Changes

I am back! Looking through my blog, I am realizing that it has almost been two months exactly since I last posted an article here, which might make it seem as though I had given up on the resolutions I had set for myself in Magic Number Ten. Such is not the case though!

First and foremost, I wanted to thank everyone who has followed this blog, commented on posts or liked them in the past year. It means a lot to me and if I can spread the slightest bit of joy, warmth, help or even beauty into the world thanks to what I paint, draw or write, then I am happy.

The past two months have brought a lot of changes into my life. I was quite busy teaching and thinking about the direction I wanted my life to take. I travelled to Auvergne, in the mountains  and sleeping volcanoes of the centre part of France, and I moved into my very own little flat. I also discovered meditation, which has been very helpful. It proved a perfect way to start heal some old wounds and clear a number of blockages that kept me from moving forward. At first, it felt like an explosion, or rather, an implosion that I gave colour to.

Implosion

Now, I am a lot calmer and driven. I could always feel, deep down, that living in a place of my own would improve my mood and concentration because I would feel much freer, but I was far from imagining how true it was. As I am presently almost done arranging the flat, I want to take up the list I had written two months ago.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Restless musings

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Restless musings
No calm of thought
Body – distraught
Endless callings…
Out!
They have no form
Yet –

Music echoes
Down on my cheeks
Melody flows
As my heart speaks
Out
Into the storm
Wet

The waves rushing
To the calm shore
Of my longing
To express more…
Still,
They have no form
Yet.

Restlessness… Agitation… Unrest… Continuous movement of the mind… musing… calm… quiet… meditation…

I cannot pacify the raving storm of my thoughts, and yet, I am collected and content. Old convictions come to be re-placed and re-shaped…Newer ones develop. The ideas will not stop rushing, and gushing, but they are not ready to take form… That is where the anxiety lies – ideas, like golden birds, are waiting to take flight…

Magic Number Ten

Time flies… Benjamin Franklin said that “time lost is never found again,” and one day, I know I will wake up realising that my life is coming to an end. The thought doesn’t make me feel depressed or sad at all, but when that day comes, I do not want to tell myself that I simply let life pass me by without ever making a single one of my dreams come true or any of my passions fully come alive. That’s why this year, I want to try and concentrate on ten things that I really want to do. I am not pressuring myself into making it all happen, but I want to at least try.

Then, ten is a good number to start a cycle with. In number symbolism, it represents completion and is related to the earth. It is also the basis upon which we created our counting circle.

I hope that next year, if I look back to this post, I can proudly say that I made it, with the help of magic number ten 🙂

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  1. Spend more quality time with my loved ones.
  2. Paint once a week
  3. Write more poetry
  4. Work on my dissertation more
  5. Travel
  6. Practice drawing everyday
  7. Finish writing the stories I started
  8. Read more
  9. Start studying Russian again
  10. Blog more often and post my artworks

 

No more looking to the side now, I’ll look straight ahead!

The Greatest Love in the World is Unconditional

Unconditional

Love sure is the strangest thing
For some, the feeling will be fleeting
For some it endures – ever-lasting.

Some call her Agape sweet
Disinterested, she lies in the souls
That see beyond themselves – so discreet
Are they, soothing the deep-rooted holes
Of those hearts left incomplete.

Some say his name is Eros
Holding passion in a hand and fire
And pleasure and interest and chaos
Consuming, uplifting, giving power
To create and fulfil desire.

Some will find other names yet
Philia covets the mind – friendship
Is her twin. Family? Don’t forget
Storgê who presides over kinship
First among relationships.

But what is this sensation?
I can’t voice the words to describe it
Is it a distant intuition?
I can’t brush the hues that explain it
Will I know my direction?

When I closed my eyes tonight
No darkness – no doubt fell over me.
I had known no peace and no respite
But for all my reason this harmony
Kept playing, unconditionally.

Yes, unconditionally –
Yes, but with sun warmth, with heat too
With splendour, shivers of agony
Is how I love you.

Yes, unreservedly –
Beyond my existence or my pains
Beyond purple sunsets blurred with rains
Is how I’ll love you.

I will keep a safe place for you
To weep, whenever you need to
And a merry place for your heart.

When you’re afraid to fall apart
I’ll help you collect the pieces
Till, at last, the aching ceases.

I will play, laugh and dance with you
When boredom comes to upset you.
I’ll be who you need me to be.

A lover, a friend, a memory
A partner, a joke, a mystery
If it protects all of your dreams
If “you’re happy” is what it means

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I probably talk about love too much, and too often, but love is the strangest thing. We all have a different definition for it, and sometimes, it makes it extremely difficult to understand someone else’s point of view on the question, because deep down, we probably think that love, being universal, should be experienced in the same way by everyone.  I don’t know what love is. But I know what the greatest love in the world is to me – and it is the feeling I hold for this one special person.

I hope you all have a wonderful day,

Love,
Sacha 🌟

A specific intuition

A specific intuition

Trust intuition
Trust! She has spoken!
Easier to ignore
Oh, granted – for sure.
But she comes back more
And if she tells you
Repeatedly
Specifically
Then maybe you
Should hear, listen to
The little voice meant to
Save you
And protect you,
Here to guide you.

Not sure I want to see

     Not all of us feel intuition the same way. According to the Myers-Briggs test, some personality types rely on intuition to make decisions and others don’t, but in all things linked with research, creation and feelings, I cannot help but think that it plays the most important role in guiding us and leading us to the right path. Sometimes, I just have a sense of things and I know, deep down, no matter what my logic and reason tell me, what I have to do and how I must do it. It applies to human relationships, but also to the choices I make in research for my PhD and to the way I teach my students or handle them in class. And I am not the only one.

