I’m jealous of the rain

This is the post excerpt.

 

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I’m wearing:

Hair:  Hikari by ARGRACE (in black)

Rain jacket:  Ladies Coat (in blue) by Allison Gufler

Location :  Shin Akiba City  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gneli%20Bay/103/158/1494

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Rain.

Is there anything better than when it catches you off-guard?  If you had paid attention, you would have smelled it, you would have seen the angry skies, you would have noticed the leaves turning inside out up in the trees (a sure sign of rain, your mother said, when you were a child, and she was right), you would have felt your sudden solitude…  But you had something, someone on your mind…  You had your head bent down, hands in your pocket, back arched forward with the weight of the world, when you felt that lukewarm drop on the back of your neck and looked up and couldn’t contain a smile.  You decided to go for a run until your hair was glued to your skull and your eyelashes were soaked and your blood started pumping in your temples and you felt so… alive, and when you got home, you thought nothing felt better than slipping out of those cold wet clothes, go under a hot shower and wear your favorite pjs.

Or

it came to visit like a friend while you were looking out the window, inventing lives for strangers so you wouldn’t have to ponder about yours, and you allowed your finger to trace its path all the way down as you got lost in daydreams, the blue gray light from outside contrasting with the warm orange light of your home that suddenly felt even cozier.

Or

you were making love and the soft sound it made on the roof as you kissed hungrily and loved with abandon, you can still hear it if you close your eyes and you let out a sigh, head tilting back, every sense awake again at the memory.

 

Aramis   xx

 

 

 

I‘m jealous of the rain
That falls upon your skin
It’s closer than my hands have been
I’m jealous of the rain
I’m jealous of the wind
That ripples through your clothes
It’s closer than your shadow
Oh, I’m jealous of the wind

Cause I wished you the best of
All this world could give
And I told you when you left me
There’s nothing to forgive
But I always thought you’d come back, tell me all you found was
Heartbreak and misery
It’s hard for me to say, I’m jealous of the way
You’re happy without me

“Jealous” by Labyrinth

Beethoven: Ode to an endearing pain in the a**

Some people run to the latest pop song, others to the Rocky soundtrack.  I run to the sound of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in A major, the 2nd movement.

Ludwig van Beethoven.  I feel he is not as easy to love as Chopin and Mozart but infinitely more interesting and the complexity of his personality excites my imagination.

He is, extraordinarily enough by itself, the brilliant musician and composer who was almost completely deaf by the end of his life, composing his best symphonies with his ear glued to his piano, unable to hear his own work.  He was so deaf, in fact, that, at the premiere of his 9th Symphony, he could not hear the performance of his orchestra and had to turn around to discover the thunderous applause of his audience.

Depicted by his friends and family as brusque, moody and arrogant, one can easily imagine this musical genius avoiding social situations as much as possible to hide what he considered to be an embarrassing handicap, humming to himself on his daily walks, as he was, barely noticing the rain or the thunder when it came, his hair a mess, his arms flying to the measure of the music in his head.

There is something very noble to his stubborn perfectionism when, as the story goes, he would insist on making a whole orchestra start all over again if he noticed a single false note during a performance.

This sure sign of a passionate being finds an echo in the pressing and tender love he expressed in his letters to his “Immortal Beloved” as he would call “the only woman he has ever loved”, unimpressed by the heartbreaking reality that his social rank didn’t allow him to hope for more than a secret affair with her.

“Long – Long – may our love last – it is so noble – so much founded on mutual respect and friendship – even great similarity in so many things, in thoughts and feelings – oh let me hope that your heart – will continue to beat for me for a long time – mine can only – stop – to beat for you – if – it does not beat any more” 

Despite all his darkness and melancholy, his compositions are very often filled with optimism and energy (“Ode to Joy”) and it is said that his brutal and eccentric personality didn’t interfere with his good sense of humor.  His friend Carl Czerny declared that Beethoven “was always merry, mischievous, full of witticisms and jokes”.  Fellow composer Karl Webber found Beethoven to be “full of kind-heartedness and warmth”.

The man’s dramatic levels of intense darkness and light inspired me to emulate his only known official painted portrait, through photography, for an assignment, back in college.  I used my own father as my model for this picture and, exceptionally, I will include it in this post in lieu of my usual SL self-portrait because it still cracks me up (poor dad looked like a psychopath walking in the park squeezed in my little coat, a wig I personally styled and a flaming red scarf…  He must love me something serious to have agreed to this!).

Hopefully this week brings you many of your own little odes to joy. 🙂

Aramis xx

Kiva.org : Come together (right now)

A friend of mine introduced me to Kiva years ago.  Since then, I’ve been an active member and try to spread the word about this wonderful organization as much as I can, so I had to make a post about it.

