Day 6 | Magnified Light

At the moment I’m composing this post while being stuffed in a train, limbs awkwardly pressing against my fellow stranger’s. I’m trying my best to gracefully accept this packed, crowded stereotype that Tokyo is well known for.

In review of my day, I feel a bit disappointed that I didn’t try harder to observe my surroundings and find more beautiful things. Granted I didn’t have much time to just sit and relax, but I definitely could have put out more effort.

I do feel better knowing that I’m going to be here a week, instead of my regular go in and go out on the same day trips, which is because I love Home too much to stay away from it for too long. I am flowing at a better pace, and don’t feel so overwhelmed or constricted by time. But at the same time, it is still Tokyo. I have this odd sense of being in a different country when I’m here, and makes me feel very far from home.

But my sister is here. I don’t get to see Betsie so much because she works long hours at night, but it is indeed very pleasant being back with her. Tonight we went to a restaurant, and I had her hold a magnifying glass that was hanging from the ceiling in front of an old-fashioned light. It revived an old idea that I had for a piece. So perhaps this singular moment of interest in this hanging object will burrow it’s way to a future image. We shall see.

Always,

Reylia

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Becoming Myself

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“Becoming Myself”
Photo: Reylia Slaby
Model: Dagny Tarver

One thing that is often packaged with youth is the underestimated complexity of truly being yourself. The amount of pressure to act with a certain disposition to fit with the social mold can be excruciating, especially when it isn’t how you truly feel. We all handle this differently, but in my case, starting from when I believe to be around 18, I was inwardly panicked in most instances where people were involved. A cloud of angst filled my chest whenever I had to chat with someone I felt I couldn’t be myself around, especially those whom around I felt I had to uphold a certain image. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling like that, and it troubled me often. I didn’t have much peace until I expressed my worries to a friend, who responded in saying that I probably had some form of social anxiety. Somehow this idea was a relief to me. It felt like I now had something more tangible to work with.

Only until recently is when I felt the intensity of these feelings drop, and I can breathe more easily. I no longer agree with the motto that says I should act how I want to feel, (e.g smile and you will start to feel happy) but instead I simply act how I feel. There is no reason for a disguise; that because it is a simple human right to to be able to express when I am sad, uncomfortable, or happy, as long as my feelings aren’t destructive.

This picture is for this current stage in my life. I can feel my mask melt away little by little, and slowly but surely I am a little bit freer.

Always,

Reylia

P.S Thank you sooo much to Dagny who worked so hard to help me achieve this image!! You.are.simply.wonderful.


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Staring

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When I was a little girl, I loved to spend time staring at my own reflection. I remember that I did this quite often until around the age of twelve. Twelve was when I developed a nasty disease called insecurity, and looking at myself began to produce negative feelings. Prior to that, I was fascinated with looking at myself, and I did it often. I have old pictures that my parents took of myself staring in the mirror. I believe it was separate from any narcissism. All the feelings I remember having was just a simple curiosity and wonder of the body I was living in. I even remember inviting a friend to stare with me once, but he didn’t understand why I found looking into a mirror of any interest. I especially loved staring into my reflection from a car window during a nighttime drive. My face would be layered with the stars, the moon, and the sky, and I felt that in this way I was part of them. I believed that my dim reflection was not only the little me then, but me in the future. At eight years old I believed I knew what I looked like at twenty. I read it in the subtle lines of my face. I felt it as I studied myself breathe. I saw hints of my future in the depths of my eyes.

I’ve gotten a bit older, and at 22 I’ve found that this little habit has made it’s way back in my life a bit. A lot of insecurities regarding my physical appearance have been washed away, and now I find myself fascinated again with looking.

Always,

Reylia

Never Leave Me

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“Never Leave Me”
Photo: Reylia Slaby
Model: Dagny Tarver

Finally a new piece. I owe my “delay” to several things. One being that the shoots I’ve been desiring to have involve purchasing rather expensive things, and in that case I must wait, and one by one accumulate all that I need. The second is that this year, my focus has shifted. I see art now as the shadow of experience, and without embracing life, art can become meaningless. My prerogative now is to live.

But more about that later.

This shoot was so wonderful to do for me. Dagny was such a sport, and I can’t thank her enough for going through with it, despite the rain and the cold. She is truly a great model 🙂

As for the idea itself, it stems from my tendency to cling to the things that I love. I have felt this to the extent that it can be borderline obsessive. Despite my undying love for these things or people, I cannot make them stay. I have always known and been ok with this. When it comes to people in this equation, everyone has their own path, a stage entrance and exit. It is ok to let go, because that is the natural flow. Very few things stay.

But on the bright side, many things come back.

Always,

Reylia

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My train was coming.

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Today, as I was going home after work, I leaned against a metal pillar on the platform of Fuse station. The sun was rapidly submerging itself under the horizon, and spashed a colorful gradient of yellows and reds against the sky. I closed my eyes. The crisp spring wind took my hair and danced happily with it. As I filled my lungs with this air, I felt joy. I heard the announcement for my approaching train, and yet, I stood still, unmoving.

This one moment lasted 5 minutes, and was the absolute best part of today.

Always,

Reylia

Website || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Twitter || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
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