Tis the Season to be Nostalgic…

As always, winter instills my heart with nostalgia—memories of cold yet cozy days building grotesque snowmen, cardboard-sledding down icy hills, sitting before a fireplace of smoldering telephone books. Maybe it was nostalgia that compelled me to join an etching workshop. Not sure. But I’m really glad I did! Fond memories flood my mind as I dig a stylus onto a green tablet, etching dragons, snow lotuses, arctic monkeys and sometimes blood from my unwieldly thumb. OUCH!

Here are the results so far…

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Dali/Picasso Exhibit, Part 1

This weekend I stopped by the Salvador Dali & Pablo Picasso exhibit in Shenzhen, China. Being a Dali enthusiast, I spent five surreal hours getting lost in his work (with two much-needed breaks in between). The exhibit was truly immersive, not only showcasing mind-bending prints, portraits and sculptures, but including large-scale replicas of psychedelic sofas and melting clocks for one’s selfie pursuits. Since the collection was quite large, this post will be split into two parts. Enjoy!

Two-Thousand-7-Teen

Instead of shaking my head, biting my lip or waving my fist at this crazy thing we call humanity, I’ve chosen to quietly write a poem. My intention isn’t to offend, but if it does, please contemplate this question: Isn’t it better to express one’s disillusion creatively than…?

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Two-Thousand-7-Teen – – – – – – –

Angel hearts once made of gold

have turned to green, allergic mold

Acts of selfless charity

have turned to selfish memes of “me”

More and more the trumpet plays

More and more Lord Visa pays

Buying “bliss” at Jezebar

where clients hiss and “students” star

Will false idols lose their praise?

arousing cattle from their graze

Seers will boast, “most certainly”

and if they’re wrong, please don’t yell at me

 

Calming the Heart and Soul

Sifting through these photos of Sri Lanka, I realize life is all about connecting. Why do we do anything? Listen to music. Watch a movie. Play in a band. Write a novel, a blog. Travel abroad. Take photos. Go to a bar. Say a prayer. Watch the sunset. Connection. Connection with nature, humanity, the ethereal, an idea, ourselves.

If we didn’t, life would have little meaning.

Temple of the Tooth

Day 8 of my travels through Sri Lanka takes me to Kandy, the third point of the Golden Triangle where hillsides produce Ceylon tea leaves, outdoor markets bustle from dawn to dusk and one of the Buddha’s teeth is secretly stored inside a temple. It turns out relics of Siddhartha Gautama (mostly his bones and hair) were collected by monks and kings nearly 2,500 years ago and allocated throughout Asia. In Buddhist society, owning such a relic would have garnered immense power and prestige. Even though tourists were unable to glimpse the sacred tooth (which was stored in a secret chamber), the tribal music and ceremony surrounding it filled hundreds of curious hearts with awe.