The smell of trees. We’ve spoken about Agastya before, in this post – A new haircut. This poem is based on a very particular line that I wrote for him in that post. I hope you enjoy this! Do comment, a lot. Literally. “He missed his people and the way they smelled like different kinds…
Updated Life: I am resurrecting and re-tuning my blog to catch you up on my life after several years of blog abandonment. As you will discover, I have had a whole lot of change over the years since starting this blog. Formerly my blog was about food, art and poetry. It was pretty “themed”. This time around I’m re-tuning it to a more serious (at times) raw, revealing blog on my artist’s life and mind. As I state in my profile, “The Artist From the Inside Out”. My story goes like this. I began making art as a child (like many artists) it was my escape into my own world. Then suddenly hit by adolescence life became very painful and confusing. I found myself in constant turmoil unable to sustain art making. After years of self-inflicted dysfunction in my teenage years, I once again turned to art to heal my pain. I began to gain some inner strength and decided to go to art school earning a BFA in painting and drawing; taking self healing a step further I also obtained a certificate in Art Therapy. However, upon graduation, my road quickly became disjointed once again. I suddenly found myself in a whirlwind. I was in a relationship, we had a baby to support, I was an activist hitting the streets protesting and chanting, I was donating my art skills and basically heading for burnout. I was lost. I had been running from myself and my art. Instead of the art building me up, it clearly was breaking me down. It just became too painful and tormenting for me to continue. I was having an all-out identity crisis as an artist. I was never clear on my identity, my voice. I would create, then run, create then run, etc. There was an art therapy joke my peers and I would often say to each other, “You know what they say? Every painting you make is a self- portrait!” (I hated my self-portraits). So I quit making my art. I ran from myself.
Years later I sat alone in my living room deeply wounded from a job loss. I was determined to start making art again but this time it would be different. I was insistent on tackling my blocks. I had been listening to a podcast from “The Artists Entrepreneur Network” it was discussing finding your identity as an artist. Then Boom! Just like that my wall came crashing down and I jumped up, slapped myself on the head and said “no wonder you can’t find your identity as an artist! You’ve had GENDER identity crises your entire life!” I admitted to myself at that moment that I was transgender. It was HUGE in my understanding of why I kept running and dodging myself as an artist, (hell as a human being) all these years. Today, I truly believe this is how art built me into what I claim for myself as the man-made artist.
Going through this life changing transition and claiming my true identity means I am not afraid to look at who I am anymore. I’m making great art in different new ways. I’m happily married. I have a great and successful son. The weight of self-hatred and extreme self-judgement lifted off me when I realized my true identity and began my transition to freedom. It has allowed me to create freely and explore ALL of me as an artist. I have opened myself to the business of making art, an avenue I had shut down previously due to my constant instability. Sure I’m a work in progress, but who isn’t. I don’t need to manipulate my self-identity to suit my fictional idea of self anymore. I created a “way” of existing in order to securely live, and that has been very eye-opening. Everyday I’m excited at the myriad of interests and self-discovery I have now as a man, yet at the same time I deeply mourn the years lost to my fears.
© [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
When the light of day sits
pensive and dull
you begin to mourn the flowers
that yesterday sang
brilliant hues of red
and the spray of ocean waters
burned salt into your eyes
and you cried
not because you mourned the day
but because the sky was seamless blue
and the day held you suspended
in warm light
high and giddy from the smell
of the sun
you melt into the air
and fly away with the seagulls.
Art and Poetry by, Jay Mora- Shihadeh
© [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora- Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
when the light of the day sits
pensive and dull
you begin to mourn
that yesterday sang
brilliant hues of red and violet
and the spray of ocean
waters burned salt into
your eyes, and you cried
not because you
mourned the day
but because the sky was
seamless blue and the day
held you suspended
in warm light.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
I think the earliest foodie memory I have is of my parents allowing myself and my little sister Brenda to have what seemed like free range (like little chickens) in the kitchen. They waited patiently at the dinner table while my sister and I dove into our modest pantry full of McCormick spices…that most likely we’re out of date (mom wasn’t much of a cook) and create for them our first meal. I was experiencing my very first out of body, creative, foodie experience at the age of 10?( scratch scratch maybe?) anyhow, we put in a large pot some kind of rice and corn concoction, I guess a stew of sorts.We put every spice and herb we could get our little hands on, to test out in one pot! Then we served them with big toothless smiles on our little cherub faces, and waited breathlessly for our parents feedback. Of course, they just raved about how delicious it was and ate away!! Smiling the whole time! The rest is history…