Tag Archives: life

Moving Forward

The question is where to live, but it’s not an easy question to answer. Where is the money? The money. Anything we do, we need $$$ to survive. And shelter. And food. And a nice comfortable bed. And a backyard. And crochet. And a line to hang the laundry out to dry in the summer when it’s warm out. Time to be creative. Creative. Because being creative is my job.

It just doesn’t always pay the bills.

Today it is warm with a breeze. All the graduates were in their gowns, their parents in MDen t-shirts excited to be part of something. The kids are living their parents’ dreams. Graduates. To have graduated. To have accomplished something. To hold a degree. To have a dream. A dream to survive in the world by doing what they love. Feel passionate about. PASSIONATE.

Compassionate for others. Wanting to make a difference in people’s lives, or for the environment, or for animals, or for plants, or for something in the medical division… or something.. Wanting to achieve something. Anything. As many times possible. There is possibility in dreams. 

And then taking the steps to get there. One step at a time. Two steps at a time. A half step backward. Two steps forward. One step to the left and then one half step to the right. Left right left right. Forward backward forward backward and to the left, to the right. Forward back forward back.

FORWARD.

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Letter to Myself (one year ago)

Dear Future Emilia,

How are you a year from now? Today is April 10, 2012. Has the world already come to an end next year? Hopefully not, so you can read this.

Right now I am in the end of thesis & GSI hell, and look forward to getting out of it. On the bright side, I feel better about my work than I have since Cornish in Seattle. I’m curious to know what a year from now looks like creatively. Hopefully more opportunities have come, and you/I are happy. Hopefully Lilik too.

I’m wondering how far in the future the babies will be popping out. Hopefully not yet. What about Indonesia? Is a return on the horizon? Hopefully so. Maybe by now  you’re rich and all loans have been paid off.

Big hugs to you, you creatively awesome diva of humorous inclinations. Remember that you do, indeed, rock.

xoxo Emilia

 

Death, hibernation, rebirth and growth

I’ve been meaning to write a post about death for the last couple of days. It just seems that death is everywhere right now. October, is all about death. Which is a good thing to put attention to once in a while, you know? A little ODE to DEATH. A little hello, how are you. A little acknowledgement that- oh yeah, death exists. Everywhere, all the time. Just as life exists, death exists too. And in October in particular this year, it seems to be significantly present.

First and foremost is the way the leaves on all the trees are dying. This is the time when free-spirtited, sunny, hot summer transitions to cold, intense, icy winter. Here are a few recent photos of the trees and dying leaves around my neighborhood:

The amazing thing about this time of year is that even though everything seems to be dying, it’s incredibly beautiful. There’s a change taking place in the environment that is not only visible externally, but also felt internally. I know that this time of year can be hard for a lot of people. It certainly has been for me- a lot of questioning, inner turmoil and struggle taking place. And yet… it seems like it’s a good thing, despite the fact that in moments it can be very challenging. Even though it’s just the beginning of a long, SNOWY winter. BUT- and there is a but- there is always rebirth on the other side. All those leaves will bloom again, things will grow back fresh and new, and we will appreciate it all once more as if discovering it for the first time. And that’s what I appreciate about changing seasons- it’s an opportunity to get in touch with a cycle within our own selves that reflects the environment around us- a cycle of death, hibernation, rebirth, and growth.

Other things about death this month- well obviously Halloween. It’s like suddenly everyone is obsessed with the morbid. Part of Halloween is about dressing up in something completely out of the ordinary, while the other part is about celebrating the imminent death that lurks behind every corner. Our own little ZOMBIE world. As a tribute, I’ve found a lovely zombie animation from vimeo:

zombie! by animation block

And then, of course, we can’t ignore the recent death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Obviously, this is a huge victory for the people of Libya who for 42 years suffered under a man who “warped his country with his idiosyncratic vision of autocratic rule.” (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/20/gadhafi-was-a-brutal-unpredictable-leader-killed-b/ Washington Times). I am very happy for this new (and surely challenging) phase in Libya’s history post-Gadhafi. And yet- is any death a celebration? There’s nothing wrong with fictionalized zombie movies and the imagination of horror, but when the real thing is played over and over on the television screen, no matter how important it is for so many people, there is an element of disturbance that goes with it. What if Gadhafi had lived, and had to pay for his atrocities in another way? Would not that have perhaps been even better? In the same way that the death of Osama Bin Laden was celebrated this past May, there is something fundamentally wrong with celebrating any person’s death, no matter how atrocious they were. I can’t say what is right or wrong in this situation, and I don’t in any way want to undermine the importance to the Libyan people in this moment of rebirth from a very long and dark period in their history. But… I wish there was another way to heal wounds besides death in this situation- it just seems like a never ending cycle.

In the end, it all comes  back to that cycle I described in the beginning of this post. A continuous cycle of death, hibernation, rebirth and growth. Internally, externally, and for people and communities all over the world. We can only hope for the best in every situation, and remember that death, in its essence, is meant to remind us of our own precious lives, and to be thankful for them. Perhaps the best death there is is the imagined death- the death that becomes a means of artistic exploration and acknowledges with a light heart that in the very end, despite everything, we’re all going to die.