What is Kiva? It is an international non profit organization that gives people the opportunity to give other people opportunities.  That’s in my own words.

In THEIR own words, Kiva is “a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty”.  That’s right.  Lending.  It’s not “charity” per se, because you’re going to get your money back eventually.

Here’s how it works:

A borrower (or a group of borrowers sharing a common vision) from anywhere in the world (mostly from countries that are not very wealthy) comes up with a project.  It could be anything from establishing a new business or growing one that is already in place, paying for their children’s education, getting clean water for their village, building shelters, etc…  For that, they need money and that’s where you, the lender, come forward, pick a project you are drawn to, and basically finance it with other Kiva lenders.

Everyone pitches in 25$, boom!, the project gets financed, you forget about it and go about your merry life and a few months later (depending on the borrower’s refunding plan), you get your money back and you get to do it aaaall over again with that very same initial investment of 25$.

Over and over and over again..

On top of this, every single penny you give goes towards a loan for someone who asked for one, and the borrowers do not have to pay fees or interest on the money they borrow.  Kiva covers its expenses with voluntary donations, fondations and other supporters.

Also, at any given time, you can decide to retrieve your money from Kiva and have it refunded to you or give it as a donation to Kiva to use where it’s needed.

To me, the fact that such a small and simple gesture helps the world become a better place, and potentially changes lives for the better, gives opportunity to women in countries where they have none, empowers young people, fights poverty , makes dreams come true and brings people around the world together is a miracle and something everybody should know about.

So there.  Now you know.

www.kiva.org

 

Aramis xx

 

Love is in the water,
Love is in the air.
Show me where to look,
Tell me will love be there?
Will love be there?

Teach me how to speak,
Teach me how to share.
Teach me where to go,
Tell me will love be there?
Love be there?

Shine by Collective Soul

 

Self-Love (in 9 easy -?- steps)

“Your yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ”  – Buddha

I have finally taken a serious decision of practicing self-love consistently and sincerely.  It’s something I admit I’ve had issues with for a long time and, lately, I came to realize it was giving way to things I didn’t want for myself and that my own relationship to myself would set the tone for every other relationship I’d have.

The practice of self-love, I find, is often discouraged, in today’s society, easily seen as selfishness or egocentricity, but why not value the individual instead of sacrificing it to the benefit (and that’s arguable) of the herd?

In general, I believe that issues and even diseases are often rooted in some level in our own self-love so why not make self-love a priority, the solid basis for “the rest”.

You are the only you that exists.  That alone should be worth your best shot at appreciating who you are.

Here are 9 things I’ve narrowed it down to in order to give that underrated ego a little boost.

  1.  Be kind, because it’s good energy and it doesn’t cost you a damn thing.
  2. Stand up straight and smile.  It changes your energy and how others react to you.
  3. Practice self-grooming.  Be well groomed and dress in a way that makes you feel good.
  4. Prepare your day in advance, everyday, so you have less you need to think about.  Stay organized and focused.  Know what you will wear and eat tomorrow.
  5. Be grateful and practice awareness of positive thoughts:  pay special attention to negative self-talk and make it a habit to shift it to exactly the opposite.
  6. Study, read and learn something new each day.  Practice what you have learned. Knowledge and developing your skills build confidence.
  7. Trial and errors…  are your friends in disguise.  Don’t be afraid to go out there, give it your best attempt and fail (even miserably).  Chances are you’ll end up learning even better from this and maybe even meet guides along the way.
  8. Exercise.  Endorphines.  We love endorphines.  Some days, I’ll admit, I don’t have the time or energy (or motivation) to do it.  So I go for a 10 minute walk if that’s all I can do.
  9. Eat as healthy as you possibly can.  As cliche as it is, our body is such an amazing machine, and you are in control of the fuel you’re giving it.  Eat well and your body will thank you for it.

 

That’s pretty much my mantra of the moment.  I still have a lot of work to do to be a master at all 9 steps but hey, we’re getting there, a bit closer every day.

We talk a lot about making the world a better place and we will, each and everyone of us, starting with ourselves.

 Aramis xx

We were born to glory
It filled us up with love
Living out the story
Since lightening from above
Yes we can have it all
We can be merciful
Go dancing at the ball

But we’ve been talking lately
About just what we feel
Caught in earthly drama
Instead of walking free
But we can hold it all
Outside ourself dissolved
Yes we can hold it all again

The light goes on and on
Forever it has shone…
Forever you

– “The Glory” by Royal Wood (featuring Sarah Slean)

Motherhood

Fifteen years ago, today, I became a mom.  I kind of can’t remember not being a mother, as if there was no “before” or that “before” was irrelevant.  To try to describe the joy, fulfillment and endless love that tiny little human has filled me with is not something I can hope to achieve, for it is way larger than I am.

