Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Beekman Bacardi Mojito
Here I am on the road again, craving it and fearing it at the same time.   With such a short turn around time between my last trip to Greenville and going to Boston, I wasn't able to actually sit down, think about and analyze my recent travel experiences. I will write about it soon but now, I would like to focus about the contradiction the travel experience creates for me... 

When I travel or are about to leave for a new destination my emotions often take over my rationality. At least for a while... The seltzer of excitement and anticipation of a new is poured over with the double shot of fear and stirred well with mulled leaves of fresh anxiety. I taste this delicious mojito drink every time it had out of door! It is because I know what a great time I'm going to have and because I know how many things could go wrong. The battle of known and unknown, expected and unexpected, comfortable and uncomfortable is about to begin!

I think the meaningful travel is about stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing and dealing with things outside of your normal daily habits. The daily routines keep our learning and discovering life on an automatic drive, commanding our mind and senses to mundane tasks and dull tastings. When our mind gets bored... we crave to change our venue and provide it with fresh unknown reality to explore. The old-self, physical and emotional part, wants to hold on to comfort and safety that every day routines provide, but the mind and the spirit want and need more to go on, and they are willing to sacrifice comfort and safety in order to revive discovery and self-search.

P. Bertius "Map of Newfoundland Coast", Amsterdam, 1598-1608
Source: Jonathan Potter Maps

I go because I want to discover things for myself even though they were discovered by many others. I always wonder if there is any travel left today where one could still go on an expedition of uncharted territory, the TERRA NOVA? Probably scientific research could provide such experiences, or maybe possibly the competition-like record-oriented expeditions, but just because my travel-oriented discoveries don't contribute to the greater knowledge of human species it doesn't mean that it doesn't contribute to MY knowledge and understanding of the world. 

Such selfish experience of enriching my mind through travel is as valid as any other research-based discovery that will benefit a larger group. It can have a major influence on our creative production, what we think, how we interact with other people and influence our community when we get back from our journeys. 

I know from my own personal experience that it doesn't matter the distance I traveled - I'm never the same person when I return home. I just discovered my Terra Nova and my mind is trying to process all the information I have discovered. The real question is... what am I going to do with it?

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Dear Dad, I wrote this narrative especially for you! Your love and support throughout my life made me feel like I was the most beloved daughter in a whole wide world and I thank you for that.  

I love you and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!



There was never more devoted father to his daughter since the beginning of time... 

When she was born, she was so tiny and fragile that it seems she would fall apart like a smoke through his hands. Her weak and vulnerable body bent dangerously, ready to snap under the pressure of his kissing lips or disperse like a dandelion seeds in a wind, when he put his nose next to her neck to inhale her sleepy smell. 

His adoration of her was his Easter Sunday mass on any average weekday. 
He announced her importance with stubborn clicks of his camera, recording reflections of light in her eyes, capturing the glistening of reddish highlights in her limp hair. The stacks of photos were his painter's swatches, a composite portrait of grimaces, moods, expressions, mimics and reactions. 

He believed that she was given to him as a guiding ray of light for his own dismantled life. She had the power to put him back together, glue back all the broken pieces of his mangled spirit, shattered by poverty and aimless existence. 

With her birth on a cold November day, like a lifelong cripple who finally touched the tip of the holly statue, he miraculously stood up on his own two feet, able to climb unforeseen monstrous peaks of the highest kind in order to fulfill his obligation of a saved sinner. She was his second chance at life, like an unexpected release from a prison after life-long sentence for a heinous crime . 

He was her bodyguard. 

He would fight for her to his last shallow breath, sheltering her glowing face from the blue shade of sad trees. 
He would defend the greenery of her eyes from mean dusty wind.
He would silence obnoxious crows and canaries alike from muffling her shimmering laughter.  
He was her devoted slave and an obedient servant, refusing to run away, if his freedom was granted and begging to stay, if it wasn't

He was the connoisseur of her likes and things that made her cringe, yet it has never prevented him from introducing new flavors, ideas and experiences to enrich her world.

He was her tour guide who encouraged his patron to leave no stone overturned with curious fingers and never-ending questions. He welcomed her challenging statements and forceful arguments, as if he was a blacksmith with a raw iron in his hands, forging it into a lethal weapon to conquer the beautiful world. 

When she created, he knew that he was a part of it. 
When she painted, he was the gesso soaked into the canvas, the camel hair of the brush stuck in between the layers of glaze, or maybe the turpentine mixed with thick oils. He glistened like a top coat varnish reflecting bright light of a sunny room and was present in the trembling fingers managing skinny brush marks into a small signature and date. 

When she took photographs, he was in a multiple shutter click of her camera, in a zoom of the shot and in a black frame of artful composition. 

When she wrote a story, he was in spaces between the letters and in the grammatical errors of her sentences. Her paragraphs were held together by the buttresses of his encouragement, as the paintings were supported by an easel and a camera stood on a tripod. 

Acting as a dedicated doctor, who hovers over his weak recovering patient, he administered his medicine carefully. He refrained from poisonous criticism and injected into her life stream a miraculous dose of fortitude on a daily basis. Her optimism and confidence grew viciously. Her strength was like an onion when peeled. A layer upon layer is discovered, each one more powerful than the last one.  

Then one day, she grew up...

When she flew away, he wept loudly like Kochanowski after his beloved Ursula, without anyone hearing his voice. Her absence removed his vocal cords and made him a mute. He had nothing to say anymore and the steaming temperature of his heated conversations became freezing cold. She was his prism through which he was able to see the world as a beautiful and a just place but he became blind the instance she disappeared from his life.   

The memory of his little girl was the only sustaining element of his life and the beat up old boxes full of photographs were the only food keeping his soul alive..."