Mumbo Is Jumbo

Reasonable Art

White softness, submissive and complying, sits before me with its back against the easel and asks me, “Do you see me?”

“Huh?”, I ask, my eyes returning to focus on the perfect edges of the paper.

“Do you see me?”, it asks again, quieter this time. Much quieter.

“No”, I say and run my index finger over my eyebrow.

How could I? I’m an artist after all. I’m supposed to see things on the paper. The paper alone means nothing to me. It hides behind colour in near perfect submission. It lays no demands for the focus of a trained eye or the sweet caress of a surrendering hand. It wears whatever I give it and flaunts it in absolute stillness. Why would I ever see it?

But today, I’m forced to. Today, I must surrender my title and see nothing. I must do so because the only way to open a closed door is to forget there is a key. At least that’s how it works at the cul-de-sac inside my brain I call ‘creative space’.

And today the door is closed.

It’s blocked.

And I know it because I can hear it. Yes, I hear it when graphite touches paper. I hear it and I know that the door’s closed.

You see, there’s music in the air and on paper when the door’s open. A swish here and a swish there. They’re all expressions of the past, a reproduction of decisions made seconds ago. An experienced hand will handle the temporal separation with fidelity and resolute organisation. What you hear then is music. It rises and falls, bubbles up and explodes, and stomps with grace at a full stop.

But today, I don’t hear it. What I hear today is graphite choking on paper like a cat choking up a furball. My hand is moving over the paper like a drunk man at 5 a.m. on the subway. There is no fidelity, no organisation. My mind has nothing to say to my hands and I’ve lost all control. I turn the room upside down looking for the key. I must get out. If I don’t, I will kill me.

It is in this quiet desperation on a Monday evening that I find myself in the company of a perfect sheet of paper. It is offering me a way out. A way to convince myself that there is no key. A cheat code that will connect me to reality and unlock potential. So I cave in.

I frame the blank sheet of paper and I hang it on the wall.

I tell others I did it because art should never make us blind, even to paper.

Author’s note:

This piece is part of a series called ‘Mumbo is Jumbo’, where I talk about weird concepts and ideas that I have. In this short piece, I intend to highlight how art lies in the reason why you do something and not just in what you do. I also believe that we sometimes experience creative blocks because we forget this. The fact that I can get away with calling a sheet of paper art has to be good enough evidence. I didn’t even make it. I just came up with a reason to call it art and identified the reason as art in itself. You can too.

P.S. The 4D family is growing fast 🙂 If you like what you read, do share it and consider following the blog. We’re all friends here. Remember to always have a blast just existing. God bless!

Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

Clothes For My Pimples

Photo by Justin Veenema. Source: unsplash.com

Treat it for what it is. A minute real estate on your face with very little resale value for the next few weeks.

Why do we wear clothes?

Go ahead and google it. It’s amusing to see how the web manages to give relevant answers to questions like these.

We wear clothes for protection, for decoration and mostly to keep what’s private, private.

When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit. they lost the glory of God that clothed them and they clothed themselves with leaves.

I sometimes wish I had clothes for other stuff. Like pimples and scars.

My skin has a thing for pimples. Despite my mother’s incessant instructions not to pop them, I still used do it. And because of that I had trouble walking with my head held up high. People sometimes don’t see how much pimples can affect someone. It was torture for me. My face used to shrink to the size of a small spot. Metaphorically, of course.

Here I was, a teenage kid with a lot of potential. I had everything going for me. I mean, I did struggle a bit during high school with academics (regardless of which I ended up at my dream university). But other than that, I was doing great. I loved meeting people and having a good conversation. The only thing that kept me from enjoying every single minute of my day most days was the number of pimples on my face. That’s sad.

You do get better at living with your pimples. It gets easier. But I didn’t want to live with them. If I was not responsible for them and they were going to be a part of my life regardless, I could not afford them becoming even the slightest of my worries.

I learnt, though at a very slow pace, that nobody actually cared about my pimples. At least not as much as I thought they did. I also learnt that sometimes not every part of who you are will serve your confidence and that you have to choose what to focus on.

