Month: June 2012

Perspectives on Art: The June MARTket

Last night was interesting in the fact that it’s rare that I ever show my artwork. One of the co-owners of my publication, 915 Lifestyle, also happens to be the gallery owner of The LoftLight Studios, so on a last minute whim, I decided to ask for […]

To Thine Own Self Be True

“We are becoming the men we wanted to marry”  – Gloria Steinem I’ve recently begun to accept and enjoy the perks of singlehood. This definitely hasn’t  been the norm for me. The last relationship I had was a little over a year ago and it […]

Protected: The Lady Bits Show – Episode 16, Joanna Angel

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Why I Am Not A Feminist

I am a peculiar sort of woman. Peculiar women often have unconventional methods. Although I find myself having the perceived disadvantage of not only being a Hispanic but also being a woman, I have never suffered any disadvantages or been given any additional pleasantries because of that. Maybe […]

Oh Ye the Little Children: An Ode to the Future

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” I like to be as objective as possible, whenever possible. If there’s ever a true bias in my tone that simply means I am sticking to the courage of my convictions on […]

The Witch of Portobello: A Meditation on Writing

I just finished reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Witch of Portobello‘ which is truly a beautifully written novel about a woman who created her own destiny and went against the grain. In the end, she found her ‘Self’ and created a trail of changed lives.

Coelho has always been one of my favorite authors. He has a quirky personality, philosophical depth and can convey deeply rooted expressions in a form that any human spirit can comprehend. Each of his books is like a love letter to the Universe and from those so-called love letters, anyone who has dared to open up their heart to the message he weaves with words can learn a great deal about themselves and the world around them.

It is no wonder that after finishing the novel, I sat in awestruck silence and stayed in quiet contemplation for a long while before venturing to do much else. I thought about the concept of writing, the process, the means, the purpose and the final product.

Writing, in my own humble opinion, is one of the purest expressions of the soul next to love. It is silent yet it speaks volumes. When done correctly, it is clear and it should act and appear as a direct bridge from both the mind and the heart.

Language may appear to be an obstacle sometimes and it is. Beyond the constraints of cultural communication, writing is one way where the body – the fingers –  act as a natural conductor for thought. As you type or handwrite something, your hand transcribes the thoughts echoing from your mind and so in a sense, your emotions and thoughts which you think may not carry tangible weight have suddenly found a home in the physical world.

In ‘The Witch of Portobello’ the female lead, Athena, begins taking lessons in calligraphy from a master. At first, she sees it as a flight of fancy…just one more way to connect with the Universe. However, her master shows her so much more about writing.

Words, their intonation, the shape of the letters, the history behind each vowel, the meaning of spaces…how they all correlate with life. Spaces between words are just like pauses in life and what exactly can those pauses be filled with? Each calligrapher’s style is different, just like a thumbprint. What does this flouncy curve say about it’s writer? What about the tight corners another writer might exhibit?

We often take words for granted. Every letter typed or written is but a brick on the pathway to understanding. One passage I really liked from ‘The Witch of Portobello’ was between the calligraphy master and his pupil, the aforementioned Athena:

There are two kinds of letters, the first is precise but lacks soul. In this case, although the calligrapher may have mastered the technique, he has focused solely on the craft, which is why it hasn’t evolved, but become repetitive; he hasn’t grown at all, and one day he’ll give up the practive of writing, because he feels it is mere routine.

The second kind is done with great technique but with soul as well. For that to happen, the intention of the writer must be in harmony with the word. In this case, the saddest verses cease to be clothed in tragedy and are transformed into simple facts encountered along the way.

So, if you are a writer, always remember the intention of your soul…to become a part of the human conversation, to contribute to the Soul of the World and to present your path on life from fresh eyes.