For anyone that really knows the artist side of me, or has talked art with me at length may know my favorite statue: Winged Victory of Samothrace

I remember distinctly when I found it, too - it was the in my AP art class junior year of high school, and there was this giant, unbelievably heavy book full of art that we used to use as reference material. It was the very first picture in the book, as soon as you opened the cover, even before the table of contents. A picture of it straight on from the front, and it really just struck me. I did a detail piece of a section of the cloth that year that now hangs in my parent's house, and even got a chance to see it in person when I went to the Louvre with my family (beautifully framed at the center of the stairs).

Anyways - I was poking through Barnes and Noble with a few friends in Austin recently and came across a book of the pieces in the Louvre, and started reading about the statue's significance more. Interestingly enough, the statue actually depicts the Greek Goddess Nike, whose name translates to 'Victory'. I had a sudden epiphany with the realization that this statue I always associated with translates exactly as my name does (Vijay translates directly from Hindi to mean 'Victory' as well). Even more strange that it took me nine years to realize it haha.

Backdated post - completed 12/11/07 03:14:00 PM


Inspiration and dreaming

It really seems like the creative portion of my brain practically works like an on / off switch. When I'm a great mood, happy about work, friends and family, a relationship or anything like that, I feel much more inspired day to day. Looking around, I see interesting pieces of artwork, I see new photographs to be captured, I'm eager to tackle new things and face new challenges. I sketch and write more in my free time and am constantly getting new ideas. The world becomes more interesting to me, not unlike images from the movie aptly titled Waking Life. However, the most fascinating thing is that I start dreaming - vivid, different, fascinating dreams every night, some in fantastic places and some in the setting of this waking world. Now, I rarely remember my dreams, except for the hour or so after I wake up, so they are normally lost into the subconscious mind each day. But waking up from a night full of dreaming is always a good thing for me, since it's a discrete sign of an inspired phase for me, which is always exciting. I'm totally in one of those moods now.

On the subject of dreams, I remember a thought I had wanted to jot down, but totally forgot about. Directly related to this post, specifically thinking about how people view you. A good friend of mine here in Dallas (Amberle) recently graduated from college, and threw a party at Dennis' (her boyfriends') place. A couple weeks later, we were all out at a bar and she was telling me about a dream she had the night before (she has very vivid dreams, and are usually quite interesting).

It was her graduation party, and it was a much bigger event, with lots of friends and family there, all dressed up. When I came to the party, she said that she was really happy that all her family and friends were here and was having a great time. I also came with a bottle of champagne as a congratulations (which, that's the weird part - I actually almost walked out of my house to her real party with a bottle of champagne, but decided not to, in case I was the only one that brought anything), and then proceeded to give a toast congratulating her that she described as "really eloquent and beautiful, filled with metaphors for how her graduating symbolized her progress through life and was the first step to a lifetime of success and how happy we all were for her". (Go figure, I guess I'm eloquent in dreams :p) Then the party went outside and there was a giant empty hot tub, and she was sad that it was empty. And I said, "Haven't you ever soaked in a hot tub full of champagne?" and proceeded to pour the champagne into the hot tub (which magically filled the whole thing) and we all got in and soaked and laughed and goofed off. Dennis was on the other side of the hot tub with a girl all over him, and Amberle freaked, "OMG, who is that girl Dennis is with?!" to which I responded, "Uhm... that's his girlfriend" which came as a huge surprise to her. It was very strange in some ways, especially because she could describe almost everything in specific detail.

The thing that really strikes a chord with me is again thinking about how the people around you view you. Even more true when described from a more subconscious source like dreams. I found it really interesting that in Amberle's dream, I came across as a really genuine, caring, good friend in her time of happiness. I would definitely like to think that's how many of my friends see me. But have you ever sat down and tried to take a step back and 'watch yourself' when you're among your friends to see how you act and come across and how that compares to your own view of yourself? How about really looking at what you think / believe about your friends based off of your interactions with them - how similar or different is your view of them from their own view of themselves? How much of the things that you view about them is based off of assumptions you've made from their behavior and how much of it is based off of how they describe themselves to you? It's really interesting. I sometimes wish I could see exactly, totally uncensored, what my friends think of me. I'm sure there are differences in it and how I view myself.

