Friday, September 30, 2011

Specifics in Art

I appreciate art, in its infinite forms, as the surest way to self-discovery. Hence, I find insights from arts very useful even when they seem very specific in their scope. Here are some more quotes from "The Actor's Art and Craft,'' by William Esper and Damon DiMarco, that signify the importance of dealing with specifics, rather than generalities, in order to understand who we are:

I want you to consider that there are no generalities in nature. Therefore, there can be no generalities in art, because the artist---as Hamlet put it so eloquently---seeks to hold the mirror up to nature.

To be an actor, you must train yourself to think unswervingly in specifics. How else can you seek to illuminate the world around you? But the skill of thinking in specifics is not something ordinary people do in everyday life. Most people walk around spouting generalities. Just think of the so-called conversations we engage in all the time. ...

Some money. A job. A party. Descriptions like these cannot feed the imagination. They cannot transmit how we truly feel about things. Until we acknowledge what's truly going on within ourselves---the specifics of who we are and how we feel---how can we possibly seek to be understood by others? ---pp.91-92, The Actor's Art and Craft   

Truthfulness in Acting and in Life

A quote from "The Actor's Art and Craft," by William Esper and Damon DiMarco on truthfulness in acting and in life:

... you've trained yourself to behave in ways that you  think will be attractive to the people around you. Like many others, you want people to see you as noble, generous, compassionate, and understanding. You prefer to believe that these images reflect your true nature. ... How many of us portray ourselves as vulnerable? Malicious? Vain? Arrogant? How many of us will even admit that we carry these less-than-flattering qualities within us? Precious few. But these qualities, too, are facets of every human being. They are aspects of our humanity, and we must embrace them. ---pp.86-87, The Actor's Art and Craft

Monday, September 26, 2011

White sheet

Songs of night, crickets--cheeeer-cheer, occasional owl--hooo-hooo, a dog in the distance--hofff-hofff, pen moves on a paper------. Everything calms down, what an evening, nothing happened and everything happened.
Slept two hours, to wake up to the wake of the evening. Burning with impatience, to get out, to leave the house, and do something. 
Cigarette, coffee. Coffee, cigarette. Evening closes down, on me, darkness creeps, my mind goes mad. Free fall.
What am I doing? Hiding behind my laptop, outside a coffee shop, in a strip mall, Tocco Hill shopping center!
Writing, yeah, writing. Who is this lunatic? What does he think he is doing? Everyone after his business, busyness, and this guy is writing, what the fuck?!?!
And I did not stop, my hand kept moving, and words came out, poured on white sheets, dancing to their own song. I did not cry, even, could not cry, did not feel anything, except a heaviness. Crushing, annihilating, terminating.
Coffee went cold, cigarettes burnt my throat, I felt dizzy, I kept writing.
Words, more words, what are they? Creatures of our dreams, our nightmares too. They appear out of nowhere, pour on the white sheets, from a place called my mind. Mind, another word. Words, coming out of words. Spinning head, nausea. Throw up! Throw up more words. Meaningless, wild creatures, on a white sheet.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

subconscious-2






Funky, jazzy, cool and energetic :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoY2cfg0QTM&feature=share


Interesting instrumentation, beautiful poem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZKZ3Hvkqvs&feature=share


Shajarian, Ebadi, Shahnaz, WOW!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6mLj_QL9eI

Interesting instrumental piece-guitar:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VAkOhXIsI0

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nobody's perfect :)

A quote from "A Gate at the Stairs,'' by Lorrie Moore:

Edward now decided to close up the file. ``Nobody's perfect. Everyone has a relative or two that's come down with some crud or stuck a fork in someone's eye or dynamited a perfectly good shed.''
This astounded me. ``Absolutely,'' I said.  ---p.113, A Gate at the Stairs

``Well, I should take Tassie home, is what,'' said Edward.
``And leave me here all alone?'' Sarah said in mock terror, still in her goofy hat. ``You must be joking.'' She clutched his sleeve.
``You must be joking,'' said Edward.
``I am, I'm joking,'' said Sarah.
Sort of, I thought. And then she said it herself.
``Sort of.'' She smiled. There was a flash of mutual disgust between them.
Then Edward drove me back to my apartment. ``Thank you for helping us on this very complex mission.''
``You're very welcome,'' I said. What else was there to say?
``We'll see you in a couple of days. I'm sure Sarah will phone very soon.''
``Sounds good,'' I sang out into the dark of the car. Sounds good, that same midwestern girl's slightly frightened reply. It appeared to clinch a deal, and was meant to sound the same as the more solidly Good to go, except it was promiseless----mere affirmative description. It got you away, out the door. Once again. ---pp.121-122, A Gate at the Stairs

Subconscious

Here is my subconscious. What do you see?



