Letter to a friend

Something was finally purged.

A_MAZE*, Monika Bravo, 2001, sketch, Ars Poetica, Jorge Luis Borges on a replica of the 18th century Labyrinth poem, “Ich namm mir einsmals für die hand…” Anonymous.

Your presence is the most precious gift you can give to another human being.

Marshall B. Rosenberg

Dear friend,

This letter is meant as much for you as it is a reminder for myself, especially these last days when I seemed to have been visiting a strange place called Despair. As my stomach could barely hold any food and the anxiety arising from within the body almost paralyzed me.

Dear friend, we are having an ongoing dialogue on creation, creativity, and the purpose of such an attempt.

-Is it worth it? if so, then why the doubt?

Questioning the meaning and mostly the purpose of sharing through the written word. We also coincided with feelings of uncomfortable doubt — the eternal self-inquiry journey that can be supportive at times and most of all, that loopy search for truth…

I say loopy because one may get lost in the attempt of surrendering by doing exactly the opposite, RESISTING IT.

I like to think that I meet people in my life so I can remember what I came here to be.

I can recognize my family of fractals, that more than tribes in the old ancestral way, it is about recognizing the scattered fractions of what makes spirit ONE. We just resonate individually as a whole as we also mirror one and all.

I can also remind myself, by reminding you that the truth is an individual journey.

That the path is one to be lived,

That the love one can feel for one’s self is the most important love,

That disillusion is the other part of the illusion.

That all these social contracts are just that, social, and they are not meant to last forever; they were once set up to contain a structure that would carefully hold the sacredness of rituals and meaning.

That rules and regulations are set by many to create both boundaries and support but at times our soul yearns for freedom– it is either setting oneself free or succumbing to a life full of cynicism.

In that case, you chose your truth as you jumped off from the bullet train at the beginning of that journey. You, my friend, despite your gloom, are full of courage.

Be gentle and just don’t kill the whole thing all at once in fear of not being just perfect.

Remember the sound and the echo of the child laughing at the silly things he can still imagine possible in mischief.

I am here to remind you of your beautiful talents as you are also reminding me that I value nurturing and caring.

By setting the example, courage is found in the action-

My biggest fear?

That I will make a mess out of this wonderful opportunity!

My biggest joy? That during the trials, some things will emerge that are worth living for.

Ah, Discovery! Curiosity, Joie de vivre, elation, evoking sounds, smells, images, lullabies, evoking as in “calling the spirits”, the essence of what makes us grand.

So dear friend embrace your crazy, fiery, and forever rebellious spirit -

At the same time, I will do the same for myself.

Thank you, E for mirroring back to me some important themes I forget when I doubt so deeply. -

“The Siddhi of Truth is everywhere. There is nothing that is not Truth. Whatever happens to you, whatever you feel in every moment, however delirious or disturbing, it is nothing but Truth. Truth is all there is. At the Shadow frequency, there is nothing but Truth, at the Gift frequency there is nothing but Truth. ”

-Gene Keys. Richard Rudd

This letter is also for my friend(s) who reached out and read me passages from books to soothe my pain, you, my friend E. who sent healing reiki energy from your lovely heart — that was such an appreciated gesture!

You, my friend A. who made me laugh and took me to the movies, you, my dear friend J. made me feel both seen, and heard.

You, my friend M. who told me about depression and COVID and somehow held some space for the uncertainty that was making me feel anxious.

You, my friend B. who reached out and left me beautiful voice messages noticing my absence in digital communities and caring for my welfare.

You, my friend S. who is also humanly accepting some sort of struggle because you are also becoming aware of surrendering to what is.

You, my dear friend G, called me out of the blue and said -thank you, I can be here for you, too.

You, my dear friend, who believes in humanity, believes in vulnerability and would like this world to be kinder and deeper too.

You, who also seek some sort of transformation in this universe because in unison we trust that we can make it out of this mess with more compassion than hate.

Deep inside your heart, you trust in my optimistic outlook and you noticed that something was off.

You, Dear friend who knows not to emotionally bypass me because you have already felt something similar one time too many.

I would like to tell each one of you how meaningful these last days have been.

Art as a healing agent

In the middle of the despair between subtle and caring conversations, I saw the reflection of my face in the colorful and luminous glass, dividing a set of bathrooms and a corridor connecting gates at the Minneapolis International Airport. I was reminded of who created the glass panels, as a sweet voice said inside my head,

-It is time to stop, acknowledge and be grateful for the endless capacity you have to create.

Whether it is a poem, a song, a drawing, a sound bath, a photograph, an essay, or an experience, anything that stems from the source of creating is G•D itself

I am not being pretentious on the contrary, I am stating the obvious wonders of life.

