... a blog to make sense of the world through writing and acts of creativity, to reflect on and respond to the crazy world in which we live. Can beauty, creativity, compassion, and activism emerge from this tension?
This I seemed to have adopted into my lifestyle: a daily walk lasting about an hour, usually at the beach and a goal to capture an image for a daily Instagram post. As I wrote in a recent blog, this started out as a way to express gratitude. It sort of merged into metaphor captures as well. That is, most of the time, the grateful image is ALSO a metaphor for, I call it, a message from the Universe.
I wrote a poem about this, which is on my Poetry page, when I was trying to decide whether or not I should "move" to Guam. (It's since become a song as well). I haven't actually "moved" but I do have an apartment and a car here. I look at it as bi-island, like some people live bi-coastally. In Hawaii, we have snowbirds, who come from colder areas to live in Hawaii until the weather gets warmer. But I had to decide on signing a lease on my apartment, which represents a commitment, to some degree. I would journal, talk to friends, and also go on long walks, and look for messages from the "Universe." (or God, or whoever or whatever it is that represents a Higher Power). I did the same thing when I decided to retire.
This butterfly image was taken at the height of my process. I had never seen a butterfly like this, with the bluish coloring on the wings. I was amazed by it, and just started click, following it with my camera phone and hope that I got a good picture. When I saw that I had, I was doubly amazed. I really felt blessed and this made me feel like it was a message from the Universe So, I came to the conclusion, that the Universe wants me here. At least for now.
So as I go about my walks, looking for unique images to express a consciousness of gratitude that I am trying to cultivate, it seems to have morphed into a consciousness of trying to understand what the Universe is telling me. One day last week, it was overcast, and I was feeling blue. (Oh, about the usual bluesy things - love desired, lost, and hoped for.) I passed by this flower on the ground, then something compelled me to go back. Later, I went to a gathering of friends at the beach to toast the sunset with a shot of tequila. This collage represented my journey that day, but also the message: Feeling the blues, seeing dying flowers and gray skies, means your life is full and wonderful, so celebrate it all.
Sometimes, the messages are obvious, sometimes not so. When I know I did get a message that is represented through this image, I hashtag it #metaphor. There's something about this process that reminds me of the William Blake quote, "to see the Universe in a grain of sand." I see the Universe in my metaphors and hear the Universe in what the images say to me.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.