Friday, April 24, 2009

Californication, Day 2

On my second day I decided I would go to Point Lobos since I had never been there. I hate to sound like a drag but I wasn't that impressed. Maybe it was the fact that I paid $10 and I expected to see something

absolutely amazing--breathtaking really. Not to downplay the beautiful nature I did see, but there were so many people and the trails were packed that I really didn't feel like I connected with nature as much this day as I had the day before. I did, on the other hand, see a lot of interesting colors and I got some interesting shots.

There were a lot of different colors that I caught on the path. There was interesting color moss growing on the trees that I really wanted to capture on camera. Actually, I wanted to touch it but since I agree with the Girl Scout’s ideology on "Leaving no trace," I stayed on the trail and touched nothing. I can't say I wasn't extremely tempted.

I also saw a lot of interesting people on this hike. First, I saw this guy jogging, no not jogging, running. Why he was running, I'm not really sure but he looked hot, sweaty, and red. I'm going to guess he was exercising but it seemed like an odd place to workout, being that it is a State Forest where you pay $10 to get in. HAHA, can you tell I'm still upset about my $10? Well, I am. Okay, maybe I was expecting a spiritual epiphany again and I tried to make the best of the situation by taking photographs and hiking but I just never got into it. I just kept thinking of that peaceful scene of the day before and nothing was comparing until I had a brilliant idea: to go to the beach again! So I hopped back in my car and head for Carmel's Beach.

By this time it was getting close to 4PM and though the beach was packed due to the warm weather, I found a nice little spot that was secluded and I read. I sat at the beach for two hours and then went to my room to gather up my stuff to get ready for the photo shoot I

had scheduled with the person I was staying with but she never showed up. Slightly dissappointed, I headed towards Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove and there I

enjoyed the sunset. As I walked around taking pictures, I saw a little girl named Janelle (2 years old) playing in the sand and I wanted to take a picture of her. Of course, I asked her mother and she said it was okay. Janelle just looked so cute in her little dress playing in the sand. This made me think a lot of Yasmin. Next time, I promised myself, I would bring Yasmin. She deserves to enjoy the beach as much as I do.

This is how I spent my last hours in the Monterey Peninsula. I enjoyed the sunset and the beautiful colors created by the reflection of the sky. I am in love with the ocean and I can’t wait to go again…at least, for now, I have photographs of my escape.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Californication, Day 1

The best place to begin a story, is...well the beginning. And sure, I have a few literary options on how I can tell this story but I am not here to have a discussion of literary styles. Today, I am here to discuss my escape into solitude.

I am small. I am so small.

I don't know how many times that very thought entered my mind as I stared off into the immensity of the ocean. I would close my eyes and I felt the ocean air wrap me tightly in a solitude and at the same time with a the connectedness of the Universe. I am small.

Sometimes I just need to get away and I wanted to go alone, to a place where I could only find myself and that is what indeed happened. I went to the very place I had been trying to avoid for so long--Monterey Bay. Actually, Day 1 consisted of going to Big Sur which is off of Highway 1. Needless to say it is extremely beautiful.
In the solitude of the road, I realized I was very happy driving. I don't think I've been happy driving since I was sixteen years old. I was so alone and there I was confronted with myself, a person I knew and I liked. I never knew the day would come that I would be confident and proud of my accomplishments. Furthermore, I also realized that I much rather be alone than to be in an unhappy situation, which I was for so long.

Honestly, I left Sacramento without much of a plan. I had a place to stay and I packed enough food and clothes for three days, just in case I didn't come back on Sunday as planned. So when I arrived early afternoon Saturday, instead of staying close to Pacific Grove, I decided to keep driving on Highway 1. My initial decision did not include going to Big Sur but I did contemplate the thought briefly because I wanted to see Climbing Poe Tree at the Spirit Garden. Things didn't go as planned. Instead I went to Pfeiffer Beach and stayed there ALL DAY LONG until sunset.

I can't even tell you exactly what I did aside from taking a few pictures and meditating. Wait, let me rephrase this, that is all I did. I went to the beach and I laid there and meditated on the sound of the waves for nearly three hours. Yes, that's right: THREE HOURS, I thought of nothing else but the sound of waves. There was a faint whisper and all I could hear is, We are one and You are small.

