I’ve been so lazy and unmotivated to post on Instagram, overwhelmed by the infinite photos of others and even of those in my own phone. However, while running into some emotional battles with 5-year-old Geo as we adjust to our new family dynamic with Baby Delphi (he totally loves her but is dealing with the fact that he’s no longer the center of our attention), I went into my feed and scrolled all the way to the bottom, back when my little Geo was a baby.
In tears I looked through all the photos and videos and read my captions. There was so much positivity and soulfulness in them. Why have I lost the motivation to literally take five minutes to write a few sentences and share a memorable photo? Have five years of my adult life in my thirties made me jaded? I used to even include hashtags, but stopped when I began reading about child trafficking... that’s when it started to change.
Not like I was oblivious to the darkness in the world before, but the things I’ve discovered about the exploitation and abuse of children shattered what faith I had in humanity’s inherent goodness; more so than the atrocities of war or poverty, of which I was painfully aware since my own childhood.
Despite my reluctance to include the vulnerable and private colors of my life on the internet canvas, if I hadn’t posted all those photos of Geo as a baby and toddler, I wouldn’t have those accessible snippets of memories now - comforting me in a moment of panic because my once-tiny-baby is now a grown boy with big feelings... still just as much in need of affection, security, reassurance, playtime, being seen and heard, positively disciplined (when I don't succumb to the urge to yell), cuddled, held, etc. Sure the photos are in my digital backup files and some I’ve printed, gifted, framed, etc, and I did make a photo book of Geo’s first year that we’ll always treasure - but the Instagram feed that those words and images comprise is something I treasure as well.
Let’s see if this instinct sticks and I start posting more often. It’s so great to interact with friends too, and keeping my account private helps my paranoia about internet predators.
Our children are so precious and divine. Of course we want to share their milestones and magical everyday moments. There’s so much of the past few years with Geo that I haven’t shared, and while it’s not about sharing it to prove it happened, it is about documenting a unique and special journey, and inviting people I care about to witness it.
A new positivity and soulfulness needs to rise within me, it cannot be reclaimed from the past. I’ll start with gratitude for two healthy pregnancies and births of my children, a wonderful man who loves us, our families who support us, and the gorgeous and relatively safe location where we live. Uncountable blessings despite various struggles. Perspective. Empathy. And visualizing a safer and healthier world for us all to share...
Give my often-ignored but perhaps making-a-comback Instagram a follow: https://www.instagram.com/nikagram/
My Usual Conundrum
When it comes to thinking about our world (almost all day every day for me), why am I so dumbfounded by my own emotion that I can only think of paragraphs to post on facebook? I seem to only go as far as composing a superficial woe-begotten mini-rant, asking rhetorical questions and rehashing sentimental platitudes. Perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on myself with this observation. Paragraphs are better than nothing. Or are they just babble? Emotional purging for the sake of not much else.
So many of us think and speak and write of how we fear the world in which we're raising our children. Fear it and question it and pray for it and... dread it. It's like we just dread the future, how much more horrific it can get, the way it seems to be going.
Many of us pray and write hopeful things. And take hopeful actions. And get things done and change the world and save lives and create inventions and discoveries. I do have faith in us.
But... but but but. Something's missing. Something's terribly wrong. I know it is, because I used to think I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders needlessly - and now I think I do it with no other choice.
I suppose that's because I'm a mother now, and I feel like I just can't let myself off the hook. I feel as if a buried speck of knowledge and ability lies somewhere within me that I am not allowing to surface. If I don't light the way into that abyss with my own feelings and emotion, how will I ever unearth it?
My old philosophy of living my joy is exactly that - it's old. I don't feel pure joy anymore in this world except when I'm with my son... And that isn't fair to him. I must not use him as my therapeutic solace. I wish to build a world for him where real joy is possible - not at the expense of barbaric wars and wasted resources. No, I can't live with all this blood on my hands. That of innocent people lost in the name of a fictitious cause... "fighting terror" and all this bullshit. The fight is the terror. The FIGHT.
We stick play swords in our kids' hands and let them pretend to stab each other. We buy them plastic guns and let them shoot each other as they run through the park, shouting "I'm gonna kill you!"
I know this observation isn't a new one, and it goes right along with my usual status-paragraph complaints. I just want to reaffirm it to myself - to challenge myself to raise my son with perspective, with awareness. To speak to him realistically about the effects of violence. To not instill in him that it is something in our nature. It may have been so in the past, as a means of survival; but it need not be so now.
Unfortunately my ideal doesn't sit with the real "now." Sure there are statistics for how less violent and poverty-stricken the world is now than in the past. But that doesn't mean it ISN'T violent and poverty-stricken. And I think it's a shame that it is, considering all of our evolutionary advancements. It's a shame that huge wars are waged for the sake of questionable motives. It's a shame that there are stories and explanations and wool over everyone's eyes. It's a shame that we aren't able to solve our problems. Put as simply as I can - I think it's a damn shame.
