Sunday, October 24, 2010

Some Thoughts on Making Choices + Other News

I.

Not very long ago, I feared being faced with making decisions. This
sense of dread manifested itself as a sharp, heavy pain in my chest, I
could barely breathe. I remember lying in my bed contemplating whether
I should return to Manila or not. I could choose to live a comfortable
existence in America with my parents and suffer mental and emotional
stress, or I could flee back to the Philippines where I was bound to
be poor, yet happy. I spent endless nights contemplating this, and
even after the choice was made, phantom pains still lingered in my
chest. As I described to a friend once, it had felt like an elephant
was sitting on me. It was either that description or I felt like I was
being strangled.

People are indecisive. I hate generalizing, but it seems to be very
true. The most obvious example is deciding on what or where to eat. I
recall the many times my friends and I would be in a stale mate
because we could not decide on a dining option. We usually go around
in circles, wasting precious time. So, if a decision like this is
difficult to make, what more are the life-changing ones? What more are
the choices that you really have to put a lot of yourself into?

Even after surpassing such instances of decision making, I must say
that I still fear it. While it's true that I no longer panic, I take
my time or try to forget that it really has to be done. There's denial
and bargaining. If that fails, I consult my dear old friend
rationalization.

These days, I am rationalizing. These days, it looks like I have to
make a decision. I'm in a stale mate because I find that my eyes are
veiled by too many things; I don't like it one bit.

I am about to make choice. Maybe it will be final soon, maybe not.
(Hah!) Perhaps it doesn't matter as much as what my values really are.
To make the best decision possible, I feel (and think) that one must
stay true to his or her values system or beliefs. It all boils down to
discarding the "givens" of a situation if necessary. It's all about
sticking to your guns, so no matter how excruciatingly painful the
outcomes may be, it all becomes bearable somehow.

II.

I am somewhat disappointed with myself. This week, I started quite
strong and now I have nothing more to give, so I'm settling with the
bare minimum. Usually, I am more driven and disciplined than this, but
other things call. Like rest.

*Notes on the team variance
III.

Variables change. That's their job. They can be changed, substituted.
Am I a variable? I don't want to be. If were to be one, it should be
my own doing.

IV.

I am in love with the film 200 Pounds Beauty. Yes, I am a girl and I
could be really cheesy. While I detest Cinderella, I love this film's
take on this archetypal fairytale. Its seamless editing, lovable
characters, and engaging music just makes me want to watch it again
and again.

I just think it's great when narrative meets song, which I think is
another form of storytelling. When these two are combined, the result
is something emotionally charged.

In the case of 200 Pounds Beauty, it makes me soar. Yes, that's the
word for it. "Soar." It's my feel good movie of the year.

V.

Reading and writing more are my friends. Reading and writing saved my
life many, many times before. They're still helping me out.

VI.

I hope I wouldn't get tired oh so easily. 

(October 23, 2010)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reclusive I.


I.

 

The urge to look inward or be contemplative is still very strong in me. It really is a signal: I must get away unless I wish to get lost altogether. This desire has prompted me to return to Hesse's 'Siddhartha'--- I desire to be grounded (Someday, I shall write about Hesse and his masterpiece in detail when I can do it justice.). I desire an unblemished sight.

 

Many things have happened such as living in a community, seeing my best, seeing my worst, and lacking compassion. (I have been too hasty. I have been a horrible judge, and I feel its weight.) With that being said, I feel like I haven't learned many important lessons about life and myself which by now I should know.

 

I shall find my pace. I should work on it, uninterrupted. I must fight for this space.

 

Before I continue rambling like the mad woman I am tonight, let this poem speak for me.

 

Notes on Aloneness*

 

I am an old woman from the mountains,

White haired and scrawny fingered.

My eyes disappear when they are drowned

By wrinkles as I smile.

 

I am peaceful when I know this.

 

But this identity is hidden.

Before you, I am a young girl

With smooth cheeks and supple skin:

You do not know, that often times, you are deceived.

 

Or perhaps, I am the true victim of this trickery.

I pick things up: a fork when shoving food into my mouth,

A martini glass when I take a drink, a joke when I throw my head

Backwards in reckless abandon. In these,

I disappear.

 

The old woman, then, looks from afar,

Yearning for a view of the mountains.

She misses the blue of the skies so blue,

And wishes to experience the type of clarity

Which moves one to tears.

 

When I close my eyes, I see the old woman and where she usually goes.

