I think that the art forms of photography, writing, painting, video, music; they all kind of go together. I guess thats one of the points of considering yourself an artist is that you don't want to be pigeonholed into one occupation or medium. Artists are usually philosophers and poets by nature, and musicians or painters by trade.
Sometimes, they are philosophers by nature, musician at heart and business men by trade.
You're not a musician any more than you are an orator.
You aren't just a painter but an interpretor of space and a linguist of the abstract.
You aren't just a nurse, but a bridge from old to new.
You dont make videos, you make visual magic of all kinds.
You yourself are art.
And If you can make your business dealings or your grocery trips art then youve created something new entirely. Your grocery runs are art in motion. They look like social experiments, not mere mundane chores.
The everyday fight is the power to resist the sadness and melancholy of normality. Our fight lies not in one stand at one protest, but in our everyday struggle to keep our sense of humor and to laugh despite rumors of war and financial collapse.
We fight for the ability to laugh and love in the face of tyranny.
We fight by loving ourselves. And the most radical form of activism might be to see the world as it truly is, in all its splendor and terror.
To see yourself as the powerful, world shaker that you are is one of the most enduring and empowering forms of rebellion. .
To love yourself is activism indeed. .
The fight that we face is not purely physical, but it is the mental and emotional struggle to remain at peace in turmoil. .
Our struggle is to remain ourselves admist so many voices of opposition. It is to remain innocently sensual despite sexual repression. It is the stand to be sovereign against despots. .
The power of politics is to styphen our worldview, and prescribe the parameters by which we define the world.
Fight by deciding the topic of news, rather than allowing the TV to choose. .
Fight with love. Love till fighting is no more, until our tears become laughter and our mourning turns into dancing.
After souls, then earthlings, we are Americans.
To identify as such is to identify with a long line of hell-raisers and ball-busters. Simultaneously, to be American is to recognize a history rife with heroines and villains. It is the history of slave owners and freedom fighters. While some raised a glass to a long heritage of brutal oppression, others loaded their long rifles to fight it.
When I think of America, I remember the pain. But, most of all, I think of the great men who stood for the ideals written in the constitution before those ideals were ever realized. The abolitionists: Jim Brown & John Quincy Adams. The Freedmen and Freedwomen: Frederick Douglass, Alonzo Herndon & Harriet Tubman.
A world which has largely copied the American experiment, they should really put some respect on our name. While some tear down the monuments and curse the ground they walk upon, I will sing the stories of the heroes.
The Devil You Know
© Throughout my life, I’ve heard mostly horror stories about a dangerous world outside our comfort zone of USA's borders.
When I got out to the places they'd warn me about, I found mostly good people with warm natures.
The devils of the world are usually dramatically overhyped, scribbled on scrolls for generations, while the everyday acts of kind strangers are forgotten like farts in the wind.
I wonder what a history book would read like in which every good samaritans deeds are recorded while the mass murderers are forgotten in the annals of history, given mere
footnotes instead of biographies.
They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But we remember these war torn and famished histories and still we repeat wars and famines.
We forget the victims but remember every mass shooter, their faces and names immortalized, giving the next-to-be all the more reason to carry out their designs of madness.
If all of that's true, these are just musings rather than established habit, as I myself can’t deny the allure of the biographies of genocidal maniacs - and true crime thrillers.
But, i simply wonder if the world only appears more scary than it really is because of this habit... I love the true-crime obsession, but does it obscure the real mystique of unknown lands by stories about genocide and slavery?
As facts remain, Zimbabwe is overall safer than
Johannesburg, and Manhattan is more
dangerous than both... and yet, most new yorkers will tell you more about the horrors of
terrorist groups like boko haram than they can of the everyday crimes in the bowels of the
The devil you know may be worse,
but at least you know him, and that familiarity creates the illusion that his proximity is comfortable.
Walk in Your Fire
Your fire will either inspire or intimidate. It’s not your job to discern who will get burned or who will be ignited themselves. Fire doesn’t discriminate - it just burns.
