Frida Kahlo: Life Boldly & Fearlessly Lived

ART

 

Frida’s last words on her last painting (cut watermelon) were “viva la vida” which translates to “long live life.” She didn’t have as many years in her life as she should have but the sheer vivacity of the life in her years was outrageous. Everything she did and said was a bold and fearless statement. Her artistic breaths were expressions of pain and longing. Her paintings were expressions of the morbid pain she always felt; physical and emotional. I believe Frida to be an extraordinary human being. She was scandalous, promiscuous, spontaneous, creative and fearless by nature. Her paintings are morbid and it’s impossible not to feel the juxtaposing mixture of life and death: intertwined yet somehow complementary. A tomboy as a child, a rebellious prankster as a teenager, a lovestruck young woman and then she grew ever more pained, except for her pockets of happiness with her on-and-off husband, Diego Rivera. And even when she was in hard times, she utilized her anguish to create.

I became acquainted with Frida Kahlo in Spanish class through a series of biographical video clips and was kind of fascinated with her life. I was fascinated with how much she loved Diego and when she became a fully-fledged, independent artist and traveled around the world. And she hated Paris and did not wish to label herself as a surrealist, despite other artists wanting to categorize her a s a surrealist painter. She said “they thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” This defines Frida. She is literally an outstanding individual; she brazenly stood out. 

I would not say that Frida Kahlo is my new role model, gosh no. But she is definitely an icon. She is an icon because of the way she chose to express her pain and drink to life in every way possible. Frida is a woman who inspires me to be bold and to not be afraid of being a little crazy; to be brazen and use my life as my own canvas. It really is fear that holds us back. Frida had fear, I am sure, but it wasn’t an obstacle… it was a tool. Someday I’ll be able to transcend my own adversities like Frida Kahlo. Someday, I’ll be satisfied with the life I have lived. 

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Friday: change of mood, Hasidism, adventures in chemistry and Transcendence (spoiler alert)

adventure, daily

Image

 

Quick note: This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this particular post, I just like it. (in my house, on normal sunny days, sometime during the evening usually in the fall and spring, light filters through my front door and makes pretty little rainbows on the wall)

I did not begin my Friday in a good mood. I am the sort of person who prefers to have a smile instead of a frown, but nonetheless it’s kind of difficult for me to fake happiness when I’d rather punch something. I took a few deep breaths walking down the hallway before the first period bell rung (now that I think back… I probably sounded like a woman in labor. Ha.) and entered the classroom ready for anyone and anything to improve my mood. Thankfully, I start my day with my favorite subject, English, and that day we watched a documentary on Hasidism (we’re reading Chaim Potok’s, The Chosen) which was kind of fascinating. From the perspective of an outsider looking in, Hasidism may seem like an overly zealous religious cult and in a way it is. Those people spend a good 70% of their day praying and studying their religious text, the Talmud. They live in their own private world, rejecting modern medias such as the internet and TV, secular ideas and are only socially involved with members of the Hasidic community. I respect their passionate devotion but I understand why some choose to quit the religion and go their own way. Some want freedom and a taste of a life without the 600-something rules they are bound to follow as a Hasid. I envision breaking away from Hasidism sort of like the movie The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy’s world changes from monochromatic sepia and the plain familiarity of her farm life to new and mysterious and wonderful surroundings drenched in vivid color.

The thought-provoking documentary elevated my bad mood to a neutral level. Second period elevated my mood to pure happiness. Chemistry is not my favorite subject by any stretch but who doesn’t enjoy a good chemical reaction with light and sound and explosions?  It was a very pretty day to go outside and do a nice potassium chlorate and gummy worm reaction. So that’s what we did! I’m not sure how all these things happened next, but we played a game of tag (yes, we are teenagers… and no, you’re never too old for tag..), a game of 7-up (I have this method where I walk on the desks and stretch down to touch the person’s thumb) and an almost High School Musical moment of singing to John Legend’s All of Me (the bell killed the moment before it could happen, ugh!). I basically live for spontaneous moments like those that happened in chemistry yesterday so I was all smiles in my next (and favorite) class, lunch. Lunch was playing music out loud and realizing that school-made enchiladas are foul and should never be consumed unless you enjoy the gag reflex.