Her feet tread on leaves and twigs. She inhales

The sweet scent of the earth. She sees the sky cut

Only by the green of the land. With the sound of rustling leaves

And tiny creatures of the world, she is aware only

                        Of her own breathing.

 

She is peaceful when she remembers this.

 

This knowledge is shared between she and I.

Sometimes I forget if I am she or I.

Tonight, when I retreat to my home to shut the doors and shutters

I shall face the mirror and decide: "Who am I?"

 

And there will be no answer.

 

There will be no answer I do not already know.

There will be no answer that I am already certain of.

 

 

*Line cuts may be affected by blogpost method.

 

II.

 

Earlier today, my dear friend, The Quintessence, had told me that I am in a good place. It sounds odd, mainly because I feel that I am still standing on uneven ground. According to her, my being surrounded by people gives me an opportunity to be a "light." I am still puzzled by how this could be true, given that I can offer so little.

 

How can I be extraordinary? How can I walk this path the way that is expected of me*?  What can I share? What can I inspire? Am I really in this position?

 

All I can say to myself is that I must look upon everything and everyone in kindness. Hopefully, everything else follows.

 

*personal note

 

III.

 

The more you are given, the more humble you must become. Please remember that.

 

IV.

 

All poems…I miss writing short stories oh so terribly, but my mind has no space for characters and their lives.

 

V.

 

The Crazy Cat Lady, The Actor, and I spent what was like six hours of nonstop talking. I honestly thought it wasn't possible, but the hours disappeared and we ended up sleeping when there was already sunlight.

 

Our conversation was about belief, and it's great that even though all three of us are different, we give each other mutual respect. I love it when I see that people are capable of that.

 

(Saturday to Sunday)

 

(October 18, 2010)


No End of Fun

 

I.

 

I enjoy it a lot when I introduce people to my home(town). This means that I trust them and I have reached a certain level in which I genuinely care for and about them (In this sentence, I could choose to use either "for" or "about," but they mean different things although many may think that they're interchangeable.). In a sense, my home has become theirs, so I am compelled to make them feel as welcome as possible.

 

The trip to the Borderlands (Let's fictionalize a bit; I don't want any stalkers.) was partly planned, partly spontaneous. Planned because The Ballerina, The Princess, The Frog Prince, and The Mad Hatter had wanted to go thrifting. No matter how hard we try to make others think that our style is effortless, I do have to say we are a rather vain bunch. More accurately, we are vain and frugal. The trip was spontaneous because an unexpected traveler, The Psychologist, joined in and the rest of the troupe suddenly dropped their other plans for this particular Sunday.  One thing led to another. I wasn't content with simply bringing some of my most (take note of the additional superlative) favorite people to the thrift shop (or in colloquial language, ukay ukay). I ended up organizing movie night by preparing some turon ala mode and ice cream chocolate chip sandwiches, which we all wolfed down after scouring the shop for wonderful new old stuff.

 

The Princess, The Frog Prince, The Mad Hatter, and I are no stranger to thrifting, so we were able to navigate the ukay with ease. The Ballerina and The Psychologist, however, were a different story. Their eyes were spirals upon arriving. They needed time to take in everything. The store was just overwhelming for the two of them. So, that was our cue to help them out. We ended up finding and suggesting clothes to each other. And, based on my observation, we picked the best for each other. It was nice to see thoughtfulness at work. Eventually, The Ballerina and The Psychologist were able to rummage through the clothesracks all by themselves.

 

Our ukay rampage was more than fun. Most of us went home with two bags of clothes enough to last a month of wardrobe changes. While we did go home with a lot of wonderful finds, we also took with us insights and conversations that made us more aware of each other as individuals worth of respect and care. It's a simple gathering of friends and I feel so blessed to have such a great bunch of people with me.

 

II.

 

Speaking of unexpected trips and events, I ended up going to The Transporter's home for a Wii party, thanks to The Petite. It was the eve of her birthday, and she had wanted her close friends to be there as she grew a year older and wiser. The concept of "salubong" was new to me, but I found the idea amusingly similar to the anticipation of new year.

 

And speaking of new, I was surprised to find myself at ease with a different set of people. My chemistry with them is different, so I am led to think that I am somewhat pliant; I can enjoy being with all sorts of people. That, I think, is a good thing. It means that I can still be myself while letting others into my life. I've found some sort of balance that enables me to do this.

 

Anyway, in the Wii party, I realized that I liked games, challenges, and competition. Never in the life of me did I think that I'd enjoy playing videogames, really. I was letting loose and allowing others see a side of me that's relatively new if not repressed.

