Friday, April 24, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Eyes Wide Open

Real or Fantasea

She appeared to me.
A dream, vague and indistinct,
Borne of deepest fantasy.
Her love - incorporeal, 
Like flashing lights.

...She let me in - 
The place only her 
thoughts had been. 
I saw her true visage, 
A dying man's mirage.

We played a cruel game,
of musical hearts.
She stole my heart - 
While keeping hers...

Friday, April 17, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Hands in Frame

Tick Tock

Once upon a day
In a land far away
On a bleak Thursday in November
Came the darkest evening of the year

A child was born
Naked as the morn
Then tick tock
Began the clock

His beginning had come too early
Its start would prove so dreary
Pitiful wails filled the air
All looked on in despair

His end may come, his end may not
But fate is a foe that cannot be fought
And yet still, tick tock
Continued the clock

By chance, his demise was delayed
And life began with a debt to be paid
In time the boy grew strong and brave
Fought the throngs and battled knaves

Kept his nose down to the grindstone
Moved through life’s dead-end zones
And yet still, tick tock
Went the weary clock

Though the skyline fades into night
It will look brighter in hindsight
We have nothing but time, as tick tock
Always goes the clock
The Watchmen

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered: Curvilinear

Perchance to Dream

The world does not wait 
for us, in between our dreams.
While we sleep, it plots and schemes
To lead us to a place of unholy fate
While the world sleeps, I dream.
In between my dreams, I sleep

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Camera Obscura

The Camera Has Eyes...

I've never been a visually talented person. Like everything else, it has come with practice. Growing up, I was a wordsmith, I could take words, stretch and bend them like taffy, mould them to my will, make them do unspeakable and unnatural things, give them strange meanings, spin my way out of trouble with a tidal wave of words. 

The written word was perhaps my most potent weapon, but I was never a visual person. And I never quite understood cameras. Technically, I was quite impressed, don’t get me wrong, but I much preferred to look, to see. That was where my interest lay. Who needed Cameras, after all, when you had eyes?

I always appreciated beautiful photographs, don't get me wrong. I just never understood how I could do something like that. I always thought it was the kind of thing that one needed innate skill to do. There were two classes of people, those whose cameras had eyes, and those whose cameras were blind. I would see things in my mind’s eye, but when I took a photo of it, it never looked or felt quite the same. And so, I was resigned to merely seeing beauty, but being doomed to never capture it.

I saw beauty, but I revelled in its transience. I appreciated it for its temporary nature, and I thought “if these moments are lost, if they fade, like tears in rain, I will remember them, and is that not enough?”

And all along the way, I was convinced that I suffered Camera Obscura and could never capture a moment, beautiful and pure for all eternity.

But I was wrong. No one ever really captures a moment and that is certainly not the point of photography. It isn't about imposing yourself on the world. Instead, I think it is the opposite. Moments capture us. The world imposes itself on you. You open your eyes wide, and see something you had never seen before or you see something you’d seen a million times in an entirely different way and it moves you in ways you never thought possible.

My first few attempts were poor, to be generous. There was no heart behind it. I was capturing moments, but I had not yet been captured. The trick that focused my mind was to pair each photo with a small stanza, a small verse that captured how I felt at that moment in time. And so, I found the human element in what had once been a sterile and barren exercise. 

I had found my oasis. A stillness, a calm amid a bustling world. It’s almost quaint in such our mad world to be forced to slow down, to take a deep breath, to steady the mind, the hand, the eye, and in between breaths, at that perfect moment to allow yourself to be captured. 

Even if we try to capture the moment itself, it will be incorporeal, like dust in the wind, but how it made us feel, that, we can trap in a digital box. The moment itself may be lost, but the feeling of being in it will last forever because we have a small piece of something that can transport us back to that moment where it can recapture us anew and anew and anew.

And we can share that feeling with others - how beautiful is that. A language we can all understand, a beauty we can all appreciate. Something we can all slow down and enjoy, even if only for a fleeting moment.

I'm still not visually talented. Though there are some who are, I don’t think it’s necessary because we all have the potential for sharing the beauty we see. Like everything else, the only way to hone that ability is to keep at it, to practice. Someone once said, your first 10,000 shots are your worst, so it’s best to get them out of the way. But even those first worst 10,000 can be something special.

