Archive | March, 2012

Whattaguy.

27 Mar

I love surprises. I love it when yet again there is proof, both visible and audible, of the wisdom in this truth: We must go beyond the surface and seek the beauty that is within. And I love it when that truth is proven in such an unexpectedly stunning way.

Hang on a sec, if you’ll just indulge me just a wee bit, I feel the need to gush some more: I especially love it when the underdog rises above a hurtful past and manages to come out so wonderful, not despite but perhaps even because.  I love it that someone who has every reason to be proud of himself chooses instead to remain refreshingly humble. I love that in the moment of victory he remains magnanimous, and doesn’t forget the friend who has journeyed along with him.

Such deep lessons from a seemingly simple video.

And whattaguy, seriously.

Check it out:

 

PS. Clicking above will lead you directly to the video on Youtube since the video doesn’t permit embedding in blogs. Sorry about that. But it’s worth watching, I promise you. 🙂

Yes, Yep and Yeah!

25 Mar

Wouldn’t it be great if every day every single thing went exactly the way we wished it to, with bright sunshine and happy flowers and smiles on the faces of everyone we happen to pass by on our way? If there were no more fighting, no more wars, no more killing and no more suffering? (And while we’re at it, no more traffic too? heehee).

But then life’s not always like that. Not every day is perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t just rain, it pours. Sometimes no matter how we try our best to control the variables, things don’t go exactly the way we planned. Sometimes even the best intentions fail.

But you know what? It’s okay. It’s fine. That’s life, after all. This is Planet Earth, not Heaven, and struggles and obstacles and setbacks are part of what gives us the strength, the will, even the ammunition to get to that final destination. That is, as long as we hold on to that great don’t-leave-home-without-it essential, Hope.

Yup, that wonderful thing that keeps us going even when the going gets tough. That thing that pushes us back on our feet after we’ve slipped and fallen the 53rd time. That thing that puts a smile on our face, determination in our heart, and a spring in our step.

Methinks it’s really all in the attitude, and if there’s one thing that life has taught me, it’s that the attitude that wins is one that overflows with optimism even in the face of defeat. Kind of like being able to  peer beyond the lightning and thunder and know that there’s a rainbow that lies behind. Kind of like choosing to laugh instead of weep. Kind of like electing to say Yes, yep and yeah instead of No, no way, never again, ever.

Because it is a choice, isn’t it?

As always and in all things, we have a choice. We can throw our hands up in despair, moan groan and wail, gnash our teeth and bang our heads on the table. Or we can smile, dust off the backseat of our pants, and start walking again along the path, grateful for whatever lessons that baptism of fire might have handed us.

I ‘m guessing we all know which choice leads to the path of happiness. 😉

Which brings me to my interpretation of THROUGH, which is the latest WordPress Photo of the Week challenge theme:

(And speaking of the best viewpoints through which to view life, I’m pretty certain there’s a silent—if coincidental—message written between the lines in the image above. After all, that “peephole” in the image above happens to be the back of a chair found in the Happiest Place on Earth 😉 ).

Positivity. It’s a great attitude to have, isn’t it?

Suede agrees:

And so, as the Irish blessing goes:

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

And may the birds sing for you today, too, my dear darling friends!

What Albert Einstein Was

23 Mar

… aside from being a genius—and perhaps this even served as the stimulus for his being one—was incredibly curious. He said so himself:

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
~ Albert Einstein

I grew up hearing the old adage, Curiosity killed the cat. But I think now that this might hold true only for things that (cough, cough) one perhaps has no business being curious about. But curiosity, in and of itself, is I believe a wonderful thing. For doesn’t every amazing quest for knowledge begin with a questioning mind?

A big part of curiosity is wanting to see beyond the surface, searching for the unusual in the commonplace, seeking the extraordinary in the ordinary. (And funnily, at the end of that road is often the discovery of miracles that, far from being rare and few and far between, are actually unfolding every day right under our noses, if we but choose to really see).

All of which brings us to my contribution to this week’s WordPress Photo of the Week challenge, with the theme Unusual:

{ Click on the image for a larger view}

Edward Weston said, Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.

I love that. I have always been a firm believer in searching for the special qualities that lie underneath what we otherwise take for granted as ordinary and mundane.

What does the image above look like to you? To me, it looked like some alien creature’s double-tongue helping itself to a taste of tree sap. What it actually is: sliced strawberries surrounded by crystallized and caramelized sugar. Unusual-looking but really just your usual everyday stuff that goes by the name dessert. Ordinary yet extraordinary. (Awesome tasting, too! :D)

So to my dear extra-special friends, here’s to an incredibly extraordinary day filled with curiosity that brings happy surprises to your doorstep!

Of Dark and Light

13 Mar

I have always thought that there is beauty in difference. In contrast. In a juxtaposition of opposites. Chiaroscuro. Light-Dark. Laughter and tears. Somehow the knowledge and comprehension of one seems incomplete without the other.

Take, for instance, the most magical tapestry that hangs on the walls of castles: would our eyes have the chance to behold such stunning beauty without the crisscrossing of threads at the back?

But the key behind the beauty of opposites, I think, is not simply that both exist but that they do so in a peaceful manner, in a way that brings out the intrinsic and individual qualities of each. Kinda like Venus and Mars, no? 🙂

And this is why I particularly enjoyed this week’s theme for the WordPress Photo of the Week: Contrast.

Here’s my take on it:

{Click on the image for a larger view}

And this is where I have to admit that I couldn’t look at this photo without feeling the urge to hum along with Howie Day’s Collide:

Hope you have a wonderful week filled with bright days and magical nights, my sweet friends!

Beauty and Distortion

5 Mar

Quick! When you hear the word “distorted,” what’s the first thing you think of?

Something twisted? Something misshapen? Something that looks like itself but with a quality that makes you a bit uneasy, precisely because it’s not supposed to be there, because it kind of breaks the flow of what would otherwise seem perfect?

The dictionary defines distortion in many different ways: to force or put out of the true posture or direction; to twist out of natural or regular shape; a crookedness. Some distortion can be jarring and uncomfortable, even disturbing (I’m thinking, specifically, of truths that are distorted, for instance—when reality or facts are twisted in order to suit one’s motives). But there are also distortions that can be natural (like that which is the result of refraction of light, as when a perfectly straight straw in a glass seems bent out of shape). And then there are “distortions” that can actually be beautiful, such as the fluidity and flexibility of the bodies of the acrobats in Cirque du Soleil.

Case in point: (Okay, so this is not an acrobat, but I swear I actually saw an amazing acrobat in this exact position when we watched Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai last year):

{ Click on the image to view it at full size }

Beautiful, no? (Thank you, Ms. Cat of my dear friend Jes, for that amazing pose).

Speaking of beauty, I do agree with Charles Beaudelaire, a French poet, who said:

That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity—that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment—are an essential part and characteristic of beauty.

And here’s Mandisa, who has a great song about what true beauty is all about:

I hope your day is filled with true beauty, dear friends!

The Countdown Begins!

3 Mar

2 more hours!

Just two more hours—and the minutes are ticking by—before I host (for the very first time) the Speed Scrap at JessicaSprague.com! This is part of the four-day party we’re having to celebrate my being in the Designer Spotlight this weekend. It’s wild (with a 40% off discount on everything in my shop), it’s wonderful, and it’s guaranteed to make you go WOW! 

So join me, please, in two hours? It would be awesome if you would! (Plus a little birdy told me there will be a little sumpin-sumpin for those who do ;)).

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