 

It feels good knowing that there will always be people I can trust.

 

III.

 

I need discipline. I have to shape up.

And oh. I want to get lost. I want to disappear.

 

(I can't live like this all the time. I need to recharge. I kinda miss myself.)

 

(October 10- October 13, 2010)


Professional Shiznit 2


Untitled (Frankie Callaghan Profile)

By Maria Azuza Sta. Maria

 

I've always wondered what a quintessential photographer would look like, since a lot of people nowadays sport DSLRs around their necks. I say this because it's easy to think up what a painter or writer might appear to be, thanks to prevalent clich├ęs: A painter would be disheveled in a chic kind of way, with wispy hair and paint-stained fingers, and a writer would have glasses and bohemian-inspired clothes. Creative people aren't easy to miss in a crowd. Standing out, for them, is already a default. It stems from their affinity with creation. Such was my train of thought before I met Frankie Callaghan.

 

The hustle and bustle of mounting River of Our Dreams, Callaghan's one man photo exhibit for the benefit of the KBPIP (Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig ) has left Manila Contemporary's art space with so much demiurgic energy, a stark contrast with the lensman's photographs which feel very contemplative. As I examine the photographs, I hear a deep, serious voice coming from the adjacent office. "There's Frankie." David Loughran of Manila Contemporary alerts me. I look over and see a tall man with a clean haircut; he was wearing a simple olive green shirt, faded jeans, and brown loafers. "So that's Frankie Callaghan," I think to myself, still having no idea of what a quintessential photographer looks like. Based on how he was dressed, Frankie could be anything--- a doctor, lawyer, or businessman off duty.

 

Before pursing his passion for taking pictures, Frankie Callaghan struggled with the idea of living off his craft. In a world that places high esteem on necktie jobs, he used to think that the only viable options of making a good living was choosing among the professions of, well, becoming a doctor, lawyer, or businessman. Needless to say, this career mindset steers many people towards that direction, so it's fortunate that Frankie was introduced to the world of photographers and how they lived. This prepared him for a paradigm shift that would dictate how he would live.

 

According to the England-born lensman, he felt drawn to photography while he was growing up in Baguio. But he was compelled to take photography seriously just as his high school days were coming to an end. In those days, the gravitational pull became intense and irresistible; what prompted him to take a camera and use it as a medium of expression was his desire to preserve memories, something that clearly, photographs can capture. His need to be reminded of what he felt, thought, and experienced was the crux that made him finally chase his dream of being a photographer. So after completing a degree in Financial Management at the Wharton School of Business, Frankie traded his books and ledgers for cameras and lenses, realizing that in order to live well, one must ultimately follow what his heart dictates.

 

Frankie's photographer instincts proved to be worth following. At the age of 21, he was able to showcase his work in Philadelphia. More opportunities followed suit, and in the Philippines, he was invited by Silverlens to participate in the "Photography as Expression" Sense-I Workshop. The most recent addition to his portfolio of exhibits is River of Our Dreams, which was mounted in Manila Contemporary's gallery.

 

Veering away from urban landscapes that characterizes most of Frankie's work (as seen in his previous exhibit Dwelling), the lensman shifts his attention to the Pasig River with the aspiration to make viewers take a closer look at what was once a majestic river and notice its elusive beauty. The photographs lend the river a more striking character. Lights and structures are clearly reflected in the water; they assume the role of narrative devices that show what the Pasig River has become in order to remind us of its past splendor.

 

The panoramic shots can't help but make me pensive, as I examine them just a few hours before they are hung. All fifteen photographs clearly show a cohesive thread, as a result of the photographer's artistic vision. Frankie feels that a great photograph must have composition, color, moment, intention, and truth, and his collection captures exactly that. Every photograph is also quiet and un-self conscious, as Frankie had intended them to be. His photography aesthetics is always to keep photos understated, so that they draw viewers as to speak to them. The quietness of the photographs intends to draw people to the subject, and I imagine them to do just that. Those who have had the pleasure of viewing the featured works in River of Dreams will hopefully see the river as they pass by it and re-imagine the water as a source of life once again.

 

As I pace myself to speak with Frankie, I notice a glass case with opaque water. "Whose idea is this, bringing water into the gallery?" The art space erupts in laughter. Apparently, there were protests, thanks to the paranoia caused by dengue season. A flash of a smile passes Frankie's lips in response to the laughter, but he then begins to speak in a serious tone, "I wanted to bring the river here. The exhibit is about the river. I want the people to see it for what it is." The insight reflects, once again, the same thoughtfulness the lensman captures in his pictures.

