Category Archives: journal

Stargazing

Thoughts from 2/1

I’m not even sure if I can categorize these as thoughts because they seem to stem from some other obscure location outside of my mind. Laying underneath the infinite, one comes to realize how insignificant we truly are; and that is the first step in defining our significance.

Beyond the reaches of our earthly vision lies a universe so alive and full of mystery that we, at this current time period, are unable to articulate or even comprehend the vastness of it. Is space considered part of nature or does it exist as its own entity, expanding and imploding as our brief lives are sentenced to a short stint of time.

I live under the same sky that Einstein, Ghenghis Khan, Queen Cleopatra, Homer, Gilgamesh, and every other legend has lived under. While my eyes try to decipher the darkness, my thoughts turn to these heroes; did they look to the black heavens as I do now? What self motivations prompted these brave men and women to charge themselves with living to their full potential?

I wonder, is it foolish to attempt to number the stars?

If one sees a shooting star should the wish upon it, or dedicate their will to it?

My fears are also present as the shingles of the roof tickle my toes. In front of me is nothing, at least nothing I will ever experience; and yet, everything lies out there. Our society is so selfish, choosing to be a civilization where gossip is a more interesting topic than the discovery of a giant dwarf star. When did we, humanity, become so vainly self-absorbed in our toiling that we overlooked the greatest canvas to portray imagination and apprehension?

As I gaze into the vast unknown, I wonder if someone out there,  maybe somewhere lights years away, is reminiscing on these same thoughts.

 

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The State of the World

Today is September 23rd 2016, it’s a random unimportant Friday on the calendar, but that has failed to reflect in the day. Right now, I’m in Charlotte, on the same street where Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed earlier this week. This is the state of the world, my world. I am consciously aware that I could become the next hashtag based solely on my skin complexion. An entire life-full of dreams, memories and experiences-ended due to a simple concept such as skin. We blacks (and other minorities), are steadily realizing the truth about this nation, that it is not made for us. The elected officials are not going to truly provide aid to us. Obama smiled in our faces and deported millions, initiated drone strikes and continued to sign for police to have access to military-grade equipment. Donald Trump is enticing overt racial behavior, and willingly enflaming an entire society of white nationalists. They have been waiting for a man like Trump, who has made it “acceptable” again to say and speak whatever is on your mind, including racist and sexist slurs. The police force is becoming an extermination squad, killing civilians without caution; brothers and sisters are dying so rapidly that we are unable to heal before another name enters the death note (and that’s just the reported/controversial deaths). Yet, majority of white America and politicians want us to be “peaceful”. What have they done for us to greet them with peace? They know that if we were to truly fight for our rights, that their livelihood (not lives) would be threatened. We must make the quiet white supporters know what it feels like to be oppressed, even for one day.

On another note, it seems that the video for the shooting was finally released. Interesting how the officials are unable to determine if it was “justifiable”. They always claim they need more facts, but how much more information will change the fact that a man was murdered while waiting for his child to get off the bus. It’s that damn rhetoric that all the scared higher-ups utilize; language full of ambiguity and inconclusive statements. We must change the narrative. We must have enough power, not information, to make our narrative (one full of truth) heard across the world. We are on the road to conflict with America, again. We have to channel our revolutionary spirits again and stand. Honestly, this is a terrifying reality; but all oppressed individuals, who demand change, must accept. Change does not come from speaking the words and solely relying on wishes such as “hope” and “love” (both are necessary, but that can’t be the only thing you offer). Real change requires sacrifice, action, and the risk of failure.

They are trying to silence our voices, they know that they are not ready to hear what is going to be said. We must keep protesting, because they don’t like it. We must keep kneeling because they don’t like it. We must continue to do things our way, so they begin to see that we are real.

“Will I Ever Become an Artist?” 

When I travel (which is becoming more frequent), I spend majority of my time journaling and documenting my experiences. Once I’ve amassed enough trips and stories, I plan to publish them in some form or fashion. But here’s an idea of what goes on in my head while I’m in “nomad mode”.  This post is an excerpt from my trip to Atlanta this past September. 

Once again I’m on the road with a feeling burning in my soul. I have come to accept that this is what we call “passion”. It flares from the depths like a waking furnace ready to provide heat. This passion strikes me in the most unconventional ways, whether it’s in the subjects from my pictures, the words being inscribed in notebooks, or the phrases shared in conversations. This time it was words, certain targets that I seem to cling to when uttered. Authenticity, originality, creation, perseverance, determination, and most of all art. The elusive dream sought by all souls on this earth. We seek it, it seeks us as if we play a childhood game. We skirt around the idea, afraid that if we touch it or place the label upon ourself that it will disintegrate like the decaying leaf in fall. Why do we fear such a word?
Is it because we are incapable of understanding it’s meaning? Or do we believe that we are unable to call ourselves an artist without first creating art? Then the question expands, what shall we define as art! And most importantly, who’s definition of art is considered right? The concept and answer may lie in the individual. Some, as myself, will not take the title because they view art as a grand creation that required tireless hours and the handling of caustic emotions. Other believe that it is simply anything that is created by the hands of a man or woman who has passion in their heart? Although I am only a novice, adolescent at best, I have begun to ask the question that every aspiring artist must ask. Will I ever become an artist? I think if this question is asked and an answer cannot be found, then they must keep asking at each opportunity. The answer will come when the persistence of the producer matches up with the passion of the product. If your work has inside of it, a piece of you or your soul and another is capable of interpreting that at the most basic level, then you have created art. I do not need the viewer of my photographs to know why I took the picture, I must give the viewer the chance to ask that question and come up with their own answer. To be an artist means you must leave room for your viewer to create an idea in relation to the work you have created. It is a symbiotic relationship that must exist in order to reach the true purpose of art. If one is capable of doing such a thing, and consistently, then they have the right to call themselves an artist. As an Adolescent Artivist, I believe myself capable of producing such work; however I must improve upon the consistency. In an ideal scenario I’d want all of my works to entice a viewer, but now I am only able to have certain works fulfil that task. It takes persistence, an artist is not born overnight. He does not abide to the rules of time yet a single work does not denote an artist. The soul must toil, both internally and externally, hoping to find a balance between the order of their mind and the chaos of their heart. Our soul is the mediator between the two, and the spirit is God’s way of caring for the soul, because it is constantly drained trying to appease both elements. Once the soul has uncovered the secret to balance, and this is contingent upon the individual, it may now transmit its understandings into the body. The body will then utilize its power in relation to the physical world to create a work. This work is the sum total of the soul, spirit, heart, mind and body. If a work is able to withold all five qualities, in any degree, then surely it must have the power to generate an effect in someone else. The viewer will question the motives, the meaning, the concept and the technique; each will be answered by the different part of his existence. So to answer the universal question, will I ever be an artist, I smile gladly to the sky, with the soft raindrops kissing my eyelids and say “I am becoming one, everyday”.

Destination Detroit

It’s a slow sunrise this morning, lots of clouds hanging in the sky. There are breaks in the curves, not enough to brighten the day yet, but a break nonetheless. It’s fitting really, the morning resembling the quiet drag of a cigarette. Wisps of smoke floating between fire and packed earth. We don’t watch the night disappear enough, it’s a serene moment. The twilight is being playfully chased away by the waking day. Slowly the colors begin to appear, blending with the hazy canvas. My eyes are so used to the shades of the sunrise that my irises have adopted their palette. No matter because it still takes some time for eyes to adjust to the light, no matter how many times I’ve gazed upon the stars. I will miss this night, for it is one that I have watched grow from a speck against the horizon. Nurturing it with words as we discover how similar we truly are. Our lives existing on a cycle, however, one day mine will end. I used to be afraid of such things, and I still am, but the fear isn’t paralyzing. Instead it pushes me, forces me to seek a fulfillment that I was unable to find elsewhere. Hmm. I hear the divine paint whispering, it sounds like fresh coffee, revving engines and newborn raindrops ready to escape from the grey clouds. It all hangs in the balance. Just as day has learned to offer the sky, so too must we learn to share this space given to us by God.

Updates

Today starts my vacation? The destination, my desk or “studio”

I’ve got the house to myself, no responsibilities and a brain full of ideas. Going to be posting some works, thoughts and things in between on this vacation. Stay tuned.

Homemade Studio

 

My mom always complains we don’t have take pictures of us on vacation, so here’s one.