Unravel

Music

My  iTunes has been playing a lot of Bjork lately, randomly. I was reminded of this beautiful song the other day. I think it’s been about 20 years since I’ve heard it. Absolutely love the lyrics. They are so simple, so sad, but full of hope.

And yes, this song made me cry.

The video is gorgeous as well. I’ve always loved her videos.

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Polaroid Week, Part 2

Life

I received my Polaroid Originals film on Wednesday of Polaroid week, which was last week (I think?). The weather was utter crap the rest of the week. I mean we are talking flash flood, windy storm, and dark. So I didn’t even bother with any photos with this film since it specifically says on the package “This film likes sunny days.” The sun came out on Sunday and Monday (technically no longer Polaroid week) so I took advantage. Here are some shots.
An empty seat
prayer flagsthe trees on my street
closeup of leaves

I have to say, I love this film. OMG. It’s so much less frustrating to use than Impossible Film. I will definitely buy it again. I had a blast with it!

Polaroid Week

Photography

This is Polaroid week! It was a good excuse to purchase some new Polaroid film to play with. While I waited for my film to arrive I decided to play with the Polaroid 145 back I recently acquired to use with my Zero 45.

I play with instant film once in a blue moon, so it took a few tries to remember that you have to wait a few minutes to let the image develop before you peel apart the film. When I figured that out, though, the fun began! I’ve been having a blast all week with this, regardless of the lack of light and reciprocity failure. I am loving the “instant” results. (though this being pinhole, it’s still slow photography).

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This particular shot was a 4 hour exposure!

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The weather has been lousy this week for my new Polaroid film, but I’m giving it the old college try today. I will post the results in a few days.

And the world drags me down

Music, Photography

I got in my car this morning to go to the gym and She Sells Sanctuary was playing on the radio. Oh, how it made my heart happy to hear this song! It was my favorite song when I was a young adult. And even today, I love everything about it. And I think it is a good theme song for me because, damn. I feel really dragged down by the world lately.

Here’s a photo for photography Friday.

It’s a pinhole self portrait made with my zero 2000 while eating lunch about a month ago. Happy Friday!

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Emptiness

Thoughts and Opinions

Last night I listened to a dharma talk about emptiness.  The talk was really good and it clarified the philosophy really well. At the end of the talk we had a discussion, in which I was trying to express my thoughts as they came to me but I feel like I didn’t quite get them out in the way I wanted to. So I am writing about it here. Because writing is a better mode of expression for me than talking.

When I first learned about the idea of emptiness in Buddhism it kind of freaked me out. My initial feeling about it was that it was an empty void, which both depressed me and scared me. I was under the impression that Buddhism was all about finding this state of “empty void” and then that is where one would find happiness. I just couldn’t understand how this state of “empty void” could be a happy place. And I felt like I would never be able to achieve this state of “empty void.”

However, the rest of the teachings of Buddhism made a lot of sense to me, so I stuck with it. And as I learn more about it, the philosophy of emptiness makes much more sense.

If you think about it, really think about it, you will see that nothing is real. Things become “real” because our brain assigns meaning to those things. For example, at my painting class the other day the teacher kept talking about two different shades of blue paint that we were supposed to use. For the life of me, I couldn’t see two shades of blue. I saw two shades of green, but only one shade of blue. My brain interpreted one of her shades of blue as green. So for me it was green, not blue. (remember The Dress?)

Things get really mind-blowing when this idea is extended to people. Yes, this idea of emptiness extends even to us. There is no “me” that is set in stone. I am projecting a version of Moni out into the world. But that projection is passing through your own filter of who you think I am. So I am actually a different person through your eyes. So who is the real Moni? A real, solid, Moni doesn’t really exist. There are multiple versions of Moni depending on who you talk to.

This idea of emptiness as it applies to the self really has really become more understandable to me as I cultivate online friendships. I think in the “real world” it’s harder to see this because you are dealing with a flesh and blood human. But it’s easier to see with relationships that take place online because you don’t have the benefit of flesh and blood. Your brain is forced to create this person in your head to make up for the missing pieces. We are doing this with every single person we know, real life or online, or whatever. The person you are relating to goes through all of your filters and you create a version of that person in your mind. And none of this is bad. Or even good! It’s just the way our mind works.

So the idea of emptiness seems way less scary to me now. Well, it’s kind of scary. it’s a different way of looking at the world and the idea of things not being set in stone is a weird idea. My brain wants order because that is what brains do. But it also helps to understand this idea a little bit as well. I know there is a lot more to learn regarding this philosophy.