Backdated post - completed 12/11/07 02:13:00 PM


Stale wine and morning breath

I had quite the fun and interesting weekend, I must say. I went down to Houston, and the drive back to Dallas always leads to a lot of mental self musing, since the drive is so bland. It was enlightening in a lot of ways - I feel like I got light on the whole "cycle of relationships" because of the people I got to hang out with, all in one weekend.

Start at the beginning of relationship land, high school love: I got to actually hang out with my ex girlfriend from high school (just post high school to be precise), who I haven't really seen for any substantial amount of time for at least a few years. We got to spend Saturday together and visit friends, goof off around Houston and just in general have fun seeing each other again - it made me remember a lot of memories of how you feel during that 'first dating' spark, about really just enjoying the company of the person that you're with, about really being with someone that you feel a connection with. The 'young love' phase of your life, when it's so easy to open up your heart without fear. The 'honeymoon' phase of dating, when nothing bad is on your mind because you're so giddy about the whole thing.

The next phase of course being marriage: for the first time since the wedding, I spent a good amount of time with my wonderful old friend Michelle and her new husband over the weekend. I got caught up on all the fun they had over the honeymoon and the great plans they were making together. Thinking no more just about their own life, but thinking of what they're excited about the family they're starting. Really enjoying the life of a married couple, but at the same time realizing the things that start to come with it - busy lives, taking care of each other, what it's like to really be around someone all the time. Totally excited and happy about everything that happening, dealing with the huge life change and eager about the huge life changes to come. Quite literally the 'honeymoon' phase.

Which takes us to the next big step, babies: I spent a fair amount of the weekend with another good friend, Alison and her cutie of a baby, Noah. We got to hang out at her house and in the park and we all took lots of pictures of her, Travis and Noah. Absolutely adorable - and it certainly brings clarity to a lot of what everyone goes through during the process of having a baby and starting to raise him / her. It's so easy for people to think about having a child and raising him / her as totally commonplace, overlooking the challenges that it brings. Of course for each of those challenges, there are so many beautiful moments - those moments of seeing them grow up, starting to make new steps in their lives - first words, first steps (first Halloweens ;p), and being able to experience that with another person that you love. Really working through big life changes with someone.

And on to the final, age: before going home, I went and spent some time with my grandmother on my father's side. Only my grandmother because my grandfather past away when I was pretty young. She is an amazing woman, and currently lives with my uncle in Houston, helping to raise his son and daughter. It amazes me to think about her life up until this point. Her and my grandfather had multiple children in India, raised them to be some amazing (and very different people), she moved here after my grandfather past away and the rest of the family was here, and helped to raise me as a child. It's so interesting to imagine her going through similar phases in life - being in love, getting married, having children. All in another time, ages ago. So much life there, so much experience, so much together with my grandfather, and then after his passing. I can't imagine how difficult that would be. And now she's helping to start everything again, raising children again (she actually has accidentally called my nephew Vijay, since he apparently acts like I used to as a kid). I hope that (many) years from now, I find myself in a similar situation - the full evolution of a relationship (of a family really) - living a long life, surrounded by family, spending time with grandchildren.

Time will tell, I'm sure.

I've also come to realize that I'm a very tactile person. I never really thought about it, but I absolutely am. I derive a lot of sensations from how something feels. There's such a huge range of tactile sensations - a giant hug from a good friend, or the feeling of curling up under the blanket on a cold day. Even more so, the huge range of responses you get while using your hands. Being rough with the weight and grip of rock climbing, the impact through your body when driving a nail into a new project, or the tingle in your fingertips from running them across guitar strings. Being gentle while discovering a new piece of soft fabric, running your hand through your very fluffy cat's fur, or the light touch against another person's skin. I love finding those new feelings, those new touches - each sensation unique and holding a distinct moment in my mind.

Backdated post - completed 12/10/07 10:52:00 PM