Tag Archives: earth

Urban Eve’s Astrological Elements Breakdown

Sometimes I can tell after speaking briefly with someone I’ve just met what their astrological sign is, but that’s only because I’ve spent so much of my life studying sun sign profiles and cross referencing with my personal experiences relating to the different signs. If I can’t guess the exact sign of the person, I can usually narrow it down to the element of the sign. 

Fire

Fire can be warm and inviting, insulating and energy giving when it’s calm and focused but at it’s worst fire flies out of control eating up everything in it’s way. And sometimes absolute destruction is a necessity in order to start anew.

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Air is the thing that surrounds us on this planet daily. If we don’t get enough of it into our lungs we die. But it is rarely something that shows itself unless it’s creating motion in an object ruled by gravity. Because it is invisible, it’s power is often underrated. Air, like water is an element that moves objects as well as moves through and around them. Air acts as a bridge sometimes between the spirit realm and the physical world.  It is restless, mischievous, playful, and cannot be easily contained.

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Earth is literally like…earth, soil, dirt, foundation so it makes up large part of our planet. It is all out there, baring all, grounding all, giving life to all. It is exposed, vulnerable and yet deeply resilient. Earth basically provides so much of a foundation for its ecosystem that is literally holding us all down. It’s greatest joy is to provide the most optimal conditions to allow all life to co-exist peacefully. But if you fuck with it….you will never forget the backlash.

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Water like air, moves in, around and sometimes through things. But unlike air, which requires a great amount of pressure to manifest force, water pushes and moves things very easily. It also fills without boundary. It knows no boundaries. Its intention is to spread, to seep into, to surround, ultimately to either fill or merge with anything it comes in contact with. Like earth, it also makes up a large percentage of our planet and our bodies as human beings. Water is sacred, life giving, baptismal, cleansing and highly sensitive to touch.

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Black is the New Ooh Lala!!

Malaville

This week, SoulSistah4real put me on to Mala Bryan, a International Model from St. Lucia. who is putting out a line of Black fashion dolls with a range of skin tones and hair textures due out in November! As a doll collector myself, I nearly fainted when I read about her and saw her line of beautiful dolls! I love them and I love that there is also a crazy doll lady in South Africa who takes photos of her dolls in public! LOL! These are definitely going on my Holiday list for lucky little brown girls and for one big brown girl in particular.

Bonjour JulyWindow Chat

And just now as I was scrolling through the 30 Black Woman Owned Online stores to Shop this Holiday Season, I discovered Nicholle Kobi, a cool black illustrator from Kinshasa, based in France whose prints show a France filled with colorful Black woman of all sizes who like to live life to the fullest, work, play, make love, have families, eat and shop with friends and have stimulating gatherings and conversations  on window sills at midnight. It’s all so darn cool and effortless looking!

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It’s so much fun is to be able to look at a thematic range of images depicting woman of color and seeing so many different varieties doing so many things, so many different moods and occasions! Her pinterest page goes on forever!  I would love to see these prints on shopping bags, magazines,  stationary, holiday and greeting carda, invitations and more! Hmmmm…I may need to commission Miss Kobi.

Give it up if You Didn’t Kicked in the Face: Why I like MTA Subway Dancers

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Like so many New Yorkers in the 80s, I grew up as a girl in NYC feeling that  that Graffiti was just rude and ugly vandalism thrust upon undeserving commuters. Maybe it was to some degree but it was also art, art of the streets and of the youth. And now when I look back I wish I had been able to appreciate the creativity, passion and intelligence behind it then, the ethnography, the historic record and narrative it would become. I notice graffiti now wherever I go. I even seek it out when I travel because it tells me more about who has imhabited the are then the story the developers would like us to believe.

I won’t miss out on it this time around.

The subway dancers. You love them, hate them, or don’t care about them at all but if you live in NYC and ride the MTA, you probably have had to tolerate them several times in your journeys. Young African American teenaged boys who travel in small goups with the odd girl or two sprinkled in on occasion. They come on the train with a radio or some music playing device playing something with a hot contagious beat. One of them yells “Showtime” and claps his hands while they each take turns doing gravity defying flips, twists, kick and somersaults all while on a moving train. And I have never seen anyone get kicked in the face.

I can barely keep my balance on a moving train if I let go of the pole or bar for four or five seconds.

So they’ve got skill, stamina, strenth. They’ve rehearsed their routine. And they are charged up with energy, passion and excitement. They’re comedians, Mc’s, promoters. They’re self trained dancers. And for the most part they’re veyr polite because they’re doing this for money. They go around with hats collecting money saying “Show your love, not your hate.”

I not only like watching them dance but I also like watching the ways in which they transform the subway car and change the energy around them. Kids always look on with wonder and amusement and return the extended fist bumps. Tourists usually love them and show it with cash. The girls they flirt with often drop their stiff faces and break into giggles. Some people ignore  them, move away, stay in their own worlds. Others like older people who you think might not like them clap their hands in support. Some people look at others for some idea of what and how they should feel about this. Others give the dancers pounds, smiles, laughs. Some hit record on their cell phone video cameras. I’ve done it once or twice when I’m on the mood.

It’s New York City where anything can happen and I know that one day these subway dancers will be a thing of the past, relegated to photographic record, part of a cultural narrative of NYC’s past. But I like to enjoy them now, in the electric present where they belong, the voice of today’s youth channelled through physical expression, pushing the boundaries of performance. The streets are where so much of our popular art comes from.

