15.04.2019 – They are Us

It has been a while, and though I had other writing plans, I did not think I could go forward with them in light of the events just passed. I felt a duty to acknowledge, and a desire to not remain silent.

That day I woke up late. Blissful stretching and slow wakefulness. No classes today.

I had studied late into the morning hours, and the time was 4pm on a Friday.

I do my usual routine: check my messages on the phone, then check the news.

I wonder if I am reading this right: 40 people dead in Christchurch? A shooting in New Zealand, my dearest home?

My mind loops on the fact of forty people (as it was only known at that time). That’s so many people. So many lives. One too many. I imagine forty bodies lined up and I can’t help but cry for them. So many.

The world is filled with diversity so we can learn to be human. According to Jung, God needed to make himself human through Jesus so he could then reflect and understand humanity through being human. In a similar way, I think constrained as we are by our subjectivities, by our limited faculties and physical boundaries –the only thing (and I think Kant recognised this too, the contingency of our being and the need to aid others) that allows us to transcend ourselves is our experience from and with others.

We learn worlds from others. Worlds of love, of kindness, of hospitality, and of being human in our world…and too, worlds of darkness, pain, hate….but that is the corollary to the only thing that can ever lift us up, to become more, to become better; to flourish. There is no other way. You can’t but take the light with the dark, or the only thing left for us becomes stumbling through darkness alone.

I want to say goodbye, rest in power to those who lost their lives so unfairly and viciously through hate and bigotry. Those who had to experience the terror, those who are fighting for their lives in hospital. I give them all my love. I stand by my Muslim family on this earth. You showed me community. You gave me welcome over coffee in the afternoon. We are one in grief. You have my heart. I will never let hate conquer love, nor let the fire of humanity be dimmed. There is never anything proud in hate; only love.

— Serena

This I mean my mind to serve ’til/ Service is but Magic/ Moving through the world/ And mind itself is Magic /Coursing through the flesh /And flesh itself is Magic/ Dancing on a clock/ And time itself the magic length of God.

Listening to some iconic 60s while writing this (‘God is alive Magic is afoot’ which was written by Leonard Cohen, but turned into a song by Buffy Sainte-Marie)….

So, I have some news to share which is now official: I will be moving on from the industry in New Zealand soon.

I have been offered an opportunity to advance my studies, and have decided I must risk the unknown to pursue this. I’m excited to work hard towards this! I’m so grateful to everyone who have made it (and continue to make it) possible for me to support my journey thus far –clients, friends, industry professionals alike; I would have never been able to go after greater opportunities without it.

This December will be the last month I will be available in New Zealand, with some January 2019 possibility, though that admittedly is very unlikely. I really hope to see more of everyone before I leave…..

Serena x


remnants of my thoughts: The Seventh Seal/Det sjunde inseglet

Introducing a film by one of my favourite directors, Ingmar Bergman: The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet)

Or a meditation on the infinite (faith) whilst being a finite being

Or finding redemption on the way home

The setting: a crusader awakes washed ashore, he meets Death, and makes a gambit: a challenge with Death to a game of chess to anticipate the receivership of his soul…he can no longer face existence in the absence of God, yet he cannot die without one last attempt to saviour his own soul (or more precisely the God within himself): one last struggle against nothingness to not only understand his being, but for the redemption of his being, for all that his life has been in the face of darkness, in the absence of God and its violation by violence around him –can he redeem it (his soul, mercy) one last time, that which had been lost?

Every year or so, I like to re-watch the Seventh Seal. It grips me just as when I first watched it so many years ago. The themes remain the same: of faith and struggle, when met with the indifference of humanity and the silence of God; and so the despair of existence –what I like to summarise as: the state of falling through nothing and wanting to land on something, the drive to redeem what good is left of one’s life in the face of one’s end.

This film may sound dreary and bleak –but this is not true. It ends with the gentleness of an offered meal of milk and strawberries…and where he had sought God, at the end it is the kindness and love by sharing a bowl of fresh milk and wild strawberries that he finds his answer.



Felt the urge to share this as I found myself listening to this old classic again 🎶💕🙌✨

Áspri méra ke ya mas/ ‘there will be better days, even for us’ by Agnes Baltsa

Hope everyone is having a lovely week!

X Serena


The New Zealand International Film Festival has started! I am definitely a cinephile, and always find myself watching a few of its selections each year. Here are my picks for this year’s viewing:





More of my picks…First Reformed dir. Paul SchraderThe Guilty
dir. Gustav Möller,  Happy As Lazzaro dir. Alice RohrwacherKusama – Infinity dir. by Heather LenzPiercing dir. Nicolas Pesce, and The Third Murder dir. Kore-eda Hirokazu.

Ciao for now x