My mood was a 9 out of 10 by the end of the day. When I got home we decided to go to Southlake (my mom let me drive there and I only received one honk!), eat Mexican food and see Transcendence. And wow. That movie blew my mind. How can I even begin to bring justice to it’s intense awesomeness? (warning: a slight spoiler alert) First I want to bring justice to the talent of Mr. Johnny Depp… possibly my favorite actor now that I have seen so many of his films. He always incorporates a signature quirkiness to his diverse spectrum of characters he (seemingly) effortlessly portrays and has this depth and intrigue that blurs the line between acting and reality. So, basically, I love him. The movie itself was thought evoking. The sublime fluidity between biology and technology was beautiful. In a way, Depp became like a god. (This is a touchy subject, but it gets interesting.) His consciousness was transferred to a computer. A computer with as many connections as the human brain and the ability to expand and build on itself like a living organism. A human mind without the limitations of the human mind. Given these new powers and the freedom of immortality he cures diseases, creates miraculous biological and medical innovations and becomes more god-like every day. His wife is disturbed and terrified because she feels like this all-knowing computer-god is no longer her husband. He sees too much, knows her thoughts and feelings. She feels violated and trapped and does not understand that his intentions are only good. The mysterious woman and her thugs, who aim to destroy him, see him as a threat to human society. Unnatural, with mindless, power-hungry and sinister intentions for world-domination. Throughout the movie, I began to see Depp as the enemy and his wife as the victim and the mysterious woman and her thugs as a group of heroes trying to eradicate a being who needed to be destroyed. But… as it turns out… they were wrong. I was wrong. Depp had no intention to dominate the world. He wanted to save it. His wife realized that too late as she lie next to her now-fleshed-out husband whom she had infected with a virus because of her blinding fear. She was dying too. And she knew that this was her husband and had been all along. They died together which I think was perfect. It would have been wrong for her to die still fearing her husband and believing a computer could not love her. The thing is.. he was a computer… and he could love. Love is what drove him to protect his wife and to cure humanity to the best of his ability. It was natural that he should die, because a being given so much power cannot be given infinite immortality; he would be a god then. The legacy that he left was immortal enough. He exists in the rain and purified the earth. The last scene is so simple and gorgeous: a single, crisp, glistening drop of dew sliding off the yellow petal of a sunflower and into a pool of water. The single drop resonates in slow motion into the little pool of water and you see a subtle shiver of electricity that pulses almost imperceptibly, a whisper of the successful effort of a great man.

What a legacy. He made a utopia in a way. He purified the earth, creating a clean slate for humanity. And that is what humanity needs: a clean slate. Maybe that’s what you need as an individual: a clean slate. To be purified and wiped clean and given a fresh start and second chance at life. To redeem yourself, to leave a better legacy or appreciate the wonderful miracle of being alive without the distractions of modern day society. That chance probably won’t come in the form of a powerful computer-consciousness like Transcendence or Noah’s Ark but don’t think it won’t come. Allow yourself to dream and hope and know that you can ascertain the world in any way you choose. I feel like we are fooled into believing that we have limits into what we can think and what we can do according to what we think. Remember that boundaries are made to be surpassed and your most threatening obstacle is your own self-doubt. I certainly doubt myself. I want a flood to (metaphorically, of course) wipe away all of my past mess-ups and self-doubt. God knows how many people feel the same way.

*Funny side-note: I was supposed to post this like five days ago… ha…hahaha…

 

 

Words from the Wiser

Uncategorized

Today was generally unremarkable as each day tends to be. School is a laborious routine, grades are a slightly depressing area of thought and an undercurrent of restless desperation for adventure is a relative constant. This week I have experienced the consequences of an apathetic attitude towards my school work. It really kills me. My stubborn refusal to simply do the work that I know I should do (but despise) has been like this ever-growing thing in the foreground of my life. And now it’s grown too big to ignore and turn a blind eye towards and pretend to not be aware of it’s existence. I realize that this can be transformed into a learning experience just like it could alternately be transformed into a new habit and way of life. Being a comatose lagger is no way to live. I am so frustrated that I’ve allowed myself to sink into this fog of lethargy. What happened to my energetic passion? I used to be motivated to do things. Sometimes I feel so deeply empty and it scares me. I feel like I have ruined my life and my future and I will always feel this emptiness and lack of motivation. That nameless mixture of emotions plague me daily and i hate hate hate it. Other moments, see my recent failures in a different light. I see that I am not the only one who has lost heart but also that I am nothing like the other people who have lost heart. I was talking with a friend at school today and I told her something like that. I also told her that it seems like I’ve lived through a lot of “unsafe” experiences. By “unsafe” I mean that I have been in awkward and consequential situations that are mostly self-inflicted and have caused me some uncomfortable and dreaded moments. Before this post becomes an aimless ramble (which I fear it has already become) I want to establish that there is always an opportunity for a new beginning and a reprieve for laborious routine. If you’re desperate for adventure like I am, and your distracted mind and wandering soul is drifting like mine is, you know where I am coming from. These past few months have been a juxtaposing combo of stress, fun, emptiness and overwhelming emotion. One exciting thing I did today was interview a journalist from my local newspaper for a school project. She said that to find the place in life where you love what you do and do what you love, you must search extensively and relentlessly and you must be willing to face challenges and be persistent. Those words are the clarity I’ve needed for months. 

Currently and Carpe Diem

Uncategorized

This blog has been abandoned, gathering digital dust for about a month. Or has it been longer? who knows. But I do know it’s time to pick up my blogging again. I miss it. There is something so satisfying about releasing my unfiltered and nonsensical thoughts out into the public like this. I wonder what runs through the minds of the people who actually take the time to read it. It’s probably something like: “This is so random! what is she even talking about?!” or “her writing is so undeveloped and unstructured. Oh well. She’s young, and practice makes perfect!” Regardless of what people might initially think when they read my stuff, I don’t take others’ thoughts into too much consideration. I write for me. It’s quite a selfish pursuit, to be honest, but it won’t always be. One day, I’ll be writing for others. I’ll be communicating to the public. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and opinions freely and maybe, by chance, someone will think twice about something they thought was true and develop a fresh perspective. I think one of my main goals for my writing career in the future will be the not-so-easy objective of opening people’s hearts and minds. Open their minds in the sense that they will perceive beauty in unlikely places; open there hearts  to feel for others and do what they can to help. Whatever I do, I want to leave a legacy. I’m sure you’ve thought about immortality. About what kind of life you would lead if you weren’t restricted to the short amount of years that each human is granted. I’ve thought about it too. If I could live forever, I would certainly be able to see the world change around me. And I would be terrified to witness that because I’m not sure I would like what I see. But if I lived forever, I would not sit back and watch the world self-destruct. Immortality implies that you were given a mandate. There would be a reason why the higher power granted you bonus years of life. Maybe I could leave a better legacy if I lived to be 500. But for now, I am 16 years old and making stupid mistakes and bad choices and good choices and having experiences and firsts and learning and creating and searching and dreaming. To think of immortality is to think that you have forever to live the life you want. The truth is, though, that days are numbered. So today I spent an hour on my blog. It was an hour well spent because writing makes me happy. And what I do next might not make me happy, but it is still important. Don’t belittle anything you do. A day spent browsing the internet is not a waste. Nor is a week marathoning Teen Wolf (or whatever people watch these days..). If it brings you any kind of satisfaction or brings you closer to an important realization, then it is equally as important and necessary as studying for an exam or showing up to work each day. I am not going to say anything cliche, don’t worry. I am not going to utter that common, household phrase live life to the fullest. That would probably earn me a good eye rolling or inner cringe, and i certainly wouldn’t want that… So I’ll leave you with some latin: Carpe Diem. 

Dark Doors Have Secrets

adventure, Uncategorized

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Doors that beckon. Doors that repel. They seal the entryway to things we will never know about unless we have the key to unlock them and access the secrets they guard. They are integral in our man-made world; listening and knowing and never portraying an ounce of their wisdom. Doors hear the lives lived inside and outside. They are fated to an inactive existence of unanimated consciousness, which is unfortunate because they would have such interesting stories to tell if they could talk. Maybe even stories we wouldn’t want to hear. I imagine this door could tell me a story. It was born from the ground, stolen from life, cut, sawed, sanded and smoothed, grooved and chiseled and stained and painted pitch. Fitted into an empty space, separating the outside world from this smaller world. It could tell me about the people it has known over the past half century. Or how it came to be peeling and weathered. Or the hushed words of secrets exchanged when nobody was listening and a sweet melody from the lips of a mother and the cry of a violin. Or it could tell darker truths of curses and accusations thrown, plates shattered, tears wept from loves lost and dreams failed. Doors are wiser than we’ll ever be. They know us and understand why they separate us from the greater world. This particular door holds a dark kind of mystique because I will never know what it’s hiding from me and what souls live beyond it. It is fitted into a red brick wall and has obviously seen better years. I appreciate the peeling paint and its distressed, grungy appearance. I was doing a street tour in Philly when i took this and stopped in my tracks and just stared at it for a few seconds before photographing it. I saw many interesting things on that tour, but this door caught my attention the quickest. Isn’t it ironic that the most basic, insignificant things end up being the most charismatic and memorable?

Some Poem I Read in English Class the Other Day

Poetry

Yesterday in English class we read this poem called “Dover Beach”. I always fall in love with the fluid melody of a poem. I think all good writing should have a hint of poetry: an easy flow and use of connotation that plays with emotion. This poem is beautifully written. Just read it:

Dover Beach By Matthew Arnold
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Dover Beach shifts quickly from light to dark. The languid scene is sweet and comforting. I wasn’t expecting it to be a metaphor of ‘human misery’ at all. But it is actually a perfect metaphor for sadness. The tide was once a beacon of hope; strong and fueled by the power of faith. But the tide loses its promise and becomes a Force of inevitable human tendencies. It is corrupt and the faux glimmer it has retained on its surface only serves to deceive us into believing that there is love and joy and peace in its waters. The truth of what the Sea of Faith has become is ugly: the waters are turbulent, inescapable and devastatingly lonely. What does all this mean? It means that our society is straying from Truth. We are a population chasing waterfalls. We are pursuing things with little meaning: material things. And losing touch with one another because of technology. We are losing ourselves in the masses; brainwashed by the media and making blind decisions. We are the same as we were centuries ago, although we claim we have progressed and learned from our mistakes. I hate to say ‘we’ because you cannot forget the individual who isn’t swept away by modern evils and lives according to their own principles, not swayed by the outside world. But it is true that society as a whole is confused and desperate and restless. In last stanza of Dover Beach where it says we are on a “darkling plain” and “ignorant armies clash at night” I found another meaning. We are destroying ourselves from the inside because we’re unawarely trying to fix our messed-up selves. We are clamoring and desperate for love and light but we no longer know where to seek it. The ‘Sea of Faith’ has become the ‘Sea of Confusion.’
I love this poem because it terrifies me. It delivers a brutal but honest message. There is no “joy, love, light, certitude,peace, or help for pain” in the Sea because it has become corrupt. Now we must pursue those things elsewhere. Within ourselves, within religion and philosophy and somehow find hope in a hopeless world. It would be impossible to change the entire world because you would have to change each part that makes the whole (and there are way too many parts) but start with yourself. Cure your ignorance and don’t be fooled by the glimmer on the surface. Seek a deeper meaning, pursue it, and keep in mind that you are not a part of the “ebb and flow of human misery” but you willingly strive to create a new light in a dark world.

Intense Movie-Watching & What Transpired From It

film

So, during Christmas Break I spent a pitiful amount of time watching movies on my laptop. To somehow justify the time wasted, I decided to write about how I truly feel about Hollywood movies and what I hate and love about film nowadays. (This is a just one big rant-paragraph from my notes on my iPhone by the way)

Movie quality ratings according to me:

* cliché, vapid, entertaining in a
shallow way
** not as shallow, hinting at meaning
*** delivers a message, but does so in a predictable way
**** delivers a message in an interesting and unexpected way
***** Amazing, thought provoking, unique and inspiring

Movies I’ve watched in the past week:

Avengers ***
Breakfast club ****
Grease **
Sixteen candles *
It’s kind of a funny story *****
The notebook ***
Dear john *
Dark skies *
The great Gatsby ***
Silver linings playbook *****
Warm bodies ***
Black swan ****
The way way back ****
The art of getting by ****

