Gifts That Keep On Giving

Watching this commercial, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales going on in the U.S., it made me wonder about what gift giving has become compared to our parents or grandparents. It reminds me of the saying, “When I was your age, things were __________.”

As in this Elton John piece, Your Song, where he writes:

“It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money, but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live.”

What were the thoughts of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and ancestors when they were giving gifts? Did holidays always equate to giving someone, something? For some reason, I feel we have lost a bit of the magic that comes with the act of giving a gift.

I was watching a TV show recently where the boyfriend interviewed said he did not want to do anything fancy when proposing as each following year, more would be expected.

There are other instances where women are upset at the size of their engagement ring because it is not of a particular size or loved ones receiving the “wrong” gift and putting on a fake smile to please the other.

But what is gift giving anyway? What is the point of gifting someone? As this commercial shares, depending on our intentions, it can be a life-altering moment. Something humble or grand, yet meaningful. It doesn’t have to be big, doesn’t have to be glamorous, doesn’t have to be the latest, but to be from the heart.

I remember laughing when my mom said to me one year near her birthday, “If you are planning to buy me something for my birthday, ask me. Let me know what you are thinking and I’ll let you know if I want it. There is only so much space in our house and the last thing I need is something I can’t use or want.” Hilarious! And love how straight up she can be. Gangster.

But it got me thinking — that’s true. We have so much stuff in our lives, so much stuff outside of our lives, and find ourselves getting stuff to figure out how to use the stuff we have too much of. I’m not saying we have to all go completely monk-style, but believe there is a need to reevaluate.

They say a consumer has the dollar power to shift what and how things are created, but perhaps we can also include why we decide to give — is it for our benefit to feel good about ourselves or is it about creating, giving, enhancing happiness in the life of another. Gifting, after all, is another language of love.

 

(Video via John Lewis & Partners YouTube page) 

Two People And The Tension Between

 David Hockney,  Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) , 1972. Courtesy of Christie’s, via Artsy

David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972. Courtesy of Christie’s, via Artsy

I find it quite interesting to people watch. It is one of the things I love to do and find myself in gaze-mode whenever I am sitting alone, whether at a restaurant or waiting in line at the grocery store. There is something deeply enchanting about witnessing another’s facial expression, the way they interact with another, the thoughts that make eyebrows furrow, or why a woman decides to grow out a blonde mustache. We are lively creatures in the most intricate of ways. 

While reading this article this morning, crunching on some cereal comprised of raisins, almonds, buckwheat flakes, and Cheerios-looking bean-based O’s, it made me think about a conversation I was having during a recent studio visit. The idea of 2-dimensional artwork not having as much impact as 3D as of late.

With computers and the internet taking over our brains, without realizing, we are becoming more and more accustomed to the stimulation that comes with a faster-paced life. Who has time for reading when there are apps that give you a summary? Where is the need for human interaction when a robot can do everything for you? And yet, a peculiar trend is happening: younger folks are choosing human gatherings over internet surfing, niche magazines are popping up more than ever, and mindfulness is becoming a trend.

What does this all mean? What is happening? 

I think we are missing human connection. One-on-one time. The energy shared with others. Something magical happens when we mix with one another and it can only be when we are face to face. But simply put: no matter how advanced we might become as a race, fundamentally, we are human. There is no escaping this fact. And humans are not built to live alone, and more-so, thrive on interconnectivity. The degree as to how much is on a sliding scale, but at the core, we all want to be acknowledged, understood, seen, and loved. 

There is something to be said about this in relation to art — that even with all the bells and whistles of the computer-age, with its moving images and creation of neo-reality, there is an innate need for us to stand still, take a moment, contemplate, and be with ourselves; a stillness we crave deep down. I believe this is why we are even more today, drawn to mindfulness, meditation, reading, and viewing art. These create moments where we can connect back to our humanness, a part of ourselves we tend to lose when hustling from one thing to another. 

That is why art is still relevant, painting is still revealing, writing is still transformative, and the gaze between two humans, enticing.

 

(Linked article via Artsy, Why This Painting Will Make David Hockney The Most Expensive Living Artist) 

Hello + Welcome

I decided to start a blog. But, not truly a blog because I’m bad at blogging. I’ve tried to start a blog 4 times now (does Tumblr count? Then, 5.) and have failed miserably. Why? Because, there is something about rules and rigidness that just does not jive with what feels right. I feel trapped and it becomes a chore. Then, I run away; far, far, away.

I asked on Instagram Stories the question:

I’m debating on whether to start blogging again. What do you think?

I was shocked at the responses and very, VERY, humbled. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. Some wrote back sharing their thoughts on writing another book instead or starting up the podcast again. Thank you. I’ve thought about both and hope to revisit these projects again as it is of deep interest.

But here I am, starting up another blog.

This time, though, it’s going to be different. The approach, different.

I thought about why I would even want to blog again and what good it would do in the ocean of other blogs on the internet. Would it even make a difference? And then, I got some advice that made me decide on going forth with the idea.

“People will always want more. You can give them ‘x’, but then they will ask for ‘y’. It has to ultimately be something you want to do. Something that brings you joy.”

Yes. That was the point I was trying to connect between blogging and why, because, everything takes time. Writing a post, takes time. Creating a painting, time. Being on Instagram, time. And time is not limitless as long as we are in human form. So, with it being limited, I thought, how would blogging enhance anything? Or, am I wanting to do it for the wrong reasons?

Blogging can’t be blogging for me. It wouldn’t be right for the friends who I dearly love and respect who make a living blogging. But, it can be a journal, a place where I share unfinished thoughts, kind of like my sketchbook, yet in words. There is so much that goes on in my mind and although I do journal religiously, there are just too many other interests, thoughts, feelings, emotions — just, things, swirling in my mind! So, a place I can be frank, honest, unfinished, unpolished, free, messy, doodle, typos, grammatical errors — whatever. A place to not worry about being perfect. A place to catalogue my journey, and along the way, share.

I don’t know how long I will be able to continue this, but one never knows until they try. I’ve tried several times, but then again, there are things in my life I’ve tried and disliked, only to try again at a later point in my life and fall in love. One never knows.

So, I guess, here we go, again! Welcome.

With love,
Satsuki