Thoughts and Quotes

     The mind cannot truly fathom the concept of infinity, but when the heart loves, we can feel eternity in one single moment... 
     What is love? It is a sensation, a state of being, through which we can be in touch with eternity, even though our limited minds cannot truly grasp the meaning of infinity. The meaning of one billion years is hard to understand, but when we feel, in a flash, the sensation of appreciation for something or someone, it sears itself in our being in a way that seems as if it could last for one billion years...one trillion years...an infinity of time. 
     Perhaps that´s why we are all so desperately seeking to love and be loved...by family, friends, lovers, pets, strangers...to feel appreciation for what exists and feel appreciated in return. 
     When one has had the luck to have felt the sensation of love, it is easy to degrade into possessiveness, to seek to prolong the sensation by trying to preserve the circumstances under which the sensation occurred, or to try to control the people who invoked it, in order to guarantee its repetition. 
     However, true love and appreciation is not selfish; it is not miserly; it is not demanding. I want to have faith that the sensation is always available...that it is a state of being that will be repeated if one seeks to appreciate all the beauty in the universe. And hopefully what one finds to appreciate will continuously prove itself grander and more beautiful each time. 
     And why shouldn´t love be possessive? Because beauty cannot be possessed. It is a quality that simply exists in the world. We can fight to possess objects that are beautiful, or a person that we find beautiful, but the beauty is a quality of their existence, inherent in their being. By possessing or controlling that object or person, we are not really any closer to possessing that beauty...we only subject the manifestation of that beauty to artificial, self-serving restraints. Beauty can only be offered to you by the universe, whether it is in yourself or external. 
So?!? I guess I can only take the moment to feel grateful for all the love and beauty I have been so lucky to encounter thus far, and I await with eternal optimism that the universe will continue to reveal new situations that inspire this sensation.
Ph. Yee Hoo Thim.

 
¨Not all those who wander are lost...¨ J.R.R. Tolkien
 
     Happy 4th of July...almost over...Independence Day...a day with special meaning for me.  Even though it is usually cold and rainy winter on this day in Buenos Aires, putting me in the general mood of feeling a little lost, I remind myself that it´s a special day. It was on this day 7 years ago that I decided I would quit my job as an attorney. It had fallen on a Saturday when most people were celebrating summer with friends and family, and I was stuck in the office with another associate in a conference room literally packed with boxes of documents to review. Since I had started working at the firm, the only ¨emotion¨ I had felt was stress...stress about the tasks I needed to complete for work, and nothing else mattered. I confess...I had gone through a breakup, lost a grandmother(!), become a homeowner, been visited by family...and all I had felt was stress about work. What a jerk. Athough I truly respect the colleagues who were meant for the job, I knew I was an imposter and it had cost me my humanity to play the role. That day, I looked at all the brown paper boxes (and redwells) around me, and I decided to quit whenever my main case ended, which turned out to be in November. 
     I got to Buenos Aires at the end of the year, and I thought it would take me a short time to ¨get good at tango¨ and then return to a stable normal life. Ha. Instead, I remain wandering in a world where I have to continually define my own structure without any of my old guideposts. Leaving behind an old identity and the expectations that have been imposed on one is tough...without familiar walls and structures to contain life, the wide open freedom is pretty scary. I had always been nerdy, with my head buried in a book, but now I find myself seeking a new role where I have to be exposed, and it is hard to know what is correct anymore. I suppose I left the safety of the cage without really planning on it...just a short peek turned out into a long freefall, and it is terrifying sometimes. 
     In the midst of all this vertigo, I have to remind myself that the safety I had given up, in shedding the burden of the roles that society teaches us to play, is worth it because I am getting closer to expressing something innate and authentic. The freedom gained is in the choice of internal attitude....that although we all have time, energy, and financial constraints limiting what we can achieve each day, we are free at any moment to vibrate our authentic selves and it is a conscious choice to try to do so. It took a drastic change for me in order to begin on this journey, but I wonder how each person can find freedom daily from the false roles we are expected to play by society, and to be authentic in setting personal goals and in interactions with others, to take as valid the pure goal of seeing beauty from the inside and the outside. Sometimes I just feel lost, but the 4th of July is always a reminder to feel incredibly lucky to be searching to be free.
 

1998: Summer Science Program, Ojai.

2002: MIT.

2013: Photography by Ana Fanelli for Reflex Mag.