You have a life that is yours to live

I like deep dives into anything and an open mind.

I like personal stories that touch the universe in us. I love humanness that I can relate to.

I admit… being in the trenches of life is what it’s about. I have lived so little of life and yet I feel like my caverns are deep, unmoored and ungrounded. 

I light up at the light pouring through the crack in the doorway. I like the idea that when one door closes, another door opens. 

I light up at the discussion of ideas… but more so… I light up when goosebumps ripple across my skin. When the only thing going for me is intuition and that intense body-mind connection. I know then… we’re on the same wavelength.

I light up when the dreamers scatter the night sky and resonance hums through me. 

I light up on the dance floor… dancing a dance from within and I light up at the little girl marching to the beat of her own drum.

I light up… at sheer honesty, radical honesty and strength. 

I’m inspired by strength and integrity, wool that is black, sessions on my yoga mat moving through vinyassa flows. 

I’m inspired by meditation and the awareness that I’ve felt, lists that don’t follow any particular rules, structure acting as support. 

I’m inspired by the concept of co-creation, nuance, sublety and detail along with the big picture. I love the process of expansion and I love the Winter cycles of renewal and root work. 

I love the idea of waking up every morning, purpose filled and ready to begin… and I love the idea of being gentle when I am not.

I love the way this gives rise to a new page, a new sentence, a new line… a new beginning, a new moment, a new lets try again right now. 

I love a new idea and I love a re-shaping of the old. 

I love the way life seems to flow with each rivulet moving me closer into the river and the center of the spiral. 

I love the thought of becoming. I love the thought that becoming happens to us when we allow ourselves space to grow. I love that allowing ourselves space to grow entails invitation. The new leaf of my orchid grows towards the sun as the old leaf at the bottom yellows. I love that the process of renewal and death can happen in tandem. I love that the new root of my orchid has sprouted on the side next to where I placed a rose quartz months ago. Pure delight to my inner child.

You have to love this soft human life of yours if you are to make anything worthwhile… even a cup of tea. You have to love the frowns as well as the successes if you want to live a life that is balanced. And you have to throw everything (or something) out the window and jump out of a plane, do something on the edge of your comfort zone… be embarrassed… if you want to develop courage… compassion… and whatever it is that will carry you through to the work of your life… that is… the work of living. You have a life to live that is yours. 

~*~

If nothing was unforgivable

‘All suffering is created from an illusion’,

someone said,

and before i could wonder if it were true,

i woke and it was dawn 

peeking through the blinds of my room,

haphazardly i wrote it down.

~*~

This is a Buddhist expression. The way I understand it… is that our minds are ferocious creatures. Abraham Hicks says that all subjects are really two subjects. And I feel that Taoism teaches the meaning of duality without actually teaching it. It’s not a philosophy in itself but a path of integration. Ironically, the moment we begin to philosophise on what it is, we’ve lost it. Nothing is more about a way of being in harmony. Alan Watts writes eloquently about duality – how the religions that have shaped western history, are dualistic. It was my first understanding of duality beyond the knowing of something by what it isn’t. But this pithy phrase catches it too. Sometimes, its fun, to go deep… but sometimes we can get tangled in the haywires as well.

Sand

Thoughts on how to make… find… create… meaning out of life and our relationship to art

I love moments of exhilaration. At how fast the driver goes around the bend… at the crazy swerving… at the fact that I’m in the front seat and I don’t actually have a seatbelt on and nobody is going to give a damn about it. Realising, coming close to a brush with death, that I could die but I was alive… made me laugh. I’m often… entirely way too serious. 

I chose to be here… experiencing all the messiness of life. To love the forces of nature… beauty in all its forms… beauty for the sake of beauty, beauty in the uncommon… in the passage of time… in the taboo, in patience and persistence… in simplicity and in complexity… in Pachamama’s fierce creations… and in her fragile ones, in the unfurling of the larger picture… in the themes of our lives… and in the minutia of my day… I’ve learned, this is where life mostly is. And still, how I feel about something, now and today… can change over the course of a lifetime. That something I believed and expressed a few years ago… may no longer stand today. That how you show up every day is how you live your life. When you need to change it up, shake things out, let the old things die, trust that rebirth is always on the other side. 

Maybe, when we engage with art (loosely defined as any creative practice but I will lean on the traditional definition here) we do so because it offers us mediums that take us to the heart of the matter. And it will be subjective. Everyone’s experience of life and each other… is subjective. So when we say… art offers us a glimmer, a reflection of life… are we really just asking… what’s here? Perhaps sometimes we are also asking… where am I going… what will I discover? Or perhaps these are simply variations of… what’s here. 

Maybe I’m simply thinking that I love it when art shows me or invites me to experience something new or raw… not necessarily original… but a perspective and a feeling that opens my eyes and my mind… a perspective that causes me to see the beauty of the ordinary, mundane world, yet thereafter has completely altered my everyday experience in some way that I will be able find beauty in this world by choosing to see it… or a perspective that causes me to recoil in disgust… is that good art? Yes. Even if I have subjectively made an opinion of the art… based on my reaction… the artist has fulfilled the purpose of their work. 

To wonder at the beauty of someone’s mind… to see beauty through their eyes, without the need to alter my life in any way… is art I want to see. To question what I take for granted and my paradigms… however uncomfortable I feel… is still art I want to see. To be able to shift my experience of seeing the ordinary… is art I want to see.

In that sense… what alters me… may not alter you. What is great for me… may not seem great to you. What was great to me at 20, may not seem great to me at 30, vice versa and so on. I deeply appreciate this truth about art. It’s shamelessly subjective and it knows. We know. Every time we experience art we don’t know what our reaction or our response will be. We don’t know the answer… and there is no right answer. I only know what I want to experience… yet really I cannot say, at all, what that will look like. Given that I cannot know if I will want to experience the same things in decade… art has no anchoring in the objective for me. What is popular/acceptable is this: enough people in agreement… on the work itself and on the parameters that judge the work. Popularity has immense commercial usefulness but it does not automatically give the subject of popular agreement, a correlational identity with truth. What matters… can take a while to find… discover or realise. (Aside: In a culture that idolises youth, if we were to question the values that created the commercial industry of that culture to begin with, what would we discover?) 

What was mundane and ordinary… can become extraordinary given the passage of time and the thresholds we cross in life. Truth can still be relative. I’m certain… not because the art or the scene has changed… but because we’ve bloomed with understanding. Because life inevitably expands our perspective. 

Whether art is subversive, reactionary, off the wall or in service to commerce or a purpose like advertising, it remains, a reflection of the artist’s relationship with their world, what they see and what percolates within them. Art is the medium that reveals life through a multitude of lenses and life is reflected in the meaning we make out of it. 

Sand