Only Drops

”I don’t know the code, never learnt the basics…” the song kept repeating, letting me sink deeper every second into its groove, into the truth of the words, echoing endlessly now. No escaping the hard, harsh longing they thrust in my face, rubbing in the acid-like texture into my heavy chest. Longing for the answers, longing for simplicity, longing for a flowing life, life getting its way across the landscape like a river, embracing the rocks like a sea, freely letting go like a waterfall, enveloping being like an ocean. No, there’s violence in there I’m ignoring, storms and clashes and carvings. Maybe, I am like water already, rushing into the land, again and again, hitting it straight on, for years, just without the patience of the millenia. I want to see that cave, that refuge, now, breathe in its humid refreshing soothing air, lay down in its calm fortress, at ease, half-, not really sleeping, -resting, half-enjoying its timid vivacity, catching splashes and drops, hearing out for a rhythm of waves, my melodic guarding brothers now. Yet, they’re not. I’m still drowning, beating my head into the cliffs of knowledge and beauty and truth, floating, dancing numbly in their twisted arms, broken in half.

Quicksand

Sometimes, we spin around a patch of sand for months, years really,

walking carefree around its edges,

round and round,

touching tickling blades of grass, we forget,

deviate,

step among the nearby trees, luscious, drying,

and come back,

completely oblivious of its languid existence,

its lively nature,

carelessly step into it, still enjoying the intensive sun,

because there is no shadow,

and don’t even notice we’re in its mercy,

don’t think about how one step reversed the positions of power,

it slowly swallowing us,

while we still believe to be in control,

and it’s too late, too late,

we’re in its trap.

We only realize it when the sand is in our eyes,

and the next second, we are gone.

The loving awareness

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love, and what it means in our lives.

Not as romantic partnership, but as that perspective which encompasses everything we see, how we see it, how we interact with it. The attitude, the mood, the approach to life. What got me there, of course, is all the negativity, something that has been building in me for years really, noticing how we are pre-conditioned into negative thinking, how much of it surrounds us. Yet, all along I’ve felt we have a choice, that it doesn’t need to be that way.

Yes, the bad things are a part of it all, but do we really need to make them stronger, predominant, make our response automatically grounded in them? Continue reading “The loving awareness”

I’m curious…

Maybe, change is always at least a bit enriching.

Because, if you’re always saying yes to the same thing, you’re constantly refusing something else, stifling yourself into a tiny place of the familiar and even automatic. Why seeing giving up on something as a sacrifice, then, as missing on something? Since every time we choose, we’re not only saying no to this, but more importantly saying yes to the other. We could be joyfully experimenting and opening up for new things and tastes and experiences and places and sounds and selves. Putting something we’re used to at the side for a while and see what it’s on the other side, learn about another aspect of this world we think we know so well. Making choices with a different attitude, a different approach, with a bit of curiosity. Continue reading “I’m curious…”

How I see Paris after 3 years

When three years pass in the same place, same room, with harshly the same people, we can easily imagine things stay the same, that nothing has essentially changed. Yet, when I was sitting across a girl on the train heading to the center from the airport, with a huge suitcase, a filled backpack, a beret, and a book about the dream city in her hands, while I was returning from celebrating Christmas with my family back to my new home for the third time, I could see that something has indeed changed, slowly maybe, imperceptibly, yet persistently.

There is a certain profundity that links you to the city, while dreams are transforming into a reality, while you’re less and less a stranger and a visitor, a simple spectator, and more and more connected into this web of its core lives. Continue reading “How I see Paris after 3 years”

Misunderstood

Maybe I could never understand the way you love

how your heart enclosed after her deceit left only a margin of care

how some of your walls fell just to make the remaining stronger

yet my heart expands with every bludgeoning wound

like my pleasure that never reaches the peak but spreads out

circle after circle wave after wave of water rushing widening

hoping not to reach the shore but does with your sudden spike and shiver

splashes inward on the land wanting more never appeased

Maybe you could never understand the way I love

my love is desire and my lust is warmth

my affection is hesitancy and my trust is tension

my arms clutch and clasp while my feet skitter and bolt

Maybe we could never understand the way we loved

that attack of the inner forces every time our skins brushed by

that underground of our grim past and the lack of what’s to come

that absence of deep roots where we could fix our yearning infatuation

those multiple lives we’ve lived parallelly never knowing how to truly share

those moments of comfort and solace when like children we forgot not to believe

those unuttured latent words every time we were about to leave it all behind and weep

Maybe that is why we never knew how to grieve and ditch us

Bumble

I stumbled through the streets where urine and flowers melt in odour quite like ourselves

the eyeliner smirring into eyeshadow the asphalt losing its groundness

that bittersweet sound your lips made last night so lovely so angry

telling promises exist in another world another life another love

but ours is the empty present which will be hers tomorrow and was hers yesterday too

her towel still resting on the handle next to mine the proof of your carefulness still in the bin

mine is your touch on my elbow tonight and your hug annoyed by my cries by my stomach that twitches

I mumbled the wishes the desires the tender affections I mumbled all of my deepest imperfections

I whispered I love you next night in the park that I loved you you know right before you part

your immediate hug longed for the kiss but I surpassed the mist of your partial honesty

I can be first I can be second I can even be third yet being an equal to an opponenent is too blurred

so I’m tearing myself from this anxious instant ripping it apart for an unsure tomorrow

for those streets you find smelly for those flowers you ignore …

for that fragrance of the city that takes away yours

the scent of your laundry expelled from my bed

the scent of your shampoo still in my hair

How I screwed up my life trying to be myself

… the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to. – Jonathan Franzen

Explicitly or not, we are all told at many points of our lives from its very beginning ”Just be yourself and find something to do that makes you happy and …” so on and on. But what if you realize that in order to follow this somewhat tricky-ly wise advice you have to reject so many other things you supposedly should do and let go of the things which, as you are told, also matter.

Personally, I wasn’t raised only by my parents, besides the society’s opaque gibberish I’ve had my own fathers and mothers that have shaped who I am today and whose influence I’ve always consciously acknowledged. Hermann Hesse, Virginia Woolf, the beatniks, just to name a few. And after reading them I couldn’t ignore the little quite voice inside of me saying ”You are not what you are told you are”. But who am I then? Continue reading “How I screwed up my life trying to be myself”

Immeasurable

Isn’t it funny how we measure our success as travelers in numbers sometimes?

How many countries on how many continents, how many towns and cities, how many mountain tops or lakes or islands, how many checks on our bucket list… How many encounters made and connections preserved, how many weeks on the road as a whole or months in a row away from home…

In truth, if it is about any kind of quantity, isn’t it about how much and not how many?

How much we opened our hearts and eyes to the world, how much we expanded our minds and how much less prejudiced our thinking got. How much we started living, how much we have learnt and changed. How much we have overcome.

Until, finally, we realize everything that is left to measure are the countless moments of sincere smiling and pure joy with all the opposite ones that make it all worth while. Moments we treasure not as parts of a list, but each standing alone, embraced as a whole and cherished as a unique portrait of the best in life.

At least, that is what I aim for.

Pleased

Give me a Sunday walk by the lively river, a bus drive* through two of my favourite Parisian quarters, a trip to the lovely bookshop, a reading spot on the sun, a book in my lap that opens up my chest, a feeling of renewing surprise by the ordinary view.

And I’ll be pleased.