 

I then backtrack to the few minutes before Frankie came in. I was prying for information about what he was like. I gathered that he had no qualms going on location for the shoot. Given his background of studying and living abroad, he easily made fast friends with the people he encountered by the riverbank: security guards, slum dwellers, and tambays alike. This shows the mark of a true photographer; he can easily blend in anywhere, so he can take pictures unnoticed and uninterrupted.

 

This leads me back to the question "What does a quintessential photographer look like?" Asking that is completely pointless, as the man wearing an olive green shirt, jeans, and brown loafers is more than meets the eye. He might as well be a doctor, lawyer, or businessman, but no. Frankie Callaghan is a photographer.

 

When asked what he wants to be remembered for as a photographer, he says, "No idea.  I don't think it's really useful or helpful for me to think like that – it's reversing the order of things.  Better for me to just concentrate on what's right in front of me - and let things take their course." I agree and take a mental snapshot, lest I forget.

 

(Professional Writing Sample, October 11, 2010)


Professional Shiznit 1


The River Rising

By Maria Azuza Sta. Maria

 

It is always interesting to witness a reversal of roles, most especially when it carries a great deal of significance. We often hear of stories such as children raising their parents and unsuspecting mentors learning a thing or two to from the most improbable pupil. The insights we gather when we hear such tales are nourishing. Through them, we are left with a clear sense of growth and renewal. This time, it is a story of how the role of art transcends that of mimicry and capture. The tables are turned by the art community through putting a different spin on the saying "art imitates life." The three-day affair that is Artists for Pasig River goes beyond imitation; it aims to nurse and resurrect what was once the lifeblood of Manila.

 

A River Lost: Invisibility Versus Awareness

 

To rescue the Pasig River from melding into the background of the modern city, Manila Contemporary in partnership with its neighboring art gallery, Silverlens, and the 10.10.10 Pasig Run Committee, spearheaded Artists for Pasig River which runs from October 1 to 3. Its soul predecessor, Art Flood 2009, which was geared towards relief operations for the benefit of typhoon Ondoy flood victims, brought in an overwhelming P180,000. This heartwarming response paved the way for the inception of Artists for Pasig River with the intention of doubling the previous fundraiser's contribution.

 

The art market, which is a venue for donor artists and art collectors to converge and sell modern and contemporary works of art, remains true to the idea of "art flood" by making viewers, supporters, and benefactors shift their attention to the Pasig River. This year's proceeds will be granted to KBPIP (Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig) and will be used to rehabilitate the Pasig River and its tributaries.

 

The 25 kilometer stretch of the Pasig River, which connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay, has been famed and revered for its beauty. Aside from being well-known because of its splendor, the river was the city's economic hub, serving as a life source to what would later become a sprawling metropolis. The Ilog Pasig, as Manilenos fondly call it, is also witness to many historical changes. Once considered a prominent transport route in Colonial Spanish Manila, many structures such as the walled city of Intramuros, Malacanang Palace, and the Hospicio de San Jose have aligned themselves by the river. It is undeniable that the Pasig River has had its share of glory before it faded into the background of urbanized Manila.

 

 

A Flood of Art for the River

 

            Day one of Artists for Pasig River is the unveiling of Artflood 2010 at Silverlens Gallery. Upon entering the venue, one can't help but notice that the paintings offer a visceral assault, thanks to their diversity in style, subject, and color. The fact that the gallery is simple and white makes everything pop out. Before conception, each artwork started from a blank canvas. Now, the gallery assumes the role of blank canvas---another role reversal to illustrate how art and life are not far removed from each other if a clear purpose is spoken of. "This year's works are from a diverse mix of artists," says Neli Go of Silverlens. "There's no artist who is more popular than another. Each of them simply wants to go out and support the cause in any way they could." While the pieces of this year's exhibit are made up of an eclectic mix, they all work towards a common goal which is to bring in funds for the KBPIP. Donor artists include Hermes Alegre, Ina Ayala, Henri Cainglet, Bea Camacho, Mariano Ching, Charlie Co, Jigger Cruz, Corrine de San Jose, Emmanuel Garibay, Antonio Leano, Jason Oliveria, Jet Pascua, Sam Penaso, Ian Quiranle, Norberto Roldan, Pepper Roxas, Mark Salvatus, Frederico Sievert, Wire Tuazon, Gail Vicente, and William Yu just to name a few. The number of artists who participated makes the flow of support for the cause evident.

