One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up to find this painting: 'The Embrace' by Gustav Klimt, on my television's screen.
See, my television doubles up as an art gallery:
I am able to set the sleep mode to feature different art pieces, and that morning I woke to see my boyfriend added 'The Embrace' to our living room decor.
So this 'art of the day' has really been the 'art of the month' for me.
In this piece, Klimt shows how an embrace can encompass the entire world: I see Klimt's world in the shapes, colors of patterns on these two figures and the space behind them. The countless intricate shapes on her, the large 'eye-like' circles on him, and the spiral desert behind them...
And who are these lovers?
Or are they mother and son... old friends... siblings... friends...?
The warm complete surrender of their embrace suggests to me that they are lovers. Perhaps after a long journey apart, reconnecting...
Her eyes are closed -- which suggests she trust him completely.
Her exposed hands suggests that she can be trusted.
And his head bowing down to her neck suggests his complete immersion in her.
It is, in simple terms, the beauty of a deeply felt embrace.
Lately, I have been doing a lot of soul searching; went deep into my identity hurdle of growing up in a conflict zone, and experiencing a wide spectrum of WAR.
I have a lot to say about war and the troubled land I hail from, but in the spirit of looking at the other side of the coin.... here's my piece on Peace:
Peace is change. And change isn't easy. It is painful. And it is NOT fast. It's slow and torturous and one must be patient in order to be heard fully, and one must be patient in order to listen fully. To listen with the heart.
The only way to reach across the aisle is BE in someone's shoes. Walk in their street. Live in their heart. Feel their feelings. Embody their pain. As an actress I've had to play my share of characters that are different from me. Sometimes even villains that I would instantly judge. I have learned that the way to reach and understand anyone is through the visceral practice of empathy.
Peace isn't just a word. It's an action. It's an every day choice to be in peace with another entity. Or with one's self, I might add. It's through action that we reach agreements, resolve altercations, relieve tensions. Actions speak louder than words. And peace, like love, isn't just a word. It's an action.
As any couple learns at some point in their relationship -- communication is key. Miscommunication between people, because of our misconceptions, own narrative and personal biases -- often to false interpretation of the other. The words we choose and how we deliver them -- have consequences. We must take responsibility of our words, if we want to be understood by the other. A world with clear and overly communicative people sounds like a more peaceful world to me, amiright?!?
Peace is not going to 'just happen.' Whether between one's self, or between people, or between nations -- reaching and maintaining peace requires 100% effort. Both sides, no -- ALL sides need to put in 100% effort in order to achieve peace. If we put the responsibility of effort on the other -- we will never get to the promised land; to peace.
The PEACE guide map:
Empathy ---> Patience ---> Communication ---> Effort ---> Action
Start with empathy, follow with patience, start communicating effectively, put 100% effort and lastly take action. It's a journey of five steps. A play in five acts. A musical symphony with five instruments; Make it worthwhile, make it grand, make it PEACEFUL.
I first learned your name from Steven Pressfield, in his fantastic book 'The War Of Art.' He wrote about you in detail, and as I devoured his pages -- I learned YOU had a name.
But I have known you long before I knew your name.
You have always been that crippling feeling in the stomach, the feeling that keeps me from going where I don't want to go. Like food swimming in my stomach, battling with my insides, refusing to be digested.
I let you win me over many MANY times, Resistance.
A simple hint at your presence makes me veer away into the nearby distraction, to no go deeper in my work, god forbid not to feel the sad feelings that you rather protect me from. Like the mind, you Resistance, think of yourself as my loving protector. But I'd say you are more like my tough shield, my armor, my guard. And no energy flows when one is covered in armor. No energy flows when YOU are guarding my heart.
Resistance, you are like a general who screams at me "turn away! Do not go forward into the night, into the unknown of your creations!" You want to keep me safe -- while I am a passionate young soldier eager to find what's at the horizon - what mysteries I'll find. What truths I'll tell. What stories I'll craft.
Dear Resistance, I understand you try to keep me from being heart broken, and afraid, and lost and angry. But the life of an artist is the life of a human. A human who lives FULLY - fully expeiencing all those things you'd like to keep me safe from. The life of an artist is dipping into the night, the unknown, with no shelter, no armor, no general yelling at me to turn away.
In other eras in time -- They used to kill us artists. Like witches, we'd be burnt at the stake.
Did they kill us because we built the stamina to face YOU, Resistance?
This letter isn't to scold you for doing your thing.
I respect that you challenge me. I even appreciate that you fight me in my quest to go deeper into the rabbit hole of my art, of my existence, of my calling. And I love how you try to block me from finding out new horizons in my work. Because every time you and I meet - you drive me further into my endurance, into my discovery, into my courage to live fully with no armor, with no blocks, and with no resistance.
Ever wondered --
How many faces does TRUTH have?
Does it bleed when it hurts? Does it die?
Does its heart break in pain? Does it cry?
Does it walk with pride when it wins over lies?
Does it walk away with grace, or at least -- tries?
We think of truth as absolute. As one. As a straight line.
But there is YOUR truth. And then there is MINE
Truth is possessive. Not objective.
Truth will dissolve with another perspective.
Truth doesn't care if you lie to it.
Truth doesn't care if you die in it.
Truth is nothing but a slogan we use
An empty quest for an imaginary goose.
It is a symbol, a word, a feeling.
Something we deem as appealing.