So I am challenging myself to think differently. Think of what hasn't occurred to me yet. Think of what I've been missing.
There isn't really a simple answer. Or is there? Is it just staring me in the face, a quantum degree away? What is real power? Do we possess it? How can we harness it? How can it have any effect? Here are my rhetorical questions again. Well, Yanika. Start thinking.
They say that overthinking is useless and even dangerous... I've definitely over-thought before to the point of feeling stagnated, or to taking unnecessary action...
But to think differently isn't to think too much. It's literally that - different. It's different. What does that mean? I think it is both forgiving and holding evil accountable at the same time. It's acknowledging what's wrong, not bypassing it with explanations and theories. It's.... Oh I don't know. It's beyond words. It's a simple prayer, it's a rhythmic heartbeat. It's a dying star inside a supermassive black hole inside a supernova birthing a new star. It's truth. And indeed it's out there somewhere. All the way out there, right in here. *points to brain*
I hope I can get nearer to it. Create it if I must.
Inside the Everything
bubbles of sadness burst themselves all around my body and being -
i kneel, i flee the room, i let tears have their way.
of a saddened day remembered
so long ago,
so often now
shades of a person, memory of their soul,
you want to touch it, press it,
but it lies so buried in dimensions’ softness.
constricted softness holding eternity,
the whispers and imprints of
what was, what is.
what hasn’t been -
its dull and studded wall not yet clambered over,
a blurred imagining
in our ever-present minds.
they say we need more presence, or to “be present”
i said it myself just two days ago, if I could just be present
to the beauty of the present
enjoy it as much as my heart deems it wants.
but why the “if” -
if that’s my solution…
to how i wish to be in a state of happiness,
how i am seeking ways of thinking
to make it so.
if I just think in the PRESENT, and positively at that…
THEN, i can enjoy the NOW and
will be just as good.
For it will be its own present, of its own.
i’m just not sure that
that’s the way of thinking
i wish to choose and employ.
i sit in the dark at my desk, having forgotten to close the window from the evening chill,
i sit and realize i’m freezing, and thirsty,
and a candle burns upon the dresser/altar
joined by the light of the laptop screen,
and the sound machine loops its static heartbeat womb noises from the baby’s room down the hall…
and i am unsure.
need to take a breath.
again i ask my soul, my anything, my world and existence.
how can I see into those soft warm folds of everythingness?
can i reach in and just hug my grandparents, or, be hugged by them?
that’s all I wonder for now, as i cry a prayer of wishing my family safe,
after breaking into tears
standing in the kitchen after putting the baby to bed,
ready to make dinner but first, bang! -
- a thousands sadness bubbles burst around my body and being…
In tears I leave the kitchen to kneel on the yoga mat left from some earlier lazy stretching.
its blue color, along with the welcoming hardness of the wood floor, embrace my prostration
but I can only last a minute before retreating to the bedroom and letting my body fall as if in slow motion onto the bed.
Feels like I have so much to cry about. There’s no time for crying right now, it’s late and you gotta go make dinner, I tell myself.
But the tears continue unchecked until I wipe my face a few minutes later, rise to light a candle and burn some palo santo (because I’m a gypsy hippie after all), and sit down on the blue exercise bouncy ball that is my desk chair. Open the “drafts” file off a fresh desktop window on my macbook to begin typing, but am caught off guard by the last thing I had written here. So I read it. Proofread it sort of. It makes me cry harder for a moment and then all at once it helps me to stop crying. The text was a sort of birth story, written as a review of my doctor. It’s too long (said yelp when I tried to post it), even though I thought I was keeping it succinct. I thought people wrote pretty long essay-ish reviews on there so I went at it. Was too long and I never posted it, having seen that in the 17 months since he delivered my baby, he had gotten loads of positive reviews. ANYWAY,
the paragraphs on the bright screen, dimmed to contrast less with the darkness of the room, but still very bright…
small thin letters carried me out of the sadness. it had been such a soaking, heavy-ish feeling - encompassing my entire self and requiring full lay-down-on-bed maneuvering. it’s a bit like grief, never quite going away.
it’s grief. it never goes away.
it gets smoothed and coated. it gets hidden, or tangled, or processed in a healthy way and released.
