Messages of the Erotic Kind

Artist: Edouard Manet | Olympai

Artist: Edouard Manet | Olympai

The titular prostitute in Manet’s Olympia covers her genitals – but the flower in her hair and the bouquet on the left stand in for what she covers.

Artist: Glyn Philpoht | Apres-Midi Tunisien

Artist: Glyn Philpoht | Apres-Midi Tunisien

In the woozy Orientalist fantasy of Guy Philpot’s Après-midi Tunisien, the flowers signal the sexual availability of the two men to each other.

Flowers could symbolize sexual availability for both men and women. I think we need to bring this beautiful yet subtle way of messaging one another into the 21st century. This garden of earthly delights deserves to be revived. -tM

Notes on the Creative Vocation

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...

...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.”
- Rainer Maria Rilke

While We Were Here

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

“While we were here,” doesn’t always translate into “I want to go back,” however, it’s nice to know that through reminiscing you can revisit that beauty through memory. It’s all a matter of love; the more you love a memory, the stronger it becomes. It is beauty that we seek and what we once felt while in its grip, that’s what makes nostalgia always ripe for the picking. -tM

“Hour of nostalgia, hour of happiness, hour of solitude.” - Pablo Neruda

The Single Self

Photography: Alex Chatelian | Vogue, 1970

Photography: Alex Chatelian | Vogue, 1970

I have always been able to lunch alone, sit at a cafe during the day or early evening at a bar and have a glass of wine with ease. Engaging in these acts during daylight hours brings a certain casualness to the affair of it all.

Most recently, and from time to time, I have found myself thoughtfully taking myself out for a night alone, sometimes it is sitting at a wine bar, other times it may be listening to a live musical performance, and I have to admit that it isn’t as easy as the above. At night people navigate through the city in groups, or in couples, whereas during the day, most of us are lone soldiers, diligently marching forward to the beat of our own routines and errand running drums.

I am noticing that the world makes it a little more uncomfortable for the single person to get comfortable at being single and out alone. There is a stigma that follows, one of loneliness, and perhaps if sitting at a bar, others may come to mind. Again, I cannot help but notice the differences between our N. American society and that of the European, where such an act mostly goes unnoticed by those participating and by those observing.

So I guess the more I do this, the more I get will comfortable with continuing to break social norms, (especially true for the female) and not thinking twice about the single-self date night. But until then, I literally have to mentally begin preparing myself for my night on the town first thing in the morning, reminding myself that it is in fact a casual affair, one where I get to be with myself in a different way, and I get to experience new places that my friends would never venture into.

The connection to the self and life really shifts when you start becoming a little braver then you once were. Some would even say, it sets off a chain reaction. -tM

Limitless Possibilities

Artist: David Stenbeck

Artist: David Stenbeck

I have never understood our need to endlessly tire ourselves in attempt to figure out our origins, moving through this life with such great importance and ego.

Perhaps the secret to life is to “just be,” allowing life the space to exist as a mystery to enjoy, not understand. -tM

00:00

How often do you need a fresh start? And what does that entail for you? Do you begin a new each day, leaving yesterdays shit behind? Does it begin with the little things, or do you let things build one by one until your existence becomes secondary to life and you need to rise again elsewhere?

It has always been my belief that you may have a fresh start any moment you choose. It often takes a fair amount of courage and some mindfulness to get things rolling, but it is always possible to move yourself into a better mindset/life.

I know it is easier said then done, but sometimes it really is necessary to depart from the old in order to continue seeing the light. -tM

A Purse-onal Affair

Oh the fascinations of digging through ones purse as a child were endless and also a major faux pas in my family. I was raised NEVER to go into my mothers purse, or anyone else’s for that matter without asking. I don’t know whether it was about the wallet and the money they feared I would steal or perhaps it was more about the privacy of the space which contained some of my mothers secrets, and the lessons of personal boundaries that followed.

I was recently reading an article that referred to handbags now a days as symbols that transmit messages about “taste, aspirations, and personality,” that they are to the most of us what cars are to those living in LA; they are private vessels, sealed off from the rest of the world that help carry you from Point A to B, containing the necessities you need for daily survival.

Photographer, Juergen Teller, believes that the purse is in fact a psycho-sexual object and likens the privacy intrusions into ones purse to almost feeling like a body violation; and if a high heel has a phallic connotation then why can’t the purse have a vaginal one? I know this is all very Freudian, but I have to agree that to have someone go through the contents of your purse does feel like a personal violation, whether you are hiding something or not (airport X-rays, case and point).

So whether Jeurgen photograph’s models spread eagle in bags, hands in purses intimately placed in between their legs, (hairy, furry, or smooth) there is one thing for certain, there is an implicit understanding that now a days a bag is a status accessory, as for the rest, Freudian or not, unless I give you permission keep your hands out of my purse. -tM

Photography: Juergen Teller

Partners in Crime

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

I feel like after you reach a certain age, that friend, that partner in crime eventually moves on to become someone’s significant other, as perhaps do you.

There is something so admirable about the way we used to stick by one another in our youth. Rock stars in our own right, passionately looking for adventure and riding that wave with the truest of hearts. I miss that kind of reckless devotion, that spirit and reverence of youth. -tM

My Higher Power

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

I don’t know what I would do without music, or what quality of life I would have for that matter if the world fell silent.

