Tag Archives: hobbies

Thought #51. The sweets of an uphill struggle.

It is not rocket science that the pursuit of happiness is virtually universal. From a tribe of Amazonian Indians to the dwellers of a megacity like Tokyo, each individual has his own idea of what happiness looks like. Sometimes though, we are on the wrong path and do not realise that making subtle changes in our daily life, could considerably improve our chances for success.

Biologically, the release of endorphins, triggered by various human activities, is responsible for euphoric sensations and, moreover, has a protective effect against pain. But, however hard you try to invoke the power of endorphins, it would be ineffective unless you knew what makes you happy.

It is little wonder that trial and error is the most effective method to find out about your source of happiness. Every individual evolves throughout his life and, consequently, what works today may fall by the wayside tomorrow. It seems to be quite probable that, in this pursuit, you are prone to face a neverending struggle.

In my opinion, motivation is the force to be reckoned with. The keenness and willingness to always try and do your best is what makes a difference between the impossible and the feasible. I have a broad range of things that I am eager to know more about: classical music, photography, human behaviour and English are some examples. None of them are second nature to me and yet I have been working hard to improve my skills in those subjects.

I know full well that I would probably never be a professional musician or photographer. However, my personal battle against the odds to learn more about my hobbies, is a continuous source of happiness – only comparable with my happy marriage.

I spent hours and hours in front of my piano, trying to bring musicality out of little childish pieces. I would walk the streets of Castellon, three hours a day, camera and dog alongside, trying to capture the beauty of day-to-day life. I am writing an English blog, on a daily basis, in order to master the basics of communicating thoughts via words. I come into my own when I do my own thing and, despite not knowing the score, I am happy with this uphill struggle.

Thought #47. On selfies.

The self-portrait is not a latest craze. Art history, ancient and modern, gives comprehensive accounts of this genre as a common means of expression among artists. The question is what is the motivation, if any, for an artist to depict himself.

As an aficionado of photography, I have always been amazed at the power of images. Perhaps in pursuit of an aesthetic value, or maybe out of the need of expressing feelings; no wonder I ended up taking pictures of myself. But I hardly ever shared them with friends or family.

I feel like telling something with my photography and that may prevent my output from being much of a muchness. I would not have published my work unless I had been sure that each picture’s message came across as intended. I know full well that my work is not suitable for anyone, though. I am quite comfortable with detractors too.

Why did I take the picture above? Within those four edges I found a way to represent a question mark. But, deep inside I really wanted to spark, at least, criticism. I remember the remark that a photographer, whose work is a model for me, made when I first showed him this photo. He could have disapproved of the lack of compositional rules, the overuse of negative space (which refers to showing a lot of empty space), and many other technicalities. Instead, he said “I’m puzzled”. Bravo, I murmured to myself.

After that short remark, he told me that by hiding my mouth I was leaving the viewer totally clueless. Without any reference but a pair of eyes wide open, he was unable to tell whether I was laughing, making fun of him or simply scared.

Maybe this story leads the way and the reader will follow. When an opportunity of taking a selfie arouses, it is highly advisable to approach it with the willingness to tell something. People are jaded with meaningless imagery, you too.