Kintsugi and the Self

I think there are some places that you simply pass through and other places that stay with you, no matter where you go.

Over the last week I have been visiting my old university town. It has been a weird experience, coming back after almost a year and a half of being away. When I stepped off the bus, it felt like such an out of body experience. I could not believe I was here, in this place that I never knew if I would come back to or not. But it also felt like I had never left at all.

So it is weird now, to know that I am leaving tomorrow morning, and knowing that this time, this might actually be goodbye (at least for more than a year and a half). It’s just…. Odd. In this tiny place, in the middle of nowhere in Wales, the essence of who I am changed.

There is a Japanese art form called ’kintsugi’, where the medium used is broken pottery. Instead of throwing out a broken bowl or mug (or whatever it may be) and seeing it as something that can no longer be used, the cracks are mended and the pieces put back together with a lacquer, which is then dusted with gold, silver or platinum, making the former cracks really stand out. Instead of an object being useless after breaking, this practice is about how the item is even more beautiful after it has been broken, because it now has a history, a sign of a life lived, an originality to it that it did not have in its initial form, a beautiful imperfection.

I was out for a walk this evening and for some reason, this art form popped into my head. That is when I realised: This place shattered me. Everyone who knows me well, knows that I went through some really rough times here. But because of this, I made friends that are more like family to me, and they were the ones who helped me pick up the pieces of myself. Them, and this place, became part of the lacquer that helped put me back together.

The fractures are there. They will not go away, nor do I want them to. They shattered and were mended and both of those things are now me, this place always connected to important events that make up my being, and the people who helped me are part of my essence. It is the beautiful and painful nature of this transformation. And I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Still, I will miss this crazy little place. But I am so grateful that I got to experience it, and that i was shattered in a place this wonderful, in order to become a much more imperfect, but also much more interesting creation.

-Maja

 

If you’re curious about kintsugi, this is a really good and comprehensive video on it. I am by no means an expert on the art form.

I listened to this and this while writing this blogpost.

Being an Artist in a Nonsensical World

There are pros and cons to living in a world that seemingly is delving further and further into utter chaos. Cons? Chaos. Anxiety. Fear. Oppression. Violence. Death.  Pros? The need to DO something, grows.

Over the last week I have filled a third of my current sketchbook. And it’s not a small sketchbook. It’s a pretty decent thickness (not to be confused with thicc) but still, I’ve done about one third of it. And today, when the chaos had crawled into my mind, the only thing I wanted to do (after about 3 hours of being completely lost in my own head) was to paint.

And I think that’s pretty cool. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hate the chaos. I hate all the bad shit that is happening everywhere (Seriously people, just be considerate of each other. Is that so hard?)

But the more chaos I am met with, the more art I produce, and I know I’m not alone in this. A lot of people use creativity to deal with reality, to escape from it, or to try to make a difference through your expressions, to help people and show how fucked up some things are. And when the chaos is great, so is the inspiration to do. To act.

So while the negative shit right now is overwhelming and horrid, it is at least, inspiring positive action in some way, artistic or not.

I’m gonna get back to painting.

Keep each other safe y’all.

 

 

Currently listening to this as I write and proceed to paint. 

The Writing Blog

I thought I would just shamelessly plug myself a little bit here and remind you all that I have a blog entirely dedicated to writing (and I’m actually active on it now!)

So if you are at all interested in that, feel free to check it out here.

How are you all anyway? I’m good. Busy working all the time, but I will be going to Denmark soon! Ayoooo.

I have lots of posts planned for this blog, as well as the other one, so stay tuned!

– Maja

 

Fear and Loathing in the United Kingdom

You may think from the title of this blog post, that this is going to be about a wild trip in the UK, with drugs and alcohol and hallucinations… Unfortunately (or well, fortunately, cause I wouldn’t want that either?) it is not about that. At all.

This post is about my fear of doing things.

First let me start by telling you that I am an avid planner. I love planning stuff. I love making lists and notes and carrying notebooks with me at all times. I have pages and pages with notes on blog posts I want to do, things I want to achieve.

I had this blog post idea about two months ago. And here comes my problem: I plan but I don’t do. And for a while I’ve been wondering what the heck is holding me back. Updating my blog doesn’t take THAT long and I actually want to do it, so why am I procrastinating and finding excuses not to do it?