The Sunset was creeping onto me and I realized that it was probably not a good idea to be alone on a desolate beach after dark. Therefore I gathered by belonging and walked to my car. Little did I know that waiting for me on Highway 1 was one of the most beautiful scenes in nature that I would ever come to see. A fog was beginning to come in and this created something like an optical illusion. It seemed like the fog was like another ocean in the sky. I want to say that the photographs that I took captured this emotion well but this is a lie. It does not compare to the entire experience of colors and the scent of the fresh oceanic air.

The night would have been perfected had I stayed in Big Sur to watch Climbing Poe Tree but I didn't want to drive back in the darkness of the late night back to Pacific Grove. But like I said the sunset was amazing and I took so many pictures. I want to include them all but they could never justify the evocation of the moment. If I could just describe the feeling...if I could just hand over the peace I felt in that moment I would share it with the world. Now I understand why the Transcendentalists believed in returning to nature. The immensity of nature makes you believe...makes you feel Spiritual.
I know I could this spirituality here at home, in the local nature but I feel that the solitude of this area is so incomparable. Besides there is no beach, close to home, that compares.
In any case, I felt so good and lucky that I had the opportunity to go to Big Sur for the first time in my life. This was a perfect day, despite the four hours I spent in the car and anyone that knows me, knows that I can barely stand fifteen minutes in the car let alone driving. Yes, it was a good day...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Love of my Life

I am in love with the most amazing human being on this planet. I am enthralled by all of her inner beauty and outer beauty. Every moment with her is filled with laughter and when she is away, her absence hangs heavily in the air. Despite all this love, sometimes I wonder how it is that I came to love her like this...I suppose a part of me can't really help it, I mean after all, we do share twenty-three chromosomes. But maybe what I find truly amazing is her sweet disposition and her fun personality. All I really know though is if there is one person in the world I cannot live without, it would certainly have to be her--hands down.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Of course you love her! You're her mother!"
But is that one hundred percent true? Is there some kind of rule booking stating that is so? Because if there is please hand those books out to the countless of abusive and useless parents in this world. But back to my point, I do love her because she is my offspring but I feel like I love her more because of all the beautiful things she has taught me and her strategies with coping with "troubles". Yasmin truly lives the live of the uncarved block (please refer to Taoism for this reference) and she is simply one of the sweetest people you'll ever know. One morning I remember I looked in the mirror and I felt the reflection looking back was quite frieghtening when Yasmin walks in to use the potty and turns to me saying, "Mimi (her nickname for me), you look so beautiful. Your heart is like an angel." I turned to her smiling and I said, "Yasi, you are an angel." I know, it's a sappy love story but I can't help it, she is my angel. Yasmin has saved my life in so many ways and continues to do so daily.
With all this said, she is the main subject of my personal photographs. I have probably taken thousands of pictures of her and I am never tired of it. She is theatrical, goofy, and fun in front of the camera. Sometimes she even grabs my camera and asks me if I plan on photographing her soon but today I grabbed my camera and as I played with her toes, I wanted to capture all the joy she brings into my life. This is my visual ode to Yasmin.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Doodling my life away

Lately I've reached an artist block. I suppose it is something like a writer's block but this particular block is truncating all of my visual art efforts. My muses have abandoned me so instead I have found a different creative outlet.
Now-a-days, with all this "free" time that I now I have, I find that the most creative thing I can do is ride my bike. I've been taking 27 to 40 mile bike rides. During these bike rides I spend hours in meditation where I go from every range of emotion from happiness to sadness to anger and back. Sometimes I am just riding along enjoying the sun and the nature surrounding the American River bike trail. Lake Natomas is actually very beautiful and I really enjoy sitting on the river bank taking a break and attempt to do some drawing. I try to just doodle to get my creative juices going but lately nothing is sparking my imagination. So after a few drawings like these I just enjoy the scene of the lake for a little longer and then hop right back onto my bike.
Muses, where have you disappeared to?
I feel like there is so much inside of me that could be used to inspire, yet I feel dry. I have always been interested in the interplay of words and visual art so I started doodling today in my journal and I came up with a semi-poem and color piece but even this is blah.
All of this non-inspiration inspired me to rearrange my room to hopefully improve the Zen of my creative space. I have to say that it is looking good right now though I am not finished. I still need to clean up some stuff lying around and build my new art table, which I bought over two months ago by-the-way. Hopefully these changes will revitalize my visual art and bring a surge of creativity my way. One can only hope...

I need to travel!