Late Night Rambles 

What the fuck am I so afraid of? Every person has a story, a history, a future and the power to act. Every day brings with it millions of opportunities for life to go one way or the other. It’s all about choices we make and the convuluted act of just going for it. 

We (maybe I should say I, but a collective make it easier to swallow) want to do something. Then, we spend so many days, months and years talking about it instead of acting. What is with human nature that makes us this way? We all know that life is finite, yet we procrastinate carelessly until it’s too late. Only then do some of us wake up and wish we could’ve done it all differently. 
Not me. Not anymore. 

I am going for it. I only have small inklings of what it is, but I will know when I’ve done it. I can feel that is the truth. I’m trusting intuition, finally. 

I am going to explore and do things I’ve never done and see what I come back with, or without. Mind games and tricks can put illusionary limits on capabilities. I am learning to quiet those unneeded thoughts. There’s a whole lot of brain power that I won’t allow to be left unused and potential lingering that needs to be ignited. 
T-3 days until takeoff. 

Designing Your Life

Imagine that you’re given an empty room of any size in any kind of house. Your first thoughts will likely be- how to fill it with the things you need and how to decorate it so that it is aesthetically pleasing to both yourself and visitors.

Much like being given an empty room to fill, we are born into the world with untouched souls. They are pure and open for new experiences, teachings, downfalls, growth and meaning. In looking at life as a finite room, it gives the perspective that it is both open to interpretation and design, but also confined by the structures we’re born into, in this metaphor, the walls. Walls like race, arguably sex, and family are walls that as foundations stand without our creative touch and input. As much as we can design our lives the way we want to, we are categorized inside constructs and groups, the way that furniture must be measured to fit within a space. This is not to be seen as negative or limiting, but rather as a filter for how we come to see the world and decorate our lives.

Fortunately, we are the architects of our soul – we decide how we fill our time, who we interact with, and what kind of furniture we will allow to permanently remain within our space. This free will ushers in seemingly interminable choices and sometimes tough decisions that will shape who we become, to both ourselves and to the world.

The beauty in the design of life is that it’s malleable. While one choice leads down a path to a new intersection, your mind is always changing as experiences and moments move, shaping who you are. Therefore, when you arrive at the next crossroads, you have more experience to make the next decision- a ripple effect not a domino effect because ripples expand, while dominos fall.

Just like furnishing a room, tastes will change over time. While you decide to keep some key pieces (values), you will likely enhance or recreate the details surrounding those values with new choices (lifestyle).

Each phase of living in your room offers new function and informs new meaning. Nothing is permanent, and that is the essence of finding beauty in your design for it is all fleeting.

 

 

An Interpretation: Mark Tansey’s Achilles and the Tortoise & Forward Retreat

Tansey  tansey_forward_lg

Achilles and the Tortoise (1986) and Forward Retreat (1949)

A monochromatic blue, gargantuan canvas immediately captures my eye. In it, a rocket juxtaposed, yet racing ahead of a stoic pine tree, piques my interest as I assign meaning to it based on current events and personal feelings. At the Broad Museum, Mark Tansey’s Achilles and the Tortoise is a fascinating painting that sits adjacent to his Forward Retreat- both of which are simple, yet complex in their design.

The first includes portraits of famous people, including Princess Diana and Albert Einstein. While the foreground depicts Diana helping plant a tree with onlooking spectators, the background has a crowd of people with binoculars, watching a rocket blast into the sky. A man with a binocular stealthily watches the tree-planting ceremony, while another looks into the background at the rocket, shooting rapidly and growing taller. Directly parallel to the rocket stands a thin and long tree. Although the rocket is obviously static on the canvas, it still gives off a feeling of intense and rapid movement, clouded in white smoke that pops out against the beautiful blue backdrop. In juxtaposition to the darker tree, the smoke’s path resembles the tree to its right in its similar shape.

My interpretation is that while human development and technology race into the future, reaching figurative and literal heights that are unprecedented, nature has already been where people cannot go. The tree, as a representation of nature, stands tall, and without much attention, does the same thing that the rocket is doing (growing into the sky) with less effort and little attention. People are planting a new tree in the front of the painting with celebratory champagne, representing the human desire to create and our own celebration of our accomplishments.

However, while we can put time and effort into growing anything, from ideas to trees, we have certain limitations beyond our control. On the other hand, nature is free and will continue to exist even after we, as humans, die. Its relative immortality gives it power and beauty, and while the tree is simple compared to the other objects in the painting, it still garners so much of the viewer’s attention, much like nature does in the “real” world.

Although people stand in intense interest, staring with binoculars at the rocket blasting into space, there is one man who is facing the viewer of the painting, looking at the tree being planted instead. Perhaps, this shows that nature is more outstanding than anything humans can make on their own.

Additionally, the rocket can symbolize a tool of modern warfare and human application of the laws of space, time, and motion for their own greed and desires. Both the rocket and tree are powerful and although narrow, take up the most space on the canvas, showcasing that war and nature are potent forces to be reckoned with.

