An Adventure In Art

I haven’t written lately and I miss it. I miss talking to all of you, but I felt like I needed a little time to just be with myself. For a few days I was feeling a little moody (I blame it on the Full Moon) and I was feeling uninspired; For a while I was even feeling disappointed with London and I wasn’t sure if I liked that feeling.

Today after having time off and just exploring the city I am much happier and I feel refreshed. I still feel a little isolated here in this big city all alone, but I do love it. I came here to learn as a fashion intern and that is exactly what I am doing. I am gaining so much knowledge about the fashion industry and the process and production of designing garments. But I can’t help but think that there is more than that to this trip here in London… so I will go with it.

I do miss doing readings though. I haven’t really been able to connect with very many people, as the time difference is too difficult. The cards have been calling my name and I keep finding reasons to just thumb through them. I even found myself reading the remnants of tealeaves from my tea bag in the bottom of my cup the other morning…. The signs are begging to be read.

It was interesting in the bottom of my cup I saw the shape of a horses head. It looked like the knight piece from a chess game. The symbolism of that is amazing as the knight is the chess piece that can jump other pieces and is most powerful closed in by the opponent. So maybe the sign for me is that even when I feel closed in I have an advantage… if I only look.

Today I spent my time wondering around the grand halls of the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. It was fascinating to see all the beautiful art… or as I said earlier, “I wondered among the faces of history… the lives of brilliant minds hung in gilded frames… touched by stories to far past to be remembered”. I saw things that I had learned about in Art History. I saw things that made me think to myself… “Will I ever create such a masterpiece in my life time?” These works were awe-inspiring, to be able to paint the way these people could… you can’t really appreciate a piece of art until you truly stand in front of it. Some of them were like photographs…so delicate and real.

I saw Experiment On A Bird In An Air Pump, The Toilet of Venus, Equestrian Portrait of Charles 1, Belshazzar’s Feast, The Portrait of A Man, and Doge Leonardo Loredan to name a few… all of which I learned about in Art History. It was so interesting to really see them up-close. What a sensitive eye these people had. The attention to detail. Painting is such an intuitive process. So powerful… the colors, the images and the stories.

I then made my way to an area called Seven Dials, which I love. The area is titled Seven Dials because seven streets radiate from a center circle and each street is filled with amazing little shops, restaurants and other places to spend your time. It has a very free and energetic feeling.

I visited the store Mysteries again to look at their tarot selection. They have so many beautiful cards and I want them all, but I wasn’t really sold on any of them. I am strange when it comes to buying things… it has to really speak to me or I don’t want it.

They have two decks that I love so much and I have wanted for some time, but as I held them it just didn’t feel right. I want a deck that speaks to this trip and where I am at right now… and that’s not just any old deck. So I didn’t buy one yet. I will though before I leave for home. And it gives me another excuse to go back to that wonderful store.

I then found myself in a wonderfully eccentric little store called Pop Boutique. The first thing I spotted when I walked in was a rack of pleated trousers and I had to look at every pair. I finally found two pairs in my size that I loved. One black and one a beige and brown linen. I tried both of them on and was instantly sold… but I had to be sensible so I only bought the black ones because they were more versatile. But I may go back get the other pair later.

I wondered through a few more stores, but it was getting late so I could only think about eating… as I often do. I kept thinking to myself, “God I want pasta!” I looked over a billion menus but they were all so expensive. And then I turned a corner and like a prayer had been answered there was a sign on the front of a little Bistro called Ohlas that said, “All pasta 5.50”. They got me. I had to go eat pasta.

So I went in and was greeted by a lovely girl. I assume it was family owned. They waited on me and I ordered Lasagna and garlic bread with a coke. It came out very quickly and the waitress was so cute as she came over and asked if I wanted Parmesan cheese on my dish.

The food was amazing. I was so happy I decided to go in and equally happy that they were having a special on just what I was looking for. Love when that happens! After that though I had to make my way home in the rain… and the cold. But it was getting late and I was so ready to be home in bed.

My head was killing me so first I had to stop for some aspirins. Luckily there was little place to go right outside of the crowded tube station. I bought what I needed and then pushed my way to the train. It was so difficult riding home because of all the people I had to stand most of the way, which wasn’t the best of times with a headache.

When I made it home I decided to stroll through the park. Going the long way always allows me to see the lushes green grass and the beautiful trees. The little clusters of trees remind me of ancient groves to the goddess… they all seem to be in circles. Though I had a headache and it was raining… it was beautiful.

