Journal

Gugarati Tribal Artist

Sweet, quiet, hopeful to not be overlooked. This sweet woman was sitting on a chair in the corner of a Gugarat, India, museum, there to represent her tribe and share their dress and art. She wasn't extroverted, but was happy to engage in sharing if you approached her. I wondered how bored she must be when no one was visiting the museum, was she paid a proper wage for her time, did she have to travel back and forth from her village, or was she living local and only donning her native clothing because it was a job. I loved her happy pride in sharing with me the art she created with her hands.  She was between the Kaachi Rabari and Bhill displays, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about the local tribes to know which she was representing (alhough with her tattoos and scarf, I believe she is a Kaachi Rabari woman).

Gugarati Tribal Artist 2

* Sweet
* Quiet
* Hopeful
* Happily Sharing
* Proud of Creative Expression

Raw Food Restaurant, NYC

Sweet, youthful energy...happy to be alive and singing with joy.

How delightful you were, blending up our smoothies, singing with joyful happiness! We met you in a raw food restaurant in NYC near the end of 2006, when my family and I were taking a vaction. Thanks for sharing your happy energy with us, for making our day brighter. Your energy was so strong you happily shared it with others, through your smile and singing.

* Sweet
* Youthful
* Happy to Be Alive
* Singing with Joy
* Sharing Happy Energy
* Brightening the Day for Others
* Sharing Energy
* Smiling

Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon

You welcomed us like old friends, overflowing with happiness and sharing tales of your active life. Such a pleasant time my friends and I shared with you, vising the Timberline Lodge and relaxing in the over-sized chairs. How engaging you were, smiling and happy and thrilled to be in the company of new friends. I admired how active your life had been and how you were still remaining active and connected with your friends (old and new).

* Welcoming
* Sharing Tales of Life
* Smiling and Overflowing with Happiness
* Engaging
* Thrilled To Have Company
* Active
* Connected

Leela Mata Ashram

Instant mutual vibration, back and forth. Open hearts, pure love. Recognizing the divine in each other...you named me Kamala, I called you Mommy and sometimes Naani. We spent a lifetime together in only a couple of weeks. Love can be whole, complete like that.

I met Mommy/Naani at Leela's ashram (Leela Mata Ashram in Sligo, PA). We spent about two weeks together, mostly sitting in rocking chairs on the enclosed front porch of the ashram, looking out the windows at the beautiful trees. Although we spoke different languages, we still shared so much in that short amount of time. She was like a little child, in an elder's body, sharing stories of her younger days with me. She was happy and active as a child, and to this day she still had a steady yoga practice and tended the ashram garden. I was knitting an intricate pattern on a scarf for my father-in-law and she marveled at my progress every day. We smiled at each other, mostly, no words necessary as we both had the same ability to give and receive love...back and forth, back and forth, elated by the feeling we could bring about together for each other. Blilssful love energy...shared with a childlike playful happiness. She was an open-hearted mother, loving and caring and joyful, giving to me unconditional love.

* Childlike, Playful Happiness
* Blissful Love Energy
* Mutually Sharing Love
* Open-Hearted
* Motherly, Loving, Caring
* Joyful
* Unconditional Love


 

leela mata ashram 3

leela mata ashram 2

PDX Japanese Garden

I see you, dapper man, enjoying the beauty of nature. You are beauty, you are love.

In early January, 2011, I was at the Portland Japanese Garden and saw this lovely, dapper man. He was walking quietly by himself. He had a loving energy, connected to nature, but also I felt a bit of sorrow in him. He was unique compared to others there...dressed sharply with beautiful long hair. I approached and told him I found him to be very lovely and wondered if he wouldn't mind me taking a picture of him. He agreed, but then as I was taking the picture, I sensed he became very self conscious and uncomfortable. I kindly thanked him for the picture and we parted as quickly as we had met.

* Quiet
* Loving Energy
* Connected to Nature
* Sorrow Inside
* Unique
* Sharply Dressed
* Beautiful Long Hair
* Self-Conscious and Uncomfortable

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I meet beautiful people all over the world...we are like beacons for each other, drawn together for a split second glance, a smile or hello, a small exchange, a short adventure, a friendship, or sometimes a deeper connection that spans a lifetime, forever reconnecting and experiencing the bliss each and every time...of witnessing beauty, witnessing LOVE, reminded we are a part of ALL. <3

I met this lovely woman when I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with Jim in early 2014. I don't remember what we talked about, I just remember she had a great energy about her...she was vibrating a happy energy, engaged/present with her surroundings and friendly. I think she offered some helpful tips for us when we asked her questions, as it was our first visit in Chiang Mai.

* Great Energy
* Vibrating Happy Energy
* Engaged/Present with Surroundings
* Friendly
* Helpful

Gypsy Ardor As a Child

Do we enter the world whole and pure, or are we altered by our environment even before that first breath? Genetics, emotional wellbeing of the mother, prenatal nutrition, and maybe even past life karma are possibly all there altering us before birth. I don't know if I was born whole and altered by external circumstances and trauma, or if I entered this world not quite complete. Somehow, from an early age (two years old is my first solid memory),  I became an observer of others, feeling their emotions and intently keen on getting to understand them. All the while, I was never seeing and knowing my self. This topic, of not knowing myself, has repeatedly come up for me through Jungian analysis.

In the field of psychology, it's known that we can more easily see the flaws in others than we can see in ourselves. What we detest about others is truly something within our own selves that we dislike; we are blind to seeing our own traits. Lately I began realizing that it can also be true about the things we love in others; what we are drawn to outside of ourselves can possibly be aspects of our own natures that we have not recognized and accepted. With that in mind, I decided to randomly click through my digital photo albums to find images of people I have captured over the years. I love people. Sometimes there are connections with others that I don't understand...I'm drawn to them...I see and feel immense beauty. It's not a physical beauty, per se (but that is often there, as well), but an essence of beauty, an essence of pure love, a vibrational energy that draws me in and connects me with others. At times I snap pictures, to immortalize that connection.

