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Days of Art – The Art of Growing Art

Raw, Naked Art

I’m a street photographer at my core, so what do flowers have to do with shooting street, you might ask?
For me the definition between a street photographer and a photographer are marginal, and so it becomes more a question of shooting technique than it is about style or genre.
Life is unfolding and happening constantly around me. As I view it through my eyes and the lens of my camera I am able to steal moments, crystallising them and their profound, if transient and familiar meanings, achieving the seemingly impossible like a magician bending the laws of time and physics. Capturing their stories in a poetic gesture, that to everyone else resembles art, but for me keeps the story of my life connected and vital, along the ever evolving map of my journey.

Aquilegia with bug_MPHIXI find the story of the mundane utterly fascinating, that essence of street life that doesn’t…

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Car through trees_MPHIX

Green Card Day

Car through trees_MPHIX
Yesterday was Green Card Day. That is to say that after a year and a half since I began the process of immigrating to the USA I received my official permit to reside here. It had been left on the doorstep in a red, white and blue Special Delivery envelope. The postal workers are always in a rush around here, irrespective it seems of the kind of mail they are delivering.

I suppose it’s a big deal getting my Green Card, but I’m suffering with Delayed Reaction Syndrome (my own term). It happens to me a lot. I think I’ve become so used to change and general upheaval in my life that it often takes me a while to react. I’ve become so adept at adjusting to new circumstances that I automatically suppress feelings of surprise or excitement, or indeed shock.
Saying that, getting my Visa approved last July, then actually leaving the UK was a huge deal for me because I had to say goodbye to my kids. It seemed very final at the time.

So many major things have happened to me in such a short time if I think about it, that in lots of ways this Green Card is representative of that. A mixed bag of towering highs, and the steepest lows that have charted my journey over the past couple of years, that I suppose it’s no real surprise I feel sort of inert about it. It means of course that now I can apply for the all important Social Security Number so that I can get a bank account, health insurance, a driver’s licence, although driving is not on my list of priorities at the moment, the drivers here in Maryland are certifiable lunatics! My husband is a good driver and happy to drive, and failing that, there are taxis, buses and trains, all with drivers far more experienced than I! Besides, I still haven’t wrapped my head around the direction of the traffic here yet, living in Germany years ago then the UK again kind of broke my sense of commuter-orientation. It hasn’t been right since.

Though I doubt I will ever apply for full citizenship, I am to all intents and purposes an American now. I won’t be able to vote, but I’m quite glad in some ways that I have been spared that cross!


White House Folk 2_MPHIX

Kissing Flapper Selfie Poster 2_MPHIX

Every Day is International Women’s Day – A Re-Introduction

Kissing Flapper Selfie Poster 2_MPHIX


What’s in a name? That’s a good question as put rather famously by Mr. Shakespeare. During the past four years that I have been blogging here on Word Press I have been known under several names: Ishaiya, M, Bess, and Maria, the latter being my birth given name.

Like a lot of artists and writers I have adopted theses pseudonyms because in and of themselves each of these personas have had significant import for me, but also because they have served to protect my privacy. Despite my extrovert tendencies I am still a very private person, and wish to remain so unless I call you a friend, which as those who truly know me will tell you is a title I reserve for very few.

I am most grateful if you take the time to stop and visit and read what I write, enjoy the pictures I take, and more so when you stop to comment, but I won’t condone poor behaviour, as has unfortunately been the case in the past.

This particular blog of mine, ‘Diary of a Person Being Human’ was always intended as a platform for my more personal takes on the world in which I currently inhabit, as well as a home for my poetry and more lyrical pieces. I am very frank with my opinions, but my position and attitude is always one of positive progress and encouragement. Always.

I therefore do not invite criticism or negative debate, my beliefs are my own and I am as free as anyone else to express them. Any disagreement or disapproval should be left at the door before you take your seat, with the added assurance that you will be welcomed with open arms as long as we can all get along.

As it is, owing to big changes having occurred in my life since my journey here began, I have been relatively absent from these once well frequented treads. One of those changes was moving to the U.S. and marrying fellow blogger Bill Jones Jr., with whom I now share a photography blog and an art blog. Legally then, I have undergone yet another name change, so that now I am also known as Maria-Xosé Jones-Phillips.

