ART/LIFESTYLE

WORDS #6

I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvellous that only the marvellous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvellous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.

– Anaïs Nin

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ART/LIFESTYLE

WORDS #5

For Rema Olugbala–Youngblood

They think they killed you.
But I saw you yesterday,
standing with your hands in your pockets
waiting for the real deal to go down.
I saw you smiling your “fuck it” smile, blood in your eyes,
your heart pumping freedom
Youngblood!

They think they killed you.
But i saw you yesterday
in the playground.
Black skin, sweaty, shiny,
hurling your ball bomb into the hoop
right on target.
Won’t be no game next time
cause you ain’t hardly playing.

They think they killed you.
But i saw you yesterday
with your back against the wall,
muscles bulging against the chains,
eyes absorbing truth.
Lips speaking it.
Heart learning how to love.
Head learning who to hate.
Blood ready to flow
towards freedom.
Youngblood!

Youngbloods ain’t got no blood to waste
in no syringes, on no barroom floors,
in no strange lands
delaying other youngbloods’ freedom.
We don’t need no tired blood.
No anemic blood. No blood clots
in our new body.

They think they killed you.
But i saw you yesterday.
All them youngbloods
musta gave you a transfusion.
All that strong blood.
All that rich blood.
All that angry blood
flowing through your veins
toward tomorrow.

– by Assata Shakur

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ART/LIFESTYLE

WORDS #4

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. 

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. 

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

– Max Ehrmann, 1927

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ART/LIFESTYLE

WORDS #3

F*CK LE WORLD. Its 3:40 am. I literally just finished reading a blog post by a very talented friend of mine Cecile Emeke. Funnily enough I stumbled upon this article of hers strolling through the timeline, when I should really have been:

  1. Asleep
  2. Finishing off the work I was running away from

When she receives my twitter notification in the morning she’s probably going to think ‘why the heck is this crazy fella up at crazy o clock reading my inner musings?’ Or maybe just maybe, as a creative she’s up too. Who knows? Only time will tell, ironically.

Well back to the topic. There was a key theme within her blog post that really hit me, a topic funnily enough I was debating with my mentor, Natalie, earlier today. Quite simply I have turned into a perfectionist – which bluntly can be defined in other words, as a coward. I am scared. Yes I said it, I’m afraid. I’ve literally dedicated the past couple years of my life working on various projects which ultimately will not only act as a catalyst for where my life goes, but consequently shall also simultaneously shape what my friends, family, and familiars think of me. Everyone who truly knows me simply knows I’m a very secretive person; now it all seems to add up – I don’t keep things to myself due to the fact that I like to keep myself to myself. In fact quite simply, I’m scared of what people may think. How can a photographer who shares his work regularly feel this way you ask? Well you know what they say (whoever ‘they’ are), you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Nobody sees the indecisiveness attached to taking that leap to share your work, the countless ideas that never come to fruition, the opportunities you never capitalized on. Should I or should I not’s, will they like this, will they love it, will they even get it?

I truly believe that whoever ‘they’ may be, we need to point our middle fingers at them and tell ourselves that we actually don’t give a flying monkey about whatever it is they may or may not think, now truly is the time to take that leap. Literally, as Disney movie as it may sound, trust your instinct and go with your gut. I owe my art a lot in my life. I’ve come such a long way from a child. I suffered from some stupidly crazy eczema which had me questioning my very existence at times. It literally got to the stage where I would only wear long sleeve garments just to hide myself away from the world. Well now, can you imagine I’m a nude model (well I did it once and it was rather liberating so I guess I can claim that title.) Ultimately I believe everyone should become a nude model in their own right, whether that may be by doing something you couldn’t imagine yourself ever doing, or simply by speaking out when that inner urge within you wants you to. Don’t hold back. Your imperfections shape who you are so there’s no need to hide them. So now go back & scream the first three words in bold from this piece and smile.

Mathieu Ajan

(Mathieu is a friend of mine; This text was in an email he sent to me.)

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ART/LIFESTYLE

WORDS #2

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

– Martha Graham

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ART/LIFESTYLE

WORDS #1

A Small Needful Fact

Is that Eric Garner worked

for some time for the Parks and Rec.

Horticultural Department, which means,

perhaps, that with his very large hands,

perhaps, in all likelihood,

he put gently into the earth

some plants which, most likely,

some of them, in all likelihood,

continue to grow, continue

to do what such plants do, like house

and feed small and necessary creatures,

like being pleasant to touch and smell,

like converting sunlight

into food, like making it easier

for us to breathe.

– Ross Gay

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