I think it was worth it. If only for the experience of meeting the intensely lovely AnQi, with whom I work on The Teacup Trail, in person - to bask in her wonder in real life, to speak with her as if we had known each other for years and years. I find it so beautiful to make connections such as these. The Internet is an utterly incredible medium, but I believe typos and Instagram will never replace Freudian slips and eye contact.

Alas, the loud music & constant balloon popping did not do wonders for my anxiety. I did have the foresight to bring along medication, but I still had to evacuate the premises slightly early. Nonetheless: though it was beautiful to get out of my comfort zone, I think it was a wise decision not to push myself too hard. And besides, currently I am sitting in our hotel room eating room service-provided cheesecake, so that is not a bad ending at all, I think.

I am still reeling, mostly, from the gorgeousness of connecting with souls who spin my own magic, whose hearts beat in time with mine.

I did not expect to find what I did today. One tends to become slightly cut off from the creative world, packed into one's own small box with one's own self-created stardust, stifled by an outside world that knows only greyness. But to step into a room of other softly starlit souls was enchanting. And so very needed.

I think I will go as far as to call us a family. All 900 of us, from the sculptors to the filmmakers to the short story writers to the poets, stuck together with love and Elmer's glue and pencil shavings.

A rather disjointed and slightly eccentric family, a family centred in so many different universes, a family made of hope & kindness & strangers in love. A family that is odd. A family that is unconventional, as art always is.

But a family, nonetheless.





p.s. one more family you may wish to investigate: my small love letter list, comprised of the same radiant, artistic souls. more stories such as this one come once a week, without fail. magic abounds.