*snuggling in with*winter*

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer” Albert Camus

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We are influenced by nature- our environments, weather, seasons, etc. They all carry their own energies, symbols, comforts or discomforts- all of which effect our own energies, our emotions, perceptions and in turn, our behaviors. When I was young and would take Myspace surveys, I remember always struggling with the “Favorite Season” question. I thought for sure it was summer. It’s sunny and warm, I have no school, I got to explore a lot more.. but I would always stop myself torn, as every season holds such intimate personality and beauty/fun/mystery of its own.

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Now that I am a bit older and happen to be in a very introspective, reflective, committed-to-personal-growth era of my life, winter has become a special friend for me. Its resonance feels to parallel my own and leaves me feeling so free, supported, motivated, with confidence and manageable stress. Winter and I can also feel isolated and lonely but I feel a deep “okay” with that; aware that just as life’s cycles continue like spring returning each year- so too will new life bloom in my world, in its own time.

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Winter is now here in full swing. The neighborhoods have been blanketed in ice from sunrise to sunset for about a week now and many areas have received snow. The temperature last night was 28 degrees (-2 degrees Celsius for readers in other countries) and now at 2:30pm the next day only 33 (1 degrees Celsius). I really hate being cold, REALLY, so it is a bit surprising for me to be so in Love with winter, but it’s just so cozy and reflective.

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Winter is beautiful for it’s scenery

But most of all for me,

Winter is beautiful for being a nurturing catalyst to growth.

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In such a busy, commercial American city it can be difficult to find true peace and quiet. With winter in the city I observe a slower pace, a greater awareness of appreciation, holiday good cheer and deeds, more quality time with loved ones, more quality time with ones self, cultivating creativity and more opportunities to “just be” alive, cozy, live simpler. It’s refreshing.

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“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” -Andrew Wyeth

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“In a way Winter is the real Spring- the time when 
the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.” -

Edna O’Brien

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:Kymatica:

I watched a documentary today called, Kymatica. It touches on many topics in humanity and Consciousness Studies but also how it all fits within society, government, history, and our future as a species. This was the focus of my undergraduate studies as well as the priority of interest for my personal life since. When I come across new (to me) material that explains such complexities so cleanly I get really excited, connected and inspired to share with others who may be interested as well.

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In this age of free information, I believe it’s our responsibility to learn about humans and society, who we are, how we function and what we are involved in… no matter how hard, complex, self-damning or who tries to discredit or discourage otherwise. To further understand oneself is to me, one of the most important aspects of being alive. To become aware of and break harmful habits, transform the ego, grasp control of ones’ own power, truly grow to understand and therefore empathize with the human experience as a whole; with ourselves and with one other: family, friends, strangers, foreigners, politicians, even enemies…  TO EVOLVE. I also think behind all of this, it’s important to be aware of our rights as humans and citizens and the facts of history and government which influence or control most of our every day behaviors. This movie does a remarkable job breaking down incredibly complex subjects and showing the sticky inner web of humanity. Full length version is below…

 

. *{ rain }* .

This post begins with an apology; my attention has been distracted by a few temporary projects and I’ve neglected posting for a few weeks. So I’m sorry, but I’m back! Summer has now turned to fall and the heavy clouds and slower pace have nudged me into my own season of long-procrastinated projects, creativity and cleaning. In Seattle, our summer started pretty late and appropriately stuck around longer than usual. Surprisingly, I found myself looking forward to the promised rains in this part of the country and I felt an unexpected peace when they finally arrived.

Rain has been the backdrop for the majority of my life. I walked to school in it, played sports in it, had recess in it, went camping in it, rode my bike in it, basically just grew up in it. Possibly because of this, I didn’t have as much wonder about rain as I did with many other natural phenomena. I just recently recognized this as I became more aware of a growing, unfamiliar affinity and raw appreciation for something I’ve been around my whole life.

I look forward to storms and rain showers, they feel almost like a form of emotional and physical cleansing. I love the power of rain’s dynamic states, how it can be oh so gentle or incredibly forceful, spiritual or physical, nurturing or a burden, metaphorical or scientific, life giving or life taking. More recently for me, a humbling experience; a reminder of my respect and reliance on nature and the systems of our Earth and Universe. I am grateful and excited by this unfolding relationship.



B a r a k a

“Baraka”

A blessing in the form of spiritual wisdom or divine presence. Also a spiritual power believed to be possessed by certain persons, objects, tombs. Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, Urdu, Persian, Turkish… (wiki)

Baraka is a beautifully powerful film by Ron Fricke, the same man who made “Chronos” that I posted about earlier. They are similar in that they are both non-narrative, time-lapsed films exploring ideas of nature and human existence, but Baraka is much more… intense. It is impressive, poignant, thought provoking and honest.

Baraka was made in 1992 and uses amazing cinematography focusing on the phenomena and interactions of nature and different human civilizations. It was shot in 25 countries and remastered in 2008, taking 16 months and considered by many to be one of the best quality DVDs to have ever been made. “The finest video disc I have ever viewed or ever imagined.” Roger Ebert.

One of my favorite sequences is from the Mausoleum of Shah-e-Cheragh in Shiraz, Iran. I was stunned by the visual beauty and effort of this space.

While having gorgeous scenes that brought tears to my eyes, there are also some that were a bit difficult to watch. There’s nothing “disturbing”, but some scenes involve activities of the modern human world that are meant to be a bit uncomfortable. This film is meant to make you FEEL and THINK in possible new perspectives and broader world views.

Just like Chronos, I recommend watching Baraka in best HD quality.. and loud. I added a trailer for it below from YouTube. There are full versions on YouTube cut into parts or on other online sources. You can also find, rent, netflix, or buy the remastered HD version which really is a huge difference. Enjoy!

***All photos taken from Spirit of Baraka***

. .Chronos. .

The film “Chronos” was made before I was born however, considering its quality and eternal subject matter, that would be hard to guess. I was first introduced to this by a friend while in Europe last year and I was immediately in love. It is a visually striking, beautiful project exploring “time”.Chronos was made in 1985 by Ron Fricke using customized time-lapsed cameras, set to a soundtrack by Michael Stearns. The title is taken from an ancient Greek word χρόνος or “khronos” which translates to “time”. They traveled to five continents shooting some truly amazing places from nature, past art and architecture, to aspects of modern life.You might recognize a similar shooting style in the well-known “Koyaanisqatsi” film where Ron Fricke was the cinematographer. He also made the films, “Baraka” and “Sacred Site” (I’ll post about Baraka at a later date but I have yet to watch Sacred Site). For me, his films seem to have three things in common: provoking thought, striking imagery, and a powerful experience.

This is a YouTube version of the full movie. Like most visual experiences, I recommend watching this at best quality and loud <3 Seriously, some of these sequences rock my effing face off. So, enjoy : ) …