Meditations (1): On Queer love.

Bangladesh, Life, Love, Thoughts

I’d just had a very brief exchange of texts with a friend, on our joint appreciation of Italo Calvino’s The Invisible City. And just like that, I’d felt the desire to reflect and meditate on love. Some more context needed perhaps? *We are amidst the most important historical phenomena to exist in our lifetime so far – the COVID19 Pandemic, so reflecting on an aspect of love, not all of love, by any means – but also, no more context than that.

I’ve come back and forth on this, perhaps in the blog a few times too. I’d have to scroll to find them -not now but I’ll reference them sometime. Today, it still dawns on me how difficult it is to put into words this phenomena, this thing called love. My approach has often been quite arbitrary, taking elements of my readings in the past that explored the concept through more philosophical lens. And just my experiences, as I’ve journaled, reflected and had many diverse conversations about. In falling in love, in being in love, in falling out of love, in the love that seems to be changing. In its multiple facets, it is embedded in darkness and its lightness. In the pursuit of love, in the anticipation of love, in the emancipation and being in love, that love conjures up.

In the pursuit of love, one gets lost, I get lost, its frenetic, its charged, its every last moment, every possible breath, the pursuit to hear those words being uttered, or to express them. The fear and the adrenaline is intoxicated. In the pursuit of that queer love, that love that doesn’t fix itself in that happily ever after. That pursuit that happens over a few hours, over a few days, over months. It lingers though, the feelings, the meaning, and as I type here on the blog – up pings a message on my screen ‘ I love you’. That made me smile. HE likes it when I smile.

Yet, the pursuit, its purpose, entirely, seems to fixate on to something to chase. Chasing love. The question is not, is there more love elsewhere? but how does one differentiate that love, with this love, how does one, pursue that other love? That love thats not defined in that box of a hetero/homo, mono/poly? It’s fucking scary sometimes, that pursuit. What does it mean to expressly pursue it? In conversations about relationships, love, often is a neglected component. I’ve struggled with that, I’ve fixated on that neglect. I’ve grown up in and around relationships that have required huge sacrifices, of pain, abuse – physical, emotional, mental, and neglect, or perhaps negation of love and of tolerance. This endured tolerance as a symbol of love. I’m overly curious about that. How does one create love-relationships? What have I observed, even in my own pursuit for love, when do I stop? When do I know? This is perhaps how I am exploring a love that is queer. This defining, refining the meaning of love that is queer, this unstructured free love, this queer love that is relentlessly unwilling to be boxed.

And yet, in the anticipation of love, in receiving love, that has been much much harder to accept. It continues to be so. Those of us, raised in the ashes of trauma, in experiences beyond our control as children, are left to question the integrity of love that is offered. Question, even the very essence of it, its meaning, its purpose. Its queerness is unacceptable, its an inability to acknowledge at times, that we can, as much as we pursue love, we can, just as well receive it. Despite this reassurance, these mantras and meditations and note to selfs, these moments of solitude, in offerings of gratitude, to life, love, universe, to nature. Its still weird to hear it. This anticipation of love being offered, is just as scary now, as it was then. In not speaking about it often enough, in decluttering the language of love, I question how we move forwards.

In the emancipation that love offers, in the being. In the present time and momentary appreciation of love, I wonder again, this queer love, what have I done to deserve such emancipation? Where does this emancipation take me next? Where does the overwhelming queer love sit, in my politics, in my work, in my being? How do I absolve the pursuits, the anticipations, and unshackle myself from both? Do I need to? Is it to accept that as this love emancipates my being, it will also do the same for others? How silly of me to assume this, and not recognise the absolute privilege this is. I’d been thinking, overthinking, or reflecting, the class, race, gender, sexuality and creed or none – that exists- within how love is pursued, how it’s seen, its rejected, how love is anticipated, or never expressed or experienced, and how love does emancipate the privileged even further, it is explained and appreciated. Archived.

The pursuits, and of those that reject my love, because of my race, gender, sexuality, class, often they are interwoven into this cacophony of rejections, so why continue the pursuit? Why pursue something that may damage or hurt, especially our emotional being. In the pursuit, there is truth. In that truth, rejection, in whoever and however it is given, is taken as part of the pursuit. Its unfairness, the collateral. My privilege is to be aware of this, this pursuit that has no shame.

