Tag Archives: art

The Rose That Grew From The Concrete

28 Mar
Copyright: Daydreamdaisies

Copyright: Daydreamdaisies

 

Here’s a painting of Tupac Shakur I finished the other day. I didn’t really have a burning passion for this guy’s music before picking up the brush since this piece started out as a present to my sister’s boyfriend. But its meaning soon became greater in my heart.

Tupac is one of those people who surprised me with his message.  I thought it was sex, drugs and bling bling combined with girls grinding shiny cars; in other words, the tool kit of many succesful (MTV) rapper. Oh, but how wrong was I.

Tupac speaks of bravery and of beating the odds. He encourages you to dream big, to journey on, to be resilient and to keep your head up. This man had many things to say, and many of them good. He had a tough life but still his voice rang clear and inspired many.

And guess what throws me and surprises me again and again?

The realisation that be your idol Jimi Hendrix or Susan Boyle, they’re all just humans. These inspiring, amazing people who we throw our dreams and knickers at in concerts.  These people who we look up to, they’re just people like us. Their hair gets greasy like ours and they have their bad days.

So if they are like us that means we are also like them. It means that the ability to inspire and comfort lives in all of us. We can reach out and touch someone’s heart. We can dream and make our dreams happen, if we only dare to. If we stop standing in our own way with doubts.

And even when life seems hopeless and dreams torn, there is still a way for us. Or have you not heard about the rose that grew from the concrete?

 

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams

It learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from the concrete

When no-one else ever cared.”

-Tupac Shakur 1971-1996

Advertisements

Seeing Human – Art In Perspective

25 Jan

DSCF1007

DSCF1013

DSCF1020

 

 

I have come to realise why we need art so badly. Why our writing and photos and thoughts are so important.

Because art, be it painting with words or brushstokers or using a camera lense as your guiding eye, is essentially a rebirth.

In art, you can lose yourself and find yourself again. It is about losing your perspective, stepping into new stories, meeting the stranger inside you. But miraculously, it is also about gaining perspective. How many times, after a good art-bath, have you emerged with clearer sight or a fresh angle?

That is the magic of art, writing, photography. You are free, yet grounded at the same time.

Your pen, your camera or paint tube is a solid compass in your hand. But for once, you can let yourself go. You can build storms and tsunamis in your mind, kiss a stranger passionately, live in a French film and smoke too much, you can make big look small and small look big. You can make anything. You can change your skin. And when you return to yourself, quite often you find that art has taken you somewhere different.

Art is seeing human. It is peeking inside yourself and reaching outside yourself, at the same time. It makes you want to keep your eyes open. Makes you want to wonder and understand.

Holding art in your mind is like having lemon juice on your tongue. It prickles. And when you feel that prickle, it’s impossible to forget that you’re alive. That’s why I love art so much, in all its forms.

But what is art to you?

 

Seeing human

 

Wisdom

Is looking out for the small

The baby hairs covering sore temples

The caged pulse and bloody cuticles

Looking through anger

And seeing human, remembering

Even iron has its melting point

 

See life today! Peace and love.

Breathing discoveries- Finding your place

21 Dec
Stormy Weather by Beatrice Baumgartner-Cohen, I own no rights.Source: artfinder.com

Stormy Weather by Beatrice Baumgartner-Cohen, I own no rights.
Source: artfinder.com

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”

J.R.R Tolkien – Lord Of The Rings

Where do you think we belong?

Have you found your place in this world?

Have you ever felt in love with too many places all at once,  felt like you are living in between? Squatting on the border of two countries, one leg on each side. Or two cities, or two houses, or two beds. Have you ever felt distance weighing you down wherever you are?

I met a woman in a plane once. She was young and lovely. She was from Rome, had lived four years in Bangkok, was travelling to Finland and was currently living in the UK. Next week, she said, I’m going to Ukraine.

Where would you say she was from? Does it even matter?

