I suppose its been hard.

I suppose at this time of night, its not a clever strategy to get views, likes, or anything of that nature. Its not really what I want anyway. Or is it?

I suppose that for the past few weeks I have not been okay, that my mind body and, what I consider to be, spirit has almost completely whithered. 

I suppose it is difficult to be happy in the face of intense responsibility and disappointment. 

I suppose it is selfish to let it interfere with my daily life, and to let it effect others. 

I suppose that it is not my responsibility to stop people from their self destructive compulsions, or my own, wishing to just lay in a room and selfishly mourn the losses experienced within my inner world, and that of the outer world. 

Lost Time

Lost People

Lost Luster

Loss of self. 

I suppose I should criticise myself less for my mistakes and my wrongdoings. 

Its hard to deal with the memories of an old version of myself that I have had to smother till only the burns of its embers exist. 

I suppose this is the price of trying to reclaim a sense of control in my life. 

Loss.

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Spider and Web: The problem of Self-Absorption

I admit… I have not been in a good space. I am not okay after this year. Nobody really is.
In times of emotional difficulty, I cannot gauge how self-absorbed I am with my own difficulties.

Unfortunately, I fell into incredibly debilitating thought patterns, which have led me to be inconsiderate in how I treat other people, inconsiderate in how I cling to some people in emotional neediness.

Its this trap I fell into… a web of thoughts and insecurities towards wants and desires I can never fulfil… placing my emotional needs onto people I care about the most… but especially onto those who are not in the head space to handle such things. I am guilty of putting unnecessary pressure and neediness on other people’s lives in a pestering and inconsiderate manner… and I sincerely apologise to anyone who has had to deal with a pettiness that comes out of emotional exhaustion and weakness. I’m not trying to put myself down, but put myself in perspective to other people’s problems and how I am misguiding myself with poor cooing strategies…

How to explain what this web feels like…

I have ensnared myself like a fly in burning, steely threads that tear through my flesh… day in and day out…

A part of my mind waits with dripping fangs and hairy legs, guiding me ever closer to the unbearable…

The two wounds in my sternum leak with venom… my body on a daily basis losing touch with its core… the neck down becomes nothing but a woozy cloud on which my head rests like a pounding anvil.

My flailing to reach others to get out helps no-one… it only does harm to those around me… it only shuffles me closer to the spider’s fangs at the back of my mind.

My only relief is a loss of consciousness, or a moment of laughter. I am left paralysed for hours on end, whether it is from scathing thoughts or from my exhaustion.

A little cliche, I know, but I cant help but identify with the cockroach that I threw into a spider’s web yesterday.  Feeling a little like a pest after my persistent and inconsiderate flails for a hand to help, I’ve realized that the only way to escape is to be quiet and still.
Ep .
I must escape. Not that one can escape loss and the natural feelings it comes with… but escape the self-absorption sprung by self preservation as well as an unwillingness to let go
Like the embrace of a mother and its sleeping infant, I need to find this stillness and nurturing within myself… a different kind of self-consuming. Not self-absorption… but immersed in love for myself, and for others who desperately need a hand in their own lives.

For I am not the only one stuck in such a web… and others have far bigger spiders to worry about than I do.

Image above: A Quick Sketch of a Spider

2015: Loss

“Loss” definitely fits as one of this year’s Key-words. This year has been innumerable in its emotional challenges, so much so that it seems that this year has stayed longer than its welcome.

Loss of Family.

Loss of Friends.

Loss of Lovers.

Loss of naivety.

Loss of my myself.

But also…

A Loss of Barriers and Blindfolds

A Loss of Complacency

A Loss of Fear

A Loss of Bad Habits and Behaviours

A Loss of a personal anchor  that prevents me from breathing at the surface of a dark cesspool.

As I’ve lost such baggage I am swimming ever closer to realising myself, my world, my environment, my community, my friends, my family! I swim beneath the surface of a dark sea where I’ve only known faint shimmers of moonlight, but now there are the golden beams of the dawn slicing through the water.

2015, I may have very little breath left in my lungs, but I will reach the surface. I will emerge triumphant throughout all the overwhelming loss for you haven’t made me lose myself! You have made me find myself with more clarity than ever before! My gut has been wrenched and I finally feel all my pain to the point where I want to collapse and throw up my insides: Pen ink, painting ink, accompanied by painful songs.

It is with thanks to some incredible people in my life that I can reach this point in my development. A lot of really positive experiences and support were necessary to push through an immense barrier that has plagued me for as long as I could remember being self-aware.
In a fit of creative energy, I have started developing an art series to process all of this.