Yet, in anticipation, I keep surprising myself. In pushing my boundaries to receive love, from whoever, irrespective of their class, race, gender, creed, sexuality, it is still difficult to do so. It is not easy. I have created boxes of whom and where I can receive love from. I anticipate it from specific types, to unshackle that, is also a pursuit.

Do I have a conclusion to this meditation? perhaps not. As with anything related to love, its never-ending. Yet, this archiving, of love, of queer love, being done now by many, yet still not enough, globally, is shedding light in this dark queer world of love. Its emancipation will and does continue in ways that are not appreciated always by me. Yet my own emancipations continue on, I meditate and reflect on it, with fresh eyes sometimes, more often with beleaguered tired thoughts. Appreciate those who’ve read this far!

And in closing this particular set of thoughts, in Calvino’s Invisible Cities, he says ‘“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” It is this, that this idea of queer love, it is morphing, growing, dwindling, appearing and disappearing.  It also means refining, not rules, but meanings of queer love and ways of expressing, pursuing, anticipating that love. A love that emancipates the being.

Here is a link to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities as a PDF : https://designopendata.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/calvino_italo_invisible_cities.pdf

London thoughts: On Privilege (2)

Arts, Bangladesh, Life, London, Love, Thoughts

TheCafe Season of Bangla Drama

Live drawing of the play on 3 November 2017 at the Brady Centre, Tower Hamlets, London as part of the “Season of Bangla Drama”  ‘The Cafe’ by Bishwo Shahitto Kendro (BSKL) Written by Bulbul Hasan and directed by Syeda Saima Ahmed. 

This year, I have had some time to consolidate and reflect on a lot of our work in Paraa and a lot of my own work. As the current drawing exhibition is taken down, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a series of points as we go on to launch some more interesting projects and collaborations in the coming year.  This is a long post / and I am still working through some of the ideas in the post, comments/feedbackack welcome. I will do one more post on Privilege in the coming weeks, in which I will explore the theme of the sense of entitlement within those of us that are privileged.

It seems aspects of life are about linearity – a simple cycle even – for me, for productive outcomes, linear thinking helps.  However, for me, in my reflexive and contemplations on the human condition, it feels correct to meander across ideas.  Often they sync in ways that we perhaps I would not see it if looked at in a linear manner. My latest meditation group session gave me some fruitful ideas again to embed in the post.

Its been a fascinating chance to reflect on the big change in my perceptions. My blog is a good, honest reflection of my self & some friends will argue I reveal more here than I do in person with them sometimes.

The privilege of the artist.
To be true to yourself and your work is perhaps the ultimate role of the artist. However, I question the narcissist in me & the various processes of art-making, architecture-making, and critical thinking required to help nurture my creative working self.  To unthink – a big aspect of the reflexive process has been a big part of my process. This is often in contradiction to the fervent making or doing, a practice or behaviour that is requisite to being a creative practitioner.  The unthinking requires to not do, but to be contemplative.

Yet, the privileged artist in me, privileged as I have somehow been able to carve out the time to continually requestion the very purpose of my art – is one that always raises for me interesting questiosn – for the utility? a social good? beauty in itself, to be enjoyed? to engage with? A phenomenon outside of certain constraints? for personal satisfaction?  a way to deal with ideas and the outside world without using a written medium? Its hard for me to decipher – my friends, who are my most ardent critics have often told me how interesting the work is, and at the same time question why it is I did it. Its there and then that I am at a loss to see the purpose of the creation – concerned much more about the next idea.  The privilege to forget perhaps is one thing – to not atone for the mess created, but to continually remember and reflect, is for me, the difficult and iterative process of art making. Is that my inability to process certain acknowledgments? that I do not appreciate my own ability to make art? or is it that am aware, that it is just an idea – or being my own critic – I forget the privilege of being able to create in the first place.

I am told at times I am doing important, meaningful purposeful work, experimenting, questioning and making and representing, archiving, speculating.  Its an immense privilege to be able to do those things, and I often forget about that privilege. To remind myself, of course, I must do this, to write, and engage with my thoughts. I am always able to walk away from the thoughts – not so much, from the urge to make art.  Another privilege of the artist, it seems, is that it never fully reaches that pinnacle of truth, it is a personal representation, an emotive evocative response or reaction to a situation or an idea.  So is it a lie? are all artworks just attempts at the Truth? So, never really being True? My question to myself is, what if I am not doing those things? My privilege affords me the ability to stop, reflect, and change if needed.

