Lilac

-anshudha garimella

Lilac drips down the sky

Around the clouds, it entwines

Enveloping the atmosphere

You can find the dreamers there

Their hopes and their songs

Interlace with the pastel colours of their dreams

Lilac falls from the sky

To soothe the ones with weary eyes

It’s been a lonely night

Seeing things in black and white

A burst of colour is an electric shock to the eyes

But that’s what we dreamt of through the night

We were hoping to wake up in a field of lilacs

A paradisiacal reverie we made with our weary eyes

But we woke up under a lilac sky

more heavenly than our imaginations

Tired of seeing things in black and white

We slept in the abyss

But we dreamt of lilacs

The children of spring

That burst out of the divine ground

We have often seen grey skies

And black skyscapes even on velvet nights

But when the heavenly raindrops fell from the sky we painted them lilac with our eyes

Like watercolours would drip and spill down a white canvas

Our sky is our canvas

Our hopes and our poems splattered violets and lilacs all over the skies

And then those lilac drops blended with the white cotton clouds

Giving the impression of a soft mauve pillow

That we lay our tired heads upon

Lilac drips from the sky around our hands it entwines

Around our heads, we wear flower crowns

damp from the lilac rain

We are the children of spring

We no longer live in the shadows.

Use photography to be more creative, better and happy.

Photography is an incredible art form. But, sometimes I feel that we do it for Instagram and other social media sites. While, there is nothing wrong with that, the beauty of photography gets blurry when we become preoccupied with social media.

To us, today, photography is simple, we’ve all got a camera in our pockets fashioned into smart phones.

Because it is so easy to take a picture, we click and capture moments that may not mean that much to us. At least not always. But we do because we can. A few decades ago it took time to get pictures right, you had to have a steady hand and great skills and not to forget that the images needed to be developed, they had camera rolls didn’t they. I don’t remember much about it because I’m only familiar with the digital, but I remember seeing a vintage camera and how aesthetic it looked, and how many memories it carried like a kaleidoscope.

But you had to wait to enjoy them, you had to get them developed and enjoy the pictures that came out good and frown and get disappointed about the pictures that didn’t.

Because you couldn’t go back in time and have a retake. We can do that so easily now. Click! Delete! Click! Delete! and finally an Instagram moment.

And while that is amazing that we have this privilege today that I do not know what I would do without. Sometimes I find myself missing a golden sunset because I’m so preoccupied with the right filter and the right effect, only to delete it to take it again.

I can’t tell you how many beautiful sunsets and sunrises I haven’t truly savored because I was changing filters. Sound familiar?

There will be more sunsets sure! But never the one we missed, never again.

Photography is incredible and carries a great potential to make us better and more creative. Ask yourself- when was the last time you took a picture solely to remember something special? And how many times did you take pictures this week for Instagram?

There’s nothing wrong with taking pictures for social media. But try and experiment with a new approach (rather in this case an old approach).

  1. Take a picture of yourself when you’re in a good mood. Remember it and keep it safe for a gloomy day. Take pictures of yourself when you are truly happy so you don’t forget beauty and happiness.
  2. Enjoy the sunset you take a picture of and learn when to stop. Because no picture replaces the real feeling of seeing it with your own eyes. The picture you take is just a reminder of a beautiful view. So, don’t miss the beautiful view.
  3. Take random pictures of nature, even if it is just a flower you have seen a million times. I can’t tell you how many times I have come across an old picture of sunshine or a rose and that it made me feel better and transported me to some beautiful land of memory, even if I’m not in the picture, even if I don’t remember taking it.
  4. Photography like anything visual is a source of great inspiration, because it helps us to relive memories, visualize the future, save beautiful pictures online to help you meditate and visualize and imagine. Use photography to heal yourself. Surround yourself with images of beauty- be it a person, a sunset, a candid.
  5. Use photography to live in the moment. If there is an incredible moment that you’d like to live in take it in first then click a picture (it doesn’t have to be a good picture).It is just a memory that you would like to keep. Remember every image is not taken for Instagram. You have a life greater than social media (something I’m still learning, but at least I remind myself).
  6. Take mental images. No image can replace a deep emotional connect. An image is a totem representing a bigger picture, a longer story. In the process of creating ‘content’ for your feed, try not to forget the longer story and the bigger picture.
  7. Photograph your progress. Loved ones, travel destinations, goals accomplished, things worth remembering that add value to your life.
  8. Take pictures of things that bring you joy, not just things that are aesthetically pleasing. But photograph things that bring you joy, so you don’t lose sight of them and so you have something to remind you that there is beauty and happiness in the world.

daisy chains on summer days

A poem by Anshudha Garimella

I’m in love with daisy chains on summer days

little daisies float on my lemonade

Just like a citrus breeze summer does not stay

But the taste of oranges is the ambrosial nectar of an amber sunset

The crushed strawberries and cherries rest at the bottom of my summer wine

a taste I crave almost all the time

I’m in love with daisy chains on sunny days

And like the golden rays

summer does not stay

Twirling in the summer breeze a soft voice whispers to me

Ambrosia! Ambrosia! Ambrosia!