*Line 96: Porte de Lilas – Gare Montparnasse

The Dark

And if I unravel spread my wings like petals of a tangled rose

you may say I’m acting heading for a catastrophe

you may find me mad like a wild horse and even more morose

And if I untangle the galaxies in me all the star constellations begging to be free

if I find home right in here in the darkest night will you call for me

or let me be quite alright

will you see the moon heading for an eclipse the Milky Way shrinking in its remorse

will you allow me to be right where this place has always been meant for me

in the shadows and the dusk in the clearness of the desert’s midnight

under the ground of the thousand jungles in the light-less room without a window

because it is here I finally feel it all the limits of my breathing

all the possibilities that hit the mighty wall of this life’s being

where death and guilt disenchantment and despair meet coincidence and antinomy

where shining bright means being pitch-black grimy

Follow don’t follow

I don’t want to follow you blindly

follow my path with eyes wide shut

as if it was only a binding spell to guide me

I’m tearing open the shutters

just because I can

just because they are all around me

preying on my queue

I want them to advise me

but not block my view

I take the blame of falling of constantly withdrawing

of steps that trip and shiver hesitate and run

that dance into the darkness

as if it was their home

I take the risk of never knowing never living in the true

world of peaceful love and content peekaboos

 

Let’s talk honestly about… Loneliness

Loneliness never felt to me like something experienced at certain moments of aloneness or crowdedness, no matter, it is fundamentally something much more profound, basic and even inescapable. It is an integral part of human nature, a sensation enveloping our whole life experience, like a spider web spreading out of our hearts through our whole soul. Maybe that is why it is so hard to accept it, yet that is also why it is so rich and necessary.

We may look at it as a cloud, fogging our emotions and blocking our views, still I feel it clarifies and cleanses our senses often enough. Continue reading “Let’s talk honestly about… Loneliness”

Bludgeoned

I’m far more on the non-aggressive side, I’d maybe even call myself a pacifist. Yet, I have those moments when I get knocked down by an invisible force or a very present person, bludgeoned on the inside. And that hole that is left in my chest screams for that same weapon to be used on whoever, even myself, again and again if necessary, just because I need some specific action, right? An answer. Well, as an introvert I usually ignore that urge and respond differently, with isolation, more or less complete one.

The violence that could be produced is left with one single target then, the target I eventually get some compassion for. After all, I know her so well. Continue reading “Bludgeoned”

Market

Markets, city markets, where everything that can be offered gathers: food, music, people with their voices, products, bargains, styles, street fashion in the glamour of wear, stalls as an ornament to the brick streets and enclosed squares, food, food. People with no fear, no shame, no affiliation, no subculture, each individuality on full display, blending in this mass where no one is threatened by no one. Bourgeois bohemians at every step, each hippie in its own way; wearing disco-gold from neck to legs, afro haircut as a crown; elegant gown to the ground; come up with a hair-colour and you have it; your ordinariness is always too noticeable. They carry me, without touching, tow me with them, to them, invite, attract me with their glances, moves, calls, singing… in an instant they grab me, flavours, smells, colours, bland kitsch. Here, while walking, I’m kissing the whole city so passionately that our mouths hardly touch, the movement of our tongues so insane that they fail to intertwine, hold, let go, come, get lost, the sound almost prevails over touch, a play of closeness and distancing, a play of attracting and directness. That’s why I rather never stop, I listen to the indistinguishable conversations, sentences planted into a foreign context, words repeated after a few meters: cheap, cheap… I turn when they try to sell me their CDs: it’s hip hop, reggae music, you know… only taste, grab something here, something else there, don’t allow to appropriate a thing. An odour of grilled meat, of fresh cheese, grilled vegetable, fresh fruit, the taste of sweet at every step. Folk music in adorable acoustics, concerts following the principle of ‘’give what you give’’, buy, support, clap, whistle, walk on. Retro knitwear, warm coats, chequered shirts, coloured dresses, light sleeveless t-shirts, wool for the shoes. Jewellery, silver, gold, iron, plastic. Life that expires in the moment one turns away into a hidden alley around the corner.

Original (= Slovenian) text here.

For Discover Challenge: Flaneur.

It’s been 2 years, Paris. I’m still here.

I actually forgot the exact date of my official move to Paris (yeah I know, how utterly unacceptable and disappointing for such an important event of my life), but I do know it was in late October, sometime after the 20th and a bit before my birthday. So, that means I’ll be celebrating two years of my life in Paris any day now. What a story to tell. To mix things up a bit, I decided to join the challenge and tell it almost wordlessly… And for the actual word-ful story, I’ll have to write a book someday.

