Not Here Nor There

This land, although not my native land,
Will be remembered forever.
And the sea’s lightly iced,
Unsalty water.

The sand on the bottom is whiter than chalk,
The air is heady, like wine,
And the rosy body of the pines
Is naked in the sunset hour.

And the sunset itself on such waves of ether
That I just can’t comprehend
Whether it is the end of the day, the end of the world,
Or the mystery of mysteries in me again.

― Anna Akhmatova

April In My Mind

April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.
― T.S. Eliot

TO what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only underground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

― Edna St. Vincent Millay

POOR MARCH

It is the HOMELIEST month of the year. Most of it is MUD, Every Imaginable Form of MUD, and what isn’t MUD in March is ugly late-season SNOW falling onto the ground in filthy muddy heaps that look like PILES of DIRTY LAUNDRY. ― Vivian Swift

Well, I don’t agree. Especially now that almost everything becomes evergreen due to global warming no doubt. Even deciduous trees and plants somehow failed to shed their leaves entirely. The photo above and below I’ve taken both in February 2015 and look how beautiful they are. And there is no snow this year aside from occasional night frost which right away disappear in the morning. We had more foggy days and nights though that linger compared to other years. The temperature now is in most days double-digit which is on its own very alarming but who noticed? In my experience, December and January are the most depressing months of the year. Cold, wet, windy and dark. By February the days get longer and the garden is starting to wake up. No, March for me is okay. That is when I start pruning the roses and from then on, the work never stops.

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Wabi-Sabi

asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy.

quirky, understated, withered, unique.

interesting, fascinating, beautiful.

imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

In short, we are all wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

How’s that for a starting point for tolerance and acceptance?

Flawed. We all are.

Respect to unpredictable limitations of imperfect reliability, limited mortality and inevitable changes.

Wisdom in natural simplicity.

I am made for Autumn

Yes. The colors, the atmosphere, the way the light slant through the trees and on everything. The sky mix of hues, lavender orange pink purples and blues… The chilly breeze and evening fires, the rain, the smell of earth, late-blooming perennials shorter days and early nights. All of those makes me feel peaceful and warm.

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Self-Portrait

”She was broken but never hopeless; alone but never lonely. Her eyes reflected pain but projected courage. She was a beautiful paradox.”

If I’m going to paint my self-portrait, I want the end result to evoke these kinds of thoughts from the viewers. I want the image to radiate strength, complexity of character, vulnerability, compassion, and life experience. Beauty for me is more than looks alone but what can you see behind it, what the eyes tell you, how the overall picture affects you. Does it make you feel something? I believe that even inanimate objects have souls. Good art for me is if it has the power to make people lose themselves and imagine other worlds, different lives, a good art are the ones that tell stories.

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People Pleaser

“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re someone everyone else wants you to be.”

—Steve Maraboli

I was born swimming against the current without being aware I was doing so and continued to be ignorant of my course for more than four decades before somewhere along the way I developed somehow a soft spot and all of a sudden I find myself -caring is not the right word but I will use it for the lack of a better one- caring what people might think of me. It’s addictive. Once you start concerning yourself with such things, it is difficult to stop. That’s about the time I started wearing lipstick and wear more appropriate clothes. I don’t go about wearing jogging suits anymore and ditched rapper/skater attires. I still don’t do girly-girl stuff but there is definitely an improvement. I acquired bags as well. Pricey designer ones mind you. I still don’t use them unless necessary but I have them. I miss the time when I don’t even have a wallet and my cellphone fits in my shorts pocket and I don’t even have to comb my hair. Those were the days. Now, I learned about loose powder and highlighter but I draw the line on fond de teint and concealer. I refused to treat my face like a wall, plastering them to look presentable. No eleven makeup brushes for me to dip in eleven different jars and bottles. Maintenance is more important to me than makeup anyway. I rather feel clean than looking pseudo-beautiful I don’t even recognize my own face in the mirror. But yeah, to each his own.

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Deep Down Below The Surface

I have a different idea of elegance. I don’t dress like a fop, it’s true, but my moral grooming is impeccable. I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven’t washed away. I’m always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness. I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.” 

― Edmond Rostand