Recently it has come to my attention that being present is the hardest thing to do. I’m so curious as to why my mind wonders away from me when I’m sitting in a field watching the sun set, or even while playing music. In my curious state, I have started to explore the idea that we have the power to heighten our self-experience.
On my frustrating journey to being more present, I meditated, saw reiki masters, sat in a quiet room for what felt like hours, and did many downward facing dogs, but no matter what, my mind would wonder away from me time an time again. It was only until I started to rediscover art that I started to appreciate and the art of living, that is, being present.
I think it’s important to tell you about how art has the incredible power to communicate invisible feelings into tangible objects. We often become frustrated by art because we feel the need to intellectualise it, but have you ever felt that you could relate an image to a familiar feeling before? My love for art grows the more I see how artists have the ability to see beauty in everyday life. They take the moments that we usually edit out of our memory for being dull, boring, or perhaps even uncomfortable, and they show us that they are what connect us all as human beings. It’s a beautiful idea isn’t it?
I am starting to understand, that seeing the world as an artist does can help us break free of the anxiety of presence. What keep us from enjoying the present moment is the infinite amount of possibilities that we are conscious of (like your business failing, or being judged on social media for posting a certain image, for example). These are all real anxieties that not some, but all of us face. So I like to call this pressure that follows us everywhere, ‘a dread of the unknown’. Often pushed into a deep, dark part of our unconscious, this uncomfortable part of us is worth discovering and observing, but not to be felt guilty or bad about. The fact is, none of us do very well at being present, so find comfort in that.
I shot this editorial with my dear friend Stacey Cotter of (re)vision society, in light of giving you a taste of the beautiful moments our minds sometimes edit out of memory – like the sun shining on your back in the middle of summer, being tranced by a thought, or the comforting caress of a velvet robe that weighs assuringly on your shoulders. There are so many experiences that deeply connect us all humans alike – like sadness, boredom, sweetness, or melancholy. None are better, worse, or worth more than the other, but all are the mysteries of experience that we can enjoy everyday.
Above / Petit Bateau one-piece, Forte Forte blouse, Pas de Calais printed shirt, Golden Goose Delix Brand asymmetrical skirt, and Ralph Lauren boots.
Above Stacey is wearing / The Hill-Side bandana, Essentiel Antwerp knit, Nigel Cabourn dress, Rosanna socks, and Guilbert Paris boots.*
Above and below / Maison Père dress, vintage jacket, Guilbert Paris boots.
Above / Forte Forte velour coat, with vintage gingham shirt and trousers.*
Styled by Stacey Cotter / Shot by Lauren Yates / Words Lauren Yates for Vogue Australia.