Oh super-ego, dark side of my mind, you can never take away my will to live! To Fight! To Love! TO EXIST! You can beat me until I  can barely breathe, but I will triumph over every loss and fear set against me.

Vincero!

Vincero!

VINCERO!

_____________________________________________________

Above image: ‘Loss #1’ from my under-creation ‘Loss’ series.

From the bottom, up: A new adventure.

It all started with a small interest in Port Elizabeth about 6 or 7 years ago with a little happy-snappy Pentax camera… I had no idea what I was doing. Over the years, I slowly improved. With enough interest, passion and drive invested to improve all of my crafts, I was fortunate enough to upgrade to my beloved Nikon D90. I am eternally grateful for a machine that captures so many of my adventures and the work of others on JPEG or RAW files. It has even survived a car crash with me.

I am at the point where, after a gruelling amount of self-study and guidance, I feel competent to earn something with my skills and knowledge. The exciting venture of ‘Matt Muller Photography’ may be a little ambitious in the eyes of some. I cannot, however, help but have itchy fingers to get started. With a healthy set of goals, and my level of skill, training and experience, I seek to provide quality and affordable services to my clients. I seek to represent my client’s work, whether it be a series of photographs or a poster, as best as I can.

The Dwarven/ Viking logo is a symbol of dedication and quality, despite the Matt Muller Photography’s humble beginnings. Like the Vikings and their Long-ships, I am ambitious to explore unknown waters; armed only with a camera and a tripod.

I acknowledge that I am not a Fine Arts student. I have not had the pleasure of studying under a mentor, or learning in a formally structured manner. It is intimidating to be on a campus full of incredible artists, I admit. I respect their knowledge, experience, judgement and dedication to their craft. Despite this, I remain ambitious because…

I know I can capture a moment of life with bit of light and a DSLR.

I am grateful to those in my community who encourage me to learn and pursue this craft in a form that I can attain a qualification, or go under some mentorship. Rather than let my ego take this as a backhanded compliment, I see this as a sign that I have something worth refining, something worth the arduous hours of honing my skills.

The pain of self-reflection, failure and criticism is all part of the journey to mastery. It is worth every step.

My will to learn and improve any of my skills is an existential journey. My love of learning, collaboration and work is what drives my everyday life. My love for my work consumes my finite hours like a gluttonous hound. This is the drive behind ‘Matt Muller Photography’. A little bit of business is an added pressure to commit to quality and problem-solve effectively on-the-fly. The chance to collaborate and expand on the work or lives of others keeps me behind a lens and computer screen until the early hours of the morning. It makes my fingers numb from playing guitar; it exhausts my mind, body and emotions in the theatre…

It makes my life worth living. My dedication to my crafts is comparable to a dog’s jaws clenched on its prized bone. No amount of intimidation, criticism or failure will ever make me lose my love for what I do.

Now, to find a photography course…

Find my Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/vikingsandphotography/

4 Haiku’s: The life of Yoko Ono

The following 4 Haikus were inspired by interviews with or concerning the life of Yoko Ono; particularly during the Lennon years.
With thanks to Christyne Golding for the poetry tasks she has assigned me.

1.  Art

Form over function
A writhing fish on a board
The Cleaver watches

2. Missing Bee

Blooming white petals
A farmer blames the Orchid
For a hive’s collapse

3. The Hole in the Clouds

His lungs blast thunder
The almanac foresees that
His chest sleeps in blood

4. Her Green Apple

Forbidden apple
Man takes first bite and giggles
Only their child is banished

Breakaway Islands: the burial of old homeland

The lands in which I spent most of my teenage years have changed drastically. It seems the continental drift within is manifesting itself externally as well.

In about 10 years the small town of Knysna has grown too much for its little roots. Its rows of little cosy and unique shops are almost gone; consumed by the monster of a shopping mall in the centre of the town. Its lost its charm. I drift further from an old time in my life by these small changes in a growing town. A similar distancing is happening in my mind to the city of Port Elizabeth.

I never got to return to the forest itself, a place in which I should go alone to make stories, art and meditate through practice. It is the place in which an old friend, Gizmo the Labrador, and I had bonded. Our memories of growing up in the forest bring smiles to my face. My desire to give her a final send off into the universe within the space we grew up in has not been possible. But that is for another trip.

Like many things from my teenage years, including relationships and idealized nostalgia of the places in which I used to live, I must leave them behind to see them for what they are… Much of the change in these communities is stagnant or stifling in character. Other wise it is a never ending cycle of the same old problems in the same old town with the same old people.

