without further ado - i present you with my new creative initiative: HERE'S TO LONGING [for patrick]

there is one thing you should know about me, if you don't already: the most important thing to me is DIALOGUE. engaging in it, assessing it, analyzing it, always trying to improve it, elevate it, engage it, dissect it, dive in to it. i got my Masters in Conflict Transformation, which for me, was just another way to get to know dialogue better- in all its forms. so dear ones, are you sensing a theme here: dialogue + conflict [transformation]. both of these two things i wouldn't have been able to get to know and fall in love with as deeply as i have without one man: patrick j. hill. he was my professor at evergreen. yeah, my professor. it felt like he was my only one. in four years. when i think of my entire educational and intellectual experience at Evergreen, the only teacher for me was patrick. he taught a course for an entire school year called 'the power and limitations of dialogue'; he was the one that encouraged me to continue working with conflict and facilitating and inviting those once marginalized to the table to help groups discover connectedness, meaning and depth, through light and love [and loads of small jokes]; he taught me how to be a strong leader, a strong woman. plain and simple, patrick is my hero. and has been ever since i met him. my hero and my best friend.

in 2006, patrick passed away, left this world of countless amazing people that loved and adored him. he left behind him people that he taught to never stop asking questions, stop searching for answers and that one must lead with their vulnerabilites if they are to really LIVE their lives. there isn't a day where i don't think of patrick and all the countless things he taught me about how to gracefully maneuver and radiantly dance in this life of mine. i miss him painfully, so i like that i can dedicate this to him.

this gets me to where i am today. at this very moment. sometimes i feel like a damn pressure cooker, just bursting at the seams [even though my sister told me to think of it as a reservoir, not a pressure cooker- good point, sis]. i get sooooo restless at times and if i am not releasing my creative energies in really good and positive ways, i literally, no seriously, LITERALLY drive my self crazy. [ask any of my closest friends/family...also herein lies the name "extremie" in samimi]...i couldn't take my craziness intensity the other day so i had to DO something.

so i started a new artistic process for myself wherein i express really important, key things that people have said to me in really crucial dialogues over my life- things that i've promised myself i'd never forget, or just simply have never forgotten. things that have been said to me or things i've said to myself that were really formative- really critical to my personal development and progress in life. things that make my heart FEEEEL, etc.

we all have these memories, right? i mean, remember -- OF COURSE YOU DO -- the time your lover at that time told you something super hurtful and shitty and even when you think about it today it is still fresh and new, wounding and/or funny? what about that thing your grandfather said to you, that may be didn't seem so poetic or mindblowing at the time, but now he's gone and you cant talk to him anymore and then you realize that what he had said to you that simple night on the porch in the summer in passing, was actually really beautiful and profound and you remember it in the most random times? yeah, those things. or that thing that your former best friend said to you about how she/he didn't want to be so close any more for xy and z reasons and your heart sank and you still carry that pain around with you. well, i've decided to take those things that have happened in my life - through my life's DIALOGUES + CONFLICTS and lead with my vulnerabilites.

an extremely gracious, wise woman told me recently that i long for things on a very deep level, really intensely. nd how important that is for me and my spirit to long and FEEL it. and to not see it as a bad thing but rather, a huge gift. i am trying my damndest to get to know thing Longing more, and see it as a thing of joy and radiance and anger and pain and release. mainly release. atleast in regards to this project, HERE'S TO LONGING. i had originally called it "explosions", cos that's exactly what was happening, i was exploding with emotion, like things that had been caged for so long being like, "cant i come out now???" hahahahahaa. i am always missing, always wishing, always aching. don't get me wrong, i'm not a depressed person, actually very contrary - i just love to LIVE my life to its fullest, with all its emotions and memories- its the only way to go down.

i have found this process to be extremely personal and therapeutic: to be able to share a very impactful statement or dialogue that i had in my life, and then find the photo that "matches" it, or that conjures up the same exact feeling/memory. like linking them together to tell a story about my life/life's journey, my struggles, heartache and successes. kinda like an autobiographical journal/journey through memories and places. it also invites more than one of your senses, includes the other senses. so you can read the text, feel it and feel it also in the photograph itself. it has been amazing - how when i am doing this work, i realize that a particular photo was MEANT for that thing that so and so told me that made me weightless, etc. its been so powerful.

many people have told me how powerful and emotional my photographs are. how they conjure a longing in themselves, or a movement of some sort. now i am able to take that to a new level!

again, for those of you that know me, i have always tried to operate my life and my expressive creations in a new, unique way.  i have seen a lot of really cool [and some really shitty] work of people placing text or quotes over images. usually the quotes aren't theirs, and the photos are or vice versa.

but my dear friends, this is different, at least for me. i want to always remember those things that people told me, out of love, out of listening and reflection, out of anger or jealousy, heartbreak or desperation.

the purpose is to also, lead with my vulnerabilities, and that through leading with my softer, more open parts, i will become stronger, more resilient and LIGHT.

ok. i think you get it. and if i have forgotten something, i'll share it with you later. cos i think this is enough of layli's crazy 4shotlattesafternoonsintheloudasscoffeeshopwhileiblastDMX for you expressions.

before i give you my first piece, i give you this really beautiful passage from alfred stieglitz, which i feel pertains perfectly to this post, my new project and my life right now. i see it as my personal manifesto currently:

[via the blue hour]

i strive in my work for it to feel spiritually alive, resonating with others, communicating with their own longing, despair, light & success.

i will be posting a new piece on mondays and fridays. well, ALWAYS on fridays and then since today isn't monday, rather tuesday, it'll be another fun day of the week. so you just have to keep checking back. but know on fridays you can always count on one dropping on this here bloggityblog o' mine. 
here is the first one, to get us all start off on my new exciting creative initiative, HERE'S TO LONGING [for patrick]:

please pass these on, as i want to touch as many as possible, just please credit the work appropriately.

phew that felt good!!
peacing out-
layzer extremie.

note: you can go to "labels" below & click on "here's to longing" tag to see the others from this creative initiative.


thomas said...

Wow! speechless, really. you've outdone yourself, Extremie.

Paul Hanley said...

THis reminded me of something by a favourite artist friend, Gary Berteig, He does paperworks with writing on them, among other things, check it out at http://www.berteigart.com/paperworks.htm


you are both too kind! glad you like it! its so exciting for me.

paul = i'll check it out! thx!

Tabasom said...

Layli joon, this made me cry. I love the rawness, the courage and passion you write with. I wish I had known Patrick - he sounds like an amazing soul. I can't wait for your next piece already!

Haleh said...

Steiglitz and Patrick must be hanging out right about now!

Marshall said...

Thanks so much for this. As a former student of Patrick Hill I can fully relate to your experience with him. He was THE best teacher in my life and I've been blessed with more than a few good ones. I am devasted to hear of his passing (I found out last night!) as I was looking to reconnect.

The community lost an incredible human being, profoundly intelligent, compassionate, concerned and sincere. His dedication as an educator changed my life.

Anonymous said...

I was part of Patrick's last PALOD class...I still feel so close to Patrick, I can't believe it's been almost 3 1/2 years already. Outside of closest family members, there's no one who had such a profound impact on me & how I look at and live my life. What an amazing person, right? I'm still so sad that he's not still here to share his passion for learning and life...he went way way too soon...

I started thinking about and missing him tonight, so I searched his name and came across your blog, it meant so much for me to read your post tonight. So beautiful ~ thank you.


marshall and anon:

i am so happy that you found this and that it meant something to you, being that Patrick is so important in your lives as well.

you are both blessed to have had him in your life, and i am so thankful you took the time to comment.

all my love,