It’s a Sunday night and I’m scrolling through Pintrest.
I can’t quite remember how I got onto the idea but I think it happened through the ease of click-bait hiding in my emails.
One minute I was sifting, then I picked up the word ‘sale’ and before I knew it I was lost in a bottomless-pit of athliesure coloureds in sunsets. I blink again and find my mind has started fixating on price;
- Too much.
- Are they kidding?
- My gym won’t allow that…
- OooooO yellow.
Next thing I know, the time blinked an hour past and I was onto continuous line drawings and BAM; statues.
Pintrest brings forth pages on pages of them, the kind that are timeless and for some reason humanity believes they belong in garden parties or museums.
Greek statues belong to a time where art was not only noticed but valued. It was academic and enjoyable to see, unlike today where art is unnecessary and seen as a weekend hobby.
The hours upon hours spent of hard-work and small little cuts and hammers to depict the shape of the human form… I mean, it’s hard not to appreciate.
I like how women were represented back then versus now. Real, with fold and lumps and bloated bellies because god forbid- they just ate something.
Men on the other hand were inverted and altered to be seen in their most masculine form. With longer male parts and sculpted six-packs with not one stray hair.
But I think what is most beautiful or captivating about both is what’s missing. How time can take away parts of their humanity while simultaneously allowing them to become more interesting. Decaying stone, fragmented people.
By partaking in such a practise, you are gifted with stronger lines and clarity. In my degree, it’s referred to as asymmetrical design. The effect makes us feel uncomfortable, the real meaning behind great art. Such dissonance unsettling to the eye and yet thought-provoking.
Seeing these sketches, makes you wonder what would have been… By having half a face or body, it makes people appear vulnerable and unable to hide.
I can’t help but think it’s often why we don’t know what to do or say when we see burn victims with skin so different to our own. We don’t know whether to look at them and treat them like everyone else or whether by looking it would make them feel uncomfortable and stared at.
What’s in a face or a name? Or inside a person’s mind when they give us an indifferent stare, as they cross the street?
We are taught to conceal our emotions, unless we feel comfortable to share them but I think this line of thinking is part of the reason why this generation is possibly the most isolated and depressed.
If a person smiles at us we don’t know, it feels warm and unexpected. Like porridge on a brisk morning.
If we find a compliment on the side of our coffee cup, followed by a phone number, we feel shocked and instantly go through our memory bank trying to locate who the person who wrote that was.
What does this mean? We ask ourselves in shock.
Did did everyone in line get a number too? What gender were they? Are they attractive? Was it the barista or the server?
Suddenly we’re so inside our heads and frantic that we almost get hit by a car.
It reminds me, I keep hearing this phrase from different mouths, that say the same thing, “I find most people boring.”
It really bothers me when I hear it.
I guess, because people are so complex, obviously the people who believe this can’t be looking or listening that hard to notice. Or maybe, they just don’t care to try for reasons of their own but people whether they are open or closed books are full of answers and reasons.
People are obsessive about weird things; like everyone carries a whole vocabulary of different laughs which mean different levels of happiness and hand-writing that looks crazy to others but makes total sense to them. Not to mention, everyone deals with feeling sad in weird and somewhat unhealthy ways. And this changes over time.
People are not boring. Perhaps it’s rather about what you ask and how you see, that effects what you see.
Maybe the cure is fragmentation, like the greek statues. ****Hear me out…**
I like to think good conversation begins like painting a picture of someone that doesn’t include how they look.
We should start by closing our eyes and just listening… but we don’t because we have it in our heads that looks matter. That chemistry is the sticky glue that doesn’t make mess or fade with time.
Instead, we should listen to the way they speak, what they talk about.
Limit our senses so we can really see someone’s shape from the pitch of their voice….. the rhyme of how they speak, fast or slow?
Are their sentences tidy and well-thought out or littered with anxious sayings, like ‘Do you know what I mean,’ to bloat the sentence.
Do they stumble over certain words or use silence as a way of thinking, with you in front of them?
Do they have a problem with eye-contact like it’s the equivalent of sliding your phone across the table with completely naked photos splashed across the screen?
Do they always tap, with something wild and insatiable living in their heads?
Or are they the kind of person that has a pen ridding shot-gun in their front pocket?
Is their smile easy to find or does it need to be earned?
Is their nose harsh, with some flat parts and then smoothness, dots and valleys or does it suit the rest of their features, like a matching China set?
Good conversation is about unpicking people in a slow and sexy way. Not all at once but one page at a time.
I also find what people don’t say is also equally as important. Usually when people censor or change the topic, it’s a sign of what they’re ashamed of.
I think when both people can notice these idiosyncrasy at the same time and it’s not just one-person writing and the other observing, it shows potential for growth or something big and beautiful to come about, like a lunar-eclipse.
Discoveries can be brought to the surface, as someone teaches you something new about yourself that you couldn’t otherwise see. But not everyone is like this – some people are a mystery even to themselves and they prefer it that way.
“Why do you think about everything so intently?” My dad asked me over Ramen, earlier this week.
“Why is thinking such a bad thing?” I asked him, started to get annoyed before jabbing, “… maybe you should try it more.”
At this he looked away from the table, retreating into his head before handing me the soup spoon.
Generally, people can be sorted into two piles, two very different ways of thinking.
1. ‘Everything happens for a reason’.
2. Kurt Cobain’s, ‘No one dies a virgin, life fucks us all’.
Or if you’re more conservative, the idea that ‘life happens to people’ or ‘you happen to life.’
Tony Robinson fans preach this ideology that gives you the courage to refuse to be passive to life’s trials and tribulations.
Creator or victim; atheist or believer.
I’m quite sure you can understand which category people fall into over one coffee, one 20 minute conversation, and you don’t even need to ask.
Just listen and as they inhale,
s t a r t p a i n t i n g.
Embrace the fragmentation of people and enjoy seeing things that aren’t there but matter.