On the wall adjacent to this painting hangs a monochromatic red canvas by Tansey entitled Forward Retreat. In it, there is a pond with broken artifacts of art floating in the water and on the shore. Below it, men in military garb sit, riding backwards on horses, all of which are painted upside down. As they look off into the future, they are actually moving backwards. I think that the broken vases and pieces of history on the shore represent culture and the arts.

Although humankind believes warfare and military action can propel them into the future as they gain more “power”, the truth is that the destruction of war truly decelerates progression as it destroys the things that really move humans, namely art and culture. The title in itself is paradoxical, but it adequately describes the history of war. While we think we are moving forward, we are actually retreating and losing a sense of human nature in the process. While we aim to create and grow, we use violence and military action to quell any group of people or ideas that seemingly threaten the standing power, even when they have the potential to improve the status quo.

While both paintings are strikingly different in color and content, they both represent an overarching theme of art, culture, technology, human progress and war, even if only to my mind’s eye.

Wheels Up

It’s like when a plane hits the tarmac at landing. The only place it can go after that is back into the sky.

She saw blue above her, but she had let her wings rot. The smoky air and pollution of her surrounding had temporarily put them out of commission. But, she was ready to get cleaned up and get back into feeling the sun rays caress her cheeks and the wind envelop her outstretched fingertips.

Sometimes there’s no end in sight. The destination is a long ways off, but the path is open for a reason- so she can fly however quickly or slowly she wants to. Hell, she can fly backwards or upsides down if that’s her prerogative, because rules don’t exist when you’re in your own sky.

Wheels up.

AmeriCan’t Dream

here’s a piece of my mind

its lacking peace, but hear & you’ll find

that change is constant

and what you want is variable

hard to achieve

but my no means impossible

able to conceive

stuck in an american’t dream

that’s not a typo, what’ll you’ll find here

is a nightmare

something they’ll preach but you’ll only grow to understand

what it really means

it seems, that like a cactus

and Cali

we’re bleeding dry

head shots and politicking

we chase money

lose love and eventually die

want what we can’t have

never really have what we claim to, put fame to

filling days with floating hours of misuse

cause nothing is permanent

time is temporary, too

we’re living in a state of fleeing time

where nothing is safe-

identity, feelings, and even one’s life

our world is divided into filters

coffee grinds

&

sugar

we don’t choose what’s poured into our cups

half empty;

i’m not tempted to pretend that people believe in procuring a blend

a mixture, a collage to see images that are brilliant-

the sun shines on the resilient

those who stay true to their passions

ignoring those who define style by fashion

there’s much to be learned

with all the fish in the sea

you may swim in schools, but you are born into class

there’s race, there’s minority, there will always exist a mass

you can win with intelligence

if structure is what fucks ya

fight against the powers that name what they be

redemption is quality, above satisfactory and related to honesty

unlock the chains, gridlock will render you insane

the best thing to do is continue to try

when you give up on your dreams, you just as much die.

being present

we trade tomorrow’s today
make malleable toys of our
memories of yesterday
never tangible; artificially sweetened
creating arbitrary deadlines dressed as goals
letting moments melt in our hands
setting sights; mere mirages
periphery visions clouding the tunnel
fighting for the light at the end
instead of sparking fire in the shadows.

Form v. Function

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Many times upon pouring a bowl of cereal (never in the morning, because i don’t eat cereal for breakfast, ever), I think to myself,  “Why does cereal taste so much better at night if it’s breakfast?” The question offers an answer that speaks to more than just the food industry,  but rather provokes insight on life, in general. More often than not, things are better used in modalities other than their intended function.

The latter idea brings me back to a class I took years ago entitled “Philosophy of Film.” I was an ambitious high schooler taking classes at the local community college in attempt to get a leg up on my competition for college (as if i was the only student doing so). Anyways, back to the regularly scheduled program. In that class, I learned a lot. I started looking at films in an entirely new way. There was one lesson that I will never forget. It was when we were taught the terms”manifest” and “latent,” or the intended and unintended uses of a product. Here’s my favorite example because it has with it its own personal memories intertwined- cars: you buy a car for its manifest reason namely to get you from point A to point B. But, think of everything else you can do in a car, its latent functions. I could sit and spell them out, but how about you let your imagination and/or personal experiences fill that space?

If you think about it, more often than not, it is the latent uses of a commodity that provides connection with something tangible. It’s as if that is where the “soul” of the object resides.  In a world where hyper consumerism runs rampant, the desire to obtain the latest product is merely fleeting. We want something, and we want the immediate satisfaction of getting it right then and there. Digital media and the Internet are the main culprits, both providing us with false hope that everything in life can be so fluid and instantaneous. Media feeds us how and why we need the latest and greatest gadget, and most of us eat it all up, whether it be passively or actively. It’s so easy to succumb to the pressure surrounding our culture to act and be a certain way, to desire a certain lifestyle, to stick to the beaten path.

But, what if we took a step back and looked at all the enjoyment that can come from our imagination? What if we reflected upon what we really want, outside of gimmicks,  and what will come of it upon working for and achieving that true desire.? Not everything needs to be used in the function that determines its form.

So, eat your cereal at night. See how it tastes better. And, if you sense something different, do it again and again. Take that creativity and apply it to all areas of your life. Believe it or not, but the latent isn’t always so hard to find.