All posts by NJS

audio engineer, anthropologist, sound lover, psychoacoustics fan, listener, traveler.

It’s not hard to break a wall with a spoon

Broken wall @yellowsubwooferWhen I first saw the wall I didn’t recognize it. Then the wall started blocking my view, so I didn’t recognized my world anymore.

All these stereotypes, structured thoughts, brain connections, interpretations. I need to challenge them at one point. All your ideas, and the way we should act, should react. It’s just geometric blocking shapes, we’re trapped in a black square – with all our actions and movements going around and around.

Hard to break a wall when all you have is the power of a spoon, a nail. But then you silently cut through the first brick – and a familiar light comes to you, and the tree you knew so well, with its comforting shade and colors, and that’s all you need. And your spoon is now a hammer, and you won’t stop.

The picture above shows art on a wall inside an abandoned farm in Coin, Andalusia. The  thoughts came after listening to “Country Feedback” by R.E.M.

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Walk unafraid – Like a child on his adventure journey

It’s been a while since my last post. It’s been a while since I embraced uncertainity and made it an enjoyable path towards what today will bring. I stood up and started walking, instead of sitting still and waiting for tomorrow to come.

I looked at my son, and saw amazing treasures and hidden dreams into the black windows of this old factory. I looked past the building and there was the most amazing Andalusian landscape covering the horizon.

And here we are, with our little Spiderman flashlights – walking unafraid on broken bricks and torn TVs, under the sun. We are not ready to write the whole history – but I believe we can write today.

Note: This amazing abandoned clothing factory lies on a hill, just outside Alhaurin el Grande, Malaga. This was the last picture I took with my iPhone 4S, just a month ago  – before finally switching to the 7S.

Crossing the thin line – the Cleaner

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine, a professional cleaner. She cleans apartments where some employees of a big company live in. The employees are in their twenties or so.

For sure, the rooms and common facilities are always very dirty. She knows that and tolerates it. But yesterday she’s found a used condom in one of the room, together with some toilet paper, right beside the bed, clearly visible.

She now refuses to go back in that apartment, saying that the boys know when she comes to clean and that was not only filthy but totally disrespectful of her person.

Now, I have nothing against condoms, I think they do save lives, and I am glad this guy used it.

But still, I wonder: why was she not bothered too much – after all – by the rubbish on the kitchen floor, the mould on the food leftovers on the dirty plates, by the poo staining the wc, then? Why did that condom made her take the decision to talk to her employer and to refuse to go in that apartment again? Was it simply too much?

I thought about that and I actually think that there is something more to it. It has to do with the fact that, ok, you can be messy – and it’s her job to clean. But if you leave to her your used condom it means: “I do whatever I want to – and you clean” and that is different. She didnt feel considered as a person – but just as a “human vacuum cleaner”, she felt she was not respected. That guy’s action simply was on the other side of the line she couldnt cross, otherwise she would have felt too bad.

She had the chance to speak with the guy living there. He justified himself saying that he didnt think she was the person going there to clean, he thought she just coordinated the cleaning but wasnt the person actually doing it. Exactly. In the end “I dont know you, I may as well not respect you”.

Shadows in the rain – You, yourself and your shadow

“He claims I suffer from delusion
But I’m so confident I’m sane
It can’t be an optical illusion
So how can you explain – Shadows in the rain” (Sting)

Stop. Look the opposite direction. (There’s a fly that’s bothering me)

The past is somehow disturbing sometimes. It tells us everything we should have and not have done. Do we ever change? Memories are in front of our eyes like a time caleidoscope – confused, clear, coloured.

Its not life, it’s our experience of life that give us that very perception of reality. We do change. And It does not necessarily makes us stronger, most times just makes us harder.

You feel like the shadow of yourself.
Do you remember a time were you were like you’d like to be today? I’m sure you can. Try to renew the pact with yourself and the way you want to be.

It’s easier than staring at shadows in the rain. And flies are so annoying today.

Quickly around the world and back. (Remembering memory)

It is still early morning at Mijas Heights, but I see it as red sunset already.

We have been around the world and back, we have changed our perspective so many times.

Today I need something old, something I already own, something at the bottom of the box, dusty, mine. Something not twitteable, likeable, commentable, shareable. Maybe is the  the memory of who I am. The feeling behind old pictures. I need clear, measurable, colored memory.

(How can you understand your time off is the only time on you have left)

Do you remember? We didnt have all of this, all this information, all this hectic, mad, duplication, multiplication…I am lost inside a tick tock vertigo of wars, elections, technology, advertisement.
We were smaller. Our world was smaller. Friendship, aquaintances, the crossroad, the school, the neighborhood. Boring, somehow.
All this talk about minimalism. I dont know much about this, but I guess it is the need of simplicity. The simple – yet not socially wildly multiplicated – perspective of ourselves.