William Wordsworth wrote: “Faith is a passionate intuition.” 

Albert Einstein said: “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

      A poet and a man of science who agree on the power of intuition – what could be more beautiful than that? It not only resolves the mind/sensation conflict, but also the ridiculous separation we force ourselves to make between art and science. Even psychology accepts that intuition must be used as it creates a link between our reason and our unconscious and our instincts, making us more aware of ourselves and probably happier in many ways.

       Lately, I have been overwhelmed with a very powerful intuition and gut instinct about a number of things and somehow, every time I went against it, I felt sick. Now that I have embraced it, I feel more at peace with myself and perhaps it is the best thing I had to do, along with avoiding self-deception.

I hope you all have a wonderful night/day!

Love,

Sacha ⭐️

Why honesty engenders renewal

Being a lover of honesty and of powerful literary quotes, I could not resist reflecting upon this one extract from The Brothers Karamazov: 

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

I have not read this classic of Russian literature yet, but it is on my ever growing list and of course, one of my resolutions for 2017 is to read more. I have already talked about my hopes for the coming year in another post, and today, because the new year is upon us and synonymous with renewal and new beginnings, or at least because it should be, I would like to try and think about the relationship between self-honesty and self-recovery.

This past year, I have had to face myself a number of times: it was a question of moving on, of improving and of refusing to delude myself. It was hard. It was truly nerve-racking to just sit by myself and accept that I was not honest; to find the truth, embrace it and build on it instead of against it. When my girlfriend left me, I wanted to stay friends right away; I thought I was strong enough for it and that I was not actually expecting for her to come back to me. Obviously, that was a big fat lie, and because of it, I could not recover from my heartache and started acting somewhat erratically. Then, I accepted what I did not want to see. I opened my eyes at last and saw the extent of what was happening to me – only then did I begin to heal. Only then did I start respecting myself again. Only then did I feel again. And only then could I realize that I was doing well on my own, even if I still miss her and still want to be her close, perhaps her best friend. And I am confident it might not take as long as I think before we can talk. But that is not for me to decide, I must let time do its magic.

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The problem that poses itself when you try not to lie to yourself, however, is that it is terribly painful. First, it means you must accept to face yourself and to find yourself alone with your soul. It means you cannot seek solutions outside yourself, or in a lover, or in relationships and sweet nothings. It is a “me, myself, and I” sort of situation. It is lonely. It is hurtful. It is sickening and might make you feel a little mad until the skies clear. Second, it means that if you are asking for advice from friends and family, you must be ready to listen to what they have to say. And I mean really listen, not hear with one ear and then seclude yourself into your own fantasy world right after. If you do so, what will happen next? You will resent them, think they do not understand you or that they are against you. You will reject them, perhaps blame and hate them. But they don’t. They are trying to help. They give you their honest opinion but will let you make your own decisions because they believe in you. But really, if they think you are deluding yourself, they’ll hope you open your eyes before it is too late. Before you’ve passed the point of no return. The last thing will be sorting everything out. What you truly want, what you truly feel, what is right and what is wrong, what is acceptable or not. What you are willing to wait for and what you are not ready to do. And many, many more things. Until finally, you can stand on your own two feet and say: yes, this is real. This is not an illusion I have created for myself.

That day, you’ll be better. And being honest with yourself does not mean you cannot dream, or imagine things. Honesty is not synonymous with dullness and lack of creativity, but it does come with strength and courage; it means letting go of fears; it is a way to make yourself come to life again and to find your own paths towards happiness.

Tough Questions: breathe and find direction

     Yesterday evening, when I opened my WordPress reader, I saw that the Discover challenge offered by the The Daily Post this week was “Tough Questions.” I immediately felt drawn to the idea, as I have been asking myself a lot of these tough questions lately. I tackled a few in my last blog entry, The Culture of Love?  But there are still many more inside, some ransacking my mind, others fluttering peacefully there, some still waiting for a reply after many, many years of thought and consideration: what is love? what is happiness? what is truth? and beauty? why should people hurt? why is there so much suffering in the world? how can I help this world be a better place? and what is a better place? how do I become a better person? and what is a good person to begin with? why are people mean to each other? am I enough? am I good? why are we here? will I love and be loved in return? how can I assuage the pains of others? how does anyone do it? is there such a thing as fate? is magic real? why are war and hatred the answer to so many of the world’s problems or complexities? why don’t governments do more to improve the lives of their people? and what about climate change? what is the difference between perception and reality? how do you ever reach the slightest understanding of reality when your own world is determined by what you perceive and when it is so difficult to feel the perception of others? when others won’t open up so you can reach this level of comfort and intimacy that should serve both parties? are we alone in the universe? what is the best way to teach school kids? is curing all diseases actually the right thing to do? where is the mystery? why so many screens?

I could go on, and on, and on with questions about the past, and the future, about people, about ideas, about myself too, and my friends and family… the people I have loved, the way they hurt themselves and others in the process, the way I do that too, sometimes. It is really frustrating to know that I cannot have a definite answer to any one of these questions. But perhaps one way to carry on, and stand the burden of the mystery is to take a deep breath and figure out where you want to go from now on.

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Breathing deeply calms the mind and eases the heart
Vision becomes clearer, newer – you can connect
With the world.
Others; sorrows, struggles – you must never forget
I ask myself, what can I do? What is my part
In this world?
Choosing it, chasing it, finding it, a fresh start
Direction, connection, reflection – I protect
This vision.

I hope you all have a wonderful day 💛⭐️

Sacha