When I was a kid, I remember looking through a plane window and wishing so strongly that I could just go and run in those puffy clouds. The idea seemed very feasible. Well, it never happened, and I got used to the thought that sky was the limit, which meant that there was no way on earth to reach to the sky. Yet nature astonished me again. There was a 6,500 miles stretch of salt flats in Bolivia called Salar de Uyuni.
Few times a year during the rainy season, small amounts of water flood the plain, making it the world’s most perfect mirror. In fact, so perfect that NASA uses its surface to calibrate satellite orbits.
Looking through endless photos, where this amazing natural phenomenon made it appear like people were floating effortlessly in between the clouds, made me remember my childhood airplane dreaming. But also, it reminded me of that feeling on the bicycle, when you are going for a long ride and completely zone out at some point. It seems, sometimes, that the surrounding scenery blends altogether and all you see is the sky and a road that disappears in a skyline.
Then, I imagined a dream ride in Salar de Uyuni. The whole peloton that only knows one way: straight ahead. The concept of a dream, that became an obsessive idea, over which one loses sleep, visually combined road cycling and the Bolivian salt flat phenomenon in my head.
I created a series of paintings that depicted that imaginary race. To sum up the project, I am currently planning to go to Bolivia to cross the desert on my road bike and film the experience. The idea is to prove that even the sky is no limit. I will also do a live painting session in Salar de Uyuni and make a final presentation with an artist talk and discussion back in the US.
Today I realized how soon is Christmas: 8 days left. Till New Year’s Eve – 16 days. Being from Ukraine made me long for a number of other winter holidays: St Nicholas day (Dec 19) andOrthodox Christmas (that is celebrated on Jan 7). In addition to this, there is another amazing date: Winter Solstice (Dec 21). I always found it silly that people get all crazy over the gifts hunt and ‘made-in-china’ decorations. It amuses me that in America you start to see Christmas promotions in November. However, when I was on the evening walk a few days ago I realized something important, I think. I saw a holiday rush as a means to unite people, make them feel like they belong and are a part of something bigger. It is a natural sensation that makes a human being’s life worth it. In the essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of a world devoid of God and eternal truths or values.
Finding magic in your life is a lot easier than you might think. A traditional ‘fight for the light’ is really not that necessary, while in pursue of magic, buying 25K worth of Christmas decorations to make your house the brightest in a community is an option but far not the only one.
“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it’s the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do and that you’ve ever done. But what’s yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it’ll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won’t have to put it back in the sky again.”
― C. JoyBell C.
10 secret steps to make magic happen
1. Start your day with a special kind of coffee
Recipe by Tove Jansson – novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author; she is best known as the author of the Moomin books for children.
ground coffee, milk, honey and cinnamon
How to make:
Combine 1/4 cup of milk with 2/4 cup of water. Add 1/2-1 tsp of honey; stir well.
Add 2 tsp of grind coffee beans (with a little extra tip). Top it with a pinch of cinnamon. One more pinch of cinnamon you add to the fire that cooks your coffee. Let the fire know what awaits it.
Stir while cooking. And when it is about to escape add a little more cinnamon to the coffee to make it calm down.
What’s the magic:
Life becomes better after you drink it. Things and dreams that avoided coming true would suddenly start to. Other little wonders will start to occur as well!
2. Buy/download and start reading The Little Prince by Antonie de Saint-Exupery while drinking that coffee (see step 1)
It’s very short (just 64 pages). The book is translated into more than 250 languages which makes it fourth most-translated book in the world. It was first published in 1943. The Little Prince is a novella by a French writer, poet and pioneering aviator Saint-Exupery. In this story he is thought to have drawn on the aviation experiences in the Sahara Desert.
The watercolour illustrations that were made by the author add a magic visuals to a poetic tale about a pilot, who is stranded in a desert and meets a young prince who has fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid.
It was written during the Second World War: France had fallen and Saint-Exupery fled to North America.
Don’t let the cute illustrations fool you, it is much more than a child’s book, although it’s styled as one. It is a voyage of an adult in search of a sincerity and simple childhood-like excitement.
Where to get it:
Buy a printed version at your local book shop. Be old school, books are very cool to hold in your hands and turn over the pages.
Buy an e-book on Amazon.
Download a free version (pdf, ePUB or Kindle) – no spam, no tricks, this link actually works: http://ebookbees.com/the-little-prince-free-ebook/
3. and 4. Music cures. Dancing too. Get your day moving with a next step. Now we are all different with unique tastes but here’s what I was writing this article to:
Music really can make magic happen. I love those chill electronics by Moderat (German based group). Even 10 minutes of getting lost in a dance in between day-to-day errands putts a newly polished smile on my face.
Feeling more rhythmic? This youtube charnel full of salsa tutorials that are actually very easy to follow fulfills the mood:
For a funk mix of electronics this is the way to go:
But seriously go to dancing classes. Literally sign up for tonight’s local class ‘try it out’!! 🙂 It cleans you inside out – body and soul. It took me ages to make this decision. You know how it goes: lack of time, no partner, too expensive, just keep forgetting. It’s all called procrastination – google it! Signing up to classes takes a simple action – just find a school close to you or the one that looks fun, ask a friend, go to yelp, attend evening open dance classes – don’t over think it.
That’s a good movie to get you inspired on the topic (so old – so good):
5. Seal your wish in an empty bottle of wine.
How to prepare:
Buy a bottle of wine (not too expensive, don’t make it too fency, or the wish will think that you are trying to buy it out). It has to be special: pick by nice label picture, or drink the one that a good person gave you, or buy one here – this wine store claims to expose wine to music, that should change its structure and make every cell of your body cheer.
Drink it. Preferably in a beautiful place to charge it with some good memories and share it with some good people, but I’ll tell you secretly – drinking it alone for this cause is fine too (maybe not the whole bottle…and don’t drink and drive, right?).
Make a wish, blow it inside the bottle and cork it right away (so that a wish can’t escape).
What’s the magic:
Your wish comes true! Really:) Just be humble and you’ll get 10 times worth of a wish.
To be continued…Saving some for the next magical day!!:)