Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anger. If I'm really honest with myself, there is anger stirring underneath the surface all the time. To truly connect with reality, I need to connect with my anger. It's the wall that keeps me from connecting to the world with abandon and warmth. It's what keeps burning me from inside, making me sick, destroying me bit by bit, any time I don't allow myself to feel it and to express it... 

I am anger. Anger is me at this very moment. And yet I can feel many other emotions too at any given time. It's not that I stop loving or living, it's just that my anger is always present also. I need to get this poison out of me as much as I can, and as soon as I can. I'm working on it every day.

I turned 34 yesterday, and though much of the world tells us that there's nothing good about getting older, I have to say that I disagree. Despite all of this anger I've discovered within me, I am already more balanced and functional and also more content than I've ever been. Getting older doesn't necessarily mean getting wiser, but in my case I'm determined to make it so. And I wouldn't be able to call myself very wise if I continued to be filled with built-up unexpressed anger for years to come, could I?

My resolution for 2013 is to keep feeling my true emotions, to keep purging myself of anger, so as to keep becoming healthier, happier, warmer and kinder to myself and those around me. I still have a mountain to climb when it comes to my anger, but I am making progress, steady strides all the time.

The following quote is meant on a grander scale, but I connect to it on a personal level. This road I'm on ain't easy street, but I'm inspired to follow in the footsteps of others who have done this work and flourished. Inspired and honored.

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
- Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

For these last 2 1/2 years, my blog has been a place for me to vent my feelings, to chart my journey towards a healthier way of looking at life and living it... I've expressed many complicated emotions and thoughts during this time and I've talked about sensitive issues such as struggling with Post-traumatic stress disorder. Now I find myself increasingly moving onto more tangible things, solving day-to-day issues, getting my foundations in order... Life is becoming more concrete for me: it's not a dense fog anymore, where I'm cautiously trying to feel my way out, trying not to trip on the broken branches. I'm in a more solid place now--not so much in my head as before, and I'm able to see everything around me more clearly. (Not just because of the glasses....)

2012 has been a good year for me. Not easy by any means... I've faced many unforeseen challenges, the likes of which I haven't dared to face before. But I'm very proud of the work I have done. When you're trying to catch up with the rest of the world and attempting to grow up to be an adult at 33, there is not a lot of time for rest and idling. When I started on this journey a couple of years ago, my emotional age was 14. And I ain't kidding. I've come a long way.

2013 will see me releasing a new album, getting comfortable in my rediscovered artist self and introducing you to what has musically been bubbling under all of these blog posts. I think you will be presented with a whole other side of the story... I feel like this is a new beginning for me as an artist--finally on my own terms. And as I continue to learn more skills in the coming years and trust my craft more and more, I am convinced that my best work is yet to come. For the first time in my life, I look forward to the rest of my time on this Earth, as I know that I can grow and expand throughout all of it. There are challenging years ahead for all of us, in terms of what's going on with the climate, etc., but even in the face of darkness, we shall dance. 

“We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. but there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it.”
― Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It is hard for me this morning to think about anything other than what happened yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut. I've lived in the U.S. for 17 years now, and as proud as I am of the many beautiful ideas that this country is built on, e.g. "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness", it seems to me that yesterday is a good example of where we the people are being stripped of exactly those unalienable rights. In this case, due to lack of gun control.

My friend Blake Morgan just posted this statistic on his Facebook-wall:
"Last year Handguns Killed: 48 People in Japan, 8 Great Britain, 34 Switzerland, 52 Canada, 58 Israel, 21 Sweden, 10,728 in The United States"
Immediately, he got the classic reply from someone mindlessly regurgitating this over-simplification she must have heard somewhere, a slogan admittedly rampant in the American media: "Guns don't kill people, people do." And in not having bothered to think it through for herself, actually believes it.  I got as aggressive as I ever have been, and it took some serious self-restraint not to attack her in a very personal way, despite the fact that I don't even know who this person is. My friend did a great job in replying to her via fact instead of personal attack and I wish to share it here:

"People don't kill people with spoons, which is why we don't need Spoon Control. They kill people with guns, which is why we need some fucking gun control. This lunatic yesterday wouldn't be able to kill 20 children in a classroom with a spoon. Your argument is like saying, 'bats don't hit home-runs, players do.' Well, how many home runs do you think Babe Ruth would have hit without the bat?"

