DAY 583

in {and out} Week 18: Big

All the indoors photos of this project are mainly taken inside my house and using items that I already have, so when the time to approach this theme came, I thought I would come out of the challenge well, but I hadn´t thouhgt of something: I don´t like big things.

I do not like sumptuous objects or flamboyant details. I don´t like exaggerated ornaments or personal accessories (except for rings, sun-glasses and handbags). I love all things small. In fact, there are many things that I find too huge for my taste maybe because I feel that little scales and sizes intimidate me less.

This is not only evident regarding house decoration or my personal image, it also becomes obvious when I look at my photos or my collages, even my doodles and the outlines and diagrams I usually give to my students are filled with tiny details. I need to create precise and meticulous compositions and an accurate work. This makes me diligent and methodical but also exigent and –from time to time- maybe too much punctilious.

However when it comes to another kind of things, I don´t feel the same:

I don´t fail to see the big picture (even when I can be focused on details).

I like big stories, big challenges and big emotions. I admire big hearts, big smiles, 
big trees and big cities. I adore big libraries and book stores.

I like feeling a big fondness for little moments of wonder and a big love for this life. I like having big ideas and knowing more about this big wide world. And those who are big enough to overcome their story, forgive and make the most of their experiences in order to have a meaningful existence.

And of course, I love big cups of tea!, whether in rainy or sunny days.

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


DAY 582

in {and out} Week 17: Flowers

I am almost a newcomer to photography. My husband always thought that I could develop my creativity through it, but I only 
started to contemplate that possibility after having my first digital camera and taking an on-line class about self-portraiture (almost by chance). Once that happened, I began to explore the world around me with the camera in my hand and I realized that I just loved it. 

Photography has been a delightful activity along the last four years, it has helped me to improve my inner work which is quite important to me, but it has also permitted me to figure out how my creative mind works.

When I was young  I aspired to develop an artistic career (something that I never did), so I though a lot about what I should create and always the same type of things came to my mind: something impressive, complex or very profound from an intellectual point of view. But when I started to create I wasn´t able to make something like that. I created things that were symbolic and very detailed, precise, well executed and even imaginative but not intense or dramatic. Professors encouraged me to develop my talent but I simply couldn´t believe in it. I concluded that I had not what an artist needs and this (along with another issues) prevented me to look for specialized training. I kept creating but I choose to study education instead of arts.

When I started to take photos on a regular basis,  soon I felt drawn to certain kind of images and compositions. And soon, my prejudices about the advisability of that approach arose. I wanted to take street photos, black and white portraits, images that would reveal hidden aspects of society but once again I was caught up in contradictory feeling.  My mind wanted to try all that,  but my heart was fascinated with simple scenes of the domestic life, with little graces of everydayness and often fell victim to nature´s charms.

A voice inside my mind shouted for pain every time I took a photo following my heart.  After every click of the camera´s release, 
I had to listen: "Flowers, birds and cups of tea again, seriously?", but I was overflowing with joy and my creativity was increasing, so I learnt to ignore it, something I was not able to do when I was much younger. This allowed me to explore and refine my style and to admit that I am a person oriented to understand the whole picture through the close examination of all its details.

Now I don´t refuse to be who I am. I  pay attention to what often gets unnoticed, appreciate what is part of my daily life and compose using average items. I try to highlight the extraordinary in the ordinary, I like little things and I have come to accept that  I prefer to capture a fallen leave that a whole forest, an almost withered flower that a whole sophisticated bouquet. 

Through all this process I have brought to light what my soul needs (literally and figuratively) to grow -regardless of the resistance of my mind and my ego- and therefore, I have learnt to appreciate what I love to capture.

 I have learnt to appreciate what is unexceptional and unremarkable; myself and the life I live;  the mundane and the humble trifles that make my life easier, and much more joyful.

I have learnt not to expect what is unusual or striking to be happy and to honor the unexpected beauty that always find when I go over my path.

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


DAY 581

full confidence

I have a personal journal where I mainly write down ideas about projects that I have in mind and I don´t want to forget. I have written many journals along my life most of them were made to reinforce or strengthen self-knowledge and new attitudes, to explore my feelings, but I also used some of them to explain stages of certain plans. However,  this is a bit different: I only write rough drafts, I don´t go deeply into any issue, I don´t add many details, concrete actions or dead-lines.

Considering that I teach projects planning at university, the idea of creating a journal about projects and don´t explain and develop their phases,  is quite difficult to me,  but reduces my need to achieve, my perfectionism and self-demanding attitude. It is an easy way to start without rush or sense of obligation and this -at least in my case- liberates tension and energy and promotes confidence. I only entrust my dreams to Universe and await for instructions (please    don´t tell my students!).

After describing a project I draw a square and I doodle around it. After this I write a question inside it that summarizes its true aim, that often is quite far away from material desires or specific expectations. Guess what? It works. Conditions to develop the projects (in very unique and even inconceivable ways) soon appear and they start to evolve easily  and without setbacks or side effects.

I don´t know exactly why this is happening.  I suppose that there are some moments in our lives when we are yearning for something and after demanding it we obtain exactly what we want without requirements or “traps", just a continuous progress from one stage to another without pain or effort, only joy, calm and a sense of flow. These moments occur when we are deeply aligned with our higher self… when we start to request exactly what makes it visible, instead of what empowers the ego. Once this happens we can evolve through love, communion with grace and a wisdom that goes beyond our own knowledge.