 

A more intimate affair is prepared in Manila Contemporary's gallery for the second day of the art market. In collaboration with Silverlens and Margarita Fores of Cibo d M, River of our Dreams, is made possible. The solo exhibition of fifteen photographs taken by lensman Frankie Callaghan depicts the Pasig River as an elusive beauty. Taken from different vantage points in Manila, the photographer wished to imbibe the river with presence and identity. No longer used as a backdrop for the city, the Pasig River is now made the subject of each photograph, making viewers pay close attention to it. The exhibit's title, which was derived from a slogan on a bridge passing through the river, is just apt: from once being a source of dreams for many, it is now our dream to bring the river back to its former state of being pristine and alive.

 

The third day of Artists for Pasig River is the final day of registration for the Pasig Run 10.10.10 in Manila Contemporary. Day three of Artists for Pasig River offers 10.10.10 participants more ways of supporting the cause other than running for the Pasig river. Runners were given the option of viewing River of Our Dreams, visiting Silverlens for Artflood 2010, and shopping at Manila Contemporary's monthly organic market, which coincides with the event. The 10.10.10 run seeks to invite runners from schools, corporations, and government offices to unite for the rehabilitation of the river.

 

Art Flood 2010 proved to be a well-attended event, showing that the Pasig River is slowly being rescued from invisibility. Through the different works of art, awareness about the river and its importance was brought back into the spotlight--- art no longer imitates life, but gives life, paving the way for a river, rising.

 

(Professional Writing Sample, October 10, 2010)





Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Counting

I.

 

I don't want to be a person who's all talk and no action. If it takes 21 days to form a habit, then I shall carry on this way until I can be confident in my own pace. I will do this until I can keep the promise I made to myself. I will get things done and hopefully, everything becomes second nature to me.

 

II.

 

The Quintessence says that the room for improvement is the biggest room in the universe, and I agree. So where do I start? Am I still ok?

 

III.

 

Object l(i)ust: Shoes, messenger bag, more shoes, the whole display window of Mango Mall of Asia, Team Manila pouch, Holga cameras, clothes from Forever 21, skin care products.

 

Book L(i)ust: Fashion illustration books, Fashion Babylon, books by Nina Garcia, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Flow, Michael Chabon's, Ian Mc Ewan's, recipe books, fiction, poetry, Fables, Sandman, Plath's, Gluck's, Roth's, Gaiman's, etc, etc.

 

(Un)Task L(i)ust: doing nothing in my room while reading, drawing, listening to music or watching DVDs, road trip, beach trip, backpacking, being all contemplative in a coffee shop, sewing, baking, dancing, traveling.  

 

III.

 

I was branded arrogant for simply suggesting that he learn to count his blessings. It's imbecilic, his idea that he has no motivation to live hence the indolence. (How can you not have motivation? Is having a child not motivation enough?!)

 

I just think that some people can't be helped because they like that they aren't understood (Yes, this is a paraphrased quote from Katy Perry). It's sad and baffling and annoying that no amount of patience, approximation, and even old fashioned tough love can't get through to help. I'm up in arms, so whatever. Really. Whatever.

 

IV.

 

I count my blessings. The outside world may think that what I have is meager (even laughable), but these days, I feel like the richest person on the planet. So thank You. I trust in You. I will do my best to be extraordinary. 


(October 4, 2010)

Of Objects and Art Objects

I.

 

I want to better the quality of my life. Let's start with the obvious, since this desire stemmed from me wanting to purchase an oven. Yes, an oven (There is a domestic goddess in me…somewhere). I want things----I want better things to surround me because I realized that I often restock on the same types of food: cream dori fillet, tilapia, bangus, pork, chicken, and other quick, preservative-leaden meals. The food served at home is more or less the same everytime, and this made me want to cook. If I do this, I can offer myself and my child healthier options and I can master what I know of cooking. Perhaps, if I get serious about it (if not have too much fun with it), I can learn so much more. If I learn more, I grow as a person.

 

Does it seem odd? This illustration merely shows that if one has access to "new" things or is exposed to them, there will be more opportunities too improve one's self and consequently, one's life. I am no longer satisfied with how I am living. It's not that I am ungrateful. Far from it. I want to express my gratitude my maximizing what I have.

