Tag Archives: inspiration

Layers of Modesty Conceal the Glow

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Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there.

Out there – in the deep dark void that can be scary and mean and just not nice.  Sometimes out there is even better than you could have imagined.  I suppose you just can’t know.

This weekend I was hanging out with a great friend and were discussing (like we always do) the inertia that fear creates in our lives.  Every once in a while, fear is a truly important flag keeping us from being really hurt.  Most times it’s just in the way.

Who knew that one of the world’s most prolific street photographers never shared a single photograph during her lifetime and her brilliance was found out by accident through an auction of her belongings after her death (we found this story via TVGawker.com– once you get past the cliche announcer it gets pretty good):

Whether or not she was a brilliant photographer doesn’t even matter – look at how gorgeous her perspective is in the photographs!  So stunning – some of them are lovely stories in a single frame. But think about the hundreds of photographs that were ugly and awful – the shots that came between the beautiful ones.

You have to give yourself a shot no?  I mean – seriously – wouldn’t it be better to benefit from your efforts while you’re still alive – instead of waiting for someone else to acknowledge and benefit from your efforts once your dead?  (However, it’s obvious that Vivian Maier was an extremely private person and artist – but you have to wonder whether it was fear or privacy that drove her to keep her story for herself).

Just give it a try! That’s what everyone keeps telling me.  A wise man once said- inertia’s a bitch.  The tortoise in me is moving one step at a time.  But I have to keep moving.  I have a ton of entrepreneurial friends whom I really admire – they just do stuff! Even if they’re not quite sure what it is they’re doing….they are willing to give it a try.

Also, you have to do the stuff you’re not so great at over and over again, until you get really good at it.  As a musician, at first I always found recording to be really scary – I mean it’s going to be recorded forever!  But then, after recording little by little, it’s now easy-peasy!  But currently, shows are really scary, but they’re exhilarating too! A great show can really make you feel like you are a part of a story – or – that you would like to share your story. I’ll be doing my best going out there and doing these scary things – feel free to join me- it’s nice to have company when you’re scared.  😉

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Sing Bandana Singh performs Thursday January 13th at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave. Toronto).  Doors at 7pm.  Performance at 7:30pm  $10.  19+.
Music: http://myspace.com/singbandanasingh
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bandbandana
A Heroic Entertainment Production.

Ah! Fresh Start Monday! Try Something New!

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What a glorious weekend in Toronto! The weather was just beautiful and I had the pleasure of spending my entire weekend outdoors and with people I actually really really like. Isn’t that always so lovely?  It was my best friend’s Emily’s birthday so  went to glow in the dark mini-putting and then had dinner together and then saw a movie all together – it was soo awesome to spend a whole day with your pals.

Flowers in the Summer Sun!

Sunday was also so totally amazing. I went back to my favourite space in Toronto right now- the Toronto Islands with a dear friend (Nima Shams -who is also a musician and just a lovely human being).   It was his first time to the Island and so I introduced him to our humble parks and beaches. We then walked up through downtown and enjoyed the man-made loveliness of the city lights against the summer sky.

BUT today is Monday.  And can I say – IT IS A GOREGOUS MONDAY so  I thought I’d do something fresh today – I’m fasting as it’s a full moon don’t you know.  I find it helps me center and focus every once in a while.  On that note – why not take this Monday to do something new?

Here are some links to people or places or things I think might just inspire you!

  1. Issu: a really slick online magazine publishing platform.  So many bloggers really want a slick uber produced glossy magazine face -I know you do – there’s no shame in it! 🙂
  2. Tenielle Design: a jewelry designer originally from Toronto but now moving to Paris! (with my drummer! sigh!) I have several of her pieces and LOVE them.
  3. Art Starts: Great inspiring community based art projects and one of my personal favourite organizations EVER.
  4. Trendhunter.com:  Not entirely certain how I feel about this site – interface is not my favourite as it’s a little too busy – but it’s a great site to see what’s going on in many different areas of art, music, pop culture – seems like a good resource for advertising/marketing types.
  5. Slim Twig: I would refer to Slim Twig as an avant-garde musician with punk, country, electronica,  and many many other influences- He has several shows coming up on Toronto through July and Aug – you have to experience Slim Twig – you simply must. (To be fair though – I have yet to see him play live – BUT I hope to this summer!!)

If Mondays suck (which I’m sure they do for many people ), go out (or stay in) – try something new. It doesn’t have to be HUGE.  You could start just with little things no? Like writing with crayons for a day – and then move up to something like finger painting. You might be surprised that the  little steps you take actually have a big impact on how you think or feel throughout the day.

Keep it fresh! Happy Monday!

Prickly pear of the sea

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In preparation for my twilight years – when I will unceremoniously drop – and later, without rhyme or reason, unabashedly pick up the telling of a story again…I will now continue my tale about inspiration. (see last week’s post entitled The blue lizard…excellently crafted moment of self-promotion…check!).      

Picture it, Sicily 1931…OK…had a Golden Girls moment there for a sec. (twilight years and all, see)      

Inspiration, she’s a tricky bugger. The hunt, the capture, the grossly self-indulgent gloating afterwards is made effortless by the subject matter at times. When the world you inhabit is filled to the very brim with dazzling colours, shapes, jazz-hands! (hehe…figuratively speaking of course)…and yes critters…it is nigh on impossible to suffer a bout of photog-block (kinda like writer’s block…but it rhymes better).      