Remember the scent, remember the taste, Remember this summer day

There are enough memories in my sangria to get me through a gloomy day

and like the last sips of cherry wine summer does not stay

When the scarlet sunsets make me feel a certain way

I know not all feelings are there to stay

the feelings either grow or they fade

love may grow, love may fade, pain may grow or pain may fade

In the midst of it all is a sweet summer’s day

Just like summer wine or summer sunshine

my daisy chains whither and then they die

around my tired mind, now entering a twilight

sun-kissed flowers line around my head

daisy chains on Tuesdays

entwine around twigs and lace

we wear our special crowns for fleeting summer days

we run around green fields on sun-drenched afternoons

and we lie under the balmy July moon

waiting for daybreak

so, we can do this all over again.

Welcome the Summer Solstice

Summer is the most beautiful time of the year. Clear skies, sunshine, vacations, memories, beauty of warmth and even heat.

This year not everbody is able to go on vacations but there are still ways to celebrate summer and this solstice.

The sun is in the perfect place right now. Hot and bright, luminous and burning. It’s been a cold winter in the world in terms of the sadness that has affected everybody.

But when we see this solstice we can have some hope. We can learn from nature that all storms pass and the sun does come out.

Here are some solstice rituals.

Photographed today by me.
  • Make a list of things you love about summer. I do this because it helps me focus on the beauty of summer and focus on some positive things. What it does is raise the vibration.

  • Cool down with some yoga, get back into your body’s rhythm while also calming your mind.
  • Look after yourself. Try to pick up a new hobby or activity that will help your well being.
  • Go outside and just stand under the sun just for 5 minutes to feel the sunshine and its golden energy.
  • Lastly be grateful for atleast 5 things tonight.

Repeat this affirmation.

‘I am born to shine.’

Happy Solstice lovelies.

-Anshudha

Ethereal classical music pieces

Classical music has much to teach us. It’s where you begin when you start singing or playing an instrument whether you like it or not. Classical music pieces are always majestic. They tell stories without words and they can really influence your artistic abilities. The greatest musicians have been influenced by classical music from Led Zeppelin to present day pop stars.

Here are a few classical music suggestions that I find ethereal.

Honestly listening to these pieces is a surreal, unreal experience.

  • Clair de Lune- Debussy

This is a very popular piece and I’m sure you’ve heard it. But on the off chance you haven’t. It is the sweetest lullaby. Clair de Lune- meaning shine/glow of the moon. It is perfect for meditation or to lull you to sleep. It creates a beautiful imagery and the melody is just heavenly.

  • Arabesque 1- Debussy

Debussy was an unbelievable pianist and composer. His compositions sound like what it feels like to look at an Impressionist painting. Which is why sometimes people call him an impressionist pianist.

  • Gnossienne 1-6- Erik Satie

Composed by French pianist Erik Satie. He was a very eccentric and mysterious figure. He often created piano pieces that were described as ‘simple’ in a time where every other pianist was creating intricate melodies. Satie’s intention was to create ambient music that would just play in the background at a dinner party. Perhaps he invented the concept of ambient aesthetic. These pieces in 6 parts is just incredible.

  • Prelude in E minor- Chopin

This is a very famous piece often used in film. It is truly beautiful and melancholic. I have heard it in the most unlikely places in pop songs, in elevators, in fashion shows. But that is what makes it truly timeless.

For a different take of this piece Serge Gainsbourg wrote a song for Jane Birkin titled Jane B. The melody of Jane B. is this classical piece prelude in e minor though Gainsbourg arranged it on electric guitars.

  • Moonlight Sonata- Beethoven

No classical music playlist would be complete without Beethoven. This piece is haunting, melancholic and beautiful. It just carries you elsewhere and then leaves you there. It is a truly catchy piece as well.

-Anshudha

Clear Skies- Poem

by Anshudha Garimella

Finally, the fog has lifted and the clouds are parting

To give way to sunrays of rebirth

Everything will change now

Flourishing in different colours

We all have a chance to reflect those colours of rebirth

A renaissance of awakening some beautiful parts of us that were sleeping for so long

There is nothing more hopeful that a little flower growing in the remains of a winter

Finally, I can see the sun and the promise of a summer coming soon.

There are some incredible colours in the sky

Rose, gold, lilac, blue and yellow

All of me is coming back now I can feel it in the air.

