Eyes to the Soul — An Art Installation with Marina Abramovic and Ulay

April 9, 2013 at 7:40 am | Posted in contemporary art, One of the most amazing things I've ever seen, outsider art, what will they think of next? | Leave a comment
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Ok, so I know this video is going around the blogosphere, but I had to post it for my friends who haven’t seen it.

First, I’m a sucker for interactive art installations. I’m always surprised how my mind and heart twist when faced with an unexpected emotional piece of work. In this particular installation, artist Marina Abramovic sat at a table with an empty chair in a large room at MoMA. Onlookers were encouraged to take turns sitting across from Abramovic and stare right into her eyes for one minute. Eye contact can be such an intense feeling; and prolonged eye contact can be really difficult to keep, at least for me. It’s said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Everyone’s eyes tell a different story. Some you can read right off the bat, while others hold something deep and unknown.

So the video shows Abramovic taking a deep breathe and peering back at person after person. She generally has a blank look on her face—until the moment when she takes another deep breathe, looks up and her former lover from many moons ago was sitting across the table from her, silently staring back into her eyes. I was instantly brought to tears watching her face change, her eyes turned red and then welled up with tears. Her former lover, an artist as well, named Ulay and she spent years together in the 1970-80’s. Eventually their relationship reached it’s end and Abramovic had a dream of how they should part ways. The two went to opposite ends of the Great Wall of China: Ulay starting at the Gobi Desert, and Abramovic at the Yellow Sea. Each walked 2500km meeting each other at the half way mark. There, they embraced one last time and went on their way. It was at the art opening that they saw each other for the first time since that goodbye. I can’t imagine how many million emotions she must have felt seeing those eyes she used to look into every day, only now they were older, and held unknown stories from his own life apart from her.

Via A Cup of Jo, via Swiss Miss.

Have you ever seen a graphologist? A.K.A. Handwriting Analyst?

February 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Posted in DC, insight, life, One of the most amazing things I've ever seen, outsider art, Washington, what will they think of next? | 1 Comment
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graphologist-washington-dc-party-tricksA few times a year, the playgroup that Jack and I attend hosts a mom’s night out. The get-togethers usually include many a cocktails and finger foods, plus it’s an excuse to get dressed up and talk about other things besides our kids. :) Last night was one of those evenings, but there was a twist—for fun, a licensed graphologist was invited to analyze our handwriting. At first I thought this was going to be total bunk. Like, my handwriting is my handwriting—it’s just the way I learned to write, right? The graphologist asked us to write a short paragraph about ourselves and to sign our name and then print it at the bottom of the page. When I showed the graphologist my paragraph, she immediately inspected the way I make my I’s. (I just put a stick, or a line, I don’t add the top hat and the bottom line, so to speak.) She said that I am someone who is very efficient, someone who often rushes through things to get them done because of how busy I am. I was like, “ok, now I’m listening!”

Time management of tasks is something I love obsessing about, but I never really talk about it to others. I always try to get something done as quickly and effectively as possible so that I can move on to the next thing. Isn’t everyone like that? Then I wondered if this handwriting analysis was like reading a horoscope—you feel like it applies to you, but it could loosely apply to everyone, right? Though, these details seemed to personal. She noticed the margins I left on either side of the paragraph. One side was very neat, the other, I left a bunch of space and it was sort of uneven. She said that she could tell I have a lot of creativity but that it was not being used to it’s full capacity. Um, sounds very true to me, actually. She also spoke again about my I’s and lower case T’s, noting that they were quite small in comparison to the rest of my letters. She noted that I probably second guess myself a lot and that I need to be more assertive. She tied that to my creativity also and said it’s apparent that I have a lot going on in my head, lots of ideas, lots of responsibilities, but that I need to explore what it is I really want, and then take my life in that direction. Wow, it was all so true. She was expressing things that have been jumbled in my head but I could never really articulate them.

I have been doing major soul-searching the last few weeks, wondering what is that I really want to do with my life? Sometimes I feel like I am so afraid that I will make the wrong decision, that I wind up making no decision at all. And that’s no way to live. My deepest love remains my blog. It is the one thing in my life that is purely Me. But even on my blog, I hold back because I worry about saying the wrong thing and offending a reader. (I see that it sounds particularly insane when I actually type that out.)  And I swear, I even have a note to myself that says: “Take a f***ing stand and write the blog post!” It’s interesting to me that these deeply rooted feelings had to be explained out-loud to me by a stranger who was able to tell this through the way I literally cross my T’s and dot my I’s. From now on, I’m standing a little taller. The expression “say it loud and say it proud” comes to mind. I am who I am and this blog is me.

If you are interested in having a party with a graphologist, Sherry LaReaux was the analyst I met. She blew my mind too.

Best Invention: On Demand Car Service

June 12, 2012 at 9:10 am | Posted in $hit I want, Washington, what will they think of next? | Leave a comment
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Living in DC, a common complaint is about taxi cab availability. If you find yourself anywhere besides a highly trafficked street, a cab can be nearly impossible to find; or you will finally see one and he’ll be off duty; or most annoying, the cab will slow down with his window cracked — barely coming to a stop inquiring where you’re going — ready to peel away when you say anything like “north of Dupont.” It makes me crazy. I live uptown, in a residential neighborhood; When parties have gone late at my house, friends will call a cab service to pick them up — which I’m not exaggerating take at least an hour for the taxi to arrive (I don’t live that far away from downtown!).

Music to my ears, a new service has come to smart phone fingertips called Uber, it’s an on-demand car service that will pick you up and take you anywhere you want to go. Upon opening the app on your phone, you automatically see how many drivers are in your area on a map with up-to-date GPS of your location and approximate arrival time (generally no more than 7-8 minutes away). The transaction is complete via credit card which is already on file when you register. The driver greets you politely and you are whisked away to your destination with complimentary water bottles and a dish of candy for you to enjoy. The price is a little more than taking a cab, but to me, it’s well worth a few extra dollars for a safe, timely and stylish ride home.

Uber is available: Boston; Chicago, Los Angeles; New York; Paris; Philadelphia; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Toronto; Vancouver; Washington, DC.

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