Do you think the feeling of belonging is definately bound to a place? Or is it just something abstract floating inside you? Is belonging just a synonym to feeling comfortable, or is it the feeling of total acceptance of everything inside you and around you? Do you think the only map to guide us can be found in our hearts? Is there even a map?

Do you think there is one set path for us to take or just little stepping stones scattered carelessly around, chances that just come our way? Is there a place for everyone?

 

Breathing discoveries

 

Leaving tearing on the seams

On the bark of my solid being

Uprooting my ankles

As I skip from a cherry branch to another

Always parched, always searching

Tugging on bonds, knitting barren lands together

Till they form a smooth rug of rain

Filling all the air, touching all the cheeks

Reminding us of the lively streams

Entwining all under us, swimming under the skin of life

Everywhere we go they follow, unexhausted

Uniting our wondering feet

Till in loneliness too we are together

Till we are breathing discoveries

Miracles shaped out of pulping springs

Till we find ourselves again and in ourselves

A strength to go further

A wisdom to halt home

Growing things in Farmer’s Kitchen- art and fiction

20 Dec
Farmer's Kitchen By Ivan AllbrightSource: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/maulleigh/4161478770/

Farmer’s Kitchen By Ivan Allbright
Source: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/maulleigh/4161478770/

 

Farmer’s Kitchen by Ivan Allbright. Sometimes also called: Beautiful.

Look at it, isn’t this piece just fascinating?

I could keep staring at the patterns, the colours, the details for forever. If I wasn’t too busy drowning into the expression on the man’s face, of course. Is he sad, tired, lonely, wistful? What is he? What’s the story behind this piece? What’s the story he carries in his heart?

I suppose these questions really show why art is so engaging. It makes you wonder, makes you imagine, makes you consider things that would have not even crossed your mind otherwise. Best art haunts you, it sticks to your mind like a post-it note and reminds you of all the realisations and feelings you experienced when you witnessed a good piece.

This piece definately did that to me. I could not stop wondering about the man. That’s why I wrote his story:

 

Growing things

I never was handsome.

– You wouldn’t make a model, you said when you saw me for the first time, but being a farmer must be a calling to you. Ha, even your nose is like a potato, a hairy and bulky tuber!

I let you say things like that because you  always laughed at them, and your laugh was like a choir of cheerful jingle bells.  How I miss your laugh!  It was the happiest part of you. I wish I could hear it once more, bursting out and bringing these dusty rooms back to life.

I wonder what you would say about me now. Often I imagine you appearing from the rain, standing on my doorstep with smudged make-up and chapped lips, tears running down your face. You would smile and pretend they’re raindrops. You would have a toothbrush in your hand and a backpack.  In my dreams you always look like this, oddly beautiful. In my dreams I look at you with bright lover’s eyes.

I miss you but maybe these kind of dreams should be kept shut away, in my little treasure chest of fantasies.  Because with you, these kind of dreamy scenes of love would only be an illusion. Reality would hit them hard, so hard they would be broken to pieces by your high-pitched shrieks:

“Why on earth are you wearing my old dress? And my apron too?”

“And look at you, you’ve got potato peels stuck all over it!”

“And your hands are all scratchy!”

I’m wearing your dress because once it smelled like you. Just after you had run away. I could smell the cigarette smoke, your sweet-tinted sweat and Chanel’s No. 5. And so I slipped it on, to have you near me. Now it’s lost the smell of you, the softness of your skin. I’m losing you too, the round shape of your face, the wild gestures of your hands.,, I hope this dress can bring them all back. And the potato peels… I’ve been cooking a meal for us. For the past five years. I’ve set the table too. Come in, please! Would you?

Would you? That’s what I wonder every day. Would you love my face now,  would you love it still now that it’s full of deep raisin lines? Would you love my awkward hands that resemble the dry, cracked ground I try to tame? Would you take my hand, hold it gently and not flinch at the touch of my rough, scaly skin? Would you dive into the quarry of my heart, dig out all the sharp stones of misery and grind them into soft sand? Would you?