Friday, September 23, 2011

Nod

As you embark on a path of heart, world sometimes looks at you and nods in approval. Don't discount the nod, acknowledge it, appreciate it, and be grateful, so that you receive more of it in future.
Today, on my way back home I received a nod. Listening to the "Performance Today", I found out about a new section in the program called, "art of practice". A good sign for me and my new journey on writing a book about "life practices". Practices to deepen and enrich our lives.
Link - Performance Today: http://performancetoday.publicradio.org/
Link - Life Practices: http://donotsaybenotdo.blogspot.com/

PS. Here is a short piece on marketplace (NPR) regarding employing career coaches---an article appeared in the New Yorker originally.
Link-NPR: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/09/29/pm-the-benefits-of-having-a-career-coach/
Link-New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all

PS 2. This piece is about CEO's and poetry. This is very encouraging for me :)
Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/21/business/21libraries.html

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Secondhand Smoke

A quote from ``A Gate at the Stairs'' by Lorrie Moore.

As soon as I saw them in the lobby, I realized my mistake. They were looking at their watches, holding hands, then looking at their watches again. Their glance up at me was quick, perfunctory, and when I got into the car and sat in the back like their sullen teenage daughter I could see that this was not an outing I should be on. Edward started to light up a cigarette, and Sarah swatted it away.
``Afraid of secondhand smoke? There's conflicting science on that,'' he said.
Sarah gave him a look but said nothing. From my awkward place in the backseat I remembered a headline from the student paper. ``You know what they say about secondhand smoke,'' I said. I was a girl still finding her jokey party voice and borrowing from others'.
``What?'' said Sarah.
``Leads to secondhand coolness.''
Edward turned in his seat to look at me. I had pleased him with this stupidity, and he was getting a better look at me to see who I was today.
``Did you have a good breakfast?'' he said.
``I did,'' I lied.
``Sometimes that's all it takes,'' he said, turning back around, and I studied his hair-cape some more, its weird, warm flip. ---p.100, A Gate at the Stairs

Monday, September 12, 2011

30-day Experiments

I finished my second 30-day experiment yesterday, September 11, 2011. For a month, the first thing I did in the morning was "writing", for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour. I specifically worked on a project that I call "Life Practices". Most of the writings on this subject are also posted here:
Very interesting experiment, I am glad I started it.
Somewhere along the road I decided to start writing in Farsi/Persian language as well. This was even more amazing experience. I have put those writings here:
I am learning so much about myself, gradually and patiently, by doing these simple writing practices. I highly recommend doing them to everyone:
 
PS. My first 30-day experiment was taking pictures in the neighborhood, first thing in the morning. That was a great experiment of looking at the same scene over and over and observing new things. From more than 400 pictures I took I selected 50 that are posted here:  

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tattoos

I do not have any tattoos. When I was a teenager, in the 80's, back in Iran tattoos were something else, ugly perhaps. They were not art forms, something to show around, they were bad dreams. You would not wear tattoos, they were nightmares who would carry you around.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Revelations: Compliments, touches of souls

Compliments are touches of souls.

I was reading ``Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer within,'' by Natalie Goldberg and I cam across the following:

We want honest support and encouragement. When we receive it, we don't believe it, but we are quick to accept criticism to reinforce our deepest beliefs that, in truth, we are not good and not really writers. ...
Stop! Really stop when someone is complimenting you. Even if it's painful and you are not used to it, just keep breathing, listen and let yourself take it in. Feel how good it is. Build up a tolerance for positive honest support.''  ---p. 73, Writing Down the Bones

I realized that the book is describing my problem with accepting compliments and honest support, specially more so from people closer to me. I was at the Atlanta Coffee Roasters, and a few baristas were there. So, I asked Juno and Cameron: What do you do when you receive compliments? The discussions moved across different topics, from complimenting to attention to touch and I suddenly realized that complimenting someone closely resembles touching his/her soul. And the reactions are also interestingly related.