It makes me appreciate what I have now in Cape Town where I have my own life and my own progressive development. I can only grow in new soils and lands.

The trip away from Cape Town has given me some fresh headspace for my own creativity, despite the slight disappointment in my trip back, where concepts for future creations are developing for my music, art and drama. I couldnt appreciate that more out of this trip. Expect monsters, continental drift, mythology and heroes with a modern twist coming soon!

Last but not least, it was good to see old friends, to heal old wounds and reaffirm my love for friends that I consider my family. Although se may head our very seperate ways, we know each other well, as well as ourselves, well enough to remain friends no matter what happens. I could not be more grateful. This is sadly a point in my life where I must say goodbye to many others as well, for we do not follow the same path. But I am grateful to have known them.

In my final days in the Eastern Cape, I sip the clear air and listen to the comfortable silences. It is time to bury a large part of my life into my memory, and my instagram. But I am not sad. I watch the land slowly recede in familiar oceans. The mountains and coastlines, the cliffs and stagnant lakes of the Eastern Cape slowly fade behind a vale of volcanic steam.

It is time for some new adventures.

The Treasure of Owning Nothing: A Gift from a Homeless Man

In the evening of the 4th of July, a single staccato trill of the doorbell rang through the house. It could only be one man: “The Regular Beggar”. He comes to my door every so often for money, candles, food and/or a cup of coffee.

I approached the door with guilty apprehension at the prospect of saying no to him once again. Yet, upon opening the door to his familiar half-toothless grin. He donned the pink hoody and fish beanie that I had given him on previous visits. His eyes are of the most soul piercing steel blue. Then I noticed he was holding something completely unfamiliar to him: a rather large and obtrusive model ship. I expected it to have been a piece of junk that he found somewhere that he wanted to try sell. It turns out that he, in fact, was the ship’s co-creator besides a cartoonist-friend he made at the shelter. The impressive half-meter long vessel was hand-carved from offcut firewood and varnished with a warm tint and wax. He wanted to sell it for 150 Rand, but made it 80 Rand for me. He was quite persistent and saw it as a kind of gift to me for. Frequently treating him with kindness.

For the first time I saw the starving father of a small homeless family beyond a desperate man with a history, but as a potential entreupeneur and craftsman. This was an exciting prospect. Amidst all his chatting, I decided that it would be best to help this man by supporting him in a business frame, and so bought the ship. The contents of my wallet were shy of the 80-Rand mark, so I popped around the corner to draw the money. Not only was this the first time we have communicated without a gate between us, but I took this as an opportunity to learn his name as well. ‘Well my real name is Ervin. Ervin Hoffman-Alexander’. I asked what else he has been called he replies, ‘The people around here have called me green eyes for decades. But when I’m in the daylight, they see they are actually blue. And so they ask “What do we call you now” and I say “Ask God” ’. After a brief lecture on the history of Woodstock’s previous name and the Woodstock Station ince being a beach, I departed.

On returning, I found him frantically assembling a broken vacuum cleaner outside my gate. On the floor around him are kitsch ornaments, two picture frames, and a precarious (but none the less lovely) stone that had a bowl caeved into it. ‘Now, believe it or not,’ said Ervin as I climbed the stairs to my flat’s front gate, ‘this vacuum still works. All you need is the screws. I saw it on a lady’s stoep and I asked if she was using it, but she said it was broken. I thought, nah man rubbish, and I tinkered with the wiring and it worked. Plug it in a socket. I’ll prove it to you!’ It turns out that he wanted to give it to me as a present, along with everything lying on the floor around him. I was taken a back. To deny such a bold gesture of kindness would be an insult to this man. I accepted his offer -though turning down the vacuum cleaner- with a true smile on my face. For a homeless man to be so giving was quite profound.

It goes to show how stuck up we can be about our own ‘stuff’.

He even offered me a whole loaf of white bread to say thank you. I had to decline this, mainly because it would go to better use towards his needs, but also because I had two loaves of bread sitting in the fridge already. I told him to keep it for his family or for his neighbour, and that would make me happier than having it.

For the rest of that evening, outside my front gate, we spent talking about how he can turn this into a business. He slowly realised how to tackle his existential plight and for the first time he was motivated to do what he can to better his and his family’s life.

He has a craft to develop, and a long ladder to climb with many obstacles to conquer in his pursuit to make a loving from a creative standpoint. In that regard, it turns out that Ervin and I are not so different after all.