A Perceived Reality

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Sitting, watching, rolling along in the world, people go by, places disappear, and we never wake up.

Lounging, observing, living life to its fullest, people go by, places disappear, and we will always remember.

A tree can be many things. A tree can be a botanical oasis, a deciduous wonder, or a sculpture of nature. A tree can be a companion, a goldenrod firework, or simply just that which it is, eternally a tree.

Driving along a highway, one’s eyes dart from the roadway sporadically, leering at a passerby, observing a provocation of mild interest. But do we really reminisce or even simply ponder what we are actually observing?

Being an artist, a musician, a designer, or a writer, one learns early on that perception is paramount to one’s own art in addition to one’s reception and comprehension of others’ art. For an artist, it eclipses purely the art world and so perception and observation become the rawest essence of daily life.

Perception is fundamentally applicable for all though, not simply the artist. From the way we perceive sounds and lights and noises and colors, to the way we observe the more subtle and inconspicuous world of emotions, personalities, ideals, and aspirations, the observations we collect and the assessed perceptions we feed off of fuel our minds and our lives more than we can begin to cognize.

And so for some the tree may be just a tree, a biological organism complete with cells, molecules, and a carbon-based composite we call wood. But to the lucky few among us, that tree is something more, something existentially greater than originally assumed. That tree is a manifestation of beauty, courage, joy, transcendentality, and most of all, vivacious, unabashed life. That tree may be gold or green or even red, but that tree is a pictorialization of life and death, pain and resilience, and most importantly, love and loss.

So perceive life how you will, but comprehend and discourse with it each day. For each day is uniquely divergent from the last; lessons are learned, people go by, places disappear, and we will always remember.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

A Utopian Abstract

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The sun shone warm and bright as I walked down the mall in the middle of September. How charming it was with the golden leaves of fall strewn across its brick walkway, how handsome the men were, how elegant the women. Each shop I passed seemed to both beckon and repel me with equivalent force. Was it just me, or did the people seem happier here, the cars shinier, the landscape somehow more content? Maybe it was all just a façade, perhaps not.

I drove on to the house of my dreams, a villa among houses, a mansion to many. The road bent right and I turned slowly onto my drive, a gravel road that grew somehow more gorgeous with each consequent bend. The road ended seductively in front of a wall of windows, shining in the afternoon sun’s warm rays. Shutting off the engine of my hot pink 1959 Cadillac DeVille, there was only one thing I wanted to do: fall into the arms of the boy behind that dark front door. I wanted to sit willfully at my deep black grand piano and play as I gazed out over the orangy-yellow hills. I wanted to walk up that flight of stairs, into my office, and just sit and sketch, a million inspirations pressing me onward. I wanted to sit back on my deck chair, a glass of red wine in hand, and write, my ideas spilling onto the page like a rushing mountain stream.

Now, I can imagine that crisp air, that perfect house, that perfect lover, that perfect life. But now, I crumple over my notebook, not in that dream house, not with that dream boy. I haven’t just driven up in that impeccable car; I am not brimming with ideas in my perfectly designed office. I sit now, in my cozy room. No lover awaits me. No view seems to inspire my artist’s passion.

But I sit and write, not because my life is absolute Utopia, but because all I want is to express that perfection. My desire is to live in that splendid dream-world, but nothing changes quickly. And as I write these words now, the ink flying effortlessly across the page, all I can think is that I am living, now. I am loving and hoping and working, now.

I must look up. I must realize the almost implausible perfection and beauty of my meager office, my all too familiar, lonesome boudoir. I must learn to accept and live, looking forward, gazing through memories. I must maintain what undeniable animation seems to exist at this very palpably existent moment.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

A Life’s Compilation

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Lying in the dark, all of ones secrets are kept. The tears that stream down ones face seem too disappear, absorbed into the reassuring blanket of black. In the darkness, nothing is assumed, only admired and experienced. As I lie in the blackness, time seems to stand still. Everything seems to settle and resolve itself. The darkness is neither friend nor foe, but simply, a companion.

As days go by, we feel different, we live differently. Feelings are some of the hardest things to explain, yet they are inexplicably human. We can go through a day feeling pain, joy, sadness, love, and rejection. We can go through a day feeling nothing- just emptiness, and confusion. Conflicted and unstable, feelings are one of the hardest things to conceive about ourselves.

We are defined by the people in our lives, by the connections and relationships we share with others. Life is made up of moments, little expressions, minuscule emotional changes. Each emotion is but a delicate petal on the flower of an emotional soul. Each day is just a rung on the never-ending but fleeting itinerary of life.

Gazing through moments, we are reminded of a life that has yet to be lived, a future that has yet to commence. Looking back on the past, it’s possible to explore the friends we have loved, the people we miss, the moments we regret. Gazing through moments we feel some of the most incomprehensible and immense feelings. We feel regret and longing for the past, we feel love and depression for now, and we feel hope, motivation, and inspiration for the future.

Gazing through life, we stand still, remembering better times and hardships past. Gazing through life, we are confused about who we are, yet we uncover the most extravagant truths of ourselves. Gazing through life, we remember the moments that uniquely define us.

A leaf can express so much in its simplicity. A tree can have a complete knowledge of life in its quiet complexion. Fall is a season of remembrance, thought, and inward investigation. Fall is a time to lose oneself in the view from the window, to bed down in a comfy sweater and jeans and just think. Fall is a time to reminisce, to forget, to hope. Life is about doing and living and moving constantly, but autumn is a time for just sitting and thinking, coming to understandings about life that were inconceivable just months before.

In the autumn, one learns more about themselves than at any other point in the year. We learn about our strengths, our virtues, but most of all we learn about our faults. We learn about what makes the essence of a being both unique and ideal, and what makes it realistic and human.

In the autumn, we learn as much about existence as we do about our inner being.  Fall brings with it thoughts of decay, death, and ephemeral destiny. But it also brings with it murmurings of rebirth, destiny, and fate. As one looks at the leaves, watching as each and every one, so much like the others, turns its hue to gold, and relinquishes its grasp on youth, one learns so much about life.

Leaves and trees embody such an astounding simile to life. As life, the leaves must change, they must live and grow and breathe and inevitably die, just like each phase and moment of life, so implausibly everlasting yet youthfully elated. The leaves bare an existence that is real; they manifest not only the ideal utopia, but also the tormented affliction that is reality.

With life as it is, short and inevitable, I attempt to live each day in contentment. Each day is meaningful, but terse, and so life continues.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Thoughts on Life

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Recently I realized something while listening to someone attempt to improvise while playing a jazz piece. I realized the reason that so many people don’t like playing music, and for that matter, can’t play music well. The reason, I realized, is that people don’t think enough about being creative, don’t think enough about their real feelings and emotions. Doing anything creative like music or art or designing involves thinking and thought so much. But what do we really think about? Do we think about our lives, our friends, our journeys, the people we love, or simply about creating the piece of art? What I have found is that so much of making art, designing clothes, and playing music is about thinking beyond the the piece.

It’s about thinking about expressing your emotions and ideas through that piece. When I play music, I try to create a story with it. I try to tell about my life and soul and try to say something meaningful. When I design, I try to put a piece of me into each design. My emotions, my thoughts, my personality, they’re all there. When I write, I try to dig so deep within myself that I am completely connected to my work. And when I make art,  I make it mine, about my life, and the way that I see the world.

The way I look at life and love is the reason I am me. I think about life every day. I think about my dreams, my passions, the people I love, and the things that I love to do. I am artist because I love to express, I love to let everything go and just see what happens. Art isn’t about creating something for other people, it’s about letting your life and emotions out through the art.