So that brings me to here, with this Beautiful People project I've started. My hope is that by revisiting these connections with others, by feeling and experiencing whatever it was that drew me to them, I will begin to see myself. I will begin to know myself.

Week One: Portugal, Lisbon

Lesson one learned: Even the poshest place, super clean and elegant inside and located in a great neighborhood, can be deceiving!

My first week in Lisbon was, unfortunately, quite uncomfortable and exhausting! The apartment I rented for a month wasn't available (was informed the night before my flight) because some pipes burst. So, I was being upgraded to an incredible place...who could refuse?! I walked around in that apartment, so very happy to have that lovely space to myself for a month. I went grocery shopping, unpacked my luggage, made some lovely healthy meals for myself, set up a great office space, bought flowers to bring some more beauty into the space, and then too-good-to-be-true showed its ugly self: BED BUGS!

Read more: Week One: Portugal, Lisbon

Portugal, Lisbon: Museu da Farmacia (Pharmacy Museum)

Anyone who knows me, or knows of the Pure Jeevan site I created many years ago, understands how passionate I am about health and natural living. A key part of staying healthy, vibrant, and energetic is eating a natural diet. The WorldArtGypsy (Gypsy Ardor) site is about travel and art, but healthy living and eating is a key part of this site, also, because without a strong foundattion rooted in whole foods, I'd never have the energy to travel and learn about art all over the world!

When I found out there was a museum dedicated to the history of medicine, I was thrilled! I knew it would highlight natural medicing...how could it not?! Plants were our first healers! For me, they're still my first choice for any illnesses I, or my friends or family, may develop. I knew it would be the first museum I searched out, and there it was...right near my first apartment! 


 

The Museu da Farmacia (Pharmacy Museum) has been around since 1996 in Lisbon, preserving not only the history of medicine in Portugal, but also medicines that have been used all over the world for as far back in history as can be found! The museum is split into two separate levels: first floor is dedicated to Portuguese Pharmacy, second floor is for World Pharmacy.

Portuguese Pharmacy
Portuguese Pharmacy Counter
Portuguese Pharmacy

It's fascinating to view the displays, which include reproductions of some Portuguese pharmacies from the late fifteenth century to the present day. There was even a recreation of a traditional Chinese pharmacy from the late nineteenth centure, which was absolutely beautiful. 

Mostly Natural Medicines
Drug Making Laboratory, 1920
Drug Making Laboratory

As I knew would be the case, the earliest pharmacies showed garden plots with plants growing and harvested plants hanging to dry to later be used as medicine. All medicines were natural, and plant based. As time progressed, the essence of the plants were extracted as concentrated oils and the whole plant was no longer used. With the passage of even more time, laboratories were created to reproduce man-made medicines to emulate the plant-based ones used in the past, allowing for faster (and mass) production.

Unguentariums, 4th-5th Century (Used for ointments and fragrance oils, suspended in a room)
Medicine Containers
Medicine Containers and Mortar and Pestle for Grinding Medicine

The World Pharmacy floor showed a similar progression of medicine. However, also included were instances of folk medicine, medical "quackery" items from the 17th and 18th centuries, ancient books of medicine, and more. Below are some photos of those items.

Mystical Being to Hold Disease, Mexico, 700 AD
Magical Unicorn Horn Medicine (Narwhal Tooth, Used as Decoration and "Magical Medicine")
Chastity Belt, 17th-18th Centuries
Chastity Belt, 17th-18th Centuries
Vibrator and Elictrical Shock Equipments for Female Hysteria Treatment, 17th-18th Centuries
Vibrator and Elictrical Shock Equipments for Female Hysteria Treatment, 17th-18th Centuries
Vibrator and Elictrical Shock Equipments for Female Hysteria Treatment, 17th-18th Centuries
"Hortus Sanitatas" by Jacob Meyenback de Mainz, 16th Century. This Encyclopedia attempts to compile all plants, animals and minerals with medicinal properties. It includes the Tree of Paradise, Harpies, Centaurs, Unicorns, and Mermaids.
The Canon of Medicine, by Ibn Sina (980-1037). The first encyclopedia of medicine, with this volume dedicated to pharmacy, inlcuding a list of therapeutic substances, treatises on poisons, and a list of medicinal recipes.

A very interesting item I saw was an ornate cup and a "Goa Stone."

Ornate Cup with Goa Stone, 17th Century

The Goa Stone was supposedly a secret medicine from Portuguese Jesuit apothecaries. This particular bezoar stone (anyone who read the "Harry Potter" novels should recognize the word "bezoar") is said to be man-made, consisting of bezoar stone paste, clay, iodine, shells, amber, musk, resin, and sometimes narwhal tooth, precious stones, pearls, and coral. Bezoar stones were used as an antidote for poison, and were often seen to also have magical healing properties. 

Secret Hollowed Out Book Holding POISON! (1682)

Another interesting item I saw was a secret hollowed-out book that hid poisons! On a glass bottle was an inscription in Latin that meant, "I tis well established that men once die." The hollowed-out book was from the year 1682 and was darkly interesting!

Below are some other interesting items included in the exhibits at the Musu da Farmacia:

Study of a Pregnant Body
Surgical Instruments
Asian Female Figurine (used to modestly show a doctor where pain/issues are in the body)
Perfume Case of Sir Walter Raleigh, 1554-1618. he ctontributed to the diffusion of plants in Europe from the New World.

 

Protective Clothing Worn by Doctors During the Plague (Creepy to enter the exhibit and have this standing there!)