it is 9:30am

And I am already incensed. Should you now expect to be barraged by an assortment of irate words? Probably. Usually, I have not a choleric disposition, but on (perhaps not so infrequent) occasion, people tend to put me into such a mood. Okay, not put – catapult. Catapult at a speed greater than light.

Earlier on in life, I came to a silent conclusion that I shouldn’t read comments left by users on news sites, especially when the articles involve the following: animals, global warming, the ban on skinny models, topics regarding democrats or republicans, same-sex marriage, religion or basically anything that might attract people who are so far on the wrong side of reason that it will undoubtedly send me into an infuriated, depressed tirade on the state of humanity.

Naturally, I made that mistake today while perusing AOL and what else should I come across but a comment of that exact nature? Obviously, I cannot quote it here. All I can say is…how can anyone, anyone, be against environmental regulations? How can anyone talk about the usage of biodegradable products as something bad? Shouldn’t it be a known, unquestionable, indisputable, absolutely certain fact that all of us should care about the planet, her ever-depeleting resources and the consequences of our waste-as-much-as-we-can tendencies? Isn’t this, at least, a solid line of which we should all be on the right side?

-Natasha

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drawable conclusions

I’ve spent quite a lot of valuable, ever-depleting time on drawings for my new collection. Somehow, one of them turned out to be a perfect…logo? Mascot? Emblem? Trademark? Yes, the face of my brand is a girl from the depths of my imagination. Take a look at the original sketch and the final (slightly simplified) rendered image.

<<—- You can see how it works on my website. (The arrows are to indicate where your eyes should have, by now, traversed.)

Now…30 more to go….

-Natasha

“how are you’s?”

I am sure all of us have at least once been subjected to this question, only to find that it was uttered as a robotic pretense, rather than a heartfelt inquiry. When we are introduced to someone, there is the usual “Hello” followed by the conventional “How are you?” and the even more basic “I’m fine.”

Once, I was sitting at a friends house and her relatives whom I had not seen for several years walked into the room. Upon entering, they spotted me and, with exaggerated smiles and in tones best suited to converse with a baby in the middle of a noisy concert, said: “Helllooo!”

I returned the greeting, at which point, they asked “How are you?” But before I could even open my mouth to utter a single word, whether it be the meaningless “I’m fine” or something greater, they simply turned away and asked the same thing to someone else. The question was just a string of words issued from their mouth without thinking, an act of second nature that had lost all its meaning, as if I was conversing with a robot configured to relay automated messages.

Say “Hello”, say “Goodbye”, just don’t ask me “How am I?”  After all, why ask a question, when you have no interest in the answer. Period.

pour, pore or poor?

The weather here in Warsaw finally hit 34C (according to the temp reader in the car) and I couldn’t have been more delighted. What useful thing did I do today? Sit in a cafe. Drink freshly squeezed orange juice. Wear my new sandals that make more noise than all the automobiles in the city. And brush spiders off Jak. Oh yes- the start of warm weather means a whole new onslaught of creepy critters. What’s more? Yesterday, I had a conversation with Jak that went something like this:

me: How do you say ‘my name is’ in Polish?

him: Mayonnaise? Mayonnaise.

me: My. Name. Is.

him: Mayonnaise.

Yeah. So goes the communication skills.

-Natasha

thoughts on thoughtlessness

How do I dissect such an enormous term? Indeed, like most nouns in this world (excluding, of course, “tea party” which pretty much equates to “inexplicable existence”), this one would require countless posts before I could even begin to penetrate its full meaning. In having already begun this task, I  have doubly doomed my intentions by surrounding that one word in a sea of other words, though despite being less meaningful in relation to the topic of this discussion, remain, nonetheless, havoc-wreaking in their own subjective definitions.

I got to thinking of thoughtlessness when I was reminded that the word has an unfailing presence in the majority of humans. I spend a large part of every year in Warsaw, Poland (that story will follow another time.) Being unable to speak Polish well enough to hold a conversation, I am often left feeling a bit (very) ignored in social settings.

A guy I know has the tendency to capture many girls in order to prove to himself (and to the world) that he is masculine, attractive and has, well, captured many girls. If there is a female in the room, he will without reservation examine her, approach her, get her number, and then brag about his future plans with her. Each girl, in turn, become his “future wife” (that is, until she is replaced by the next Jane, and is then termed “ex future wife”). And on every such occasion that he forces his current wife’s company on Jak and I, I am, undoubtedly, left ignored. Although they both are almost always capable of speaking English, they refuse to do so. Then they proceed through the entire evening unaware that one of their party has been kicked unceremoniously from the conversation. Thoughtlessness? I believe it to be.

But lets delve deeper. How is it that people can be so invariably unaware of their surroundings, the people in them and their feelings, the full force of their many actions, and the resulting consequences, however minuscule they may be? How is it possible that all of us have been this very word, in all its grammatical forms, so many times? When have I been thoughtless? Well, perhaps just earlier today, when I stubbornly refused to let Jak add raw zucchini to our salad. Or maybe that was just selfishness. Perhaps thoughtlessness was present when I forgot to wish my dear cousin’s daughter a simple “happy birthday” (though that was later rectified by a box of goodies mailed just yesterday). What is thoughtlessness? Does it even exist? I feel it does, otherwise, I would not have written this post. But I think the word is not complete in its own identity, unlike the words “mean” and “aloof”, which have straightforward definitions. Being selfish, as I described earlier, is to be thoughtless as well. Being forgetful, also noted previously, is another version of thoughtlessness. The other variants? When you realize not that someone really doesn’t want to step on the gum you thought wise to spit on the road. Or when you reach the end of your generosity towards your pregnant wife’s belief of entitlement simply because she is suffering a cruel and usual punishment. Or failing to understand that not everyone likes to inhale a cancer-causing phenomenon.

Littering, talking on the phone for more than 3 minutes in company, cutting in line, spitting on the street, remaining unaware of another’s mood despite being right next to them, half-listening, forgetting promises…the list is endless, the definition loose. Anything can be considered thoughtless. So are we forever doomed to be a thoughtless society committing thoughtless acts on an everyday basis? Does its frequency spare it from being labeled a true insult? How do we get rid of thoughtlessness when thoughtlessness is everything bad (and we all know how much we suck in that department)?

-Natasha

point x

There is a chance you ended up at this page by a colossal, destiny-driven mistake. Whatever unexpected turn led you here, you can be sure that your life is about to take a very drastic (but not entirely unwarranted) turn for the better (or worse).

We hope that by opening your minds to the content of Map of Mind, you will find yourself closer to point x- the treasure that is different, but no less cathartic, to each of us on the maps of our lives. “We” constitutes two people: Natasha and Jacek. I could attempt to explain who exactly we are and the various attributes that define us, but stick with us long enough and you will gather that information on your own. This isn’t just a one-sided discussion. We want to hear what you have to say on everything we have something to say about (but no profanity, please).

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