Me being a born-again Christian, realised that it is in God that my value is found. It is his glory that now clothed me and made me who I was. That realisation helped me a lot.

You, dear reader, have to realise that I am talking about a problem that is nothing compared to the millions of problems that are out there. But it definitely is one. Which is why I thought I should talk about how hurtful it could be when you stare at somebody’s pimple or even point it out in public. Even when it seems like it’s no big deal.

Before I go, to all my friends with pimples: Really, it’s not a big deal. Don’t worry too much. Treat it for what it is. A minute real estate on your face with very little resale value for the next few weeks. If you really want to make a mountain out of it, call them volcanoes of purity or call yourself pompously pimplified. I hope that was not gross.

Anyway, if you’ve actually read till here, you deserve an award. Please claim my respect by saying a hi in the comments. Joking. You don’t have to do that. I love you all nevertheless.

Have a blast just existing!

award, challenge

Sunshine Blogger Award!

It’s so awesome to be part of something like this. I’d like to thank my dear friend, Stuart L. Tutt for nominating me. He shares his life, the highs and he lows, at his site over at stubaby777.wordpress.com. He loves God and it’s a great joy to be a part of his life here at WordPress.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Here are the rules :

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

Here are Stu’s questions to his nominees along with my answers to them:

1. What brings joy to your life?

First of all, my family brings a great deal of joy into my life. A lot of great friends (including the ones here at WordPress) also are a big part of my life. But when it comes down to it, on a very personal and intimate level, I find great joy in art. Although music is what I enjoy most, I still find a great deal of joy in many other art forms. And I’m thankful to God for that every single day.

2. If money was not an issue, what would be your dream job?

That’s a great question. I really want to be that guy who goes on stage and does ted talks and inspires people. I really have this dream of being able to combine philosophy ,music and art and being able to present that to people. If I could make a living out of that, that would be awesome. I love being on stage and sharing something I care about.

3. What are two gifts the Lord has blessed you with, spiritually or physically?

I would say music and confidence. But that being said, there are a lot of other things that I am very grateful for. But those are the two that popped up in my brain first.

4. What post or posts touched you so deeply that you felt “everyone needs to read this!”?

That is a hard question because I’ve not been on WordPress for a long time. So, I’ll just mention one post I really enjoyed in my meagre exploring on my Reader. Tosin over at Alethea’s Mind wrote this beautiful post called Sitting. Watching. Doing. Nothing. You can read it here: https://aletheasmind.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/sitting-watching-doing-nothing/

5. Which blogger would you do a Blogger Spotlight on and why?

To be honest, Stu, you’d be one for sure. I think you have a lot to say, whether it be about your journey out of pornography or just about life.

6. What does love mean to you?

Now that is one hard question! But nevertheless, I’ll try to make it as short as I can. I believe love holds everything together. The Bible says that ‘God is love’. That’s such an interesting line. It’s the most powerful reason possible for something. And I believe that true love brings truth into perspective.

7. If you could choose one attribute of Jesus to follow closer than any other, which one would it be?

I would love to be as approachable as Jesus is.

8. In your eyes, what is the hardest part of being a Christian?

Learning the true meaning of humility.

9. What do you want to be most remembered for?

I want to be remembered by my face and not by name( I might make that into a log post in a few days). I want to be known as the one who stayed when everyone else left. I want to be someone who believed in people.

10. Which Bible verse holds the most meaning to you and why?

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21. This verse empowers me spiritually because I have been given freely a position that now gives me perspective. And this perspective is what helps me lead the life that God wants for me.

11. Since it’s July, how do you celebrate the 4th?

Since I’m Indian, I don’t necessarily celebrate July the fourth. But I’m really happy for my American friends and share in their joy. But this past July 4th, I woke up in the afternoon, had a great lunch, went out and made some music. 🙂

My Nominees:

Tosin over at Alethea’s Mind: aletheasmind.wordpress.com

Teen, Meet God over at https://teenmeetgod.wordpress.com/

And anyone else who want to do it for fun.

My Questions:

  1. Do you know a really funny joke? If you do, share it!
  2. What in your opinion, is the most underrated song, book, movie, TV series, or anything for that matter?
  3. How do you enjoy nature?
  4. What is your favourite instrument?
  5. Hymns or contemporary music?
  6. If you could tell the whole word one single word, what word would that be?
  7. Do you think we should protect nature? If yes, then why?
  8. The year you enjoyed most in your life.
  9. One thing you’re thankful for as a human being.
  10. What makes you feel loved?
  11. A skill you developed on your own.

I just want to let everyone know that anyone is welcome to attempt any of these questions. Answer them in the comments. It could be a great way to connect.

Once again I thank Stu for this opportunity. Hope you guys have blast just existing on this beautiful planet!

Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

I’m Aching To Be Out There

Metamorphosis Behind A Window. Photo by Suzanne D. Williams. Source: unsplash.com

I’m a butterfly. I used to be a caterpillar. Before that, I was an egg. But you don’t know me. Yet. But I know you. I see you through the transparent chrysalis that envelops me. In time we’ll meet. I’m nearly there. I’m a complete butterfly inside a cocoon. How did I get here? It was inevitable. It had to be done. That’s how God made me. It was important for me to shut myself in a cocoon so that I could develop into a butterfly. But now, it’s nearly done. I don’t understand why I have be here anymore. I’m complete. But all in time. But make no mistake, I’m aching to be out there.

Metamorphosis Behind A Window is one of the tracks I made during this summer holiday. I’ll link it at the end of this post if you guys want to listen to it. I couldn’t upload it.

What inspired me: I had been stuck in my room for the past 1 month. Only going out on Sundays to attend church. After going to college, I had a really vibrant social life and being back home and not even going out, I felt trapped. I was looking out of my window, seeing all the cars honking at each other, a sight quite normal to the average Indian citizen. We spend a lot of time in cars stuck in traffic. I was looking out and seeing all this activity and I was back home, stuck in my room. No one shut me in. I just had nothing to do outside. I didn’t have many friends from school that I could go meet. But i had my passion for music. I spent the last two months in my room, playing my guitar and experimenting with music. It was from this, that the track came.

Now, through this track I wanted to convey a message. Here is a butterfly, fully formed, inside a transparent cage( The chrysalis of a butterfly, is usually transparent). Just before it comes out, it has the same potential as it will have when it has come out. I would imagine a butterfly really struggling to come out, considering how it must feel, knowing that it’s complete and yet not being able to go outside. But if you actually look at a butterfly coming out of it’s transparent chrysalis or cocoon, regardless of the amount of movement you see, it looks graceful. It looks like the cocoon and the butterfly are working together to create a release of potential into nature. That inspires me.

We are all undergoing a metamorphosis of our own and there will be times when we feel like we have reached our ultimate potential but are being caged by systems. It’s hard. Because we know what’s out there and we know we are meant for it, just like the butterfly in the transparent chrysalis. But like the butterfly, we must learn to work together with the chrysalis to release our potential.

God loves us. More than we could ever imagine. And sometimes, he gives us cocoons to develop in. We must learn to use it to vitalise our potential. This has a place in every situation in life, be it work, study, or personal development. I believe it is key to enjoying life and reaching great heights at the same time. And I hope that you never ever forget to enjoy life.

Do check out the other tracks and tell me what you think. I really appreciate it. Thank you once again for taking time out of your life to read the stuff I write. It means more than you know. God bless you!!!!

My Instagram page is over at @stefguitargeek

You can listen to the track mentioned in this post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxxArFJDY70/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Some of the tracks are also there on YouTube at Stef Guitar Geek

Life in itself, Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

A great quote

Hey guys,

Just wanted to drop in and share with you a great quote I just read over at the blog of one of my dear friends, Stuart L. Tutt. It just brightened up my day 🙂

‘You will also realize that despite the fact you can’t find pants that actually fit you, your body size is perfect. It is exactly that way God designed you to be. You will eventually come to terms with it.’ – Stuart L. Tutt

Go check out his blog at https://stubaby777.wordpress.com/

I’m sure you’ll be inspired. God bless you all! 🙂

Life in itself, Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

A Word On Why Your Words Matter

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Dear……..……….

It’s me again. Today I had a really long class. I was so tired after that, that I just walked back to my room and dropped on my bed. After food today, I felt like going out. The night was so young and beautiful. I decided to sit down for some cold lemon tea. I took the longer road this time to get to the tea stall. It’s always nice to take the longer road. You get to say hi to some people and make some small talk. Leaves a smile on your face by the time you reach your destination. I decided to go through some great posts. And I was sitting there reading, sipping my tea, I thought of how much the WordPress community meant to me. It’s such a joy to come here and be encouraged. Over the past two years, I’ve made friends like you who are so good at building people up. And that’s what keeps me hooked. I am still growing.

As human beings, we are constantly looking for affirmation from the other. Every single moment of our lives, we are looking for a smile, a wave, a nod, anything that makes us people worth something. What’s behind our hunger for attention and affirmation?

I looked around. I was halfway down my tea. I tend to do that a lot. I eat and drink faster when I am thinking. I could see the football ground from where I was sitting. Some students were kicking a ball around, getting ready for a match. I turned back to my tea. I’ve heard some people say that our thirst for approval has a lot to do with our need to survive. We want proof that we are relevant. That we are still in the game, still part of the society. I guess that’s one way of looking at it.

But then there is also the possible connection of external affirmation with the approval you give yourself. In this sense, everyone you see, is a mirror. A mirror you look into to evaluate yourself. You see someone and you immediately compare them with yourself. The standards here are usually set by society. They are in a way, universal. You see a bad character in someone and you immediately search for that character in yourself. The disgust you feel towards that character is something you do not want to be associated with. So you scrummage through your past, you comb through your present and you make laws for the future. You see a good quality and you do the same. In this evaluation, you create multiple pictures of yourself that are different. It’s a process that goes on. You are in effect, constantly updating yourself on who you are.

I know I’m boring you. But here’s the point- affirmation does matter.

It is connected with something that is so sensitive- a person’s idea of who he is.

We as human beings, should be aware of this fact. A hurtful word that you can avoid, must be avoided. A smile and a wave never hurt anyone. Of course. there are times when you will have to correct a friend. Correction when done with care, brings about respect and trust.

Teasing and making fun of somebody can seem very harmless, especially when among friends. But essentially when you go down to it, the person at the receiving end feels irrelevant, insignificant and lonely. The Bible has a verse that talks about how with the same tongue you praise God, you curse men, who were made in His likeness. We both need to work on our words, me and you.

So let’s lift people up rather than bring them down. Let’s smile and wave whenever we can and let us be the someone who always has a spare shoulder for others to cry on.

Here at WordPress, I’ve always felt love and encouragement from everyone. That’s what makes it special for me. You keep coming back here, taking your precious time and using it to read what I write. And for that I adore you. So thank you.

I would love to hear from you.

What makes WordPress special for you? Please comment. And thank you once again for reading!

God bless!

Yours,

Stefan

Life in itself, Philosophy Of Life

True Love

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It stays there, lingering in your heart like a mellifluous note of tranquility. Its sonorous echo hits against the walls of your heart and asks to be let out and be shared. It’s a love that’s pure. It’s not limerence or lust. It is an iridescent truth. It is a love that makes you want to find the meaning in life, it is the love that makes you want to love God.

I look around as I move like a somnambulist through time. The love in me brings tears to my eyes as I see how true love is caged by the pride of man. They fall on the open grounds of my heart, the very foundations of what is true and they let out a petrichor that is a stink at the same time. It brings fragrance to the value in the true but cuts against the walls of my heart with its stark contrast to what is beautiful.

Look into the heart of a child. Look to the strings stretched across the heart of a young soul. So innocent, unpolluted by the world. Listen to the song that comes out and treasure it in a transparent box with little space. Let not anything pollute it, but let everything behold its beauty.

