19

I turned 19 two days ago. I thought I’d scribble a few things down to look back on for myself in a year or two, or even five. It’d also be nice to think that others could maybe find in these coming paragraphs something noteworthy; so here goes:

  1. It’s August already, and I have come to find that staying in bed until twelve in the afternoon doesn’t exactly help to savour the little time that we have in each day— even if it can sometimes seem tedious.
  2. Time is fleeting, and you’ll want to set yourself unlikely goals. You know your limits – so stick to them and work with them. I think you’ll accomplish the most in you favour this way.
  3. Take any given opportunity to travel. The very essence of knowing the world is to see it.
  4. Do things that are invaluable to you. For me, it’s this: draw as much as you can, whenever you can.
  5. Create artwork, and you’ve got to learn how to use oil paints soon.
  6. Savour the world around you at times. It can be wondrously refreshing to relinquish everyday thoughts and just stop and look. There’s a wonderful quote to accompany this one: “When you weren’t looking, the sun got behind you! The only way to keep things slow was to watch everything and do nothing! You could stretch a day to three days, sure, just by watching!” – Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
  7. Read more. Read as much as you possibly can.
  8. Do what you can for this planet. Let it know that you are doing what you can.
  9. Write more— be it blogposts or letters, essays or marginalia; take time out of your day to do something worthwhile.
  10. Don’t try to adhere to societal standards (whatever they may be); start and stop when you want to; do what you know is right.
  11. Don’t dream your life; live your dream.
  12. Understand that people do things because they think it’s right; people don’t change for you when you want them to. Sometimes, they can only learn themselves, so be forgiving.
  13. Everything is here and happens for a reason; whether people may agree with you or not, please never lose faith in that.
  14. Be kind to others, even if they do not return it, and do not expect anything in return for favours; be generous.
  15. Practice languages other than English; never forget Japanese or Italian.
  16. Speak to your grandparents more. They hold so much more wisdom than you think.
  17. Don’t hold onto the past; relinquish past misunderstandings and mistakes; live right now.
  18. It’s okay to feel misunderstood and precluded. These kinds of things happen. The most important thing is to learn from them.
  19. Finally— live to enjoy every minute.

Whisper of the Heart

「耳をすませば」- more commonly known as Whisper of the Heart, is undoubtably one of my favourite Studio Ghibli films – or films of all time. I urge you to watch it this very moment if you haven’t seen it already. 

I found the Cinema Comic book version in a Japanese bookstore today.

Am I being delusional? I asked myself as my eyes landed on the book. I couldn’t believe it. 

Having the movie in a tangible format; pictures that I can touch and read over and over to my heart’s content: intimacy only the cordial words and illustrations of a book can offer, is quite honestly, the best thing.

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Here’s to new beginnings.

2016 seems to have arrived unwaveringly, striding through the threshold of time without once looking back. But before beginning this year, I wanted to take time to thank 2015 for all the opportunities and new experiences it has given me; I am very grateful.

What would a new year be without slurs of resolutions and talks of new beginnings? Newly regimented exercise schemes that are never started, aims to study harder never really accomplished – the list goes on.

Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.

Above is a remark made by Ovid, a long time ago.

Instead of failed resolutions and disappointment, know that some things are destined and some are, well, not. Be patient and content and confident; the course of nature will find its way to you. I have been inspired by Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, which I am in the process of finishing. It has given me hope – a mere fable, but a story so touching and profound. It has been a great start to the new year.

It’s odd to think that this new year really will mean a new adventure for me. I leave to Japan in early January: the beginning of my true gap year. I look forward to what fate has kindly predestined for me.

Drawings of my Secret Garden

 

Olive trees and lemon trees were painted across a rustic landscape as I made my way to the secret garden. As I drove, the summer-coloured fruits of the many thousands of fruit-bearing trees streamed past my vision, like vivid dashes of watercolour on the pages of my sketchbook.

I really miss those views. Sometimes, I think that all I have left of them are old pictures and the paintings in my crumbled notebook that I took with me so often upon visiting.

When we arrived, I sat in my usual spot: under the aged, now withering grand olive tree. He had looked over me for almost two decades growing up. I dug out my sketchbook and started, as I always did.

I can never quite forget my last glimpse at him. There was a sense of betrayal. His impenetrable resistance to my attempt of conciliating his anger pained me.

As time went by, I had produced pages filled with oblong leaves, dotted with its ovular fruits. Splashes of rich green and yellow hues, and flecks of gold coalesced to create its form.

I one day wish to return there, to my secret garden. But for now, I will relive those moments through my drawings.

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Mediums used: watercolour, pencil

Reading Khaled Hosseini’s ‘And the Mountains Echoed’, I was reminded of the symbol of my childhood – my olive tree. It rests in my old countryside home in Sicily, and I wish to draw it once more.


 “Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.” -Rumi

 

Travel Memoirs

A nameless boy, a two thousand year old city, towering landscapes; memories – found in the simplest of things.

I found myself rummaging through one of my mom’s old boxes, when I came across some of her travel memoirs from two decades back. Packed in a grey, dull looking box, I initially put it aside. I eventually opened it, and I found photographs. They were in the form of slide pictures – the kind that are inserted into a projector, so they can be displayed for the world to see.

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_DSC3730They were beautiful; a hundred photographs from the unknown land of Petra, Jordan – a place I long to visit. Rustic, sandy and arid colours were exposed, with a wave of reticence. These photos were concealed away in the depths of her memories. I sat qualmishly for a moment, hesitant, wondering whether I should have seen these pictures of her travel memoirs.

That's me. I'm marvelling at one of my favourite photographs.
That’s me. I’m marvelling at one of my favourite photographs.

_DSC3627I don’t think my photographs or words will do them justice, but here are some of my favourites with a collection of my thoughts.

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A portrait of a boy. A nameless boy, lost in the abyss of oblivion in my mom’s memory. “I wonder where he is now; what he looks like, how he is…” she says as we stare at the small image together. I wonder the same. And that’s what I write in my journal. I wonder if this is how fictitious characters are created: from lost memories and a portrait. Bringing back to life what once was lost, perhaps. His gaze tore straight into my heart; I could feel the captured emotions running through his face, though indiscernible to me.

The boy in the photograph reminds me of a young character in ‘And the Mountains Echoed’, by Khaled Hosseini. (I’ll be writing more about that marvellous book soon!)

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My mom standing by the towering landscape, leading into a two thousand year old city of the past.
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Though slightly blurred, the deep hues of gold pigmented in the landscape caught my eye. I yearn to see them for myself.
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Carvings and ancient construction in rocks that once overlooked a civilisation of the past.

Photography – sometimes considered a menial and an all-too-common pastime, but there’s something about the reveries and pleasant thoughts that something so small can leave you in. I can only wish to capture photographs with so much meaning and emotion, as my mom did.

Winter

Ambivalence prevails when exposed to the thought of winter. It seems as though autumn has almost come to its end in London; fog is widespread and yesterday evening, the world was so still.

And so, to ignore that and my cold (Really winter? Couldn’t you have come up with something better this time?) I will indulge into yet another novel.

‘And the Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini is what I’ll be reading. Having read ‘The Kite Runner’, which is a truly wonderfully written novel, I am intrigued to read his other works. I will be sure to post my thoughts once I have finished.

Autumn in Glasgow

Reading the beginning pages of Atonement by Ian McEwan on the train to Glasgow, my eyes began to pick up smallest of details. McEwan has an extrinsic gift of bringing out the beauty of the simplest of objects, emotions and people through the meticulous alignment of words.

Upon arrival in the beautifully historic town of Glasgow, I too began to pick up the minutiae of everything around me: the silver lining of the curve of each tile on the ancient roofs, the discolouration of the decrepit brickwork, the autumnal hues of the foliage surrounding the university buildings.

The only other way to better illustrate the landscapes and architecture I saw would be through photographs. Enjoy.

PER Olsson Gisleskog +44 7949075548 Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

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Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

The golden leaves of Autumn


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