Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thoughts & Actions | Finding the Warrior

After an uplifting time at Hanging Rock the day before, yesterday I started experiencing an increasing pain in my ankle and sheen, probably a tendinitis, almost incapacitating in terms of physical exercise and walking. I tried not to let it interfere with the positive energy experienced a day earlier, and tried to modify my hatha yoga practice to asanas which would not put any strain on my mysteriously injured leg. While I practice sirsasana (headstand) three times a day with tendinitis this inversion requires a lot of modifications; on the counterside I always found extremely challenging bakāsana (crane pose, known as crow); but with my injury this pose was one of the few which would could be practiced without a major physical stress.
Once again hatha yoga taught me a lesson: life is often about modification and compensation. Both can bring positive experience as long as we are able to find the warrior inside.

My present challenge is a big one: weight loss. Since when I moved to Australia I am eating a lot of comfort food, which has become a sort of addiction (especially for dessert and meats). So far I have not been successful in cutting down the unnecessary food; hopefully moving to a new place, it will make me return to the pesco ovo vegetarian diet I had when living in NYC.

Vernissages | NYC, Richard Serra at Gagosian Gallery

Serra Goes Flat

After years (decades) of flowing curves, Sculptor Richard Serra embraces a new geometry in his latest exhibit at the Gagosian gallery, West 24th Street, New York.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

camminando | On the Rocks (Great Dividing Range)

After several weeks of stress, sadness, frustration  and depression, I have experienced once again the healing power of nature. Strangely this rediscovered calm and positive energy happened right in the inauspicious Hanging Rock (Victoria, Australia) This volcanic formation, is well known for Joan Lindasy's novel and Peter Weir's movie "Picnic at Hanging Rock" ---narrating the mysterious disappearing of three girls and a teacher.
The captivating beauty of this magical place inspires to meander in the labyrinthian outcrops. Layer of rocks frame distant bucolic views of green fields, or just the sky; the countless rocks seem also to play pick-a-boo with the sun.
It was only a fifty minutes hike, yet my energy and positive thinking seem to be finally back ---at least until the beginning of next week.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Events | Hudson, Artswalk

Every fall,  it's Artswalk time - a time to see some fresh art ideas on the streets and galleries of Hudson, New York.

Below - installation "And Then and Now: New Work from the Cave" by Gillian Jagger at the Carriage House, John Davis Gallery

camminando | A Sunny Spring Day in Melbourne

It is finally Saturday: my week was of the series which can be synthesized by  Friedrich Nietzsche's quote "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Unfortunately these weeks are getting increasingly frequent in my PhD journey. This one was topped also by a very painful episode of ingratitude which I found extremely upsetting for my present state of vulnerability. Creativity has always been a survival means throughout my life but I am learning that probably is a personal process and often in academic environment cannot be shared. Another famous quote, by Oscar Wilde “No good deed goes unpunished” can be used as description.
Spending the day in Melbourne offered a welcomed distraction in the change of scene. I never thought I would crave cities and density so much!

 "Sound Bites" at the RMIT gallery

 Pro Choice and Anti Abortion rallies clashing in Flinders Street

 Public Art along the Yarra River
The ACCA is showing a Tacita Dean's installation

 A polyhedral sculpture at National Gallery of Victoria

 Demonstrating against GMO

 Views along the Yarra River

Monday, October 7, 2013

Thoughts | Waurn Ponds Night Time Excitement

It is 12:40 am AEDT at 38°11'25.48"S 144°18'14.55"E.
I have just finished my shower and brushed my teeth, and am about to start a savasana / yoga nidra, often included in my bedtime ritual as last conscious effort to relax before sleep. I am approaching the yoga mat and notice something which provokes a scream: a furry spider which I immediately associated with a tarantula. 
The spider does not move, perhaps dead; this is what my rational thinking suggests as it alternates to the adrenaline surge, triggered by some of my primordial fears: poisonous spiders, snakes and rats. In my rational interval I grab my phone and take a photo. The adrenaline returns as the tarantula starts crawling on the carpet toward my bed, settling next to the side table. Always keeping the creature on sight (not difficult in my cell size room) I reach for a cup and am able to trap it.
My scream did not produce any reaction. With the phone still in my hand frantically I try to find people in the residence who could come to help me. I have palpitations, my breathing is extremely fast, I cannot focus on anything beyond fear. I dial a number by mistake, then I text two “neighbors”. Noura replies to my text and immediately comes to my room.
Blessings to her! Very calmly she asks for a sheet of paper where she moves the cup with the trapped spider. In a skillful motion she is able to transfer everything totally enclosed (with the spider probably squeezed to its death) to the rubbish bin in the corridor. She hugs me good night and moves back to her room. I am still in fear that there may be some other creepy intruders in my room and go to the bed with the bright fluorescent light on. I have a restless light sleep, and finally give up. My morning iPad email bed reading is welcomed by a message by Gavin, who also sent his beautiful meditative visual poems; I am truly looking forward to his return and to breaking this scary isolation. The lack of reaction to a scream in the middle of the night adds extreme sadness to my sense of vulnerability.
And this morning I am asking myself again the usual question: how much more endurance is required to pursue this PhD research?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

camminando | Nature + Industry

The day started with a short run in the south side of the Barwon Head river in proximity of Highton. The river crossing through the steel footpath took us to the first encounter with industrial archeology ruins. The Balyang Sanctuary marked the transition from industry to nature.
The second part of the river trip was another journey in abondend factories powered by water: Buckley's Fall trails offered view of the brown waterfall and finally the abondoned Fyansford Paper Mills, which once were born from the usual marriage between water power and man power.

 Balyang Sanctuary

 Total run/walk length: 5km

 Buckey's Fall and Fyansford Paper Mill

 Total run/walk length: 5km