Man, look at how God has painted love with ethereal colors. Look at how it glows in peace and how it dances in true forgiveness. Don’t complicate it, don’t mock it. Look through the eyes of the creator on a suffering world.

Oh, only if we would understand true love!

God help us, come to us and let true love flow through us…………

Philosophy Of Life

Baby Embrace

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It’s amazing what you can learn from a great relationship. The raw, sincere love that you come across in a relationship somehow jolts and shakes you violently, waking you from your dormant stage of inaction and makes you do something for other people. You learn to value life a smidge more.

Yesterday, I was sitting in the last row at church, attending a music event. As I sat there, I was looking on amused by the actions of a baby boy on his father’s shoulders.

He was just sitting there, his face like the face of any other baby, a face that is trying to make sense of everything around him. Things did change for him after he came out into this really bright place. No wonder babies have got a look confused at times, when they see us. They have a way of seeing through the words, mostly because they don’t understand them.

They make conclusions completely based on what they see and what they feel and sometimes by what they hear, especially when it’s too loud.😊

You know how when you ‘meow’ at a cat, it suddenly cocks up its head and looks at you like, ‘What in the world……’ and then looks around as if to ask the world ‘Has he lost his mind?’ Yeah, I love that look, which is why you’ll always see me ‘meowing’ at cats. Lol

You’ll understand why I said that in a few seconds.

Anyway, I was sitting there, persistent, determined to make him smile, but he just sat there, the little ‘daddy climber’ giving me the ‘cat- look’ ( described above ).

He seemed very amused by my special techniques to make him smile. So did many others in my row. So I put on my serious face and looked on.

He looked at me one last time, I could see a faint smile there, but then, he is one of the living alternatives to the ever smiling Barbie dolls. 😊 I just sat there admiring him.

He was tired, evidently ( as all my master techniques to make him smile had went down like a lead balloon (with smoke 😊)) But I still could see a lot in this baby on his father’s shoulders.

It was absolutely amazing. Every time he looked up to criticize my professional attempts, he would, after giving me the ‘cat-look’ lay his head down, in extra slow motion on his father’s shoulder. And every time he did that, I mean literally every time he did that, his father would react.

It was as if some shock had gone through the father’s body. I would see his hand hug the baby closer and his head would slightly tilt to meet the baby’s head. Every. Single. Time.

It was a gentle embrace. An extremely beautiful one. One that showed the small effort of a baby to show love and the greater effort of the father to give every inch of it back.

It’s the ‘baby embrace’. That’s how you hug a baby. You can’t hug him like you hug a grown up person, you have to go that extra mile and let him rest completely on you. And if you don’t, according to protocol…… He. Will. Cry.

I sat there trying to imagine that baby growing up, sitting on his fathers shoulder. I tried to imagine him on his father’s shoulders, thirty years old. Though odd, it seemed to make sense to me.

I’m not a father, but I believe, every time that father hugs him, be it twenty or thirty years from now, he is going to hug him in a way that his baby boy can completely rest on him. Every time he hugs him, he’ll be trying to put every drop of his love out there. Every time he’ll be doing a different version of the baby embrace.

And I doubt we as kids ever understand the depth of that embrace or the meaning of that embrace, a meaning that has its roots in a time that we will never remember. But then, maybe that’s what makes it so special.

I am already choking up writing this. And maybe you are too.

We are lucky to have parents. They are not perfect, they are human just like us, though we expect them to be so much more. For some of us, they might not be here today, for some of us, we might just have had an argument with them. But for all of us, they’ve left an inheritance of amazing hugs.

Next time you hug somebody in need, hug them the way your parents did.

Hugs and love……
Stefan

What did you think of ‘Baby Embrace’?

Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement 😊

God bless you guys!!!

Life in itself

Trophies

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‘Talent is plants that sprout from seeds of passion.’ 🙂

 

Hey guys!

Yesterday, was an important day for me. You could say it was an emotional one, but it’s a special kind of emotion. The kind of emotion you have when you move to a different house. That feeling of wanting to stay, when you shut that door for the last time.

Am I moving to a new place?

Nope.

I mean, yeah. Kind of.

When I was about 6 years old, I prayed a very heartfelt prayer, sitting in an old auditorium in my school. It was a beautiful evening, but it was an evening I would remember not because it was beautiful, but because of the emotion that passed through me as I sat there.

I sat there, my head down, as all my friends went to collect their trophies. Their feet on the floor echoed in the auditorium, putting me into a sleep, sedating me. I was stuck in time, as everything around me moved. I was happy for my friends, I really was. But I was sad because I did not have a trophy to carry back home.

And on that day, I prayed a heartfelt prayer,

‘God, please help me achieve at least one prize, one trophy, before I leave this school.’

I’ve always thought I was made for something special. It’s not like I’m prideful or anything. I think every person should live like that. My parents always made me feel special and encouraged me and told me I was meant for something great. So from a very young age, I started thinking about my future.

I’ve always dreamed of being great, just like every person on this planet. But I don’t want to be known for just one thing. I want to be an all-rounder. A man of many talents. And I’ve always tried to work towards that. Every two to three years, I add something to my life and I try to see how far I can go. I’ve always loved the change, colour and satisfaction it brought into my life. This blog, is a great example for that. 🙂

As time passed by, I learned to draw, play instruments, speak, write and create. I proved to myself that I could study well too. I didn’t take part in many competitions until high school. When I got into high school, I decided to challenge myself. We have an arts festival every year at school. 3 days filled with competition, excitement and challenge. Those who come up top in the competitions qualify for the regionals. I decided to do something crazy. I went up there and gave my name for nearly everything up on the board that day. If I could scrape through it, I believed I should try it. Those three days, I was running from venue to venue, doing stuff that I’d never done before. But I felt good.

Everything I learnt, I learnt on my own. So they were never professional or perfect. They were the result of the many hobbies I had taken up along the years.

The day the results came, I saw everyone looking at me. Overnight, my name had appeared in a lot of places. I went down there and I saw them and my heart started beating fast. My dreams were coming true.

In the years that came, I achieved things that I never thought I could achieve. I always tried my best to make sure it never went to my head. God had heard my prayer. That was how I looked at it. Giving everything up to him, helped me to focus on the future and not base it on the past. I would enjoy the moments of glory on stage and leave it at that.

My grades really suffered because of the many hobbies I had. Added to that was my dislike of the subjects I had to learn. But I scraped through somehow.

I kept some of my trophies by my bed. They reminded me that I was worth it and also reminded me to thank God for everything good in my life. They always inspired me and helped me to push myself harder.

Now I am out of school. And I know there is something great for me out there. I believe there are many more things to achieve. And I should make room for them. I have to prepare the fields for the rain.

So, yesterday, I did something to signify a new page in my life. I took around thirty trophies and packed them in an Amazon box and sealed it. It somehow felt like moving into a new house. But it was exciting. For me it was a sign of accepting new challenges.

 

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Guys, I believe talent is plants that sprout from seeds of passion. And I want you to remember that you are special. And when you believe that your eyes will be opened to a whole new world of possibilities. You start really believing in your dreams when you realise and accept that. For you to have passion for something, you have to believe you can do it.

You can have a talent for anything in the world. It can be anything. Anything from making a good coffee to being an amazing singer. That is why it can change your life. People will see passion in your eyes every time they talk to you. But for that to happen you have to believe you are meant for something great.

Believing that you are special and that you can create a difference is like that moment of inspiration in movies where the hero is knocked out and the villain is laughing. But suddenly the hero rises again, inspired, by something. Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s a memory and sometimes it’s a voice in their head of someone they love, telling them, ‘you are special’. That one moment of inspiration, wakes up the muscles that were sleeping, it floods the entire body like a wave of energy.

That wave of energy in your life, will recruit parts of your brain and your mind that were fast asleep. That’s when talent is born.

God made you to be great. It is a fact. Believe it. It will change your life.

God bless! 🙂

 

What do you think about this? Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement! 🙂