I’m happy that the day went well. I needed some new energy in my life. Tomorrow I have plans to attend an art show with a client of the woman I work for. It should be a nice evening out and some new people to talk to. I plan to have a wonderful day as well. Tomorrow will be relaxing. I think I may go to a coffee shop and write and try to find a nice bookstore to browse through.

Hope all of you are doing well.

Much Love,

Shaheen

© Shaheen Miro 7/18/2011

Mazes and Mysteries

Yesterday was a wonderful day. My task was to go to the Convent Garden area and explore the streets of Seven Dials. The woman I am interning with Laura Dawson is looking for a retail space and wanted me to scope things out. So instead of heading to the studio yesterday morning I took the tube to that area of the city.

I arrive very early, much to early for the stores to be open and since my task was to locate retail space to let and get a feel for foot traffic and consumer profiles I needed to wait for a bit. I wasn’t sure what I would do to kill time, I thought maybe have a coffee or just sit on a bench… but as I wondered down another side street I saw a sign that read in bold letters, “FREE MENS HAIR CUTS”. Instantly they had my interest, as I have needed a haircut for some time.

I mulled it over in my head and thought to myself, I have needed to get my haircut since I left home…. But I didn’t want to spend the money. So I went inside to ask about it. The woman at the desk informed me that it was a beauty school and salon and that the students do free male hair cuts for practice. So I agreed to have my hair done.

I had a wonderful little British girl, about 17 who wanted to be a barber and specialize in hair coloring.  She was delightful, slightly rebellious and a very interested in conversation. We talked about how I wanted my hair cut initially, but soon our conversations went to the US and the UK and the similarities and difference and then to life goals. She was very sweet and I started to realize how timid she was with the scissors. You could tell she really wanted to do well but was still searching for her niche.

It was nice to actually have my hair cut and not worry about cost. And I think it was great experience for her because she got to do another cut and she seemed really eager to chat with someone from America. I really learned a lot from talking to her and I felt so much better having a new haircut… I’m very happy with her work.

I then wondered down more streets. Like an endless maze, I would wind down one street and magically get back to where I began without ever crossing the same path twice. London’s like that though, an endless maze of nonsensical paths.

At one point I turned a corner and there in front of me was a store called Mysteries. Instantly intrigued by its withering, hippy-esque exterior and Zen like energy radiating from the front door… I decided I had to go in. The slightly off kilter, retro punk dressed boys sitting on the bench furthered my fascination with this little den of “Mystery”. I just had to see what waited inside.

Once I stepped in I was greeted with warm smiles and a million new things to look at. Crystals, candles, cards, posters, jewelry, anything and everything you could think of! Literally there was rooms of new age, fluffy stuff … and the little sage burning, black hat wearing pre-teen “witch” in me wanted to touch everything! But I contained myself and reverently inspected each room.

There were two rooms that called to my spirit. First was the room that wasn’t really a room, but more of a sanctuary. Off of the crystal room there was a small conservatory like space that had been made into somewhat of a shrine filled with a fountain, and tons of Buddhas and other spiritual statues, crystals, idols and spiritual paraphernalia. It exuded a high vibrating energy that resonated deep inside of me; a sort of deep rooted, tranquil, almost lulling quality.

Then I made my way to my Second favorite room and that was the area that was filled with hundreds of decks of tarot cards! So many decks to see, and touch and pick through and of course I wanted every one of them. It gave me the chance to see a lot of decks in person that I have pinned after for years!

The most exciting part of this little adventure to Mysteries was the “coincidence” of me finding it. A fellow blogger and talented writer Prince Le Normand, from http://princelenormand.blogspot.com/ referred me to the store and I had plans to visit later on during my trip, but as fate would have it… I found it before!

My adventure ended with lunch at, of all places, Pizza Hut. It was a very nice, peaceful and solitary lunch. I ate in alone because I felt it would be nice to just sit and relax and I had a wonderful salad and some pasta… not to mention a very attractive waiter. All the while I people watched out the large window that faced the street (a new hobby of mine since I ride the bus, etc… daily). Saw a beautiful vintage double decker bus too.

Afterwards I made my way back to work. I had a lot of cutting to do. But I felt amazing. Fresh hair, fresh perspective and I was ready to go. Sometimes you need a day out to clear your head. I was happy to see yet another part of the city. I will defiantly be going back to maybe do some shopping… who knows maybe I’ll get another hair cut!

Oh and did I mention that I stopped into Dr. Martens to look at their boots… and now I cant stop thinking about their 1914 black leather boots that I want so bad. I tried them on so that I could imagine myself in them in the mirror and it felt so right. Someday :)

Well I hope everyone is doing well… enjoy the photos… and enjoy life

Much Love,

Shaheen

© Shaheen Miro 7/1/2011