(that last one is bullshit)
it never goes away. you can “release it” and think it’s released, observe it as released, commemorate it as such, teach others how to do likewise, describe how and why, when and where, with whom, through what, how else. infinite ways of dealing. of healing. of words and words and thoughts, feelings, dreams, travels, trips, quests, voyages and pilgrimages. of infinities. infinities onto infinities.
and then - plop!
back to you, just you.
a woman on an edge,
from maiden to mother.
and rejoicing. always.
the grief is there, but it becomes something else. creativity. and something akin to an angelic power. an amplifier. a never-ending blessing.
i reach my arm into a nondescript void,
a void which so embodies the meaning of a void
that it is not a void -
and I feel my feet follow in step…
am I here?
inside the everything?
Combinations of Elements
Creating a slideshow for a table presentation, I was amused at how iPhoto combined my images.
A journey from one dimension of expression to another...
drawing on paper to editing digitally to dancing to praying to celebrating... light to shadow to form to weightlessness to truth to reflection to love.
Within my self, a thousandfold emotive lions. Around my being, a million manifold eclipses, smiles and heartbeats. Light. Dangerously bright. Shadows, delirious and delicious. Strange romantic cravings. Fantastical stories and dreams. Something is in the wind, in the breeze. A silent wisdom speaks, hums slowly louder, unfolds us. Peacefulness is so near, at times reached. Ever there. Ever here.
Somethings pulls tenderly. A familiar symmetry. Bubble-thought and weightless heart, suddenly I'm everything.
What does it take, creating me? Do it, friend. I'm eager to be born.
Whispering linens, spores of sweat and tendrils of your hair, streaming all about you in your sleep.
I watch the night you keep. A shadow self, my lonesome wanderer - my effortless loving of you,
how I'd hold you if I could.
Destiny and legacy, words I use not easily. I think of you, something neutral and unassuming in your being.
There's a tall wall, and a lock and a seal, and I still think of you, past the clouds, past the line
dividing your heart from mine, it feels still near, I'm reckless, useless, clumsy,
with you far.
Won't the daylight bring you again?
A mystery, folded into harmony, holding my hand, it's transparent at a glance.
Leaves, their skeletal lines, the air on the branches of the trees, all the ease
with which I remember you. Still see your essence where you sat,
not two hours ago. Not yet removed from my iris blot, from my map and chart
of your sweet face, your laugh and your grace.
Solar Storm - 3.7.12
Typing is the easiest form of getting it down for me. And I need to get it down, easily. No strength to write manually. No energy to use a pen on paper. Pressing keyboard buttons, I can manage. And even still, it's a bit hard at the moment. My aura is shrunken today. Gosh that sounds silly. But there are massive solar flares today. Biggest in five years, says NASA. I think I can feel them. Gosh that sounds strange. But I've been meditating on my solar plexus/third chakra all week and it's extra sensitive. It's yellow, and it's solar, and it can detect the sun's extra-long waves, reaching all the way to... me. And deeper still into the Earth and through its core and out the other side and on into space, and I don't know where else, and I know I sound insane, but there, I got it down.
Just a thought.
Day started with a difficult rising from the bed (morning dreams held me captive), a reluctant trudge to yoga class, a barely-huffed-and-puffed-through class, an afternoon-long nap, and more laziness and moodiness in the evening. And sure, I brought it on myself. And I ain't even complaining of it now, just marking it so that I can remember the unproductive stupor for future reference. The numbness and heaviness in my bones, and buzz in my nerves and the fizz in my aura... it must be the solar storm right? What's it telling me?
I want to be back to my daily-meditating self striving for higher consciousness. I am still there, even if I let go at times. Maybe when I pray so hard and hold mudras and meditate to the ocean (beautiful beach day back on Monday), it's expected that a day or two of lows come along... Polarity. Balance. Light and darkness. Shadow self. Shadow world.
I know the goal is equanimity and consistency. But I welcome all polarities of spiritual experience.
The flare officially reaches us in five hours. It's a full moon in four. Argued a bit with parents today and I shed tears. I question my motives and actions everyday but I also practice gratitude and positive affirmation... and visualization for a beautiful future. What really does it hold in store? Yes we are to create it. But what is it that we are going to create? Really. Honestly. In which directions are we headed? "World War III" ? Enlightenment and ascension? What the heck? So many ideas and projections. What are mine?
Beauty, love, peace.
Even if I can't maintain it within my self and family at times? Yes. Even still. That's the world I strive for. How? I'm too lazy. There's too much in me I just don't know what to do with, how to use, how to transform into... what? What is it I need to do? What am I not seeing?
"The Third Eye," oil on canvas, by Yelena Chemerisov, my mother. Please visit her site! www.verarey.com
Epic booming whisper nightly dawns on me and mine.
Earth floats on, around and round, again, and ever reaching.
Somehow territory loses grip
the shadows lie
the crescent dips,
I'm missing something
but here I am.
I know the way and
I stand ready.
"Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us, can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it's really all about."
Last.fm Music Profile
Alex Chemer Photography (my father)
Vera Rey Fine Art