Play with fire because you might get burned, and that danger makes it fun.
Playing it safe is boring. Plus, playing it safe has risks of its’ own.
You risk staying stuck in your comfort zone.
The ash from forest fires fertilizes the soil for future forests.
Same with your being. Your fires of trials and mourning fertilize your new growth.
No growth in comfort zones - no growth without flames.
Safe to Be Sexy
I hope you can feel safe to be sexy.
I’ve seen how a woman's innate openness can be misinterpreted by men as a sexual advance.
The result is we’ve created a culture that is mostly devoid of feminine platonic touch; the touch that can heal and soothe.
Many women are closed off from their nature as a result - learning to protect their openness in fear of it being misinterpreted and of the resulting anger that comes from a man rejected.
Ive recently witnessed the opposite. I witnessed men rejoicing in a females expression of her sensuality, without the need for that sensuality to be directed at them.
A confident man only pursues women that show interest. He shows little interest in those who likewise show no interest in him… because he honors himself.
Movies indoctrinated us with the opposite. The man chases the women who shows no interest, until eventually she acquiesces. She falls in love because of his persistence. A great example is the original star wars. Princess Leia is initially disgusted by Han Solo. He corners her, aggressively, while she continually rejects him. Eventually, his persistence pays off and she falls in love. What a message to send to young men? Chase her and don’t take no for a no, but rather as an opportunity to show devotion to a woman who doesn’t respect you: eventually the persistence will pay off and your aggressive advances will win her over. Cue rape culture. Cue the American womanhood which has been trained to be bitchy and cold in order to protect themselves. We have inadvertently created a culture where friendliness is sexual. No wonder we have adapted so well to a masked society. 6 feet of distance. No touch.
This feminine touch can open up the hardness of man: if only he wouldn’t abuse it but would remain centered in his mission - undistracted by a touch that can empower. Then, maybe men and women alike would embrace their own innocent sensual nature. So, go on women in your sensual dance. Feel safe in your sexy. Strengthen your no.
No one has a right to stifle your nature or abuse your expression. Pure life force can be sexual in nature, and let none tell you otherwise. Your sexy is sacred. Your sexy is power.
Airports : Modern Day Crossroads
Airports : the crossroads where different lives meet.
Inventions and fresh solutions are birthed in these fluorescent hallways. No one lives here. They are all in motion. The Airport is a place where despair and joy meet on the shuttle to their respective terminals, going different places usually.
They are the modern day crossroads where worker bees and renunciates, CEO’s and Dalai Lama’s cross paths, and are therefore fertile incubators of creative babies and innovative ideas.
Ever since there were people, there were roads. Ever since there were roads, there were crossroads. Towns sprung up around them. Fairs were held and deals were made. These places where roads meet have a power entirely their own. So much so that some found their soul there, and others sold it.
Nearly every culture throughout history spoke lore about the crossroad. Some revered it, others feared it and others, still, utilized its energy for their desired ends. Voodoo practitioners would cast their spells, Christians would hang and bury witches and burglars at the crossroads, others would bury things or leave offerings.
100 years ago , airports were mere figments of science fiction. Now, the tab is running up and a Billy Joel lookalike is playing his tune over the gate attendants voice. It's an airport ballade. The tune mixed with her voice speaks volumes of the spirit of these transportation stations. Shoe shiners glisten to the rumble of countless jets, as if DJing some new form of electronic robot music.
“Have you walked a mile in their shoes? If not, you are a wise being, for wearing other peoples shoes is gross.”
A young woman with short hair has her face nested on the brunt of her fist as she writes her anecdote by the window of the bar island, that is nested in a terminal, in the tarmac of the airport. Bleakness slowly seeped into her complexion as the cacophony of sounds drowned out her own thoughts. She was revived by the beckoning of a stranger who asked “would you like to sit here?”, suddenly awakening her to the softness of a pinned up cushion couch.
“In a collision of people who apparently have little in common, those who do, have found each other by seemingly supernatural forces.”