I´ve been finding myself involved in this kind of placid pace since I am keeping this journal. I am sure that it´s not the only reason why this is happening (I have learnt so much lately!) but it has become a sort of symbol of this new sense of alignment, of a new attitude. 

I trust the goodness of this path. I feel that I am learning to move toward my goals in a more relaxed (yet efficient) manner that is also more pleasant... more carefree and cheerful and much more consistent with the person I am right now. And this, my friends, makes me immensely happy.


DAY 580

in {and out} Week 16: Spring Selfie

I´ve been wearing mostly black, since January. In fact, during all these months I have only worn black or grey sweaters with jeans or black leggings; black jackets and anoraks;  black high leg boots with high heels, flat short boots or ankle boots; black, ochre or grey scarves and black or tortoiseshell sunglasses. The only exception to this rule has been a coat with a subtle animal print, silvery or golden accessories and pearls. I´ve been doing that not only because I felt very sad after some important losses, a few unfortunate events and many changes, but because I needed to feel strong and confident and and black always makes me feel this way, it´s good for me.

I think this fixation has its origins in my early life. When I was a girl, black was not considered an adequate color for kids. It was too formal or too gloomy but I always found it appealing. It was the color of grief, it´s true: the image of persons dressed in mourning is part of my childhood -in particular, widows-, but it also symbolized sophistication, elegance, allure and even certain intellectualness and a rebellious mood (at least, to me). So, as soon I could, I started to wear it and I felt much more refined and worldly-wise than I really was.

As a result, this color is a sort of thermometer that allows me to measure my mood. When I am happy and in high spirits, when reaffirming myself is not important and my charm and grace don´t concern me, when I feel strong enough and self-reliant, when I deal with life at ease and I am accepting it with joy... in short when I am well-balanced,  most of my black clothes stay inside my wardrobes. But if the need arises, I know I can always resort to them.

This time I thought I wouldn’t be able to stop wearing them. Talking with my mother a month ago or so, I mentioned this to her and she guaranteed me that the joy would be back now and again, even after her time to leave me come (she said). Her argument was plain and convincing: not one person would have survived if this were not true. I knew she was right (she had to confront the death of her husband, her mother, a sister and a brother apart from many other emotional losses within five years), so I prepared myself to wait.

As my mother predicted, joy is returning to my life little by little this spring. And so calm and acceptance are doing. When a week ago, I was a bit reluctant to wear black, I knew that it was the definitive sign of readjustment I had been waiting for. I still don´t feel like wearing very spring-like outfits, I still need black to go out there... specially to work, but when I go for a relaxed walk or while I am quiet at home with my journals I choose vibrancy. I choose faith. I choose hope.

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


DAY 579

in {and out} Week 15: Water

My mother always had quite a green thumb. Her skills at growing plants were mostly intuitive (or learnt from her ancestors) and it provided her much pleasure. As a result, I grew up seeing her enjoying this activity. We lived in an isle without much water and without gardens, neighbors grew their plants in pots and they placed them all over their houses including the patios that traditionally were full of them. 

One of the things I remember is the amazing variety of containers that one could find in a single place. There were the usual clay pots, often profusely (and even extravagantly) decorated and any kind of repurposed stuff depending on the imagination (and needs) of the owners.

I also remember the lush vegetation, the splash of green indoors -when outdoors all were black and brown and blue and white- that made everyone be deeply aware of the great importance of water.

And last but not least, I remember the liking for exchanging cuttings. My mother was very fond of this, she loved to gather pieces such roots, branches or leaves to start new plants and she kept her fondness even after our move to a bigger isle where we could buy plants, seeds, peat moss, fertilizer etc.

When I was I child this attitude often embarrassed me. When I was a teen it simply drove me crazy. No matter where we were, if she was seeing a plant that she wanted to have, my mother gently asked for a cutting, she took a spotless white handkerchief of her handbag (often with a tiny lace or a subtle embroidery) and wrapped the cutting with it while smiling. Regardless of my annoyance, back home I shared her enthusiasm and along the following days I contemplated amazed the growing roots through the glass of the mason jars where she usually placed them.

When I left my mom´s house and started to have my house, I was too involved in my own matters and my professional career to recognize the worth of all those experiences. I bought a plant from time to time and tried to do my best to keep it alive but I was not present enough to achieve that goal. As time passed, I stopped having plants at home.

This saddened my mother. She could not understand why they were not important to me, why being her daughter (coming from where I come from) I was not able to appreciate their beauty and master the use of water that was –according to her opinion- the only secret to growth healthy plants… but I can be very resistant, so I persevered in my refusal to have plants.

However, a year ago or so, I decided to give them a new chance. I only have a few, but I am seing how the knowledge, tricks and odd habits of my mother are emerging. Now I understand better that attention is important; I am learning to respect and thank water and not to take life for granted. I also love to collect cuttings (!) and I treat them as she used to do: I display them beautifully and I wait impatient to the first sign of something new.

And when this happens, I told it to my mother who still loves plants (although she cannot take care of them personally) and expect her almost unnoticeable sigh of joy when she gets ready to give me some wise advice. Then I close my eyes and feel her beautiful energy once again. 

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

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