Slowing down

Like the trees in fall. An apparent calm and lifelessness on the surface in order to continue the vital functions in better conditions, preserving life. Some quiet time for reading, walking at sunset, listening to my inner voice and simplifying things. And thinking, a lot of thinking, ideating and evaluating old and new, by embracing all of these seven patiently collected lessons. Life is ever changing energy with no visible shape and we are full to the brim of it.

And, just before concluding this post, I wanted to invite you to read about some of my morning rituals here. Have plenty of light and bright summer moments, friends.

Krakow, part II

My apartment was in Kazimierz - the old Jewish quarter in Krakow. I was lucky enough to find that cozy place to stay, at only few steps from some great coffee shops and relaxing atmosphere of eclectic new wave and old Jewish culture mix.  No, I’m not going to list here the most important sites to visit and their historical meanings – not in this Wikipedia era. Instead, what I would highly recommend to do in a city like Krakow – especially in neighbourhoods like Kazimierz – is to get lost (literally, without the help of the omnipresent GPS tracker) into the meanders of narrow streets and old buildings, blackened by the hands of cruel times. Try to inhale the embossed spirit of the place with genuine curiosity, no rush and judgement, and you’ll back home richer for a well lived moment and a long lasting memory.

Jaclyn Conley

Every time I stumble upon an artist that manages to create a blurred detail that my mind effortlessly perceives like a sharp entity of visual message - I’m in awe. The ability of the artist to express concisely the idea, yet to leave a big room for interpretation based on observer's personal experience and state of mind of the moment, for me is the peak of his mastery. Falling in love with Jaclyn Conley’s portraits was an obvious reaction. 

My imagery is derived from a whole lot of different sources. A lot of my process is looking at different pictures: jpegs, photographs, all other people’s photos, things that aren’t my own. And pulling from them, culling from all kinds of imagery and bringing it together, in a way that invents a narrative, or changes the perceived story that I’m getting in the photograph. It’s taking from other people’s stuff, and serving it up with some of my own stuff, making a new narrative, scenario or event. It’s not fixed; it’s not a specific story I’m trying to tell, but creating an illusion and letting the viewer interpret things in their own way. 

Krakow, part I

Almost all of my pre departure preparations include a point when I decide to take notes of the imminent trip. Sometimes I even bring a notebook and I carry on it with me during the city explorations. What I realized over time was that the photos are not enough to remember something, since they don’t have the ability to capture smells and other physical conditions like heavy bags or pain after walking ten hours in uncomfortable shoes. Even if you try hard to express your feelings through an image, more than often it will surprise you with its infidelity to the lived moment.

I thought that Krakow would be the perfect situation and destination to finally take not only pictures, but also notes. I was travelling alone, there was a happy event - something familiar but in totally new surrounding - and I already knew a little bit about city’s particular history and beauty. Stopping to put down feelings and sensations, while contemplating the improbable mix of decadent romantic and sterile communistic styles, of a city that lastly freely come to life - seemed the most natural thing to do. Again, I miserable failed to do so. I was shamelessly absorbed by what was happening around me, almost unaware of the flow of time, unable to share even the littlest piece in an instant photo or sentence.

After the umpteenth regret for not being able to live and at the same time, somehow quickly register and share the moment, I became fully aware that my idea of living in the present has been implied, unnatural and impersonal. Words like sharing, instant, immediately, online have little if nothing to do with my way of perceiving, collecting and keeping impressions. I find the present moment an intimate meeting with reality, that needs some processing time in order to be authentically expressed. However, I wish I had a couple of phrases written on my notebook now, to share only with myself.

Summer light

I spent last weekend with two of my best friends, far from concrete blocks and asphalts. I fell in love with what was happening above and in my head. There was a lot of movement of similar forms and meanings, transitory shadows that leave some traces of clarity. Giving form to the feelings and thoughts and putting meaning to the words by saying them aloud, could be a silent confirmation to your doubts and insecurities and give you a powerful tool to manage them. I don’t like the mundane phenomena called beach in the vulgar connotation of sunbath, but fortunately the sky and the sea offered their midsummer spectacle of fugitive formations and completely absorbed all my attention.

I’m looking forward to another close departure, and some serious quantity of quality time, spend in quiet and attentive listening to my inner voice.