"There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, "sketch" is not quite the word, because sketch means an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture." ~Milan Kundera
i have a feeling there are a lot of you who may need this next read from Eve Ensler....i came across it in a magazine and immediately ripped it out to save and read to my daughter some day...please pass it on
Dear Emotional Creature:
I believe in you. I believe in your authenticity, your uniqueness, your intensity, your wildness. I love the way you dye your hair purple, or hike up your short skirt, or blare your music while you lip-synch every single memorized lyric. I love your restlessness and your hunger. You possess the energy that, if unleashed, could transform, inspire and heal the world.
Everyone seems to have a certain way they want you to be - your mother, father, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, boyfriends, fashion gurus, celebrities, girlfriends. In reporting my new book, I learned a very disturbing statistic: 74 percent of young women say they are under pleasure to please everyone.
I have done a lot of thinking about what it means to please: to be the wish or will of somebody other than yourself. To please the fashion setters, we starve ourselves. To please men, we push ourselves when we aren’t ready. To please our parents, we become insane overachievers. If you are trying to please, how do you take responsibility for your own needs? How do you even know what your own needs are? The act of pleasing makes everything murky. We lose track of ourselves. We stop uttering declaratory sentences. We stop directing our lives. We forget what we know. We make everything OK rather than real.
I have had the good fortune to travel around the world. Everywhere I meet teenage girls and women giggling, laughing as they walk country roads or hang out on city streets. Electric girls. I see how their lives get hijacked, how their opinions and desires get denied and undone. So many of the women I have met are still struggling late into their lives to know their desires, to find their way.
Instead of trying to please, this is a challenge to provoke, to satisfy your own imagination and appetite. To take responsibility for who you are, to engage. Listen to the voice inside you that might want something different. It’s a call to your original self, to move at your own speed, to walk with your step, to wear your color.
When I was your age, I didn’t know how to live as an emotional creature. I felt like an alien. I still do a lot of the time. I am older now. I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be OK with being different, with being this alive, this intense. I just don’t want you to have to wait that long.
so many things to do, so many roles to play, so many decisions to make, so much clutter in my surroundings literally and mentally. a new year to think about...but i reiterate that is not my thing. last year i picked "experiment" as my word of the year and it is one i feel i have held true to, and it has changed me. this year i choose just to "simplify". i don't expect anyone to know what that may mean for me, and i don't think it is necessary to explain. i did feel it necessary to start this post, my first bench monday of the year off with it. this is me, straight from the shower, straight out of the camera, no effects other than camera settings, no editing other than a slight crop, no layers, no fancy props, just me as i begin this year of with the concrete decision to simplify.
i have also made the decision to participate in Leah's Creative Every Day challenges once a month. her theme for january is "body" and the inspiration for my shot...so big thank you to Leah.
i have taken a big blogging leave of absence and have been playing with photography, a means of escape, a means of creativity when my mind needs to let my soul follow new paths. i have not meant to be away so long but blogging consumed me...looking at other lives, living vicariously, wanting, wishing, dreaming...doing anything but acting in my own role of my own life. my own creativity is no good if there is no purpose...it is just another picture, but i am not, i am real ....and i would like to share the following with you today
(and should the youtube vid disappear like they do, here is a copy of the words)
The Invitation (by Oriah)
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon... I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
(well i guess i ramble a lot when i simplify...better here than dancing around my head...this way i can see it, read it, do it and bee it)
the last bench monday of the year...i feel as though i should write something to myself about where there year of jumping in front of the camera has led me...but i am not good at that so to my friends, family and those who stumble upon my life i wish you the best in the coming year and hope it is a great one for all of us
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly, Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow”