Flatterbug

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Sincerest Form of Flattery.”

Sebastião Salgado is an influential brazilian photographer and photojournalist, known for showing life through black and white images that are truly striking. The high contrast landscapes bring a dramatic feel to the unique moments and events that he is able to capture through his lens.

Although I will never be a professional photographer, I can aspire to improve on this much-loved hobby of mine. And I decided to share a black-and-white image of my own. This photo was taken on a trip through Arizona, about 5 years ago, when I was making some very important life decisions.

From the exterior, it resembles a ruin. And yet, there is, in my opinion, beauty in that.

Ectoplasm: copyright 2015

Ectoplasm: copyright 2015

Bookless

If you are a bookworm like me, you will understand the pleasure derived from having a great book to put your nose in at the end of the day. That feeling of being in a story even when the pages are closed, contributes the thrill that lasts until the pages on your right dwindle and you’ve stopped reading as fast as normally do because you want this feeling to last. It’s with anguish that you know you want to reach the end and yet, wish you could experience it all over, like you never will again. The days between such great reads seem a little dull in comparison, even though you are finally free. You no longer wonder what is hidden in the next paragraph, and the adventure has come to a close, both for you and the protagonists.

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

Right now, I am bookless. And although there is a very tall heap of books waiting to be discovered, like uncharted waters, it is hard to dip your toes in and get wet all over again. So I’m enjoying my morning coffee, free of the confinement of the book world, ready to take on the sunny outdoors.

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

So Many Different Suns

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

courtesy of weheartit.com

courtesy of weheartit.com

Scent is the strongest trigger of memories, and yet sound, and music in particular is a powerful vessel, of memories and emotions alike. If I had to choose but one song, that evokes the strongest of childhood memories, it would have to be ‘Brothers in Arms’ by the Dire Straits. On a three-week road trip through the red dirt roads of northern Australia, that tape was the only thing we had to listen to (because someone forgot to pack the rest). No radio signal, no road trip themed playlist. Just us, the wilderness and the Dire Straits. We were so tired of this tape by the end of the three weeks, and now, it’s all I know. The lyrics and tones and inked into our very souls.

The eerie lonely howl of the guitar, amidst the desert landscapes that stretches for miles and miles, reminded us that we were in the remotest place we’d been so far. From Darwin to Uluru, the little towns with forgotten names flew past us. Fruit bats and geckoes became our nightly camp co-dwellers and the night sky had never seemed bigger. That trip, will remain the most special adventure we had as children. Waking up to the various sounds of wildlife as you crossed the camp ground, thin veil of mist hanging over the gum trees is a feeling that will remain real, as long as I have this song to listen to.

courtesy of google images

courtesy of google images

And the risk remains, with each time you rewind the tape or hit play, that you record over those instances with new memories, for they are dynamic in nature, and unlike a picture; memories change with time, as malleable as the sand castles we built when we were kids.

‘There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell and
The moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We are fools to make war
On our brothers in arms’

– Dire Straits

The Siam Awaits

Tickets are booked! In a mere 2 months I will be heading to Thailand, not only as a much needed break, but also as a nice conclusion to this whole adventure we call medical school. In the best of company, me and my fellow travel mates from school will soak in sufficient vitamin D to last us the whole of residency, the next daunting chapter. Just kidding, vitamin D stores don’t quite work like that and the amount of hospital time that awaits us in the coming years will definitely keep us in a vitamin deficient state. However, we will have some great stories too look back on and to keep us sane.

copyright 2015

copyright 2015

Last time I was in the South East Asia, was just prior to starting school; so this is a nice loop about to happen. I’d taken 2 weeks to travel through Thailand by myself, the first real solo trip. Those two weeks had felt like an eternity and somehow through cash retrieval issues, intense diving courses and gecko infested bungalows, I was glad to make it home at the time. And yet, I think I learned more about myself in those two weeks than in the 6 years of medical education that ensued.

As important as being able to travel on your own is, I very much look forward to returning to some of the same places and experiencing them with the people who have been at my side not only through every exam session and challenging rotation, but also people with whom I’d already travelled to India with.

In the final days of study madness, being able to look forward to this goes a long way.

Happy Monday!

Stolen Thunder

I love summer thunderstorms. What better feeling is there than to lie in bed and hear the sky rattle or shake and let raindrops loose on your roof. The flickering moments where the sky alights can be both dramatic and frightening for anyone caught in the tempest. But inside, it’s almost as soothing as the flickering light of a fireplace, only less predictable. It is the perfect setting for ghost stories, where you find refuge under your sheets, shutting the world out. Fear of the dark strikes anew, and you feel grateful for any light in the shadows, as though somehow it helps keep the storm beyond your window panes, smaller somehow. And after, the world smells fresh, washed clean, the summer heat pulled down from the air. Follows such serene silence, inviting sleep.

