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My Inspiration for September 2019

30 Sep

This September seemed to have lasted a century, and not thirty days… I love this time of the year, these late summer and now early autumn days; days of changes, days of last sunny afternoon and last roses, days when I feel the transience and fragility of everything, when I sense the beauty around me the most with a certain calmness and more quiet joy, and most of all, I see these autumnal days as time to let go of negative things and embrace the new, a time of gratitude and a time to gather strength from the richness and ripeness of nature, the chestnuts, the yellow and red leaves, the apples, and prepare slowly for the silent sombre days which are upon us. Because I feel this way, Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry and letters are a source of inspiration for me, they are a comfort, they bring me wisdom and clarity, and some verses are so devastatingly beautiful and melancholy that I tremble as I hold the book in my hand. And it’s a wonderful feeling that something can touch you so much! And every tear of poignancy that falls down my cheek serves only to water the future flowers of my imagination.

O to be dead at last and know them eternally,
all the stars: for how, how, how to forget them!
See, I was calling my lover. But not only she
would come……Girls would come from delicate graves
and gather…..for, how could I limit
the call, once called? The buried always
still seek the Earth.

(Rainer Maria Rilke, The Seventh Elegy)

Dreamy sky, pic found here.

Picture by Laura Makabresku.

by z a r i a n k a on Flickr.

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Beauty of Journaling

9 Sep

“The diary is my kief, my hashish, and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice. Instead of writing a novel, I lie back with this book and a pen, and dream, and indulge in refractions and defractions… I must relieve my life in the dream. The dream is my only life. I see in the echoes and reverberations, the transfigurations which alone keep wonder pure. Otherwise all magic is lost. Otherwise life shows its deformities and the homeliness becomes rust…. All matter must be fused this way through the lens of my vice or the rust of living world would slow down my rhythm to a sob.” (Anais Nin)

Picture by Svetlana Zdrnja, found here.

I love reading diaries, or journals, how ever you wanna call them. Journal of Anais Nin in particular because it’s so full of feelings, sincerity and imagination, and because there is so many volumes of it. Franz Kafka’s diary entries are fascinating as well. Journals, letters, memoirs, I am getting more and more interested in this intimate, introspective, raw side of writing. And… I also enjoy journaling!

I have been writing in my diary regularly since the beginning of 2015 and it was one of the best decisions in my life. It started by accident; I had gotten a diary from a family member with one page for one day, and it occurred to me to perhaps start writing in it every day, but I hesitated because, being an introvert and a dreamer that I am and being a person who spends most time in her bedroom like young Morrissey, I didn’t want to be confronted by seeing how boring my life actually is. I don’t hang out with people, I don’t go places, I don’t travel… what is there worthy of writing? That is how my thoughts went on, but I started writing it nonetheless; I consciously wrote it in a way that would eliminate feelings because feelings are passing, changeable and may be embarrassing to read later on. I chose instead to focus on things which are beautiful! I wrote down quotes from books I read, or quotes which I found inspiring, I wrote about flowers that I’ve seen or picked for my vase, my daydream or a real dream, sometimes I would sketch something simple, like a cloud, cottage, an apple pie my mum made, or Ophelia floating down the river, I recorded the films I saw and the stories or paintings I was working on, which 1960s style icon fascinated me that day, what was the sunset like, what scents were in the air that April morning, something that made me laugh. 2019 is the fifth year that I have been keeping this kind of journal and it has changed my life in the best possible way!

First of all, writing in the journal made me aware of the beauty of everyday life which surrounds me; beauty of simple things, walks by the river, birds, flowers, beauty of changes and passing of seasons. Also, reading Rilke’s letters further inspired me to seek Beauty all around me, here is something he wrote in “Letters to the Young Poet”: ”If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.” And then, after being aware of all the beauties around oneself, a wave of joy and gratitude overwhelms you. Even if I feel sad or melancholy, I still rejoice in the fact that I am capable of feeling it, that I am alive to experience it. Writing in my journal also showed me how special my life actually is, how rich and filled with art, beauty, joy, new discoveries and creativity. And through that, I ceased to be envious of other people’s lives, imagining they are better. Well, I still do that from time to time, but keeping a journal made me put more effort into living my life because if my day is boring and empty, I won’t have something to write about. So, I started making everything special, turning a boring afternoon in my room into a glamorous occasion. I made it special, no one else did, it didn’t come from outside and therefore it cannot be taken away from me. It was in me all along; the power to transform my seemingly boring reality into a magical one. In my writing, I created a world for myself, where I could live and breath, the way Anais Nin says, and I stopped expecting something to happen from the outside world.