This can lead to better understanding of why I am so sensitive to compliments of people very close to me. Maybe because they touch me very intimately and I feel naked to their touch and cannot tolerate it?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Control

Lose control while writing, just like the bike rider who lift his hands off the steering wheel and let go of control. That is how pure writing can be, that is how exciting and fulfilling life can be:


http://negarkhanedel.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post_8296.html

یک چیزی ‌ست که باید بگیرد، به نوشتنت، و آن موقع است که لذت می‌بری، از توصیف ظرایف، مثل زرگری که غرق میشود در نقش دادن طلای اش. چون که جریان طبیعی است و میدانی که قضایا چگونه شکل خواهند گرفت بدون آنکه نقشه بریزی برایشان، حس میکنی‌ تعادل در حال حرکت را، مثل دوچرخه سوار‌ی که رها می‌کند فرمان را، انگار که بدنش شده یکی‌ با چرخش و دیگر چه نیازی دارد به هدایت با دستانش. رها می‌کند فرمان را و رها می‌کند فرمان دهی‌ را. همین طور میتواند باشد نوشتن که سهل ‌ترین و ممتنع ‌ترین فعالیت‌های بشر است، نون و القلم و ما یسطرون شاید. و همین طور شاید، باید، بتواند باشد زندگی‌، همسان دوچرخه سوار‌ی که رها کرده است فرمان را. و تصور کن تو، اضطراب را و هیجان را، و آن حس یکی‌ شدن. عجب حسی است آن،  آنچه زندگی‌ میتواند باشد!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Jumping Moments

Don't jump over moments, parts of your soul stay with them, and before you realize, you have a hole in your soul that makes everything impossible, specially loving and being loved, and you don't know why ...
http://negarkhanedel.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post_2130.html
نمی‌شود از روی لحظات زندگی‌ پرید، خطرناک است، بیش از آنچه فکرش را می‌کنید. روحتان به این ور و آن ور گیر می‌کند، وقت پریدن، و ذره ذره جدا میشود با جوهرهٔ زنده گی تان. بعد احساس می‌کنید خالی‌ هستید، به جائی‌ بند نیستید ، نگرانید و غمناک بابت هیچ. دور و برتان را نگاه می‌کنید، چیزی نمی‌بینید، چیزی که اذیّت تان کند نمی‌‌بینید. عزیزانتان هستند دور و بر، و ... چیزی نیست یا آن نیستی‌ است، که هر کلام و حرکت افراد را غیر قبل تحمل می‌کند، از جانب هر کس، حتا عزیزانتان، یعنی‌ به خصوص عزیزانتان. چون آن جائی‌ از روحتان که باید با آنها همراه شود، آن جوهرهٔ حیاتی که نیاز دارید برای معاشقه با روح آدم ها، آن نیست، و آن جائی‌ که عشق آنها باید وصل شود در روحتان، آن مانده است جائی‌ در بیخ یکی‌ از همان لحظه ها، که خیلی‌ عجله داشتید بگذرد. حالا دیدید چه میشود؟
 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Experimental Confessions in Farsi

این دقیقا همان چیزی است که من آرزو دارم، که حالا به تعبیر خودتان هر چه اسمش را می‌خواهید بگذارید. یا مثلا من پذیرنده شوم و باز، و ناخود آگاهم سکان به دست بگیرد. یا اینکه واقعا چیز دیگری باشد و هستی‌ برتری که به نوعی سر رشته در دستش باشد. و البته میدانم که این‌ها هر دو یک چیز است و وا دادن است، و کلیشه افسار به دست دیگری دادن، الی‌ الاخر. ولی‌ خوب است که زیادی هم فکر نکنی‌ چون بالاخره آنها هم که خیلی‌ فکر کردند زیر خاک پوسید اند، هفت کفن. و حالا که سر منزل مقصود یکی‌ است میماند مسیر، که کجاها را ببینیم و چه جور مناظری، و اگر میخواهیم دشت ببینیم، یا دریا، یا صخره. و اگر بخواهیم دقیق راجب منازل بین راه مته به خشخاش بگذریم که سخت میشود، یا اصلا نمی‌شود. یعنی‌ شاید برای بعضی‌‌ها هم بشود که همه اینها را برنامه بریزند ولی‌ آیا واقعا این کنترل مسیر زندگی‌ واقعیت است یا توهم. البته شما حق دارید بگوید که بنده خدا اول خوب بود و استعدادی داشت و شاگرد دوم کنکور، ولی‌ خیلی‌ راه عوض کرد و موفق نشد، سرش خیلی‌ خورد به سنگ تا بالاخره کس خل شد و رفت. و ما هم البته شاید جان به جان آفرین بدهیم در همین وادی‌های کس خلی خودمان.

Body Intelligence

As Lucy reflected on her outrageous behavior of the night before, the memory only served to draw her upward, like a flower toward the sun...