In fact Bill and I met here on WordPress through this and my first blog IshaiyaFreshlySqueezed, back in 2013. He has also become my best friend and collaborative partner, especially when it comes to photography. That and a passion for writing is something we share, amongst many other things, including world travel, when we can of course.

I am, and always have been an artist first. All other labels and definitions proceed that, as such that the names, or labels that I have adopted and been given throughout my life are part of the evolving art of me.

With a redesign of this blog and new incentive to blog again, I hope we’ll get reacquainted, or if new to these parts, that we’ll strike up new and interesting conversations.

Welcome to my theatre.:)


Here is a list of my others blogs as they currently stand, if you feel so inclined to explore!

Raw, Naked Art
Today on Earth, Art
Bess’s Art Journal

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The Art and the Artifice of a Borg Culture

The Borg have returned…!

BESS'S ART JOURNAL: Through the eyes of a street photographer

Sleeping Coffee Shop Big in this case is definitely beautiful. Best viewed on a screen larger than the size of a postage stamp.

What looks great on a big screen doesn’t necessarily translate so well to the tiny screens that we have become accustomed to in the ever evolving, technology dependent procession of our daily lives. My concern is that this increasing dependency on handheld devices will indefatigably change the nature of art completely.
Photography in particular has become a huge industry. Once the pursuit of specialists and ambitious amateurs, it is now accessible to almost everyone with a portable device. It has reached this zenith of cultural importance and success mainly because unlike it’s classical twin still knee deep in tangible pigment based mediums and physical tools of application, it jumped on the technological bandwagon and became digital, thus feeding the insatiable hunger that we have all been brainwashed into believing we…

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Borg Lady Pink

Borg Lady


What have I got to complain about?
I have a roof over my head,
Food on my table,
Change in my pocket,
A man who loves me,
And three wonderful children.
My life is perfect.

“Carriage seven of eight…”
Next station: Somewhere Else.
Even the Borg Lady in all her
Computerised wisdom knows
That this journey is reaching completion,
That I will depart at the penultimate stop,
Taking with me only that which I came with.
“Please do not leave your baggage unattended…”
Nobody wants to deal with potentially explosive baggage.
Nobody wants to be delayed or harmed by your carelessness,
Or your efforts to remain composed,
And aware of the rules upon rules,
Conditions upon damnable conditions,
That numb the brain and slacken the responses.
Be alert! “Report any suspicious items…”
I can’t, can’t you see?
I have been broken by your rules,
Your selfish regulations that dictate
The shape and nature of my path,
Forced into a rigid grin, braced by tracks vying to perfect and correct,
And inform others of my highly polished,
Gleaming white integrity.

“Mobile communications must be kept to a minimum”,
Interesting turn of phrase when we are all
In motion, trying to keep ourselves to ourselves
As the Borg Lady suggests we ought to.
Like particles randomly dancing in a fit of Brownian Motion,
Clashes will happen, collisions occur,
Interactions necessary.
Exchanging of baggage inevitable,
Sharing of bodily expulsions obligatory,
Desired yet abhorrent,
The margins invisible,
Mutable and vague.
Carnal deviancy sanitised by self-imposed order.
Physical closeness tempered by emotional distance.

But what have I got to complain about, really?
‘Keep your feet off the seats’ says the sign.
‘Give priority to those who need it…’
More than you, more than me, you mean?
Be noble and selfless, despite the army of feet
That have been wiped upon my seats on an endless train journey
A thousand carriages long,
Over countless miles scored deep into the earth,
With nothing but the blurring of existence,
To stimulate your senses,
As time and space is swallowed whole,
By an unseen fossilised maw.

“Get your feet off my seat.
Stop telling me where to get off,
Don’t tell me how or where I should sit.”
That’s what I feel like telling the Borg Lady,
But she, like my life, is infallibly perfect.
She will never complain because she is
Programmed that way.
The assimilation happened at birth;
And at the final stretch of my journey,
I see the map of my own life,
With its colourful but rigid lines,
Intersecting and conflicting across
The sprawl of my own urban, mundane landscape,
Scarified and stained with the fingerprints of a passing himanity.
Defined and signed by the unmistakable hand of assimilated,
Mechanical, objectified insanity.

“I, One of One am not Borg…”

As I reach my stop,
I glance back at my seat,
My resting place on the journey behind me,
Catching a glimpse of my future.
And I see nothing.
I have all I need.
I did what I was told,
And my life is perfect.