The first 18 + an additional 4 years later down the road of my life were spent in paradise. At my doorstep I had at my disposal, a veritable cornucopia of fauna and flora…jewel-hued sugar birds (humming birds) performed aerial stunts outside my diningroom window over breakfast, whales splashed and whooshed plumes of air and spray into the star-filled sky, lulling me to sleep at night. Following their own mysterious and at times inconvenient schedule, the baboons would descend upon our garden, leaping from the tall, peaked roof in reckless abandon into the fig tree’s laden branches…sending my dog into an indignantly undignified and futile frenzy.      

What's purple and yellow and potters around on millions of suckers for feet?

 

My playground was dotted with sea anemones, nodding in rockpools like agreeable crayola flowers, and spiny starfish and punk rock sea urchins decorated every nook and cranny of the fertile and salty seascape.  The sky was huge and deeply blue, the waves resounding and frothy white.      

Parading on a rock ledge, the urchins gleam like predatory brooches

 

Gosh – notice the past tense up there?? To reassure you…it is all still there…this rose-tinted Utopia of my youth…I am the one in past-tense (no…not dead and blogging from beyond the grave…just across an ocean).      

So…whenever I have the occasion to make my much-anticipated pilgrimage back to the homeland…I capture even the most pedestrian detail of life. I suspect my folks reckon my brain has been irredeemably addled by lack of clean sea air and an over abundance of snow and smelly city…as in years gone by, I would never have gone sprinting for my camera bag at a sighting of a green grasshopper on the patio. I would simply have greeted him politely and implored my late, great cat to kindly refrain from making a snack of the poor fellow.      

Gorgeously green grasshopper graces...patio? Crap...lost it at the end there

 

I see you!

 

Now, today I make my home in an equally majestic place…but decidedly more subdued in terms of its local critteridge (nice…rather proud of that mangled word-ly creation). Few things come spiny or bright purple (of their own volition) in the animal kingdom here. But, to my delight…the birds dress up like Michael Jackson – sporting red shoulder patches! The hornets resemble sharp corner chevrons on the road (am I speaking foreigner again?…many apologies), and the larger beasts sport comically bulbous noses and outsized furry tiaras on their proud heads.      

The fact is though – as in a family with two offspring – one being the loud-mouth clown who dances a lively jig on the furniture of an evening, and the other being the nice sprog who vacuums its own room and thanks you for the clean clothes – the clown gets the attention.      

Therefore, the task at hand is: Look harder, be open to the possibilities, and sprint like the blazes for the camera bag when the MJ birdies parade across the lawn! And the dastardly snow and frost…is made beautifully ethereal and oh so photogenic by the rays of the rising sun.      

The autumn sun burns the frost away, leaving bedazzled blades in its warming wake

 

Project of the week pour moi…with a spot of luck I will furnish you with delightful captures of aforementioned feathered pop-star impersonators and any manner of lovely things.

Innocuous beach chair

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Aaah, now…already a promise broken (one I made to myself). Thought was…this blogging endeavour being so pleasurably diverting – surely nothing would impede me from polluting this space with excessive amounts of thoughts and ideas – ramblings so numerous that they’d barely be worthy of sharing. Alas, last week happened…with nary a word contributed by yours truly.

Now that I am back in the proverbial saddle – what to share? My first entry spoke of my artistic passions, and the longing I feel to spend my days positively reveling in my art – making figurative snow angels and sand castles with it – all the while earning some decent cash for my troubles!

This week, how about I try to unpack a related topic: Topics…subject matter…things if you will! If you do perchance recall my first entry, you’d know that I am a photog. What we essentially do – after stripping out the artistry of controlling aperture, shutterspeed, ISO, composition and timing – is record things in a moment in time. What to shoot seldom seems a problem (on that later)…what to share is the tougher nut to crack at present.

You see, the most readily available subject matter remains my extended family with our rampaging horde of sproglets. The wee ones know…when FStop10 visits…you either make tracks, or you relent to the incessant snapping and blithely proceed with the serious business of eating cake, swimming or standing on your head. Some of my best work features a certain 4-year old.

The dilemma – do I share those images here? I have encountered a few exceptionally fascinating bloggers that use the space to not only discuss their families, but to showcase their very lives in prose and images on the internet. Is that for me…mmm, yet to decide.

So…while I wrestle that thought into submission…here is a perfectly innocuous chair!

Perhaps it would be prudent to continue to share images that I made, that do not include people. A challenge, you say?!  I heartily accept. For my next trick…

Thoughts?

The Doctor and Me part 1

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If you saw the recent Vlog (previous post) – this is an extension of my first meeting with the awesome Doctor:

May 4th 2010

I just met the most incredible woman last night on the late night ferry back to the island.

She’s a doctor who has committed her life to Mother and Child health.  She’s lived the last 30 years in 25 countries, through conflict, through fear, through inaction by government and ngo’s alike (not surprising, but still so sad). She’s helped to create programming that has been implemented and bravely tells the stories of women and children,  families and communities who  so desperately need a voice in Canada and around the world.

She has been using her knowledge to physically reach out and meet the people who require her KNOWLEDGE EYE TO EYE.

More importantly she wants urgently for her knowledge to be transferred to as many people as possible.  Not in a top down, Western feminist ‘I know what’s best for the world’ kind of way – No, she wants her knowledge to help bridge the gaps between traditional and institutional medicine.

Her devotion to her work, and her understanding of the need, the responsibility for great thinkers to also be great leaders of actions was so INCREDIBLY INSPIRING.

She has graciously allowed me to read the manuscript of her upcoming publication (prior to going to print).

I’ll be having dinner with the Doctor on Tuesday evening to discuss the manuscript and life in general!  I would love to introduce you to her.  I’ll keep you posted – this is going to be something amazing.