Thank you for your warm gestures of support in this installation so far. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mil gracias y mil abrazos. Gracias por su confianza y su atención. I thank you for your trust and attention.
I have attempted to explain the meaning of fiction stories in the first section in a reflection called Commemoration. If you have not read it as yet, please do. It ties the stories together.
The scripts posted above this note are set in the present day.
This year starts the Age of Copper, says Melek Z Şençevik, artist, designer and curator based in Turkey. I wholeheartedly agree, as I’m mesmerised by copper’s rustic aesthetic. Melek sells handmade accessories at Handstamped Art. I’ve been following her work on Etsy for over a year now. She’s enthusiastically agreed to let me add her handcrafted mastery as a practical accent to Earth’s fictional catalog.
Her design sense is mainly primitive and historical. Her designs are organic, handmade and one-of-a-kind. Melek graduated design school in Istanbul and started this business because, in her own words:
I’m from Earth, but I like to think I’m really from Venus. Ever since I’ve known myself, I started drawing and painting people around me. Art and music are my first loves. When I create a design, time stops and I’m together with my dear angels. Through colours, stones and other materials, I can see another world just beyond this one. I hear nature’s harmonious song in my ear. Sometimes the song weaves its way into my designs. I simply let them appear. In the past, we had the Stone Age and the Iron Age. In 2015, I would like to start the Age of Copper. Organic and natural, I’m a dreamer.
Melek works with raw stones, gemstones, organic beads, crystals, pearls, raw copper, 925 and 999 silver and genuine leather. For the time being, until they’re sold, a few of my favourites:
The Snow Queen ring in aquamarine and silver.
Seven copper bangles.
Organic earrings with baltic raw amber, kyanite, sea urchin,
black coral, african terrakotta, mali clay, shell, indian cow bone.
Moon Light earrings in citrine crystal, swarovski crystal elements and copper.
Gold chalcopyrite and pyrite copper cuff bracelet with raw stone.
Talisman necklace in raw stones, copper and natural hemp.
Medicine Bag in genuine fur and leather and decorated with
neolithic stones, oley limpet shells, virgineus fossil shell,
trade beads, turquoise and copper.
Original drawing, “Iceland” from World Map mural by Chiara Carlotta.
Happiness! I am immensely grateful to the talented Chiara Carlotta, an art student from The Netherlands. Many thanks. Chiara has a large drawing of a world map on her bedroom wall. She has been filling in all the countries with a felt tipped pen, with this beautiful design.
I asked her, when I first saw her completed rendition of Australia in early December, 2014, to please start Iceland sooner, as I had just finished a script set in that country. Her design was the perfect accent to the antique, tribal theme underlying the story. She was kind enough to work on it. I know it took a lot of time, effort and patience to do. She completed Iceland on Monday night, and with her permission, I’m posting her beautiful work here, so you can enjoy it too.
A rigid thinking dinner companion said it was impossible to paint a drawing of an apple all black. Black gouache exists, and so do felt tipped markers. Therefore, it is possible and I did it the very next day. I emailed her a photo of the finished work. Naturally, she was appalled at my bloody mindedness.
My sister’s first question when she saw “Rational” was, “What’s that in the middle?” I knew I was on to something. I had hit upon it in a post last year without realising how pervasive the problem was. If it’s not in the (colour) you expect, it can’t be (an apple).
The symbolism was deliberate: a drawing of an apple is not an apple. A drawing is not an eatable fruit. The painting represents our blind devotion to symbolic reality regardless of the shapes, colours or textures that in fact inform our day to day experiences.
The problem is, I’m surrounded by women who get their panties in a tangle over unimportant things such as these. Like, for real as Britney said, are you kidding me. No wonder there’s panic in this industry called womanhood. I mean, please.
