My desire of perfection.

hikarusmall

 

I’ve been overthinking lately. Unfortunately my mind has, in a way, been devouring itself. Starting one thing, stopping it, then starting anew at something else. Why must I let myself spiral into this? Part of me is thinking that perhaps in a way my stress and sadness fuels my joy in some way. That this discomfort is my body and mind’s way of communicating to me that there is something else out there. That I have yet to break out of my shell, my mold, this skin that I have to deal with…

I shake with fear of this. Thinking about having to extend, bend and expand myself leaves me with a nauseous feeling. It is me being a coward. Because while I don’t fear growth, I fear mistakes. And I know my desire of perfection will be my main hinderance. I make an attempt to shout to the universe, to tell me what is best, only to realize that I stand alone in a dark, wet cave, and the only sounds I hear are the echoes of my own voices against it’s rocky walls. Yes, voices; I have more than one.

I beg myself to just continue, to not get distracted by feelings that will be long-gone by next week. To just continue.

Always,

r.


the title is “Un”.

model:hikaru

My train was coming.

japan-photo-black-and-white

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/
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Sunsets & Trains

japan-train-photography

I like carrying my camera around. When I first began shooting out in the town, I preferred taking pictures of people’s shoes since I was too timid to shoot faces. In Japan, I don’t see much “street photography”. There are, of course, plenty of tourists with their DSLRs, although that seems hardly a substitute for a photographer whose intention is to capture the essence and heart of a people—of a city. Since there aren’t so many shooters out, I am often anxious as to how people will receive me. I become paranoid when I point my lens at a person, and a rush of wild worry flows through me. Click.

Somehow, despite Japan being more conservative, I feel that it is a lot easier for me to shoot on the streets here, than compared with the States. Confrontation seemed a lot more possible in America, whereas for here, people are more reluctant to talkat least to me. I have never spent much time in the U.S, although, and have only visited 3 times in recent memory, so that might have contributed to my apprehension. When I did shoot, I was asked more than once “Did you take my picture?” Although it was all friendly, I dreaded the possibility that I would one day photograph someone who would react in anger.

But here, I think I will continue taking photos of the outside world, instead of simply restricting myself to conceptual shoots. If I truly enjoy both, why shouldn’t I do both?

Yesterday when I went out to take an ASL class in Kyoto, I brought my camera and shot this image along the way. It had been snowing, so it was brilliant that the sun eventually came out.

I was indeed spoiled by the California weather. It has been raining and snowing on and off ever since I came back home to Japan; ergo, I am definitely one of the happiest when the weather is beautiful.

Always,

Reylia

Website || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Twitter || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Instagram || http://www.instagram.com/reylia.slaby
Blog || http://www.reyliaslaby.wordpress.com/

The Struggle is Real

 

Image
The struggle is real when you try to flee from your creative mind
When you want to give up, because the road is paved with problems and agitation
The struggle is real when you feel like you aren’t good enough,
And when you don’t know what the future holds
When you feel yourself being buried
By your own hands
The mind and feelings you once had
Slowly disappearing under mounds of dirt
Where did that love and passion go?

The struggle is real when you want to give up,
When trying has become a chore,
And all you want to do is settle for what you have
Instead of reaching, twisting, arching your back and arms for what you want
I can’t reach, You tell yourself.
It hurts to try, You whisper under strained breath

The struggle is real.
But few know and ever fewer realize for themselves,
That the more you struggle
The closer you are to being free.

On “They Called Her Ame Onna”

The more I do photography and write about it, the more I realize how hard it is to be honest in today’s world. There is so much pressure to be perfect that it can overwhelm you and even turn you into a really negative person. I feel the pressure daily, as we all do.

 One of those pressures for me lies in identity. People who are born into the same culture as their parents can’t truly understand the mindset of the third culture child. While I don’t want to dramatize it, it is true that the older I become, the more I am aware of it and the more it affects me. When I was younger, I remained blissfully unaware that I was different than the other kids, but now even when I’m in the store and the clerk says “Enjoy your stay in Japan!” I have to physically stop myself from explaining my whole life story of how I was born and raised here. I want to cry out, “This is my home”, “I’m not different”, and “I belong.”

 It can be painful, but I do by best to push the negative side of it away. But what about the people who take the negative things about their lives and carry it wherever they go? The people who wear their pain like a medal of honor and never let anyone forget what they are going through?

 “Ame Onna” 「雨女」in Japanese means “Rain girl”. It pretty much refers to any female who brings the rain wherever they go. So if you are going to a picnic, and it happens to rain on that day, you could be an Ame Onna. But what about a rain that others can’t see or feel?

 Sure, pain can be beautiful and we can’t ignore it, but there are so many people who choose to dwell on the problem instead of working on it. I can be that type; I tend to over-think painful experiences and feelings. But it is never good to carry your pain around. Only by putting down the umbrella can we realize that the rain has stopped and that the sun is now shining.

 Any comments or questions please message me at contact@reylia.com  🙂

 Always,

 Reylia

What Art Taught Me: Passion

What Art Taught Me: Passion

Originally written on: December 31st 2013 

Previously, when someone used the word “passionate” to describe themselves, I always felt a bit uneasy. I never knew why for sure, but I suspect that it is because I felt that on some level word was sacred. Using that word would be akin to calling yourself a genius or a prodigy. To me, they walked hand in hand.

 Despite loving the arts my whole life, I could never bring myself to say that word. I loved everything I did and immersed myself in it all. But to me, it wasn’t being passionate, it was being natural.

 I do think that society has used that word so much that the meaning has been lost, so now most of us are left with a bad impression or no impression at all when it’s used. I think it’s a pity, because when you really look at the word, you realise it holds so much meaning and depth that is usually taken for granted.

 But I didn’t have to look through a dictionary definition to understand it.

For the most part, I found it through the times I was taking photos. It was a slow process, though.The first time I caught a glimpse at it was when I took my first intended conceptual photo. It was there, my feeling was being reflected in my model and I felt it for a moment. But it was only for an instant and it passed by me.

Then after being hurt by someone I cared about, I found it again through heartbreak. It came to me and I saw how I was feeling as a picture. I felt it, and nearly breathed it. But not in the way that Hollywood depicts it, but the way you see it in a beautiful dream. After you wake up, all you want to do is return to all those heavenly images that were dancing before your closed eyes. That’s how it is for me. I feel in images.

 I’m lucky enough to kind of understand passion. I don’t have a very tight grasp on it at all, but I do think it can be in all of us. My question is, is it wrong to say you’re passionate when you don’t know how or why you are? Is passion something we can have? Does it reside in us innately? A free gift to each person as we go through this funny little thing called life? I don’t know. I don’t hold all the answers. But I do hold a few questions. And maybe if we all ask loud enough in one big booming voice we will find an answer ringing back to us.

 That is what I hope to do though art. To find understanding about the life that surrounds me. Something inside me wonders that if I take all the influences, good and bad, and then echo back with art, maybe I will be able to see it more clearly.

 In the end, looking back at my body of work and the experiences I had with each one , I do think I can be passionate. But not all the time. Sometimes I can shut it out, but it keeps knocking until I open up to it again. It is very understanding.

 I found passion in many places during all of my photo shoots. I’d like to share a few with you.

——

 In To Cut Your Ties I found passion in the spur of a moment and the beautiful short hair of the model.

 In Wait I found it in the fact that my model had been a ballerina as a child, and I saw it in the graceful placement of her arms, even though it had probably been years since she danced.

 In It Can’t Protect You, I found it in changing my clothes on a public road in front of a friend in the rain, just because I needed the shot.

 In A Bleeding Heart, I found it in hardly wearing anything at all, nearly slipping on the rocks and dipping into a cold pool of water that I momentarily shared with spiders and water-bugs.

 In Running From Yourself, I found it in a field. I walked about two hours there and back, with all equipment over my shoulder. I was alone, and at the end of the photo-shoot I found myself running through the field and jumping, yet I didn’t know why. I was just happy. Even though no one was there to see it.

 In Your Promises, I found it in my model, who was an embodiment of passion herself. To the way her mouth moved and to the way she clutched the stems of the flowers. I wished I could be like her.

——

 So many…so many. There quiet experiences lead me to a place inside myself that I wouldn’t have been able to discover otherwise.

 Hopefully one day I will understand passion better. But not to use it as a tool to explain how much better I am than someone else, as if passion is only reserved for an elite few. No, that isn’t why it’s here. It is meant to fuel us to make more of itself. For what purpose? I still have yet to know. Maybe one of you have the answer

 Always,

 Reylia