But only deceivers know the magic of truth
And maybe sometimes the idealist youth
Truth is flawless in its lie, it is strong
Because when you're filled with it -- you're never wrong
So as they say -- to thine OWN self be true
Because sooner or later we'll all be through
And being right or wrong will make no difference in the ground
So follow the footsteps of whatever truth you found
Some truth will lead you nowhere, and some will help you rise
And if you see closely -- truth is often right there, in your eyes.
Whenever I'm with you, my face turns red, my heart beats fast, and my body hunches over, looking to hide. It is almost as if I cannot control my body from responding to your presence. It goes into full Embarrassment mode, and you take the lead.
Tonight you and I met us for a little while. For a walk down my street.
It was a silly reason, really - It's often somewhat silly when you and I hang out - I was walking down my street to an ice cream shop, and on the walk realized me and my partner were wearing nearly the exact same outfit. Down to the same pairs of shoes! A his and hers version but same nonetheless. I was, well, you know.... I was YOU, dear Embarrassment. And when a group of diners in the trendy restaurant near the ice cream shop stared at me and giggled - my body went on to full Embarrassment mode: the blush, the heart beat, the bad posture... like clock work, my body responded.
One scoop of ice cream later and my body had forgotten about its recent beat change, but my mind kept going, thinking...: when did I FIRST feel your presence? When did my body FIRST learn to adapt to the reality of having YOU in its veins??
I don't think any amount of therapy or even hypnotherapy can give me that answer.
And I don't think it would make any difference regardless.
My body responds the way it does because years in your presence has taught it the best way to protect me. But there's not much to protect, really -- being in your presence may wake up old triggers and feel uncomfortable, sure, but it is also a humanizing experience, a humbling merge, a beautiful moment of vulnerability.
In fact, I'll go as far as saying that while I am uncomfortable with you often (or - always??), I am grateful for you. I am grateful that you continue to teach me what it's like to be human and to have human feelings.
A cup of coffee.
Make it... chips.
And carrots. And hummus. And muffins.
And more cookies. And more chips.
A place in the sun and a place in the shade.
A table for six.
Six characters in search of a conversation.
Six hearts in search of a connection.
Six people with their past, their identities, their fears, their mistakes.
Six cups of tea. Six mouths to feed. Six lips to speak.
Twelve eyes to see. Twelve ears to hear.
All it takes is some coffee, or tea.
Some cookies, maybe chips.
And something is born... a word. A tear. A question?
A conversation full of nuance and feeling and empathy.
A conversation of no sides, but one - the HUMAN side.
A conversation about home. And land. And tragedy.
We are all just searching for a conversation.
We are all just yearning for connection.
Start with a cup of coffee. Or tea.
We're looking at art today, yay!!! And today's pick is this painting - 'Naked Woman with Dripping Hair' - by Pablo Picasso.
There are a few things that strike me in this image:
*The woman's openness: Her arms are open, her palms are exposed, and her eye line is directly at us - the viewers. She's there, open, primed and ready for whatever comes next or whatever WE think of her.
*Picasso's choices of using so much of the melancholic blue ish color, and his choice to paint the woman's body in the same color of her environment. It leaves me wondering... 'is she part of everything? Are our bodies only frame but the life in it is... everywhere....? Are we all consciousness floating in space dressed in a frame of a human body?'
*Who was this woman? Her confident stare and specific body type seem like they belong to a real woman. Or - did Picasso try to paint a universal all-inclusive image of a woman in this marvelous painting?
*Where is she? The space isn't defined or framed as the woman is. Is that a statement by Pablo? Does he mean to say that the backdrop of our lives is undefined, unpronounced, and without boundaries?
If only I could reveal myself as openly as the woman in the paintings, I'd be unashamed, I'd be wide open, I'd be made from the world around me, and I'd be dressed in the frame I put on myself. I am the naked woman with dripping hair. We ALL are. We all are part of everything, the environment around us and the environment inside us. The lines defining us give us shape, sure, but they don't give us mass. We are the mass. We are all a naked woman in a Pablo Picasso painting.
You know that feeling the back of that throat?
The choking dread, the undigestible agony that wants to come out,
As a scream,
As a moan,
As a tear.
That feeling moves on you like a predator.
Its prey - your heart.
Like a violin string playing a high note - it pinches.
It reminds you that you are nothing but a HUMAN.
Easily breakable human.
You are no clad iron, you are no moral compass, you are no perfectionism.
You are simple in your humanity.
Some people are lions, or lambs or foxes. But you?
You are a human.
JUST a human.
A magical, feeling, full HUMAN,
And that feeling the back of your throat?
That feeling is temporary.
That feeling will pass.
That feeling is already... gone.
Today, one word and one word only is running through my veins:
* A sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.
* An instance of achieving success in a particular sphere or activity.
Truth is, the dictionary definition of the word 'Breakthrough' doesn't highlight anything new for me. I already KNOW what a breakthrough is. I've experienced it times and times again. Whether creatively or in my personal relationships... I have had my share of moments when I feel like I am breaking THROUGH something. It can feel volatile, almost violent in its a-ha! essence, but it always leads you somewhere... to the other side side of a problem... to the known from the unknown... to clarity of a feeling and the absolute nugget of it.
We have to break though our pile of resistance, our fears and the always-intruding mind and ego in order to get to the GOLD. So, carve away at it. Break THOUGH it. There's a whole lot of gold in the other side.... :)
Have you ever sat and wondered
How beautiful it is?
So clear and ready,
So open and revealing
So generous and inviting.
How beautiful it is -
The blank page.
Like a great love of your life,
It'll wait in the rain for you
It'll share the last piece of cake with you
It'll be there for your tears, and for your laughter.
How beautiful it is -
The blank page
And the story you will embark upon it.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman