Blue is the Dream

Blue is the colour of my dreams, the inside and the outside worlds tilting but never quite fully falling over.  The flutter of the leaves in the wind and the beauty of the sky’s colours urged me to look up, to embrace the vast emptiness of existence.  No comfort was found, history meaning nothing to the future, but no comfort was needed.  It wasn’t that life is on a constant knife-edge of imbalance, when is it not?, but the fact that I could embrace the now, the cold comfort of the wind and the cawing of the birds as my own.  Distinctly my own, this moment and nothing more.  That nothing, or rather no moment, truly mattered or matters in the great cosmic life course of universal matter.  We were born and we will die, from whence we began we will return.

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Photograph by the author using a Pentax Super ME camera and Lomography Lady Grey film, coloured using generic software. Please attribute if used elsewhere.

Beat Pastiche

I hadn’t seen him for nearly 8 years now and here he walked in brazen as daylight, cap in hand and a smile dancing across his face.  We talked like old times, like nothing had happened, like no group had ever existed.  One dead, three missing and the music well and truly broken.  De-tuned instruments smashed across the broken dream of our youth.  Sure we mourned, we laughed and we drank black coffee by the bucket load souped up and ready to roar, but we couldn’t really be the same again, this was just a sad inky impression left on a fading piece of paper in the sun.  It was both a dream and a nightmare wrapped in a false sense of hope.

Heedless we grabbed our instruments and made for the road, chasing the excitement the lust the wonder and the need to just be.  We left so fast the coffee was still cooling on the windowsill, steam rising up against the window where flashes of sun could be perceived against the grey dormant clouds.

He used to have long hair cascading past his eyes and ears, flowing against his neck, but not now, now it was a crew cut, a regimented cut of short stock.  His eyes, still dashingly and dazzlingly blue, were like lights of intensity, propelling out of his sunken face with mirth that belied his sullen demeanor.  Of course he couldn’t play a goddamn tune but he damn well tried, hammering the piece of wood until it damn well near caught fire in his blistering hands.  He gave it his all and when it didn’t respond he gave it some more.  God be damned if he was not a musician and you be would damned if you suggested so yourself.

I admired him, I really did.  We didn’t have a cent between us, neither in our sagging jean pockets or empty close-fisted hands,well money slipped like a wet fish between our fingers, money spent on beer or women who forever slided into the background never to be seen again.  But we didn’t care, how could we, we were about to start the journey out of this two bit town of festering ruins and the dispirited wraiths that populated it.  Of people who walked like they had had their backs broken at their first sight of hope, of a population so befouled of dreaming big that they were broken before they even knew that they could have escaped.

P.S. I have not read Kerouac or Burroughs for a while, I miss them so.

UP Photography

I have the great pleasure in introducing and highlighting the wonderful photographic work done by Ulises J. Pastran.  He runs the website UP Photography, and a Facebook group, and has dabbled in photography since 2010.  The following examples are just a few of his works, but they help to capture the essence of his skills as a photographer, whether they are landscape, nature or portrait shots.

Perhaps, for me, one of his most interesting shots is this one below, of the entrance hall in the Natural History Museum.  Whilst capturing the flow of the visitors to this wonderful public museum, we can see that the time lapsed photography has highlighted the fast flowing lives of humans as they flow throughout the hall, who in turn are juxtaposed against the impressive monolith of the Diplodocus dinosaur in the foreground, standing still against all time.  Touchingly, the shot has also captured a resting mother with her two children in the bottom right hand corner.

A time lapsed photograph of the entrance hall in the  Natural History Museum in London (all rights reserved).

A time lapsed photograph of the entrance hall in the Natural History Museum in London (all rights reserved).

A recent Masters graduate from the University of Sheffield, Ulises hails originally from the Central American country of  Nicaragua, but is currently living in the United Kingdom.  After having met him whilst also studying in Sheffield at the same time, I have to say I have rarely met a person more full of life than Ulises.  He is influenced first and foremost by his mother, who was deeply interested in photography as a way of capturing the world, although never owning a decent camera led to constraints on her efforts.  Ulises is propelled for his passion for photography by the inherent beauty of natural world, “I try to capture nature in my shots, because I think people rarely take the time to appreciate how beautiful the simplest things can be”.

'A bit of my inspiration comes from wanting to make mom proud,  most of the time I just do it because it calms me down' (all rights reserved).

“A bit of my inspiration comes from wanting to make mom proud, most of the time I just do it because it calms me down” (all rights reserved).

His photography also helps capture the vibrancy of life, whilst often taking a contemplative perspective, as found in the sublime photograph below.  This photograph highlights the wonderfully intertwining colour’s of the sky, with the  beautifully positioned clouds helping to give depth to the picture. I personally look forward to more examples of this man’s art, so keep an eye on the website for future updates.

A view from 30,000 feet up, from UP Photography (all rights reserved).

A view from 30,000 feet up, from UP Photography (all rights reserved).

Ulyses is always seeking inspiration so catch his most recent shots in the sources below, because, as I hope this post has demonstrated, you never know quite what next he is going to capture with his camera- be it an act of nature, a staggered photo scene, or a clutch of portrait shots that ooze emotion and feeling.

Further sources of UP Photography: