Archive for August, 2011

See You on the Other Side of the Light, Mr. Layton

I was stunned when I heard the news yesterday. Jack Layton, after a valiant fight with cancer for the second time, has passed away at the age of 61.


I felt like I just lost a friend. Why did I feel that way? I never had had the privilege of meeting Mr. Layton. I was never a die-hard NDPer. Fact is I only voted for the NDP once – in the last election.

Ah but that’s a bit of the reason why. I had voted for the first time in decades. And who I voted for was Jack.

He was our bon Jack, born right here in Montreal. He came from chez nous. Grew up in Quebec, went to university in Quebec.

In the last election, he united Quebec and Quebecers. He brought us back to the Canadian fold, in Parliament.

Most of all, he brought us HOPE.

And we WILL work with Canadians to build the country of our hopes
Of our dreams
Of our optimism
Of our determination
Of our values…
Of our love.

Thank you.
Jack Layton”
– from Jack Layton’s July 25 statement,
which announced he had a new cancer

Hope we hadn’t felt in a long time about our politicians on the national level. He talked about the potential of Canada and wonderful things that could be done for Canada and Canadians.

He was scrappy and a fighter. He had a great sense of humour. He had a glorious moustache. And he always had an awesome smile, with that twinkle in his eye.

I voted for Jack because of that HOPE. A hope I had not felt about our political system, on any level, in a long, long time.

I voted for his integrity, his honesty and transparency. His basic goodness. He was the best of all things – a TRUE Canadian.

One thing this blog, Anima Blue’s Oasis, is about, is about love & light, and bringing that love & light, into the world.

Jack Layton shared love & light with us all, as you could see in his speeches. As you can see in the statements he shared with us, at the end of his life.

How many politicians do you see anywhere, bringing love & light in the world?

My favorite tweet, which comes from The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean :

@MichaelleJeanF Canada has lost a man of courage and great integrity who embodied the values dearest to Canadians. #hw #cdnpoli #jacklayton #layton

When he gave that speech on Election Night, I had cried tears of joy for Jack and the NDP, and for Canada.

And since yesterday, I have been crying tears of sorrow.

I cried when I read his farewell letter to Canadians.

And I have cried while writing this blog. I kept having to stop and start this blog again because I felt so overcome thinking about Canada losing Jack Layton.

We needed you so much, Jack. You had just claimed the first step of victory, in becoming Leader Of  The Opposition. You had so much more work left to do. I hope with all my heart that somehow the NDP Orange Wave will carry on without you. That they will make your dreams & great vision come true.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,
Jack Layton”
– from Jack Layton’s Aug. 20 farewell letter to Canadians

By a sad coincidence, I seem to have been blogging a lot about grief & loss lately. See the poem I posted a short time ago: “don’t ask me to say good-bye”.

To echo my poem:

I won’t say good-bye to you, Mr. Layton.
I’ll say instead – so long.

Until we meet on the other side of the light, Mr. Layton.

All my love & sympathies go out to Jack Layton’s friends &  family.

Aurora (aka Anima Blue)


Adios Akoha! The End of an Era of Kindness and Sharing…the kindest, friendliest Montreal Start Up that could…until it couldn’t any more. was founded by Austin Hill & Alex Eberts. They and other Akoha staff members, Mark MacLeod (VP Finance), Juan Pablo Di Lelle (Director of Engineering) and Alain Wong (Community Manager), practiced what they preached about Akoha, and could be found playing fun & friendly Missions on the site with other Akohans from around the world.

On Tues. Aug. 2, announced to its Community Users that after 3 years of operation would close its doors on August 15, 2011. Which is today. And I am sad. This is the end of an era of kindness….and sharing.

There are so many ways to describe Akoha.

In Akoha’s own words:
“Akoha is…a community of people who do fun things that make a positive difference. Engage in Akoha missions, give praise to others and earn rewards.”
– from

My journey with Akoha began in a funny way. I first heard about through a job posting I had come across and applied for. I was too late to apply for the job – the position was already filled. But I joined this site out of curiosity and soon became hooked!

Akoha went through different iterations through-out its 3 years. When I joined the site was still in its Beta stage and not yet open to the general public.

Akoha first began with playing Missions that were on a physical deck of cards. You could only join the site if you bought a deck – or if someone gave you a card. You had to enter the confirmation number from a card to enter & sign up to the site.

So the playing of Akoha was definitely based in real-time. The idea was to do an act of kindness (an Akoha Mission) and then Paying It Forward, by passing the card & Mission to someone else you hoped would keep playing.

Akoha went through many changes and versions until the cards were gone and the Missions were more universally played on a virtual or real-time level. At the time, I remember wondering where the revenue would come from, since Akoha no longer benefited from the playing card revenue. That’s where the money from Angel investors came in. But one day, that revenue just wasn’t enough and Akoha decided to call it a day.

While it lasted, Akoha was a very happy place to hang out with fellow Akohans. You could invite your real-time friends to join or share kind words with Akohans around the world.

The last iteration of was very Social Media savvy, with ties to Twitter, the blogosphere, and Facebook. The last look of Akoha was very Facebook-like, with status updates, the ability to send messages, and the ability to either tweet or share on Facebook Akoha Missions or Akoha status updates.

But foremost Akoha was about its Akohan Community. All the people who used the site.

We shared tasty dishes we had tried locally, shot photos of our world and planet, talked about great movies we had seen, spoke about special causes…and even shared a kind word when we knew one of our regular Akohan players, Bena, was sick.

