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I thought I might just leave this here. I love this for a number of reasons, too many to list. I also think it is inspirationally personal and beautiful.

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“All our dreams can come true” or what Disnay taught me

I’ve always had a soft spot for Disney, one of my earliest memories is me and my brother arguing over Aurora dress colour at the end of Sleeping Beauty. I not a huge fan the Disney Princess thing; I was always more of a Jungle Book, Lion King, Lady and the Tramp and everything Pixar sort of girl. Now I’m older, despite the problems I have with Disney, I find the films undeniably beautiful, I went to watch the Lion King in 3D and found that as a child I had missed how visually stunning it was.

Like I said I have problems with Disney, as a child I always felt they had ruined many of my favourite stories and fairytales by not being faithful to the original material I was familiar with. Nor I could ever really relate to Princess who all seemed desperate to find love and be swept off their feet. Then I got older and found a whole new set of issues (got to love age and cynicism.) There is however a couple of things I learnt from Disney.

  1. If nothing else I have learnt that love is important and that it comes in all shapes

    This was on my 10th Birthday cake I had in America, I have kept this plastic decoration all these years as I can’t bear to let it go.

    andsizes. Lilo and Stitch has a small and broken family but it’s “still good” and Belle only has a father. I watched parents do anything for their children; it helped me understand my own. I watched friends in Disney help each other, I watched lovers heart-break and then rejuvenate with a kiss. Love and relationships are pivotal in Disney, because it is the thing that gives us most joy in life, our family and our friends make us happy but it’s more than that love is also about the sacrifices you make for the people who mean the most. The older you get the less you take love for granted.

  2. From the moment Mufasa died it dawned on me: Life is hard. None of the characters in Disney have it easy, Cinderella, Hercules, Pocahontas, their lives are difficult, they are faced with arduous decisions and challenges while trying to do the right thing and make their lives better. Disney has the lives of their characters change and often it is beyond their control and they are simply trying to do their best and keep their head above water. The older I get the more I understand this feeling and how much harder it can become.
  3. Hope is a very powerful thing, it is the only thing that can defeat pain. Hope is everywhere in Disney:  101 Dalmatians, Fox and the Hound, Aladdin, the characters and the audience never gives up hope for a happy ending. Hope is the thing that characters hold on to when all else is lost, it is part of them that never dies, the last candle in the darkness. The older we get the harder it is to keep the hope while in life I’ve learnt that the candle doesn’t always stay lit; Disney does a pretty good job of showing how significant it is in life. H.O.P.E : Hold On, Pain Ends.
  4. There is such thing as magic, the world pretty awesome place and if you take the time to see it ,magic is alive and well and if not…. your toys come to life when you leave the room. It is also in our dreams and wishes, Snow White wishes in a well, Geppetto on a star and Peter Pan fills Wendy’s dreams, these are thing that these character hold on to and fuel their life. They are a source of amazing strength and that is magic.
  5. The greatest thing I have learnt from Disney is that you are your own hero, you can save yourself. The characters fight and despite all the Princess having Princes they do a pretty good job at fighting for themselves. They fight for what they want, they fight to have their wishes and dreams and to protect their hopes and the people they love. Love is important so fight for it, life is hard so fight for the life you want, hope is important so fight not to lose it, fight to keep the magic in your life. Simple.

The thing about growing up is that things become less black and white and become more about different shades of grey. Disney may not be the shinning white sceptical I remember it being, but that doesn’t tarnish the lessons I’ve leant. Mainly everyone can exist, the good and the bad, but you have to fight to live the life you will be proud of, you will have to believe in yourself even when others don’t and you have to dare to dream and go after that light no matter how dark it gets.