It’s your life, your only life and you’ve gotta to make it special, you’ve gotta fill it with beauty, for no one else will do it for you. It’s on you to put on rose-tinted glasses and see the world in a rosier shade. I am not promoting shallow artificial happiness but rather a more sensitive awareness to both beauty and transience of our lives; no matter how much we weep, we cannot save a flower from withering, but we can enjoy its beauty with a smile, and enjoy it with the same rapture every time. I encourage you all to take a notebook and filled it with beauty! It’s a moment of contemplation every day, just five minutes is enough, but as pages fill and fill, you will see how rich your life actually is. When I flip through my old journals from time to time, I see how I turned my past into a fairytale by finding beauty in each day. Of course, there are empty pages, where the skies were grey or my heart felt gray, but that is life too.

My Inspiration for August 2019

31 Aug

August had not yet passed and already I am starting to daydream of autumn, its richness and colours, the final flash of abundance and joy before winter’s dreariness. As every year in August, I watched “Dark Shadows” (2012) and the scene where the train is passing through autumnal forest and the song “Nights in White Satin” playing in the background is making me so excited for autumn. The costumes and the music in that film is all I want in my life right now! Pre-Raphalite paintings have been on my mind a lot, and there are posts to come about a certain Pre-Raphaelite painter and some of his very beautiful paintings. I finally read Gay Daly’s book “Pre-Raphaelites in Love”, recommended to me by a very lovely person, and I love it to death! Love, art and gossips; always a wonderful combination if you ask me! I am slightly sad that the last official month of summer is gone, but I am at the same time ecstatic and thrilled about the joys of early autumn days which are upon me. I love the idea of a fresh start. What sweet melancholy, to be able to experience transience and yet not be able to do anything about it, like a leaf carried by the wind…

“Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.”

(Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Within a Dream”)

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trefriw, conwy, wales

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Story Aesthetic – Nocturne, Mist, Faded Pier

4 Aug

On a distant shore, miles from land
stands the ebony totem in ebony sand
a dream in a mist of gray…
on a far distant shore…

The pebble that stood alone
and driftwood lies half buried
warm shallow waters sweep shells……
I’m trying
I’m trying to find you!
To find you…
(Syd Barrett – Opel)

Picture found here.

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Photo by Molly Dean.

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Sea, found here.

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My Inspiration for July 2019

31 Jul

This has been just the most wonderful month! The books I read, the films I saw, the daydreams, the letters, the flowers, the dresses, the joy ahhh…. I read the wonderful, vibrant and amusing novel “The Rum Diary” by Hunter S. Thompson which I reviewed here, then an equally fun memoir “I’m with the band” by Pamela des Barres, first part of the Lemony Snicket’s “Series of Unfortunate Events” and I plan to read the rest too, “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman which was as interesting as the film, I was afraid to read it because “The Graveyard Book” was too slow and too boring for me but I think “Coraline” is great, “Fight Club” by Chuk Palahniuk, poetry by Delmira Agustini, in particular her first poetry collection “The White Book (Fragile)” from 1907, and then the most wonderful new discovery a Chilean author María Luisa Bombal and her two fairly short novels “The Shrouded Woman” (La amortajada) and “House of Mist” (La última niebla). I was mind blown by her writing style and the themes of her novels; she writes the kind of sentences and passages that you wish to read again and again and suck the words in your mouth like bonbons until they melt and fill you whole and you are left delirious, longing for more, desperate and still smiling because she takes you to a dream land of a sort. I watched the film “The Piano” (1993), recommended to me by a very dear person, and wow I was absolutely captivated by the mood and aesthetic and the wonderful performance of Holly Hunter as a mute pianist, and there’s of course Harvey Keitel and beautiful piano music and romance and the mysterious misty shores of New Zealand, this is easily one of my top ten films ever! And I also watched “Say Anything” (1989) with John Cusack and Ione Skye again and …. once again and I smitten by Peter Gabriel’s song In your Eyes and the boombox serenade scene. How very romantical!?

“Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are…”

Monet’s garden, picture by Milamai.

Picture found here.

