#writerswednesday: Happy New Year! 2020

© Thorsten Marquardt, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 – full text at end of post –

My dears,

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

A new decade is lying ahead
and I hope we use it to spread
ideas and inspiration
reflection and some contemplation
breathe it in and smile some more
set the sails and move from shore
into the great wide sea
to grow, become and be
what and who we are meant to be.

It’s exactly collaborations like these that make my heart jump and be even more passionate about art.
There are these moments where you’re having a really nice and interesting conversation and then, when continuing the exchange via email, something great is forming itself.
Thanks to Thorsten Marquardt, who sent me this picture, which gave me – in connection to our conversation – the inspiration for this poem and thanks to his efforts it now looks the way it does, as he put the text around the picture.
I truly appreciate the exchange with others, as I always say
Inspiration through Communication
And this is proof that it works.

Thanks to everyone who worked with me in 2019, who gave me insights, impulses, feedback.
Nothing of it goes unnoticed.

I thank all the people I was allowed to meet on my way and to collaborate with from the depth of my heart.
2019 taught me a lot. About goodbyes and hellos, about exchange, about nurturing, needs vs wants, about people, life and art. And so much more.
Not only do I thank all the people, who made the year so insightful and meaningful as it was, but I also thank the year itself for having been such a good teacher.

To all of you reading this: I wish you all the best for the new year, the new decade, I hope you had time to reflect on the past, be in and enjoy the present and look into the future with a hopeful heart and determined mind.

The sails are set
and I bet
the wind is soon to come
to move ahead and move along
into a wider space
from place to place
and home once more
into the water and back to shore
ever moving
ever growing
as life itself
a water flowing

© Gina Laventura, 2019

© Thorsten Marquardt, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

poetry, passion and perseverance
let us endure the loss of what once
was our home, our harbour, we were safe
the slight remembrance
and subtle memory, we take to our grave
written in our bones, our chest, our breath,
the idea of paradise after death,
the holy land
after the end,
giving hope, but causing pain,
so we write and love again and again,
to go back
but we lose track
and for the apple we reach
although they teach
us to withstand temptation
but in secret contemplation
we are all half sinners, half saints
and the idea of paradise
faints
and lives only in hopes and dreams and memory
and in art we see
what once
was our home, our harbour, we were safe.
persevered through poetry, passion and prose
and from the grave
they rose
into the holy land.
a longing, a dream, a missing
that will barely end.

© Gina Laventura, 2019

#socialsaturday: Reflections & Resolutions

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#socialsaturday: Reflections & Resolutions

Hey my dears,

I don’t know about you, but reflecting on 2019 makes me go phew, what a year!
There was a time when I’d make new year resolutions after reflecting on the year that was coming to an end.
Which in turn just meant starting the new year with additional pressure instead of letting go of the pressure of the past year.
So, I turned to having wishes and visualising them.

But first, I’d do the past year justice and reflect upon it.
Sum it up, go through the ups and downs, see what I learned and what I can still learn.
Then I turn to visualising my wishes for the new year.
Without pressure.

For some it’s the next big career step, for others it’s building a home and family, for others it’s doing more sports, calling mum more often, and for many it’s taking more time for themselves.
And that’s exactly what I decided on to bridge the old and the new year.
Thus, I decided to spend New Year’s Eve all on my own in a place that I love: close to the sea.
Just me, myself and some salty splashes of water, to wash away what needs to be washed away in order to clear the path for a new year.

I have no idea how it’s going to feel, maybe I’ll hate it, maybe I’ll love it.
But as nowadays so many people on social media are talking about self-love and even Felix Jaehn sings about putting love on yourself first, why not travel alone and end the old and start the new year with the one person that was, is and will be with you each day, every day?
Take them by the hand, listen to them, their wishes, their needs, their desires, hopes, dreams. And promise them that you’re going to support them in their endeavours.

I know, many think it’s brave, some say they could never do that.
You know what? I do believe you can do it, if you really want to. I do believe, if you set the “can’t” aside, you’d be astonished by all your capabilities and abilities.

And let’s be honest, today it’s so easy to go somewhere alone and still not be alone, just by being glued to your phone.
And it’s also easy to “travel” alone to a place where you know people.
When I talk travelling alone, I really mean travelling somewhere where you are on your own, for your own.
Of course, you shouldn’t throw your phone away, you should tell someone that you arrived safe and sound. But maybe reduce it to certain hours where you’re available or if you feel like sharing a beautiful sunset, do so, but you know, your story will be available for 24 hours, so just check the likes and reactions 18 hours later, that’s fine.