The Golden Hour- Poem

by Anshudha Garimella

This is it. Time is keeping it’s promise

It brought that golden sky this morning

The golden hour that brought the beginning of my happy time

Summer is waiting in line

It excites my soul

The Golden Hour

Soft daylight, soft to the touch

All of the tears have dried up now

I’m a photographer for a day

I will capture the golden hour like it’s the last one I’ll ever see

It’s a time to feel the grass beneath, your feet damp with morning dew

I’m trying to soak up all of the new things

The new grass, the beauty of new flowers, the soft air comfortable and pleasant

I’m trying to trap some golden rays in a crystal to reflect this hour in its entirety.

A souvenir. Of a promise well kept. Time and Time Again.

Life came back in waves of music

By Anshudha Garimella

There was a girl that lived in a sleeping forest. She had beautiful brown hair and delicate skin, she often wore white and she had the kind of eyes that you know have been through pain.
The kind of eyes that cried every drop of rain.
But she was very good at concealing her pain. She often did so by singing melodious refrains. It was the one friend she always had- the eternal music that is never silent. The kind of music that exists in thunder, in rivers, in crashing waves, and windy nights to send a shiver. Her music existed in the birdcalls and the crickets’ songs. She was never without them.
She aligned herself so strongly with the melody that even nature herself would respond to her melody with harmony.
One day her landscape changed everything was dark and grey the birds no longer built their nest on the trees, the rivers stood still and the crickets were nowhere to be found. There was no thunder, no cloud, no crashing wave, no dawn.

“This must be what hell is.”
“This is hell.”
“There are no pitchforks, no balls of fire, no sinners, no sign of flames, no anguish, no tears, no screams, nothing at all. Just silence. It’s all dead. How could this have happened? Is this really hell? Or is it my version of hell? Who can ever tell?”
She cried in hopes that her tears would water the dying plants, life was dying in spite of her existence. With each tear she cried, a blooming flower withered, another bird lost its wings, a new leaf turned black and fell to the ground, turning dust to ashes. Soon everything turned to ash even though there was no fire to be found. How could this have happened?

Well, she has left some things out that you need to know. Something happened in her life and her life changed overnight, her light extinguished in a blink. The girl who once ran around the woods, the optimistic vessel of the universe dressed in white and golden shining her heavenly light, singing happy songs. She was all of a sudden gone. Consumed by the disastrous venom of melancholy. She fell into the abyss of animosity, hatred, and suffering, as she suffered all lovely things and beings began to die around her. Then she turned into a version of herself that no mirror could dare recognize. Soon enough all the mirrors broke because they couldn’t find her light. They shattered in plain sight. They fell apart as she came undone. It was like she was possessed by the dark waves of melancholy and all the malicious beings that thrive in the dark, in the abyss of hell. A serpent wrapped around her creative hand and sucked out all the kind words she was meaning to write. Soon she was only left with the words unkind- of hate, death, pain, and many other words that I dare not write. All of those words contained the vibrations of the darkest cloud and saying those words would only bring down floods that will drown everything and destroy all life. But all the life was already destroyed.
She was the only one left- how long could she survive? She feared this would last an eternity- and there wasn’t even a fire from hell to keep her warm. Where did this angel go wrong?
“Which wrong turn did I take? Did I take the wrong road? Did I lose sight entirely? Or did someone put me here? How did I get here? How do I get out? There is no soul here? Should I even try to shout?”

One night all trees collapsed to the ground, the trees that had been standing proud for hundreds of years. All that pride came crashing down.

There was nothing to do until one day the silence started to consume her, the silence started choking her like a serpent was entwined around her beautiful neck, she couldn’t speak or sing, she was slowly dying, being poisoned by silence it was then she picked up anything she could find just to feel some sensation, something to touch she picked up pieces of wood and made strings from carcasses of death lying around.

She made a guitar so she could have something to hold, something to call her own. She started playing at random, notes that didn’t rhyme. But as the night turned darker she found some rhythm, some melodies, some chords she started playing them all night long. Suddenly the sky cracked open, perhaps the sky heard her sound, he rained down with water cascading down. Suddenly the winds started rustling, the rivers slowly found their waves. The rumbling of distant waves started to blend with the sound of thunder. The crickets found their voice and this went on until the sun found his way to these lonely children of the night, he threw his golden rays like one throws an object. The birds found their light and their path, then they found their notes and their wings. The trees that lay dead suddenly started to form themselves to stand mighty and proud. The winds that took the plants apart, remade them so they could stand with their delicacy.

The flowers found their colours and their petals and began to flourish once more. And it was at this moment – she looked up from her music that she played all night with passion, she looked up to see light in the world, beauty, and calmness, equilibrium and flowers at last.
With this resurrection of life she decided that she would never again revel in the darkness, she will never let the abyss grab her by the ankles, she won’t let the serpentine movements of melancholia find her again. She won’t let any darkness take away her light. For as long as she has the music those malicious forces have no chance to find her again. They won’t because she will never stop singing and if she does- even for a second her soul, her consciousness, her subconscious mind will never stop harmonizing anyway. The music will never go away.

Her light came back, her smile too, she’s dressed in golden now once again speaking to the universe.