This painting was inspired by a previous piece, “The Only Way.” In both paintings, the mosaic style symbolizes many peoples joining together. I strongly believe that for peace to exist, we all must unite. Whether that peace is needed in a particular nation or not, we as humans must all band together for the same goal. Each of the mosaic tiles in the hand/arm of “The Only Way” and in the background of “Sign for the Times” were painted in various tones of complexion.
There are certain virtues for which I am extremely passionate and others in which I’d like to be more dedicated. Living a life of compassion and love may be the biggest virtue for myself: treating all people with love, no matter what they’ve done; loving myself unconditionally; loving life/God for everything. I find a lot of positive energy in these beliefs and that many obstacles can be overcome or dealt with in a smoother manner by these beliefs.
In light of Osama bin Laden’s death, I am feeling a combination of things. I do not believe in the death penalty and I do not like that this form of justice had to come at the expense of a life being taken, yet I feel this is progress (or rather, hope it is).
I started contemplating what it would be like to live a life of complete compassion and pacifism. I wonder how people like Gandhi did it. When I think of how I’d respond if my life were threatened, say, by an attacker, I envision myself fighting for my life and if absolutely necessary, killing said person in defense. It feels weird to believe this and also believe a life of compassion is the best way. Then I wonder if my need to defend my life is out of natural instinct or ego. If we believe death is merely a transition, then we shouldn’t fear it. If we don’t fear death, it seems we should then not be afraid for our life if it is threatened. Likewise, if we cling to wanting to stay in this life, it seems that attachment would originate from the ego.
Perhaps I am looking to have a completely black and white perception and belief system in life. I find myself in this rut at times, where I only see two sides, polar opposites. I understand there are no rules I have to follow concerning these beliefs, but I want to live the best life I can for myself and others. Perhaps it is to just be one of my life’s mysteries that don’t have to be solved now… or ever.
A little over a year ago, I was blessed to see Matisyahu perform in Detroit. While I watch the news today concerning the Egyptian president’s official resignation, I am taken back to that Matisyahu concert last year.
If you’re not familiar with Matisyahu, I strongly urge you to Google him and his music. He came onto the mainstream hip hop scene several years ago and is known for his spiritually moving lyrics , which are influenced by his Hasidic Jewish beliefs. Musically, his songs are influenced by reggae, rock and hip hop.
Matisyahu put on a relatively small show (at St. Andrew’s) but I think this added to the ambience. At one point of the performance, this was especially prevalent to me. As he was singing “One Day,” he engaged the crowd in a chant of par of the lyrics: “stop with the violence; down with the hate.” I could feel the energy of everyone, the power of words and the power of people in numbers… and I started crying. It was an amazing, inspiring moment that I hope I never forget.
The power that we can have on this world to affect change is often take for granted. Instead of pushing for change, we go along with the status quo. We prefer self-inflicted ignorance and complacence because it’s easier.
I personally do not believe my purpose in life is to simply exist. I was given a soul and a mind for a reason, and I strongly believe my life is a gift (as well as others) to do great things for humankind. We should be evolving, not devolving.
So how long will it take for us to be fed up with the hatred, the violence, the injustice, the system, the power-hungry, the giving in to the egos? How many of us sit on the sidelines, complaining but not creating change? What are we going o do, to make this world one of peace and love for ourselves and future generations? We should never underestimate our powers and God-given gifts, or even the singular power we possess. One person can start a chain-reaction.
My hopes are that the current events in Egypt will open our eyes to what we can do when we band together. Enough has to be enough NOW.
I’ve always wanted an apartment with a balcony. I was so stoked when I moved in to my current place last year, to not just a spacious, long balcony but one with a great view. Sometimes I sit out there and just take in all the sights and sounds: birds, bats, dragonflies, butterflies, squirrels, locusts, crickets, the random cat… I even placed a chaise lounge out there so I can nap. Continue reading