August 23, 2008

Saying Yes to September.

S E p15 T
E25 DSC_1619 B E scribbly R

Come August I become consumed with tunnel vision fixed upon yet another fall semester at community college, still wading in life possibilities. It feels much like drowning in the amorphous rainbow that is a McDonald's ball pit with nothing substantial to latch onto for the sake of self-preservation.

I noticed that once engulfed in the clamor of The First Day I become hyper-aware of the social dynamics my peers prescribe to. We are lonely souls ricocheting off one another in the search for a tribe, a cult, a gang to call our own--any connection substantial enough to transcend the collective memory of social networking sites into something more concrete. Something accompanied with nicknames concerning canned food items, spirit animals, or sexually explicit catch-phrases. Something which includes forcing nicotine in and expelling it out of our lungs in one shared self-destructive, self-aware breath. Something which has everything to do with quantity and nothing to do with quality. The more bodies you can claim as your friends the better. Resigned to this being a necessary and unavoidable aspect of my social development, I realize that I need to open up, reach out, and connect with individuals my age. It is too easy to withdraw, to burrow oneself deeper into that proverbial ball pit and spend your precious free time watching every Gilmore Girls episode you own (which would be seasons one through five--the good ones). Or maybe that's just me ;)

In September I want to focus. Focus on academics and a few goals that are within my capabilities to make tangible such as creating a space that Agent Pineapple and I want to be in as opposed to just sleep in. A space where creativity, academia, and relaxation can flower. This means consciously filling the well; it is imperative to keep the well half-full by default, to focus on the bigger picture and grasping at anything to keep it saturated with soul water.

Therefore today I have been spending my precious hours of "Lara time" organizing, musing about art, listening to the mix-CD my sister gave me, and playing dress-up: all well-filling activities in their own right. I am breathing. It has been so long that I was worried that my body forgot how.

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August 12, 2008

Shiny pom-pom!

shiny pom-pom, originally uploaded by kaliji.

For Self Portrait Tuesday; theme: Shine.

This little gold pom-pom pounced on me on my way to work and I just couldn't resist it. I bounced it in my hand and rubbed it between my fingers the rest of the way, mesmerized. It is a magical worry stone; I'm glad it found me :)

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August 11, 2008


sunflowers., originally uploaded by kaliji.

happy happy happy.

i forgot where i was going with this.

my lovely brought me sunflowers.

they make me giddy and smiley

and look perfect on my altar in

the happy mocha chai bottle

that i knew would be of use

one day

August 8, 2008

Gratuitous mirror self portraits.

gratuitous mirror self portrait, originally uploaded by kaliji.

adding to the chaos., originally uploaded by kaliji.

It's not my fault that my old neighborhood has amazing public washrooms. I just noticed how when I take pictures my pinky is in full salute, that's embarrassing. The digit becomes erect when I hold coffee cups too, and with other beverages on occasion. Fortunately the problem can be circumvented by using a straw; they should make straws for hot beverages. That doesn't solve the picture-taking problem though.

August 6, 2008

So we meet again, August!

Dismantled Neon Letter U/Uneeda Biscuit G U S T
Dear August,
Regrettably, it seems as though you're already over. Let me be clear: I'm not blaming you. It's just that every year around this time my proverbial plate is piled thicker than that of a trucker's in an Old Country Buffet. Next week I work 40 hours as opposed to the usual 25. The week after that, Wednesday the 20th, to be exact; Fall term begins. Then, add to that the flaccid condition of my work/school schedule. It's unfortunate that so much stress is associated with you, August. Regardless, there are some things I would like to accomplish/work towards in these coming weeks.
In no particular order:
1. Fix bike. Bike. Bike rides. (Put the fun between your legs!)
2. Prioritize and organize.
3. Write a "manifesto" for Walking Wednesday, Walk your Wednesday...whatever.
4. Delve back into the art journal. Draw, paint, tape found objects in there...whatever.
5. Wake up with yoga 3-5 days a week ♥
6. Work towards achieving balance.
7. Start doing whatever needs to be done now to prevent my sanity from fleeing on account of fall term.
Thank you, for trying your best, August, in the face of all this adversity. You are a stand up chap. Perhaps you could send a surplus of mild, sunny days over my way here in Chicagoland in order to make up for, well, you know inadvertently sucking.

August 5, 2008

Julio en Mosaico

1. more bike love., 2. In memoriam, 3. This is my treasure chest., 4. the hats, they find us., 5. Not available, 6. Not available, 7. Not available, 8. Not available, 9. Not available, 10. Not available, 11. Not available, 12. Not available, 13. Not available, 14. clares home, 15. childs play, 16. smile.

July thoughts to follow after the yoga--burst of cleaning--morning pages trifecta. Hopefully situating the cleaning in between the other two will sustain my mellow ;)

August 1, 2008

Walking Wednesdays

It never ceases to amaze me how one can walk the same route time and time again and fail to notice the most amazing colors, textures, and compositions just waiting to be encapsulated in your viewfinder.
On this walk I decided that I no longer want to let myself be intimidated by others, possibilities, the state of American democracy, or even myself. I only want to feel dwarfed by trees doing yoga with limbs contorted and outstretched, an expansive sky, rusty mesas, lush mountains, torrential storms--by the power of mother nature.

It also amazes me how simply electing to walk on the other side of the street can thrust one into an entirely new realm of sensations, impressions, and mindfulness.
I walked past that leaf and stopped dead in my tracks--turned around and gazed at it, noting its solidarity, the rich gold against the monochrome sidewalk, the drops of dew intact.
A few blocks before that beauty, I had stumbled across a pile of severed trunks and limbs stacked thickly on a parkway awaiting removal. I felt moved to take this picture of its heart meat.
A few weeks ago two trees were hacked down on my block and I can't shake the feeling of loss when I go outside. Thinking about how the elm across the street was the same one I ricocheted off just after I had my training wheels removed. Now when I step off my stoop the sun is glaring. I walk down the street and everything is changed. The lighting. Now there are these gaping holes that I cannot forget.
On my walk I remember smelling cinnamon, dryer sheets, and construction. I love the smell of construction--freshly dug up earth mixed with sawdust.

I used to feel dwarfed by "photography" in part because many of my friends are enrolled in photography programs but more due to the fact that I allow myself to be intimidated by new things. It's the perfectionist in me: if I can't start this new thing and do it perfectly from day one or after a month I quit. But now I'm prescribing to the idea that if you love something do it (at least as far as photography is concerned). I've accepted the fact that every frame I shoot is not going to be magnificent. In fact most of them are going to suck. In making a daily practice of it, however, I trust that I will slowly learn to see or rather my lens will learn to see through me.

In thinking back on the countless opportunities for exploration and growth that I've ignored simply because I let myself be intimidated by the idea of other people already knowing what they're doing and what they want, feeling worthless before I even begin, I was angry at myself. Thinking maybe I'd already be that person I'm supposed to be right now. Regardless, I want to do the things that terrify me--that Improv class, vlogging... because if I can do it I know I will be closer.

In that vein, I want to start a Walking Wednesday blog that encourages people to start walking and taking pictures of the things that inspire them to share. While I like the alliteration, the importance of Wednesday is linked to it being the middle day--"hump day," as it were and therefore a time when walking is (imho) necessary. More on this project later as it starts becoming more tangible but I'm really excited about starting something!

This means a new vintage hat may be in order :)
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