No one ever got better at anything by doing less of it. There’s beauty all around us. Nothing is ordinary. We all see it, we all know it, and we can all be captured by those ordinary extraordinary moments.
Enter the Void

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Trek

Curse of Man

From the underground, 
We venture forth.
Not into the light,
But a darkness 
Of another kind

2015: 365Unfiltered - Dust to Dust

Faith and Fear

Venture forth into the unknown. 
Embrace that which is unseen. 
For our time here is short. 
Mankind is but ash to ash, dust to dust.
The streets are ash to ash and rust to rust

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Gulliver

Castle in the Sky

How weary the climb we all must make. 
How lonely the trek we all must take. 
Till we each reach Laputa up high. 
Our very own castle in the sky.
Forever keep climbing...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Heart on a Sleeve

Traveler on Hard Road

Follow me –
Until we find,
The world as we want it to be –
Somewhere beyond a rainbow,
Where worries and cares –

A world where stars and skies collide.
Where heartbeats and dreams live.
Forever –

A wise man once said, "Creativity is Intelligence having fun." 

I've realized that it's easy to be creative when you are having fun. It's a wonderful feeling. I'd like to ride this train till the end of line. I would love if you would travel this road with me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered - Atlas

On the Shoulder of Giants

A glorious burden
It sometimes seems that as a society, we are enamoured with the myth if you want to call it that, the archetype, if you will, of the entrepreneur. That myth often has a very singular form. The sole entrepreneur against the world; the start up created in a basement or garage. Think of Facebook, Snapchat, Google and how they started, or at least, how we are told they started.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015: 365 Unfiltered - The Reality of Being


What are we? Who are you? Who am I?

Most often, the answer to that question will begin with a name. When someone says “tell me about yourself”, we often start with our name. It seems trite to say, but it ought to be said: there’s power in names. The need to have the ability to self-identify is a powerful driving force for all of us. Take away a person’s name or their ability to choose/keep their name and you erase them. If you tell someone everything about who you are without ever telling them your name, that disclosure often feels incomplete, devoid of intimacy, sterile, barren.

Despite the power in names, it’s ironic that for most people, we never get to choose our names. Our names are given to us, assigned, and the most that happens for some of us, if we even consciously think of it, is that we come to make peace with the names we were given. We come to accept them as a part of us even though we never asked for it, like a birth mark you can’t be rid of, even if you wanted to. Ask yourself: if you could change your name, would you? What would you call yourself if you were given that choice?

The ability to decide our own names is one of the fundamental things that makes us different from all other creatures.  That sense of personal freedom to chart our own course begins with this. To know our names, the names we have chosen for ourselves, whether as an affirmative act or by accepting the names we were given, is  to begin to know who we are. 

But names are not static, they are dynamic, fluid, they exist in a state of ebb and flow. The name you identified with yesterday may change, you may see yourself as someone different, better, but always, it comes down to choice. Did you choose that name? Is it yours?

We may have multiple identities, fluid and interweaving. We may be called something different by our parents, friends, enemies and everyone in between. We may have different online identities, but each name is no less real. In a sense, the name itself is the least important element of a confluence of abstractions and existential quandaries (who am I? What does my name represent?), but as long as you in some way chose that name for yourself, that is sufficient. In the moment, you are secure, your existential dilemma is resolved because it was a conscious decision, either to take that name or to keep the one you were given.

All the different names we have: our ‘real’ names, our online names, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter handles, that combination of names is a mosaic of who we are. Each one is an important element of what makes us ‘us’. We all need to be able to affirmatively embrace our names. We have the power, if our names cause us grief, or anguish or pain to create new identities for ourselves, to create new beings.

But with the great power to create ourselves through nomenclature, comes the great responsibility to respect the choices of others in how they choose to be named. Respect who they are and they reciprocate. If we were all happy in our names and we respected the choices of others, maybe then we can begin to be happy in ourselves.

There’s power in pseudonyms. They are often just as real as our true names, but there’s something powerful too, about shedding anonymity (or the facsimile of anonymity) and stepping out into the disinfectant glare of the sun.

Who am I?

My name is Andrew Arthur Juldeh Kaikai. I'm just me.
Can you feel the sun washing over me?
Can you see the sun watching over me?