Sailing into 2017

2016-

The boat sailed, undaunted by waves
Flowers still bloomed, unintimidated by trampling forces
The sun continued to illuminate all without exception.

2017-

The light shines brighter
More flowers bloom
The waves become a joy ride.
Happy sailing! 🙂

What are your feelings towards the new year?

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Why should I care?

We often hear, “People don’t care.” So does it matter what I do? Does it matter what difference I try to make? This reminds me of a favourite Greek proverb. “Enas koukos de fernei tin anoixi” is a Greek proverb, which in English translates as “One cuckoobird does not bring spring.” I think there are two ways of looking at this – one is a mindset of powerlessness – that one person alone cannot make a difference. The other side of it: one person in fact can make a difference by taking responsibility and inspiring others, and in that sense it is when one person takes responsibility, that it sets off a chain reaction to enable the arrival of ‘spring’. To me the later is a mindset of optimism, but optimism based on taking action, not optimism based on wishful thinking. Taking action is mostly never easy, but when I feel powerless, I have made this (incidentally this was created in Greece) to remind myself of what difference I can make..

Your thoughts? 🙂

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Solitude

So many entries in May, and none in June! Lest I slip back into blogging inertia, here we go..

Doing things all by yourself, especially those things that you thought you needed company for, is the most liberating feeling ever! Suddenly you discover this part of yourself that is not driven by the need to be with someone. Suddenly you discover that you yourself, as you are, are complete in yourself. And this just makes being with someone so much more beautiful because then you are not driven by need, but have so many things you want to share with the person. And with mutual sharing, there is mutual learning :). I read some years ago “Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely..” Solitude is blissful, and sometimes you find fun company in strangers along the way 🙂

What you see below is something I drew earlier this year while listening to a Hawaiian song on repeat and remembering my experience of swimming solo in the Pacific Ocean. Seeing it from time to time reminds me of the power of solitude that I mustn’t forget. What are your thoughts on solitude? Any experiences you have had or experiences you’d like to have? 🙂

I am currently reminiscing my solo experiences of sitting in cafes, sipping coffee or gorging on dessert/sitting in bars, sipping wine and enjoying tapas/frequenting a favourite restaurant in a new but familiar city for dinners/swimming in the sea (including floating in the Dead Sea)/going for long walks even on full moon nights/sleeping under a starlit sky/going for a concert/getting lost in the narrow alleys of cities I admire/hiking (even to the most breathtaking historic places ever!)/walking in the desert/long train rides/long bus rides/long flights and long layovers/travelling to new places/exploring cities/museums and art galleries….

Hawaii

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perspectives

In the words of Marcel Proust,“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.” Our mind is capable of seeing the same situation from different perspectives. And as I am learning, developing the ability to understand different perspectives is really important. Why? Well at a personal level, it helps by not letting our limited view on things control us and make us miserable, to really believe there are myriad possibilities and that nothing is impossible. It makes us open minded and helps us grow – the act of hearing others, talking to others, learning from others, just sharing with each other – makes us realise that we may be limited in our understanding of dealing with situations, and that there is much to gain from each other. It helps us overcome arrogance – that feeling of I know it, I know how to deal with it, I can take care of this [No wo(man) is an island after all]. It also connects us to nature at a deep level – to its marvelous workings in ways we did not think we were capable of perceiving before (see photo below). At a societal level, sharing diverse perspectives through dialogue, respecting each other’s viewpoints, and transcending differences by connecting these diverse perspectives to a common goal is the starting point of building harmony in society and the environment we are part of.

As a little experiment, I took this photo below, and as you see it I would encourage you to reflect on what sense you make of it. Please do share as comments, would love to hear. 🙂

[Do not forget to scroll below the photo to read why this was a little experiment on perspective!]

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Doesn’t the flower look fresh and real, and the way my fingers are placed on its petals, make you imagine that I was stroking its petals when the photo was clicked?

What it actually is: The flower is from a book cover, and my fingers are wrapped around the edge of the book. How was that for perspective and some visual stimulation?! 🙂

Beginning of my tryst with surrealism

Visually blown away by Coldplay’s latest ‘Up&Up’, I remembered how much surrealism stimulates my mind. I still have a long way to go to get it right, but about two years ago, I attempted to make my first surreal painting:

Visuals

Surreal enough to be classified as surreal? 😛  Inspiration came from the following experience in the desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan:

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“View from my ‘room’. Surreal to see the sun setting marking silhouettes of these ancient mountains that slowly disappear into the darkness of the night as twinkling stars with their constellations, and planets and oscillating satellites speckle the sky, and every-time I open my eyes in the middle of the night to stare at my ‘room’ ceiling I see the Milky Way swoosh above me as if by the stroke of a thick paint brush, and at times I am lucky to catch a glimpse of a shooting star sometimes from the corner of my eye, and then the cool desert night breeze like a lullaby puts me back to sleep again, and I wake up to a peaceful silent dawn, the sun again marking lines behind those ancient mountains, and as it gets bigger and the heat stronger I must leave until I find that surreal sunset and the magic that follows again.” – August 2014, Wadi Rum, Jordan

Look forward to giving a creative outlet to more surreal experiences 🙂

 

The staring game – part 2

How does sky-gazing make you feel? It connects me to a deeper, more expansive part of my being, that is capable of embracing everything for what it is. And well it make me poetic 🙂  

Eyes hooked on to the sky.
Shapes, formations, hues and tones
Merging together
Yet dynamic
By the strokes of the brush
Of an invisible artist.

Below: Photos of skies I have experienced 🙂

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The staring game – part 1!

I made this some months back and pasted it on a wall right in front of my bed. I stare at it often when I wake up/go to bed. Some times when I am staring at it, I get lost in the pattern, some times in the beauty of the colours .. Some times my eyes follow the flow of  the different colours – and I like to imagine they are pouring into each other. Some times I can’t stop looking at my fingerprints and strokes (I finger-painted it). Some times I am staring at it as a whole and trying to interpret it as different things, and some times just going blank. But at all times I am amazed at how just staring at this, helps me look at the same thing in so many different ways. I like getting lost in it a few minutes every day. It is my substitute for rainbows – if only I could find multiple rainbows every single day in the sky! 😀 When I fix my eyes on it, I at times zone out and my mind feels relaxed. At other times a bulb lights up in my head and I have my ‘aha’ moment for the day! Are there visuals you like to stare at? How does staring at them make you feel? A photo, a painting, a scenery, a landscape, or just a blank wall?

PS: Re-attempting to blog more often than once every three years! :O Slide1