Do you love words? Do you get excited about books? Are you intrigued by language? Are you drawn to the beauty of text and images on a page? Do lyrics of a certain song haunt you that you crave to know the inspiration behind that poetry? Do you sometimes yearn for a quiet space so you can lose yourself and savor the written story? Do you watch movies and wonder who wrote the script, what kind of a heart lies behind that wonderful dialogue?

Do you sometimes wish for a shout of inspiration, or maybe even a whisper of ingenuity will do on certain days? Do you ever feel that there is some kind of depth, something greater than you that you long to touch?   Have you ever sensed a kind of beauty, known a connection that is so ephemeral that it cannot be captured in words because by the time you’ve managed to think it into thoughts and write the accompanying text, the moment has vanished, the time evaporated and the experience slightly diminished? And yet, the memory of that beauty somehow still lingers in you because you are still here and slightly changed since that moment.

The inspiration for this Journal was the answer “Yes” to all these questions, for me.

Trangsformation also emerged from a wish to create a space to save and to savour the moments of inspiration I encounter during my journey.

We all need inspiration.  Sometimes we might forget and need to be reminded that We Are Inspiration.  We inspire others just as others encourage and influence us.  Our work inspires others, maybe even saves them, as their words provoke us, as their actions enrich us, and their presence lifts us.

Inspiration is everywhere.  Inspiration can be found around us, it can be located above us, below us, beside us and most of all within us.  No matter where we are, within or without, it’s all Sacred Space.  Inspiration can be discovered anywhere.

If you cherish language, if a beautiful phrase you once glimpsed still echoes in you, if others’ stories move you, if you find meaning in the simple act of reading, if writing for you is both a necessity and an act of courage, if you savour simple moments and seek to touch  inspiration in your daily life then Trangsformation, the Journal, is dedicated to you.

Me in Paris, Summer 2010.

Me in Paris, Summer 2010.

It think that it may be true that life is a journey and that it sometimes leads us to fresh locations and new languages that we do not anticipate.  Do you think that our geography is our destiny?

Drawing on several thousand years of history, I locate my ancestral roots in Vietnam.  The fate of a nation impacts on our personal destiny and determines the trajectory of our lives, I have learned.  Not only were Vietnamese people directly affected by the Vietnam War, but in other lands, millions of other lives were also lost, shattering families and fragmenting societies.  Even when a war is declared over, the consequences of bloodshed and conflict persist for generations.

As a result of the political changes that took place in Vietnam, I ended up attending primary school in Paris, France.  I later moved to Australia and spent my teenage years under the Queensland sun going to school then university, struggling to embrace all my cultural influences while dreaming of traveling the world on my own one day.  I did community work in Brisbane then in a regional community from where I was sent to Japan to teach in Japan through the Mayor’s Office of the local City Council.  This enabled me to travel the world as I had once dreamed.

Sometimes our visions do become reality.

It’s been more than a decade now since I’ve lived and worked in Japan.  During this time, I married, had a child,  became fascinated with linguistics, discovered the beauty of paper and began a collection of obis.  Surprisingly, this collection of obis led me onto a new career path, opening up a new discipline for me working in textile arts with vintage obis and kimonos.

I now divide my time between Japan, Australia and the USA and am continually exploring new spaces of creativity in fibre arts.  This makes me think that our heritage coupled with our geography, the location where we find ourselves, have an direct impact on who we are and who we become.  Destiny is, nevertheless, both a matter of chance and a matter of choice.  Do you agree?  What has your life journey shown you?

Trangsformation reflects my experiences and the impact of my ancestry, my history and my geography.  It is written primarily in English but various languages are interwoven in the text with some pages directly translated into Vietnamese, French or Japanese.  In this way, the community of people we interact with through this Journal is broadened.

Throughout the Journal, I share with you interesting conversations I’ve had with the talented writers, thoughtful teachers and creative people I’ve met on my journey.   You can view photographs of the places I visit, particularly the locations that provoke thought and inspiration in me.  I invite you to contribute your story, write your thoughts, and to participate in the conversation.  Or, maybe something in this Journal will cause you to pause, reflect and remember.  If it does, please connect with me for if you’ve read this far, it may mean that we’ve already begun a journey together.

The inspiration for the name of this Journal is my birth place Nha Trang and also the flower Ixora coccinea or Flame of the Woods, which in Vietnamese is Trang.  My parents also gave me this name when I was born.   As a human being, the commonality that I share with my birthplace and with a flower is that we are all in a state of change, we are ephemeral and constantly being transformed. I also believe that the stories we live, the tales we hear, the narratives we recount, the places we visit have tremendous power and certainly do transform us.

Welcome to Trangsformation.  Please stay awhile and connect with me.

Live a great story today.


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