How are you gonna make and take time for yourself if always someone is slamming the door open and talking to you? And even by invitation because you just posted a sign saying “come on in, you don’t even need to knock”!
No, I’m not talking “digital detox”, but neither am I talking “me-time” which consists of 100 selfies and 10 food porn photos a day.
I think you get me.

All I’m saying is: There lies beauty in spending time alone. In solitude.
And mind you, solitude is not the same as loneliness!
Even if, you know what? Bearing loneliness can be an indicator for power. Finding a soothing beauty in solitude and even cathartically crying can show you a lot about yourself.
I know, I know, I don’t make travelling alone sound really sexy, I’m sorry.
But believe me, it is!

In a hectic world, where “I’m busy” and “I don’t have time” seem to be the most frequently used expressions, I think it’s important to remember that we will never have the time, unless we take it.
And if this “me-time” should serve its purpose, then we should take that time for ourselves. Taking walks with ourselves, listening to ourselves, and embrace everything we might encounter. Yes, the good, the bad, the ugly, the imperfect, the desires, the flaws, the longing, the wishes, the dreams, the ambition, the hurt, the pain, the joy, the fun, the goofy, the ridiculous. All of it.
Cause we are all more than one thing.
But we will never find out, if we never take the time we never seem to have.

Whatever you have planned for New Year’s Eve, I hope you take some time to reflect on 2019, visualise your dreams and wishes for 2020 without putting pressure on yourself and that you make it safe and sound into a new decade that holds so much in store for you.

So long, my dears

loads of love

xx

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

Hey my dears,

there is something that I have had on my mind for quite a while now and I thought it’s about time to tackle the topic.
So, today we’re gonna talk about the concept of idols and inspiring people.

Why? Well, first of all, because I consider it interesting and as this is my virtual space here… but moreover, because I think it’s an up to date topic, especially in times like these, where social media is as popular as it is.

According to the Oxford Dictionary idol has the following meaning:

and according to the same source, inspiration has the following meaning:

As a creative you’re often asked “Who are your idols?” or at least I have the feeling that this question pops up from time to time. Or the other way round, creatives stating who their idols are.
On the flip side, the question “What inspires you?” comes up frequently as well.
And I can’t help myself but feeling the urge to make a distinction between both. (Which is also supported by the fact that the dictionary makes a distinction.)

To go a bit deeper, I personally have a slight rejective feeling towards the word idol, as for me, it has a connotation of wanting to be like one’s idol or even worse, being them.
And now taking the definition into account, it also has this aspect of God and worship, and yes, I know it’s said that humans were build in the image of God, but I don’t know…
Let’s take an example: I love Oscar Wilde’s works. I adore his writing style, his subtle social critique and I read about his personal life as well.
But would I call him my idol? No.
Because that for me would imply that I wanted to write like him, be like him, which for me includes a bit of being a copy cat or neglecting my own potential, talent and not searching for my own voice as a writer.
And sorry, Oscar, but I do not consider you a God. (Although we tend to say things like “Gosh, this man is a GOD.” and yes, colloquially everybody knows what’s meant by that, but in serious terms… no.)

Even if we take someone else as an example, maybe less male and less dead (God bless him), I wouldn’t call Elizabeth Gilbert for instance my idol. Sorry, Liz.
I really loved reading her books, some of her approaches caused a click moment in my brain, made me think and took my thoughts down other roads that I didn’t perceive before.
But that’s what I’d call an inspiration. Not an idol.
Because, with all due respect, I wouldn’t like to swap my life for hers.
And I guess that’s the greatest part within the process of distinction I’d make.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting her on a reading tour in Germany for her book Big Magic* two years ago and I was really touched when my question was one of the last ones and she took her time and even asked a little more to understand my question correctly before answering.

*Hi, Liz, if you read this, I was the girl asking about how to know when it’s fear trying to take over and when it’s your intuition telling you not to do it because it’s better for you. (I took the leap of faith and did it, overcame the weird feelings, put myself through it and the outcome wasn’t as great, so my intuition was right, but I consider it a good lesson in many ways and I’m still more than grateful for your advice and words.)*

Okay, back to the topic, my friends.
I consider her an inspiring person, in terms of writing, in terms of being a person.

But with all the movements I perceive on social media, I get a little worried that these two terms get mixed up a lot and people call youtubers and influencers inspiring when they are actually treating them like idols, not questioning the actions of said person, but tending to follow their example and just do the same.
And this uncritical worshipping is what worries me a lot.