Hypocrisy – what an upsetting behaviour

Hypocrisy. A very interesting word for a extremely upsetting behaviour

You dissembler, cheater, double /false faced, mawworm, chadband, mealy-mouthed.

You hypocrite.

Hypocrisy is not just the lie within the words, it is the lies within the very syntax of the spoken words.

Truth and sincerity are buried, forgotten and denied to keep our status, our point, our distorted version of reality. By doing this the hypocrite wants to submit the opponent, to weaken his/her opinion, truth, personality – mainly for pure convenience.

It is so obvious. Do you think I’m stupid or what?

What an upsetting behaviour – What a waste of brain activity.

Let’s speak the truth please.

double-sided-window
double sided window…

As blue as it gets – A thought about work-related emigration

Or, I should say, emigration caused by lack of work in your home country… Here I just want to share some simple words and feelings.

It takes time. A lot of effort – usually to end up doing something completely different from what you expected. It gest time to get used to the language, the people, the loneliness. And, that did-I-made-the-right-choice feeling that just wont go. It’s like always standing at a crossroads, not really knowing where to go – if  you still have to go somewhere else.

Only after a while, I realize I can just stand there and look up. And take a picture of this very moment, now that is all so different, but it has still a lot to do with me. Blue is the color, blue is the feeling. And blue is the sky.

crossroads

“That’s my Ro-pot” – Lateral thinking fascinates me

Lateral thinking is concerned not with playing with the existing pieces but with seeking to change those very pieces.” (Edward de Bono)

ro-pot and lateral thinking @yellowsubwoofer.com…and my 5 years old interpretation of the above is in the picture on the left :-) – as he was not allowed to play with our kitchen robot, he’s made his own with his toys.

Ok, there is plenty of academic’s incredible stuff about the matter. It is a fascinating topic.

It is about the unespected solution that suddendly shapes a new reality. Kids have this gift, then, with time, most of us tend to lose it, embracing the more structured and conventional set of information we are exposed to. Especially at school.

How good it would be to train this incredible brain activity – so strongly linked with creativity, as in this very good article by  Shane Snow  where you can also find definitions of lateral thinking and examples.

For sure, we cannot just jump to the conclusion that lateral thinking will solve all our problems of our daily life and that if we are still in a struggle it is because we are not “creative” enough to get out of them.

I struggle with time, routine, family, work, lack of work, traffic jams, people, small budgets, hard times (and I am lucky, I know I am).

Complaining. Well, thats an activity that does not help our brain activity at all. If we stop complaining about an adverse fate, then we are making our first step towards the solution.

Silence and objectivity are good allied in this process. Quiet meditation. I believe this can help our brain connections get a bit more flexible and ready for a new reality.

“...one of the reasons innovation often happens when outsiders enter a new industry, or when disparate groups bump into one another, is because fresh perspective are convention-ignorant. To kickstart lateral thinking, you might do well to pretend you were someone else trying to solve the problem.” Shane Snow

 

Max results with minimum effort?…mmmh

Corporate linguistics… mmmh. One of the most heard refrain in business – and in life in general. It’s a serious thing. It has to do with our instinct. Every animal tends to behave like that.

In fact, it seems that the max result with minimum effort thing is a real behaviour but not necessarily the best one. I mean, for sure, our instinct drives to this. But one thing I’ve been condidering is: is the maximum result we achieve with the minimum effort the BEST result for me? Is this really was I was trying to achieve?

Ok, I saved time, fatigue, study, money, whatever. But, in the end I dont have the feeling that this “saving” has produced the hoped result. Seems like applying this in business -and life alike, it’s not so great, after all.

In order to achieve the best result I have to work harder, study better, spend more,be more passionate, invest more than just the “minimum”. Cause the minimum is often less than required to achieve our goals. And that little effort we used ends up being useless. We wasted time, money, passion, feelings…

I have the feeling I have not being so clear about this topic. Did I really did my best – or the minimum I felt was necessary?

 

If still on this side of the fence

Committment is the key, no matter what. I mean, you really want to escape your daily routine, you want to build something new for your future, you have espectations on yourself. No question about that.

But how are you preparing yourself? What can you do today? Well, just do a little bit, just a little step ahead. Dont pressure yourself too much. Write the beginning of that letter – you’ll finish it tomorrow, but at least you have started something. Make that call. You can’t study that book all at once: start with the first page, then.

Ac. It doesnt matter if the goal is still miles away. You can look through your fence now, and see it shining in the distance.

Ghosts dont have no follow attribute

Ghosts follow me on the ceiling wall. No matter how far you drive, some feelings just keep coming back. They knock on the door and you know who it is. You leave them outside your door but they sneak in through the backyard, their evanescence on the ceiling.

Upside down, ghosts blend with a field of lunar poppies. Damn, you’re still there.

lunar poppies yellowsubwoofer
lunar poppies @ yellowsubwoofer

Lights on and dust all over

…like an old fashioned ceiling fan. it’s still working though. Sounds like a tick tock when it moves.