The Disney Princess at their film ages by Taijavigilia

Greener on the other side

Tall daisiesI bumped into someone today who once told me I was the type of person who would always believe the grass is greener on the other side. I don’t think this person ever really understood me. I remember sighing at them and saying it wasn’t that I thought the grass would greener, just that I was tired of sitting on short well kept grass and that I wanted to lie in the tall wild unkempt grass instead. I like change, I like the new and I am always looking for something more; that doesn’t mean I’m looking for something better, I’m looking for something different. I move on a lot and I believe that life and identity is something of constant transition and change. No matter how much someone may try and stay still, the world marches on and you can either stumble long with it or embrace it and skip to the beat. I have chosen to change schools, hobbies, favourite things, jobs because the world changes, life changes and I change too.

I have never believed that the grass was going to be greener on the other side; I’m just in search of different grass. Grass that might have taller daisies or smaller daisies, grass that has sunshine dandelions, grass that maybe has some lucky clover. I don’t think that the grass will be a better shade of jade or more luxurious, it’s just that maybe I don’t want to play with Buttercups anymore, maybe I want to make daisy chains or search for a four leaf clover.

I think no matter where your patch of grass is who and what you love doesn’t change, your passion and pleasure stay mostly the same and your nature at heart is fairly constant. Those things close to your heart make the grass green. I don’t think how green the grass is has much to do with where your grass is, it about how well you choose maintain the grass you are lying in, even brown and brittle grass can be lush and green when watered and tended to. I think if you want green grass, water the grass you have, if you want something different go in search of it, but you have to look after the grass no matter where you are.

I suppose I could just plant daisies and clover and dandelions and buttercups, but I have a feeling some miserable sod has labelled them as weeds and the packet seed would be hard to come across.

Great Gatsby

I have a list of books in my head that I’m desperate to read or think that I should read. On the list is the Great Gatsby which I finished about a week ago. It has taken me a while to figure out what I thought and feel about the novel. It was never going to measure up to the magnitude I had built it up to. I suppose that will always be a problem when you pick up a novel that is so renowned, by an author as admired as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Words and phrases such as ‘classic’ and ‘loved by everyone’ will always mar you opinion for better or worse before you even read the first line.

I felt that the novel was dull, like 1984 I felt nothing really happened for a long time. I felt no emotional investment; I didn’t care for Nick, who did nothing but watch the world he happily inhabited with cynicism, I didn’t care for Daisy and after the intrigue of waiting for the infamous Gatsby to appear on the written page I no longer cared for Jay. And I was waiting, always waiting; waiting for Fitzgerald to say something, less obvious than, look at the moral decay of our time, look at the decay of the American dream. I wanted him say something subtle, through all the negative, all the putrid and festering commotion, something positive. I wanted there to be an understated acknowledgment that there was still beauty in life, however much the good hearts and dreams are doomed to die and leave little mark on a glittering materialistic world. There are many things I could say about the novel but I could never say it wasn’t beautiful, I kept reading because it was aesthetically so pleasing.

This carefully crafted piece of art is at heart a thwarted love story of star-crossed lovers and while keeping to the traditional separation devices of money and status, the fact the lovers aren’t perfect makes them easier to relate to. Romantic idolised lovers are untouchable; however, it is their flaws that make Daisy and Gatsby interesting. It is the flaws in the lovers and in the wealthy that leads to their destruction, the society and morals around them are decaying. Both of these verge on being romanticised but are dragged back to represent the dark dangerous world that was developing in the 1920’s. It is the disillusionment that Fitzgerald presents to the reader that is so striking, the 1920s is a world presented full of greed and the pursuit of pleasure that is an all top accurate illustration of our current world, a world despite it rotten core will remain outwardly stunning.

Fitzgerald speaks to the readers fears that good hearts like Gatsby’s seem doomed to die but isn’t that just because we remember? No one will remember Tom, Daisy or Jordan but we will always recall the one who is great long after they are gone, believing they left too early. It is the fear that our dreams will die that speaks so well to the reader, no one wants to believe that the American or Gatsby’s dream will die or worse, in its essence is untouchable. Fitzgerald does raise the question, do we idealise and perfect dreams to a point that renders them unattainable and effectively doom them to die in a materialist world?

Gatsby may have been trapped in the past by status and background but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t capable of recreation. Yes I wish Gatsby wasn’t chasing a past summer but who is to say he wouldn’t create a better summer when he caught it? What I love about Gatsby is that he believes in the green light despite what he has seen in war and how cynical the world has made him. He still believes in his dream of the better world he wants to create. The belief that people will choose to dream of something better in a dark world is wonderful and one I believe in whole heartedly.

So yeah, I still think it was dull and there were things I didn’t like about The Great Gatsbybut I doubt that is what I’m going to talk about when someone asks me if I’ve read the book.

The cover of the first edition of The Great Ga...

Letter to self,

everything I could never tell you

All the words I think but don't always tell

15:49pm GMT

In Sister’s Room

Home

Dear me,

I would address this more specifically but we do have a terrible habit of changing our preference of what we go by and what people call us. I am writing a letter to my future self, where ever and whenever I have chosen to read it again. This is as bizarre as the last time I did it, if just a little more familiar. I doubt you even get letters anymore, I know that I’ll be sorry about that, I like letters, they will be an archaic form of communication but nevertheless a lost art form.

I’m not writing to set us a goal or a target for the future I have no doubt that we will achieve whatever we have set you to do.  This is simply a reminder not to run away from life, happiness and what you really want. I know you, I know what you are like, you let fear of upsetting or hurting the people around you stop you; I don’t think you can live a whole life caring for other people’s emotions and neglecting your own. I speak from experience as much as you like living vicariously and sharing others happiness it’s not really your own.

I just want you to remember at an unspecific point in time who you are right now, at this specific moment. I’m lost in the utopia, the no place, stuck in a transition between my youth and adulthood. The things I know is that love is an incredible force, my friends and family are my world and hugs are wonderful. My head is an amazing if complicated place to be. I don’t always like my reflection, sometimes I hate for so many reasons. I have no regrets but I’m not proud of everything I have done. I have never been in love and I don’t believe in it, I’m too pragmatic to believe I would give up everything for someone or that I would open myself up to so much hurt. I don’t even think I could have children I think the pain of love would kill me. I think love for the people around me is killing me. I’m still however at heart the greatest romantic and an optimist masquerading as a pessimist. I lose hours just staring at the beauty in the world, at the splendour of my own little part of it and at the magnificence in the imperfect and small things. I am in utter awe of humanities creativity and its development, especially its ability to communicate ideas and in constant fear of atrocious acts it is capable of. I believe in humanity’s potential. I’m not numb anymore, but I’m not as happy as I used to be, in fact right now I’m terrified, terrified of not becoming the person I am meant to be. I’m terrified but I’m not holding back, I’m not a coward, the path maybe rough but I know deep down I am tough enough for this world. I adore the possibilities I have. And I used to be a dreamer, not so much now.

I hope you have remembered everything you have learnt up till now, things such as you should always believe in something no matter how small. Maintain that brilliant contradiction of always believing but questioning everything. Always know that magic is everywhere in the world if you look for it. I hope you reading too much, always have a camera to photograph everything and always have a jotter handy to write every moment and thought large and small and everything in between. I hope we still live every moment like it will never happen again, that we have travelled, done and experienced as much as we can, grabbing every chance has created some great memories. I hope we don’t wait till we are ready because I fear we will wait forever. Be happy but remember to feel, don’t let yourself be numb again, don’t let your soul die.

I have to wonder where and what I’m doing and who I have become. How do we compare? The person who was, the person now and the person I have become. I can only answer two of those, I hope I have grown and change, my identity still fluid and full of possibilities. I wonder in our quest to reach the stars where did we land? I hope we lost and found ourselves a million times over because that’s the only way to know who we really are. If you are not still a geek, you have betrayed your roots and I hope music, art and literature still makes you giddy and smile. Most of all I hope our pile of good things that has happened in life is bigger than the bad and that neither one has tarnished the other. Everything bad that happens is an experience and everything good is wonderful. I hope that you have learnt from everything that has happened and that everyone who has entered your life did so for a reason and help you grow and be simply you.

I hope you still ramble like this because being in your head most of the time is a pleasure.

Yours lost in utopia at 21.

Age and letters here