From a tourist to a full-time Parisian? Peut-être. Never lost the wonder, though. Continue reading “It’s been 2 years, Paris. I’m still here.”

Isn’t honesty the most graceful thing you can be?

They say suffering can wake us up, sometimes. It makes us face the inside of our self we’d rather avoid, it makes us realize once and for all (but not really…) who we are and what we feel, more profoundly than we could ever get to know it in the good times. Some still turn away and ignore it. Then, there are those who not just not deny it, they embrace it, they own it, they carry it as the vital part of themselves that it has become. Not in some empty pathetic sentimentality… If suffering is graceful at times, it’s because its expression comes from that brutal truth of life, that simple honesty. Continue reading “Isn’t honesty the most graceful thing you can be?”

Music I gratefully discovered in Paris, part III

It’s time again to share a bit of Parisian melodies. My favourite time.

Grand Blanc : I just spent my weekend at Rock en Seine festival*, being in the presence of many legendary acts, but what counts just as much to me is the discovery of the new ones. Algerians Imarhan mesmerized the whole place with their sound on Sunday. The day before, though, it was a truly local band that captured the attention and got our dancing shoes running and heads waving right until they passed the torch to their counterparts La Femme. I expected a good show and was still presently surprised. They are good. They have the necessary energy and a little something that despite all similarities to some bands keeps their own thing going.

Les Marinellis : This is a band whose concert at Point Ephemere I just missed… Unfortunately, life has its plans. However, I believe they could very well be worth it. The kind of music that makes me feel the je m’en foutisme in all its fun and gain. Life can be messed up and stupid and questionable, but let’s move our feet and raise our hands to the beat. Got to get to know them better!

Clara Luciani : Someone I am about to hear live. So different from the above. Clear and subtle voice with only a one instrument accompaniment and all the inescapable emotional charge. Even through a recording or a video the presence is remarkably apparent and strong, yet tender-heartedly so.


Why don’t I just stop writing these posts and link you (again) to the weekly?! I realized they are forming my taste when it comes to French music. I unquestionably trust them somehow.

*If you’re really interested in the music of the wide-Paris region, check out the acts under the line-up of the Ile de France stage.*

Fierce

you’ve just had your heart broken in Paris.

it’s a pretty nice place to have your heart broken in, don’t you think?

you think about your strolls in those cute districts

when he still held your hand in his

gently caressing it

after a movie and a dinner telling you to take him home

because it’s cold and he could use some tea

a tea became your warm torso wrapped around his

his hand on you and soon he was in you

he fullfilled your body, right? he made you feel wanted

when he grabbed you in the dark and kissed you like he’d been missing you his entire life

your stomach ached at the sound of his voice and knees shivered in his hug

his presence overpowered the rest

but let me ask you

did your soul sing because of who he was?

was your heart on fire because of his?

didn’t it bore you sometimes how he numbed your mind so often?

remember those walls you had built?!

there are still there standing strong around your heart and your mind and the very core of your soul

the only ones that fell are those in the middle of your body

good. now you know what profound pleasure is.

but seek empathy that can transcend it into more

bring you where you’ve always wanted to be

burning running dancing wildly adventuring and shouting

because you are not an angel a decoration or a puppet

you are a mighty presence you are a person beyond anyone’s desires and expectations

loved for who you are first

and if changes come they are secondary

first are the presents of these moments when life is lived and not waited for

those moments of companionship that doesn’t fail because of a few traits

you’ve just had your heart broken? did you?

a scar isn’t a massacre

it might heal or it might not

and if you bleed slowly you will not die

and if you bleed intensely you will transform with the cycle of your body

be careful though when going sad to a supermarket

pasta and alcohol and cookies and ice-cream …

rather have a solo slow dance later or evoke the rocky

no — the punky yearnings of your fierce steps and rising hands

you are allowed to be yourself

eternally

It is in the eyes.