The privilege of the viewer.
I visit many events, shows, exhibitions etc – not as a critic may have to, but as a privileged viewer, and at some point, it feels gluttonous. this year I said I would only go to shows or events that I wanted to really see – ( Yet I still ended up going to many more )

Great art ought to move the soul, or the inner being, somehow, I read somewhere… yet its honesty, seeing it for what it is, that I am always curious about – the privilege to have time to let Art move you is probably something that I am curious about too. I happen, by accident, as a child to fall in love with reading.  It was reading that led me to explore so much of my imagination, ideas, places, people. Drawing, a technical skill I was good at, never really mattered so much. It was ideas that fascinated me. Yet, the merging of the two – idea into a drawing, was a way forward. Pushing the boundaries of that method for certain ideas, intrigued me.  As a privileged viewer, though, I question what it is the purpose or feeling or emotion behind certain ideas, and its this – that as a viewer that can often frustrate – as all that is available is the piece of art – and often a critics interpretation ( that may or not be suffice ) to trust my own emotional engagement with art then, is difficult – as we are forever requiring more information in order to engage with it. A child-like wonder or experience is much more valid to me, and I forever seek art that may just make me react.

Yet, trotting through so much of wonderful, interesting art, I seem to not have the head or heart space to be moved – the penny may drop later, of course…I would like to question my privilege of being able to view and engage with such art in the first place, and the consumption of it as an ipso facto process – as if it requires critical head space. The emotive response to a piece of art is the most important – to know that a certain set of ideas proposed by a musician, a sculptor, a writer, or a painter or performer, can move me emotionally is a great privilege. Being a consumer of the arts, and being an artist, it is a very strange place of privilege. It allows for me to challenge and push my own boundaries, in relation to others, either my contemporaries or the past great masters.

However, the privilege of the viewer is to acknowledge and critique the relationship of the art with his or her self, rather, than, I believe.  The question to ask – does this piece of work move me, if so why? what relationship does it have with my history? with my present or my environment, or my thoughts and emotions?  These are much more important questions to ask, I feel, with just enough context of any piece of work, that allows for an interesting connection to develop and continue on from.

It is, for this reason, I feel many museums and galleries do not have a diverse enough audience or reach beyond a certain glass ceiling – they cater for the market that is already able to consume it. Its a market exercise, rather than one of human and emotional well-being – and if galleries and museums were honest about their engagement investment, they would acknowledge that there is so much more to do.  The privileged viewer going from theatre to gallery to opera house to cinema, in a mega spree of absorbing culture for the sake of it, to be seen, for instance, is still something that irks me. As an artist, I continue to see, comment and care about fellow artists work, and hope they care enough to comment and come see mine. These social networks of support are crucial for artists, I believe. However, for the average or disengaged viewer, it can be a much more difficult process and one that either puts them off from engaging further in the future.

In a roundabout way – as a curator or artist, I realise that I cannot give people waffle. I can only be honest about the work being presented – in that its an idea, a representation of something, and often, my own work is just exactly what you see – a drawing of something. Nothing more. It is not Truth itself.

These two aspects above also force me to draw in a third privilege, although not so directly related, but, I feel, relevant in my thought processes in the past few months.

The privilege to be able to love and receive love.
Over the recent weeks, I have been seemingly accused of not being able to love or receive it in a meaningful way as I do not have a monogamous relationship with another individual. These relationships are apparently of less emotional value, than it seems if I was to have one monogamous partner.  I am of course, stumped by this accusation, and have little way of refuting it. Love, I believed, is something that we feel, and sometimes express across the various aspects of our lives, including emotionally – with friends, family, lovers or beyond and most importantly, reflecting honestness. Although some conceptual ideas about being vulnerable with multiple people seem absurd, – a license to play – it also is quite a significantly simple way of being honest about the frailty of my own human condition.  My human-ness is embedded in understanding and acknowledging that Love is fundamental to my well-being.

However, the accusations or the opinions or judgments that are made – I feel deter away from conversations about what is it to receive and give Love, versus structures of a behaviour found in some religious traditions, or certain societies that want to impose their ideals.