Suddenly, you get up at 5 a.m. because your idol does and you go to the gym because your idol does.
Which is nice. Nothing against early birds and gyms.
But did you question whether it fits your individual body type? Whether it fits your schedule?
Maybe you’re the type of person that is better at working out later, maybe you’re the type of person that needs to sleep 8 hours, but your idol just needs 6. And this doesn’t mean that you’re bad and your idol’s better.
It just means that you’re different. And guess what: That’s okay.

Maybe you start eating like your idol, but your body type is different and within a certain time span you realise that you have low or no energy and wonder why.
And one of the worst things that happens then is the comparison between you and your idol, leading to the assumption that you are weak, worse or incapable of achieving what your idol achieves.
So it leads to a negative self perception.
And isn’t that weird? Odd?
That’s why I say idol for me includes a bit of this aspect of copying.

If the same person I just called your idol, we now call an inspiring person. What would change?
Well, you’d watch your inspiring person get up at 5 and maybe you’d try it too and realise that 5:30 is better for you.
Your inspiring person starts their day off by going to the gym, you try it, too, but you realise you’re slow in the morning, need your breakfast, and working out in the afternoon after finishing work, is much better for you.
You read a book of an inspiring author and this takes your thoughts on different roads, you play with words like they do, but you take the inspiration you got from them and mould them into something that fits your personality, character and nature, instead of just copying.
That way you have a tendency to grow, to find something out about yourself, your body, your time management, your writing voice, which in turn has a high tendency to lead to a positive self perception. And there is no need for comparison between you and the person that inspired you.

Taking the above mentioned definitions into account, inspiration has a divine quality, as the divine influence is mentioned.
But this doesn’t mean that you worship the inspiring person like a God. But that you perceive the divine spark that they were maybe touched by and that they now radiate into the world.
It is also connected to breathing in, inspiration.
But you know what, breathe in. Through the nose.
Do you think you absorb e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that is included in the air? No.
There are a million little filters, that do their job, before the inhaled air reaches your innermost parts.
And if you apply that onto inspiring people, it’s quite similar.
You inhale this inspiring thought, but it runs through your own little million filters before reaching the spots deep inside of you.
And these filters are your critical approach, your own opinion, your personality, character, tendencies, preferences, etc.

So, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dub anything as good or bad, I just came across this topic and it has been lingering on my mind for quite a while and after having had a conversation about this topic, I decided it was about time to let this be my first #socialsaturday post. Thanks for the inspiration, mate.

As long as you keep your critical perspective, it might be okay to have an idol, I just worry about this copy cat components that I perceive sometimes when scrolling through social media.
I myself am more than grateful for all the inspiring people I was allowed to meet on my way, be it in person as Elizabeth Gilbert, or on paper, like Oscar, be it my closest friends, my creative crew, or just a stranger I had an inspiring conversation with.

As these thoughts are just thoughts and not set in stone perspectives, please let me know your thoughts on this topic!
You already know my creed inspiration through communication, so please delight me with your divine sparks.
Feel free to comment or send an email or slide into my DMs on instagram.

Enjoy your weekend.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflection


Photo: Kathrin Mauksch

I look into the mirror but it doesn’t reflect me.
A blurred silhouette in a watery periphery.
I trusted a stranger and I doubted my heart.
Seems like I mistook angels for demons and demons for angels. A blurred picture in a watery mirror.
I do not reflect. I’m trapped. Stuck. My vision is clear, but my sight is blurry.
So I wipe away the tears and release the pressure into the ground. The supporting vibes of the earth pushing back and setting me upright.
Deep inhale after cutting the surface. Water dripping from my face over my shoulders onto the floor.
I turn my head. My vision’s still clear. Hands covering my face. I was mistaken. I have let myself be taken. With watery words onto a blurred path. Mistaken.
Drip, drop, drop, drip. I breath. Water dripping from the mirror. It reflects. Me?
Say with me: I forgive myself and I forgive the others.
A big wave splashing into my face, pouring into me. I’m still standing. The water’s still dripping.
I wash away the demons. I take away the damp veil from the mirror.
I was mistaken. I was trapped. Stuck. But I was never lost.
I doubt the stranger and I trust my heart.
Through the glittering surface of the mirror I can see a reflection.
My hand reaching for the mirror. A shrieking noise while the cold material touches my hand in movement before the warmth of my hand reflects upon the silver surface.
The heart’s a stranger we once knew. Before it got blurry.
The familiar stranger pumping waves of blood with pressure through the silhouette. Back to life.
I wipe away the tears. Wash away the demons.
My sight is clear. So is my vision.
I trust my heart.

Gina Laventura © 2014