I once heard Milton Glaser – in person – define art. He said (though I quote loosely from my scribbled notes) “Art is a survival device of our species. It helps us survive by keeping us aware. Beauty is only one tool of awareness.” This is why something that is ugly, something that is shocking (as contemporary art often is) or even painful can still be art. This is why art has been made by people since the beginning of people.
Change can be hard, but it is also a tool of awareness.
If you are not changing, you are not growing.
These are my mantras here in Baku as I remove paintings, wash curtains, and dismantle the evidence of our two (more or less) happy years in this apartment. Were there better apartments in the GSO housing pool? Probably. Did I miss my family in the U.S.? Terribly. But I loved this place, took pride in it and found fun in the process of making it my own. It kept me grateful for what I did have, and aware of the art in my daily life. I will be sad to leave.
As we upheave ourselves from one post to another this summer, I’m reminding everyone (myself included) to stay aware. Our ability to embrace adventure can be strengthened by the knowledge that home is not a place, stylish or comfortable though it may be. Life is a process and making your home anywhere with grace and simplicity can be a great work of art.
It may seem shallow to some, but directing my creative energy to my new living space (planning and Pinteresting and oh yes online shopping) has a purpose. It helps me to consciously open myself to embrace this ending, to process it, and to pay attention to the good in the next beginning.
There’s not much to see here as we pack up, but I wanted to share these photos from a beautiful place in Baku we visited one last time this weekend.
If you don’t know who Milton Glaser is, he’s the prolific designer and quintessential Newyorker who created a few things you might recognize. :) Read more about him here.
I can’t wait to share new finds, DIYs and more as I set up house in our next post: exotic and sunny Buffalo, New York! And if you love the building above, it’s by Zaha Hadid, an incredible Brittish-Iraqi architect who sadly passed this year. One of the many reasons to visit Azerbaijan, our first post and a place I will never forget.