You know what I miss so often? Someone who looks me in the eyes and sees me as I am. I’m not talking about trusting conversations or secretiveness we sometimes play. What I mean is just one look and he understood something about me everyone else had failed to notice. Does it matter then what we actually told each other? All the things we didn’t say out loud?

Even if this wasn’t my illusion and it is actually possible, are we strong enough to withstand it or do we run away from the intrusion?

Because eyes are powerful. It’s through them you realize someone’s place in your life, their soul as they say and what this soul can do to you. There’s the beauty and the terror. Continue reading “It is in the eyes.”

My personal ultimate self-care list

or The list of things that make me happy

They are too popular, I know, and mine is going to be a cliché to many as well. But hey, it’s my reminder when I’m felling down that there are things I enjoy and appreciate in life. So, why not?

  1. Read. Read. Read. Novels, short stories, poetry, essays; literature, philosophy or quality journalism. No matter, just surround your mind with meaningful words regularly.
  2. Write. You know what, right? Sit down and reach within.
  3. Plan a journey or a trip. Remind yourself of places you want to visit, or do a research for new destinations.
  4. Go on a journey or a trip. Discover and embrace the adventure on the way.
  5. Listen to ”your” music. The classic favourites or the new best songs ever, I bet the next best act of the moment is around the corner.
  6. Sing. Who cares if you can?
  7. Dance. All crazy and with your eyes closed.
  8. Go for a walk into the heart of the city. Meet your lively friends the streets.
  9. Enter the cinema for a good movie, the surprising European one or something of completely random interest.
  10. Buy a ticket for a concert, or two, or three, and one for a festival. And then be excited a month, a week, a day in advance, until the night when everything falls back into place again.
  11. Read out loud in French. Nobody’s listening to your false accent, flow with the melody.
  12. Look at the sky, into the clouds. There is always some inspiration or calm or just beauty up there.
  13. Watch a sunset (one day try a sunrise as well), the slow descend of the sun, all the shades of yellow and red, the burning lines and shadowy clearness.
  14. Observe the plants and animals. Tree in the middle of a busy square, a buzzing meadow, little bugs on leaves, spiders on walls, a dog passing by, a cat following you with its gaze from a balcony.
  15. Caress animals, touch wood and plants, smell flowers and inhale the scent of herbs.
  16. Eat fresh fruit, and dark chocolate, and sorbet ice-cream. Or pasta with your favourite absolutely green vegan pesto.
  17. Have your morning routine in peace. You’ll be grateful (and everyone else around you).
  18. Drink water. A sip there and a sip later. Refresh yourself.
  19. Buy yourself flowers.
  20. Nurture your whole body with a nourishing cream.
  21. Put on a funny brooch, colourful earings or your everyday rings.
  22. Make yourself a simple, but delicious lunch.
  23. Tidy up your room. Make some space. You live and breathe in there.
  24. Smile.
  25. Laugh out loud, really loud, ignore anyone’s annoyance.
  26. Draw and paint. Colour!
  27. Look at the present. All is here and all passes. Whatever suits the moment.
  28. Fill your notebooks. With quotes or your own ramblings. You actually do go back to those some day.
  29. Make yourself some grandma’s herbal tea. Or have a glass of wine. Depends on the mood.
  30. Allow yourself to say no… and yes.
  31. Write a diary. Again, you do go back to those memories some day. Lessons are well preserved that way.
  32. Sleep. Take your time for it.
  33. Dream. Asleep and awake.

Waw, it’s a long one.

Good, life is good.

For Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making.

Luxury in present tense is simple

Maybe luxury isn’t something we strive for, but something we are already surrounded with. Talking from a privileged perspective, we already have that life full of things escaping a strong definition of absolutely necessary to stay alive and the rest, there only to give us a minor or a major pleasure. Even more, it seems luxury itself is escaping a permanent definition, and it is this which perhaps defines it most accurately.

Wouldn’t you say as well it changes with a certain perspective and the minute we pick another, items that fall into its category also change? Continue reading “Luxury in present tense is simple”

No muses here. Just people.

You’ve heard those stories, right? It’s mine as well. Most of my young life, I’ve read I could be a muse at best. What if I don’t want to stay one? What if I come to realize that position can only give me a restraining passivity and empty adoration, while I don’t desire to be a cold statue, but an alive and kicking humane person?

The muse’s story is not her own, so I refuse to wish to be one. I’ll find my own inspiration in the richness and the beauty of this planet’s surface, the sky above it and the touch of its grounds that penetrate further, of our minds and dreams and sentiments.

Now, I know and read better. I can make my own story with just as burning enthusiasm.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a muse, quite the opposite, to be inspiring is a privilege. Nevertheless, I believe it’s wrong to be reduced to one, to shrink one’s existence to a dependence on the other. Continue reading “No muses here. Just people.”

Yes, I’m afraid, yet grateful.

I’m afraid of the world I live in. The wars, coups and attacks, the people’s comments and political agendas, the omnipresent power of money and greed. Sometimes, when I stop for a second and actually read the news I’m reading I become the child at 8 who only wondered and could never understand. No, I still don’t. I get anxious and terrified, I could cry, and do when I let myself, about all the complications we put ourselves through when life can be so simple… I learned, like everybody, to live with it, to be grateful that for now I’m here, in a so far still privileged country.

Nevertheless, the knot created in the night of the finishing hours the 13th of November last year, didn’t disappear, but is only growing with every new brutal headline I come across. I’m stupefied by the fact that some people have to live with these kind of threats daily and still manage to survive, have the will to survive. I sometimes just want to escape to a cabin in the far-away woods where the atomic bomb will at least catch me unexpectedly, in the midst of my solitary ordinary joys.

I’m afraid of the threat just as much as I am of our response to it. Continue reading “Yes, I’m afraid, yet grateful.”

The frailty’s shadow play

Beauty always seemed frail to me. Just as life, it is of an elusive and melancholic nature, even more: it seems to be built on a certain kind of weakness, maybe even helplessness. For me, there is always some sadness in beauty, just as much as there is no sadness without beauty. I once shared this belief with someone and he replied that was because we found beauty so much bigger than us. I felt there was more, though.

It is a paradox, yet this play of indirect contrasts shows us how profound joy and profound sorrow coexist in the world. How separating one from the other is somehow cruel and sinful, and most of all it is blind and sturdy. Continue reading “The frailty’s shadow play”

The under-appreciated moments of being on the way

I remember how I loved the journey, the act of being on the way to somewhere, as a child, always being a bit disappointed at the moment of arrival when it inevitably ended, even if I sincerely wanted to see my destination. It was the moments of observing the world around me I adored so much.

There was a certain unconscious thrill and a conscious delight in the calm back seat of the car, going to my grandmother’s or being on a trip in an unknown country, devoting all my attention to the passing scenes of the streets and the highway, fields and forests, people on their errands, sneaking a peek on their balconies or through the windows. All of life seemed available on the plate to my eyes, thoughts and feelings. It was a meditation of sorts, maybe it was even an escape. Continue reading “The under-appreciated moments of being on the way”

Autonomy in all its glory

If I had to personally define autonomy (it’s the daily prompt, yes), I would say: ”that independence from anyone and anything as the one single thing I’ve strived for my whole life”. I’ve been too stubborn about it, like a blindfolded hurt buffalo thrusting my way through every relation I had, family, friends or love, it didn’t matter. All they had to know and what I wanted to feel was the eternal I don’t need anybody, any-F*-body, ok?. You can guess it all pretty much went wrong, except my precious family and a few friends who somehow saw through my walls to the core that they, God knows why, appreciated. I was lucky.

I’ve reached my autonomy quite closely in the past year, moving to a foreign country, Continue reading “Autonomy in all its glory”