And I love a museum exhibit as you well know but I like just as much when art suddenly happens like an accidental wrong turn, dirty, unsolicited and occasionally disturbing. It doesn’t always have to be sterile and meticulously selected or curated and pinned behind glass. You can touch it, smell it, taste it, feel it, sometimes without wanting to.

Keep your eyes on it while they’re still on this side of the gallery. Feel it. It’s free and It won’t last forever.

I can hear some of you yelling “Thank God!”

LOL!!!

VSCO: No Liking, No Following

Among many things I dabble in, writing, knitting, crocheting  and more, I’m also a photographer.

I had an interesting conversation with a guy at my job during a casual gathering a few weeks ago about what exactly constitutes dabbling (he loves the word dabble), enthusiast, “Geek”, fan and hobbyist. The discussion of what actually defines a photographer is one that never stops, especially with everyone and their mother out there with a cellphone and access to countless photo apps and filters to apply to each image. There was someone in my FB network who years ago would totally rip into people who shared photos they took with their cellphones and considered it photography or “art.” This person was classically trained in darkroom photography, developed their prints by hand and took great offense to what she felt was the lack of craft that went into most forms of digital photography.

Well…

I’ve seen some pretty bad photos that were shot manually and printed in a dark room as well. For me, it’s not the device. It’s the intention.

Which brings me to VSCO.com. Unlike flickr, instagram, dubble, or most any social network image apps, VSCO is about creating and viewing images only. You can follow people, but they will receive no notifications about who is following them and if you have an account there to display your images, you will never receive notifications on who is following you. And you can actively like all you want. But there is no like button, no comment button, nothing. You just post, look, get inspired and repeat. At least that’s what I do. Of course one of the other main points is for VSCO to promote their amazing film preset filters by providing this format to it’s many users. So this is very filmy, photo, geeky business going on here. It pretty much eliminates those who are just looking to rack up “likes” and “followers” for whatever reasons.

Last night I spent a lot of time on Adam Scott’s grid. I don’t know Adam Scott from Adam. I just found his images at random on the VSCO. I love his photos, particularly of kids and babies. I like when there is an emerging theme in people’s work. I’m not sure I have one in mine but I try not focus too much on creating one. I just use my grid to put up what I feel are my best shots.

This Tuesday I met a friend of mine for for lunch who also loves photography. He lent me his fixed prime lens for my Nikon. Someone needs to get me this lens for Christmas because it just makes me see everything differently. Like all of a sudden I can actually capture the beauty I see in everyday things and people and bring them to life. VSCO film preset filters are great for this as well. They really make me remember how much I love the look of film and how the very subtle nuances of those old films really shape my feelings and memories, and perpetually trigger my love for the art of photography.

I admit that as a person who is susceptible to wanting my images liked by faceless strangers on the internet, I often feel like VSCO cuts me off from what might be some critical feedback from some incredibly talented peers. But a community does exist there and their contact information is available. The VSCO grid is very clean and simple and shows only the work without any recorded data of likes or comments or follows. Those things make a huge difference in what people are drawn to looking at these days. The only curated or featured photography spaces on VSCO are those which the team chooses to highlight in it’s journal. Other than that, you’re free to shoot, post and view whatever you like, as long you’re okay with not having a trail of likes or followers behind you.

I’m fine with that.

I have two IG accounts. LOL!!

Lessons in Non-equality and Why Segregation Often Works: Part 1

Earth Life

Have I lost you already?

Well if not just bear with me. It’s going to take me a few entries to work up to my point here (and I do have one) and when discussing touchy subjects like segregation and “equality I’m a fan of starting out with relatively simple examples that are easy to grasp and that most of us would agree are typically universal truths.

Let’s start with life forms and eco systems. Most of us can agree that different life forms, plants, animals, trees, reptiles, insects require different sources of energy and environmental sustenance to survive and thrive. Right? There are some plants and animals that have been imported and breed in non-native regions so we also know it’s possible to see life which had its genesis in one region, say South America growing and thriving in another region of America.

When you visit most any major Botanical Garden in America you will see the hot climate desert plants in the greenhouse where the environment is kept arid and moist. Domestic Cacti plants are perhaps the easiest plants to take care of because they need very little water. You over water a cactus and you could kill it. On the opposite spectrum are those plants that have very specific needs. It may not be enough to just water them every day or twice a day and leave them in the sun. The Phalaenopsis Orchid is such a life form. It’s rumored to be the easiest orchid to care for but you do have to pay considerably more attention to caring for it than you would a small domesticated cactus plant.

Now let’s consider a root vegetable like the Beetroot. Root vegetables rely very heavily on nutrients that come from the earth so it can be naturally assumed that the soil they live in is treated differently than the soil in which Orchids and Cacti or generally grown.

Years ago, when I lived with my family in the Bronx, we had a nice sized plot of earth in the back yard in which we planted tomatoes and peppers and squash among other things. And I remember that because we did not plant the squash far enough away their long tangled vines choked out a lot of the tomatoes we had planted. We weren’t experts and hadn’t anticipated it. Squash needs a lot of space. Certain varieties have vines with fine and curly creeping tendrils. It’s not like they mean to suffocate other plants. It’s just the nature of the way they grow.

Now, those examples being given, can we agree that Orchids, Cacti and Beetroots are not equal? Yes, they are all plant life forms, but they require very different nutrients, amounts of light, water and food to survive.  I’m certain that any skilled botanist and or farmer would not advise planting cacti, orchids and Beetroot side by side either. But! They could probably survive under the same roof.

Okay, I’m going to give you the rest of the day to let all this sink in and then return tomorrow with part two.

You might be thinking: Is this chick really going to compare people to plant life?

Maybe…Stop jumping ahead!