So, in a roundabout way, the privilege to be able to love, is quite spectacular, the life-source of many passionate creations and people, love that inspires and excites and spurs towards an ever burning light of Truth – it definitely is the emotion that spurs me on to pursue my passions. The closer we get, I feel, to being able to fully love, to be able to give Love, without conditions, the closer we are to our most vulnerable self, and perhaps, the closest we are to understand what it means to be human.  In the meditation class last night, again we explored binaries of joy/sorrow  being/doing and beyond.

And its this self that needs to be fully connected to those around us whom we also wish to receive love from – if we are able to acknowledge that receiving love is also a privilege, as much as the privilege is to be able to give love. We are not ‘entitled’ to it. Love, requires work. It is a very reciprocal process, one that requires courage and inquisitiveness.  However, the capacity to love, ought to come from within understanding that the capacity is potentially a finite emotion – and here – is where a conundrum arises.

There was an accusation that there is not enough investment in these ‘love’ relationships because you cannot spread love across so easily. You cannot be so vulnerable to so many people. Or we cannot feel the same, or differently same, with so many people. I question this precisely because to be able to give love, we must be in a great position of privilege. To exercise this privilege, is perhaps, one of the most beautiful human emotions.

To summarise this post:
I explored the privileges of the artist and the viewer, and the privilege to be able to receive and give love.  Bringing this back to the arts then, creating art requires this source of inspiration too, and it requires it not at the sacrifice of other aspects of love, rather, in conjunction with and in addition to it.  For me, more and more, acknowledging the privilege is crucial precisely because it allows for the development of the self to continue – to continue becoming human.   A fundamental deterrence is understanding the time it takes to do this, is one of extreme privilege. Life often is busy with just making ends meet, or to survive. Although the artist may struggle to articulate it with words, often, its not so necessary. Human beings are much more than just words, and this, I feel, I neglect when attempting to understand the importance of what it means to be able to love.

Click here for the link to the previous post on Privilege.

 

Dhaka Drawings: Young boy 191

Arts, Bangladesh, Boy, Chinese ink, Dhaka, Drawings, Life, Portraits

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Dhaka Drawings: Full figure self portrait

Acrylic, Arts, Bangladesh, Blue, Colour, Drawings, Life, Self-Portrait

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Dhaka thoughts: Video blog 1: On Shame

Art, Bangladesh, Journey, Life, Reflections, Thoughts, Truth

This is my first personal video blog, and hoping this method might be more useful in the future as I think about how to improve it.  My eyes dart around a bit, as I tried to work to a loose script ( I kept going off topic, when I tried to freestyle, ending with long meanders about nothing! ) VERY different media to writing, for sure, or drawing.

Dhaka Drawings: Young boys 144-150 ( experiments in Chinese Inks done!)

Arts, Bangladesh, Black and White, Boys, Chinese ink, Life, Portraits, Urban

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London Thoughts : Cutting the Cord(s) of Love(s)

Arts, Drawings, Life, London, Love, Thoughts, Truth

Where am I, now. 

Gently. I am cutting the cord(s) of Love(s)
These are somewhat poetic musings, riddled, more than anything else – and it seems an accumulation on conversations I have had over the past few days with friends, family, lover(s), colleagues and strangers (who have become friends). 

TO CUT
Emancipation is a strong word – it seems I continually seek it, yet never fully embrace it. How bizarre – why choose a masochistic approach? I am often the sadist. My inability to emancipate from religion ( I still have prayer beads in my daily possession ), from cultural traditions ( I am continually embedded back in to family politics ), from unwanted labels that are attached to me, it never seems enough. Embroiled and enamoured, to continually fight against the torrents. Yet, to cut free, in an amusing way, would be reckless. How strange the mind works. To throw my self, into work and art – into becoming ‘independent’, into love, seems tough. Why?  What does it mean to ‘be’ ‘free’?

THE CORD(S)
Frantically I seek meaning in the cords that I already have – the labels that are attached to me – the strings that perpetuate my being. It is frantic. It is in discord. It is troubling. It is dramatic. It is real. Yet, these cords keep me afloat, keep me alive.  The currents of love, however, seem to pull in ways that propel me to behave somewhat ‘irrationally’. 