I love to think about my dreams. I love to think about my life. I love to think about every person and thing that I have loved and miss so much now. The way I live is all about thoughts, it’s all about making life the way you want it, while still just letting go and seeing the incredible things that can happen. Life is about closing your eyes and just listening, feeling, and experiencing the world around you. Life is about putting in your ear-buds, and taking a walk, just to have time to think on everything that needs to be thought about.

I love to just sit without trying to think about anything. Just sitting there looking out over the world, your mind wanders to where it wants to go, where it needs to go. Your mind knows more than you do. You know deep down how you feel about people, how you feel about love, how you feel about life. But your mind already knew all of these things.

As I write today, I sit on the deck, looking out over the aspen grove in front of my house, the pea green meadow beside it, and the dark green mountain and blue sky above it. I see what I want to see, I love who I want to love, I think about whatever I want to. And what I see is beauty and light and warmth all around me. Whom I love is Ian and Max and Clay and Evan, and all my friends. What I  think about is the love I’ve lost, the places I dream about, and the world I want to lose myself completely in. That’s what I think about. I think about life: my life, my future, and my past.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Life Grows, Grow With It!

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As with all things, I feel that I am constantly changing, growing, and living. Over the past few years, I have grown overall as a person. I’ve grown smarter, nicer, more mature, and less naive. But my life has grown as well. I’ve met more people than I ever would have thought possible. Many things have happened to me that have made my life grow in size and intensity. I have more people to care about, more things to do, more responsibilities to keep, and more complicated relationships than ever before.  My life has grown so much more taxing and confusing, yet subtly simple and beautiful. I have grown as well, at first slowly and painfully, but now expertly.

So many things in my life have become clearer, more defined. I have realized who I am and become the best version of myself. I see things now as they really are, no silver lining, no lies. My life isn’t perfect, I’ll be the first to admit that. But through all the truth I’ve grown to see the beauty. I see beauty in the graceful and quiet sunset, in the green leaves of the trees around me, in the faces of the people walking by, in the neatly arranged clothes in my closet, and in the city lights shining in the night below me. I’ve grown to realize the people that I love, and the ones that I should simply walk away from. I’ve grown to see both the ugly and beautiful truths that this world has to offer. I’ve grown to be able to make my life the way I want it to be. My naivety is gone now, the reality has set in, and I like it. I have grown to observe everything as it truly is, no misconceptions, nothing but sweet reality.

My life has grown so much, that I almost can’t keep up. I am now a blogger. I am a gay fashionista teen. I am a makeup artist. I am a stylist. I am a jazz pianist. I am a fashion designer. I am a student library assistant. I am a landscape architect. I am an artist. I am everything that I want to be at once, and I have never been happier.

And yet I’ve grown to realize that something will always be missing from my life. I’ve grown to realize I am not easy to love. I have such a large personality and I am so sure of who I am and what I believe in, that it’s hard to love me. I have grown to accept this just as all else. I accept my flaws, and I accept my talents.

Growing as a person and learning to love life is more about letting go of perfection than anything else. It’s about looking at what is, changing your life for the better, and seeing beauty in every single moment of every day. Growing is about making things better: living more, loving more, letting go more. I’ve grown as a person, not because I let things be, but because I’ve thought a lot. I’ve lost a lot. I’ve seen a lot. And I have made myself who I am today. Growing is about moving with life, the ups, the downs, the loves, and the losses. It’s about defining yourself and refining your life. I’ve grown more than I can say. And I will keep on growing, life does!

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Love: Exposed & Unafraid

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Love. You don’t know how much you need it and want it until it’s gone. Love is everything. It binds us to everyone and everything else in our lives. When we look out at the sun through the trees and think “Wow. If I could just look at that view for my whole life, I would be happy forever!,” that’s love. We feel that special energy course through us that no other thing can give us but love. When we listen to our favorite song and feel like Queen of the world for that one overwhelming moment, that’s love. Looking at a crush from across a room and feeling like if we could just lie in their arms for the rest of time, we wouldn’t ask for anything else in this world, that’s love.

