Monday, July 25, 2011

Flawed

Hello Beautiful

It is thunder storming outside as John Mayer melodizes “Daughters” on a live recording. In my peaceful sanctuary I think about the beautiful things that humanity has accomplished. Film. Music. Dance. Literature. The strenuous hours we take to provide illuminance into our existence. A place of idealism to which we can escape.

Last week a colleague recommended a short film to me called “The Third and The Seventh”. It is a masterpiece. The twelve minute film highlights some of the best modernist architecture of the twentieth century. It contains breath-taking artful shots of these remarkable buildings. The fascinating part is the film was made completely by one person using computer animation. Not one shot is taken from real life. The music, animation, modeling, production—all composed digitally by one man, Alex Roman.

As I viewed the hyper-realistic animation I began to notice what makes it so realistic. It is easy to capture the pristine quality of materials in the clean digital environment of computer graphics. Perfectly smooth paint. Highly reflective metals. Completely flawless skin. What makes this animation so real is the beauty in the flaws that are programmed in. The cracks in the age of the stone. The weathered discoloration in the windmills. The uneven texture of cast-in-place concrete.

The inception of these buildings by the architects were aimed to create a flawless moment in space. Yet they maintained the knowledge that it would not remain as such. It would age, crack, dent, break, and eventually crumble. But the buildings life along the way would be a testament to itself, the architect, and all the people that interact with the building overtime.

People are the same. There is a desirable beauty in being flawless. No blemishes, perfect tan, physically fit, heart unbroken, and confidence through the roof. But there is even more beauty in wearing our battle scars proudly. It is our flaws that separates us from androids. Fractured legs that show we dared. Acne that grew self-confidence. Broken hearts that taught us how to love. We are an amalgamation of skin and bones, heart and soul, personality and character, uniqueness and flaw.

With your flaws you are beautiful.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Your Fingerprint

Hello Beautiful

Human creativity is a quality that I find remarkable.  It is a divine insignia which humanity bears more proudly than any other creature on the earth.  We were created to create.  Yet most believe a perpetual lie that they are not creative.  The truth is that everyone is creative; but possibly not artistic.

This an argument of more than mere semantics.  The distinction of definition sheds light into our innate ability.  To be artistic is to show skill or excellence in the execution of art.  But to create is to bring into existence that which did not exist before.  Women and men create everyday in the form of bringing a child into this world.  Yet there is not skill required in this execution.  Nor is it an art form.  But one cannot argue the beauty nor the necessity of this act of creation.

Everyday you create.  Whether it is a new look with make-up or a new route to work.  You create new outfits and new spreadsheets.  You create stories, photos, and memories.  You create jobs, websites, and products.   You might even create problems and arguments.  And hopefully you create comfort and cookies.

Everything that we create bears our fingerprint.  It speaks of who we are.  Our skills, qualities, and ethics.  My photos bear a certain saturation of color that is distinctive to my style.  I have tried to switch, but this is how I see the world; saturated with life.  Some photographers see the form of things in the world.  Others see the emotion in the world.  The eyes of who you are and what you see will be imprinted into your work, just as we are imprinted with the mark of our creator.

What mark are you placing in the world?  When I go to work and design I wish to imprint beauty to resemble refined taste.  I strive for a precision and accuracy to reflect my work ethic.  And perhaps even a little bit of playfulness to make it extra me.  When you go to—teach, draw, meet, babysit, play—which of your qualities do you manifest?

Create to bring life into this world.  Draw from what is inherently alive inside of you.  Evince the distinct traits that are unmistakably the best parts of you.  Bring forth beauty into the world no matter what you are doing.  Your creativity can speak that you are beautiful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Face of Adversity

Hello Beautiful

This past weekend I made an emergency journey home.  My great aunt was hospitalized with an extremely aggressive strand of cancer.  Admitted as a stage four patient, the outlook seemed quite bleak.  I arrived at the hospital to find a faithful woman fighting for her life.  As we visited over the following days I heard stories of her life, old school herbal medicine, and plenty of advice.  Naturally as a single male, the topic of girls was broached.  Despite traditional Hispanic culture, my aunt married later in life.  As patient as the formation of mountains and as faithful as the seasons, my aunt awaited her husband.

She said she would steadfastly pray for him.  Not just generally.  Anyone can do that.  She would write down, speak out, and declare specific things she wanted in a man.  Now one should have reasonable expectations.  Declaring Prince William as their husband may be a little much and a little too specific.  However, in declaring your desires you make your hearts desire known.  Especially to yourself.  It will help prevent compromise.  When you are lonely, everyone looks good.  Anyone can sweep you off your feet.  But can you wait over forty years for your hearts desire?  Your compliment.  Whether you believe in “the one” or not, we can agree that holding out for the right person is well worth it.  When you find someone worthy of your heart, keep your standards high.

My aunt also said, “Find a virtuous woman.”  Something that I feel is lost in our culture.  Ladies focus a lot on being the smart one or the pretty one.  An excellent home-maker or a tenacious career woman.  One of the guys or a delicate flower.  All of which are fine qualities.  But a virtuous woman, one of high principle, moral, and ethics, is a woman of beauty.  The word virtuous comes from the Latin root virtus which means strength and valor in the face of adversity. This is a test of true character.

So there sat my Aunt in a hospital chair with chemo running through her veins.  Her physical strength failing as her body is destroyed from the inside out one cell at a time.  Barely able to eat or sleep.  In all this she forsakes nothing.  And through it she has the strength to teach her nephew one more lesson.

Aunt, you are beautiful.

(My aunt is doing better all things considered.  Our family would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.)