I am also feeling more connected and hopeful for love is the answer,

The only answer

Love lies within self-inquiry and seeking truth.

“A felt sense is not a mental experience but a physical one. Physical. A bodily awareness of a situation or person or event. An internal aura that encompasses everything you feel and knows about a given subject at a given time — encompasses it and communicates it to you all at once, rather than detail by detail.”

-Gendlin, Focusing 1978

Channeling and challenging

I was scrolling some social media up and I read a caption of a group of friends that said:

In these images, I am with my friends whom I have known forever.

My heart stopped and I thought:

-Can I still grow within long-lasting relationships?

What are the challenges when things stagnate, and what are the possibilities of evolving?

I have friends from childhood and they have witnessed my multiple transformations and my deep commitment to evolution, they are still there.

Do they challenge me?

Mmm, hard to say if they do, they accept me as I am– I know that only complicated relationships where I feel there is shadow work emerging are the relationships where I grow. When things get uncomfortable, I decide to make changes.

So no, I do not long for old past times, I hardly look into the past; I only do when I want to look at the cycles of time and how much I have transformed for I am everything but nostalgic.

I am always looking towards the edge of experiences.

-How are you being challenged lately? How do you feel about it?

What are the things, situations, or people you are finding challenging that you know need to be re-addressed?

Saturn squares the lunar nodes and is in opposition to the Sun– this week is a great and uncomfortable situation to question the places, the people, the familiarity versus the challenge and potential for growth.

Whatever you have been structuring on how you would like to be seen as a unique shining star.

There is some light pointing to the creative, the artist, the poet, the dreamer, the musician, the crazy ones, the ones that know that comfort is very dangerous.

Saturn will make sure to support it, it will keep defining and sustaining what needs to stay while Uranus shows that time is not linear and one can tap into the genius of being oneself. Uranus also opposes the South Node in Scorpio saying to it:

Hey Dude, just let it go!

Ok? Release it, it will be fine to meet you in the next round

A last reminder that Venus is the ruling planet of the North Node in Taurus — that embodying our values through somatic practice and grounding them in a creative practice is key as Venus in Leo values authenticity. Mars in Taurus feels Pluto’s support while grounding the desire and impulse to evolve!

I am back with a BANG!

Jorge Luis Borges reads from his poem Ars Poética, which I used for A_Maze an interactive video installation back in 2001.

Below an Excerpt from ETERNAL RETURNS, a text part of the exhibition written by Franklin Sirmans in 2001:

“Bravo’s new installation A_Maze is a constructed environment activated by the viewer. Sitting mutely, it is a quiet room, with a floor piece covering most of the space and two projectors with mirrors standing pat. Walk with me… At its core is a DVD based suite of images and sound-by the DJ and musician collective Flora & Fauna-activated by walking on the sensitized sculptural mat. Barely visible on the pad is a running text from Borges’ seminal poem Ars Poetica, part of which includes the words: “at times in the afternoons a face/looks at us from the depths of the mirror;/art must be like that mirror/that reveals to us this face of ours.”

A photographer by training, Bravo is weary of art’s traditional stance as the mute object to be admired and never touched. As for many younger artists, recent advancements in technology coupled with an avant-garde impulse to transcend the static commodifying nature of cultural production have provoked the search for a new alteration in the relationship between the viewer and the artwork.

Bravo’s A_Maze is a fictional locale reflecting the fragmentation of the world/individual as much as it is an incredibly seductive game. Entering the piece, we are adapting to an environment that is being constantly modified, sometimes abruptly, by our own activity. An invisible labyrinth, A_Maze becomes a site of social interaction when one viewer voyeuristically steps back to watch another invariably create a different route into, upon and through the work. The modernist grid becomes the site of discursive interventions, where each step activates a different image and a different sound. Visually, the images bathe the darkened room in expressionist swaths of color-raindrops in Thailand, sunset in Manhattan, a view through the window of a bus in Vietnam, an electric walkway in Tokyo or the crowded plaza of Milan’s Duomo. Essentially, these images situate us in a frantic and worldly geographic sphere. One step to the left, and we’re in an anonymous landscape at the break of dawn. To the right, the blue sky gives one the impression of viewing from a skyscraper. Simultaneously, pacing generates the beat that informs perception, while abstracting the experience in a way that evokes the virtual vacation of a fantasy game. Like the game, our sense of time and space is ruptured in a way that feels a lot like life.

Franklin Sirmans, 2001

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Monika Bravo

Monika Bravo

Multi-disciplinary Artist - Evolutionary_Astrology- - Human being - https://linktr.ee/monikabravo I embody my own perspective