Tag Archives: art

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All I Am

All I Am

“What if
all I am
is the broken song
on a broken record
held gently
in the broken hands
of a broken man?
What if despite all that,
I was still
the song
that made you
smile?”

#TylerKnott / #ArtByShea

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In April, Dan Marker-Moore shot a series of photographs of the rising moon over LA’s skyline and turned them into 3 final pieces. The first piece was the “time-slice” photograph above showing multiple instances of the moon in a single frame (different … Continue reading

Wordle Me.

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I took some of the most recent pieces that I wrote and put them into a Wordle..

The words that appear to be the biggest were the words that I used most prominently throughout my writing — more often than not to describe myself, my experiences, and my surroundings. The words that appear in a smaller font were used less frequently when talking about these same (physical and figurative) objects. When I did this, it was interesting to me that the bigger words all seemed optimistic and accurate precursors to the next chapter of my life; the smaller words were more pessimistic and sort of stuck in the past. This little exercise made me smile. It made me feel at peace with what I have walked away from, and excited to embrace the new experiences that are awaiting. I am going…to keep writing my story. This feels good..

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I came across the article written below, and I couldn’t agree more with it. Just wanted to share it with you all, the message is wonderful.. ————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Written by Kriss. Original Source “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about … Continue reading

Storytelling

What makes for a good story?

Is it the relationships that mend and break? The mystery that yields suspense? What about the soundtrack that plays along in the background? Are all stories worth telling? If not, are they stories at all?

If we all come from different backgrounds, beliefs, families, environments and experiences, it would seem that opportunities to learn from people nearly always exist in one form or another – whether the lessons are interesting on the surface or not. So, why are some people so close-minded to other peoples’ stories? Why do they sometimes choose to neglect their own?

I think that people have the tendency to live outwardly — seeing what other people do and responding with behaviors that reflect what society might expect of them rather than the thoughts and emotions that they experience from within. The concept itself may seem obvious at first — trying to fit in with the “cool” kids — but if everyone acts and does the same things then the opportunities to stand out and learn from one another lessen dramatically.

I had an interesting conversation with a coworker earlier this week….He is a middle-aged, homosexual German man living in Frankfurt; I am a 23 year old, single, heterosexual, jewish female living in the States. We have walked extremely different ways of life, which is intriguing to me, but it seemed difficult for him to accept…and not for the reasons that you might think.

Although trying to maintain some of my own mystery, I did start to tell him about my story — my family, hardships, love lost; the twists and turns that helped me lose myself to ultimately find myself. I was openly expressing what a bad person I thought I was as an adolescent because of the experiences that I had had growing up. Toward the end of the conversation, all he had to say was that he was somewhat envious and wished that he had a story like mine; if life had kicked him in the ass harder, he would be been more motivated to do and experience more, become more successful.

I thought he was kidding. I mean…I wouldn’t wish my story upon anyone. That’s like gluing together broken glass and expecting it to shine as bright as a new bottle. Then again, broken glass makes for a beautiful mosaic. I have come to appreciate all of my broken pieces; each scar representing only small chapters of my story. I love what they have helped me become, and for that I am grateful.

When my coworker said he was jealous of me, I guess I was just taken aback because I thought he sounded more interesting on paper…or at least that he would have experienced more than I have. He then explained that his family was always supportive of his sexual orientation and it was just never made into a big deal, so he never really had to experience prejudice, malice, or truly trying experiences. Obstacles and hardships are really relative to each individual, but my coworker was adamant that he hadn’t undergone what he thought would make for a proper, interesting story.

He continued to say that after hearing some of what I have gone through, he wished that his story was as much of a page-turner as mine. At the same time, he internally felt guilty for wanting the people close to him, as well as his circumstances, to challenge him more instead of appreciating the path that he says they made easy for him.

I know that he didn’t tell me all of his story. I don’t know what was true and what wasn’t, but the conversation with my coworker made me realize something…that maybe the question isn’t whether or not some stories are worth telling; rather, it might be: What have you learned from your story? Or maybe: How has your story shaped you?

If you are reading the same chapter over and over again, you won’t be able to write the next chapter to your story…Perhaps the most exciting page hasn’t been lived yet. THAT in itself is something to be grateful for. Take the time to reflect inwardly so that you can share your energy outwardly. You never know who you might reach and help, whose narrative you might become a major part of.

Always tell your story.

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Perspective

Perspective is everything.

Are things exactly as we see them? Have they always been this way, or do they change as we do? Sometimes it’s good to revisit the places that we seem to take for granted..appreciate what we have grown up with and how it has shaped us. And yet, remain open minded, willing to learn from another perspective when appropriate.

6:21 pm on 4/18/13, at Rockefeller Center:

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This is where people come to fulfill their dream. Where they thrive…or get chewed up and spit out. Bumping shoulders, avoiding eye contact, exchanging brash words; racing to get from point A to point B, C, D…Z. The city is moving…so fast that we sometimes tend to become nearsighted. Work and money draw a heavy focus here.

8:12pm on 4/18/13, at Rockefeller Center:

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A thick layer of fog has descended on the city, creeping along eerily…calming the energy outside. The city’s people, they are still pacing. But the city, it is illuminating. Focus relaxes and grows increasingly farsighted — on the bridges stretching across East River, the skyline reflecting on water,  the lights on the Empire State Building as they sequentially alternate colors, and the sea of orange-yellow trying to navigate through every crevice of the city. There is a new appreciation at night because we survived another day to look at all of this.

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Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches

On natural beauty..

“It impacts the friends we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children — it impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to our happiness.”

That’s a pretty taunting thought…to think that the only way to achieve heightened success is to look a particular way. For one, success is relative. What it means to me may not have the same meaning for you. Secondly, if we purely rely on physical attributes to get what we want in life, then maybe beauty isn’t just physical, but largely mental stimulation – given that the desire to be perfect drives our behavior. In terms of society’s standards, there is without a doubt underlying pressure for women to have the brightest eyes, the prettiest face a hair, the sexiest body, etc..

Dove recently conducted a social experiment in which Gil Zamora, a 26-year veteran of the Santa Fe Police Department and forensic artist, sketched a group of seven women to get a better idea of how they view themselves.

The first part of the experiment was to sketch one woman at a time, without ever seeing what they look like. Zamora would ask them questions about their own facial aesthetics, revealing what they think their most prominent, favorite and disliked features are. Based on these descriptions, Zamora created a sketch of each woman. He then repeated this process but instead asked each of the seven strangers to describe the other women that they had met earlier that morning.

What Zamora found was that the women seemed extremely critical of themselves…even over delicate freckles; alternatively, when they spoke about the other ladies that they had met only briefly, they were more complimentary and even admiring of their features. Zamora held the self-imposed sketches next to the those created by the women viewing one another, and the reactions were pretty consistent: many woman don’t seem to see the beauty that others see in them. Or, maybe they do but just don’t acknowledge how wonderful their natural beauty is.

“We spend a lot of time as women analyzing and trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right…Instead we should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like.”

It’s true, women really are their own worst critics. I know that I am and have been my own for a very long time. But who doesn’t want to be “perfect”, you know? Whatever that is..

Self-love is beautiful. It’s necessary to love inwardly in order to love outwardly. Thank you, Dove, for sharing your message.