Feminism is another rigid construct. It encourages men and women to use slogans instead of examining their behaviour. Years ago, a feminist writer protested being sexualised in an elevator but earlier had no problems tonguing out a guy she barely knew in their wedding ceremony in front of two hundred bewildered strangers. Their courtship played out on public access message boards and blogs. It’s the same thing. You’re a horny girl and you’re up for grabs. The man was rational. He made a calculated decision. You’re angry he’s seen through your sceptical bullshit.
Take another friend, who devolved into a slow roasted insanity after her husband asked for a separation. A separation is just what she needs to become financially secure and rebuild her life. No. She makes him breakfast every morning thinking this effort will work telepathically to convince him to return home. If I ever get married, I want a husband who is that devoted to me. I want to be his religion. I can do no wrong. Yes, that perfect world exists.
She later told me she realised her problem. It was that she was incapable of getting angry at the mistreatment. She’s put him first and has always gone without. You cannot say to a person like that: “Now it’s your turn. It’s time for you.” She further said she had no goals for herself, as she would need a self for which to create goals. With a husband, her self was largely predefined for her. Society told her, this is the only self that matters. Imagine hitting your mid forties without a working knowledge of “me”?
Think about it. Is it all worth the human sacrifice you are making of yourself right now?
In Western society we don’t even understand love at all. Love is not an expansive concept, if we have it our way. It’s limiting. We speak of love and leave others to conflate with it their various ideas of what we could mean. Or vice versa. We hear it and impose our own meanings.
Perhaps we should take a Hindu perspective. The material universe is too small a container for love. From a purely mathematical perspective, it is irrational. We cannot grasp the edges of it and that’s why it is so powerful and transformative when we receive it.
Are you receiving? Is your phone on the hook? Are your doors all wide open?
Rational. Abundance is the control of large portions. To maintain wealth, it is important to control portions, but to do that, we must first learn to control impulses. A quality education affords us rational thinking, which is the ability to recognise impulses and to suppress or harness these for greater gain. Discipline, order, reasoning and logic constrain us. But if we use these with wisdom, we will attain the only form of abundance that really matters. Freedom.
When we look directly at someone’s face, we offer the person inclusion, appreciation, and acceptance. A look can say, “Are you alright?” “You look good,” “I trust you,” or “I like you.” We know that when we look at others, we will hold them, and the contexts in which we see them, in our memory.
A look can be an entire conversation in itself, or a tentative invitation to start one. We don’t look directly at people we don’t accept, appreciate or value. We hold them in our field of vision, but make sure to look away when they face us, look off to the sides as we walk by them; anything to avoid the reflective glare of disdain from the other.
The participants looking into the photographer’s lens are engaged in a conversation. They’re displaying various levels of engagement, but they are looking right at him. Their expressions are non confrontational. They’re saying, “Alan, you’re alright. Drop by anytime.”
One dimensional colouring is something inexperienced artists get stuck doing even though they’re great at sketching. Later, they get disheartened when their work isn’t admired, even after spending countless hours working on a canvas. In an after hours tutorial last month, I asked painters to choose four colours they didn’t like. What colour isn’t a flower? The next challenge was to use up all the colours they’d squeezed out of the tubes. They were to use them together on the canvas without blending.
They protested at first, but eventually saw my point: Pink is equivalent to “a colour you like”. Pink flowers will get stale or boring really fast because we’ve seen them before. One artist was brilliant. She’d improved on her past work and practiced a new skill. She tossed the brush and used the back of a spoon and a knife, as I had taught her to do in previous sessions. Even after she was showered with compliments, her response was “Oh, did I do something interesting? I’m not sure.” I can’t stand false modesty (compliment fishing) but what’s worse is a total lack of self belief. I’m not going to chase after a person and tell them how great they are a second time.
We paint life experiences, friends, acquaintances, strangers and loved ones the way we want to see them. But when we do that we miss the chance to make ordinary experiences feel new and exciting. My advice is simple. Use your voice effectively to create a beautiful world in which others appreciate your talent, beauty and wholesomeness. It’s time to start writing our own happy ending. What don’t you expect will make you happy? How don’t others define you? Choose four things. Experience them all together without trying to blend in.