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

Across The Universe

The sky felt bigger tonight, somehow. Lying on the grass in my garden, all at once, it felt as though we could drift off into the sea of clouds. How strange, how infinitely small we are compared to this sky we often take as a backdrop for our lives. Perhaps we are the scenery, the speck of dust that can be flicked away. Too small to matter. And yet, as small and irrelevant as we are, the people we love can make up our entire world.

found on weheartit.com

found on weheartit.com

Growing up on the Move

A couple of things I loved about moving as a kid:

And She opened her eyes to the magic of the world' - found on weheartit.com

And She opened her eyes to the magic of the world’
– found on weheartit.com

1) having a growing number of friends from widely different backgrounds

2) getting the advantage of learning a new language in real time, making it your own, in a way you would never get to as an adult. Most of all, you speak and yeah, you make mistakes, but as a kid, you don’t care, you just go for it.

3) the sense of adventure you get when you find out, this is it, we really are moving to Australia or Canada, or wherever.

4) that when you know you’re only living somewhere for a year you make the most of it, whether that means taking your kids out of school for 3 weeks to road trip to Ayers Rock, camping style, or whether it’s living above your means for a couple of months. You tend to explore restaurants and national parks to a greater extent than someone who expects these incredible moments to be available to them for years to come.

5) having several places to call home, despite how torn you may feel between them at times.

Have a great week!

M.

Emotional Forecast

Lifeline 'found on weheartit.com'

Lifeline
‘found on weheartit.com’

I recently watched Dan Gilbert’s Ted Talk again on ‘Why we make bad decisions’, then read his paper forecasting emotion and found it revealing.

You can find his ted talk here:

In short, you may think a certain event will make you happy/unhappy, yet we are fairly bad at making such calls. Someone who wants a job and doesn’t end up getting it, will synthesize happiness by believing it was for the best. In his phenomenal talk, Dan Gilbert goes on to explain that certain situations are more conducive to creating synthetic happiness than others. For instance, having too many choices may leave you less happy than a done deal, as you always what could have been had I made a different decision.

All in all, I strongly recommend this talk, it is uplifting and gives us faith in our own psychological immune system. It makes you see that ‘everything is gonna be alright, no matter what happens’.

The Diving Board

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

The strange thing about the antonym of success is that it is something other than failure. It’s opposite is not trying. Failure, on the other hand means having the courage to step into the ring and fight what is rightfully yours – or not.

First Step - take off those shoes? "Courtesy of weheartit.com"

First Step – take off those shoes?
“Courtesy of weheartit.com”

It means having the gumption to take a step towards your dreams and either see them crash on the solid grown or lift you higher than you thought you could reach. Isn’t it easier though, to sit in the shade, with a cool glass of lemonade and watch from afar as someone takes the plunge from the high diving board? Isn’t it tempting to criticize every pirouette completed prior that moment when your body glides through the liquid interface, into another realm, where movement is slowed, serene.

Sure, the high board may seem tall from afar, but it’s nothing compared to the vertiginous sensation of standing up top, seeing the blue reflection far below, and knowing that one wrong spin will send you down, flat onto the surface that suddenly feels hard as concrete, knocking the wind right out of your lungs. You know it may happen, you see the avid onlookers, half hoping for a humiliating spectacle, which would only comfort them in their own inertia – too afraid to try themselves, yet quick and ready to judge your outcome.

According to wikihow, here are the steps necessary to a successful dive:

1. working up to diving – or anything else that slightly scares you yet you have insanely but stubbornly set out to do.

2. get used to diving in headfirst – with of course having taken precautions to ensure that the pool/lake is of the appropriate depth to dive in head-first. Some projects are brazen – others just foolish and life threatening. Be brave, not stupid.

3. Do a dry run on land prior to diving into water– umm not sure how wikihow pictured this, frankly I think water is a less painful medium to fall on than solid ground, but hey, they are the experts. They do have a point though. Practice makes perfect, whether it’s exams or that tango lesson you’ve set out to take.

4. Crouch close to the pool and glide into the water – some things you can prepare for slowly, inching closer to the pool’s edge, other projects require that final leap of faith. Practice tests are great, but soon enough you’ll find yourself taking the real one. Are you ready?

5. Dive from a standing position – stand tall, be brave. This is your moment.

And I guess wikihow didn’t mention one last ingredient, great friends to cheer you on.

My dive was about 6 weeks ago when I took my board exams to see if I could practice medicine in the country of my choice. I felt nervous, and foolish for trying something so soon when we aren’t quite ready yet. Really it seemed insane. Unlike landing on your belly in a pool, you have to wait till you know if it was a perfect flop or a smooth dive. Today, my hands shaking, I was able to see that not only did I pass, but this may have been one of my best dives yet.

Cheers, M.

Lifesavers "Courtesy of weheartit.com"

Lifesavers
“Courtesy of weheartit.com”

Rainy Monday

Congratulations to all the brave people out there running the Boston marathon in the cold rain. I’m even more impressed now that I know that you either need to qualify with time or with charity related fundraising.

Happy Monday, Boston!

Rainy Day 'weheartit.com'

Rainy Day
‘weheartit.com’