Ink of Light Presenter: Afsaneh Varzaly

One of Afsaneh’s Favourite Quotes
“Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization in this mortal world, and the shedder of imperishable glory upon every high-aiming race and nation.”

Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p27

What is your favourite book?

My favourite book is Seven Valleys by Baha’u’llah.
I am inspired by its poetic and informative look at the spiritual journey of life.

Who is your favourite hero?

My favourite Hero is Tahirih. I find her sense of strength, courage, far-reaching vision and her devotion inspiring.

What is your main motivation for writing?

To contribute to the betterment of mankind by inspiring people through contemporary stories that show through examples as to how Baha’i teachings can be applied in everyday life through fictional characters.

Afsaneh believes living a life grounded in moral values and virtuous behaviour and focused on being of benefit to others is conducive to happiness and contentment. This forms the foundation of her Romance Novel, I Will Not Cry. She will be speaking on Saturday May 18th at https://inkoflight.org/

Ink of Light Presenter: Keithie Saunders

What is your favourite book and why?

Geraldine Brooks – People of the Book….full of great rich historical grandeur and resonates with my Jewish ancestry, I enjoy all Geraldine’s books – The Crossing was wonderful, story of the first American Indian to attend Harvard university

Who is your hero and why?

Strong women who have shaped history – why…. Because I affiliate with them….

What is your main motivation in life?

The greening of Honiara city (I  started an environmental charity NGO 22 years ago and plant trees, make gardens and try to beautify the city through environmental means)

Please share your favourite quote

“walk the spiritual path with practical feet”

Keithie is the appointed United States Consular Agent to the Solomon Islands. In 2010 she received an OBE in recognition of her community and environmental work in the Solomon’s. She will be sharing the story of her parents at https://inkoflight.org/

Mother Made it So

Mother Made it So

I was a well groomed young lady because my mother always made it so.

She stressed ironed clothes, well brushed hair, and the best selection of hand-me-downs and St Vincent Wear, with the occasional new bargain thrown in.

Early photo albums always show her well dressed, but not conventionally so.
Sometimes she’s in saris, other times she’s in mini dresses with bee-hive hair.
Sometimes she’s in a grass skirt with a bikini top (because it’s Australia) ready for national dress events.

Make-up carefully applied, long lashes, now she looks like a Supreme.
Later there are leopard print clothes and bright vibrant purples and blues.
She’s usually slim, sometimes a little well- rounded, but only for a short time, then she’s slim again.

She moves (on a budget) with the times.
She moves with new geographies, Australia, not Papua New Guinea now.
She was generous with everything, including my time.
I was often the unpaid baby sitter for her friends and an old lady who once lived next door.

She was adopting the old ones to remind her of her mother.
She was making sure I knew how to clean, wash and cook and care for the old and the young.
She was taking me charity collecting for Red Cross, and we were running from big dogs guarding houses that don’t want charity collectors or anyone else at their door!

I was making mistakes, putting sugar with rice, wearing clothes that were out of fashion plus drawing on my sneakers.
I was trying to learn.
Patience has never been her strong point. Generosity has.

I didn’t know how to absorb what she was trying to teach me so, often I learnt something other than what she intended.

I learnt some people take too much from generous souls;
you can make a young boy leave his wheel chair with sheer will and lots of physical and emotional therapy and
you can change your future no matter how life begins.

She never gave up on the underdogs.
She was and still is critical, caring, and ferocious, all in one day.
She is my mother and she made me so.

My latest contribution to ABC Open.  A new project beginsWho Shaped Me

Image Credit: Mum from the Family Archives

First Published on my blog in 2012  https://gumbootspearlz.org/2012/11/02/mother-made-it-so/

Ink of Light Presenter: Grant Hindin Miller

This image is from https://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/

What is your favourite book and why?

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, because it is a poetic fable full of spiritual truth.

Who is your hero and why?

My wife, because she is not only loyal, responsible, kind, and loving; but she is also so stunningly pretty.

What is the motivation for your work?

The love of art and artfulness.

Please share your favourite quote

‘Everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say’ – Brenda Ueland

Grant Hindin Miller, is a New Zealand, Song Writer, Educator, Creative Extraordinaire and Key Note Speaker. Don’t miss out on a workshop from Grant. Register now at https://inkoflight.org.

Ink of Light Presenter: Melanie Lotfali

What is your favourite book and why?

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe because it is a brilliant example of riveting fiction with the most profound and life changing message

Who is your favourite hero and why?

It’s Lua Getsinger because of her steadfastness and obedience.

What is your motivation?

Love and fear of God

Share your favourite quote:

“…despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.”

Gandalf in Lord of the Rings

Melanie has a PhD in engaging boys and men in gender equality and for many years has facilitated violence prevention and respectful relationships programs in high schools, and for adults. She is one of our presenters at Ink of Light https://inkoflight.org/speakers