Quote for Today: Charlotte Eriksson

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Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice.

Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy.

There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.
Charlotte Eriksson

Image: Walk Alone… © Thomas Leuthard with CCLicense

Quote for Today: Henry David Thoreau

Blocked Natural Fall State Park, Oklahoma © Katherine McDaniel

Blocked
Natural Falls State Park, Oklahoma
© Katherine McDaniel

At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Drawing New Lines: Synkroniciti’s Next Step

Synkroniciti is excited to announce new original features and some tweaks that will help us grow into our creative shoes.

© Visitor7 with CCLicense

© Visitor7 with CCLicense

Synchronicity is the perception of seemingly unrelated events as meaningful, a recognition of the human ability to weave together that which is not obvious. One of the things I love most about the synchronistic approach to life is that it allows creativity to remain fluid. When an opportunity presents itself in one arena, a synchronistic thinker can shift attention to provide space for growth. Being able to move from writing to singing and performing, from music to poetry, from visual to auditory realms is exhilarating. It keeps things fresh and reinforces the feeling that all creative efforts come from the same place, an interior space somewhere in the subconscious where dreams begin. Sometimes the most unlikely ideas lead us into places we have hardly dared to imagine, while the most bankable idea may only lead us back to where we started.

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Cigarette girls from Carmen at Houston Grand Opera, fashion concept based on the work of photographer Ruven Afanador. I’m the one in the middle.

 

 

For the past five months I’ve been busy performing and singing. This included working hard and having a great time at Houston Grand Opera as we presented three very diverse works: The PassengerCarmen, and Die Fledermaus, as well as singing with the new H-town Music Cooperative, which presents fantastic intimate chamber music concerts in homes around Houston. I’m also currently filling in with a lovely community ensemble, Opera Leggera of Kingwood, which has been getting my dance chops up and going. When I started synkroniciti, I was prepared to let the musical performance component of my creative journey wind down. As I began writing, much to my amazement, the singing and performing jobs came in with a vengeance. Is it possible that synkroniciti has had something to do with that? It certainly has not hurt, despite the prevailing educational wisdom of today that encourages young people to narrow their interests and give 100% effort to the specialization of their choice. Why not keep your interests broad and acknowledge that creativity is a support system for life?

© Fabio Alessandro Locati with CCLicense

© Fabio Alessandro Locati with CCLicense

That being said, one can pursue several different things concurrently, but not simultaneously. The flurry of performing I experienced this spring had a surprising effect on synkroniciti. As I wrote less and much more selectively, the number of followers increased steadily. The themes and quotes became the backbone of the blog as well as nurturing my own sanity and keeping windows open onto different pastures. The guilt I felt over not writing as much faded as I realized that it wasn’t effective to drown myself or my readers with the sheer volume of my posts. Running from one cool piece of art to another like a kid in a candy store had begun to produce a stomach ache and severe difficulty in focusing. This miraculously vanished when lack of time stopped me from trying to buy everything in the store.

What will the long term impact of this experience be? Synkroniciti will continue to explore a weekly or biweekly theme through daily quotes. We will feature up to three creative people or genres per week that are somehow connected to this theme, with the occasional philosophical post on creativity and aesthetics. The newest feature on the blog, which I am positively ecstatic about, will be the weekly unveiling of an original piece or set of pieces produced by synkroniciti. These will be posted at the end of each week and archived on a brand new page of the website. At first these pieces will be my own work, but in the future I hope to feature projects made by collaborative teams working with synkroniciti. The first of these posts will go up tomorrow and features my recent pencil drawings, titled Metamorphic Fairies. I can’t wait to share them with you!

© Robbert van der Steeg with CCLicense

© Robbert van der Steeg with CCLicense

Our slogan is explore, create, share. When I selected those words, I had no idea how appropriate they would become to describe the beginning of our journey. I’m overcome with emotion to realize that the past year and a half(!) has been a period of intense exploration. Now we begin the creative period in earnest, looking forward to the day when we can more fully share our vision with others. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t been creative yet, that we are done exploring, or that we are not yet ready to share. Growth never happens in a straight line, but sometimes we are lucky enough to see it spiral out into the world around us. Thank you for being a part of that process!

Yours,

kat

Red Lights, Red Flags and Red Herrings: Chasing Synchronicity

There are moments that have the capacity to change our lives. How do we notice and take advantage of them?

© potzuyoko with CCLicense

© potzuyoko with CCLicense

When two or more unrelated events are experienced in a way that implies meaning, this is called synchronicity. It occurs when the mind connects things together in a new and unexpected way. Popular culture refers to these moments as “Aha” moments. They are one of the greatest treasures of the human experience.

Synchronicity can appear in any guise, any color. Today we are going to look at the color that arguably commands the most attention, red.

red light

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

 STOP. You are about to run into something or someone.

How many tragic, meteoric celebrities can you name? Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean? These are people who rushed to the top of their profession and then fell to their deaths from those dizzying heights. Becoming famous quickly can lead to a difficult life and an early grave.

We tend to treat stoplights and stop signs as inconveniences that keep us from getting where we are going. Actually, accidents keep us from getting where we are going. Red lights prevent accidents, so they help us achieve our goals. They don’t tell us to turn around, to change course or get off the road, although they may make those actions easier. They do slow us down and give us moments to reevaluate our situation with awareness, which is a valuable gift considering the hectic pace of the modern world. They also remind us that there are other people out there on their own journeys and shield us from harming someone out of ignorance while pursuing our own interests. Do you recognize any red lights in your life?

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Red Flags over Tiananmen Square © Rutger van Waveren with CCLicense

PAY ATTENTION. Something is going on here… be ready to improvise.

When I began to have symptoms of Celiac Disease I wasn’t sure how to interpret the red flags my body was giving me. I didn’t have time to stop living and figure things out. It took years to learn what was going on and to become willing and ready to make the changes needed. Now, surprisingly enough, I feel the experience has enriched my life by helping me take better care of myself and take greater delight in the world around me. It has increased my awareness and attention.

Remember this, red flags are not there to doom you or help you get resigned to fate and destiny. They are there so you can escape situations you don’t want to be in. That doesn’t mean you need to be jumpy or expect the worst for no reason, but when you can see it coming you don’t need to turn a blind eye to it. Address it in the moment and find the nearest exit if you need to. How many red flags do you need before you change your course?

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Public Domain Image via Pixabay

HUH? What does that have to do with anything?

Traditional wisdom says, “That looks like a waste of time.” Synchronicity says, “What is that?  I need a closer look.” Last year I decided to write some poetry for the the Home and Place Program at Houston Grand Opera. I had been writing for some time, but only for myself. Much to my surprise, the pieces I wrote touched people and continue to bring people together in ways I never imagined. This little red herring, this detour, has turned out to be very central to my journey and has amplified my understanding of myself and the world around me. This journey is about finding synchronicity.

If we are reasonably sure that we aren’t running any red lights or ignoring any red flags, we might as well check out the red herrings that draw our attention and let ourselves be enriched by the beauty around us. If we reduce our lives to major plot points, we lose the things that make us unique. Will you chase synchronicity with me? It is much better shared.

Please consider becoming a part of Synkroniciti wherever you are by exploring, creating and sharing. Together we can draw new maps of our world.