I will never find answers. I don’t expect to. But I cannot be moved, I cannot forget, I cannot leave like you did.  I’m a work horse on this farm, I stay here faithfully even after everything’s dead. I go about my routines, try to make things grow, I set the table for two, wait for you in vain and then allow the cat to take your seat. The cat meows and looks at me in amusement, spoils the soup with its hairy paws. Oh well, you always disliked soup anyway. Maybe you started to dislike me too, or was it just the solidity of these walls you feared? When the house squeaked and creaked at night, did you fear that our security was falling apart? If I lean into a same wall for too long, it crumbles under my weight, that’s what you always used to say. I have to keep on moving, you mumbled many times. Did you plan your departure already, even then?

I suppose you were right. You leaned into me after all, you got close, so close I could feel the even warmth of your breath and the fast rabbit’s pulse on your wrist. Then you left and I crumbled. I turned into rocks scattered around this house.  I started to carry the colours of beetroot, carrot and potato on my face, blending into the lonely landscape of abandoned vegetable crops. I look like this house more and more every day. I’m empty like this house and my joints creak like the doors that are not opened often enough to let someone in. I’m old, draughty and unhinged like my kitchen. Our kitchen. I’ve become a bit skewed, this house was built sweked and so was our love. Shouldn’t we have known better from the start?

And maybe one day I will fall apart, turn into ash and fire and burn with this house. Or maybe I will become a solid part of these worn floors, one of the blind planks. Then I would find oblivion. But before I do, I want to forgive you. I used to think that the only passion I ever got from you was a passion fruit. You grabbed it once during a fight and threw it at me with blazing eyes. It hit me hard on my lips like a violent kiss. I didn’t mind the bruise, but I hated you for ruining a perfectly good fruit. I loved all things growing, and you laughed at me for this. You used to stand and look in wonder as I tended my garden.

“GROW UP! GROW UP!!”  I shouted at you, during our fights.

Grow up, just grow into something, into anything. Grow so I can love you too. Why did I left that tint of affection unsaid?

Now that it’s too late I understand  that you gave me so much more than one poorly aimed fruit and bruises on my heart. You gave me totally insensible love, the most honest kind of love, the one that doesn’t follow any planned paths. Stubborn kind of love that just comes like a wave and swipes over you, one that doesn’t come early or late or when it’s asked. It just comes and takes you.

And I loved you, you have no idea how much. Despite your poor temper, your chain smoking and the fact you sometimes treated me like a foreign object, I loved you.  Because I remember those other times… the time you snorted juice through your nose because I made you laugh so hard. The time you insisted on making pancakes for me in order to make up for some silly comment, and somehow you managed to set the frying pan on fire. Your cheeks were burning red as you panted and panicked, trying to figure out how to save the pancakes and not cause an inferno. I remember you sliding around the kitchen like a lost ice cube. I came to you, and you melted under my touch. And all was calm again.

And always, as I looked at you, I felt a weir lump swelling inside me, like a sponge that sucked all air out of me. It was just a feeling that never quite translated into words or proposals, but it was a strong feeling. It made me gulp and shiver. It was love, I recognise now. Our  bittersweet love that didn’t make any sense, totally incomprehensible, maybe doomed from the start, but just too beautiful and pitiful to be shooed away. You gave me that love and you forgot to pack it away and take it with you when you left, and for that I’m thankful.  It still lingers here, keeping me company. As I stand in the middle of my fields and look at the light creeping up, stretching its hands above the horizon to push the darkness away, I feel it. Our love, the memory of it mixing with the fresh light of dawn. And look, what’s that? A little growing seedling, how odd. I had forgotten what they look like. But now I remember. They look beautiful. They look like you but funnily, they look like the future too. They look like hope.

Your turn. What does the piece bring to your mind?

Inspiration perspiration- sweating over creativity

2 Dec

 

What inspires you? Where do you draw passion and ideas from when you’re not surfing high on the wave of creativity? What melts your mental blocks?

 

To me, it’s probably nature, the harmony and strenght it possesses. But since we have gone from Winter bliss to winter blizzard:

The view outside my window on Friday morning. The obscure blur is the snow falling every which way possible.