Although I would love to take credit for whatever I have done for him, how do you take credit for a life changing, heart exploding, soul altering blessing?  You don’t, you can’t.

Children come to us in mysterious ways and the Love they bring with them is not our own doing.  We can shower them with tenderness and try to guide them and make them little wings sturdy enough not to lose too many feathers and try to learn from those squishy little ones as much if not more than they learn from us, but ultimately, Love is all that came and all that will remain.  So give it your all, but keep in mind:  they are their own beings with their own path, dreams and ambitions.

on children

I thank the Universe on both knees for this gift.  Motherhood.  My son.  His health and happiness.

Aramis xx

 

When I first saw you, I already knew

There was something inside of you

Something i thought that I would never find

Angel of mine

I look at you looking at me

Now I know why they say the best things are free

Gonna love you boy you are so fine

Angel of mine

How you changed my world you’ll never know

I’m different now, you helped me grow

 

Our ever evolving selves

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I’m wearing:

Hair: Kohaku by ARGRACE  (in blacks)

Top: Georgina Mesh Yoga Tops by Blueberry (in pink)

Pants: Kaithleen’s Yoga Pants by Kaithleen’s Original Mesh (in purple)

 

My location:  Shambhala Sanctuary 

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We are similar but not the same.

The way you experience a yoga pose, a trauma, a song or a change over time is always going to be different than someone else.  This is because we all have unique neural structures and how your brain develops over time is also unique to you.  This is why neuroscience cannot prove so many things about the brain and our consciousness.

We are born with basic systems and reflexes to allow our survival. After that it’s all how you develop through experience.  Increasing your self-awareness and observing your thoughts, actions and patterns is really the height of our evolved emotional intelligence in the world today.

How we process, respond to, interact with and understand our experiences is what causes us to change, grow, evolve, or devolve.

You are not like a computer and you don’t have the luxury of switching off. You are an ORGANISM that must stay on to survive so your only choice (and it’s a privilege) is change.

Onward, upward and inwards.

Aramis xx

Frida, I’m in love.

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I’m wearing:

Eyebrows:  +QutWorld BodyArt+ Elegant Eyebrows (in black) by QTWORLD

Necklace: Lane Branch Necklace – Gold (W\Resize) by 7891

Earrings & Flower Crown:  Sacred (in red) by FINESSMITH

Hair:  Frida hair (in black) by Virtual Diva

Props:

Dress:  Kaithleen’s Linen Dress  (in cream) by Kaithleen’s Original Mesh

Bad Katz Scaredy Cat by Bad Katz

Monkey by Maddie May’s Home Decor & More

Background painted by Henri Julien Rousseau (“The Equatorial Jungle”)
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Passionate, tumultuous, feisty, colourful, courageous, seductive, tender, sensitive, introspective, independent…

Frida Kahlo is one my “favorite people” because she has redefined so many things:  feminism, beauty ideals (sporting a unibrow and a mustache, she accentuated them with a black pencil), cultural taboos and all kinds of limitations, established or imposed (that she completely ignored, and, in fact, used as a platform to exacerbate her freedom as an individual and an artist).

frida-kahlo_self-portrait-with-hummingbird1

The terrible road accident she suffered when she was 18, in which she was impaled by a handrail, leaving her body ravaged, seems like a cruel, ironic metaphor of her identity:  such a ferociously free woman was constricted and compressed by the corset she had to wear daily, and, following that horrendous life altering event, she spilled her heart and guts into her brutally honest art.

She is someone who is perfectly aware of who she is and faces the world as a whole, it seems.  In all of her self-portraits (“I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best.”), she always looks at you, her gaze confident and hauntingly uncompromising.

It could be easy to fall into the trap of mistaking Frida for an insensitive, hard, tough woman.  But that would be ignoring the unfaltering passion with which she loved her Diego.  After their divorce, she painted “The Two Fridas” – my personal favorite painting of hers – in which one Frida (the Frida Diego loves, so she has a whole heart) can be seen holding a tiny portrait of Diego and the other Frida (the Frida Diego no longer loves) is trying to stop the flow of blood from an open vein of her broken heart, unsuccessfully:  her heart is bleeding everywhere.  Better to have loved and lost.

7-1576

To Frida, a woman in all of her complexities, strengths and weaknesses.

 

                                                     Aramis  xx

 

And the night sky blooms with fire
(Y la noche que se encendia)
And the burning bed floats higher
(Y la cama que lleva)
And she’s free to fly
(A volar)

And all of the dark days
Painted in dark grey hues
They fade with the dream of you
Wrapped in red velvet
Dancing the night away
I burn

Midnight blue
Spread those wings
Fly free with the swallows
Fly
One with the wind

-“Burn It Blue” by Caetono Valeso & Lila Dawn (from the “Frida” soundtrack)