Well. You see: If I don’t do something, then I cant be disappointed with how it came out. If I don’t write a blog post, I can’t be disappointed in how lacking in coherent thought it seems or how it didn’t measure up to my expectations of it. But with that thought process comes two problems:

  1. I am being controlled by my fear
  2. I will never actually do anything

And I freaking hate that. I loathe it. I want to do things, I want to write blog posts and novels and poems and do all of those other things that my fear is keeping me from doing.

So. I’m gonna try my damn hardest to do things that I wan’t to do.

That’s all I wanted to say really. Hope you’re all well out there.

I wrote this blog post while listening to this
https://play.spotify.com/track/0FrCX7P2C2hcRTcuhjEvK4

Winchester

On Valentines day my friend, her parents, and I went to Winchester! Super cute city, never been there before and I really enjoyed the old buildings and how it felt more like a village than a town or city, despite its size. Also.. It had quite a few good places like a really cool locally owned vegetarian cafe (called “Rawberry”) and a nice bookshop, but just overall, there was a really nice feel to the place – even with the weather being quite dreary and grey. So – Yes, would definitely recommend it if you are at all into: shopping, history, buildings, cathedrals, cute local cafes, cities in the UK… you get my drift.

So… Pictures.

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Winchester Guildhall
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Hello King Alfred.
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Entrance to Winchester Cathedral. 

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Some of the high street!

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We found an awesome bookshop – seriously, if you are at all into old books (or books in general) go there. Does have quite a lot of stairs though but…books!
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Inside the bookshop. Just one of the 3 (!!) stories

I have plans to use this blog more. I will. I will.

Stay safe y’all.

Also, all pictures in this post belong to me.

2016 Is Almost Over – Rambling

It is the 31st of December 2016 and that means that this year is beginning to come to a close.

I don’t know how to describe this year. On a personal level, many great things happened:
I graduated from University. I got to go new places with people that I care about. I got to spend time with family and friends, try new things as well as create.

But it’s also the year where I have been the most involved with politics. It’s the year where I have cried the most over things happening in the world and felt an intense sense of anger and hopelessness. So many horrible things happened this year which touched me deeply and I found myself becoming more cynical and afraid to hope for better times- I mean, it’s hard to hope when you see all this anger, hatred and fear that exists in society.
I’ve mourned so many people I never knew personally and I doubt I will ever be able to watch the music video to Sia’s “The Greatest” without crying.

Still, this year has given us moments where people really came together. My friend, her father, and I, went to a vigil held for the Pulse Nightclub Shootings and I was so happy to see many people there. I saw (via the internet) the vigil held in London and I was so touched. The fight for noDAPL was inspiring (though frustrating, as most fights for things are!), and everyone I have seen on Twitter, Tumblr, and in real life who continue to fight for the good in the world, give me a glimmer of hope.

I just hope that in 2017, there will be a little less cruelty and violence and less reason to live in fear. It’s unlikely, but..Yeah.

Be kind to one another out there and don’t stop fighting to protect everything that’s good. I know I wont.

PS. Don’t forget to stay safe tonight and keep your pets indoors! Fireworks are scary and dangerous and you know… Be safe.

PSS.
The aforementioned video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKSRyLdjsPA&ab_channel=SiaVEVO

 

Taking a Day off 

A few weekends ago, I decided to take a break. It was the weekend after the American election and boy did I need to be disconnected from the stream of bad news coming from all sides. So, on the Saturday after, I decided to avoid going on any social media completely: No Facebook, no Twitter, no Tumblr, no Instagram allowed. The most connection I had with the outside world was the few random YouTube videos I watched and when I played World of Warcraft… And honestly? It was hard. It was pretty freaking difficult. All day I struggled with the temptation of going on some social media , just to check.. I just wanted to see what was happening, if the world was still there when I didn’t constantly check on it. With a lot of difficulty I somehow managed to stop myself from giving in to those desires though. And on the evening of that offline day, when I crawled to bed, I felt calmer and less anxious than I have in a long time.

It is a weird feeling to realise that you are actually addicted and highly dependant on something as strange as social media.

It was odd. Incredibly odd. I found myself feeling a lot better after the day offline though and there was so much I managed to actually get done… Instead of spending four hours reading the horrible news of the US election, I got around to doing things I had been putting off for weeks.

So, I think I’m gonna go this more often. Maybe once or twice a month I am going to take a day like this:

“Off the grid”