The view outside my window on Friday morning. The obscure blur is snow falling every which way possible.

 

I have found refuge in art instead.  Munch is one of my all time favourite’s, although not the most cheerful bloke he surely does know how to express sentiments with colours! I just love the feeling in his paintings, so aching and melancholy. Also, one of the reasons I love music, art, literature, poetry, all of it, is because it shows beautifully just how original and yet how bound together we all are.  Your visions and feelings and ideas on the artwork below might be totally different from mine or from Munch’s, and yet as we both look at it, we are connected by it. Isn’t that quite miraculous?

 

Girl on the Bridge by Edvard Munch, I do not own any rights.

Girl on the Bridge by Edvard Munch, I do not own any rights.

 

The feeling of connection, the feeling of being part of something and of belonging,  is a precious feeling. I think it might just be happiness, or the root of it. Because we weren’t created to be alone.

And that’s why I got together with Hasty to write another poetry duet for you! I hope you enjoy reading it, and feeling it, as much as I enjoy writing them. Poetry duets have totally surprised me, they’re like a breathing dialogue of inspiration, so enrichening! And they always give you new perspective to writing as well. And isn’t that just what creativity is, a fresh angle or an idea?

Or what do you think, how would you define creativity?

 

Free falling

by Hastywords and me

 

Your mourning, blue lips

And the searching transparency

Of the morning light

Pushes us under the rhythm of life

 

Free falling, closed eyes

Into desecrated fields

Bodies sleeping cold and blind

Waiting for the ghosts of truth

 

All those gaunt prisoners on display

Stalking roads and alleyways

Worn out too many times

By your trembling feet, by mine

 

Spiral clouds melting daylight

The moon covered in dust

Seekers find refuge in memories

Hiding trauma behind their eyes

 

Unseeing days, blind nights

Static, empty landscapes like

Blank kaleidoscopes of the past

Washing out the mermaids of rebirth

 

My red lips of blazing fire kiss the land

Torching the rotting decay, then I cry

Upon the sand, springtime to start again

Filling reservoirs of revival in their minds

Art prophecies of the future

26 Oct

The Future Man by Victor Hugo

Here’s the thought of the artist himself, Victor Hugo, on above artwork: “Nothing else in the world… not all the armies… is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

I hope he is right. Because if he is, I have and idea. It is the idea behind this blog, behind my pursuit for happinness. It is an idea I try to actively introcude to my life, and to the lives of people around me.  It is just two words, four simple syllables, it is this little thought:

More compassion.

And the best part is, it is not really my idea at all. I know it is an idea that others try to fulfill in their lives, just like I do.  I know it lives in many hearts. I know that there are people out there, compassionate and loving, caring and fond of little things, like stranger’s smile and surprise hugs. Actually, I believe we have all been given that talent. Whatever Darwin and natural selection has to say, I say there is much more to us than just bare animal instinct! We have been given the ability to love, the miracle of empathy. We are all capable of loving. Let’s be generous with it and create more of this love.

Because if Victor Hugo is right, and I believe he is, we can change this world. With more compassion, we do not create only a better potrait of the future man, we create a better mankind.

It might sound naiive. I know there is a lot of suffering in this world, more than I can imagine in my blessed little life where week’s biggest tribulation is that I missed a bus.  But think about Victor Hugo’s quote, think about the concept of an idea. Before there was a gun, there was the idea of a gun. Before there was war, there was the idea of war. Before violence, the violence was created in someone’s mind. Before this world was a chess game of super powers, leaders check and mating each other with nuclear bombs, there was someone who wanted that power. So with our idea, with the idea of more love and compassion, we can change this.  We can turn down the power of violence and spread the power of love. We can take this idea, this sweet and naiive-sounding idea, and turn it into reality. We can make this work. We can make this world a better place.

And when you doubt, the way I sometimes do, ask yourself: What are the options? Do we really want to see more crisis? Do we want the future man to be the portrait above: A hard shell of an armour, drained out of all empathy, feeling, compassion. Do we want to become efficient killing machines, love machines, labour machines, lost and unfeeling machines. Because the choice is ours, the choice is real. We have the choice to create more compassion or to destroy the idea of it.

Rock Drill, the original sculpture by Jacob Epstein

Rock Drill, the original sculpture by Jacob Epstein

The remaining torso of Rock Drill by Jacob Epstein

The story of the sculpture above, Rock Drill, is probably one of my favourite art stories ever. Epstein created Rock Drill in 1913 to be the prophecy of humanity.

“I made and mounted a machine-like robot, visored, menacing, and carrying within itself its progeny, protectively ensconced. Here is the armed, sinister figure of today and tomorrow. No humanity, only the terrible Frankenstein’s monster we have made ourselves into…” Extract from the autobiography of Epstein

The sculpture was originally attached to real miner’s rock drill. However, later Epstein dismantled it himself, removed the drill and cut off its limbs, leaving the torso displayed on the bottom picture.  But even if the threatening apperance of Rock Drill was destroyed, what it stood for survived. It was the epitome of suffering, violence and war. None of them has yet grown extinct. We can see their effects every day, some of us in news and some of us, sadly, first hand.

So, the reason I love Rock Drill? Well,  I don’t think it is the epitome of suffering at all, I don’t think it is the prophecy of our future the way Epstein intended it to be.  I think it is the epitome of what we can do! Or if it isn’t, we can turn it into one.

Let’s make it the epitome of change. Let’s dismantle the body of hatred and violence in this world, the way Epstein did with his sculpture. Let’s replace it with love, community and compassion.

I believe we can do it. But if I didn’t convince you, check out this blog:  The Better Man Project.  It sets an amazing example, it is one of my constant inspiration foundations. Every day, I return there for examples of love and care, for ponderings, for instructions. For the followers, for the visitors of the blog, for the community.

Do you see now that this idea is not alone, that is not flimsy and imagined? Do you believe? Because if you do, we can change this.

On gratitude

19 Oct

Beggar (Fisher Girl) by Ilya Efimovich Repin

I’m sharing you this artwork for a reason, and it is not the beautiful sentiment of the piece, although that is a reason enough in itself. But today, I’m sharing you this piece because I met a very inspirational man who reminded me of the above portrait.

I work in a supermarket and though I try to treat all my customers with equal respect and cheerfulness, sometimes you meet people who are just something different, in all the good ways. This man was one of them.

He was buying leather shoes. I soon found out his character was as soft as the beautiful, slender texture of the shoes. Because suddenly, he asked me if I knew what ‘crow boots’ were. I was bemused and said that I wasn’t sure if they were part of our range, they didn’t sound familiar.

At my remark, the man bursted out laughing and said they hadn’t been part of anyone’s range for the past 50 years, at least not in Finland or countries of equal social security.

‘ Crow boots were the crust that dried on your feet when you had been plodding through wet mud and dirt all day. Crow boots were the only shoes I had as a kid. 55 years ago… when things were a bit different.”

Then the man seemed to contemplate something for a moment, so I said in wonderment:

“It must be really weird to see the difference so clearly now, how things have changed for kids and teenagers.”

“Yes… but they were good times too, you know. In their own way, simpler and good.”

The man’s smile and content left me in awe. There was a boy behind him queueing to buy an iPad 4. He was sulking. I wished the man a lovely weekend. I wished the boy would be grateful and see the difference.

It is hard to understand the ways in which things have changed in such a short time. To think that I have 10 pairs of shoes and have taken them for granted all my life. It is indeed a blissful world where you can complain about missing a bus, runny make-up, long queues in shops and spiders in your house.

I’ll risk sounding terribly serious and morbid, and say: I don’t like the way how ‘First world problems’ has become a jokily phrase over the internet. It is not a joke, although we should laugh everyday, because we indeed are terrible lucky and blessed.

I learnt a lot from that man today. I learnt how to be happy and grateful. I learnt to love my shoes a little bit more too, if that is possible for a girl.

What do you love and are grateful for?