Today, I think about my little niece and nephew, who I was just buying Christmas-presents to yesterday... I think about a family of my own, that I might want to have one day. How would I feel sending my children to school in this country, at any age, if the laws regarding guns are as lax as they are today? I need not remind anyone, that this is far from the first attack of this kind in schools in the US.

Like it or not, mental illness is very common in this world. A lot of the time it is impossible to tell who of us may be afflicted with it. Truth be told, driven to dire circumstances, all of us are capable of heinous deeds. Whatever laws they are enforcing in Japan, Great Britain, Switzerland, Canada and Sweden, seem to be working better than the laws we aren't enforcing here in the States.  As in the case of global warming, when oh when is the evidence enough, that we can't continue on
in the same trajectory??

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was studying for my GED (General Education Diploma=high school diploma), as I never finished high school in my youth. This was due to my moving to New York to pursue a career as an artist in the middle of my schooling. In any case, as I gradually study for the test now, I'm discovering surprising new things about myself. I used to hate math in school, and couldn't find any patience for it, but now as I study for it on this genius (free!) website called Khan Academy (, I'm actually getting quite addicted to it..! I can spend hours on this site: counting, counting, counting... Who knew?! What I like about it is that it's built almost like a video-game, and it satisfies my craving for that sort of environment and challenge. It's easy to see your advancement from one level to another, and you get badges of honor and all kinds of rewards and shit like that. Fun! Check it out..!

To go with my increasingly more intelligent and intellectual sense of self, I got my first reading glasses yesterday. No, this is not meant to be a fashion statement--it is unfortunately a necessity, but I feel good about it. I got myself a cool pair of vintage frames and I look kinda saucy in them, if I say so myself. Among many other things, this is a reminder that "time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...into the future..." Time will do its tricks on all of us, and no thing is to be taken for granted. But changes can be enjoyed and I relish, once again, at seeing every word on a page crisply and clearly. While seemingly a small, ordinary thing, it is a huge privilege and warrants some serious enjoyment. On that note, I say to thee: carpe diem!

"In reality, killing time is only the name for another of the multifarious ways by which Time kills us."   - Osbert Sitwell

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I was surfing the internet last night for a couple of hours, a bit aimless I guess, but with an intent to find new music that touches me. I did find lots and lots of music: bands that I've never heard of (which means nothing; I live in a bubble), their photos and songs displayed prominently on the front pages of ultra-chic and hip online-magazines. I listen to these artists, and wow, they're all so fucking cool! So many artists with the latest production, everyone pushing boundaries and sounding and looking more artsy and individual and weird and unique than the other...
It all makes me feel insecure, until I realize this: hardly any of this music touches me. I admire their fashionable stylings, I can listen to this sort of music and enjoy the trendy vibe it creates, but in all honesty, I find it relatively rare to find artists that really speak to me on a deep level, in any genre.

It's like that feeling that one sometimes gets when reading a spectacular book: when you find yourself inhabiting the world the author created; swimming in the surroundings, feeling like you know every character personally; feeling like you never want to leave this alternate reality and yet you're compelled to devour every word, and thus the end inevitably and mercilessly approaches...  This is how I feel with artists when they really touch me, regardless of their genre. With music it's ceaseless listening: hearing the same song over and over and over and over.......... It's like falling in love...but with a song. When that happens, a relationship is created with the artist too--I forever feel a warmth and intimacy toward them, regardless of whether they end up producing more art that I like. 

I think that the reason why deep connection with art is rare is this: even though an artist has skill, it does not mean that they have the uncommon combination of authenticity and intimacy. To really touch someone, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, and that can be scary to most people. Most artists never allow that intimacy, and I can understand why. It allows people to get to know you in a way, to really see you--flaws and all, and most of us would rather wear a mask.

It requires a specific kind of bravery to write lines like Bjork's "I suck my tongue in remembrance of you." The bravery to be who you are and express it freely. I admire that immensely. Trendiness has its place of course, but I am compelled to strive for something else: authenticity and intimacy. Who I am will never please everybody, but it is enough. To end, I'd like to quote Tom Waits, as he makes my point so clearly:

"I would rather be a failure on my own terms than a success on someone else's. That's a difficult statement to live up to, but then I've always believed that the way you affect your audience is more important than how many of them there are."