Cornwall, picture found here.

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Monet’s garden. Pic found here.

John Corbet, “Two girls singing”, found here.

By Fed J. McKinnon

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Syd Barrett & Record Player 1969 by Mick Rock

Pic by Stefany Alves

Pic by Stefany Alves

My Inspiration for June 2019

30 Jun

The most beautiful and thrilling things about this June, along with the cheerful fragrant flowers, sunshine and strolls by the river, were the books I read: Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Coockoo’s Nest” which was funny and amusing at first but it stops being so amusing after you see the power and control the mental institution has over a normal, healthy man whose only madness is that he is full of life and rebellious. Suddenly it isn’t funny anymore, but tragical… Here is what the Nurse Ratched tells her patients about solitude: “You men are in this hospital because of your proven inability to adjust to adjust to society. The doctor and I believe that every minute spent in the company of others, with some exceptions, is therapeutic, while every minute spent brooding alone only increases your separation.” So, according to her judgement, Morrissey, Richey Edwards, so many writers, musicians, painters and poets that I admire, and me too, would all the fit for a treatment because we are brooding alone in our bedrooms.Crazy to think that such a person can decide a man’s destiny! My blood boils when I think of it.

Then, two amazing books by a Croatian writer Slavenka Drakulić: “Marble Skin” which is written in the first person and the narrator is a woman sculptor who remembers her childhood with a beautiful but emotionally distant mother, and the other is a biography of Frida Kahlo called “Frida’s Bed”; it was beautifully written and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in Frida Kahlo’s life and art. Drakulić has the ability to say so much, and say such beautiful, poignant and meaningful things in so little pages, each of the books was less than 200 pages long. Then, I enjoyed the humour of everyday life in books by a Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, I read “Closely Watched Trains” and “The Little Town Where Time Stood Still”; both were humorous and full of fascinating observations from day to day life, but also, when you think of what you read, you realise how sad it is. Hrabal conceals the tragical aspects of life with humour, and succeeds in making us blind to the sadness and loneliness that an individual faces. And finally, I at last read a novel “The Stream of Life” (Agua Viva) by a Brasilian writer Clarice Lispector and it was very psychedelic and full of vivid ideas and descriptions. Here is a quote from the novel: “Oh, living is so uncomfortable. Everything presses in: the body demands, the spirit never ceases, living is like being weary but being unable to sleep–living is upsetting. You can’t walk around naked, either in body or in spirit.”

“…the June nights are long and warm; the roses flowering; and the garden full of lust and bees…”

(Virginia Woolf, from a letter to Vanessa Bell, June 1926)

Tenby, Wales (by Sion Esmond)

Sunset in Cornwall (by Frank Fаrrell)

Shirley Jackson, from The Haunting of Hill House

Found here.

Sea thrift in Wales, pic found here.

Miss Patina

Northern Ireland, Instagram: emmaneagu

Poppies, pic found here.

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Zagreb, Croatia (by Alesha Brown)

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Ynys Llanddwyn, by Dylan Arnold

My Inspiration for May 2019

31 May

Month of May being such a romantic and flowery time of the year my imagination took me to the world of Gothic novels, castles with their dungeons and towers, white Regency gowns and handsome Byronic heroes, flower gardens, brides, painting of girls in white having their first communion, cozy cottages, Chateau de Chillon and the Romantics who visited it… Still very much captivated by the film “Taxi Driver” (1976) and Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights which I am thinking about reading again. I started reading a book “The Madwoman in the Attic” and I loved all the chapters that I have read so far, but in particular I enjoyed the chapter about Emily Dickinson and I found the ideas from her poetry and letters highly relatable. I definitely recommend the book!

Also, these lines from Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” cannot seem to leave my head:

“I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.”

My discoveries this month were one pretty little poem by Keats called “Where be ye going, you Devon maid?”, Milan Kundera’s short story collection “Laughable Loves”, Anais Nin’s dreamy stream of conscience novel “The Children of the Albatross” which I enjoyed but I still think her Journal of Love is way more interesting, I started reading H.D. Lawrence’s novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and I find it interesting, but not as much as I had hoped. beautiful melodies by Fauré such as Dolly’s Garden and Élegié, Paul Weller’s song “Brand New Start” and his cover of the song “Wishing on a Star”.

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”

(Wuthering Heights)

Picture found here.

Photo by Stefany Alves.