Living among dreams and creations …
Every moment Nature starts on the longest journey, and every moment she reaches her goal. ~ Goëthe, 1749-1842
I fully enjoyed my Bamyan visit. As I approached Bamyan Boutique, 72, and Showroom at number 51 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île, on a tranquil late-morning Tuesday, I floated on the feeling. I felt I would love to live on l’Île St. Louis in an upper-floor flat with flowers on my windowsill overlooking the morning sun dancing with the Seine. It was not long from the bus stopping at Pont Louis Philippe, until I noted the signature wisteria, planted ten years ago by Hafiz at Bamyan boutique.
People without the knowledge of their history, origin, and culture [ are ] like a tree without roots. ~ Marcus Garvey 1887-1940
While in the boutique, sensing the designs, colours, and essence, I observed a flurry of activity composed of a blend of regulars, locals, and tourists around lunch 12: h until about 14:30 h, then a serene silence returned when I parted at 15:00 h. I appreciated a special and interesting feeling of poetic ease during the entire visit.
The art of life consists in making life a work of art.~ Voltaire, 1694-1778
Even though Isabelle was out of the country (India), and I missed seeing her, Hafiz was generously kind and patient in opening everything so I could easily browse, experience the sense of the collection and contemplate photos. My approach: I had decided to focus on ‘Origins’ as a theme and present an essay-style photo series developed and expressed in proverbs and aphorisms.
I thought of this as a question. How could a reader appreciate these unique and artful household designs and personal wear in an expansive sense, going beyond a typical approach as in evaluating products or holding a particular attitude in shopping? My answer was to “offer a perspective through a grand angle lens oriented toward border recognition. It felt fitting to consider the ‘origin’ – Afghan mountains, as a national, now natural, border in conjunction with borderless freedom, and to offer poetic imagery in a contemplative space.”
Let’s see whether I succeed in creating space for you to browse the images paired with proverbs and aphorisms as inspiration for contemplation relating to ‘origin’ as Nature, elements, foundations, features, time and the essence of life in general.
The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900
Herein, allow a few moments to set aside and free yourself from the analytical, critical or judgmentally natural and conditioned mind, and become familiar with Bamyan’s niche dressing and design collections. After reading and imagining, are you inspired by curiosity to visit the website, and Facebook which highlights the boutique’s exquisite range of colours, cashmere, and delicate and precisely hand-crafted nuances of household, and personal beauty in dressing? Their photos are beautiful and natural and the communication is sincere and inviting.
Breathe the essence of ‘Origins.’ Humanity is of Nature and is at its best when aligned with Nature.
Consider your origin. You were not formed to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge. ~ Dante 1265-1321
“Origins”, the autumn/winter 2023 collection, returns to the mountains of Afghanistan. Imagine the festival of colours and design to enlighten the increased darkening of the Autumn skies and feelings of shorter Winter days. Consider the idea of brightness in the traditional magnificent hand-embroidered silk on the warm lambswool jackets and coats created by women from the Istalif region north of Kabul.
Afghanistan is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Heart of Asia,’ it is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north, Tajikistan to the northeast, and China to the northeast and east. The country, 652,864 square kilometres (252,072 sq mi) of land, is predominantly mountainous with plains in the north and the southwest, separated by the Hindu Kush mountain range.
Kabul is the largest city and the capital. According to the World Population Review, as of 2021 Afghanistan’s population is 40.2 million. The National Statistics Information Authority of Afghanistan estimated the population to be 32.9 million as of 2020.
Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic era, and the country’s strategic location along the historic Silk Road has led it to be described, picturesquely, as the ’roundabout of the ancient world’. It feels mysteriously intriguing to me, as I’ve not travelled to this part of the world.
You can only see well with your heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine d’Exupéry, 1900-1944
While language is complex, to simplify, Pashto is the native tongue of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, who also are the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan. Pashto has the oldest and largest collections of proverbs.
Proverbs are a profound yet simple source to dip into the universality of human culture. The Dari is a variety of Persian spoken in Iran and is the second most common language spoken in Afghanistan. Proverbs also are plentiful in Dari.
Across Afghanistan, proverbs are a valued part of speaking, both publicly and in conversations. Afghans “use proverbs in their daily conversations far more than Westerners and with greater effect”. (source: Wikipedia)
I confess I am yet a fan of ‘hippie peace and love songs’, and equally of appreciating the sources that promote human capacities to acknowledge and appreciate the true nature of their brother and sisterhood in the humanity of any culture. A simple search of Afghan proverbs resulted in my selection of four favourites;
The first day you meet, you are friends. The next day you meet, you are brothers.
Two are better than one, and three than two.
Everyone’s own country is Kashmir to him.
Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow. …
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. ~ Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890
When I immerse myself in the curiosity of culture, I tend to wonder what it is like to ‘live in another skin’ so to speak. Language always is instructive and ‘eager to offer’ clarity in cross-cultural communication. Since I am not particularly talented in fashion, neither in evaluation nor in exotic choices for myself, I like to imagine what it would feel like to put on ‘another coat, ‘ one that is not mine. Perhaps to imagine the comfort of being enveloped within the ultra-soft lambswool and feeling bright while highlighted in cheerful design and colour.
There’s nothing like a dream to create the future. – Victor Hugo, 1802-1855
Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926
As current times oblige, one can shop online, and/or perhaps discover a boutique in your area that identifies Bamyan collections readily available by resellers. If only out of simple curiosity, please do have a look at the website, FB, or IG to see more photos. They are naturally beautiful and nicely show the ease, comfort and beauty of wearing Bamyan designs.