People often ask what inspires me, what makes me pause, and take notice. It's hard to say what exactly it is, but when it happens-- it's unavoidable.
I want to tell you about Spring/Summer 2017.
Spring/Summer 2017 is more about a feeling than it is about a place. I felt it after going down what seemed like a zillion rickety wooden steps at a cliffside beach in Santa Barbara in the early days of summer. It was quiet, with someone's golden retriever a tan flash of movement in the distance. My friend, Sarah, ran off to take pictures on her iPhone.
Everything felt still, and new, and at peace. The dappled water markings on the rocks, the ebb and flow of the waves, the luscious gradation of white, sand, and rich taupe. The layers, the slow-motion slur of the ocean, the softness of it all.
I'd like to leave you with a poem that perfectly encapsulates this collection.
Pablo Neruda, On the Blue Shore of Silence
I need the sea because it teaches me,
I don’t know if I learn music or awareness,
if it’s a single wave or its vast existence,
or only its harsh voice or its shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.
It’s not simply the shells crunched
as if some shivering planet
were giving signs of its gradual death;
no, I reconstruct the day out of a fragment,
the stalactite from a sliver of salt,
and the great god out of a spoonful.
What it taught me before, I keep. It’s air
ceaseless wind, water and sand.
It seems a small thing for a young man,
to have come here to live with his own fire;
nevertheless, the pulse that rose
and fell in its abyss,
the cracking of the blue cold,
the gradual wearing away of the star,
the soft unfolding of the wave
squandering snow with its foam,
the quiet power out there, sure
as a stone shrine in the depths,
replaced my world in which were growing
stubborn sorrow, gathering oblivion,
and my life changed suddenly:
as I became part of its pure movement.
Jasmine Chong Spring/Summer 2017 is a song of silence, a meditation on clarity, a lesson that could only be learned through feeling and experience. I can't wait to share it all with you.