Looking up its like a mystic circle of light, the movement makes its borders blur.

It’s somehow the opposite of a dark hole: this one throws out light, air – and some dust too 🙂

Come le pale di un ventilatore a muro – modello un po’ antiquato ma funzionante. Le pale spazzano via l’aria con un ticchettìo quasi di orologio. Dal basso è un cerchio di luce quasi mistico – il movimento ne rende indistinti i confini. Quasi l’opposto di un buco nero, che sprigiona luce, aria (e materia?…beh, no, al massimo polvere).

Iron Cream Cake

torta di ferro

…covered with cream and iced sugar decorations, so light they seem to fluctuate in the air (they have their own shadow!).

Low light, low definition, doughy because of the processing, shfted toward the greens to make the live and corruptible iron soul stand out.

…ricoperta di crema, con decorazioni di pasta di zucchero, così leggere che sembrano fluttuare nell’aria (hanno addirittura l’ombra!).

Luce scarsa, definizione pochissima, pastosa perché virata, spostata sui verdi per tirar fuori l’anima viva e corruttibile del ferro.

 

Clear ideas and dark ones

Today I havent got a clue – not a single idea. It’s like looking through a chair, just fragments of lights. The light is too low and the definition is poor as well. Unsettling feelings, too many red objects. We need peace. It is best to remain calm now.

Oggi non ho idee, né chiare e né scure. E’ come vedere attraverso una sedia bucata solo frammenti di luce sconnessi.Troppa poca luce, troppo poca la definizione ed il contorno delle cose. Troppo nervosismo e troppi oggetti rossi. C’è bisogno di calma. Meglio sospendere il giudizio, domani vediamo.

attraverso-una-sedia

And so you’re in the iPhone 7 queue outside the shop…

quale città

..but I cant stop “remembering” with my very old iPhone 4S – and its tough rugged plastic cover, able to resist a crash between meteoritis. Maybe it’s that shape, its senile slowness showing weakness – even on an Apple device – but I coulnt buy another one… At least not tonight.

An anonymous café, half empy, low light, cutted. Not a big deal of a pic – in every sense – but exactly as I was seeing it. A moment of non socialization, a sense of not belonging to the surrounding world.

…io continuo a “ricordare” con il mio iPhone 4S – imbrigliato in custodia superinfrangibile a  prova di scontro tra meteoriti. Sarà quella forma, sarà la sua lentezza senile che mostra la debolezza anche in un device Apple, ma non riesco a sostituirlo…

Bar qualunque mezzovuoto di notte, pochissima luce, ritaglio. Non un granchè da tutti i punti di vista, ma esattamente come lo vedevo io. Un periodo di socializzazione assente, di estraneità dal mondo circostante.

Jail and the point of view

I feel paralized by my own point of view. Your view can imprison you. The iron bars are in front of your eyes only, I just keep looking at things from the same small angle perspective.

There is simmetry of thoughts in what blockes us. There is logical thinking builded with precision; and escaping means breaking the balance. We need courage to be able to close our eyes and open them again looking somewhere else.

Mi sento bloccato dal mio punto di vista. La tua visuale ti imprigiona. Le sbarre sono solo davanti ai tuoi occhi, non faccio che guardare le cose dalla stessa prospettiva angusta.

C’è simmetria di pensiero in ciò che ci immobilizza. Ci sono logiche costruite con precisione, dalle quali evadere equivale a rompere l’equilibrio. Ci vuole coraggio per chiudere gli occhi e riaprirli guardando altrove.

la-prigione

Right on time

 

The right moment makes us wait. When I run towards decisions, often I take the wrong path. “When you leave for a journey, you better know where you are heading, otherwise its best to stay home”.

So this time I didnt want to spend a good couple of hours to choose the right theme for these few lines. I do not know what kind of graphic idea lies behing these pages, I dont know where I’m heading.

Waiting is not a passive action. It’s made of study, thinking, organization and silence. And the right moment, where I know exactly what to do and how to do it, sooner or later, will finally come. It’s the snap, the change, the sudden picture. It lasts a second, often less.

To wait is to be prepared to not let that moment slip away.

Il momento giusto spesso bisogna saperlo aspettare. Quando corro verso le decisioni, spesso le prendo sbagliate. “Quando si parte per un viaggio è meglio sapere dove si vuole arrivare, altrimenti è meglio restare a casa”.

E per una volta non ho voluto passare due ore a scegliere il tema giusto per queste poche righe. Non so quale impostazione grafica dare a questa pagina, come non so quale direzione prendere.

Aspettare non è un’azione passiva. E’ fatta di studio, riflessione, programmazione, silenzio. E il momento giusto, quando mi rendo conto che si puo’ finalmente agire, e cosa si puo’ fare, prima o poi arriva. E’ il momento di uno scatto, di un cambio, di un’immagine improvvisa. Dura un secondo o alche meno.

Aspettare vuol dire stare attenti a non farsi sfuggire quel momento.