Tag Archives: wisdom

Seeing Human – Art In Perspective

25 Jan

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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.

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Passengers

23 Jan

Image source:http://roundtheplace.com/Street
I own no rights.

 
 
Life is like a train journey:
 
If you only keep staring at your own reflection on the window, you will never see the wonderful landscapes outside.
 

So gape in awe. And travel safe, wherever you are, to dreamlands and airports and each others arms!

Pupa Of Ice – DP, Apply Yourself

19 Jan

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

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Look what surprising beauty can be found in coldness!

Learning how to listen to yourself, how to be kinder, how to love more. How to look at the frost and see the sun shining somewhere behind. How to surrender to beauty, not to cold-hearted hate.

Pupa of Ice

Our stubborn eyes

Follow separate orbits

Bound to starry-chains and

Constellations of desperation

So afraid to meet

The in-between, the distance of us

Like a pupa of ice

Hiding under our shirts

All the passion-bred butterflies

Yearning to collide

To fly blind, wings in fire

Yet, we still believe

That if we stare down

The mockingly beautiful sun

Suddenly it will droop sleepily

To catch us unaware

With its shades of mercy

Finally, our eyes relieved

Into free falling as the sun sets

Then taken to rest

In seamless contours of light

Beyond the looking glass of frost

That mirrors our hands skinned cold

The dementia of touch

Be free in yourself

30 Dec
Image source: Wallpaperbuzz.com

Image source: Wallpaperbuzz.com

 

Everything you do is self-expression. Your words, your gestures, smiles and sighs, music you hum to and words you write. Every step you took today was you telling the world you want to move forward.

So don’t forget those steps, those smiles or tears you shed today, don’t forget them when you feel lost in yourself or are afraid to express yourself.

It is bad when you let someone else to limit what you can be. When you allow them to tie your soul into untangable reef knots, when you let them to drown your spirit or send you spiralling into melancholy with their words. Don’t let anyone do that.

But more importantly, don’t do that to yourself.

Never tell yourself that you cannot write or dance in the street in the middle of the night, or that you cannot share your dreams and feelings and thoughts.

Because you can.

Your self-expression, it is not coming up with a masterpiece dazzling enough to make Mona Lisa blush in shame or Einstein scratch his head in total wonder. To express yourself, you don’t need to come up with that masterpiece.

You are that masterpiece.

You are a limitless spring of expression.

In yourself, you will find the strenght for yet another adventure and you will find the safe haven of existence too to nestle in when you come back from all of your wanders.

In yourself, you have life. Never stop living it and nurturing it. Never cage it inside yourself but let it shine through. Because to someone that life in you might just be the light to guide their lost feet.

So be free in yourself. Be free to yourself.

Surrender your doubts and look up. The sky is beautiful and it is your mirror.

Why not me?

17 Nov

“My child died, very suddenly. I could never understand it but I never asked: “Why me?” Instead I asked: “Why not me?” It could happen to anyone so why should it not happen to me?”

Above is a father’s quote from a newspaper article I read recently, after a very tragic accident that killed his little child. It left me totally amazed at this man’s bravery and wisdom to see his loss in such a different light. It taught me a valuable life lesson, better than all the advice I have ever read about moving on and coping with hardships. It is this simple mantra of life: “Why not me?”

When we struggle, we always try to find answers by asking the why question.

“Why me, why this way, why now?”

Sound familiar? I know I have done it so many times. But if I could find that father, I would shower him in smiles and gratitude. Because his wisdom made me realise the danger of “Why me?”. While it is a natural reaction to a negative, unexpected obstacle or a trouble, it can also make you block the world out.  It will make you try to justify your troubles by finding answers in you.

And  that can lead us to create a pulping well of self-pity and worthlessness. We start feeling like we have done something wrong. We must have! Why else would this be happening to us? We start feeling that somehow, we deserve this horrible thing, this unhappiness.

But I want to tell you now: That is an illusion. Obstacle is just a circumstance. It is not your quality, not your innate trait. It does not mean you deserve unhappiness. It is just something that came your way. And a way to move past it, to fight back, is to follow the footsteps of the brave father above and ask:

Photocredit: nborlando.org

This question has been a revolution to me. No actually, more like an evolution. It has taught me a totally new way to assemble my worries.

