Writings

Choose Laughter

Doesn’t life get easier when we laugh?

A good laugh is what they mean when they say be present.

You might cry, you feel your stomach twisting, you lose your breath, and it all feels so good. You feel your whole body.

You’re telling the jokesters “stop stop, I…I cant…” and the laughter keeps on.

Where are the problems in life in that moment?

You slap the table repeatedly before falling out of your seat. You’re wheezing.

Crazy right?

You look like you’re dying, but you’re the most alive you’ve ever been.

Private Joys

Air guitar and bedroom karaoke,

long walks followed by even longer baths,

Japanese rice balls wrapped in gold paper,

church bells clanging while i sip chamomile tea,

the moon partially obscured by clouds,

a deep breath of fresh air after a day in a messy workshop,

imagining the next visit to that messy workshop,

her brown eyes rolling when I tease her,

one more glass of beer,

one more hour of sleep.

I Have Lived Your Life.

I do not need to know your background,

your culture, your language, or your dreams.

I have suffered heart break and separation,

I have failed in academics, I have lost countless dollars.

I’ve climbed to mountaintops then lost my grip.

My life is a book filled with page after page of misguided rage,

A tale of young man seeking independence but knowing

he needs guidance.

We do not need to know each other’s culture or preferences.

I have lived your life. You have lived mine.

That is all I need to know,

to walk amongst tigers and serpents, saints and conmen,

in the dark of midnight or the glow of sunrise,

with not a weapon or bribe.

painters and fighters

When an artist becomes arrogant, his work humbles him.

There is no escape. A true artist knows his limitations, even if he can hide them from others.

Praise is meaningless, as is criticism.

If you call me a genius or a hack, it makes no difference.

Tomorrow, the canvas and I will step in the ring like two boxers. One of us will get knocked out and the other can celebrate only for a moment.

A new challenger awaits tomorrow.

We Talk With Our Eyes

We admire those who live abnormal lives but choose normality for our own life.

Most rather relive fond memories though the present moment can be written however we like.

People vehemently hate particular groups but will sincerely love an individual from that group.

We do not use music and dancing as a diplomatic negotiation. (Though we should.)

Men would rather explore outer space than the depths of their own mind.

The color red creates a strong reaction in all of us.

If earth were a church, gardeners would be the priests.

We talk with our eyes.

Society is controlled chaos.

We are changing day by day but our behavior remains the same as years ago.

We understand facts, but not reality.

Our imagination is the architect

We do not stay in a negative situation because we enjoy it, we stay in it because the familiarity of the situation is comfortable.

It is a twisted sense of security. We know what to expect, it is predictable, and there is no mystery.

We know how we will be treated by the people in ta familiar environment and even if we know they are no good for us, we prefer them to people we do not know.

Inside we feel we could do better. We want better for our future. But we will not give up our past in order to change our present.

The past can always be rewritten to suit our emotional dilemmas of the present. So we cling to it. We value those stories more than the potential reality we could create.

We allow illusion to hinder our greatest gift. Our imagination.

Our imagination solidifies our desires, emotions and interpretations of the world into organized thought.

Our minds and our thoughts create our realities. With time we see confirmation of our thoughts in the physical world.

Our imagination is the great story teller.

It is the architect of our existence, of our experience, of our life.

The stories we tell ourselves always come true.

Value in Espresso

I’ve had excellent coffee while living in Florence. Every barista who has served me has put sincerity into the espresso.

Coffee is so simple and so inexpensive, yet it adds much to my day. It contributes to my morning pleasure, my conversation with friends.

I admire the fact that there are baristas who are dedicated to the art of espresso. Interestingly, many who work in coffee bars here are among the best dressed in the city. The men were crisp button shirts, ties with dimples under the knot and linen aprons with intricate embroidery.

Too often the people who provide services that not only support the structure of our modern lives but the people who create the little joys in life are overlooked and dismissed as simply “laborers.”

It is ironic that many people value what they cannot have and ignore the value in what is at their fingertips.

A fresh haircut from a skilled barber, a proper shoeshine, well made espresso drinks, a knowledgable guide to the city….Regardless of social positions in the world, these seemingly insignificant services enhance our lives and add value.

Labels We Wear

We only adapt terminology we know. This is flawed for two reasons. The firsts is reason being the words and phrases we use are defined by others. The second is that we are in constant flux. The label we put on right now becomes irrelevant moments later.When we put labels on ourselves, we are imprisoning ourselves.

We might claim “I have anxiety. I am an anxious person” Is this factual? Does a person completely possess a state of being? Or is it a temporary experience?

“I have joy. I am always happy.” Is this true? Or is the moment a ripple in the lake of your existence. It is here then it is gone. The duration of time is inconsequential.

Why do we say these things? We do not know ourselves so adapting a definition, even from someone else gives us identity. And identity is a prison since it rejects new experiences and possibility. Identity paints over reality.

If someone tells you to think of a tree, a certain image comes to mind. If you look at an actual tree you see something different.

What would happen if we were to not take on any identity? What would we experience?

Without identity you would see yourself, your world, not as you believe, but as is the truth.

True Pleasure

A cup of coffee in hand, I look out of my third floor apartment window. I hear the people of Florence below debating where to eat in between light drags on cigarettes.

There is an artistry native to this city. Women wear blazers as ornaments to be draped over their slim shoulders.

We gather at the cathedral steps to sit and worship the holy panino everyday at noon.

My Sunday walks lead me in to streets lined with dinner tables. Wine glasses wide enough to hold an entire bottle catch my eye. I take note of the restaurant’s name and continue my leisure.

A bespoke shoemaker’s studio sits between a gelato shop and an art gallery. A pair of gator boots stand proud in the window display. The sign says “closed” but the two orange tabby cats at the door looking out from inside spark my curiosity.

I turn a corner and I’m greeted by a little boy on a big bike wobbling toward me.

Ciao!

Ciao!

On the cobblestone roads we glide gracefully or fall spectacularly.

The Artist’s Dilemma

The artist yearns for recognition, but doesn’t care to show his craft.

The artists hates to work in the modern sense, but will spend three days shaping a curved line no bigger than the pinky finger.

The ideal expression of art is to create a mountain. The scale is dramatic. The form is familiar yet the details are nuanced. From a certain vantage point, it is nothing remarkable. From another angle, its magnificence induces tears.

This is the goal of the artist.

To be everything and nothing. To dominate the visual field, evoke intense emotion, and then fall silent.

To be like everyone else and the only one on earth.