When you look at your work just before you post it to the world, or at your reflection in the mirror just before you step outside, know that in that moment no one is more worthy than you are to share your experience.
No man waits in time alone?
Carmine shadows row o’er my soul
A coat of mail, the silver breams
Fretfully it hastens fretful gleam
In gothic passages taxis bloom’d
While now it grips, the dark, am doom’d
There’s a tiny island off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
It is called Narushima. There are only twelve children on the island.
Three of them are Christians.
All photos courtesy Alan Clayton Williams/Veritalens.
We define “church” in emotional terms as a sanctuary or place of refuge. Objectively speaking, it’s a box. We hide under boxes to shield ourselves from thoughts and feelings in an unsafe world. These boxes take various forms, like personal, familial and political allegiances. However, they all serve the same purpose. They allow us to escape the messy work of negotiating our lived experiences. From the safety of boxes we insist that it’s acceptable to judge, blame and even deceive others. I bear the scars from painful lived experiences and I sometimes seek refuge in that dark, familiar place when a memory is triggered. But I’ve learned that boxes don’t just shut out pain. Sometimes they obscure the radiance and the splendour of unconditional acceptance and love.
I do not believe Willard Foxton’s claim that he was largely unaware of Taylor Swift’s existence prior to the release of 1989. I live under a rock when it comes to pop music, but it’s difficult to not know who she is. She bakes sweet treats for fans, dresses up a lot and accessorises with a cat. While New Yorkers were sleeping, Swift and her public relations army invaded and occupied their city. She’s all over the Telegraph website and, as Mr Willard earns a salary writing for them, he cannot reasonably make the claim.
Here’s a true story. I’ve never listened to a single one of Swift’s songs, but I paid attention to her after I found out that she shops at ASOS. Paparazzi took photos of her in one of their name branded dresses and it was posted on the website. I declined to buy the same one even though it was only $20. I’m not into bird patterns.
Willard is annoyed that children are trying to listen to Swift’s new album for free. Apparently, he’s unaware that people who exist outside of his laptop subsist on limited budgets. These people have part time jobs, homework, and do their own cleaning. Sometimes they can only afford to eat cup noodles for dinner. They do not want to give Taylor Swift any part of their disposable income.
They should not. She is a public relations machine in overdrive. We all know how wealthy she is, down to the last cent. If you’re wealthy because of the kind consideration and generosity of others, it’s a good idea to show consideration for that. People who enter the spotlight tend to get brain damaged by the overwhelming attention. They make a conspicuous display of affluence and complain later when people don’t want to help them acquire more of it.
One of the reasons I support classical musicians is that they can’t make a living air-playing an instrument and they don’t get recognised because of their looks. Concerts cost a lot more than album downloads, but I put on nice frocks three or four times a year to show my appreciation for their talent and perseverance.
Willard Foxton’s taste is something strange. He says that Swiftpop is “art” and that illegal downloads are devaluing that art. The Telegraph has a certain prestige but if they keep paying clueless people like him to write articles, I’ll boycott it, too. After all, no news is good news.
A couple of days ago I went to one of my favourite stationery stores to look at masking tape. I found shelves stacked floor to ceiling over space three times the size of my apartment. Took a while, but I managed to choose only four tapes. After seeing some of the papier mache objets d’art on display, I decided to mask a cardboard potato chips container. This is my first taping project, and I think it’s going to be a “thing” like Louis Litt’s mudding.
The original labeling is very loud, and it was a red box, so I wrapped the container with bright red box tape. The edge of the cover was then taped over with one long sheet. The key is to tear, paste and press until you get the look you’re after. The rough edges of the torn tapes make up part of the look. I could have used a tape cutter, but I like the ripped look.
After taping up the container, I still had lots of tape left, and as it turns out, they all fit inside, so my objet is now decorating my desk at work. To finalise the project, I should paint three coats of varnish glue so the tape doesn’t peel off. But I like the matte look and I’ll keep it as is.
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