It is so intrinsically part of my physical make-up, my genetic code; it moves me through my day and continues to carry me through life. It is my belief that is is the highest form of intangible art, building bridges where none existed, moving the masses toward unity, even if temporary. It is a revolutionary force; music can change the world, because it can change people.

Today I thought about what music means to me: and the only thing that I could come up with was that it is part of my life’s sustenance, connecting us all and reminding us of our belonging even in our loneliness. -tM

“I can chase you, and I can catch you, but there is nothing I can do to make you mine. “ - Morrissey (on music)

Sharing Sometimes Isn't Caring

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

I have lived alone, I have shared my space with a partner, and I have to admit that nothing feels (for me) as good as having a space of my own. The peace and freedom that come a long with this luxury are priceless. I thrive creatively, spiritually, and mindfully. I am a better person when enjoying the solitude of my space.

Perhaps some people aren’t meant to share spaces. Perhaps relationships would last longer, even marriages, if we kept separate quarters? Living with someone is tough, at least for me it has always been that way. I think the “problem” is that I enjoy my own company way to much. -tM

This is a Love Story

Photography: Herbert List | Trattoria; Capri, Italy

Photography: Herbert List | Trattoria; Capri, Italy

A smell, a touch, thoughts, moments, feelings, movements, words said, words barely spoken, they all have a distinct taste or fragrance. When we sit at a table, there is more going on then than just simply satisfying hunger. Permit yourself to linger, as there are many spells to be offered by a good meal, the heart, mind, and spirit rarely leave unsatisfied. -tM

My, What Big Ears You Have

Artist: Gael Davrinche | Contemporary Realism

Artist: Gael Davrinche | Contemporary Realism

We all know someone or have known someone who hears and see’s everything, who either “claim” to have overheard the juicy details or were privy to being at the right place at the right time. This is otherwise known as the snoop or the town gossip; big ears, and even bigger mouth.

If they talk about someone else, they will most definitely talk about you. So I stay clear. I don’t want to know peoples dirty laundry, I do not want to participate in bringing someone down, in helping spread word about a situation or current life struggle. And as of lately if and when I begin to judge someone on their behaviour, dress, or otherwise, I stop myself, and that little voice in my head tells me to shut the f*&$ up, because in reality, I need to divert that energy toward me, toward bettering myself, fixing what I believe needs fixing.

I understand the human draw toward these types of headlines, what else was there to do when people didn’t have t.v., lived in a town of a few hundred, and needed some form of entertainment. People are people, and although still entertaining, gossip can also be incredibly damaging.

There has got to be another way for all of us to feel accepted by others without the spread of such tales.

So the moral of this story friends is: steer clear of those with a big mouth and big ears, for like the wolf in “The Little Red Riding Hood” they may be charming but they too will eventually come for you. Trust your instincts and keep moving on. -tM

Title or Creed?

Artist: Unknown

Artist: Unknown

I know many women who want to wear this “crown,” that refuse to be treated any less then the “Queen” they are in life and in relationships.

I will personally never understand this attitude of better than, of needing to be put up on a pedestal. In life I would hate the attention, not to mention that I really believe that as human beings no one is above or beneath anyone, no matter their position in life. Also, putting one on a pedestal can be a very dangerous thing, as even the slightest resemblance to being human with faults, may cause you to fall from grace and result in the dissolve and unravelling of that said relationship. I feel that in relationships NO ONE should be put on a pedestal, or given a title.

I am not adverse to some special treatment and I believe in giving the same in return, as this is your person, however, the idea of being put on a pedestal, met with certain expectations is an invitation for disaster, not to mention the pressure that comes along with fitting into that predetermined role.

Perhaps I am wrong, but being someone’s “King” of “Queen” doesn’t leave much room for personal growth or mistakes in my opinion. However, maybe I am reading too much into the actual title. And maybe it’s just the title that people crave, the feeling of being treated extra special, like a royal without any expectations to follow suit.

I could go on analyzing this need but I will stop here. Just some Saturday morning musings to get the blood flowing while the coffee is brewing. -tM

A Side for you, A Side for Me

Design: Unknown

Design: Unknown

I want to look at you when you speak to me. I want that intimacy, in person, and across from me. I want to fall into those gestures, the details of your face, your own specific qualities. It’s these details that move me, that create a visual intimacy, the things that find there way into memory. At least in my mind. -tM

How to Date The French Way

  1. Know the purpose of your “date,” and keep that in mind when choosing your attire. Bring on the allure.

  2. Lingerie is a must, ALWAYS, even while sleeping.

  3. If you kiss one another or sleep together, you are officially together. There is no such thing as “dating” in the French vocabulary.

  4. Create DRAMA in your relationship to keep things exciting, creating tension, and validation. This could also possibly act as a reminder for him/her to not take you for granted. Don’t get to comfortable. Everything is temporary: “I take my bits and my bob’s and I am out!”

Men, what do you think? Women are you up for the French way of dating? I would be interested to hear about the How to Date The French Way from a male perspective. -tM