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When we love someone so much that nothing else matters, often we try to cover it up and seclude ourselves. Well, I’m here to tell you to fix that. I believe that love is less about creating the person who we think everybody will love, and more about just being who we are. I think that this life is too short to not be ourselves and tell someone we love them every chance we get. I believe that every relationship, from friends to spouses, must be loved and cherished. Tell everyone who matters that you love them every day. If not for them, at least tell them so that you won’t regret not telling them all that they mean to you.

Love is about being exposed and unafraid. Any love worth having is worth feeling vulnerable and scared about. Love should make you feel more open and more uncomfortable than almost anything else in your life.

Love is about opening up more than you ever have before in your life time. It’s about letting yourself be taken by someone else and becoming a part of that person’s world.

Love is about losing one’s self, but gaining a feeling like no other. It’s about looking past every problem and flaw and feeling completely head-over-heels in love with someone. It’s about looking at everything you love about someone and finding the beauty in every little small thing they do. When you’re in love, cherish it, feel it, and be grateful for it. Because when it’s gone, you will miss it more then anything in the world.

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Love is about enjoying everything that surrounds you. It’s about seeing the joy and beauty in things and loving the little things in life.  Love deeply influences who I am as a designer. Love is what inspires me to create something beautiful and sexy. Love makes me want to design something that will make someone happy and give them a little love in their life. Designing and love go hand in hand for me. Designing is one of my loves. I will love fashion and designing forever. They make me feel so exposed, and yet unafraid.

I love fashion and I love all the people that have brought me joy in my life. There’s only a few select people whom I will really always love, but I try to let them know that I do every day. I never stop thinking about the people and things that I love, and I never want to. Love is a part of me, and I never want to lose it.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Thomas Park

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Recently I started work on a project for me. And when I say it’s for me, I mean that I started this to benefit me, and no one else. In all of our lives, including my own, I have realized that ‘Me Time’ is more important than almost anything else. That being said, this project wasn’t just about finishing the project itself, it was also about spending time with my own thoughts and emotions.

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The project was started because of my grandfather’s death as a way to honor him. My grandfather, Thomas lived in Florida with his wife of 64 years. But his true country was in the beautiful rivers, meadows, and lakes of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Tom loved everything about that land, from the wild trout, to the wandering lonesome streams, to the tall mountains and rolling prairie. His love for this land was what inspired him to build a fishing cabin there about 15 years ago, in Henry’s Lake, Idaho. For all the times I’ve been there, this land has given me love and inspiration, a designer’s dream.

The other day I was thinking and dreaming about both my grandparents, and the cabin, seeing as my family and I will soon be traveling up to the cabin for the memorial of my late grandparents, Tom and Eve. And what I dreamed about was the love and beauty that both of them let in from this land and from everything around them. Up in Idaho behind the cabin, there is a ‘park,’ so to speak. When the cabin was built, so was this small but lovely area with a fire ring and Aspen Trees all around.

All of this: the love, the beauty, my grandparents, the feelings of longing and seeking; They are what inspired me to start on this project, Thomas Park. Thomas Park for me is about creating a place of solitude, beauty, and serenity. Its a place to be alone with one’s thoughts and to feel calm, warm, and safe. For me it’s my place to have ‘Me Time’ and not to need anything but a good book and a comfortable place to sit. This is where I blog from now. The Park inspires me and helps me to express to myself and the world, everything that must be said.

I built ponds in the park as well as planting some beautiful plants to make it feel like a place of beauty and life. This makes it feel like a blogger and a designer’s paradise.

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This park feels like a big accomplishment for me, in more than just one way. It is an accomplishment that I can and did make something of beauty and eloquence. It’s also an accomplishment in that I can have a place that is just for me, for when I want to get away from it all and just sit, read a book, and blog. That’s what this place is about for me: serenity, beauty, calmness, and expression. Designed by me, for me- the perfect combination. I look up at the sky, wondering what life will bring, but for now, I am happy, truly serene.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones