One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A History of A Problem

The term syndrome is so frequent, that sometimes, I wonder, if this term really does mean, what it supposed to mean? I mean, it is used so frequently that I doubt, and feel, that this feeling is quiet genuine, that psychologists have the syndrome of making syndromes. I have a problem with it, and the problem is that syndromes make you get this syndrome of looking for patterns, and it makes your observations patchy, and that is something negative. It stops from looking to life, and people, who struggle so hard for that life, as a single entity, complete in itself, but as problems need to be managed and solved. If people is more concerned about their looks than about their ideas, if they are more concerned about their weight than their impacts, if they are more worried about their dogs than refugees, if they are more interested in knowing what Angela Julie is doing than what policy makers are doing, if they are more mad on the noisy children next door than noisy politicians trying their best to prove entire populations evils, if ......, if..., if..... , still, calling them suffering from some sort of syndrome is heartbreaking. The world is and has never been black and white. Different civilizations at different times in their histories have discovered, and acknowledged the duality as an essence of things. So, no matter, what one observes, one always has the choices in describing that thing as negative or positive. Let me follow the tradition of elaborating the ideas by providing examples. Sherlock Holmes is an imaginary character, with a gift of genius, possessing a mind, totally occupied by scientific thinking. "That is brilliant" in the words of Dr. Watson. But there are people out there obsessed in proving that this character was bipolar manic. Here is where my problem begins. When one has the choice in describing things, what is the pleasure in seeking negativity? 

I have this problem for a long time, and here is a description of the earliest history of this problem. When I was at class one or two, I was seeing two conflicting worlds, and had no idea, why this conflict exist at all. Our drawing teacher was drawing a mountain, a sun that had half risen behind those mountains, a school in front of the mountain, a flag on the roof of the school, a green front yard, a road running parallel to school, a car on the road, a running water tab at the corner of the road, a blue sky, two clouds, one on right side of sky and one on left and a lot of birds flying in between two clouds. This world was on black board and we had to transfer it on our notebook and color this world. Now, I had two problems, each one more serious than the other. The first problem was that the mountain on the black board was triangular and black in color. In my real world, our area was surrounded from three sides by mountains. These mountains had multiple peaks, light to dark grey colors (depending on the time of day) and were standing tightly shoulder to shoulder with each other. Each mountain had a quiet a personality, each their own recognizable features. They had no resemblance to triangular mountains on black board that were just clones. Our school was surrounded by walls, had many classrooms, all with flat roofs, a medium size metallic gate on main entrance. The school on black board had a gable roof with no walls surrounding it. Even funnier was the flag on school, which was rectangular and crispy like new bank-notes. The flag in our school was a piece of cloth, always folded and hanging down lazily from a pole. There wasn't any green lawn in our school. There were a lot of pigeons in the sky during morning or evening but they weren't looking like those lines on the black board either, and clouds? No need to say anything about that, right? My tiny brain had the problem in understanding, why my teacher wants us to draw the world, the way it doesn't exist? The other problem that I had was that my hand was not getting what my eyes were commanding it. What I was seeing on blackboard, I wanted my hand to draw the same on the page. But when I was looking to what it had drawn, they were just pieces of modern art (as I know it today. At that time, I didn't know about Picasso. I am pretty sure, if I knew that I creating abstract art, I would not definitely weren't concerned about low marks on my drawings) and were just disappointing to both me and my teacher. I had the problem to understand, why my hands are not as good as my eyes.

It was not that just drawings weren't conflicting with my real worlds. The same was true with photographs. On my way back from school to home, there were a number photographic stores that had displayed framed photographs of the individuals on the glass shelves. In a couple of photographs, individuals had photographed themselves in the front of shrine of Imam Reza (A.S). I was trying to understand the photographs but they weren't making sense to me. The individuals were taller than the shrine. I hadn't seen any individual taller than building or any building shorter than people. I had that much sense that there must be some benefits in not conforming with real world, however, no one was there to explain, what are the benefits? As a child, all I was struggling with my conflicting worlds. I still struggle, though, the subjects and nature of the struggles have changed a lot. In real world, there are as many worldviews as many people are there. I mean quiet a lot. When I see the struggles to make people conform with a particular worldview, it appears to like those drawings on blackboard or those photographs that differ from real world. When people function and function well, searching problems in them is a problem in itself. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Less Serious History

Everyone has some "weaknesses", and one of my "weaknesses" is history. History fascinates me much more than futuristic objects, ideas and visions. I blame two things for this biased behavior towards futuristic utopias, my stronger inclination towards verbal-perception than visual perception, and my utter dislike of star-war shows. Actually, I disliked the first star war show that I watched and my opinions of such shows have not improved over time. I believe that my verbal-perception developed out of my passion to see the world. Since our circumstances weren't allowing me to travel, so I compensated this passion of mine by reading whatever were available to me. Words were allowing to be in places, and live the lives of the people, who I had not the privilege to visit and meet. Travel journals and biographies were and are my best friends. Why I don't like star war shows? Well, I don't remember any time that I could have tolerated watching a whole episode of a star war show. Although, my memories of the first shows are vague, but I remember the reasons that I disliked it, and since then, I haven't dared to disturb this perception. I watched my first show on our black and white, made in Russia TV. It was not the colors, or the dotted, low-resolution screen that generated the dislikes, but the characters, their appearances, their environments and the lack of a "real" story in them. The characters had the minimal facial expressions, almost devoid of normal emotions, dressed in bright, tight, shiny covering, walking, sitting and behaving in abnormally rude manners (I would rather say, fake self-confidence), and the environments were clean (devoid of any signs of "real" life: life is more messy than tidy) and extravagantly geometrical, the interactions were absolutely spartan, and all they were living for, were survival and dominance. I thought, the shows were totally laboratorian (I made the term, so don't look it up in dictionary), and were poor in imaginations. I thought, if I have to live such a life, I would definitely not survive in such an environment, and even if I could somehow survive, it would be a life of agony and despair, sugar-coated by fake perceptions of living-beings and life in general. In fact, it was as frightening as imagining oneself as a crocodile living with other crocodiles, the kind of scaly skins of crocodiles, rough faces, devoid of any expression and two big eyes and large, strong toothed mouth, always greedily looking for preys. No tolerance for emotions, weaknesses, compassion or anything associated with softheadedness (It is not that I don't like crocodiles. It is just, how our brains are wired to see scaly skins as scary, part of our warning system).

I like natural landscapes, museums, cities and people, as they are less serious histories, and are too diversified (may be a better word is too complicated) that never let your imaginations become sleepy (always have hidden surprises ☼), and are always open to interpretations of the observers. In comparison, written histories are always organized around certain worldviews. Written histories are limited and lose their charm once one is aware of the details.

It was one of those nice summer weekends that I decided to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I like NYC not because of her skyscrapers, but because she let me realize that, life is not a single story. Life is millions of stories that no matter, how much they contradict each other, each is worth living and keep people struggle hard for. In other words there are millions of life perspectives, and that is just magnificent and really absorbing, once you start observing the life perspectives. It let one free himself from conformity with traditional lenses of great, good, bad and evil, and start understanding the passion and struggle in each perspective, and see things as they are instead of how should they be. I had planned a sort of "time travel". The whole city is a like giant museum full of different characters, each carrying his/her own histories. Everybody sees and only few really observe (I regularly read the metropolitan diary, just to know, of all those things that city dwellers see, what they choose to observe . It is a kind of comparison with my own observations. After all, it is believed that US is all about freedom of choices, and while seeing is mostly a matter of chance, observations are what we choose to see in details). The time travel plan was to spent sometime around the city, make some rudimentary sketches out of my observations, and then go to museum to observe the historical art pieces from around the world. I found a terrace like place at the edge of a pond in the central park, where people were sitting, eating, walking, biking, taking pictures, some reading and a couple guys were fishing. After spending sometimes and taking some notes, I headed northward towards museum. I realized, I had difficulty finding my location on the map, and to avoid going in the wrong direction, I needed the help. I started looking around to find somebody to help me finding my direction. A lady with two woolly puppies were on the same trail that I was. I asked her to help in locating me on the map. She told me to follow her to the road, where I could locate myself and then could easily follow the map. While we were walking towards the road, she asked, "You like flowers"... "Everybody does" I replied... "You like drawing?"..."Yes, but did you guess it because I am going to Museum of art?" ... "No, I guessed it from your cap. It has embroidered flowers on it" ... I got curious (embroidery and flowers are usually taken to be feminine, and I didn't want☻) ... "It also has a man, holding an ax in his right hand. It is a contradictory combination" I showed it to her by pointing with my finger... and tried to explain that the cap doesn't represent me in any way, "The cap was on sell, and its size was re-adjustable, which is useful during summer time. That is the reason that I bought it"... "That is complementary combination, flowers and tools are man's best friends" ... That was an expected answer....Her fingers and wrists were filled with all sorts of beads and stones, and usually artists and those who have spiritual tendencies use their fingers, wrists, ears and necks as galleries... "Do you do some sort of art?" I asked..."Oh, I lived the craziest life ever.." and there came the road .... I thought, we all carry our histories that we have made by the choices that we have made. Even if I insist that the cap didn't represent me, still it was one of the choices that I made..