 

A few years back, my needs were quite spartan; all I cared about was survival. Having to keep a job to support myself while I was in school, I subsisted on instant noodles, 7/11 hotdog sandwiches, and sky flakes. Those days, I didn't have half the mind to complain. This period of my life was also traumatic. For some unfortunate reason, my family had lost almost everything, and even basic furniture wasn't spared. There was even a time when I wept because I had no chair to sit on, no table to put my plate on. I ate my meals as I sat crossed-legged on the floor.

 

The aftermath of this event lasts until now. Sure, I now have furniture in my parents' home: monoblock chairs, office chairs, office cabinets, a few more borrowed things. We use plastic plates and eatery-style glasses. Call me finicky, but I definitely want to replace these things in order to make my home feel like home. I've started with little things such as placemats, potholders, and fruit baskets. However, they're not enough. An upgrade is needed. This is where the oven comes in. Throw in an electric fan, wooden chairs, nice glasses, ceramic plates, better tables, presentable rugs, and pretty houseplants (And I also want my home to smell nice!).

 

While the process of acquiring these things will take a while given my financial state, it's good to know that they're within reach. I never imagined that I'd care a lot about what's in the scope of the domestic and this shift is caused by being aware that I'm no longer on own. I can't live off instant noodles or 7/11 sandwiches. I am now responsible for building a comfortable environment for my child. "Comfortable" isn't the end of it. My standards must also be high, so she'll aspire to live tastefully.

 

Let me digress before ending entry I. of October 1st. Two or three years ago, I had this conversation with my father:

 

F: Soon you'll be responsible for more things, and your responsibilities will become more and more difficult as you grow older. You will be responsible for a car soon.

 

MA: I want to live my life without owning anything. I just want to be happy. (I was thinking about some Greek philosopher. He lived in a barrel (a barrel!!!) by the river and was happy.)

 

F: (Pauses for what seemed like an eternity) What did I send you to school for?

 

MA: (In my head) "You didn't get me, did you? To put things simply, I just don't want to be defined by the stuff I own. There's a thin line between being you and using what you have. You gravitate to the objects you want and need. They end up reflecting you. However, some people tend to forget that and end up building their identities through ownership and acquisition...This is beginning to get a bit 'Fight Club…' I don't want to be that kind of person."

 

And since I was tired or too lazy to explain, this is all that escaped my lips:

 

I just want to lie on the grass, look at the clouds, enjoy the sunset.

 

F: Hmm…

 

***Fin***

 

II.

 

A photographer and a writer walk into an art gallery. The paintings offer a visceral assault, thanks to their style, subject, and/or color. The fact that the gallery is simple and white makes everything pop. Before conception, each artwork started from a blank canvas. Now, the gallery assumes the role of blank canvas. Intentional, yes.

 

The photographer and the writer look around. The writer gravitates to the bright-colored works or those that are cartoonish. The photographer sets up her tripod and begins taking pictures. The writer takes this as her cue and begins to record her ideas by describing the paintings. By this time, the both of them notice a frame. It was shaped like an inverted L, the longer part thicker than the shorter one. It was on the lighter shade of brown. There was no picture in the frame; it was just a glossy white space, just like a whiteboard. It might as well be a whiteboard. Could have been a whiteboard.

 

Its blankness made the piece stick out like a sore thumb. Otherwise forgettable, the frame managed to get some attention simply because of contrast.

 

P: What can you say about that one? (points at the artwork)

 

W: Hmmm…

 

P: It's all concept.

 

W: Yes. But I'd like to see some effort.

 

P: Maybe all the effort's been exerted while thinking up the concept.

 

W. Possibly. But I still don't like it. Only a select few would get that piece. How can it be enjoyed?

 

P: Yeah. I am not fond of such works.

 

W: Me too.

 

P: The artist is a Harvard graduate. Cum laude.

 

W: Oh. Smart person. Ok… so?

 

P: She knows what she's doing. She'd better.

 

W: Of course she does. (Thinks of the artistic process.) But I still won't buy that.

 

The photographer and the writer then resume whatever it is they are doing.

 

III.

 

The best and worst of me are highlighted whenever I come in contact with anything new, like, say, a milestone or task. It begins in analysis paralysis, picks up in tentative action, meanders in second guessing, digresses in panic, and finds completion in a slow process of calming down. And then the cycle is repeated until I am used to this new thing and I don't feel worried anymore.

 

IV.

 

You're too much fun; it's difficult to set you aside.

 

(October 1, 2010)