orchestra of minds

Martine Johanna, Under the Moon
Amor fati // Jamie Oliveira
your daily reminder to breathe
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I wish I was more myself when we first met.

I wish I wasn’t trying to run away from myself by distracting myself with another person.

I wish I listened to myself on our second date when I knew you still had feelings to work through with your ex.

I wish I listened to myself when I knew I still had feelings to work through with mine.

I wish I told you my heart was made of flowers instead of steel when you told me you didn’t want to break my heart on the first night we lay in bed together.

I wish I told you how much I had suffered.

I wish I told you how much my defenses needed to collapse.

I wish I told you how much I had loved.

I wish I wasn’t so glad to hear you say you weren’t looking to rush into anything.

I wish I didn’t try to hide and push you away when you first called me sweetheart.

I wish my heart was open before yours closed.

I wish that you weren’t everything on the list of what I look for in another person.

I wish my head and heart had been in unison.

I wish I knew how to let things go.

I wish I didn’t cringe when I think about myself.

I wish I didn’t want to melt when I think about you.

I wish I didn’t fall in love with my distraction.

I wish I had met you after I worked through all these things.

I wish I had met you after this year had passed.

I wish I didn’t know the ethereal necessity of all these things.

I wish I didn’t know that you were the greatest companion I could have asked for as I emerged more fully into being.

I wish I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be more myself had we not met.

I wish I didn’t know how much you’ve healed me.

I wish I didn’t replay these things over and over again in my head.

I wish I was more my Self when we first met.

I wish I was more my Self when we first met.

" - Amor fati // Jamie Oliveira

Frank Auerbach, Head of E.O.W. I, 1960
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I am currently working on a feminist photo series / photo book that includes portraits of womyn intended to capture the infinite power of our femininity and that emanates from our center (+ the expansive power of our sheer aliveness), juxtaposed next to a series of photos intended to reject the various forms of misogyny, invalidation, and verbal abuse that have been projected onto each individual (essentially, minimizing things that made you feel like less than you are). I am wondering if any of you are interested in being a part of the series (I am particularly interested in including more POC / folks in the LGBTQ community so the series can be as inclusive of a variety of experiences as possible). If so, please let me know if you are interested, and send me a list of words / phrases that people have said to you that you would like to reject, and then we can take your portrait at my house in the outer richmond district of San Francisco some time soon.

This project is very important to me because I have been healing from a long-term emotionally abusive relationship over the past year, and having other women share their own experiences with me has been so inspiring. Standing in unison through sharing our individual experiences as womyn holds a lot of power.

Examples of words / phrases people have sent me thus far:

"I promise I will never hurt you again."
“Why don’t you wear sexier clothes?”
“Your boyfriend isn’t here right now.”
“You’d be more fun if you cared less.”
“Why are you still talking? Turn off the light.”
“Kill yourself.”
“You’re going to want kids.”
“No one wants their girlfriend’s thighs to touch.”
“I have a videotape of us.”
“Everything that’s wrong with me is your fault.”
…and nearly a hundred more.

Thank you for your time!

Love / light,

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"Last night I wept. I wept because the process by which I have become woman was painful. I wept because I was no longer a child with a child’s blind faith. I wept because my eyes were opened to reality….I wept because I could not believe anymore and I love to believe. I can still love passionately without believing. That means I love humanly. I wept because I have lost my pain and I am not yet accustomed to its absence." - Anaïs Nin

self-portraitsan diego, 2014Lora Mathis 
I feel vulnerable and prone to danger when I am walking around at night, even in my quiet, uneventful suburban neighborhood. Although I tell myself to not be so paranoid and that it is in my head, I cannot help feeling uneasy and unsafe. I hear my mom’s voice telling me that I should not walk home from work alone. I hear the teachers at my old college, informing students of attacks on young women making their way to their cars. I remember the violent attacks on women in my friend’s neighborhood that made her sleep out for weeks. I want to walk around at night without fearing for my safety or having scenarios of sexual assault and violence run through my head. I want to feel comfortable where I live, in the body I am in. Standing naked in the middle of a line of garages, as vulnerable as I could be, was both scary and exhilarating. It forced me to breathe in my fears for ten still seconds and recognize how consuming thoughts of rape culture and my vulnerability are, though they usually sit somewhere right below the surface, always there, always nagging, always reminding me of what can happen if I am not careful enough, not smart enough, not lucky enough. 
Yoko Ono, Painting For the Wind, 1961
Egon Schiele, Standing Male Nude with Arm Raised
1,222 notes
"You are not matter but movement, you float unceasingly." - The Rite (1969) dir. by Ingmar Bergman
480 notes
"There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it’s heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true…This … this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don’t forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don’t really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What’s most frightening is that it’s so terribly clear, and there’s such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn’t endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it’s worth it." - Fyodor Dostoevsky
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"What would I do without the absurd and the ephemeral?" - Frida Kahlo, The Diary Of Frida Kahlo
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