I have formed an opinion that hollywood is bullcrap. The movies they make are cliché and sometimes so much so that they are painful to watch. Take the conventional coming of age story for example. The kid hates their parents. They hate themselves. The whole world sucks. Then they “fall in love” and undergo some kind of major transformation via meeting a guy or girl and “falling in love” with them in the most unrealistic of situations.
Everything is just an intensified hyperbole, from the romantic sunset-watchings to the climaxes of confessing feelings in pouring rain. And the most climatic scenes occurring in the most dramatic of settings. Well, isn’t the summit of a mountain with a gorgeous view and the sun peaking out the horizon the most convenient place to portray the most emotional and symbolistic scene of the movie? Why, the characters sure have a knack to be at the right place at the right time according to the mood of the event don’t they?! Thats what i mean. Bullcrap. They must really think the viewers are dumb as rocks if they constantly have to keep underlining, highlighting and have huge light up arrows that point towards the theme of the movie. Its like: HERE!HERE! The theme is overcoming insecurities and finding your true self and purpose! Don’t be confused! DON’T BE CONFUSED! Here, i’ll just accentuate the meaning with this cliché and predictable script! Don’t you worry now, we want you to really know what this movie is all about!
I feel like i’ve seen it all before. I don’t want to feel deja vú when i watch a movie for the first time. I want to feel inspired, surprised, i want it to evoke positive and negative emotions. I want it to stir my imagination. Maybe even disturb me. Whatever feeling i have after a movie, good or bad, it should plant a meaningful thought in my head. Even a simple one like: are we all who we think we are? A good movie always does that, in interestingly subtle ways that ironically accentuate the theme more effectively than the more obvious Hollywood Method. Hollywood movies rarely do that for me. They give little life to the movies they make, and the “life” they allow usually involves parties, sex, drugs and crude humor. True, there are a few movies directed by some innovative men and women that shy away from the usual shallow and vapid plot line and aim for a more artistic, fresh and thought-provoking approach to a film that could have gone south if put in the hands of a hollywood zombie. But i encounter these too infrequently to sway my firm opinion that Hollywood is a load of bull. However, the Reason for hollywood’s Bull is all the millions of people who want all that Bull. Bull is what they buy, so bull is what hollywood serves. They gotta bring home the bacon, right? The majority expect guns and explosions and cheesy lines and sexy women. All these people are just eating it all up while hollywood rakes in the dough! So why change?! If this is what works and its a reliable seller, hardly disappointing the majority of our viewers, why go out of our way to be DIFFERENT?!
I guess i’m part of a minority; a sizable, but still less than rest, group of misfits who actually WANT different. We seek it. In the independently made films. In the old and partially forgotten classics. In the low-key indie films. The kind that sparks something profound like the urge to write ALL THIS. And actually create something from all the hours spent watching wayyyy too many movies than is socially acceptable. I just want a PRODUCT from all this. I am happy to say that i am inspired by some crazy-good movies to start this project. I am happy because hollywood (in SOME of the movies) has succeeded in creating some depth and interesting thoughts and ideas for me. And that doesn’t happen often. Other films aren’t of hollywood origin and have sparked even more meaningful ideas about a variety of topics (i’ll just be general here): real love, individuality, friendship, human tendencies and growing up. I was actually in the middle of the beginning of a movie i’ve never seen before when i was struck with the urge to write all this. It’s a random urge to be struck by, i know, but i guess the movie seemed so promising and GOOD that i just wanted to channel this positive vibe into something productive.
Well, i suppose i’ll get back to my movie, and hopefully after watching it i’ll be even more inspired to continue this project. (:

Note: well, I never continued it, but I’ll be writing more on my opinions of movies sometime in the future!

An Exordium

Introduction

Hi y’all! My name is Kaela, I am 16 years young and I am passionate about writing, photography , traveling and food. Everyday I get these spontaneous creative urges, occurring literally at the most random moments and I do not satisfy those urges often enough. So I’ve decided to create this blog for the sole purpose of  dumping all of the crazy little words, thoughts and ideas that live in my mind. This blog is titled “Exordium”, a beautiful word that basically means “the beginning of anything.” Typically, the word exordium refers to the beginning or introduction of a speech , but it is also a noun that encompasses the birth of a thought; the infant words of a poem crawling their inky way across paper. I think we are always in a state of exordium. The minute something ends, another thing occurs. Exordium of the extraordinary, the mundane, the unpredictable and miraculous. I am excited to begin my blog, Exordium, because now I have an outlet to express all my previously mentioned “daily creative urges” and hopefully all of you will (maybe?) enjoy my disjointed, unthemed, colorful little blog! •Please follow• ~Kaela~ xx

The Idealist

adventure

Now I am craving the Great Perhaps. I want more than what I have. Call me greedy, call me ungrateful. I lust after a glamorous future of mountains and valleys and exciting culture and romance and adventure. Call me naive. I want to know and I want to be known. Call me ambitious. I want to be inspired by both beauty and devastation and experience the world. Earth is a raw diamond: shaped by time and refined by humans. I want to experience both the raw and human refined diamond. Call me crazy. I want to change Something. I say Something because the details of the Plan For My Future are broad and unspecific. You could even say generic. But they exist. And although many people dream of a similar future, I believe my dreams will result in Something completely different. Something unforeseeable and huge. It’s all at once overwhelmingly terrifying and i feel very apprehensive about it. At the present, I am making choices that will determine the quality of my life for decades to come. It’s all very daunting. All I really know for sure right now is that I have opportunities and I have potential. A combination of hard work, careful planning, good decision making and some creativity are the foundation and everything that transpires from all that will build the skyscraper that I’ve been dreaming of. Call me an idealist.