Asking ‘Why not me?’ makes you open up to the world. It makes you look at your neigbour and think: This could have happened to him too. But still, I would not wish the same struggles for him. So why not me?

It makes you look around and realise that you’re not alone. That somewhere, someone is crying just like you are. That somewhere, someone is laughing just like you are.

The biggest illusion we have in life is that others won’t understand us. That our hardships are our own hardships.  But they’re not. There is over seven billion individuals dwelling around this planet right now so it is very likely you share experiences with them. That makes our hardships everyone’s hardships. This way, you can see you’re not alone and you can see the value of sharing a load. Be comforted by this.

“Why not me?”  will make you find perspective. Make you realise that you do not need to overscale your troubles, you do not need to tell people that they can’t possibly understand your suffering, just to show them how much you hurt or how stressed you are. You can show that by simply telling them what is wrong. And you might be surprised to find they have something to share with you too.

The photocredit: silverhuang.com
Caption edited in by me.

“Why not me?” can also make you see other people as they are, as people. It can stop you from making rushed judgements.

It is easy to look at a homeless person and think he is a hopeless alcoholic. It is easy to look at a parent having three jobs and think they’re neglecting their child. It is easy to look at someone overweight with two bags full of crisps and think they’re doing nothing to change their unhealthy lives.

And why is it so easy? Because our brain functions on learnt stereotypes, that is how it makes sense of the world. But you can break those stereotypes, those unpurposeful judgements. You can do it by introducing your brain a new way of making sense of the world:

“Why not me?”

That is a reality call ringing in your head. It can help you realise that these people have stories too, just like you do.

That homeless man might have children, he might have a top degree in maths but never had a full-time job. And that parent, juggling too many part-time jobs, she might be a single mum, trying to scrape money for bills, healthy food and her child’s school supplies. That man you thought fat and lazy, he might be comfort eating because his parents have just died and he does not know who he could turn to.

“Why not me?” makes you realise: That person you judged by outer appearance could be you.

And you can also be the person they can turn to.

You can help and be helped. You do not need to be alone. You can turn your obstacles into a source of strength.

So why don’t you?

Why not you?

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.

In search for words

24 Oct

I have found myself at loss the past few days. I have reflected back on my old mistakes, looked forward to my dreams, but at the same time felt totally incapable of doing anything about either. It worries me. Because while I still have great spasms of inspiration and excitement, while I still know in my heart I need to work hard to achieve my dreams and to contribute in making this world a better place, by making myself a better person, at this moment all I wonder is how? How I’m going to do all this?

That is the question that bothers me the most. Because when you don’t know the why’s and the how’s, the reasons behind your feeling of tiredness or hurt or disappointment, it is hard to regain your sense of direction. It is hard to have a plan and then work the plan. Quite often you leave yourself there, in your anguish, not because you like to self-pity or don’t want to change things, but because you don’t know how to do it.

First, all you have to do is get to know yourself again. To put your work aside and work on you. Because if you don’t know who you are, you will never know who you can be. What you can achieve.

That is what I’m doing now. Getting to know myself, reflecting back on things. I realised I have been too busy doing this and that and everything to notice that many things have changed in my life during the past three years. That I have changed with them. I realised that in my will to look forward, I forgot to look back.

I think we are sometimes pushed too much to progress, to be all we can be and carpe diem every moment that is given to us. I think sometimes we push ourselves too much, papering the walls of our hearts with millions of to do-lists. But if all we do is charge forward, we might well forget the way back home. We have to know, in all our hurry to improve, how to get back to ourselves. What is the way to our hearts, where is the quiet place for looking back and resolving who you are. In all honesty, and in all kindess.

Looking back doesn’t need to be a guilt-trip to all your mistakes, it can be a learning curve to avoid the speed bumbs in the future.

That is what I’m doing now, trying to judge myself less and teach myself more. I’m polishing the mirror to see myself clearer. Because I don’t want to feel lonely in myself. I believe none of us do. Because if we are lonely in ourselves we can never be truly happy in others or in life.

That is also the reason I have scattered here some advice, in the form of photos and beautiful quotes. So that we never forget the lessons we have learnt and the ones we still can learn. So that we feel more consoled, in our search for words and for understanding. So that we remember, those wise words live in us and we can find them, always, if we just find ourselves.

What is the advice you would give to yourself today?