And here are some of my fellow Akohan friends:

nish  CaroladieHausfrau Holia Ajanta mgkhanduja teddybelle ForwardMotion gaiachi emilee Humanitas Xooberon ankmom Alex_Ionescu Bena Mystical_Traveler jasonbackus littlecatalyst AshleyNewton91 Gyrxiur  yourstruly kikarose SFvroom jessa mikarlo rottifan4 trinie ButterflyGram EmKaBe  JanMichael 718Digital meredith TheJem JoMontreal kevpdx rwarren OneHundredJobs claudiap adamhirsch adelemcalear sharonmcrae JeromeParadis  cmazur EvelyneB Releanna ABartelby kereena Drakurius Artcore1 forcione KimVallee  101ofawolf brentfbarrett LiseArsenault mannaz  newton64 Angelight Aboheler 86400 acriley jia zinou  georgefavvas simon girltm jdilelle cnemri alex austinhill alainwong  erikwright  nish  debo harshad672 kitao teddybelle gaiachi emilee Xooberon

My apologies if I’ve left anyone out.

A special mention to:
– also known as Juan Pablo Di Lelle (Director of Engineering) for
– also known as the Ninja Hamster
– the friendliest Akohan player in all of
– always ready to share a Mission with any Akohan around the world!


My final Akoha stats:

I love to read, write, do a little photography and I’m fascinated by synchronicity. One thing I like to do for fun is organize monthly events in my community. It’s an awesome feeling to bring new people together. I like to see where the universe takes me on my travels. 🙂 “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” ~ Aristotle “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” ~ Rumi Looking for someone to play an Akoha Mission with? Feel free to play with me. 😀

Member since Oct. 8, 2009

Player Level: Fanatic
106 Missions, 11 Awards, 114 Gifts, 51 Tokens


Here are the Categories for Akoha Missions:

  • Silly Fun!
  • Travel & Discovery
  • Fun with Friends
  • Culture Vulture
  • Social Causes
  • Health & Well-Being
  • Family Time!
  • Inspiration
  • Green Living


Akoha inspired me to write 2 Akoha-related blogs:’s Official blog:’s closure was all over the news and Twitter.

Brian Jackson, Associate Editor at, wrote two articles about the shut-down of Akoha, which he tweeted:


My most favorite Akoha Mission that I played & created:
100th Akoha Mission:

My most favorite Akoha Mission that I played & created:
100th Akoha Mission

Category:  Inspiration
Difficulty:  Medium
Requires:  A story and one or more photos

Created by: AuroraD

 Do something special for your 1ooth akoha mission!
To complete this mission:

Do something special to commerate your 1ooth Akoha Mission & be sure to use/create/shoot/videotape something with the Number 100 in it!

~ Bake a cake with 100 on it in icing or candles
~ Write a list of 100 things about you & blog it
~ Videotape yourself talking about how it feels to accomplish your 100th Mission…
and lots, lots more!

Be sure to take a photo or screenshot of your Mission.
Use your imagination. 🙂

And here is my Mission play for it:

100th Akoha Mission

Played by AuroraD with AuroraD, akoha and jdilelle April 24, 2011

Well, recently I hit a landmark of having completed “100 Akoha Missions”. And I had created a special Mission on Akoha called “100 Akoha Missions” , where Akohans do something special to commemorate hitting this special achievement.

What would be better to celebrate my 100th Akohan Mission than a blog about 100 blessings? Akoha is all about appreciating the small moments in life…and so here are my 100 blessings, that I am grateful for. 


And some special Akohan Missions at the end of the day:

Save Akoha Mission:

Category:  Social Causes
Difficulty:  Easy
Requires:  A story

Created by: Humanitas

Create ideas to save akoha

To complete this mission:

Okay, so I was cleaning the bathroom today and I realized that there are many ways to say Akoha who is struggling to stay online.

Your mission is to come up with creative ways to get the expenses paid. With all of our brain power, I’m sure we can come up with a way. So post away and let Akoha hear your voice!


Keep In Touch Akohans:

Category:  Fun with Friends
Difficulty:  Easy
Requires:  A story

Created by: Humanitas

Leave ways on how to keep in touch

To complete this mission:

Okay, I saw the email…major bummer!

Yet we can still be friends, right?

So if you still want to be friends, leave your contact info on this mission. If you feel uncomfortable, leave an inbox message to those you want to keep in contact with.

Don’t break this chain!


Shutdown Sadness:

Category:  Inspiration
Difficulty:  Easy
Requires:  A story

Created by: art2010
What you love to share with akohans!

To complete this mission:

Akoha shutdown 0n 15th August 2011. How shocking?
How You enjoyed being here.

And the Shutdown Sadness Mission shall be my last Akoha Mission, featuring this very blog:


Akohans, showing true Akoha spirit, have started special Akohan projects, where people can continue to play & interact in Akohan ways:

Bena’s Akohan Yahoo Group:

Nish’s Akohans Wall site:

Adios Akoha! Vaya con dios, amigos & amigas!
See you on the other side of the Akohan wall.

Anima Blue 😀

Video Montage: The Flow
Following the flow of the universe, with a photo montage I created. The song is "Twisted Hair" by Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble, featuring the sublime operatic voice of Sioux singer Bonnie Jo Hunt, who sings over the sound of crickets.
Also posted on youtube:

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