Monday, June 28, 2010

Rattling the cage...

There’s a metaphor in here somewhere, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Something about seeing this elderly woman, back turned to the windows, alone in a room full of cages, chilled me as I walked past. I had to stop and capture the moment.

(I’m sure the actual woman, herself, is probably enjoying the winter sun through the panes and possibly even sipping a cup of tea in this little cafĂ©. But from the outside, this moment first seemed to speak of something darker).

For one day, we will all be old like this – and that’s if we’re lucky…

There will come a time when we must all turn our back on the day. On all our days.
A time when there will be no more such days for us.

And when that happens, we can only hope that we’ve released all the parts of us that needed to fly free – that we haven’t kept too much under lock and key, preferring to stay caged because flight seemed a scary thing at the time.

So what about you, where you’re currently at in your life?
Is there any part of you that longs to escape any cages of convention?
To be let out into the light.
To be given the chance to stretch its wings.

What unfinished business – or perhaps even unstarted business – is calling for your attention?
Any secret talents, dreams, overdue conversations, or experiments in living?
What would you really like to do?
What matters to you?

What might it take to open the door for these things and give them a way out of the cage?
What’s the smallest way you could set this stuff in motion?
How might it feel to embark on that (to ‘rattle the cage’ a bit)?

(And, perhaps more importantly, how might it feel if you never took the chance and tried?)

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

PS. The photo is part of Point & Shoot

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good morning beautifl...

This spray painted greeting is sprawled across a driveway out the front of a local block of apartments.

Walking past, I couldn’t help but wonder what it might be like to be the recipient.
(Yes, technically, the paint is also vandalism - but bear with me for a moment).

Imagine waking up and then driving or walking out of your home, into the wider world, and being ‘spoken to’ like this before your day out there begins.
Imagine being wished well every morning.
Being supported.
Imagine seeing – knowing – that you’re not alone in this world. That someone was thinking of you. That you matter. Perhaps even that you belong.

Amazing that such a small message can impart so much. Only two words, yet they’re potentially whispering many more.

So what about the beginnings of your own days?
What might you be whispering to yourself in the mornings, consciously or not, before you head out into the world?
When you first awake.
When you catch yourself in the mirror, cleaning your teeth.
When you pass the threshold of your front gate.
I wonder what just noticing these moments might reveal…

For instance, what tone do these words, these self-spoken messages, speak to you in?
Are they supportive, demanding, depressed?
How might that be impacting other parts of your day?

If you woke up tomorrow morning and found your ‘notes to self’ were sprayed across the street outside your home, would you find them uplifting (‘Good morning beautifl’) or offensive?
Would you be tempted to leave them there or scrub them out?
(And if they’re not fit for public consumption, how have they managed to make it onto your inner canvas?)

There’s an unwritten code amongst graffiti artists, apparently. If you can create something better than the existing stuff, you have the right (and possibly even an obligation) to paint over it and claim that bit of wall or whatever for something new.

So what about your inner spaces?

Is the stuff written inside a little dated? Are you sick of seeing it?
Do you want to add something / change something / paint over something / reclaim something?

And if you could paint your own morning greeting anew, what might it be?

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

NO / YES / IF ...

This collection of things is mounted to the side of a work truck that parked in my local area recently. The clock really ticks.
(And further up towards the front of the truck a “Works Zone” sign indicates that work happens between 7am and 5pm, with an arrow pointing towards the driver’s seat).

It’s a kind of mini travelling art installation, and I get the feeling it’s probably meant to be commenting about how keenly the driver/worker/artist is looking forward to knock-off time.

But there’s another message in here for me.
One about decisions.
It’s the “NO / YES / IF” factor that really got me thinking…

So how do you generally make your decisions? The big ones, that is.
Is it a case of listing all the pros and cons? Mapping out all the possibilities.
Or do you consult your gut on the big things?
Or talk them over with friends or family?
Do you follow some parts of what it seems society might expect?
Or maybe you follow your intuition, or something altogether different (like this discarded pizza box suggests).

And what about the ticking clock?
Do you find you often tend to have to make your decisions under pressure?
Does that help sharpen your focus?
Or would you rather a little more time on your side to weigh everything up?

How about the “quitting time” part? How might you know when it’s quitting time for something that’s not working in your life? What are the signs that might help your decision making process about that?
And, on another level, how do you know when it’s time to quit making your decision, and time to just get on with implementing it?
(Do you find yourself often lingering around your decisions, questioning them over and over, or looking back over your shoulder at them, perhaps regretting or wishing they were different?)

Finally, back to the “NO / YES / IF”.
Are there conditions that might help you make your decisions?
(‘If this happens, then I’ll do that’).

It can be helpful to notice all of this stuff. To really bring it out into the light and get to know it. To see the processes you often go through, and to become clearer on which ones you feel might support you most.

So that you know what’s working for you (and when it tends to work best).
And so you can perhaps apply all of this more consciously, more mindfully, the next time you’re facing another important fork in your road.

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

PS These photos are part of Point and Shoot

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Colour outside the lines...

Again, local graffiti has got me thinking, and offered something to ponder in this sea of beige.
I especially like the way the railing underneath seem to add to the statement, bringing three-dimensional lines into the picture. Bars.

Did you colour-in much as a child?
Remember how hard it was, initially, to learn to colour inside the lines? How frustrating? Yet most of us eventually got it.

Learned to trace the shapes someone else had drawn.
Learned to put colour only where we were told to and not where we ‘shouldn’t’.
Even learned what colour certain things were ‘supposed’ to be.

And not just in a colouring-in kind of way…

For there are many lines drawn for us: in society, in our families, in our habits, in our minds.
Things we ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ do.
(Things we ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be...)

Some of this stuff can be useful, and even protective, at times.

But sometimes the lines feel like they’re mounting up, banding together, until all around us we find a cage of ‘shoulds’. And seemingly no way out.

What might it be like to question some of these lines sometimes?
To query their place in your life right now?
To possibly break the bounds and spread some colour into untouched areas?
Perhaps even to draw some lines anew?

What kind of lines might you draw?
Where would you like more colour in your life? (inside or outside these lines?)
And which colours? Would you introduce a whole new shade into your palette?

Simple questions, and kind of strange ones.
But important.
For where you draw the line, and where you choose to colour, can impact the evolving artwork of your life
(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010
PS The photo is part of Point and Shoot

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