OF LOVE
To start with. BEING, the identity or label has to BE HUMAN – and that must be enough, always – for me.  To humanise every aspect of myself – from my homosexuality to my race, class, my religiousness or lack of, my politics, my size, my sex, my masculinity, or my effeminateness – To label myself just that – Human – I have spent a lot of time deconstructing my various selves.  I see a problem with continual discord. Yet – for now, am content to love being.

My drawings (random selection below) often are working and reworking of ideas – of perceptions and ways of seeing – it is not clever or innovative – it is true. It just is. Fragmentary, of time and place. Of the self, of objects, of places, of people that I encounter.

My writing, as you are reading – you are able to understand – are often an outpouring of a concentrated series of thought(s).

To Love. Here, I am pondering..  What I have learned in this revisit, to love for me is about trust, vulnerability and emotional honesty – I seek it in my practice of everyday life:  However unsuccessfully. I observe and experience it- in my platonic friends, I seek and give it in family, I seek it in my lover(s), in my work and actions, and I return it in abundance OR at the least try, I embrace its role in creating nature, in shaping ideas, in nurturing the soul – it does not mean that I roam around always immersed in it – far from it.  Its much easier to receive, to accumulate, and I have learned to continue to give – to expedite Love – not as commodity (as it does not come with a price tag, and is not finite) is a continual process. Karmic.  To Love, therefore has a profound meaning for me. To love, is an action that is not muddled in religious consciousness, as duty- in cultural attachments as symbols (or trophies) – or spiritual mysticism, -found in ecstasy, or for me – entangled and riddled with familial guilt. To love, is to be – and to practice such an act, requires for me – an interaction with that part of me that is quietly emboldened by life and its experiences.

WHAT AM I LEARNING?
To acknowledge certain emotions – not at the sake of others. To listen, in order to understand, not to respond and react. To engage again with an aspect of the self that I realise requires continual work. To cut the cord(s) of love(s) in this instance then, is about being ok with the vulnerabilities that love brings with it.  It requires a certain working mind – one that is open and honest.  Being honest – is tough. Yet, tolerance is a word that I have used over the past few weeks – my conversations have forced a certain way of thinking and being again. How to be tolerant of myself? my thoughts? my ideas? my fantasies? my fears? my emotions (including confronting my own anger, in this instance – something I had seldom seen..)

Is it possible through an embracing of love? To not sexualise or eroticise it, or singularise it – to not be related to one entity – but to to love in its entirety or in its capacity to be more— to not be entangled in obsessive lust, insecurities, in guilt, in over-indulged fantasies or fear.

Of course – articulating my thoughts on the blog are not the same, and perhaps hide my inability to act as well as I would like.  The fears and realities will continue to limit me – yet, I try to challenge in my own way. Quite possible that I intellectualise this idea of love too. That is ok. Posibly, learning to accept flaws in me, makes it easier to accept also the flaws in the human being. To love, easily, would be tough. In the constant battle, then, to cut the cord(s) of love(s), I seek to continually emancipate myself from my riddled pasts, in order so that love can emancipate me.

 

Dhaka Drawings: Young Boys 112-118 (Experiments in Chinese ink)

Art, Bangladesh, Boys, Drawing, Life, Portraits

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Dhaka Drawings : Young boy 110

Bangladesh, Boy, conte, Life

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Dhaka: Reflections on relationships. In the instant.

Bangladesh, Life, Love, Railway Station, Reflections, Thoughts, Truth

It seems a bit far-fetched to think to about reflecting on relationships, especially as I have only lived 30 years of it so far. Yet, it is plausible that the experiences we have can and does shape the way we think, behave and react to the world around us.  Today, I sat at the station, and was drawing again, some of the usual people that I draw, and then a young mother with her new born child was about, I was somehow able to ask her to sit for a while with her child for me. here is a link to the drawing:

 Mother And Child 1

More importantly though, the past few weeks – my relationships have been tested. The idea of friendship, family, love, siblings, mentors, colleagues, partners etc. It seems I was somehow lumped into a space filled with the potential of all the relations becoming quite volatile  and all happening at the same time. It made no sense – had I attracted somehow this negative charge of emotions and an eruption of despair appeared? Maybe. I look deep within me, as I reflect now on today’s drawings – the most interesting of which, was the mother and child. I stop to appreciate again the very ability to have debates, discussions and arguments with those that I care about, even have giant differences with. The ability to love, and appreciate spending quality time with people that I care about. We never know really what will happen tomorrow, so cherishing today is important, as much as forward planning is.  I have never been fantastic at forward planning – I do a lot of it though it seems.  However, when the world turns upside down, and all these dynamic relations seem to have become charged, I realise that there is little I can do, other than be true to myself.

Love comes in quite a few guises, recognising them all takes time – and will continue to take time. Yet, conversations regarding emotions and feelings have been the theme of my last few weeks with friends and family. Quite possibly, a re-routing of the soul, or perhaps a liberating set of actions have been put in place. It is too early to tell, unwittingly, I am again exactly where I felt I wanted to be last, in the comfort of Dhaka. In familiar, chaotic sounds and spaces.

In the challenges that have been faced, I recognise one thing, that my willingness to hit the self-destruct button – OR, to put it more bluntly, put up a wall against any further emotional conversations (or potential damage) has not been activated – it came close a few times.  A passive aggressive trait possibly I picked up being in a relatively conservatively dysfunctional south asian family.  I recognise better now when there is attempts to throw in the mix emotional blackmail, guilt tripping the self, and more importantly, to jeopardise the souls potential growth by giving in to these quite horrible activities.  In the moments of sitting and drawing today, I realised that, some friends are right, that this too will pass. A new mantra that I have been able to pick up from a good friend – be grateful, be kind, be mindful – seems to do the trick a bit..

I sat, in awe of this young mother and her child, quite in my own head unable to process what it genuinely means to bring up a baby in the world in this environment. How scary it really must be. And what the fuck can a young mother, barely a child herself can do about it. I cannot ever understand really the nature of the mother in this instance – I can only reflect on my own chaotic relationship with my own mother, her struggles to bring us up as good human beings, and her sacrifices that she perhaps didnt have a choice to make at the time. I was accused of not caring enough many a times in my last trip to London, from friends and family.  I perhaps don’t know how to express that care in a tangible manner – for that, I know a blog post is never enough. It seems words are meaningless and empty at times. The labels we carry – the son that left the house, the friend that doesnt care, the sibling that is neglectful, leave marks, one stroke at a time.  I can’t possibly express in words ( as ironic as it sounds ) what it is to feel all those emotions of rejection all at the same time.

What would I want to feel? I imagine as all human beings – to be wanted, to be loved and to be cared for and to be able to do the same for others. I get it in abundance from my friends and family, so I dare not even think about complaining OR comparing.

Yet, here I am contemplating and reflecting on ideas of extreme unfairness, that a young mother is forced to bring up a child in a public environment, with little to no social protection, health care or support – with potentially little hope of a future for her child… I generalise. It brings forward dilemmas for my soul, in the directions to push.. The role for the artist seems quite twisted. I am not here to write a fundraising application to develop a social protection programme for those at extreme risk – yet, I can question, why isn’t that happening? Why aren’t those at extreme risks being cared for by the giant number of organisations that seem to expend huge amounts of aid money to do good – and what is i that I would want them to do? and who am I to demand such a thing in the first place? another do-gooder from abroad attempting to impose an idea about something or other, ultimately to fail and disappear back to where I have come from – licking my wounds.

My education, my social status, my gender, my passport – all play a giant role in my perceptions and experiences of the world and especially, in the small cosmos of the communities that I have interacted with in Bangladesh.  This check balance is difficult to maintain and I struggle with it in my own way.  My ability to articulate an idea, my inability to sometimes recognise my blindspots, or empathise, and more importantly to connect at the right time, means there is potential for uncomfortable encounters too. What can I do about that? I can do my best to be true as possible to myself and continue being reflexive in my work and personal life. Nothing more, nothing less. As I said to a young cousin a few months back when he questioned about my purpose in life – my answer was that it is to do good honest work – and we have been, on the whole, doing some wonderful things in our own way.

Its difficult to summarise, yet I will try.  Relationships on the whole are extremely dynamic and requires energy from all parties to work. When walls are set up, often they are difficult to take down – especially from my own experiences with people in my own relatively short past.  I have put up plenty of walls in the past, although there maybe little appetite to take those ones down – I don’t want to continue putting up walls in my soul ( How ironic, considering I co-run an architectural practice).  I am learning to accept that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness, and being honest to yourself is important, and a lot of the times, things happen that are beyond your control, and thats OK too.  I do what I can. This too will pass.