Those who had not known each other 5 minutes ago, are talking fishing and other lores of countryside living. She sits down on the pin cushion couch and puts her headphones in to block out the noise. Before she can, her demeanor shifts to reflect wonder over how the voices that are apparently separate are now singing in symphony. Indeed, any spare lithium batteries, laptops, and carry on items should not be left unattended. The salmon are plentiful in Alaska and lost luggage is not the responsibility of the airline. As we leave the gate, remember to remain seated anytime the seatbelt light is on and if you plant on Sunday, you will have a bad crop. Subtitles decipher the instructions for those who speak Spanish and everyone else is blissfully ignorant.
Over the clamor for overhead storage, accents accentuate the calamity of people nervously hopeful for their new destination. Cultures apart, people are abridged by their common thirst for adventure. Young and old alike, the fervor for new experiences rings above the low pitch drum of the airplanes many mechanisms, none of which they understand.
The plane is full. It is full of people who have no clue how planes work. Yet, they are ready to place their fate in the hands of this mysterious metal birdlike vehicle.
It is a modern wonder that no one can diminish lest they invent a better version of the space-time Travel.
You know, by the time the flight is over, you may have talked politics, chicken soup and bore confessions, but you won't know their name. You’ll never see them again, which is preferable in the sort of alternate reality of the airplane.
Everyone straps on their seatbelt. It is a gesture that is purely symbolic - a seatbelt is useless on an airplane. The flight attendants know this, the pilots know this - still, it is like a routine that somehow pacifies the passengers to the inherent danger that they face. The seatbelt seemingly protects them against the unknown. It is a safety mechanism against their own fears. All could go wrong and if it did, no thing could save them - and definitely not a thin piece of nylon from 30,000ft at 500mph. But, this seatbelt protects them against their own anxiety. It is useless in the event of a crash, but it serves its purpose because everyone utilizes it as if it is a force-field against danger - as if because other people are doing it, it will protect oneself.
“The ideas that we hold as facts are held together purely by the power of collective perception of said idea. Truth, therefore, is a collective construct, apparent as concrete because so many people believe it to be so.”
The seatbelts are safety cues. None need heed them. Every flight, the attendants know that one passenger might leave his seat before the seatbelt light is off and their gig will be up - the others will know that the light holds no bearing. They will know that the seatbelt offers no protection. They now know that the life vests will be the only thing that survives in the event of a water landing. The inflatable slides will be like hieroglyphics to a future civilization. The Malaysian flight still is lost, and the plane itself is now a relic to our descendants, when civilizations, as we know them, have gone and passed, while the remains thereof tell a vague story of metal birds and the strange beings who rode them.
Should a future civilization unearth remains of these metal birds, they’d think “how primitive”.
People may starve, disease might run rampant, but one thing is for sure : we can always go faster.
Humans outdo one another and themselves, endlessly, until literal teleportation devices will hit the capitalist market.
If one area is poisoned or destroyed, we can leave aboard the very kind of vehicle that is reeking the destruction.
Cars drive across the countryside to escape the pollution they impart along the way.
No one person is responsible and thus, the responsibility is carried by the whole of humanity.
Immediately after the invention of the automobile and commercial air travel, an entire generation became completely disdained from those very inventions that they relied on everyday.
It was the ultimate millenial connundrum, she thought. We identify as environementalist or activists and contemplate, for example, the ultimate travesty that is the manufacturing of smart phones using precious metals resulting in toxic waste and go on to write our expose on the very same devices who’s trail of destruction we are so accutely aware.
The airport is the literal crossroad reflecting the actual crossroad that mankind as a whole has reached.
At this literal crossroad, the short-haired Angela begins contemplating the figurative crossroad at which we have found ourselves.
“At the crossroads at midnight is where we have found ourselves”, she wrote.
“Look before crossing the road” she was always told, and so she peers down the opposing highways into the different futures that each path leads, her imagination painting a new surrounding as she flew off into a dream-like state.
She was expecting more from these famed places. At a place where travellers either give you bounties or sell you cursed artifacts and disappear, she expected it to look less, well, normal....
To Be Continued