Tag Archives: Featured

Using Letters As A Bridge

A few years ago I noticed that letters were surfacing that  were being used as a way to create dialogue.  There were open letters supposedly written by fathers or mothers to their daughters, open letters between faceless (and sometimes famous) lovers, and the list goes on.

For my creative flow I have often used letters as a bridge to the intimate as well as the creative.  When I was a teenager I had a couple of pen pals.  One who lived in the states who was a former classmate and the other who was a classmate who traveled between the U.S. and India often.  There was something special about receiving a letter that was addressed to me and waiting  for the right time to read it.

There was also something special about crafting the response or return letter.  Including nuggets of what was happening in my life, sharing news and asking questions while anticipating the responses.  For my writing, I’ve returned to the concept of the letter as an art form, but this time, I notice that I use them as ways of having a conversation while building the bridge to the mysterious.  My most recent project was an open letter that I wrote to my younger former self sprinkled with wisdom, tips, and all sorts of other goodies of what could or might be.

If you were to craft a letter, either open or otherwise, who would you write to?  Would you write a letter to yourself and bury it away?  Would you write a letter to a lover or loved one?  Is the letter to someone who has passed on?  Or perhaps your letter might be to a beloved place or thing, like the city you wish to see or to the car that you reluctantly had to abandon.

Here is what we want to assign to you, write a letter, not the letter you send, but the one you use as your bridge to a conversation, a dialogue, or just to have connection.  Think about what you want to say and perhaps this will be one of many letters.  Be as creative as you want, use imagery in the place where words just won’t do.

Allow the letter to be everything from your liberation to your bridge to your time capsule.  With this letter that you craft either with visuals, drawings or words, allow it to take you to the impossible.

He For She India

Some time ago, I stumbled on the video of Emma Watson’s speech at the UN. By the time the video was over, I was in tears. Not out of sadness but out of immense JOY. “Why?”, you might ask. “There is nothing joyful about gender inequality!”. That’s true. But the thing that filled me with joy wasn’t the “what”, it was the HOW. It’s about time that someone like Emma stood up to talk about gender inequality with COMPASSION. No issue has ever been resolved by holding a one-sided perspective. One-sided perspectives are what divide us as human beings. These kinds of attitudes are what create judgement and intolerance which in turn can lead to conflicts, violence, racism and wars.

Emma Watson, thank you. Thank you 100 000 times. Because of your sensitivity, courage and compassion you have opened the door to honest communication between men and women around the globe.

No one is perfect, we all know that. Man or woman, the truth is, we are all at fault. Have you ever been in an endless argument with a loved one feeling that the other person is so defensive that there is no room for a constructive exchange? Sometimes for the argument to end the only thing to do is to let go and accept our imperfections. But that only works if both people do the same, both sides have to decide to let their guards down and meet in a space of acceptance.

This is what Emma gave us. As a representative of women around the globe, she stood in front of the world and opened the door to acceptance, understanding and tolerance. In the name of women she apologized for mistakes made in the past, admitting our imperfections. And more importantly, she gave a break to men. She acknowledged how difficult it must be to be a man today and live up to all that it implies. She looked up to the men in the audience saying that she wasn’t there to judge but to understand and help them too. Living with an open heart is not an easy thing. It’s scary and it hurts. But Emma did the hardest part for us already. All we have to do now is follow her example, let our guards down, and allow each other to meet in this virtual space of peace and acceptance. I leave you with this important question: “Are we brave enough to dig deep into our personal heritage as a human being (personal story, gender, culture, education, etc…), and examine ourselves in order to understand what brought us apart? ” It’s all wonderful to say that we are against gender inequality but the truth is, if we really want to change something, it means WE have to change. And that means looking at stuff about OURSELVES that are really not pretty. It’s the 21st century, we live in the science- fiction movies that we used to watch as kids thinking that there was no way that one day we would achieve the same things as the heroes on our screens. Yet we did it, a lot of those impossible things are now reality. No one can convince me that something as natural and beautiful as Love is impossible to achieve when in the meantime we are talking about populating the moon or modifying DNA. It doesn’t make sense. The good news is, if we see that it doesn’t make sense then we can change it. And all the great things human kind has achieved are testimonials of our inner power. I choose to believe this. So I’m asking again, are we willing to go down the rabbit hole together, no matter how deep or challenging, for the benefit of positive change? I know I am.

To Boldly Go….What We Can Learn from Leonard Nimoy

Leading a creative live is fulfilling but there is a small price to pay.  The reality is that everyone around you may not understand all of the creative lives you currently lead or will ever lead.  Actually, I can promise you that this will be the case.

 

“Being known in one area of the arts and wanting to move into another is complicated. In a certain way, you get attention because of who you are, but you also get a certain amount of resistance.”

 

Leonard Nimoy, famously known as Dr. Spock on the original series Star Trek is a perfect example.  Shortly after his death, there were many quotes, articles and commentary that exploded all over the internet and of course on social media.  Many posts with the comments, “I did not know Nimoy was a photographer.”

Nimoy wasn’t just any photographer, but one with great depth adding another dimension to our perception of the human form through his artistic endeavors.  As I saw some of the comments I even recalled out loud to myself,  “Oh yes, that’s right, he was a photographer, I missed his exhibit that was held in Northampton.  What a life!”  Yet images of my childhood filled with remembrances of Dr. Spock easily flooded my brain.  Nimoy commented on the complications of moving from one art form to another and some of the constraints within that, especially from the public who may place you in one role.

Some of us may never be a character such as Dr. Spock or be bold enough to explore various fields of talent like Nimoy did.  However, his existence is encouragement to not only explore and adventure, but to be different creative and artistic selves regardless of the box that many may create for you.  Think about all of the different imaginings that family, friends, partners, lovers, and most around you may envision your creative life different than what you see or live?  Or can you recall a time when you shared information about a favorite hobby or a passion, and someone who thought they “knew” you was surprised and/or continued to only remember you within the narrow space that they carved crafted for you?

Here is my point and what I want all of us to draw from how Leonard Nimoy lived–be audacious and and don’t feel compelled to just be or choose one thing in your professional or creative life.  Cultivate many selves in our life as opposed to forcing the premature death of your other selves (creative, professional or otherwise).

Approach your creative life and passions with a wild adventurous spirit regardless of whether or not others around you will understand it.  And if you decide to place that creative exploratory upon a shelf in the mythical land of someday, just make sure it is not because the life of that passion imposes upon someone else’s vision for you.